Beer Name:      Smokin' Great Times Rauchbier  (slightly bigger version of first Rauchbier).



Click on pic for larger version



Grains:        14 lbs Weyermann smoked malt 2L

                    1.75 lbs Durst Pils  1.6L

                    .25 lbs Weyermann Carafa III 470L

                    6 oz Maple, Apple, and Cherry smoked malt (blend) from Adam Stern

                    1 lb 12 oz Beech wood smoked malt from Adam Stern

                    = just over 18 lbs


Hops:        1 oz  U.S. Halltertau  4.2% AA  60 min

                 .5 oz Yakima Magnum  15% AA  30 min

                 .5 oz Yakima Magnum  15% AA  10 min


Yeast:         Wyeast 2206 Bavarian lager - yeast cake from preceding Oktoberfest



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          01/21/08                      02/04/08                                  09/07/08

Gravity:                     1.080                           1.024                                       1.012

% Alcohol:                10.8                              3.5                                           1.7

% Sugar:                   20                                7.5                                            3

Temp of reading:       60                                64                                            70



* My mash tun could not take too many more lbs of grain than 18.   It was pretty full.  :)  I suspect I could do 20 lbs but maybe not any more.

* Unlike first Rauchbier, this one is a lager as they are supposed to be.

- 21 qts 170 -> 160.  added ice -> 154.   held for 60 min.  Stirred once at 20 min.

- after 60 min -> 152

- added 1 gallon boiling -> 156.

- collected 3.6 gallons, so about 2.4 gallons left in mash tun (out of 6 total).  First runnings:  19.5 brix (about 1.080 before boiling.  Good to know if I ever want to make like 3 gallons of a really strong beer (barley wine?) and then a few more gallons of a lower gravity beer.

- added 3 gallons of 192 beer ->172.  Few ice cubes -> 169.   

- gravity 2nd runnings:  12 brix

- 6.6 gallons in brew pot.   Pre boil gravity: 16 brix. (about 1.064 so I knew I would at least get into the 1.070's).

- boiled for 65 mins.  Pretty cold today, about 0, and it was cooler in the tuck under than usual.

- ended with 5 gallons at about 52 degrees split into 2 carboys so I don't lose any volume to blow off.

- split yeast cake (was not able to have it settle out so I could wash it) between two carboys.

- put carboys in my cold room which is currently 40 degrees.   I might have to open up the door to let some heat in to raise it a few degrees.

02/04/08   Had it at warmer temps (mid 50s) for about a week, then at mid 60's for a few days.  A little surprised that it did not ferment a little lower.  Not very clear yet and there is a lot of yeast still suspended.  Dark brown color, but not black.  Good smoke aroma.  Wow, complex, strong, but drinkable smoke flavor.  Very nice and after it mellows it should be even better.

02/06/08  Added 3 drops of Beano to see if it can drop a little lower.  Sitting at about 60 deg.

02/29/08  Added 2 more Beano drops.  62 deg.  1.023, 3, 6.1.  Clear, dark red and brown color.  Rather smoky aroma, maple ham.  Wow.  What to say.  Smoky and complex with hint of alcohol warmth at end.  Smokiness diminishes with subsequent sips as my palate gets acclimated.  Pretty good so far.  Will check gravity in another few weeks.  I am thinking about saving this one until late summer or Fall instead of trying to get it on tap sooner. 

03/30/08  at 70 deg it is down to: 1.018.  (~1.017 if calibrated).  2.5, 5.  Tastes nice.  Complex smoke flavor.  Should turn out well.

09/01/08  Racked 1 gallon onto 1 jalapeno pepper minus the pith and seeds.  Clear, deep red color. Complex smoky aroma with some alc.  Taste is smooth, smoky, and warming in finish.  Not unpleasant to drink now and at 9% alc I'm sure it will be even better to come.

09/07/08   Kegged the rest.  Bottled 6 bottles. 

09/14/08  Jalapeno aroma is there but not a ton of heat.  Added 1 more small pepper cut in half with insides removed.

09/24/08  Removed peppers.  Fairly hot now.

01/27/09  This beers has turned out very well.  It is quite smoky and yet drinkable.  The 9% alc is not detectable in any way.  So smooth and it is turning out to be fairly well liked which surprises me a little due to the extreme smoke aroma and flavor.   Further evidence of how good it is - First place in the 2009 Mashout Specialty category!  scoresheets:  One  Two   I also entered it in classic Rauchbier due to how undetectable the alc is, but for some reason it did not place there.  scoresheets:  One  Two




Beer Name:      Helles - Jamil's    (from Brewing Classic Styles)



Click on any pic for larger version. 

Liter of Helles on Father's Day June 2008.

Glass of Helles in grandpa's Pilsner glass.

Clarity of Helles in front of Sam Calagione and Jim Koch.



Grains:        9.5 lbs Durst Pils 1.6L

                    .75 lbs Durst Munich 8.3L

                    .25 lbs Weyermann Melanoidin 33L  (Thomas Eibner advised against this but I've never used it and Jamil's recipe calls for it so I thought I would try it.)                   


