Beer Name:    Arrogant Bastard clone (a combination of Zymurgy (July/Aug 2003) and recipes)


Click pic for larger version.

Grains:           .5 lb Special-B  147L

                        .5 lb Biscuit  24L

                        .5 lb Aromatic  19L

                        .5 lb CaraMunich  47L


Malt Extract:   3 lbs Amber Muntons DME

                          5 lbs Light Muntons DME


Hops:             1 oz Chinook 11% AA  75 min

                       1 oz Chinook 11% AA  45 min

                       1 oz Chinook 11% AA  aroma


Yeast:     Wyeast 1056 American Ale  (left over from 3.5 months ago.   made starter 2 days prior)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:             Keg Date:


Date:                          1/07/05                        1/19/05                                  02/21/05

Gravity:                       1.080                            1.022                                    1.017

% Alcohol:                   10.5                              2.8                                        2.25

% Sugar:                      21                                 6                                            4.5    

Temp of reading:         64                                  64                                         68



01/07/05  Didn't want to use wheat DME as Homebrew Adventures recipe called for.  But, I wanted to use their grain bill.  I used the all-Chinook part from the Zymurgy recipe.  I created my own hop schedule with the calculator on to achieve the 76 IBU's as specified by both recipes.   Aerated with pure O2 for 2 min. 

01/19/05  Slow and steady fermentation with much bubbling in blow off and air lock for a good 10 days.  I think it's probably done fermenting now.  It got fairly low, all things considered.   Good taste.  Fairly bitter, slight alcohol warmth, malt balance, dry finish.  I think it's off to a good start but it could use a little aging time.  Not very clear right now either.

01/21/05  After it was in the secondary for a couple days I thought I might not mind a slightly lower FG, so I crushed and added two Beano tablets to see if that can happen.

02/21/05  Looks like Beano came through nicely, dropping it 5 points in one month.  I'm more happy with this FG and now it's 8.25% alco.  The taste is very good, bordering on great.  The bitterness reminds me of my barley wine from last year.  Great malt flavor.  Very clear beer too, even now.  The side by side with the real AB will be interesting.

04/11/05  This turned out excellent.  See the tasting notes that I posted.  There is an all-grain version of this beer somewhere in that thread too.




Beer Name:    Hofbrauhaus Berchtesgadener Hell   

(based on Beer Captured recipe)


Click pic for larger version.


Grains:        12 ounces German Munich Malt 8L
                    4 ounces German Light Crystal 16L  (recipe says 8 oz 2.5L)
                    4 ounces Belgian Aromatic Malt 19L


Malt Extract:     6lbs# Muntons Extra Light DME

                            2 oz Malto Dextrin


Hops:       .6 oz Spalt 5.3% AA  60 mins (recipe says .5 oz 6% AA)
                .6 oz German Hallertau Hersbrucker 3.3% AA @ 60 mins (recipe says .5 oz 4% AA)

                  (I threw in the remaining .4 oz of each at flameout)


Yeast:  White Labs 830 German Lager. Used free yeast coupon.  Made 2 pint starter 48 hours prior.


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          01/13/05                        01/27/05                                03/26/05

Gravity:                     1.061                                1.017                                    1.017

% Alcohol:                   8                                    2.25                                        2.25

% Sugar:                     15                                    4.8                                         4.8

Temp of reading:         63                                    66                                          60




01/13/05  All went well.  Had to boil some wort in a 2nd pot as I had added too much to kettle.  Didn't want to risk a boilover.  Added it back to main kettle after 15 min.  No big deal.  Aerated with pure O2 for 90 seconds.  Gravity came in kinda high but makes sense.  6 lbs LME * 9 pts = 1.054.   Then 3 pts from 1/3 lb DME in starter, total 1.057.  Finally, I steeped the grains at 150 for 30 min so maybe I got a few pts from the Munich malt.  Was fermenting next morning so I moved to basement where it is 50 degrees.

01/27/05  I just gave it two weeks, brought it up for a day to warm up (diacetyl rest) and racked it.  Taste is hoppier than I expected.  Rather cloudy still.  I think it's off to a decent start but it needs the mellowing that will come with laagering.  I'm pretty happy with the gravity.  Finally a lager that got down to where it should.

03/26/05   Man this is great.  Tastes a lot like Paul's.  I think it's going to be very good, and go very fast.  I bottled 6 bottles with Coopers Carbonation Drops. 

04/07/05  This stuff is awesome.   This will be an annual brew for sure.  Super clear, clean, crisp lager taste.  Man does it go down easily.  I am thinking it will only get better with a little time, like my Pilsner.  But it is already great.

06/01/05   I had the glass pictured above last weekend.  This stuff is awesome!  I have to say it.  What a great recipe.  This is for sure an annual repeat beer.  It reminds me of the real Pilsner Urquell.





Beer Name:    Mellowed Out Maibock  (NB recipe)



Click on pic for larger version.


Summit, my 2004 Maibock, my 2005 Maibock.  As you can see NB's recipe is a little darker than the others.


Grains:          1 lbs. Dingemans Caramel Pils


Malt Extract:   9.3 lbs Gold Malt LME


Hops:             1 oz Perle 9% AA   60 min

                       1 oz Hallertauer 3.8% AA  10 min


Yeast:     White Labs 830 German Lager  (used entire yeast cake from above Helles)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                           01/30/05                    02/10/05                                    04/03/05

Gravity:                      1.070                          1.020                                        1.020

% Alcohol:                  9.5                                2.5                                           2.5

% Sugar:                     17.5                             5                                                5

Temp of reading:        60                                 64                                              50




01/30/05   Had bubbling once every 12 seconds 20 minutes after pitching yeast!  Only used snow to cool down water in sink when cooling wort.  Was 60 when I pitched yeast.  It is now 52 in the basement, just right.  Aerated with pure O2 about 75 seconds.  Listened to the Lassie Foundation's "California EP," The Choir's "Free Flying Soul," and Broken Social Scene's "Feel Good Lost" cd's, hence the name of the beer.

02/10/05  Well, I pitched as much yeast as possible, so I know I did not under pitch.  I thought it might get a little lower.  There also should have been plenty of O2.  Good news is the taste was very good.  It was nice and sweet, and tasted pretty good already.  Didn't even seem like it would need a ton of laagering time, but into the beer queue it will go behind the AB and the Helles.

04/03/05  I didn't do the hydrometer correction so maybe it is actually 1.019.  Tasted nice.  Pretty strong malty flavor.  Pretty clean.  Hint of alcohol.  It has not been tapped but is just sitting in the fridge in my new, 4th keg.  First time I've had 4 kegs in the fridge at once.  I set it to 30 psi and then disconnected the CO2.

09/05/06  Looks like I never updated this.  I was not as happy with this recipe as I was with my 2004 one.  If I was going to make a Maibock again, I would make the 2004 one or some other recipe. 




