Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hop Spider for $11.29

A hop spider are useful because they allow you to have your hops roll int he boil, but you can still stain them by simply removing the bag. I've always used muslin bags for hop additions, but I decided the next time they wore out I would make a hop spider. So, when my buddy Andy called saying he'd beaten me to the punch, I ran over to Ace to pick up materials.
I used:
A 4 inch to 3 inch reducer ($2.99)
A 3 inch hose clamp ($1.29)
Two 20 inch lengths of 1/2 inch CPVC (from the 10 feet I already had)
a 24 inch nylon bag ($7)
I cut two 1/2 inch holes in the 4 inch to 3 inch reducer so I could put the 1/2 inch CPVC lengths through. Lastly, I put the nylon bag over the reducer and tightened the clamp. Getting the bag completely on the reducer took some bunching, but it's not hard.
There you go.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Brew brothers was out of belgian candi so I had to make it myself.....if you know me at all, you know me doing something successful in the kitchen is next to impossible, so when I say "I had to make it" what I mean is: Emilie made it.

Full garage on this brew day. Fake uncle Luke (my brother-in-law's brother) and cousin Mike came over to lend a helping hand (read: drink all my beer).
I'm really excited about this recipe for two reasons; first, this will be the first time I use the hipster hop simcoe, and second I'm making what should be very similar to a Hop Rod Rye.
11 lbs 2-row
3 lbs Rye
2 lbs Munich
1 lbs Wheat
0.5 lbs Flaked Wheat
1.5 lbs Amber Belgian Candi @10

Hops: 113 IBU
1.5 oz Chinook @60
1.5 oz Chinook @40
1.5 oz Simcoe @20
1 oz Simcoe @2
1.5 oz Simcoe Dry Hopped for 7 days

Wyeast American Ale 1056 slurry from the Elisabeer

Whirfloc tablet @20
Wyeast Yeast Nutrient @20

6.2 gallons strike @165
2.6 gallons (double) batch sparge @195

3-26-2011--Turned out really well, gravity came out to 1.086, fermentation started before everyone left.
4-7-2011--Holy smokes. I think I understand why simcoe hops are the new hipster hop (huh huh...hip hop). Super smooth and bitter at the same time, BIG hoppy aroma, with a malty under-taste. I can't pick up the rye very well, but that doesn't take away from the complexity of this beer. Wowsers.
4-22-2011--Freaking awesome. Bittery smooth, this simcoe is worth every cent. Really, really good beer! Dare I say, best yet.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Elisabeer Pale

Beer number two for Jon...errrr....the Brawley Family. I was aiming for a refreshing pale ale with big hop aroma (but not too bitter) and a citrusy tinge. I came up with a basic pale ale recipe but I added 3/4 pounds of wheat. I also went with all cascade hops--with a large amount of finishing hops. We'll see.
I finished brewing in record time: just over 3.5 hours.

12 lbs 2-row
1 lbs Cyrstal 80
0.75 lbs Wheat
0.5 lbs Munich

Hops: 37 IBU
1.5 oz Cascade @60
1 oz Cascade @25
2 oz Cascade @5

Wyeast 1056 slurry

5.3 gallons of strike @ 170--->154 in mash
Collected 3.5 gallons
3.5 gallons of sparge @190
Collected 3.25 gallons

3-19-2011--Ended with a little bit more than 5.5 gallons of 1.056 wort. I an iPhone app called brewpal to get my sparge amounts and I had it set for a 5.5 gallon batch but I didn't up the grain so I ended with a slightly lower OG than I was hoping for. I forgot to throw in the yeast nutrient and the whirfloc, but I've been meaning to not use them for a while now to see how well they even work.
3-26-2011--Kegged and sent off to the Brawley home. FG was 1.017.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thanks Dave Stout