Hops:        1 oz Hersbrucker 3.3% AA  60 min

                  .25 oz German Tradition 6.6% AA 60 min   Goal was 4 AAU for 60 min.  I got 4.95 AAU [3.3 + .25 x 6.6].


Yeast:        Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager.   *first time using stir plate.   Used 2.75 pints water and about 7/8 cup DME.  Ended up with just under 1000 ml @ 1.040.  Topped it off to about 1200 ml as that is the volume I need for the stir plate to work well.  Then it was only 1.028.  Next time I will use a full cup of DME.  It stirred for 39 hours before putting in fridge overnight.  Decanted most of the wort off and pitched yeast.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          2/22/08                        03/08/08                                 03/23/08

Gravity:                      1.055                           1.015                                      1.015

% Alcohol:                 7.3                                2                                            2

% Sugar:                    14                                4                                             4

Temp of reading:        55                                52                                          50



- 1/2 tsp cinnamon in mash water

- 13 qts 166 -> ice -> 150.  stir at 20 min.

- after 70 min -> 147.

- add 7 qts boil -> 165.

- first runnings - 15 brix

- collected 3.4 gallons

- add 3.1 gallon 180 -> 173 -> ice -> 168.

- 2nd runnings - 7 brix.

- preboil of 6.6 gallons - 10 brix

- 5.1 gallons in fermenter.  Hit my gravity nicely and even perhaps got slightly over what I expected.

- spent first week fermenting right about 50 degrees.  Now it is perhaps more like 52.

03/08/08  When calibrated to 60 deg it would be about 1.014 and I'm happy with that.  Fairly clear, nice golden yellow color.  Similar aroma to my other Helles's, somewhat sweet.  Taste is clean, sweet, but maybe slightly less than usual.  Very light grainy finish (or is that just the hop bitterness?)  Wonder if the melanoidan created that, if it is intended to take down the sweetness a touch.  Very tasty so far.  Very quaffable even now.

03/23/08  Fairly clear.  Straw color with hint of orange.  Tastes a little better than last time.  Not very hoppy.  Clean flavor with just enough bitterness.  Light on tongue.  Quaffable.  "Liter mug!"  How is it different from past recipes?  Slightly less straight sweet, maybe.  Melanoidan did not make it bad, at least, but I am not positive what effect it had.

06/15/08  Drank a liter of it yesterday.  It is very nice.  Well made, no off flavors, but I will say this.  I think I was getting more effect from the melanoidan when taking big gulps of it, and I think I prefer the recipe without it. That is, there is a very slight harshness from that malt (I tasted it in the store and it was fairly harsh) that I think can be left out.




Beer Name:      Maibock -Jamil's  (from Brewing Classic Styles)


Click on pic for larger version.


Grains:        10 lbs Durst Pils 1.6L

                     4 lbs Durst Munich 8.3L


Hops:        .5 oz Magnum (German)  13% AA  (recipe says 7 AAU, I had 6.5)  60 min


Yeast:       I used yeast cake from above Helles, Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          03/09/08                      03/21/08                                  04/27/08

Gravity:                      1.066                          1.020                                        1.019

% Alcohol:                 9                                  2.6                                            2.6

% Sugar:                    17                                5.5                                            5.5

Temp of reading:        60                               48                                              60



- my first night-time AG batch I think.

- 16 qts 171 doughed in.  -> 156 -> ice -> 153.   stirred at 20 min.  Held for 60 min.

- added 8 qts boiling -> 166.   held 5 min.

- collected 3.6 gallons.   first runnings = 17 brix.

- added 3 gallons of 180 -> 172 -> ice -> 168. 

- second runnings 8 brix.  

- collected 6.9 (?) total.  not sure how that happened.  pre boil = 13.5 brix

- boiled for 20 min before adding hops to reduce the volume.

- ended with 5 gallons even in fermenter, then added 1/4 gallon yeast slurry.   16.5 brix

- fermenting the next morning in the upper 50's, hopefully it will cool down a bit more. 

03/21/08  Dark orange color, not very clear, much yeast still suspended.  Some yeast aroma.  Taste is some sweetness, some hop bitterness, light alcohol warmth.  Not as sweet as you would think for 1.019.  Only ok at this point.  Kind of young I think.  Not bad but not as good as some beers at this early stage. 

04/27/08  1.019 so no real change.  Pretty clear.  Lager aroma with hint of alcohol.  Malty clean flavor with some bitterness just enough to balance.  Nice.






03/29/08       Got propane tank filled.     Took 3.3 gallons.