Beer Name:    Cream Ale   (based on NB kit)


Click pic for larger version.


Grains:         .75 lbs. Gambrinus Honey Malt   

                     .25 lbs. Dingemans Biscuit


Malt Extract:     6 lbs Alexander Pale LME


Hops:            1 oz. Mt. Hood 4.5% AA   60 min

                       1 oz. Willamette  4.5% AA  1 min


Yeast:         White Labs WLP001   California Ale (need it for next batch)  2 pint starter 2 days prior.


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Bottle Date:


Date:                          02/17/05                        02/24/05                                03/20/05

Gravity:                      1.048                             1.016                                     1.014

% Alcohol:                   6.25                                2.1                                        2

% Sugar:                      12                                   4                                           3.5

Temp of reading:          64                                 65                                          62



02/17/05   This is the first of two batches for Dave and Charissa's wedding.  It should be a pleasant, fairly mild but flavorful beer.  I hope people like it.  All went well.  Aerated with Pure 02 for about 80 seconds.  Had fermentation and krausen by morning.

02/24/05  Might have thought it would go a little lower.  Taste is ok.  Tastes kind of bland, but I have been brewing a lot of strong beer lately.  In fact, I don't brew many beers like this any more.  Maybe I should brew a couple this summer.

03/20/05  The last month has been good to this beer.  I see it dropped two more points, and it tastes much better.  It turned into very nice, mild tasting beer with just little malt and a little hop flavor.  It is much better than I expected after the previous sample, which was kind of flavorless.  It went in to 52 bottles and we'll see where it's at in a few weeks.  It will have 4 weeks in the bottle before the wedding.  The Pale will have about 3.5 weeks.




Beer Name:  Sierra Nevada Pale Ale  HERE is the basis for the recipe



Grains:        1 lb Briess Caramel 60 L  [recipe: 1 lb Crystal 60 L]


Malt Extract:     3 lbs Muntons Extra Light DME  [recipe: 5.5 lbs Extra Light DME]

                            2.6 lbs Muntons Light DME  (NB ran out of extra light)


Hops:        .5 oz Yakima Magnum 15.7 % AA [recipe: .5 oz 13% AA]   60 min

                  .5 oz Perle 9% AA  30 min

                  1 oz Cascade 5.7 % AA  [recipe: .8 oz   5.5%]  10 min

                  1 oz Cascade 5.7% AA   [recipe: 1.2 oz  5.5%]   1 min


Yeast:         White Labs 001 California Ale.   used yeast cake from above Cream Ale.


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                              02/24/05                 03/03/05                                    03/23/05

Gravity:                           1.053                      1.014                                        1.013   

% Alcohol:                        7                             2                                              1.8

% Sugar:                          13                            4                                              3.5

Temp of reading:             60                            64                                             65



02/24/05  Racked Cream Ale during boil.  Put yeast cake in growler and pitched whole 1/2 gallon thing.  Had blow off in tube by morning.  Aerated for 90 seconds with pure O2.  Should be off to a good start.

03/03/05  Very nice hop aroma.  Fairly clean hop taste.   Little bit of a lingering aftertaste.  Probably darker than original due to darker extract I had to use.  Good so far.  Nice full fermentation.

03/23/05  Decent bitterness.  All right.  I think a couple weeks in the bottle, carbonation, and a slight chilling will make it pretty good.

05/13/05  Recently did a side by side tasting (see above pic).  Surprisingly, the taste was much closer than I expected.  I remembered the real SNPA being a little sweeter than it actually is, and I thought my somewhat bitter/dry clone was off the mark.  Really, it was rather close.  Mine did not clear very well, though.  And the color would have been closer had the extra light DME been in stock like I had used when calculating the SRM's.  Overall not bad, but I prefer drinking my other SNPA recipe better, even if this one might be closer to the real SNPA.



Wine Name:    Chilean Merlot  (Selection International wine kit)


Click on pic for larger version.


Juice:   this kit came with 4 gallons.  I added 2 gallons of water   


Yeast:   Red Star Premier Cuvee


Misc:   There were also 2 packets of oak powder (?) added at primary fermentation


Start Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Bottle Date:


Date:                          04/05/05                      04/11/05                                  10/27/05

Gravity:                      1.094                            1.004                                      .996

% Alcohol:                  12.5                                .5                                           -.3

% Sugar:                      23                                  1                                            -.5

Temp of reading:           70                                76                                          65



04/12/05   Fermentation started within hours.  I did not proof the yeast, or aerate the must.  Still, it was down to 1.004 after 6 days and still bubbling after racking to secondary.  Seems to be off to a good start.  Temp held around 78, which is still well within the temp range of 45-95 for this yeast.

05/02/05   Added the sulphite, potassium sorbate, and the isinglass.  Did not take readings.  I figured it is done fermenting and I'll know the FG when I bottle.   Now to wait...

10/27/05   Major problems bottling.  Corks were slipping all the way into bottles because I had steamed them.  I should not have done that.  In the end I got 24 wine bottles and about 5 bottles worth of wine in beer bottles.  The taste was ok, but still kind of sharp.  I think it has good potential.  It just needs time.

09/05/06  Had a 12 oz beer bottle of this wine recently.  It tasted pretty good.  It is coming along all right and will continue to improve I think.

02/10/08  It is now 2 yr and 10 months old but certainly not turning for the worse.  I don't have much of a wine vocabulary.  Dark cherry taste, dry finish, somewhat sweet but not in a sugary sweet way.  Slightly spicy, sort of like light black pepper?  I don't know what I'm talking about.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention the alcohol warming in the finish.  It is nearly 13% alcohol.  Is it worth it to pay double the cost for this quality of batch?  Hard to say. Since I make wine so infrequently I suppose it doesn't really matter, but if I made more of it I would have to figure that out.



Beer Name:    Three Floyds Alpha King II  (similar to 2004)



Click pic for larger version.


Grains:        1 lb Simpson Medium Crystal 55L
                    .5 lb Dingemans Caramunich 47L


Malt Extract:     6 lbs Pale LME
                            1.66 lbs Muntons Light DME


Hops:       1 oz Columbus 12.2 %AA 60 min
                .8 oz Warrior (from 07/04) 30 min (recipe calls for .5 oz here but they were old)
                1 oz Centennial 10% AA 5 min
                1 oz Centennial 10% AA dry hop


Yeast:         White Labs 001 California Ale.   used yeast cake from above Pale Ale (so third time for this yeast.  Made 2 pint start couple days before).


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                            05/07/05                     05/14/05                                 06/07/05

Gravity:                         1.062                            1.020                                    1.016

% Alcohol:                     8.1                                2.5                                        2

% Sugar:                      15.5                                 5                                          4

Temp of reading:           60*                                 66                                       68

  *actually was 76 but I corrected to 60.


