Beer Name:      American Smoked Helles   Video of brew day.


Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:        10.5 lbs Rahr Pils

                    .25 lbs Maple/Apple/Cherry smoked malt from Adam Stern

                    .25 lbs Hickory smoked malt from Adam Stern

                    .5 lbs Durst Munich 8L

                    .5 lbs Global Malt Kolsch malt 4.5 L


Hops:          1 oz Citra 12.3% AA  65 min


Yeast:         yeast cake from previous German Pilsners (Wyeast 2124 Bohemian lager)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          01/15/11                     01/25/11                                   03/02/11

Gravity:                     1.055                          1.011                                         1.011

% Alcohol:                7.3                              1.5                                             1.5

% Sugar:                   14                               2.6                                             2.6

Temp of reading:       60                               60                                             60



- 15 qts 164 > 150.  after 65 min > 149.

- add 8 qts boiling water > 163.

- collected 3.8 gallons of 16 brix.

- add 2.5 gallons of 177 > 167.

- 2nd runnings were 8 brix.  6.5 gallons in brewpot of 12 brix.

- cooled to 62 deg in 10 min with lot of snow and ice in water bath.  Did not even need ice water siphon.

- siphoned into fermenter and only got 4.5 gallons because I think I left more wort behind this way. Gravity was 1.062 but after topping off with .5 gallons of water it lowered to 1.055.  Fair enough.

- fermenting at 48 degrees right now.

01/25/11  Some smoke in aroma but not much.  Taste is sweet, somewhat citrusy from Citra hops and has a light smokiness in finish.  Nice start.

03/02/11  Very clear even before I added the gelatin.  Really nice color.  The Munich and Kolsch (and smoked) malt add a subtle but light richness to the color.  Hint of orange.  Can't smell a lot.  Taste is not overly sweet.  Light smoke flavor.  Could be more but it is noticeable.  Hmm.  Somehow finishes with a dry crispness and makes me want next sip.  Should be good. 

04/05/11  Took above pic.  This turned out nice.  It is not too smoky for me, however, it is not the normal, clean malty Helles that I usually make.  I mean, it is clean, but it is "polluted" by a smoke flavor. :)   I would not want it any smokier than this, so 1/2 lb of Adam's home-smoked malt was enough.  It is stronger than the Weyermann's Rauchmalt.





Beer fridge #2 died!     So I got a third one and have set it up.






Beer Name:      Green and Gold Maibock


Click on pic for larger version.  Mine (left) and Summit's (right).



Grains:        12 lbs Rahr Pils

                    .5 lbs Weyermann Carahell  11L

                    1.5 lbs Weyermann Munich Malt 8.3L


Hops:          1 oz Perle 9.5% AA  60 min


Yeast:         Wyeast 2001 Pilsner Urquell Lager yeast.  Starter made and put on stir plate for 2 days, then in fridge for 2 days.  decanted.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          02/07/11                      02/24/11                                  03/23/11

Gravity:                     1.071                            1.015                                      1.015

% Alcohol:                 9.5                                2                                             2

% Sugar:                    18                                 4                                             4

Temp of reading:        60                                60                                           55



-16 qts 170 > 152.  After 80 min still was 152.

- added 7 qts boil > 164.

- first runnings 3.7 gallons of 19 brix.

- added 2.5 gallons of 176 > 165.  2nd runnings = 10.5 brix.

- pre boil kettle was 6.2 gallons of 16 brix.

- during last 10 min of boil flame was getting low.  Tank is either getting low or maybe it was freezing (it was about 0 deg outside).  Guess I will have to get it refilled to make sure. 

- 5 gallons even in fermenter.  Decanted starter and pitched yeast.  Fermented about 55 deg right now until it gets going, then I will move it to cooler room.

02/19/11   Sample reading.  12 days old.  Not much smell.  Tastes yeasty but very malty and a lot of sweetness.  Once that yeast flavor settles out I think it will be good.  7.3% alc now.

02/20/11  added 3 drops Beano and keeping at 62 degrees.  Did not give it much time at that time but...

02/24/11  It dropped a couple more points.  That is nice and brings it to about where I wanted it.  A point or two lower would be ok as well.  Mostly sweet with touch of bitterness, just a hint, but a very nice malt flavor.  Already better than sample from 02/20.  After a month of cold aging this should be great.

03/23/11  Clear.  Light orange color.  Man is this nice.  Sweet, great clean smooth flavor.  Damn!

04/19/11  Took above pic.  This beer turned out great.  It is a little darker than Summit's but I would not say it is too dark for style.  Mine is smooth and sweet.  Alcohol is hidden underneath that yummy velvety smoothness.   For a basic Maibock this is a great recipe.




02/12/11       Got propane tank filled.     Took 4.1 gallons. 





Beer Name:      Go Green Imperial Pils  (similar but different to my 2009 one)



Not a very clear pic.  I might do another sometime.  Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:        16 lbs Rahr Pils (1 lb left after this batch from my 50 lb sack)

                    .25 lbs Briess Carapils  1.4L

                    .25 lbs Durst Vienna  3.8L


Hops:           2 oz Czech Premiant 7.1% AA  60 min (was going to use 1 oz Columbus 14% AA to get bitterness, but saw these hops on clearance.  Since they are Czech, like the Saaz, thought I would give them a try).

 1 oz Saaz 3.9%  45 min

 1 oz Saaz 3.9%  15 min

 2 oz Saaz 3.9%   dry hop


Yeast:          yeast cake from above Maibock, Wyeast 2001 Pilsner Urquell.


Misc:           1 cup white sugar (about 1/2 lb.  would have added about 4 gravity points).


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          02/26/11                       03/08/11                                05/19/11

Gravity:                     1.087                            1.015                                      1.012

% Alcohol:                 11.5                              2                                            1.8

% Sugar:                    21                                4.1                                          3.5

Temp of reading:       60                                 60                                           60



- 19 qts 166 > 151.  after 65 min > 150.