Beer Name:      Hop to It Pale Ale   (made up recipe)




Pics from brew day.  Click to the "right."  Click on pic at right for larger version of the beer perched atop the new hop trellis


Grains:        10 lbs Rahr two row pale  1.4-2.0L

                     2 lbs Weyermann Pale Wheat  1.5L

                    .25 lbs Simpson Med Crystal 55L

                    .25 lbs Gambrinus honey malt  25L


Hops:          1 oz homegrown Cascade  first wort hop

                    1 oz homegrown Centennial 60 min

                    1 oz homegrown Centennial 45 min

                    1 oz homegrown Cascade  15 min

                    1 oz homegrown Cascade  02 min

                    1 oz homegrown Cascade  dry hop



Yeast:         US-05 Safale   pitched directly into wort w/o rehydrating



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          04/01/08                      04/13/08                                 04/27/08

Gravity:                       1.058                          1.016                                      1.014

% Alcohol:                  7.9                               2.1                                         2

% Sugar:                     15                                4                                            4

Temp of reading:        70                                60                                           60



- 14 qts 167 -> 154 -> ice -> 152.   held 60 min.

- down to 151 after 1 hour.

- added 8 qts boiling ->164

- first runnings = 15 brix.  collected 3.7 gallons

- added 3 gallons 180 deg -> 170 -> ice -> 168.

- second runnings = 8.5 brix.  7 gallons total.  Little too much but worked out all right.

- preboil = 11.5 brix

- ended with 5.2 gallons on boil.  Filtered out whole flower hops and squeezed wort out of them (bad idea?  I've done it in the past).

- fermenting ~ 63 deg the next morning.

04/13/08   It fermented in the lower 60's for the duration and that is why I left it a little longer.  There might still be some fermenting to take place in the secondary.  I put 1/2 gallon into a growler because I had a bit over 5 gallons and I knew that 1 oz of hop cones would take up some headspace.  Murky hazy orange copper color.  Not getting a ton of aroma.  Good taste, sweet and hoppy but not just bitter.  It is that full complex hop flavor that comes from first wort hopping and multiple kettle additions.  Yeast needs to drop out yet.  Should be decent.  Any flavor from the wheat?  Maybe a little but too early to tell with so much yeast in suspension.  (note, after put into secondary it did bubble quite a bit for a few days).

04/27/08  Clearer, but still could stand to clear more in keg.  Some citrus hop aroma.  Bitter taste with enough malt balance.  Kind of like other Ten Buck ales but with more bitterness.

08/03/08  Not especially clear.  Some hop aroma.  Not sure if wheat added much flavor and it didn't seem to add the long lasting, fluffy head I had hoped.  But the flavor is nice.  It is somewhat bitter but not as much as when I used high alpha commercial pellets.  It is probably the hoppiest beer I've made with homegrown hops and the Centennial hop flavor is very nice.




Beer Name:     Big Brew Brown  (brewed on 40 gallon system as part of AHA Big Brew 2008)


Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:        75% two row pale

                     8%  Victory

                     8%  Special

                     8% Crystal 60L

                     1% Chocolate


Hops:        Total IBU's ~ 29

                  some Northern Brewer 6.6% AAU   60 min                 

                  some Northern Brewer 6.6% AAU   15 min

                  some Northern Brewer 6.6% AAU   5 min


Yeast:         US-05 dry.  sprinkled on cool wort after collected in fermenter.  Fermenting at 63 degrees next day.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          05/03/08                      05/13/08                                  06/03/08

Gravity:                      1.063                           1.016                                       1.012

% Alcohol:                 8.25                             2                                              1.8

% Sugar:                    15.5                             4                                              2

Temp of reading:        60                               60                                             60



05/03/08  Great time at Rick and Dawn's place once again.  This year I helped clean out the mash tun, scoop water into it, add the hops, and cool down the wort.  We collected 35 gallons of wort from this batch.  Seven people got 5 gallons each.  Hope it turns out well.

05/13/08  Medium brown color with orange hue.  Grainy aroma with some sweetness.  Smells like an ESB but I did not use English yeast.  Tastes like an ESB with some bitterness and tangy citrus flavor.  Some alc in finish too. 

06/03/08  Nice brown color.  Clearer now.  Some hop aroma and sweetness.  Tastes clean, like an ESB.  Very nice balance and drinkability.

08/03/08  Took above pic.  Perfectly decent beer, and the price sure was right.  Tastes less like an ESB these days and more like an American Brown.




Wine Name:      Dandelion Wine #2  (similar to last year but some differences)



Click on pic at right for larger version.


Here is a Chop & Brew VIDEO that I am featured in about making dandelion wine.




Here is the ~ 1.5 gallons racked out of the primary and into a couple small carboys.


Recipe for 1.5 gallons  (didn't want to do a full 2 gallons but wanted more than one)


- 4 qts dandelion flowers (heads only, remove as much green as possible)

- 3.75 lbs granulated sugar (4 lb bag minus 1/2 cup)

- 1 lemon (zest and juice)

- 3 oranges (zest and juice)

- ~1 gallon water

- 1.5 tsp yeast nutrient

- 1 lb golden raisins (to be added near end of fermentation)

- yeast (I used 71B Narbonne, proofed for 15 minutes)



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Bottle Date:


Date:                          5/20/08                         09/25/08                                 12/12/09

Gravity:                     1.119                           ~1.012                                      1.021  *see note below

% Alcohol:                 15.9                               1.6                                          na

% Sugar:                    28.5                               3.2                                          na

Temp of reading:       70                                  70



- Put flowers into brewpot and covered with just enough water.   Brought to a boil and boiled for 20 minutes total.