05/07/05  First time doing full 5 gallon boil with turkey fryer.  It seemed to go all right.  Cooled down wort to 80 degrees in 16 minutes with wort chiller.  Aerated for 70 seconds with pure O2.  Pitched yeast into 76 degree wort.  Had 5 gallons from brew pot.  Added about 1/4 gallon from yeast starter with yeast.  By next day it had a good krausen on it and was fermenting at 64 degrees.

05/14/05  First of all, I thought it would get a little lower.  I pitched tons of yeast as well as aerated well.  The sample tasted somewhat yeasty, so I think there are still a lot in suspension.  Maybe they'll ferment a bit still.  Sample was rather bitter.  I remember I liked it better at this point last time than I do this time.  The malt flavor is less now than the first time.  I also think I was tasting some of the just-added dry hops, though.  So, those along with the yeast didn't make the sample taste all that great.  Hopefully a couple more weeks will do it some good.

06/07/05  Whew.  Tasting the sample provided great relief.  It was much better than a few weeks ago.  The yeast flavor was gone.  Clearly it had more fermenting to do in the secondary.  It finished nearly the same as the last time I made it.  The hop aroma was good, although I had let my sample sit a while before drinking.  The taste was a little drier, more bitter, and less sweet than last time.  I think this has to do with the full volume boil.  It was quite nice.  I think once it is carbonated and aged another couple weeks it will be good stuff.  At this point it was not especially clear.

08/10/05   This beer retained its solid bitterness.  As I said, must be from the full-volume boil.  I have yet to do a side by side with the real AK.  The bitterness lingers but is not quite mouth puckering.  I might have cut back on the hops just a touch, but it will be interesting to see how bitter the real one is.  I remember being surprised at my most recent SNPA when doing the side by side.

10/06/05  Still have some left but it's going to be gone soon.  Had a full glass last night and dang was it good.  This is currently a very solid IPA.  Great bitterness, beautiful malt balance, nice color and head retention, and the hop aroma is still potent.  Only thing is it did not get terribly clear.  None of my full volume boils have so far.  Doesn't bother me and if I want to take steps to improve that I'd probably have to siphon into the fermenter.  But this beer tastes great and I'm very happy with it.





Beer Name:    Rye Wit      here is discussion on the formulation of this recipe



Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:        2 lbs Wyerman Rye  3.5 L

                    1 lb Dingemans Pale  3.2 L

                    .5 lbs Durst Wheat Malt

                    .5 lbs Dingemans Belgian Aromatic  19 L


Malt Extract:     1 lbs Muntons Extra Light DME

                            3 lbs Muntons Wheat DME


Hops:        .75 oz Willamette 4.2% AA   60 min

                  .5 oz Willamette 4.5% AA  15 min

                   ~ .75 oz Willamette  aroma


Yeast:        Safbrew T-58 dry yeast


Misc:         .75 oz Belgian Bitter Orange peel (15 min)

                    1 tsp crushed Coriander seeds (15 min)

                   .5 (I used .25) oz Belgian Bitter Orange Peel (2 min)

                    1 tsp crushed Coriander seeds (2 min)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          06/06/05                        skipped                                06/13/05

Gravity:                      1.052                                                                         1.016

% Alcohol:                   7                                                                                   2

% Sugar:                      13                                                                                 4

Temp of reading:           60*                                                                             70

  * corrected to 60.


06/06/05   Brewed a partial mash.  I figured I got 12 points from the mash so not too bad.  Brewed full volume boil.  Cooled wort to 80 in 15 minutes.  Simply pitched packed of dry yeast and it was fermenting 2 hours later.  Aerated with O2 for 1 min.  Temp of carboy was 72 morning after.  I set some frozen 1/2 gallon jugs by it to cool it down.  Seems to be off to a fair start.

06/13/05  I skipped the secondary for a couple main reasons.  First is I wanted it to be as cloudy and yeast-filled as possible, at least for the first couple weeks of its keg life.  Secondly I thought that dry yeast fermented more quickly than liquid yeast.  Thirdly I have heard that this is a beer that you can drink fresh, and based on my sample at kegging time, I believe it.  It tasted great.  It will get better with a little more aging but it's pretty good now.  I think I could just detect the rye but will wait for further sampling to really see.

08/10/05   Some good news on this beer.  It has not cleared at all, and is still a wonderfully yellowish hazy straw color, quite close to a commercial wit.  Also, the rye has come into its own and has added a zesty, earthy tang to the flavor that goes well with the other normal wit flavors.  Lastly, to my surprise, people are loving this beer.  I think it is a rather odd, unfamiliar flavor and am surprised people like it so much.  Looks like a keeper.

09/06/05   Just drank the last of it.  It was great at the end, a little smoother.  I will have to make this again.




Mead Name:    Third Time's a Charm Mead   


Click pic for larger version.


Recipe from Kris England as posted HERE.   **Link is no longer active but that's where it was**



Fermentables:   15 lbs Orange Blossom Honey (Chisago City, MN)    


Yeast:         2 packets Lalvin 71b Narbonne yeast


Misc:         2 tsp yeast nutrient;    1 tsp yeast energizer


Brew Date:              Secondary:      Thirdary:           Bottle Date:


Date:                          06/20/05                    08/02/05           11/03/05            07/30/06

Gravity:                        1.116                       1.058                 1.014

% Alcohol:                    15.5                         7.8                     2

% Sugar:                       28                            15                      3.6

Temp of reading:           78                            70                      70



06/20/05  I have never been happy with my meads, no matter what my notes might say.  :)   That is, they were ok, but the home made and good commercial meads I've had have always been much better than what I'd made.  So, I decided to seek help, get a good recipe, and do it right.  I think the main problem is I have used 12 lbs of honey instead of 15.  Also, this recipe calls for yeast energizer, and two packets of yeast.  With those three factors in place, I don't see how I can fail [crosses fingers].  It is fermenting away nicely the morning after making it.  It is about 70 degrees now but Kris says it can benefit from being even a little cooler.  I'll try to get it down a little more.  I re-hydrated yeast as per instructions (4 oz water at 109 deg for 15 min).  I aerated with pure O2 for 90 seconds, as well as vigorously shook the carboy before taking hydrometer sample.

06/27/05  Mead has been fermenting around 66-68 degrees. 

08/02/05  Did not get down very low at all. Don't know what else I could have done. I'll have to see what to do now. Taste is good but too sweet. Little sharp still too.

08/06/05  Re-hydrated two more packets of 71b Narbonne and added them.  Brought carboy upstairs where it got up to 74.  Left for a couple days and moved back down to 70 deg room.  I am seeing some bubbling so I'll check the gravity in a couple months.  Should remember to gently swirl from time to time too.

08/25/05   At 70 deg, 1.045, 6, 11.5.  Tastes great.  Just needs to keep plugging along.  It's been almost 3 weeks since adding the extra yeast and it's dropped 13 points.  Maybe in another 3-6 weeks it will be down in the 1.020's.  I'll check in a month.

