Thursday, January 4, 2018

Dry Stout With Wheat...

I've been working on a dry stout recipe for some time.  I brewed this on a whim and at the time was excited about this fourth iteration.  Significant changes were replacing the 20% of flaked barley with white wheat malt, bittering with Magnum instead of East Kent Goldings, amping up the water profile with baking soda, and shooting for a higher ph.

Replacing the flaked barley with wheat was more of a personal style thing.  The wheat helps boost body just like flaked barley.

Choosing to use Magnum was because I didn't have any East Kent Goldings and since I was looking to change things up I figured why not.

The baking soda increases the bicarbonate and the sodium content of the water.  This in turn increases the ph buffering capacity of the water and rounds out the flavors.  This article got me thinking about the water profile for this beer : The Importance of Brewing Water.  In it the author discusses bicarbonate as a way to make a stout, "" in flavor and not as, "one-dimensional".  This is what I felt my previous attempts were.  A brewer friend of mine tasted this beer and without knowing the article or my intent commented on how the beer was rounded and chocolaty.

Ph was increased due to many articles suggesting this helps the roasted malts present better.

The bitterness is too much and after having a Murphy's I'm gonna lower the bittering to about 15-20 IBU's.  I'll likely not use the baking soda again and just increase the sodium to see if that helps round out the flavors.  I feel like the bitterness and the bicarbonate combine to create a mineral like flavor...sort of like a mineral water flavor coming through.

Also, the roasted grains I used were sitting in my storage for some time and not very fresh when I bought them.  I never bothered to vacuum seal them and is what it is.  I'm usually pretty good at stopping myself when I feel the ingredients aren't fresh.

I judge a beer by how many I can have and enjoy it all the way to the last one.  This one wasn't so much that way.  While not's back to the drawing board.  So a rebrew and a couple changes to see if I'll like it.

Dry Stout

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.045
F.G. 1.010

70% (3 lbs. 11.5 oz.) Rahr 2-Row
20% (1 lb. 1 oz.) Rahr White Wheat
5%  (4.3 oz.) Breiss Midnight Wheat ground fine in a coffee grinder
5%  (4.3 oz.)  Breiss Roasted Malt ground fine in a coffee grinder
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.32 oz. Magnum @60 min for 30 IBUs

800 ml quick starter of 120ml of Wyeast 1318

WATER (4.73 gallons of RO water):
.55 g. Gypsum 
1.65 g. Calcium Chloride
1.85 g. Epsom Salt
3.58 g. Baking Soda
22.13 ml. of 10% Phosphoric Acid for a mash ph of 5.53

For a profile of:
Ca: 32.2
Mg: 10.2
Cl: 44.4
SO4: 57.4
HCO: 142.36

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Mosaic Once Again with Nelson...

  Got the ph meter fired up and did some science.

It was good to get back into the swing of things after the last brew day where I skipped some of the usual stuff like checking ph and making a starter.

This beer pours an orange like color with a white head of tight bubbles which laces the glass with each sip.  I do think I kegged a little late missing my chance for a higher carbonation.

Smells of a bready fruitiness...berries, strawberry, crisp citrus....when swirled it has a citrus earthy...grapefruit aroma.

The mouthfeel is soft....medium.  Medium soft bitterness.  Something like that.

Flavor is soft grapefruit....bready....a pleasant aftertaste as the bitterness lingers along with the fruity berry like flavor mixed with the wheat.  Hoppiness lingers and coats the mouth....but fades...leaves the pallet dry.

A proper starter going....sort of the science thing again.

So all and all it came out nice.  I think I've got the carbonation better on the next batch which is about done.

Mosaic Once Again with Nelson

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.056
F.G. 1.010

75% (5 lbs. 6.5 oz.) 2-Row
20% (1 lb. 7.1 oz) White Wheat
5% ( 5.8 oz.) C20
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.65 oz. Magnum @60 min for 60 IBUs
.6 g. Whirlfloc at @5 min.

2.00 oz. Mosaic for 10 min at 170°

1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318 with 800ml quick starter made from wort from the mash

3 oz. Mosaic
2 oz. Nelson Sauvin

4.86 gallons RO water
4.29 g. Gypsum  
1.32 g. Calcium Chloride
0.94 g. Epsom Salt
0.47 g. Salt

1.96 ml Lactic Acid For @ 5.3ph

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Nelson Again....

This was a rushed batch and the results showed it.  With kids and activities and events it's been tough to fit brewing in and and I hadn't had a beer on tap for a while.  While it wasn't a dumper, I had a tough time getting through the keg (my wife took one for the team).