- Let them sit for over 48 hours, stirring a couple times each day.  Wanted to see if I get more dandelion character this way doing a longer steep than just a 5 hour steep like last year.

- Strained off liquid into brew kettle.  Added lemon and orange zest and boiled those for about 15 min.  Added juice for last 5 minutes of boil.  Cooled down with ice bath.

- Strained out zest into fermenter.  Added sugar when it was still warm.  Topped off with water up to 1.5 gallons and took reading.

- Pitched the yeast around 70 degrees.

- forgot yeast nutrient!  I will add some on 5/22.

- I will add the raisins after some fermentation is done.

- would be 27.8 brix if I had taken a reading (taken from this chart).

05/24/08  The brix reading was 22.5.  I used a calculator (or this) to convert the brix reading after fermentation has begun and it said it might be down to 1.078.  If so, that would be great.  That is over 40 gravity points fermented in 4 days(?)  But there has not been much activity in the airlock, although the pressure is full in the bucket.  When I press the lid the water level will move.  I guess maybe in a week I will take a gravity reading and see what it says.  I have yet to add the raisins, too. 

05/25/08  Pitched another packet of 71B yeast right onto top of wine.  Wanted to make sure it has plenty of yeast to ferment as low as it can for now. 

05/29/08  Brix reading today:  12.8.  Using the calc, it says the gravity is 1.010 (!?)  I will take a hydrometer reading to confirm/deny and add raisins. 

hydrometer:  70 deg  1.012, 1.6, 3.2.   Cool, it actually is done fermenting.  It has maxed out the yeast alc tolerance.  I cut up and added 1 lb golden raisins.

09/25/08  Racked Dandelion wine into other containers.  No reading, no taste.  One gallon is very clear, with another .25 gallons in a growler that is fairly murky right now.  Looks like I will just be ending up with 1 gallon after it is done. 

12/12/09  Finally bottled the rest (had previously bottled around 1/2 gallon that would not fit into the 1 gallon jug).  *Gravity is higher because of the raisins I added.  Hard to say what the alcohol is, because they could have fermented even more.  It is at the very minimum 14.3%, but from smelling and tasting it, I'd say it could be even higher.  The taste is quite nice, but I could see it being even better in another couple years.  I can't yet tell if doing it differently (sitting on dandelions for 2 days) gave it more dandelion character as the alcohol is a little too prevalent. 

I am going to open a 2007 bottle (2.5 years old) at Christmas this year and it will be interesting to see how it is tasting. 




Beer Name:      Joie de Vie Saison (somewhat original recipe that incorporates Jamil's as well as a May/June 2008 Zymurgy article)


Click on pic for larger version.





At left is 2 lbs of sweet cherries, frozen, thawed, then smashed up a bit.   Then at right I racked ~ 1 gallon of the Saison onto them.



Grains:        8.5 lbs Dingemans Pils 1.6L

                    1 lb Weyermann Pale wheat malt  1.5L

                    1 lb Durst Munich 8.3L

                    2 oz Weyermann CaraMunich III 57L


Hops:         2 oz  Hersbrucker 3.3 % AA  (60 min)


Yeast:        Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison.   Made 1 liter starter and had on stir plate for 48 hours.


Misc:          1 lb (2 cups) white can sugar, added with 20 min left in boil

                    1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns  5 min

                    1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds  5 min

                    1 orange zest (peel only)  5 min



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          05/26/08                      06/08/08                                   08/22/08

Gravity:                      1.062                           1.012                                       1.005(!)

% Alcohol:                 8.1                                1.8                                           .8

% Sugar:                    15.5                              3.5                                           2.5

Temp of reading:        68                                70                                             70



- 13 qts 160 water -> doughed in -> 150 -> ice -> 148 mash for 65 min.

- 147 deg after one hour.

- add 8 qts boiling -> 164

- collected 3.6 gallons.  first runnings = 14 brix

- add 3 gallons 180 deg -> 170 -> ice -> 168.

- second runnings 6 brix.  collected 7 gallons total [ note - I have seen this happening more recently, collecting more volume in the 2nd runnings than the actual amount of sparge water added.  Not sure what is going on but it has lead to some over collecting].

- pre boil = 10.2 brix

- boiled 20 min before adding first hop addition to boil off some volume.

- 5 gallons even in fermenter.  14.8 brix at 68 deg. 

- topped off with 1/4 gallon of yeast starter and yeast so 5.25 gallons in fermenter.  fermenting next morning at 66 degrees.

06/08/08   Down to 1.011 if calibrated to 60 so not bad.  More of a straw color than what I had hoped for.  Murky.  I suppose in a larger glass it would be darker.  Aroma is slight tang, from orange peel, or yeast?  Tastes is sweet, yeasty, spicy, slight pepper character.  Should be nice.  I'm quite happy so far.  There is more sludge in the bottom of the carboy than usual. 