09/30/05   Wow it sure has continued to ferment.   1.018,  2.5,  5.  It tasted nice, but of course a little sharp.  I actually hope it stops fermenting soon.  Maybe I should add sorbate.  It took an extra couple months, but this thing has finally fermented as much as I had hoped. 

11/03/05  Good grief it dropped another 4 points.  It is nearly maxing out the yeast's alcohol tolerance of 12-14% right now.  The mead is 13.5% alc.  I got a tip from Steve Piatz that I can just add more honey to get more sweetness as the yeast won't be able to ferment it.  Plus, I went ahead and added some sorbate when racking to thirdary anyway to try and curtail this beast.

11/20/05  Added 1 lb of Clover honey.  I heated it  by soaking in hot water.  Stirred into carboy with sanitized cane.  Mixed well but gently.  Took reading:  1.020; 2.4; 5.  So it added about 7 pts which is what I hoped for.  Taste was better!  It could still use another .5 lb or maybe even another lb.  I will check the gravity in a month to make sure it is not fermenting, then add more honey.

12/11/05  Readings show it has not fermented any more since adding last honey.  I added 1 more lb of Clover Honey and mixed well.  New reading was 1.029.  Doesn't really affect the alcohol %, but it will end up being sweeter.   After another month or so for clarifying, I can rack onto the fruit and the jalapenos (finally).
1/25/06   Took above picture.  Bottled 2 gallons of it straight.  Racked two gallons to a carboy with 3.5 lbs home grown (frozen) raspberries.  Did not pasteurize.  Blanketed carboy with CO2 before racking.  Racked 1 gallon onto two quarters (one half total) of a home grown jalapeno pepper (took out seeds and inner stuff).  Left for a few days.  Added one more quarter for a few more days, then pulled the peppers out when it had decent but not overpowering heat.  Mostly you get the heat in the finish.  It is pretty nice right now but I will taste again and possibly add more.

03/12/06  Racked raspberry mead into another 5 gallon carboy.  Purged with CO2 after sanitizing.  Gravity was up to 1.031.  Decent raspberry flavor, both tart and sweet.  Still could stand to mellow some (same goes for straight mead that I already bottled and tasted recently).

07/30/06  Finally bottled the jalapeno and raspberry meads.  Did not bother to take gravity readings.  Both of those are very clear.  Man, are they good.  The jalapeno one is perfectly balanced for my taste.  It is still sweet with a pleasant but noticeable burn from the heat.  The raspberry one is also sweet with some tart raspberry character.  Both should age very well.  Also, I had some of the plain mead the night before and it has really come into its own too.  Looks like it takes about a year for it to really get good.  Success!

01/28/08  Flash forward a couple years.   :)    The raspberry mead (well, the jalapeno too) really turned out great.  It's sweet with a nice balance of the tartness from the raspberries.   I have enjoyed it so much I took a chance and entered it in the 2008 Upper Mississippi Mashout.  I did not place, but got really good scores (I'm going to look in to that, seems kind of weird to me).  Here are the score sheets.  One  Two  Three




Beer Name:    Belgian Saison   (NB recipe)




I thought I'd do a special picture for my first all grain.  :)    Click pic for larger version.


Grains:        10 lbs Dingemans Pale Ale

                    .75 lbs Dingemans Caravienne


Malt Extract:     none (first all-grain batch)


Hops:        2 oz Kent Goldings 5.7% AA   60 min

                  1 oz Kent Goldings  10 min

                  1 oz Kent Goldings  1 min


Yeast:         Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes (made 2 pint starter two days prior)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          06/25/05                        07/03/05                                08/01/05

Gravity:                        1.052*                         1.013                                    1.013

% Alcohol:                   7                                    1.9                                        1.9

% Sugar:                      13.5                                3.5                                        3.5

Temp of reading:     *calibrated to 60                 74                                        70




With all-grain batches, these notes are going to get a lot longer...

It was my first all-grain batch and I had no idea how my system would perform.  So I took a lot of notes (and some pics).

- started with 12 quarts 165 water.  brought temp of grains to 149.

- added 3 quarts of 188 water.   brought temp of mash to 152 (just what I wanted).   ratio was 1.4 qts water/lb.

- after 37 min temp of mash was down to 149.  added 1 quart of boiling water and stirred.  no change to temp.  ratio was then 1.49 qts/lb so I left it.

- out of 4 gallons of water, I collected only about 2.5 gallons in first runnings.  So 1.5 gallons were absorbed or stayed in cooler.

- added 3.5 gallons of 190 water for sparge.  Brought temp of grains to 168, just what I wanted.  Stirred.  Held for 10 min.

- second runnings were about 3.5 gallons, so I nearly had collected 6 gallons at that point.  Added 1 quart water to get boil volume up to ~ 6 gallons.  After boil, chilling, and pouring into carboy, I had 4.75 gallons.  So I will try to get a little more next time.

- whole process took 5 hours and I was happy about that.  I calculated I got 66-67% efficiency. 

- Next time I will stir more as recommended.  I will also do a mash out, which is said to add 2-5% to your efficiency.  (If I would have done that I probably would have hit the target gravity of 1.056). 

07/03/05   Well I'll be, it's beer.  Hazy orange color.  Musty, bready aroma, hint of alcohol.  Taste is bitter, slightly tart, yeasty, hint of alcohol warmth.  Not sure what it should taste like.  Good start but it needs to mellow a touch.

08/01/05  Light orange color, but now very clear.  Hard to describe taste.  Smooth, hoppy, Belgian effect.  The main word that comes to mind in tasting my first all-grain brew is "brewpub."  I mean that in a good way because it tastes like a good beer one would have at a brewpub.  It does not taste as much like my extract homebrews.  It's off to a good start and it looks like I've made beer.

08/10/05  After a little over a week in the keg the taste has changed a lot.  It is becoming more "Saison-like," if you will, with complex flavors developing.  Last night I was getting almost a dry lemon aspect in the flavor, a mild sourness that was balanced by sweetness and medium mouthfeel.  Will be fun so see how it changes.  I was not liking this beer this past weekend, but I did enjoy it last night.



Beer Name:    Fuller's ESB clone  (based on May-June 2005 BYO)


Click pic for larger version.  

Grains:        9 lbs 2 oz  Simpson Golden Promise 1.7-2L  (English 2 row pale)

                    1 lb  2 oz Simpson Medium Crystal 55L

                    2 lbs Flaked Maize


Malt Extract:     2 oz Malto Dextrin (add touch of unfermentables so it doesn't get too low)


Hops:        Goal                                        What I used

                 5.25 AAU Target (60 min)        .65 oz 8.5% AA  (estimated amounts to use by dividing up 1 oz pellets)

                 2.6 AAU Challenger (60 min)    .40 oz  7.1% AA

                .83 AAU Northdown (15 min     (I did not use any)

                1.66 AAU Goldings (15 min)      .5 oz  Goldings 5.7% AA

                none specified                            .5 oz Goldings (2 min)

                none specified (dry hop)             .35 oz Target; .6 oz Challenger (left over from boil)

                *90 min boil.  Added hops at times above.


