Sam Adams Summer Ale Clone

4.5 lbs 2 Row Malt

4.5 lbs Wheat Malt

1 oz lemon peel at 5 min

3 g grains of paradise at 5 min

Mash temp 153°

I’ve wanted to try brewing with grains of paradise, so I’ve finally gotten my chance.

Now there was a bit of a mixup between this brew and my quadro-smash, and this may have been dry-hopped with the hops from that one!  Oh well, we’ll find out when the time comes.  Although I didn’t mean for this to be dry hopped, if ti was, it should merely be “extra tssty.”  The quadro-smash will just be more like any other IPA that’s not dry hopped, so no biggie there. Can’t wait to taste them!

Extract Brewing Revisited, Batch Two: Dark-Saison

Well I’m going through my drafts folder and publishing everything that I had forgotten about.  So this one is a bit out-dated but what the hey, let’s post it!

Results:

I just popped a test bottle of this one. it’s a bit odd, but it’s plenty drinkable and even qualifies as tasty beer.

I wanted to prove to myself that there’s nothing wrong with amber or dark or extra dark extracts, so I simply tried making beers using those extracts. I can’t see any reason NOT to use them (not that you’d need them all the time, of course). But if you just want some color and body, the amber and extra dark extracts (munton’s, FWIW) have not imparted excess sweetness, maltiness, or roasty/whatever flavors to these two beers, they seem to have provided more color than anything. So now that I’m not just regurgitating the old standard “use extra light extract, and add specialty grains for color and body” advice, well, what does that mean? Nothing, I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with the old standard advice, but it’s not the only way to make tasty beer. You can also use amber, dark, and even extra-dark extracts and still make fine beer. My new advice would be to consider what your goals are, and how to best accomplish those goals, and use the ingredients that best accomplish those goals.

The T-58 comes out quite a bit like 3711, but my impression is that 3711 comes out dryer. It’s hard to say exactly how much that’s true, because I haven’t brewed the same beer twice and varied only the yeast, but it’s fairly similar at least. Preliminary assessment of T-58 is that I’ll keep using it for these little two gallon extract batches that are brewed without temperature controls*.

*brewed in my room, temperature usually a bit higher than optimal for most yeasts, and fluctuations are higher than optimal for most yeasts too. The T-58 has handled these fluctutations well (admittedly they are fairly MILD fluctions, lol).

Quadro-Smash! (WTF Al?)

Edited to reflect reality!

Well I never cared whether I mis-used words or butchered the English Language much, so I can name my beers whatever the heck I want!

Got the idea from a beeradvocate.com thread. Four base malts, equal portions, and four hops, equal portions, in a pale ale or IPA like beer with IBUs about 45-50.

3 lbs maris otter
3 lbs golden promise
3 lbs vienna
3 lbs munich

Hops will be a blend of Cascade, Citra, Willamette, and Bravo!  I gotta check the AA% for the exact numbers,, but the schedule wound up like this:

  • 40g bravo
    100g cascade
    80g willamette
    60g citra
    280g hops total
    28g at 60
    54g at 5
    140g at FO
    68g dry hop

Used Denny’s best yeast.  Wound up being far more of an IPA than I had previously planned.  Still – This one can’t help but be ginormously fantabulous!

Lager!

Brewed a lager! Wasn’t really much to it, actually. 10.5 lbs of pilsner malt plus this hops schedule:

  • 1 oz cascade at 60
  • 1 oz willamette at 10
  • 1 oz cascade at 5
  • 2 oz willamette 1 oz cascade at flameout

Other than that, just some yeast nutrient and whirlflock, and German lager yeast.  The plan is to ferment at 52F for six weeks, then transfer to a carboy and lager for at least six, but up to ten weeks at 33F.

This beer has its own special fermentation freezer and controller setup.

KISS Amber extract ale

The name almost says it all.  The malt bill is quite simple:

  • 3 lbs Amber Extract

The hops bill is also very simple:

  • 0.5 oz cascade at 60
  • 2 oz cascade at FO

2 gallon batch. American ale II yeast used.

The primary purpose of this beer is to test straight amber extract and see what it’s like on its own.  This is part of my “not regurgitating standard advice when you haven’t actually tried it yourself” campaign.

I plan to keep brewing stuff with amber and dark and extra-dark extracts too, because I don’t believe that everything extract needs to be done with extra-light + steeping grains.  It’s ok to get some of your color from extracts. However, we’re going to see real soon just how much other than color this particular extract added to the beer.\

I suppose this is a smash beer too. Can’t have too many smashes!

I may dry hop it, we’ll see.

 

EDIT and update: well first test bottle popped. Great carbonation, great amber color (the amber extract straight up gives the perfect color for an amber ale). Oddly, a strangely wine-like flavor and aroma, not the cascade-bomb amber I expected. Not sure what’s up with it, but hey, it’s still tasty beer!  Definitely confused on the wine-like qualities tho. I’ll have to make another similar brew and see what happens.

Elderberry Wheat V

Fifth time around for this one. This time no fancy dual yeasts, just Bavarian wheat yeast, which has proven to be the tastiest for this brew. Hops will likely be willamette, but I’ll see what’s in the freezer come brew day.

  • 4 lbs, 8 oz pilsner malt
  • 4 lbs wheat malt
  • 1 lb flaked wheat
  • 0.5 lbs 20L crystal malt
  • 8 oz dried elderberries (boil, 20 minutes)

EDIT and update: fifth time around comes out great. Lesson:: Stick with what works.  No need for mixing yeasts, use Bavarian wheat yeast. Recipe has proven true, so leave it. Don’t fit what ain’t broken.

Upslope!