06/27/08  Added 1 gallon to two lbs of cherries.  A day or so later, much re-fermentation has begun. 

08/22/08  Dark, medium yellow color.  Very clear.  It dropped 7 more points.  Wow.  Jamil was right.  This yeast will finish it out but it takes a while.  Aroma is light alc, fruity (ripe peach).  Great taste.  Sweet, some citrus, light pepper yeast flavor (or maybe the peppercorns).  Then dries out in finish with light alc warmth.  Dangerous.  This will be good now and should age well at 7.3% alc.

08/31/08  Racked 1 gallon off the cherries.  Only slight color change.  Not much cherry flavor at all.  Some in the nose.  Maybe more tart than non cherry version, probably more alcoholic too.

09/25/08  Bottled cherry saison.   Not any cherry flavor but rather dry and tart.  We'll see how it ages. 

10/19/08  Took above outdoor pic.  Did not take detailed tasting notes but this has turned out great.  It is almost too clear, actually.  The spiciness was definitely not too much and could even be more.  I might also do something to make it a little more murky in color with somehow more of a "farmhouse" flavor.  That is, this beer is almost too clean, if that makes sense.  Compared to Saison DuPont at least.  But it turned out just fine and I'm enjoying it.




Beer Name:      Eleanor Rye Ale  (based on Jamil's but tweaked a bit)


Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:        5.5 lbs Weyermann Rye malt 3.5 L

                    3 lbs Durst Munich  8.3L

                    2.5 lbs Durst Pils  1.6L

                    1 lb Weyermann Caramunich 57L

                    2 oz Carafa III 470L  (recipe says II 430L but I grabbed the wrong stuff)


Hops:        1 oz German Tettnang  4.4% AA  60 min


Yeast:        Safale US05 dried yeast


Misc:      .5 lb Rice Hulls

                .5 lb (1 cup) white sugar (knew I was coming in a little low on my TG)



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          07/10/08                      07/16/08                                  09/28/08

Gravity:                      1.053                           1.018                                       1.017

% Alcohol:                 7                                   2.5                                           2.2

% Sugar:                    13.5                              4.5                                           4.5

Temp of reading:        68                                 70                                           70



- 15 qts to 168.  mashed in.  154.   was at 153 after 1 hour.

- added 7 qts boiling -> 164.

- first runnings = 13 brix.  collected 3.25 gallons.

- added 3 gallons of 185 -> 174 -> ice -> 168.

- 2nd runnings = 8 brix.  6.25 gallons in brewpot.

- due to not having excessive volume and this not being a hoppy beer, I did a low rolling boil instead of a typical vigorous boil.

- 5 gallons in brewpot.

- pitched yeast.  did not proof.  did not use pure O2 (no need with dried yeast, I think).

- fermenting at 70 degrees.

- I missed the gravity by a bit.  I think that it is because not all of the rye got cracked and apparently you don't get the sugar from it w/o this.  Or maybe it does not yield quite as much sugar.  This much barley (12 lbs) would have been close to 1.060.  Without the sugar it would have been about 1.049 so it didn't get there.  I don't have any concerns about this though as I am mostly attempting to really see what a beer with about 50% rye will taste like.  It is a Roggenbier but w/o the wheat beer yeast. 

07/16/08  Murky brown orange tint.  Some aroma from rye, bready.  Taste is smoother than I expected.  Finish has slight tang.  Drinkable.  Fairly full body.  Would be nice if it ferments a bit more.  Yeast still has some work to do?

09/28/08  Not very clear.  Light brown with orange tint.  Pleasant grainy aroma.  Taste is somewhat sweet.  Not much bitterness.  That's ok for what this beer is about, the rye flavor.  Decent taste.  Fairly mild.  Should be easy, nice drinking.  Not as unique as I expected at this point. 

12/01/08  It is drinkable enough.  It is enjoyable, but I would not make it just as it is again.  I suppose the weizen yeast might make it better in some ways, esp if you could get some banana flavor.




Aug 24 - harvested Cascade hops.  25 oz wet.  I'll see what the dry weight is.  [about 5 oz dry]






Beer Name:      Breakfast Stout  (made up recipe for oatmeal, milk, coffee stout)


Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:        9 lbs Rahr Two Row 1.4-2 L

                    1.5 lbs flaked oats

                    .5 lbs Simpson Extra Dark Crystal 160L

                    .5 lbs Simpson Chocolate 412L

                    .5 lbs Simpson Roast 550L


Hops:        1 oz Northern Brewer 8.8% AA  70 min


Yeast:         Wyeast 1056 - on stir plate for 32 hours. 


Misc:         ~ .6 lbs lactose (didn't want to use whole lb, thought it would be too much for this beer)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          09/08/08                      09/16/08                                  10/26/08

Gravity:                     1.068 (4.5 gallons)        1.022                                        n/a

% Alcohol:                 9                                  3

% Sugar:                   17                                 6

Temp of reading:       70                                66



- 15 qts 154 water -> 152.   60 min.