- No mash out water added.

- collected 2.5 gallons of 25 brix.

- added 2 gallons of boiling > 168 (nice luck!)

- collected 1.75 gallons of 15 brix.

- did 2nd sparge.  Add 3 gallons of 170 > 166.

- 3rd runnings 7.5 brix. 

- Total collected was 7.5 gallons of 14.5 brix.

- boiled for 30 min before adding hops to reduce volume.  Boiled some in 2 pots on top of stove too.

- ended up with only 4.8 gallons after boil, so topped off with 1 qt water and re calibrated gravity to be accurate.

- fermenting at about 52 now.  Had blow off through tube in about 24 hours.

03/08/11  Murky, lot of yeast in suspension.  Alc in aroma.  9% alc and only 10 days old.  Well, alc in taste too, somewhat warming.  Not a bad sign but this probably won't go on tap for a few months.  Needs to mellow.  Could even brew another beer to put on tap before this one if need be.  This should be fine in a bit.  Some bitterness in there so that is good and I will dry hop it before kegging. 

05/07/11   Added 2 oz Saaz 3.9% AA  dry hop pellets.

05/19/11  Some hop aroma, not over powering.  Not very clear at this point.  But I did do 1 tsp gelatin in 1 cup cold water.  Grassy flavor from dry hopping.  Not super bitter.  Must be lower AA hops.  Little bit warming.  It is ok but I hope it cleans up and that the flavor cleans up a bit. 




06/07/11     CO2 Tank refill.   $10.76.






Beer Name:    Table Bier (based on NB's Farmhouse Biere de Table recipe)



Click on either pic for larger version.  This beer got a little clearer so I tried to take another picture, but the humidity made the glass fog up. 



Grains:       8.5 lbs Dingemans Belgian Pils 1.6L

.5 lbs Gambrinus Honey Malt 28L 


Hops:        1 oz German Tradition 6.9% AA  60 min


Yeast:        Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes.   liter starter on stir plate 1.5 days



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          04/15/11                      04/20/11                                  05/02/11

Gravity:                     1.052                            1.014                                       1.010

% Alcohol:                7                                    2                                             1.4

% Sugar:                   13.5                               4                                             2.6

Temp of reading:       68                                 60                                            60



- 12 qts 179> 172> ice> 167> dough in> 153 > stir > 151.
- After 60 min, 149.
- added 12 qts of 200 deg water > 160.
- collected 3.5 gallons of 14 brix.
- add 2.75 gallons 180 > 167.
- 2nd runnings 7.5 brix.
- total 6.5 gallons of 11 brix (already got my TG before boil even starts)
- held over night was 132 deg in morning.
- boiled 15 min before adding hops to reduce volume
- ended with 5 gallons in fermenter

- fermenting at 70 deg. 

04/20/11  Might not be 100% done but I need the yeast tomorrow and it is certainly close.  Hazy, yeasty aroma, like a young Witbier.  Interesting, "orangey" taste.  It is ok.  Pleasant but too much yeast in suspension.  Should clean up nicely.  Similar to Patersbier.  Honey malt there?  Not easy to detect yet.  Wonder if Dingeman's Pils gives different result than Rahr Pils. 

05/02/11   Got a krausen going in the secondary and did more fermenting.  Little bit clearer.  Light floral aroma.  Taste is fairly light but some malt flavor and spicy yeast character.  Ends kind of dry.  It is about what I expected.  Yeast has more character (at this point?) than Patersbier (Trappist High Gravity). 

06/16/11  This beer turned out fine, but for whatever small differences there are between this and the Patersbier, I think I like that one slightly better if I am going for a light Belgian ale. 





Beer Name:   Belgian IPA (original recipe based on analysis of Raging Bitch)



Click on either pic for larger version.



Grains:       12.5 lbs Rahr two row pale (first from new 50 lb sack)

                    1 lb Briess Carapils 1.5L

                    1 lb Rahr pilsner (had leftover from previous sack of grain)

                    .5 lbs Simpson Crystal 60L


Hops:         Note:  I messed up my intended hop bill by accidentally adding the full oz of Warrior at bittering time instead of .5 oz.  I will cite my actual (first) and intended (second) hop schedule.


                    Actual                                                       Intended

                    1 oz Warrior 17.2% AA  60 min                .5 oz Warrior 60 min

                    .5 oz Columbus 14.4 oz   30 min                .25 oz Summit 18.5% AA  45 min

                    .5 oz Summit 15 min                                   1 oz Columbus 30 min

                    .5 oz Columbus dry hop                              .75 oz Summit 15 min

                    .5 oz Summit dry hop                                  1 oz Citra dry hop

                    1 oz Citra dry hop                                      .5 oz Warrior dry hop


Yeast:         yeast cake from above Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes


Misc:          1 cup (~ .5 lb) white cane sugar (was going to do 1 lb, but gravity checks proved my efficiency was good and didn't want to get up to 1.090.)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                           04/21/11                     05/07/11                                  06/22/11

Gravity:                      1.086*                        1.015                                        1.014    (9.1 brix)

% Alcohol:                 11.5                            2.1                                            1.9

% Sugar:                    21.5                            4.1                                            3.8

Temp of reading:        65                              60                                              65



* gravity reading includes about 4 pts of gravity from white sugar.  This was not discussed in my video as I thought it would just be too confusing.  But I achieved around 1.081-82 from 15 lbs of grain, which is a pretty good efficiency with this method.

- 19 qts 167> dough in> 154 >ice >151.  after 60 min, 150.

- no mash out water

- collected 2.5 gallons of 23 brix

- add 2.5 gallon 190 > 162.  reading was 14 brix

- for 3rd runnings added 2.5 gallon 180 >168.

- reading was 6.5 brix.