Yeast:         Wyeast 1028 London Ale  (made 2 pint starter 2 days prior)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          08/13/05                        08/18/05                                08/31/05

Gravity:                      1.062                                1.024                                  1.014

% Alcohol:                   8.1                                    3                                       1.9

% Sugar:                      16                                    6                                        3.5

Temp of reading:           80                                  72                                        70



A few complications this time.  Still, I got about 67% efficiency so about the same as last time. 

Before I forget, things to do next time:

1.  Dump 185 deg or so water into cooler, and when it reaches strike temp, THEN add grains.

2.  Double crush grain at NB.

3.  Put heavy blanket over the cooler during mash to try to keep some heat in.

- heated 15 qts water to 168.  doughed in and temp was only 149.  Wanted 154.

- heated 1 gallon to boil.  added 10 min in to mash.  temp -> 154.  Perfect!  (ratio 1.55 qts/lb.)

- after 60 min, temp was still 154 in two places.   great.

- added 4 qts boiling to try to raise to mash out temp.   only got -> 156.  left for 10 min.

- collected about 3.8 gallons.

- added 2 gallons of 194 deg water for sparge.  -> 167.  left 10 min.

- collected two more gallons.  Total was just under 6 gallons in kettle.  added little bit of water.

I had some trouble cooling this down.  Not sure why.  Even after 20 min I could not get it below around 85 deg.  I think next time I will create some ice ahead of time to add to water around kettle.  I poured it into carboy at 85 deg.  Hope it was not too warm.  Put some ice jugs around it to cool down before pitching yeast and aerating with O2.  This yeast strain is more attenuative than the recommended ones (1968 or WLP002) so I did two things to hopefully prevent it from getting too dry:  adding the malto dextrin, and make sure to mash at a slightly higher temp because it could prevent a slightly less fermentable wort.  

I ended up with just under 5 gallons in the carboy, so after adding yeast starter, it was just over.

Was fermenting very well by the next morning, and seems to have finished in about 48 hours.  Looking forward to sampling it when I rack later this week.

08/18/05  Maybe I should have left it longer but I didn't see any more bubbling and the krausen had fallen.  Still pretty cloudy so most likely a lot of yeast are still suspended.  Maybe it will drop a few more points.  Subtle hop aroma already, and I dry hopped it.  Despite the kind of high gravity reading and the fact it's only 5 days old, the taste was great.  It tasted like an English ale, with a bready, biscuit flavor.  Perhaps it was a touch sharp but that will mellow.  Nicely sweet like I wanted with a respectable, noticeable bitterness.  If it drops a few more points that will be fine.  If it does not, I think it will still taste just fine once it is conditioned and on tap.

08/19/05  I changed my mind (so sue me).  I decided I wanted the gravity to get a little lower and to make sure that it happened in time, and at all, I added 6 drops of liquid Beano.  That is just over one tablet's worth, and is said to do all that it is going to do in 2-3 weeks.  It is bubbling fairly often right now so it's doing something.

08/26/05  At 70 deg:  1.016, 2.1, 4.5.   It's dropped pretty fast.  Hopefully it is slowing.  I'll check next week.  Hard to describe taste.  Not as defined as last time.  Starting to mellow. 

08/30/05  It was still bubbling often so I took a reading:  1.014, 1.9, 3.5. I added potassium sorbate to try and stop it from dropping any lower (.5 tsp/gallon).  I will also keg as soon as I can free one up, maybe tomorrow night.
Taste is good.  If it doesn't drop any lower I think it will end up being nice, but it would have been nice to stop around 1.016.  It's 6.2% alcohol which is slightly higher than it would have needed to be.  But, at least it tastes good.  Side note: this is my first all-grain that tastes more like familiar beer (Saison was first), and aside from the Beano business, I'm happy with how it is turning out.  It probably won't be as clear as it could have since I will be kegging it earlier than I would have liked.

May 2006 -  I have had Bridgeport ESB in the last few months, and I'll be darned if it does not taste a lot like this ESB.  In fact, when tasting the Bridgeport, it made me like this ESB more.  It validated that, yes, this did indeed taste like an ESB.  It turned out pretty well and went pretty fast at the fundraiser.




Beer Name:    Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout  (North American Clone Brews)


Click pic for larger version.


Flannery wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  

Then he said, "Oh, yes.  Your oatmeal stout is worth making a fuss over."


Grains:       8 lbs Pale (Crsip Maris Otter 3.5-4.5L)

                    12 oz Dark Crystal 120L  (6 oz 75L; 6 oz 160L)

                    4 oz Chocolate malt  630L

                    1 lb flaked oats

                    8 oz roasted barley 695L

                    8 oz Wheat


Hops:        1 oz Goldings 5.7% AA  60 min

                   1 oz Willamette 4.2% AA  15 min


Yeast:        Wyeast 1028 London Ale (yeast cake from ESB above)



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                         08/27/05                         09/03/05                                10/09/05

Gravity:                     1.055                             1.017                                      1.017

% Alcohol:                  7.1                                 2.2                                        2.1

% Sugar:                     13.8                                4.5                                       4.5

Temp of reading:          60*                               70                                        64

*taken at 78.  corrected to 60.



 08/27/05  Brewed this up before the 5th semi-annual booze cruize that took place that night.  Mike and Jerry came over to check out an all-grain brewing session.  It went the best of the 3 all-grain batches I've done so far.

- heated 3.4 gallons water [1.25 qts/lb] to 176 degrees.  Added to cooler and it dropped to about 168.

- when water dropped to 165, I doughed in.  Hit mash temp of 152 right on.

- put blankets on top of cooler.  After 60 min temp was 147-149.

- put in 1 gallon of boiling water to mash out.  Only raised temp to 154.  Held 10 min.  

- collected only about 2.8 gallons from 4.4 gallons of water.   

- added 3 gallons of 190 degree water -> 168.  held for 10 min.

- collected about 2.8 gallons.  Was a little under 6 gallons in kettle so I added a gallon.  I thought that brought it up to 6 gallons, but looking on it now, it must have made it over 6.

- added a bunch of ice to water around kettle in laundry sink.  Cooled to under 80 in 15 min, much better than last week.

- ended up with about 5.1 gallons in carboy.

- pitched yeast at 2:15 pm and it was bubbling once/15 seconds 1 hour later.

- whole process (not including a little setup) took 5 hours.

- was fermenting nicely at 72 this morning.

