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.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Blow off set up....

With the blow off valve open and the tubing inside a jar of Starsan
 it provides a 1/2" blow off during fermentation.

Thought I'd share this blow off set up a friend of mine made up for his SS Brewtech fermentors that I've made and used.  I've found it works great and figured some people may find it useful for their Brew Buckets.  This set up can be used as a blow off tube, a way to perform a pressure transfer, and purge with CO2 while cracking the lid.

Click on the pictures to get a bigger view.

To do as close to an O2 free transfer as possible I'll suspend my bagged hops in a keg and purge it several times with about 20psi of CO2 and then pressurize the keg after purging.   When I'm ready to transfer, I'll hook up my CO2 to the gas fitting on top of the "T" and get the gas flowing at under 5psi to slowly bubble the Starsan in the blow off jar.  The transfer tubing I use has nothing on one end and the other end has a liquid quick disconnect installed on it.  Right before connecting the open end of the transfer tubing to the racking valve on the fermentor, I'll connect it to the liquid out post on my keg.  This releases the CO2 from the keg and purges the tubing.  I then open the pressure relief valve on the lid of the the keg, connect the tubing to the racking valve, close the blue handled valve on the blow off set up and open the racking valve to start the transfer.

To purge the head space while adding hops or other additions first connect your CO2 to the gas fitting making sure the CO2 is off at this point.  Open the two front spring clamps and turn the gas on to about 5psi and close the blue handled valve on the blow off.  You can now lift the lid a bit and make an addition to the fermentor.  Once your done, lower the lid, open the blue valve again, and close the two spring clamps.  You can run a bit of gas though the head space afterwards for a few seconds to further assure you've purged as much O2 as possible.  While I don't open my Brew Bucket during fermentation, this is the method my friend uses to do so.

All the parts were purchased at Brew Hardware except one from SS Brewtech.  The stainless parts are listed from left to right as in the first picture above:

From the lid:
Hose Barb 1/2" 90° for Blow-Off
Left side of "T":
Hose Barb, 1/2" Male NPT x 5/8" Hose ID

And "T":
NPT Tee Fitting Female 1/2" NPT

Top of "T":
Hex Reducing Bushing 1/4" FNPT X 1/2" MNPT

NPT Male, 1/4" to Keg Post Adapter 19/32" -18 Thread

Gas Side Ball Lock Keg Post (19/32"-18) with Universal Poppet

Right side of "T":
Mini-Ball Valve 1/2" Male/Female

Hose Barb, 1/2" Male NPT x 5/8" Hose ID

And then enough tubing to make your top connection and then to reach the blow off jar:
UltraClear Silicone Tubing by the foot, 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD (1/8" Thick Walls)

The 1/2" tubing fits real snug over the 5/8" hose barbs and won't blow apart with the amount of pressure applied during a transfer.  Also, I used some Teflon tape on the threaded parts of the set up.  To clean the set up I remove the tubing and soak the assembly and tubing in PBW for at least 30-40 minutes.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Amarillo Again...

For this version I used a fresh re-pitch of 1318 which started showing signs of fermentation within a half hour.  Compared to the Vermont strain I used previously, this 1318 hasn't cleared up yet.  The Vermont stain cleared up much faster and I didn't use Whirfloc in that brew as I did in this one. 

I'm enjoying using just one dry hop versus two.  The transfer from the SS Brewtech Bucket is painless...cause I don't need to worry about hop debris clogging anything.  The harvested yeast is as clean as I can get it and seems to be happy when pitched.

Not sure what I would change for another batch of this beer.  It's a subtle beer and the flavors are not in your face like other IPA's or hops.  Do I go for a bigger dry hop?  I don't know.  Maybe I'll play with the water profile and use a heavier hand.  Either way it's a pleasant beer and the hops are nice.  Amarillo can stand on it's own.


2.5 Gallons
O.G. 1.060
F.G. 1.012

80% (5 lbs. 9.7 oz.) 2-Row
10% (11.2 oz.) Marris Otter
10% (11.2 oz.) White Wheat
Mash at 152 F for 60 min

Warrior @60 min for 60 IBUs

2.00 oz. Amarillo for 10 min.
.6 g. of Whirfloc added at 5 min.

120 ml. of Wyeast 1318

3.00 oz. Amarillo in serving keg

Tasting Notes:

Color: An orange color, white head with good lacing, and an opaque haze.

Aroma: A mandarin orange/tangerine thing going on.  Bready/nutty background.  A slight spicy/sweet aroma without being cloying.  Not a huge aroma but pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Soft.  Light bitterness right down the middle.  Finishes sweet but dry.  Adequate carbonation.

Flavor:  Like a strong orange/tangerine tea.  Earthy, sweet with that bready/nutty thing going on in the background.  A subtle beer.  Enjoyable.

Overall: This beer came out good. I like Amarillo and the flavor is interesting enough to keep me coming back...the alcohol comes through a little (which I like) and cuts through the sweetness of this hop and malt bill.  The 1318  was just as good as the Vermont strain I used last time.  My experience with GY054 is limited to one brew though.  1318 I've used many times and I'm comfortable with need to change for now.