- 7.5 gallons total.  boiled in 2 pots on stove, and also boil kettle for 45min before adding hops.  Had about 6.5 gallons at start of boil.

- ended with 4.8 gallons in fermenter and topped off with yeast slurry.

- wort tasted great, both sweet and very bitter.

04/30/11  Gravity check.  1.017.  Still has 2" krausen and fairly frequent bubbling.  Alc and yeast in aroma (9.3% alc).  Taste is bitter, warming, yeast bite, kind of a hot mess right now but I think it has potential.  If it finishes fermenting, gets cleaned up, hopefully it will be better.

05/07/11  Much clearer now.  Quite an impressive settled yeast cake in primary.  Not much aroma.  Small bit of alc.  Oooh, taste is nice!  Not too bitter but can taste Warrior hops.  Plenty of malt balance.  Mild Belgian flavor from yeast.  Did not want a ton.  Much happier now but could use 1-2 months to mellow.  With some time, then dry hops, and carbonation this should be good.

06/12/11   Dry hopped with 1 oz Citra (12.3%  AA), 1/2 oz Columbus (14.4% AA), 1/2 oz Summit (18.5 % AA).

06/22/11   Great fresh hop aroma with some alc.  Taste is nice.  Hoppy, sweet, warming, yummy!  Belgian character came in aftertaste.  Kind of an "orange" flavor, like orange peel or juice of an orange.  Fairly strong and warming but if I want to drink it fresh that will be there.  Probably will have around long enough for that to mellow.   Bottled 2  750 ml and 1 375 ml bottle with cork and cage, and 2  12-oz bottles.

08/30/11  Almost gone.  This has been a very tasty, strong, Imperial Ipa.  It has not, though, had a lot of Belgian character.  That was by design, but if I really wanted a Belgian IPA I would have to be more intentional about getting that yeast character into it.  I might also make it slightly lighter in color. But, it was a very nice beer and well received by everyone who tried it.





Beer Name:   Wit-head   (sort of an Americanized, hybrid Wit) 


Click on pic for larger version.


*Recipe for 6 gallons!


Grains:       7 lbs two row Rahr pale

2 lbs Rahr white wheat 3L

1.5 lbs Weyermann Rye malt 3.5L

1 lb flaked oats

1 lb flaked soft white wheat 1L

[ 1/2 lb rice hulls added after mash was complete] 


Hops:          1 oz Cascade 6.1 % AA  60 min


Yeast:         Wyeast 3944 Belgian Witbier - stir plate starter for 1.5 days


Misc:          zest of 1 orange added 15 min

1 tsp coriander  15 min

zest of 1 orange added 1 min

1 tsp coriander 1 min



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          07/02/11                      07/14/11 (for 2 gallons)            07/14/11  (for 4 gallons)

Gravity:                      1.055                                                                           1.013

% Alcohol:                 7.2                                                                               1.8

% Sugar:                    14                                                                                3.5 

Temp of reading:        70                                                                                70



- 16 qts 164 > 152.  60 min.  still 152.  added rice hulls at this time.

- add 10 qts boil > 167.

- collect 4.8 gallons of 14.5 brix.

- add 3 gallons of 172 > 168.  2nd runnings = 6.5 brix.

- about 7.8 gallons total.  some boiled on stove until enough room in kettle to have it all.

- ended with 6 gallons of 13.5 brix!  I put 4 gallons in a 6 gallon carboy, and 2 gallons in a 5 gallon carboy.  Hope to sour the 2 gallons some how (lactobacillus?  lactic acid?)

- fermented right around 70 deg. 

07/14/11    Really yummy.  Sweet, yeasty, nice mixture of malts.  Not much to say.  Not as astringent as some of my wits > maybe the more expensive liquid yeast does make a difference.  Kegged 4 gallons and split 2 gallons into two One-Gallon jugs.  To one I added 5 ml lactic acid, and to the second I added 15 ml lactic acid. 

08/08/11   Bottled lactic acid Wit.  4 carb tabs each bottle. 

5 ml - smell a little something.  Very very light additional sour taste.  Not extremely noticeable.

15 ml - smell about the same as 5 ml.  Taste is more noticeable.  Somewhat brothy, hard to describe.  It is tart and sour to a degree.  I think with carbonation and chilling down it will be ok.  Maybe 10 ml would be better?  We'll see.

- the bottled lactic Wits carbonated fine.  It is not that noticeable in the 5 ml, and definitely noticeable in the 15 ml one.  Depending on what you were going for, I think I am right that 10 ml might be a preferable ratio in this situation.  That would be less noticeable I'd imagine, but should still be there.  The question is, would you want to flavor an entire batch that way?  Not sure.  You could, but it is also nice without it. 

01/23/12  I suppose I should comment on the lactic acid.  :)  (I'm going to do a video on the tasting).  5 ml/gallon was barely noticeable but you could get it a little bit.  The 15 ml/gallon was enjoyable but perhaps almost a little artificial tasting.  It was not bad but if I was going to do this again I would probably try 10 ml/gallon.





Beer Name:    Centennial Closeout Pale Ale  (my recipe)

This is sort of a version of my "Ten Buck" ales that I used to make, in that the entire batch costs me about $10 (grain is $.75/lb and I only bought 1 oz of hops).




Click on either picture for larger version.




Grains:         12 lbs Rahr two row pale 


Hops:             1 oz Centennial pellets 6.9% AA  60 min

~ 2 oz homegrown Centennial  45 min

~ 2 oz homegrown Centennial  30 min

~ 2 oz homegrown Centennial  15 min

~ 2 oz homegrown Centennial  2 min


Yeast:         Yeast cake from above Wyeast 3944 Witbier yeast



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          07/15/11                      07/21/11                                  08/09/11

Gravity:                     1.058                            1.013                                       1.012

% Alcohol:                 7.8                               1.9                                            1.5

% Sugar:                   14.5                              3.5                                            3

Temp of reading:       70                                70                                             70



-Must have recycled my brew notes before I entered the data, but I remember basically what I did...