- added 8 qts boil -> 162.

- first runnings = 15.5 brix.  collected 3.5 gallons

- add 2.5 gallons 185 -> 172 -> ice -> 168.

- 2nd runnings = 8.5 brix

- 6.5 gallons (?) in brewpot.

- boiled little longer to boil off some volume

- first time collecting wort at night and then starting boil in morning.  Temp of wort in morning was 130, so still pretty hot.  Covered with blankets overnight.

09/16/08  Nice and dark.  Some roasty aroma.  Nice flavor.  Little bitterness, roast, chocolate, and then a burst of sweetness in the middle while it finishes dry.  Great start.  Would not need as much coffee as my coffee stouts.  Maybe half as much.

10/26/08  Didn't take reading before racking coffee into carboy night before kegging.  I probably should have. 

I used 6 oz of coffee beans in a French press pot to make 64 oz of coffee, so the coffee was fairly strong at that ratio.

11/17/08  Coming along nicely.  You definitely get the coffee and maybe not as much of the milk as I would have liked.  But my FG was pretty high as it was. 

01/27/09   Got Third place in the Spice/Herb category at the 2009 Mashout.  (My coffee stout won first place last year and this one is similar, so my method of making coffee stouts seems to be appreciated).  scoresheets:  One  Two  Three




Exchanged CO2 tank 9/18/08





Beer Name:      Scotch Ale Plambic (Barrel Batch Gone Funky)




Click on any pic and then click "right" for more pics of this project. 


Grains:      unknown (see notes below)


Hops:        unknown (see notes below)


Yeast:       unknown (see notes below)


Misc:        aged in that there big ol' barrel (third batch of beer to be aged in this barrel and first to get funky)


Brew Date:                Rack to Plambic Dregs*:               Keg Date:


Date:                           ?                                10/04/08                                            07/11/09

Gravity:                      ?                                 1.010                                                1.005

% Alcohol:                 ?                                 1.5                                                    .7

% Sugar:                    ?                                 2.5                                                    1.5

Temp of reading:                                          70                                                      70



- 10/04/08   Here is the story.  Members of my homebrew club bought this barrel.  Different members make the same recipe and fill the barrel with a high gravity beer.  I know they did an Imperial Stout in it once.  This time , however, the Scotch Ale they put into the barrel developed a pellicle.  The people who contributed the beer to the project were mostly uninterested in the beer at that point and it become open to anyone to bring a corny keg and get it filled.  I thought I might as well get it and if it wasn't the greatest as it was, see if I could do something more with it.


* Reading is of the Scotch Ale before the 1.5 gallons of additional wort was racked into it.


Tasting notes of first taste:  Scotch ale (before racking to plambic dregs) was clear and dark red.  Strong dry oak aroma, musty closet.  It tastes somewhat sweet from malt, strong alcohol warmth (it is said to be about 9% alc), with a little bit of sourness.  I want to make it lower alcohol.  Not bad.  Just might work.

-What I did:  boiled 1 lb Briess Golden Light DME and .25 oz German Tradition hops (6.25% AA from 2007) for one hour.   Started with about 2 gallons and had 1.5 gallons after boil.  Brix = 9, so about 1.036.  This is good.  It will lower the overall alc of the other 3.8 gallons of Scotch Ale. 

-I racked the Plambic out of the bucket where it had sat for about 1.5 years.  I racked the Scotch Ale (transported in a keg from Rick's house) onto the Plambic dregs.  Here is hoping the yeast and critters will take the 1.5 gallons and ferment them, and then acidify the whole mess into a decent lambic.  If it tastes ok I might just put most of it on tap... in a year or so....

10/25/08   It had not apparently been doing much in the 60 degree furnace room.  I am aware the bugs like it warmer, so what I've done is use my Ranco temperature controller and put the bucket and a small space heater in a box.  The temp is set to the mid 70's and now I do see more activity in the airlock.  I suppose after another month or so I might take it out and have a sample to see what it is like.

11/20/08  Had a sample pulled out of the bucket.  Holy crap.  It is awesome.  It has changed so much, for the better.   Gone is the high alcohol and in its place is more of the good lambic funkiness from the stuff in the bucket.   I had it with a space heater around 75 degrees for perhaps a month, but I have now turned it off.  It can sit as is all winter, and come summer the temperature will heat up again.

05/03/09  No reading.  Light brown, orange around edges.  Smells tart, slight alc note.  Taste is ok.  Probably don't want it on dregs much longer.  It is passable as an average sour beer.  Might just put it on tap with cobra tap after it clears for a bit.  Will have to rack to a carboy soon. 

07/11/09  Pretty clear.  Reddish brown.  Tart, sour, and alcohol aroma.  Taste is pretty drinkable.  Dry, light puckering, hint of warming as beer goes down my throat.  Chilled, carbonated, and on tap this should be refreshing in summer and enjoyable beyond.  I bottled 10 bottles and just kegged the rest.