My efficiency went up from 66-67% of the first two batches to 70% on this one.  I think the slightly thicker mash helped.  That was one thing I wanted to achieve - the correct mash temp without having to add more hot water, and thus thinning the mash.  Now I know about how much heat the cooler will absorb, at least at 70 degrees outside.

09/03/05   Kind of dry.  Dark roasted grain flavor in a lingering aftertaste.  Kind of sharp.  That is because it is young.  Not especially sweet.  More like a dry stout.  OK Start.  Needs some time to condition and it should be all right.

10/09/05   Huh.  It's been over a month since I put it in secondary.  I lost track of this beer and just left it until a keg freed up.  What do you know?  It smells, looks, and tastes like a decent oatmeal stout.  It tasted a lot better today than a month ago.

09/05/06   A final update on this beer.  It turned out great.  I enjoyed it very well and it was a great recipe.  Perhaps the only thing I would change is to use more oatmeal.  I heard I could use up to 4 lbs, so I would have to look into that if I was to make it again.



************  Filled propane tank 09/09/05.   Took 2.3 gallons of about 4.6 possible.  So I used half a tank for 5 batches (3 all grain, 2 full volume extract).  ***********



Beer Name:      Sour Brown     (BYO May/June 2005)


Click on pic for larger version.


Grains:        5.25 lbs Dingemans Pils Malt

                    1.25 lbs Schreier 6 row pale malt

                    2 lbs Durst Vienna malt 3.8L

                    1.5 lbs Durst Med Crystal 48L


Hops:        1.75 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker 3.3%AA  (75 min)

                  1 oz Saaz 3.6%AA  (15 min)

                  (also leftover .25 oz Halltertau)


Yeast:         Wyeast 3763 Roselare Belgian Blend  (no starter made)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Bottle Date:


Date:                          09/10/05                        09/24/05                                02/04/06

Gravity:                      1.051*                            1.013                                    1.011

% Alcohol:                   6.8                                1.9                                        1.6

% Sugar:                      13                                 3.5                                        3

Temp of reading:           60*                              70                                         64

*calibrated to 60. taken at 78.



09/10/05  Another crazy beer experiment begins!

Everything went well, and for the second time in a row I hit 70% efficiency.  So, maybe the thicker mash gave me a few more efficiency points.  I suppose I could try a double crush and see if that increases it any more.

- heated 3.3 gallons to 173.   Poured into cooler and when it was 163, doughed in.

- kept getting temps of 149, 150, 152.  Kept stirring.  Still got range of temps so figured it was close enough to my desired temp of 151.   

- After 75 min temp was 145.  (I never remember to start heating up sparge water early enough so mash got a bit longer).

- added 1.5 gallons of boiling and raised temp to 158.  Held for 10 min.

- collected 3 gallons (from 4.8, so again, quite a bit remained behind).

- added 3 gallons of 190 water -> 168.  Held 10 min.

- collected 3 more gallons.

- a level just below the rivets must be 6 gallons, but I added 1.5 qts to get it just above them.

- 90 min boil. 

- at the end of the day I had just under 5 gallons in my carboy, so I topped it off slightly to over 5 gallons.  I took the gravity reading after I had added this water.

- was fermenting nicely next morning.  Most of fermentation took place in the 74-78 degree range.  It has settled down now (3 days later) and is around 72 deg.

10/17/05    Took gravity reading and it was 1.015.  Taste was good, but not very sour.

10/24/05    Slightly more sour.  Little bit of a lemon pucker.  Malt presence.  Mild dry finish.  Not overall oaky so I will add rest of oak chips as recipe dictates.  I guess it is off to a good start.

12/11/05  Took readings.  1.011, 1.5, 3.  It looks like it is fermenting a little still.  Kind of a puckering sourness but not too intense.  Noticeable oak flavor in form of semi-dry after taste.  Seems to be coming along but how long should I age?

02/04/06  It was clear going into bottling bucket but after I added a packet of dry S-56 yeast, it was cloudy going into the bottle.  Hopefully that will settle and it will become clear in the bottle.  Light brown to dark orange color.  Some oak aroma.  Taste is about the same as last time.  Dry finish.  Not overly sour but a respectable tartness.  I would probably need an additional bacterial culture to make it extra sour.  Maybe it will get more sour over time.

4/22/06  Took above picture.  It is slowly become slightly more sour, but I don't think it will carry the pungent sourness that would have been nice.  Has a dry oaky taste from wood chips.




Beer Name:    Pumpkin Ale  (BYO Oct 2005)


Click pic for larger version.


Grains:        8.5 lbs Crsip Maris Otter pale malt 3.5-4.5L

                    .5 lbs Simpson Dark Crystal 160L

                    1 lb flaked wheat


Hops:        .6 oz Northern Brewer 9.9% AA  60 min

                  .4 oz Northern Brewer 9.9% AA  15 min


Yeast:         Safale US56 (dry yeast.  no starter)


Misc:        8 oz molasses  (15 min)

                  8 oz (1 cup) cane sugar (15 min)

                 1 tsp cinnamon;  1/2 tsp ginger;  1/4 tsp all spice;  1/4 tsp nutmeg (at flame out.   let sit 15 min after burner off)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          09/25/05                    10/02/05                                    11/05/05

Gravity:                      1.060*                        1.019                                        1.020

% Alcohol:                   8                                2                                                2.5

% Sugar:                      15                              5                                                5

Temp of reading:           60                            68                                               60

*Corrected to 60.



09/25/05    Listened to Packers lose to Bucs while watching the Vikes beat New Orleans.  :(

- 13 qts water to 175.   added grain when water was 165 and mash was 154.

- added 6 lbs of cooked, cubed up pumpkin which was 127 deg.  Mash temp dropped to 147.

- boiled up 1 gallon of water and added.  Raised mash temp to 158.

- kept stirring with lid open and closed it when temp was 155.

- added 1 gallon boiling after 70 min and raised temp to 158. Held 10 min.

- collected a full 4 gallons of wort.

- added 2 gallons of 190 -> 168.  Held for 10 min.

- collected 2 more gallons for 6 gallons total.

- ended up with about 5.25 gallons in fermenter.

- could smell a nice fairly mild spice mixture from adding the spices at flameout and letting kettle sit for 15 min before cooling down (as per instructions).

- was fermenting by next morning.

10/02/05  Not a lot of spice aroma.  Caramel color.  Spicy finish (cinnamon?)  Overall it needs to mellow some more.

11/05/05  Doesn't seem to have fermented any more since racking to secondary.  Not a lot of spice aroma or flavor.  Very slight.  I guess that is ok as better too little than too much.  Flavor of beer is good.  Kind of a murky ruby color.  Should be a nice drinking Holiday beer.