The first thing I need to get back to doing is checking my ph...didn't do that with this batch.  Just assumed the recipe from before would do the trick.  It may have not been my issue but checking doesn't least I give myself the opportunity to adjust if I know the ph.

Then...I used a two month old smack pack and direct pitched it....cold no less.  I had listened to a podcast about Imperial Yeasts and how they recommend pitching yeast right out of the fridge.  Who knows if the temp really screwed it up but I think I had under pitched too low.

Then!  I kegged on day 7 (1.010 for those who are wondering) and threw it into the fridge to carb.  Like I said....a rush job.  I don't think the yeast had time to clean up.

What does all that mean?  Ah...well I think I got a bit of diacetyl.  It was just hidden behind the hops and annoying.  Not quite full blown butter but just a touch enough to make things odd.

I'll brew it again because I know when I get it right it's good.  But shame on me.  Home brewing is hard enough to learn and even harder to carve out time to do when working a full time job, and raising kids, and having a family life.  Cutting corners shouldn't be on the list of things to do....with any of this stuff.


2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.045
F.G. 1.010

80% (4 lbs. 9.9 oz.) 2-Row
20% (1 lbs. 2.5 oz.) White Wheat
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.30 oz. Warrior @60 min for 30 IBUs
.60 g. Whirlfloc at 5 min.
2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin at 5 min.

1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318

3 oz. Nelson Sauvin in Primary

4.76 gallons of RO water
4.21 g.  Gypsum
1.29 g. Calcium Chloride
.91 g.  Epsom Salt
.46 g.  Salt

2.51 ml.  Lactic Acid for a mash ph of 5.2

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Emily Once Again...

This time around I lowered the gravity even more and took out the Columbus.  I get a strawberry sort of kiwi thing going on with Galaxy, a nice's an aromatic hop for sure.  The Columbus accentuated the beer but made the previous attempt pithy tasting.  No dryness from the hops here...just some fruity...citrus...bitterness.

You don't need to have a high abv beer to get the Double IPA effect.  If it's just a hop fix you can be done with a lower abv beer.  A soft, dry pale ale with big hop aroma and flavor....refreshing and really....really you can drink on it all night.

Emily Once Again...

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.046
F.G. 1.008

80% (4 lbs. 11.1 oz.) 2-Row
15% (14.1 oz.) White Wheat
5% (4.7 oz.) C20

Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.55 oz. Warrior @60 min for 60 IBUs
2.00 oz. Galaxy at 5 min

1.0 pkg. of Wyeast 1318 quick starter of 800ml of wort from the mash

3 oz. Galaxy in Primary

4.2 g. Gypsum
1.3 g. Calcium Chloride
.91 g. Epsom salt
.46 g. Table salt

1.70 ml. of Latic Acid for a mash ph of 5.25

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Saison with Mandarina Bavaria...


Brew day 6/17/17:

2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.040
F.G. .980

60% (3lbs. 3.8oz.) White Wheat
20% (2 lbs. 2.5oz.) Pilsner
Mash at 148 F for 60 min

.30 oz. of Warrior @60 min for 30 IBUs

1.00 oz. of Mandarina Bavaria

800ml starter of Wyeast 3112 Brett Brux
800ml starter of OYL-500

7/16/17 Kegged on 3 light American oak spheres

8/8/17 Kegged on 3oz. sugar


The Brett character shows with a dusty, leathery and fruity combination. The Saison yeast contributes pepper and fruit. The oak is subtle and a vanilla like note comes through in the background.  The mouth feel is good at 3.0 volumes of carbonation...the pepper and bitterness linger a bit and then fade on the tongue and make this beer a drinker.

My original intent was to dry hop this with another 2 oz....but as it aged I just didn't think it needed it.  While I do get citrus types of flavors and aromas...that could just be the yeasts.  At 7.8% ABV I can say it's a drinker and the alcohol does not show in any unpleasant way.

This was the first time I've naturally carbonated in the keg.  Took longer than I thought to get to the right pressure.  I'd hook my spunding valve up about once a day to see where it was at.  At 2.5 weeks is was at the same pressure that it would need to be if force carbed.  Seemed to work fine with the added benefit of the Brett getting some more time to chew.