I used so much grain from the Melt My Face Off, I figured I'd try to do a third runnings ale. There's really only one way to get a big, high alcohol beer; use a lot of grain. This won't work in a normal beer, but I figure with nearly 18 pounds of grain there's bound to be more sugars that I wasn't able to get out in the first or second runnings. I heated up 2.5 gallons of water to around 180 and dumped it into the "spent" grain and I let it sit for 40 minutes.
After the mini mash, the pre-boil gravity was an adjusted gravity of 1.045. I boiled for just over 40 minutes, cooled and pitched some dregs of Wyeast 1056. I ended with right about 2 gallons of 1.059 wort. What this will mean is Pabster Dave will have paid for his batch and I get the 2 gallons for free. Free beer...thanks Dave.
UPDATE--I ended up with just over a gallon, which I bottled into two growlers.
UPDATE--Wow! This turned out to be really, really good. It's smokey with mapley sweetness. Not bad for a bunch of grain i was going to toss out anyways.

Malt My Face Off Russian Imperial Stout

Another beer for Pabster (Pastor) Dave. Brewed with the wife while we watched the NCAA tourney and I started working on cutting up my downed tree in the downtime. There may or may not be a small amount of pine sap in this brew.


9 lbs 2-Row
6 lbs Maris Otter
0.25 lbs Carafa III
0.5 Crystal 60
0.5 lbs Chocolate
0.5 lbs Honey Malt
0.5 lbs Roasted Barley
1 lbs LME
1 lbs cane sugar

1 oz Millennium @ 60
0.5 oz Cascade @ 30
1 oz Cascade @ 2

PacMan yeast slurry

6.5 gallons strike @ 170
2.3 gallons (triple) batch sparge @ 197

3-18-2011--Everything went well. Adjusted pre-boil gravity was 1.069. Post boil (before the yeast) was 1.101. Fermentation started within the hour. I'm hoping this gets down to around 1.025 which will put this face malter right at 10%.
3-27-2011--Bottled twenty 22s and nine 12 ounce bottles. Tastes strong and smokey. I kept two of the 12 ounce bottles and I'll post a picture in a couple weeks when they're carbed and ready.
4-5-2-11--My face was officailly malted off tonight. I snagged two 12 ounce bottles for myself and split one with a friend today. Supper big beer. Syrupy, malty, smokey, and I can certainly taste the nearly 11%. I'm very happy with it. The only problem is I mostly bottled this in 22s, so I hope Dave finds a buddy to share these with nightly.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Taking a Break from Home Brew

I'm giving up drinking home brew for lent. A couple years ago I read a wonderful book by CJ Mahaney called The Idol Factory, the premis of which is that our hearts are unquenchable fires that can never be satisfied with anything but God. It was a wonderfully convicting book. It forced me to examine my heart to identify anything that is taking the place of God; namely, anything for which I am seeking out to receive pleasure from. Since God is the single greatest source of pleasure, we should only find joy in things when we are doing it for the Glory of the Lord. Drinking is not a sin, but if I drink to the glory of Randy or to beer, it is.
Anyways, I'm giving up drinking home brew, but I'm not giving up brewing (I'm also not giving up drinking beer, just home brew). I've got two more batch orders and more on the way. I might take this time to brew beers for myself that need a long time to condition or lager.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last Red Cent Imperial NW Red 2.2

I love this beer. I just ran out so I brewed it again. Same recipe as before but this time only 5 gallons

12.28 lbs 2-row
2 lbs Light Munich
.5 lbs Crystal 30
.5 lbs Crystal 50-60
.5 lbs Crystal 120
0.24 lbs Pale Chocolate

1 oz Millennium @60
1 oz Nugget @30
.5 oz Cascade @10
.5 oz Cascade @0

Wyeast Irish Ale 1084 yeast slurry

6 gallons strike at 175 for 60 min 
2.7 gallons double batch sparge at 190

1/4 teaspoon Wyeast Yeast Nutrient

3-6-2011--Brewing went quickly. Preboil gravity was an adjusted 1.063. I'm fairly certain the post boil gravity reading was off since the post boil (1.062) was lower than the adjusted preboil. Filled just over 5 gallons.
3-13-2011--I'm sure it's finished fermenting and I probably should keg it, but I'm a little busy right now with baseball (coaching two teams). I'll keg it this weekend.
4-4-2011--Really good. Just like the last one.