09/05/06  Another update on this.  It turned out all right.  I am not sure if Jamie purchased the correct pumpkin for me (cooking one).  I think she might have just got a carving one, so it might have got a little bit of weird flavor from that pumpkin.  Anyway, I could possibly see trying this again but I would get the correct pumpkin.  Also, the spices were very subtle and they should probably be ratcheted up slightly.





Name:      Orange Zest Cider



Juice:    5 gallons apple juice from 2005 pressing


Yeast:         Lalvin Bourgovin RC212


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          10/29/05                        11/10/05                                12/03/05

Gravity:                      1.055                             1.002                                    1.002

% Alcohol:                   7.2                                .2                                           .2

% Sugar:                      14                                 .5                                           .5

Temp of reading:          60                                 68                                        60



10/29/05  Got juice home and added 5 crushed camden tablets.  Let sit for 24 hours.

10/30/05   Took some cider and put it in a pan.  Steeped orange zest and 6 cinnamon sticks in 150 degrees for 10 min or so.  Added back to fermenter.  Pitched yeast.

11/10/05  Fairly clear, especially compared to lemon cider.  Tart, sour, not that enjoyable just now.

12/03/05   Added 2 tsp sorbate.  Sweetened with 3 cans apple juice concentrate (2 apple, 1 apple cranberry).  Taste is all right, but something is a little different.  There is a touch of a flavor that I'm not nuts about.  Maybe it will mellow.

1/16/06  This one turned out all right, but maybe not quite as nice as the others.  Maybe it is the apples this year.  I don't think I did anything wrong.  It is still well received and people seem to like it.




Name:     Lemon Zest Cider


click pic for larger version 


Juice:     5 gallons apple juice from 2005 pressing


Yeast:         Lalvin 71B 1122


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          10/29/05                        11/10/05                                05/23/06

Gravity:                       1.056                             1.004                                    1.002

% Alcohol:                   7.3                                .7                                            .3

% Sugar:                      13                                 1                                            .25

Temp of reading:          60                                 68                                          60



10/29/05  Got juice home and added 5 crushed camden tablets.  Let sit for 24 hours.

10/30/05   Took some cider and put it in a pan.  Steeped lemon zest and 5 cinnamon sticks in 150 degrees for 10 min or so.  Added back to fermenter.  Pitched yeast.

11/10/05  Somewhat cloudy still.  A bit of yeast still in suspension and working.  Tart, sour.  Looks like it will continue to ferment a bit before clearing.

05/04/06  Sharp, tart, citrus.  Yeast flavor is gone.  Some alcohol hint.  Should be good.

05/23/06  Used 3 cans of Old Orchard apple juice concentrate, 2 raspberry apple and 1 apple.  It did not make it very red.  I thought it might colorize the cider a bit more.  I could probably use all 3 raspberry or something like that if I wanted.  Tasted about like others have in the past.  Hopefully it will be fun to drink in the hot sun.

09/05/06  This tastes fine.  It is about as good as most of my ciders.  They all come out about the same.

09/05/06   MN State Fair score sheets:  One  Two  Three  Guess cinnamon is not part of the Common Cider category.  :)  I was impressed that they picked up on that, though, with both the nutmeg and cinnamon comments on the sheets.  It's pretty subtle.

09/28/06  Keg is getting low now.  Still a very enjoyable drink, pretty much just how I like my cider.  It is neither too sweet nor too tart.  And the cinnamon and lemon give it just a little bit of complexity.




Beer Name:     Steamin' Wife Lager  (4th Annual)



 Click pic for larger version.



Grains:        10 lbs Rahr 2-row Pale

                    .5 lbs Simpsons Med Crystal 50L


Hops:        1.5 oz Northern Brewer 9.8% AA  60 min

                    .5 oz Northern Brewer 9.5% AA  15 min

                    1 oz Cascade homegrown whole leaf hops - 2 min (in hop bag)


Yeast:         Wyeast 2112 San Francisco Lager.  2 pint starter made 3 days prior.


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/06/05                        11/20/05                                1/12/06

Gravity:                      1.054                             1.014                                        1.014

% Alcohol:                   7                                   2                                                1.9

% Sugar:                     13.5                               3.8                                             4

Temp of reading:           60                                66                                            50



11/07/05   Did mash in my basement, and boiled it in the tuck-under.  Seems like there is no reason I could not brew all grain all year round with that setup.

- 13 qts water to high 170's.

- doughed in when water was 162.  Dropped to 152.  held for 60 min

- was 147 after 60 min.  Added 1 gallon boiling -> 154.  Held 10 min.

- collected 3 gallons.

- added 3 gallons of 192 -> 168.  Held 10 min.  Collected another 3 gallons.

- got down to 82 degrees in 15 min with wort chiller.

- first time I used ice water siphon trick.  In another 15 min got it down to 60.  Perfect for this lager and for other lagers I will do.   It's not even that much more work to get the ice water siphon happening, and it lowers the temperature a lot more.

The next morning it had 2" krausen already.  Off to a good start.

Oh, running my batch through the Texan Brew calculator, I got 72% efficiency, my highest.  At least I know now I can count on 70% pretty consistently.

11/20/05  Earthy, pungent, citrus orange aroma.  Taste slightly tilted toward bitter side, more than past Steam beers I've made.  Not quite there yet.

1/12/06  A month and a half have done it well.  I couldn't smell it because I had a cold and was stuffed up.  It was very clear, and a nice light copper color.  Firm, crisp bitterness, less sweet than other years.  My extract versions have had a high FG and that contributed to sweetness.  This all-grain version is going to be good I think. 

I kegged it in my "new" keg and that one does not fit in the fridge.  I put it in my cold room for further conditioning.  Now when a keg runs dry I can just hook this one up.

2/28/06  Have done a couple side by side tastings.  Color and clarity are quite similar.  Aroma is similar as well.  When tasting them side by side, I have to say I like mine better.  Both have good bitterness but mine seems a bit more drinkable.  Maybe it's a little smoother or just a little more homemade.  I suppose they are about as close as you can come when doing 5 gallons at home versus a large scale commercial brewery.  It's a very solid California Common recipe.  The all grain version is better than my extract ones.




Beer Name:     Ten Buck Ale  [grain bill from a Two Hearted clone I found somewhere]



Click on either pic for larger versions.


Ten Buck ale really came out great.  A real craft-beer flavor made with my homegrown hops.


Grains:        8.5 lbs 2 row pale (Rahr) 

                    1.5 Munich (recipe called for Vienna and I did not see it at the time)

                    .75 lb Crystal 55L

                    .25 lb wheat


Hops:        .6 oz 8.5% AA Centennial (pellet) 60 min

                  .4 oz 8.5% AA Centennial (pellet) 45 min

                  .4 oz Centennial (whole homegrown) 45 min

                  .6 oz Centennial (whole homegrown) 30 min

                  1 oz Cascade (whole homegrown) 15 min

                   1 oz Cascade (whole homegrown) dry


Yeast:         S-56 American Ale (Safale)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/19/05                        11/25/05                                12/05/05

Gravity:                      1.046                             1.012                                     1.012

% Alcohol:                   6.2                                1.6                                            1.6

% Sugar:                      12                                 3.2                                            3.2

Temp of reading:           70                                66                                             65



11/19/05  This beer is an experiment.  It was pretty cheap to make, just over $10, and I thought I would use my homegrown hops to see if they provide any noticeable flavor.