-I mashed at my normal rate, probably 16 quarts of water.  I mashed at 153 thinking the yeast cake might make it go lower than I wanted.  I added some mash out water, then the sparge water.  I think I boiled it a little extra before adding hops to reduce volume, but that doesn't really matter.

- ended with 5 gallons after filtering out all the hops and squeezing the wort out of them.

- 07/21/11  Murky, lots of suspended yeast.  Mostly light in color but not super light.  Yeast in aroma, some hops.  Taste is yeasty, somewhat bitter, kind of grapefruity (yeast and hops combined?)  Fair enough for $.20/12 oz pour. 

08/09/11  Homegrown hop aroma, musty?  Semi clear.  Taste is fairly bitter.  Weird.  Starts sweet and gets quite bitter in the finish.  Almost a hop sting.  Damn.  Interesting.  It's not even cold or carbonated.   *Later listened to some Dead, American Beauty, on the anniversary of Jerry's Death.  "Attic of My Mind" was sounding excellent.

11/02/11  This just ran out recently in the keg.  It ended up being better than expected.  It was not particularly hoppy for my taste, which goes to show you can always hop up a homegrown-hop beer with as much commercial bitterness as you want w/o much concern for making it too bitter.  Reading the notes above, I'd say any hop sting did not last that long.  I could have used even more commercial hops.  But, it was a nicely flavored beer that people seemed to like.  I came around to it near the end.  It shows you can cobble together a cheap homebrew batch that is usually going to be a serviceable drinking beer.  And it is a fun way to use up a lot of homegrown hops at once (see also:  Wet Hop Rye IPA).   I bottled a little of this and will see how it ages.





Mead Name:    Spontaneous Mead (I read Steve Piatz's mead article in the current Zymurgy this am, and decided it had been too long (5 years) since I made a mead!)


Fermentables:    15 lbs CA Orange Blossom Honey purchased at Northern Brewer


Yeast:                  Lavlin 71B-1122 Narbonne - 2 packets rehydrated in 100 deg water.


Misc:                  "Kurt and Kathy Stock's" yeast nutrient packets x 4.    

                             (each packet is 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient and 1/4 tsp yeast energizer)


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Bottle Date:


Date:                          07/31/11                      08/20/11                                  08/25/12

Gravity:                      1.115                           1.024 (13.7 brix)                     1.030 (but see notes)

% Alcohol:                 15.3                             3.2                                            n/a

% Sugar:                    27.5                             6.5                               

Temp of reading:        60 (calibrated)              74                                           70



07/31/11  So I had this great idea to whip up a quick batch of mead.  However, because I do it so infrequently, I made some mistakes.  I heated some water to around 130 thinking the honey would dissolve more easily.  I did not want to heat the honey too much, and certainly did not want to boil it.  The plan was fine, but then I ended up with must too warm for the yeast, and no good way to cool it.  And I was closing in on the time that you do not leave the yeast rehydrated longer than (45 min).  I put ice packs around the outside of the bucket, but it was still in the upper 90s.  Even though I really did not want to do it, I felt I had no choice (if I didn't want to go buy more yeast and just wait it out) to cool it other than adding ice.  So I probably added a dozen or so ice cubs.  I hope that does not come back to bite me.  Yeast's temp range is 65-85, and at 40 min of yeast hydration it was 90 deg, so I pitched the yeast.  After another hour it was about 85 and I moved it to a room that is 74.  I added one of the 4 nutrient packets today, and will add one each day starting tomorrow.  Hopefully I did not kill the yeast (doubt it) and hopefully I won't get any bad flavors either from the ice, or the warm start.  Grr.  I know I have done this same thing before.  Next time I should remember!

08/01/11  Good news.  This morning it was bubbling and down to 70 deg.  In the evening I added the 2nd nutrient addition and stirred with a sanitized spoon. 

08/02/11  Been keeping it at 70 deg with ice jugs strapped to the outside of the fermenting bucket.  Changing them out in the morning and evening.

08/20/11  Fairly cloudy.  12% alc.  Seems like the fermentation went pretty well.  Fairly cloudy.  Both sweet and warming, good as is.  Would be nice to not have to back sweeten.  Will take a reading in a couple months.  Three weeks old.  Despite not being clear, it's quite drinkable now. 

08/30/11  Continues to bubble and ferment in secondary at 70 deg.

10/09/11   Did a brix reading, and it converted to about 1.012.  So it dropped more.  Taste was nice, but I believe I will have to sweeten it.  Not sure how to do that as the volume in the carboy is pretty full.  I am thinking of adding 1 or 2 lbs of honey to some water and putting it into the bottom of a carboy, and then racking as much of this mead onto that as will fit.  Most of it would, and then I would still have 5 gallons to age for a while before bottling next Spring or Summer.  It is 13.8% alc now, so it has mostly maxed out the yeast alc tolerance.  Maybe I would only need 1 lb of honey.  I will have to see what I've done in previous batches.

11/03/11  Before adding the honey, gravity was 1.019,  2.6,  5.  Higher than I expected based on brix conversion reading.  I dissolved 2 lbs honey in a little water, then siphoned that into the bottom of a carboy.  I filled that carboy up to 5 gallons, but still had enough to mostly fill another 1/2 gallon growler (so that will not have had the extra honey added).  Tasted the sample.  Pretty yummy and somewhat sweet already.  I hope I did not over-sweeten in now.  It will be pretty sweet, but it is also fairly strong so that should balance it out.  And I could always do something else to some of it (fruit, jalapeno, etc).

08/12/12  Racked 1 gallon into a jug with 1/3 of a big jalapeno pepper.