From cider make of the year Jeff Carlson, the two yeasts he uses to make his ciders:  Cote de Blanc (Epernay) and Premier Cuvee (Prise de Mousse)




Cider Name:      Carte Blanche Cider (doing something new with this year's cider...)


Click on pic for larger version.



Fermentables:    5 gallons apple juice purchased via MN Homebrewers club buy 

                            2 lbs Light Brown Sugar


Yeast:          Red Star Cote des Blancs  (temp range 64-86 F)


Misc:           5 camden tablets 24 hours before pitching yeast.   Pinch of yeast nutrient because I had a small amt left.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/02/08                      11/17/08                                  05/25/09

Gravity:                       1.069                          1.014                                       1.002

% Alcohol:                   9.1                             1.9                                            0

% Sugar:                     17.5                            3.5                                            0

Temp of reading:         64                               55                                            60



11/01/08   Gravity and other readings before adding sugar:   1.054,  7.1, 13.5,  54.  

11/02/08   Added sugar, stirred very well with sanitized cane.   Aerated with pure 02 for 60 seconds although I don't think it matters with dried yeast.  Local cider make Chris Smith has given me some new direction to try this year and I am following his lead.  I am trying to pre-sweeten, and then I hope to stop fermentation before all the sugar is fermented.  His cider tasted better than mine and he does it this way.  I will have to watch the gravity closely and try to stop when it is about 1.015-1.020.  The sugar added 14-15 gravity points for 2 lbs.

11/04/08  higher krausen now than other one, but Premier Cuvee had faster starter (lower temp tolerance).   66 degrees.

11/05  12.5 brix ~ 1.040   70 deg

11/06  10.2 brix ~ 1.025.  70 deg.  Moved to cold room to slow/stop fermentation as I have been aiming for 1.015-1.020 for FG.

11/07  58 deg.  1.034 (hydrometer).  Higher than I expected using the brix readings and a calculator tool. 

11/09 1.024  64 deg.  2 days it dropped 10 points.  6% alc.  tastes nice.

11/10  1.022 7:30 am

11/10  1.021  9:30 pm

11/11  1.018  8:15 pm. Moved to 38 deg garage to crash cool, stop fermentation, and have yeast drop to bottom!

11/17  Garage was 34-38 most of the time it was in there.  1.014, 1.9, 3.5.   Tastes good.  Might not need to sweeten, but will it drop even more?   Added potassium sorbate to try and stop further fermenting.

05/25/09  Great.  No luck stopping the fermentation.  Weird.  I added 3 cans of apple juice concentrate and hopefully that will make it drinkable.  Reading above is before adding those cans.  Nice and clear as expected for aging so long.  Wow, very tart, lingering taste of green apple skins.  Hopefully I added enough sweetener. 

08/01/09  I can say that I do not like the ciders this way as much as the previous way, mostly because I could not stop the fermentation.  In that light, I would just go back to how I made them before.  These are more alcoholic and closer to a wine than the ciders I like to make.  Drinkable, but not my preference.



Cider Name:      Brave New World Cider   (doing something new with this year's cider...)


Click on pic for larger version. 


Fermentables:    5 gallons apple juice purchased via MN Homebrewers club buy 


Yeast:      Red Star Premier Cuvee  (temp range 45-95F)


Misc:     5 camden tablets 24 hours before pitching yeast.  Pinch of yeast nutrient because I had a small amt left.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/02/08                      11/17/08                                  12/10/08

Gravity:                      1.068                           1.013                                       1.006

% Alcohol:                 9.1                               1.8                                           .8

% Sugar:                    17                                3.5                                           1.5

Temp of reading:        64                                55                                            55



11/01/08   Gravity and other readings before adding sugar:   1.053,  7.0, 12.5,  54.  

11/02/08   Added sugar, stirred very well with sanitized cane.   Aerated with pure 02 for 60 seconds although I don't think it matters with dried yeast.  Local cider make Chris Smith has given me some new direction to try this year and I am following his lead.  I am trying to pre-sweeten, and then I hope to stop fermentation before all the sugar is fermented.  His cider tasted better than mine and he does it this way.  I will have to watch the gravity closely and try to stop when it is about 1.015-1.020.  The sugar added 14-15 gravity points for 2 lbs.

11/03  Definitely a faster start than the Cote des Blanche yeast.

11/04  66 deg

11/05  11.5 brix ~ 1.033  68 deg

11/06  10.6 brix ~ 1.028.  68 deg.  Moved to cold room to slow/stop fermentation as I have been aiming for 1.015-1.020 for FG.

11/07  58 deg.  1.030 (hydrometer). 

11/09 1.022  56 deg. 

11/10  1.021 7:30 am

11/10  1.020  9:30 pm  54 deg

11/11  1.017  8:15 pm. Moved to 38 deg garage to crash cool, stop fermentation, and have yeast drop to bottom!

11/17  Garage was 34-38 most of the time it was in there.  1.013, 1.8, 3.5.  Tastes good.  Might not need to sweeten, but will it drop even more?   Added potassium sorbate to try and stop further fermenting.