- 13 qts water.  162 degree dough in to 149.

- added 2 qts boiling at 10 min -> 150

- 1 gallon boiling after 70 min -> 156.  held 10 min.

- collected little over 3 gallons

- added 3 gallons at 192 -> 174  held 10 min.

- collected little under 3 gallons but 6 gallons in kettle.

11/25/05  Light caramel color, orange tint.  Taste is decent and not overly bitter, which is good.  Nicely balanced.  Earthy hop flavor from whole leaf hops.  I added the dry hop Cascade in a sanitized bag.

12/05/05   My quote about this beer:  "This stuff is going to go down quick and easy."  Good taste.  Not anything big or different, but solid and pleasant.  So far it is a little better than it was after primary fermentation.

09/05/06  Little update on this.  It was great.   It really tasted like a good quality brewpub beer.  The homegrown hops added a unique flavor.  I can see this being an annual Fall beer with whatever hops I am able to harvest that year.



Beer Name:    Caveman Kellerbier  (BYO Nov 2005)



Click on pic for larger version.


Grains:        8 lbs Durst Pilsner 1.6L

                    4 lbs Durst Munich 8.3L


Hops:        3 oz Hallertau Hersbrucker 2.8% AA (60 min)

                  1 oz Hallertau Hersbrucker 2.8% AA (2 min)


Yeast:        White Labs Zurich Lager WLP885  (using this so I can use the yeast dregs for the next Samichlaus)


Misc:   2 oz American Oak chips.  Made oak chip tea night before.  1 qt water at 180 degrees and added it to chips.  Toasted them at 250 degrees for one hour first.


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          12/10/05                       12/27/05                                  1/23/06

Gravity:                      1.060                            1.016                                       1.016

% Alcohol:                  8                                   2.1                                            2.1

% Sugar:                     15                                 4.5                                            4.5

Temp of reading:         60                                 62                                            50




- 15 qts water to high 170's.   Dough in at 163 -> 150.

- at 15 min added 2 qts boiling water and brought up to 154.  stirred.

- at 30 min I stirred again.

- heated 3.5 gall to boiling.

- at 75 min added 1 gallon boiling -> 156.  held 10 min.

- collected about 3.75 gallons.

- added 2.5 gallons 192 -> 168.  held 10 min.  collected 2.75 gallons.

- boiled 75 min total.

- ended up with 4.9 gallons wort. 

- added less than 1 qt oak chip tea (see above) and then took gravity readings, so they were slightly affected by that but hardly at all.

- after adding yeast starter and liquid got about 5.25 gallons in fermenter.

- is fermenting away at 53 right now.

12/27/05  Light caramel color, murky.  Sweet, lager aroma.  Good taste.  Some hop presence in taste and finish.  Nice balance.  Not sure if oak tea is detectable yet.

1/23/06  Golden orange color.  Crisp, slight tartness (due to Zurich lager yeast?  hops?  oak tea?)  Some tangy flavor I could not pin down, but was good.  Clean finish.  Good start.  Kegged but not tapped.  Sitting in cold room until a keg runs dry.

04/22/06  Had kind of a funky, fruity taste that I could never figure out.  Today drinking it (and taking picture) I think that taste has begun to mellow.  A decent amount left in the keg so I can see if it really does get past that.  I remember the Alt I made had something like that going on until the end.

05/08/06   Keg ran out yesterday.  Until the end, there was a bit of a sharpness that I think came from the yeast.  Even with it the beer was very drinkable and well made.  But I wonder if it would have been better w/o that flavor.  Perhaps that flavor somehow came from the oak chips.  I think I bottled some so I will test those over time.



Beer Name:    Samichlaus #2  (based on Brew Your Own Dec 2004 recipe)


Click on pic for larger version.


Grains:        1 lb Weyermanns Carahell  11L

                    1 lbBriess Caramel  60L


Malt Extract:   4 lbs Muntons Extra Light DME

                          3 lbs Muntons Light DME.  Late addition to boil.  (they were out of Extra Light after I bought the above)

                          6 lbs Munich LME

                          3 lbs Cane Sugar (6 cups)


Hops:             1 oz Northern Brewer  9.8% AA  (60 min)

                       .5 oz Hallertauer  3.3% AA  (60 min)

                       1 oz Tettnang  4.5% AA  (15 min)

                       .5 oz Hallertauer  3.3% AA  (2 min)



Yeast:         White Labs Zurich Lager WLP885


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Bottle Date:


Date:                          12/28/05                        03/14/06                               10/17/06 

Gravity:                      1.130                             1.018                                    1.014

% Alcohol:                   17.5                              2.4                                        1.8

% Sugar:                      31                                 5                                           3.5

Temp of reading:          72                                66                                          62



12/28/05   Here we go with another annual monster.  Mike was sick and could not come over to help brew, so I brewed it up solo.  All went well.  I decided to ferment it in two carboys so I won't lose any to blow off.  Used yeast cake from Kellerbier above (Zurich lager).  Got about the exact same gravity as last year so that is nice.  It was fermenting about 1 hour after pitching.  Temp the morning after was 54, so I will watch that carefully.

03/14/06   Mike came over for the racking.  We were completely amazed at the gravity.  We had checked it sometime in February and it was down to 1.038.  I had swirled the carboys a few times.  I had brought them both up to room temperature for the last 1.5 weeks.  The Zurich Lager yeast did an amazing job.  Taste was pretty yeasty.  It still needs time to clear and for the yeast to drop out.  It will also be less sweet than last year's.

Before we took the gravity we added a packet of Lalvin EC1118 Champagne yeast because we figured it would need it.  I don't know if that yeast will do any more fermenting.  I hope not.  But we would not have needed it.  We are very happy with how the Zurich lager yeast has performed, especially compared to last year's batch.

10/17/06  Man, it dropped another 4 points.  Must have been the champagne yeast.  We bottled with about 7/8 cup corn sugar and a packet of EC1118 yeast.  It tastes wonderful with an alcohol warming.  The alcohol does not come through too much in the actual taste, which is nice.  It is superbly clear and a color that is close to the real Sami.  We had some real Sami when bottling it last night.  This beer will age very well I suspect. 

01/26/08  Not doing a super close analytical tasting right now but... wow, still very sweet and very warming.  Not very carbonated.  Quite enjoyable.  I have found that 6 oz is a decent serving while 12 gets to be too much.  Definitely a sipper and I am thinking it will still be ok in another 2 years. 




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