08/25/12  Tasted jalapeno, now been two weeks.  some heat but will leave for 1-2 weeks longer as this is a big, sweet mead and can take it.  It was probably around 1.012-1.015 before I added the honey, and that raised the gravity up to 1.030.   So this is probably about 13.5% alc, so maybe slightly lower than some of mine.  But, it's still warming and strong.  It is sweet, but pleasant. 

09/12/12  Jalapeno mead is tasting great.  Will leave pepper in as it is not too hot.  Will bottle as soon as I get a chance.  Prob got all out of pepper I will get by now.

09/20/12  bottled Jalapeno Mead.





Beer Name:    Surly Furious (Here is NB's recipe, developed in conjunction with Todd Haug, head Surly brewer)


Click on pic for larger version.


Brew Day video clip

Showdown Tasting video


*Note -  I made this mostly according to the recipe, but changed a couple of things.  First, I added 1/2 lb of Canadian Malting base malt to the grain bill to make it an even 13 lbs.  Second, I only used 9 oz of hops instead of the called-for 13 oz.

Original hop bill:

.5 oz Amarillo FWH
2 oz Warrior 60min
2 oz Amarillo 0min

Furious dry hop blend (7-14 days):
5 oz Simcoe
2.5 oz Amarillo
1 oz Ahtanum


Grains:       8 lbs Canadian Malting Pale malt

3.25 Simpson Golden Promise

.88 Simpsons Medium Crystal

.63 Belgian Aromatic

.125 Simpson Roast barley 


Hops:        *see above for original hop bill*


.5 oz Amarillo 9.3% AA  -First Wort Hop

1.75 oz Warrior 16.7% AA -60 min

2 oz Amarillo 9.3% AA - 2 min

2 oz Simcoe - dry hop

2 oz Ahtanum - dry hop

.25 oz Warrior - dry hop

.5 oz Amarillo - dry hop


Yeast:         Wyeast 1335 British Ale II  - starter on stir plate ~26 hours


Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          08/22/11                      08/28/11                                  09/13/11

Gravity:                      1.060*                         1.018                                       1.014

% Alcohol:                 8                                  2.3                                            2

% Sugar:                    15                                4.8                                            4

Temp of reading:        70                               70                                             70



* would have been about 1.065 if ended with 5 gallons, but I got 5.5 gallons.

- 16 qts 166 > dough in > ice > 152.

- add 8 qts boiling > 169.

- first runnings 17 brix?  20? (hard to read)  collect 4.3 gallons.

- add 2.9 gallons 168 > 165.

- ended with 7.5 gallons pre boil.  I figured if I got a little over 5 gallons at the end of the day I could ferment the extra in a 1 gallon jug (I have .5 gallons in such a jug fermenting now).

- morning after it was bubbling and at 68-70 deg.

08/28/11  Racked too early?  Color somewhat dark.  Correct?  We will see.  Still murky too.  Hopefully will ferment a few more points.  5.7% only now.  Maybe some hops in the aroma?  Should be.  Taste is ok.  Fairly bitter, but also some yeast flavor that needs to settle out.  (I had some that I let sit for hours and drank when yeast had settled.  It was better).  Decent enough.  Somewhat grapefruity but too much yeast flavor.  Can't really tell that it is "only" 1.018.  Tastes lower.  If only drops a few more points that would be ok.  Doesn't need to go down to 1.012 or so.  At this point not reminding me too much of Surly Furious, but it is an ok hoppy beer.  Give it a few more weeks and the dry hops.

09/06/11  Added all the dry hops as listed above, 4.75 oz! 

09/13/11  PITA!  So many dry hops.  Hop bag over racking cane would not allow siphon to continue.  Had to remove.  Put hop bag over tubing inside of keg to try and catch any hops that came through.  Hops were suspended throughout the beer in the secondary, so it was a mess.  Smell is very nice but taste is thrown off by hops suspended in sample.   The 1/2 gallon that I had in a growler that was not dry hopped was fairly clear and clean tasting.  On this day, it was actually more enjoyable than the dry hopped amount (5 gallons).  If the 5 gallons in the keg can settle and clear, it should come around.  My concern right now is that by the time that might happen, the strong hop aroma might have faded significantly.  Hopefully it will hit a sweet spot soon! 

10/01/11   Added 1 tsp gelatin to the keg.  Ended up helping out a lot!

10/20/11   Took above pic.   Did the video tasting on Oct 5.  Recently, my hop aroma and freshness is fading.  It has been in the keg about 5 weeks, so that is somewhat normal.  Still tasting good.   If I made it again I would try to make it slightly lighter in color.  I don't know if I would alter the base malt.  Overall, it is a fair approximation of Furious, and is at least a nice IPA.  I might back off on some of the dry hops simply to make the beer easier to make. 






Beer Name:    Triple-Smoked Rauchbier (three kinds of smoked malt)


Click on pic for larger version.



Grains:       1.5 lbs home-smoked malt from Adam Stern ( ~ .75 lbs hickory smoked + .75 lbs apple/maple/cherry smoked)

7 lbs Rahr two row pale

4 lbs Weyermann Smoked Malt

.25 lbs Carafa III  470L

.75 lbs Briess Cherrywood Smoked malt 

=13.5 lbs total


Hops:          1 oz Perle 7.8%  60 min


Yeast:         Yeast Cake from above Surly Furious clone (Wyeast 1335 British Ale II)




Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          09/02/11                      09/10/11                                 09/21/11

Gravity:                      1.069                           1.015                                      1.014

% Alcohol:                  9.1                               2.1                                          2

% Sugar:                    17.5                              4.1                                          4

Temp of reading:        70                                70                                           68



- 16 qts 166 > 152.  skipped adding mash out water.

- collected 1.6 gallons of 23 brix

- added 2.5 gallons boiling > 177 > ice > 168.  collected 3 gallons of 12.5 brix.

- added 2.5 gallons 168 > 167.  collected another 2.6 gallons of 7 brix for 7.2 gallons total (13 brix).