12/10/08  Geesh.  Has this been somewhat of a failure so far?  It got a lot lower than I wanted.  I was not able to stop it with cold temps, crash cooling, and sorbate.  I added two cans of apple juice concentrate at kegging time.  It is almost drinkable as it is but it needs some sweetening so hopefully that will do it.  I might have to add actual apple juice to dilute the alc % after I drink some of it.  We'll see.  It is 8% alc now!  It is not clear at all at this point, either.  We will see.  Hopefully it will still be all right. 




Beer Name:    Homegrown Steamin' Wife Lager   (all homegrown hops)



Click on either pic for larger version.  Pics taken on a rare 45 degree, warm, sunny, January day in St. Paul. 



Grains:        10 lbs Rahr two row

                    .5 lbs  Durst Munich 8.3L

                    .25 lbs Simpson Medium Crystal 55L

                    .25 lbs honey malt


Hops:         .5 oz homegrown Centennial - first wort hop

                   1 oz homegrown Cascade  60 min   

                  .5 oz homegrown Centennial  60 min                   

                  .5 oz homegrown Cascade  45 min   

                  .5 oz homegrown Centennial  45 min

                  .5 oz homegrown Cascade  15 min   

                  .5 oz homegrown Centennial  15 min


Yeast:         Wyeast 2112 San Francisco Lager - starter made 2 days prior and on stir plate



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/12/08                        11/23/08                                12/06/08

Gravity:                      1.052                             1.015                                     1.013

% Alcohol:                  6.9                                2.1                                          2

% Sugar:                    13.5                               3.8                                         3.5

Temp of reading:        68                                  68                                          60



- 14 qts -> 166 -> doughed in -> 155 -> ice -> 153 for 60 min.   down to 152

- add 8 qts boiling -> 163

- collect 3.9 gallons.  13.5 brix

- add 2.5 galons 177 -> 168

- 2nd runnings 8 brix

- 6.5 gallons total.  brix = 11.5.

- covered brew pot with blankets and let sit overnight.  Was 133 in morning (still pretty darn hot).

- 5 gallons in fermenter.  I squeezed the hop flowers to get as much wort out of them as I could.  I always do this but don't know if it is a bad idea.  Hasn't seem to be so far. 

- fermenting for first few days right around 58-60.

11/23/08   Orange copper color.  Strong hop aroma, "catty," like ripe tangerines.  Taste is fairly clean with hop bitterness but also unique hop flavor.  Quite drinkable and uniquely hoppy.

12/06/08  Nice and clear now.  Warm copper color.  Quite a hop aroma, somewhat surprising (no dry hop).  Hop flavor is different than other beers.  Never mixed my two homegrown hops quite like this, and not this many of them.  Takes a moment to get used to but I think it will be good, and it will smooth out a bit with more time too.

01/16/09  I'm happy to say the somewhat quirky nature of the hop flavor has mellowed noticeably.  It is more like a clean hop bitterness now and this beer is getting better.  I picked up the keg recently and there is still a lot left.  It is getting clearer too.




Beer Name:      Steamin' Kolsch Lager   (made up hybrid beer of two different hybrid beers)


Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:       10 lbs Durst Pils 1.6 L

                    .5 lb Durst Vienna 3.8


Hops:         1 oz German Tradition 5.7% AAU


Yeast:        yeast from above Homegrown Steamin' Wife Lager


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/24/08                      12/02/08                                  02/06/09

Gravity:                      1.049                           1.013                                       1.012

% Alcohol:                 6.5                               1.8                                           1.8

% Sugar:                   12.5                              3.5                                           3.1

Temp of reading:       65                                 60                                            30



-13 qts of 162 water.  Mash at 150.  60 min

- add 8 qts boil -> 164

- first runnings 12 brix.  3.7 gallons

- add 2.5 gallons of 174 -> 166.

- second runnings 6 brix.

- collect 6.8 gallons in brewpot (?)  boiled a little before hops to boil off some volume

- let it sit in brewpot overnight and it was 135 deg in morning (still hot).

- 5 gallons even in fermenter, and then added yeast cake from Homegrown Steamin Wife Lager.

12/02/08  Nice pale straw color but not clear yet.  Nothing but malt in nose, ala a Helles.  Some sulfury yeast hint. Clean taste already.  Super drinkable.  Good balanced flavor.  Mildly sweet and pleasant bitterness.  Going to be good. 

02/06/09  Beautiful clear light golden color, nice to look at.  Aroma is lightly sweet and mild.  Taste = quaffable.  Similar to Helles, in fact it is kind of like an ale version of a Helles.  Very nice so far.

04/11/09  Took above pic.  Taste is still clean and enjoyable.  It is slightly crisper than a Helles, perhaps, more bitter.  The hop bill is very modest so maybe in the Helles I just made (2009) the Munich gives it a little more of the bready sweetness of malt?  Hmm.  I like this Kolsch though even though it is not to style (wrong yeast).  Quaffable and everyone who tries it says the same thing, "it's good."  That is about all that needs to be said of it. 



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