Having an Imperial IPA from Upslope. Don’t let the plain, non-descript labels fool you, Upslope’s beers are delicious!

Tonight I had the imperial IPA. I found it to be delicious, and I really appreciate that they spent the extra money to provide it in cans. Here’s the text of my review from beeradvocate.com (overall rating 4.19/5, which is an excellent rating for any beer, and a rating I certainly don’t give out at the drop of a hat).

look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice two finger head that left pretty good lacing topped an orange-tan beer that was clear and had a few rising bubbles.

Aroma and flavor are quite nice, especially aroma, tons of sticky oily hops penetrate your nose like a fiery hop candle. The flavors are bold, but a bit more subdued than the aroma, with a somewhat hoppy skewed, yet balanced big beer. The hops have both soft fruity and sharp, resinous citric qualities. There’s a bit of dank that accompanies the flavorful malt backbone of the beer, along with notable spiciness.

Body is medium and sticky with resinous hops and a bitter finish. Carbonation is on the money for what I would personally want, given the rest of the beer’s qualities.

The flavors and aromas are complex, and Upslope has once again impressed me with their beer. Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep buying your beer.

And I do like that it comes in cans. Mind you I either use commercial bottles for homebrew, or recycle. But for the general public, and the overall good of the planet, cans are very easy to recycle, are very good at keeping beer fresh, and are easier to store or transport than bottles. So for this reason, I am very hoppy that Upslope decided to invest in canning technology and infrastructure for their brewery.

Great Job! ;-)

Imperial Classic American Creme Ale?

Well the first version of my Classic American Creme Ale was so damn good it made my Top Six List (obviously list to be revised as time goes by).  Then I got a wild hair one day and thought to myself “boy that was so good, I should imperialize it!”

This may not turn out to be the best idea I’ve had, but the deed is done, and it’s in the fermenter.  The only difference was the original used 6-row, and this one used UK pale malt, so it’s not quite exactly the same grain bill (nor is it the same hops used, but I’ll get to that).  Essentially my (perhaps not so bright) idea was to jack everything up by a third, and use more and stronger hops.  Here’s the jist of it:

  • 12 lbs UK pale malt
  • 4 lbs flaked corn
  • 21g magnum hops at 60
  • 1 oz magnum at 5
  • 3 oz willamette at FO
  • 15 minute hop stand at 170F
  • Nottingham yeast

Will I be a Super-Genius or a Super-Magoo?  Don’t answer that!

I suspect it will at least make tasty beer, which is all you can really hops for when you’re shooting in the dark, making recipes based on your drunken whims from last night.  We’ll see in a few weeks!

My Top Six!

Well I’m always talking about my top five beers so far, and while that’s probably somewhat debatable, I decided to at least make an effort to qualify which beers those are, at least up till this point. But looking back, it’s impossible to narrow it down to five, so six it is!  I’ve been brewing for a few years now, so I’ve got a nice little list to choose from. Here’s what I’ve decided, as of Feb 2014, in no particular order:

Fresh hop pale ale

The Averagely Perfect American IPA

Pliny the Elder pseudo-clone

Classic American Creme Ale

Citra-Bomb from Hell SMaSH

The Juniper Pale Ale Project with MrOH

And what have I learned from these brews?  Well, one thing that really stands out is that simple recipes tend to be better. Two of these beers used only one base malt (citra bomb and fresh hop), and that base malt was golden promise. Maybe that’s two things learned.  However, Bravo-Munich SMaSH would certainly be the honorable mention for this list.

Classic American Creme Ale used only two ingredients, barley malt and corn, and that barley malt was six-row. That was by far my clearest beer ever, absolutely crystal clear, even at bottling, all the way to my filled glass. So much for the plethora of “six row sucks” cries of horror you’ll hear on the web if you admit to using six-row.

Crystal malt does not equal “bad” when it comes to IPAs. Both the APA IPA and Pliny the Elder (and my pseudo-clone of PtE, which is exactly based on Vinny’s recipe malt-wise) made the list, and the choices for that list included various hoppy beers that did not contain crystal malt. So much for that de-bunked theory.

Juniper can be an excellent addition to a beer (if you make good beer in the first place, that is). I wouldn’t over-do it tho.

BMC fans can be easily converted without making ridiculously light and flavorless beers. Classic American Creme Ale was rated “my best beer yet” by one particular BMC drinker that frequently samples my beers. And while it was quite good for the type of beer I envisioned (one without hugely strong flavor or aroma, but not a flavorless or totally bland beer, more of a refreshing, light, thirst-quenching beer with a nicely light corny, hoppy flavor).  However, the Citra Bomb From Hell disappeared awfully fast considering there were only a couple BMC fans and me drinking it.

BMC drinkers, once converted to homebrew drinkers, never go back. Remember that.

So here’s to the first edition of my top six list, and to many more like it. Cheers!

Finally, The Unoffical Mascot of tDoB has a Name – Say Hello to Ludwig

Originally posted on The Dogs of Beer:

The connectivity of the internet amazes me.  Billions of seemingly unconnected pieces of data floating around in stacks of servers housed in warehouses and basements that contain the sum knowledge of the interwebs.  Whirling and buzzing as they share and distribute everything from NSA classified material, to memes of Miley Cirus twerking,  to the post you’re reading now.

There’s just a ton of stuff out there.  So much, that a lot of it seems to get lost, or if not lost, maybe disconnected.  Things get shared, moved, and posted in other locations so frequently that it’s very rare that you know the origin of any piece of information or photo that you find and share on the internet.  But with all that connectivity, on occasion an internet artifact and its story gets reconnected.  Here is a prime example.

In June of 2012 I wrote a some what tongue-in-check post about…

View original 1,040 more words

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