- boiled some on stove to reduce volume

- cooled to 69 deg in 15 min with lots of ice water through the wort chiller siphon.

- 5 gallons even in carboy before adding yeast cake.

- fermented 67-70 degrees.

09/10/11  Murky.  More brown than black.  Use more Carafa?  Smells smoky.  Taste is nice.  Complex smoke flavor, not overpowering.  Somehow a touch sweet but also a bit of a burnt taste.  Encourages the next sip.  With some yeast clearing it should be ok.

09/21/11  A bit clearer.  Only dark brown, but not black.  Some smoke aroma, hint of alc?  What can I say about the taste?  Freaking nice.  Definitely smokey but not extremely so.  Pretty drinkable.  Complex smoke character.

10/30/11  Took the above pic.  This turned out very well!  I think using different kinds of smoked malt is a great choice.  The smoke flavor is complex and interesting, but not overpowering.  It could even be smokier for my tastes, but I'm not disappointed.  I could see using both the Weyermann Rauchmalt and the Briess Cherrywood again, maybe more of the Cherrywood to see what character it could impart. 





Beer Name:    Wet Hop Rye IPA  (Denny Conn's Rye IPA base with some homegrown wet hops added)


Video of brewday.


Click on pic for larger version.




Grains:       11 lbs Rahr two row pale (last of 50 lb sack)

3 lbs Weyermann Rye malt  3.5L

.75 lbs Bairds Carastan 30-40L  (these next two grains were to replace the 1 lb Simpson Med Crystal that was out of stock)

.25 lbs Simpson Dark Crystal

.5 lbs Briess Carapils  1.4L

.5 lbs flaked wheat

= 16 lbs total 


Hops:          1 oz Columbus 14.4% AA 60 min

~ 7 oz Cascade homegrown wet hops  30 min  (weight is wet weight)

~ 8 oz Centennial homegrown wet hops  30 min  (weight is wet weight)

~ 7 oz Cascade homegrown wet hops  15 min  (weight is wet weight)

~ 8 oz Centennial homegrown wet hops  15 min  (weight is wet weight)

1 oz Columbus  14.4% AA  dry hop


Yeast:         Wyeast 1056 - starter on stir plate about 36 hours



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          09/11/11                        09/19/11                                10/13/11

Gravity:                     1.070  (16.5 brix)            1.014                                    1.012

% Alcohol:                 9.1                                  1.9                                        1.6

% Sugar:                   17.1                                 3.5                                        3

Temp of reading:       70                                    70                                        65



- 18 qts of water heated to.... something, but I realized my CDN Pro Accurate thermometer was no longer accurate!  I had to use my back up digital as well as my traditional floating thermometer.  Eventually I got the mash up to about 150, where I held it.  I had to take out some of the mash, heat it up, and return it back to raise the temp (did not want to add any more water). 

- skipped adding mash out water.  Collected only about 1 gallon of first runnings, 23 brix.

- added 2.5 gallons of 167 > 152.  collected 3 gallons of 15 brix

- added 2.5 gallons of 185 > 165.  collected another 2.5 gallons of 10 brix.

- had about 6.3 gallons of 13.5 brix, but I wanted a little more volume (and sugar)....

- added 1 more gallon of boiling and that was still 10 brix when I ran it off.

- boiled some on stove upstairs

- ended with 5.5 (or 5.6?) gallons!  Slightly over collected.  Would have been 1.077 if I had only got 5, but fair enough.  The brew day had some complications (thermometer problem, dealing with all the hop cones) but it basically went well.  Fermenting at about 72 degrees.  Blow off in bucket the next morning.  Trying to cool it down into the upper 60s.  Sure hope this turns out well.

09/19/11  Fermented 68-70.  Murky.  Nice color though, orangey copper, reddish tint.  Smells like vegetation?  Taste is nice.  Sweet at first but finishes kind of bitter.  Decent start.  Not much "wet hop" character?  Not sure yet. 

09/29/11   Dry hopped the beer.

10/13/11  Color is nice light orange copper.  Aroma is... not that good, even with dry hop.  Vegetal, husky, just don't like it.  Taste is better than aroma, grassy bitterness with malt.  Hopefully time, cooling, and carbonation will make it ok at least.  But I might try only adding the wet hops at flame out and then leave them for an extended steep time, which is what Surly does. 

11/02/11  Some of the vegetal character has lessened and it is a better drinker now.  Still not very clear.  But the bitterness comes through ok, as well as the sweetness.  It could even be more bitter, or more bursting with hop brightness.  Maybe add hops at end of boil?





Beer Name:    Sanctified Brett Beer  (pale beer made with dregs of Russian River Sanctification bottles)


Click on pic for larger version.


HERE is video of a side by side tasting with Russian River Sanctification.


Grains:       10.5 lbs Rahr pils

.5 lbs Briess Caramel 20 L 


Hops:         1 oz German Perle 7.8% AA  60 min


Yeast:         My friend Keith in Denver made a Sanctification clone by culturing up dregs from a few bottles.  He saved the dregs from his beer, and send me some.  I made a yeast starter with what he sent, and fermented the beer entirely with that.  It had a 2" krausen 12 hours (or less) after pitching yeast, and was mostly done fermenting after 2 days.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Bottle Date:


Date:                          10/07/11                      01/08/12                                  03/21/12

Gravity:                      1.056                           1.008                                       1.006 (?)

% Alcohol:                 7.25                             1.1                                            .8

% Sugar:                    14                                2                                               1.5

Temp of reading:        70                               58                                             60



- 14 qts 166 > 151.  Held for 60 min.

- added 6 qts boiling > 165.

- collected 3.3 gallons of 15-16 brix for first runnings.

- added 2.75 gallons of 174 > 167.

- 2nd runnings 7-8 brix.  Got about 6.2 gallons total of 12 brix pre boil.