I could have left it conditioning longer to see where it would go or blending a bit of sour beer would be interesting...things to consider for the next Saison.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I really couldn't wait to get back to this beer.  Galaxy just does it for me.  Over the last year I've been waiting to get my hands on some but it's just been hard to find.  All the home brew shops around me didn't have it and the online stores only had small bags and limited supplies.  Finally, a couple weeks ago Farmhouse Brewing Supply happened to have some and I was able to get a pound before they sold out again.  Now...a couple weeks later Yakima's got quite few pounds of the 2017 crop.  Need to get me some.

For this version (the other was a double) I went smaller for a 5.5% to 6% I'm calling it a Pale Ale.  I reduced the hops a bit but still kept the 2:1 ratio of Galaxy to Columbus.  Also, I've begun using my new R.O. filter system for water instead of buying bottled water.  Can't really tell the difference but it is convenient to not have to buy water.

Works great and good service!

Pushed my dry hop schedule up and only did primary for 4 days and then kegged it with more hops and spunded the keg for the remaining 6 days.  Threw it in the fridge on gas before leaving for a 5 day trip to the hills of North Carolina.  That was good for me.  I usually cant help my self from sampling while they carb.  Got home, tucked my kids into bed, and had a nice beer after a long drive...couldn't have been better.


2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.055
F.G. 1.010

80% (5 lbs. 4.2 oz.) 2-Row
15% (1 lb.) White Wheat
5% (5.3 oz.) C20
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.5 oz Warrior @60 min for 30 IBUs

.6 g. Whirlfloc
2 oz. Galaxy for 10 min.
1 oz. Columbus for 10 min.

120 ml. of Wyeast 1318 3rd generation

2 oz. Galaxy in primary on day 2
1 oz. Columbus in primary on day 2

2 oz. Galaxy in serving keg on day 4
1 oz. Columbus in serving keg on day 4

Tasting Notes:

Color: A pale orange the right juice looking. It has a thick two finger white head.  Hazy.

Aroma: This one gets you from a couple feet away.  Passion fruit...citrus and yet the wheat comes though...a swirl of the glass and that dank hop aroma comes out mixed with the tropical aromas...and the wheat again...I could crawl into the glass

Mouthfeel: This beer is soft but a nice carbonation asserts itself with delicate drying finish.  A pithiness coats the mouth from the huge hop charges.

Flavor: A coating true to hop flavor....the oils make the body...they draw me in to mango like citrus like pithy tasting beer with some bready wheat behind it all.  Such a nice beer.....the lingering bitterness isn't boil derived but delicate raw hop...assertive and repeat.

Overall: This smaller version came out great.  Galaxy just makes me happy.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Nelson Pale Ale...


2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.049
F.G. 1.012 (last sample taken at dry hop kegging)

73.7% (4 lbs. 3.3 oz) 2-Row
26.3% (1.5 lbs.) White Wheat
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

.25 oz. of Warrior at 60 min for 30 IBUs

2.00 oz. Nelson Sauvin for 10 min.

100 ml. dense slurry of Wyeast 1318 2nd generation

3 oz. Nelson Sauvin in serving keg

Tasting Notes:

Color: The slight pale yellow/orange color as the last try but a little darker.  It has a nice white head.  I like the look of this version better.

Aroma: I get a whiff of fresh hops initially....grapefruit, peach, spice like with an excellent white wine finish to the aroma. Very good.  The wheat shows through and combines nice with the hops.  Carbonation was a bit low (sample taken on day two) and the aroma didn't punch as the last version but as it carbs I suspect it will.

Mouthfeel: The body of the beer is good but has a slight thinness that I think the carbonation will help.  It leaves a lasting pithy dry feeling.

Flavor:  Repeat of the the last version: "I've never had gooseberry's but if this hop is what they are like I'm sure I'd enjoy them. It's got this unique drying bitterness...spicey but not strong like a Saison spiciness....just a finely ground pepper. Earthy....grapefuit....very dry finish that fades quick. Delicate. Juice."  This version may be a bit thinner due to the higher alcohol.  I'd suspect it finished at 1.010 making it just north of 5% abv.

Overall: I like this beer a lot.  Although the hops popped better in the first version and I think its due to the quality of the hops for this batch.  I had three different bags of these hops from different sellers.  One bag wasn't worth using, the second was OK and the third was excellent.  Since the second  one was a 4 oz. bag that I had just purchased I saved 3 oz. of that one for the dry hopping and put the one good bag which was an ounce in the whirlpool with an ounce from the 4 oz. bag.  I've really been paying attention to the quality of my ingredients over this last year and have found that the variations are many.  I've since purchased a new 8 oz. bag and hope to brew this again soon.