- ended with 4.8 gallons in fermenter.  Dumped in entire yeast starter of about 1 quart for about 5.1 gallons in fermenter.

- fermented at about 74 degrees.  Fermentation video clip.

10/09/11   Most of fermentation done by about 10/09/11. 

10/16/11  Check.  1.017, 2.3, 4.5.  Hint of sour that dissipates quickly.  Yeast still suspended so kind of murky and yeasty.  Still will ferment more but ok start.

12/09/11  Took a reading.  1.009!  1.2, 2.5.   6% alc, nice.  Smells a little musty.  Taste = ooh. Pretty nice. coming along!  Clean but very familiar, like another commercial wild Brett beer.  Pleasant Brett taste.  Pepper.  Oaky.  Dry.  Night light yellow color. Man.  Maybe I should rack off sooner rather than later so it doesn't too too much more funky?  Good now and I'm sure it will change more with age.

01/08/12   Video of harvesting and washing the yeast.  Funny that it was tasting a little more clean, kind of like my Brett Claussenii.  Tasting good but almost mellower?  I'm happy enough with it.  Will see how it develops.  Hopefully some other people will use the bugs I collected to make a beer.

03/21/12   Some pics of the bottles.  Listened to the Cure Kiss Me, Kisse Me, Kiss Me, and Wish.  Got 2 full cases worth.  Maybe went a little lower than before?  1.006?  Wish my hydrometer was no 3 pts off as it is hard to know to adjust or not at all times of readings.  Clear.  Beautiful yellow golden color.  Smells musty.  Taste is good!  Musty clean.  Not very sour or tart.  Little dryness in finish.  reminds me of my Claussenii.  Good drinking beer.

05/28/12  Took above pic and did video tasting.  Next time I make this beer I want to ferment it in the upper 70s, and then see if I get more sourness or tartness.  But I am happy with this beer as it is.  It's a great tasting, all-Brett beer with just a little funk.





10/29/11      Filled propane tank.  took 4.0 gallons





Beer Name:    Steamin' Wife Lager

Click on pic for larger version.  Here is another pic.




Grains:       10.5 lbs Rahr Pils

.5 lbs Simpson Medium Crystal 50-60L 


Hops:          1.5 oz Northern Brewer 8.6 % AA  60 min

.5 oz   Northern Brewer 8.6 % AA  30 min

1 oz Cascade 6.4% AA  0 min


Yeast:         Wyeast 2112 California Common Lager yeast.  stir plate starter few days prior.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          10/29/11                      11/13/11                                  11/29/11

Gravity:                      1.057                           1.014                                       1.013

% Alcohol:                 7.5                               1.9                                            1.9

% Sugar:                    14.5                             3.6                                            3.5

Temp of reading:        62                                66                                            55



- 14 qts 165 > 150.  After 80 min, 147.

- added 6 qts boiling > 157.

- collected 3.3 gallons of 17 brix.

- add 3 gallons of 180 > 171 > ice > 168.

- 2nd runnings 7 brix.  Total of 6.5 gallons of 12 brix before boil.

- 5 gallons even in brew kettle.  Mostly decanted wort off starter.  Aerated.  Fermenting about 60 degrees.

11/13/11  Pretty murky.  Cascade citrus aroma.  Not bad but still early.  I like the earthy flavor of the NB hops.  I recall that flavor from batches from previous years.  Not all that great right now but it should turn out ok with time.

11/29/11  Clear.  Nice color, light orange.  Smells of cascade hops, lightly catty and citrusy.  Taste is good.  Clean malt with definitely some hop bitterness.  Tasting nice so far.  Might have to buy Anchor Steam and try to compare.





Cider Name:    Slight Chance Cider  (did not add campden tablets but did add my yeast of choice)


Click on pic for larger version



Fermentables:   5 gallons apple juice from MN Homebrewers Club purchase.   Gravity of juice itself was 1.048.

                           2 lbs white cane sugar


Yeast:                2 packets of Red Star Premier Cuvee   



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/05/11                      12/02/11                                  01/24/12

Gravity:                     1.065                            1.002                                      .997

% Alcohol:                 8.5                                .3                                            -.3

% Sugar:                   16.2                              .5                                             -.5

Temp of reading:       66                                 56                                            60



- warmed up 2 gallons of cider and dissolved sugar in it.  Added back in and temp was about where I wanted it.  Did NOT aerate with Pure O2.  I did proof the yeast for 10 min or so.

12/02/11  Both taste the same so far.  Little bit musty from yeast, and a sulfur note?  But tangy dry citrus bite at the end.  Fair enough.  They should turn out ok.    Watched this after racking the ciders and it was sounding/looking great.  :)   (Dead, "Eyes of the World," from the Movie).

01/24/12  No potassium sorbate added.  Added 3 cans of apple juice concentrate.  Slightly musty, dry funk?  Maybe or could be my imagination.  Guess would have to do side by side with other one.  Not bad.  Maybe a bit different than usual.  More time will tell.

03/12/12  So far no real noticeable difference (or drawback) to doing the cider this way.  It does not seem less clean than it normally is. 

(later)  I don't think doing the cider this way caused any harm or negative effect.  In 2012 I did not use any camden tablets so we'll see how that goes.




Cider Name:    Safe Bet Cider  (made per my usual process, which has been pretty consistently good)


Click on pic for larger version.



Fermentables:   5 gallons apple juice from MN Homebrewers Club purchase.   Gravity of juice itself was 1.048.

                           2 lbs white cane sugar  


Yeast:                2 packets of Red Star Premier Cuvee   


Misc:                5 campden tablets crushed and added 24 hours before pitching yeast



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11.06/11                      12/02/11

Gravity:                      1.065                           1.003

% Alcohol:                 8.5                               .4

% Sugar:                   16.2                              .5

Temp of reading:        66                                56



- warmed up 1 gallon of cider and dissolved sugar in it.  Did NOT aerate with Pure O2.  I did proof the yeast for 10 min or so.

12/02/11  Both taste the same so far.  Little bit musty from yeast, and a sulfur note?  But tangy dry citrus bite at the end.  Fair enough.  They should turn out ok.  Watched this after racking the ciders and it was sounding/looking great.  :)   (Dead, Eyes of the World, from the Movie).   

Jan 2013 - took above pic.  This turned out just fine, like most of them.





Beer Name:    "None More Black" India Black Lager



Click on either pic for larger version.


Brewing TV was here filming for an upcoming episode.   :)   HERE it is.


Grains:       11.5 lbs Rahr Pils

.5 lbs Simpson Chocolate malt

1 lb Carafa II

1.5 lbs Durst Munich

1 lb Rahr wheat malt

.5 lbs Simpsons Crystal/Cara 30-37L 

= 16 lbs grain


Hops:          0.50 oz. Columbus 14.4% AA FWH
                    0.50 oz. Magnum 13.1 % AA FWH
                    0.50 oz. Magnum 13.1 % AA  60 min.
                    0.50 oz. Chinook 11.2 % AA  45 min.
                    0.50 oz. Warrior  16.7 AA 45 min.
                    0.50 oz. Amarillo 10.3 %AA30 min.
                    0.50 oz. Amarillo 10.3 %AA Dry Hop
                    0.50 oz. Chinook 11.2 % AA Dry Hop
                    0.50 oz. Columbus 14.4% AA  Dry Hop
                    0.50 oz. Warrior 16.7 % AA  Dry Hop


Yeast:        1/2 of the yeast cake from above Steamin' Wife Lager (CA Lager yeast)


Misc:         1 lb white cane sugar added around 30 min.



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          11/14/11                      11/28/11                                 12/20/11

Gravity:                      1.082*                         1.021                                      1.020

% Alcohol:                 11                                 2.9                                         2.6

% Sugar:                    20.5                              6                                            5

Temp of reading:        64                                 64                                         50



* collected 5.5 (or more) gallons, so gravity of 5 gallons would have been more like 1.090.  :)

- 20 qts  163 >150.

- skipped mash out water.

- collected 2.8 gallons of 22.5 brix

- added 2 gallons boiling water > 168.

- 2nd runnings was 13.5 brix, collected 2 more gallons.

- 2nd sparge was 2.5 gallons of 170 > 168.  3rd runnings = 9 brix.

- did not take total volume amount, but it should have been around 7.6 gallons.

- boiled some in two pots on the stove while starting the other boil.  Probably should have boiled the brew kettle for at least 15 min or so before adding hops.  But I added the first hop charge as soon as it started boiling.  

- had blow off through the tube by the am.  Fermenting ~ 60 degrees.

11/28/11  Little alc, hop bitterness in aroma.  Taste is both bitter from hops, sweet from high FG, but then in the back of the taste comes the darker malts.  Fairly clean finish though.  I think a couple weeks of mellowing, then dry hop, and some carbonation will do it well.

12/05/11  Added 2 oz of dry hops as listed above. 

12/20/11  Some hop in nose now.  Sweet, black malty goodness with kickass grassy raw hop bitterness.  Awesome.





Beer Name:  Occupy My Glass (OMG) Stout


Click on pic for larger version


Grains:       7 lbs Maris Otter (first time using this?  or this much of it at least)

2 lbs flaked barley

1 lb Roast 


Hops:          .5 oz Northern Brewer 9.4% AA   first wort hops

1 oz Northern Brewer 9.4% AA 60 min

.5 oz Northern Brewer 9.4% AA  45 min

.5 oz  Northern Brewer 9.4% AA 30 min

1 oz  Northern Brewer 9.4% AA 2 min 


Yeast:         Safale US05  proofed in water a bit before pitching



Brew Date:                Rack to Secondary:               Keg Date:


Date:                          12/03/11                     12/11/11                                   01/25/12

Gravity:                      1.056                          1.017                                        1.014

% Alcohol:                 7.5                              2.3                                            1.9

% Sugar:                    14                               4.6                                            4.5

Temp of reading:        65                               60                                            54



- 12.5 qts 165 > 149.   after 1 hour, still 149.

- added 6 qts boil > 159

- first runnings 16 brix.  3 gallons.

- added 3 gallons 177 > 167

- 2nd runnings = 6 brix.

- had 6.1 gallons of 11.5 brix before boil.

- cooled to 69 deg in 9 min!  With the help the recent snowfall snow in ice bath.

- had 4.75 gallons and added 1 qt to get it up to 5 gallons.

- fermenting around 65-67 degrees.

- first time using sanitized double mesh strainer to filter out hops and it seemed to do a pretty good job.  Was easier than using a grain bag, and you could "bang" out the hop trub into a bucket as it collected.

12/11/11  Pretty dark.  Hmm, fairly bitter, but why?  Hops?  Yeast?  Roast?  Suspect the yeast, sort of.  Hopefully it will floc out by the time I keg it.  It's not super great right now.  Hopefully it will get better.  If it will end up being the dry yeast I will be annoyed that I was trying to save a few $ but made an inferior beer.  We'll see. 

01/25/12   Not pitch black.  :(  More dark grains?  Fairly dark in a pint glass I suppose.  Smells little roasty and dry.  Taste is not bad, fair and straight ahead enough.  Bitter and acrid, little bit dry.  Bitterness from grains more than hops I think.  Maris Otter?  Not sure if I can get that. 

02/20/12  This has gotten better.  Glad it fermented more and then yeast dropped out.  It's a solid enough, simple recipe.

02/27/12  Took above pic.  I have come around to this.  I realized I am not that familiar with this style, actually.  Even Guinness is much sweeter than this beer, which I feel is more of a true dry stout (although not Irish).  It's not my favorite kind of stout, but this recipe is solid enough.




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