Monthly Archives: January 2012

It’s finally time for batch two! English IPA

Bottled Al’s Celebration Ale last night, today I’m brewing the English IPA I discussed in my previous post.  To recap, here’s the ingredient list:

  • Columbus Bittering Hops, 13.9% Alpha, 5% Beta, 1oz
  • US Northern Brewer Flavor and Aroma Hops, 8.6% Alpha, 3.8% Beta, 1oz each
  • Nottingham Ale Yeast, 11g (0.388oz) Saccharomyces cerevisiae top fermenting yeast
  • Briess Dried Malt Extract, Golden Light, 1lb
  • American Crystal Malt, 40L, 1lb
  • Briess CBW Non-Diastatic, Unhopped, Pilsen Light, 3Kg (2  3.3lb jars)

Brewing right now.  Just about to start the timer for the boil.

OK.  Done. 

Total time to brew: 5 hours.

Recipe projected OG: 1.067

Actual OG 1.052

Not sure why the OG didn’t come out as high as expected.  Not particularly worried about it though.  The ABV will probably come out lower than the target, but it should still be a very tasty brew if everything else went right.

Major concerns:  One.  The temperature of the mash got up to about 164 at one point, but I got it off the heat and brought it back down pretty quickly.  Hopefully the enzymes in the grain held fast.  The offending temperature surge was only for perhaps a minute or two, and mostly at the bottom of the pot, so I’m hopeful this won’t be an issue.

Here is the exact procedure that I wound up using, by the checklist, with changes from the recipe noted.  It should also probably be noted that the homebrew store doctored the recipe and ingredients for this kit because they were low on certain supplies, so the expected OG and other parameters might not be spot on anyway.


  1. fill pot number one with two gallons bottled spring water (actual volume used about 1.75 gallons)
  2. heat to 155 (got a little too hot, used the last 1/4 gallon to bring to 158 when I added the grains).
  3. add crushed malt
  4. hold at 150-155 for 30 minutes (recipe said 150 degrees. Actual time was probably 32-33 minutes.  Had to add a little heat here and there to maintain temperature, which led to the slightly higher than desired rise in temp.  Note to self: get insulation for this pot)
  5. strain into stainless steel 5 gallon pot
  6. add 1/2 gallon spring water (in hindsight, I should have left this step out, because the larger volume took so long to finally start boiling on a chicken-top electric stove)
  7. bring to boil (again, took forever for this to happen)
  8. add bittering hops
  9. boil 45 minutes (I stirred about every three minutes to prevent scorching/sticking)
  10. add flavor hops
  11. add dried malt extract, liquid malt extract
  12. stir
  13. At this point, it was supposed to be “boil 12 minutes” but the addition of the hops plus dry and liquid malt extracts brought the temperature down to well below boiling.  Therefore I allowed this step to progress to 25 minutes, when the boil started back up.  I don’t know the “ramifications thereof” of doing this, but it’s done.
  14. Once the boil started, I added the last flavor hops packet and boiled 3 more minutes.
  15. at flameout I started cooling the wort in ice.  15 trays of ice (saved over several days) didn’t do the trick, so I had my buddy go buy another 20 pound bag of ice, which definitely did the trick quite well.  It only took about an hour or so to cool the wort to a reasonable temperature.
  16. Sanitized fermentation bucket whilst waiting for wort to cool.
  17. Sanitized other need utensils (spoon, thermometer, SG meter, wine thief, strainer)
  18. added 2 gallons chilled spring water to sanitized fermentation bucket
  19. Strained cooled wort into fermentation bucket
  20. [top to 5.5 gallons] step wasn’t needed as I was already at just slightly more than that.  This could help to explain the lower than expected OG, but can’t fully explain it.
  21. Used sanitized thermometer to check temperature (72F)
  22. Used sanitized wine thief to sample for OG reading and took about 12 oz of wort to use in future yeast starters, put wort into sanitized bottle and capped, put in fridge.
  23. Pitched yeast into bucket (was dry yeast, I pitched directly)
  24. Waited five minutes
  25. Aerated wort via vigorous stirring using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  26. Installed sanitized lid and airlock
  27. Put in closet, ambient temperature 68-70F.
  28. After one week, dry hopped with 2 oz cascade pellets

Last step… PRAYED.  LOL.

Enjoyed a few nice brewskies along the way, a Schlafly winter ESB, a Schlafly Coffee Stout, and a Sam Adams Boston Lager.  As a reward for finishing the batch, I am now having a bomber of Stone IPA.  Can’t hardly beat that!!

Expected bottling date is 16 days from now, Sunday the 12th of Feb.

All comments, advice, criticisms or egg-throwing welcome.

ETA: FG 1.012

Al’s Celebration Ale!!

Thanks a million to Old Guy from the Garage Brewer’s Society for helping me learn a ton of great stuff yesterday!!  I’m learning about all aspects of brewing, so I had in mind an extract/partial mash batch for my first try at a five gallon batch.  That plan is now on hold!  Instead, I went to Old Guy’s house and helped him brew an all-grain batch (5.5 gallons of which is now in my fermenter).  Now I’m ready to brew my originally planned beer, but will be waiting until Al’s Celebration Ale is bottled.  Yep, that’s what we named it!

We decided on a clone batch of Sierra Nevada Celebration, and named it after me (LOL).

Al’s celebration ale

10 gallon batch


  • 47 IBUs
  • 1.067 SG
  • 6.3% ABV



  • 23 lbs Canadian 2-row
  • 1 lb Canadian 60L
  • 1 lb Canadian 120 L
  • 8 oz US Carapils
  • 8 oz Belgian Gambrinas Honey Malt
  • Nugget bittering hops
  • Cascade flavor and aroma hops

Mash @ 152F for 90 minutes

5-2 pH stabilizer 1TBSP each in hot liquor tank and mash tun
1.6 oz Nugget bittering hops, 8.6 HBUs 12.2 AA (90 minutes) Tweaked to 2.0 oz due to OG being higher than expected
2 oz Cascade 5.1 AA Flower (15 minutes)
2 oz Cascade 5.1 AA Flower (at flameout)

Wyeast English Yeast 1469 W Yorkshire

90-ish* minute boil. 1.6 oz bittering hops added at boil, 0.4 oz added at 75 minutes, 2 oz cascade at 15 minutes, 2 oz cascade at flameout

Expected OG 1.067
Actual OG 1.072

I can’t wait to taste it!!

More to come on this one.

*LOL we accidentally reset the timer and had to kind of wing it.  A common hazard of drinking when brewing, apparently.  It should be pretty close though

A Great Box From Dmeadows

Person-to-Person trade with Dmeadows completed today.  This guy sent me a great box, I am amazed!!  Here’s the haul…

2 x Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

2 x Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout

Dogfish Head Olde School

Dogfish Head Immort Ale

Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Leviathan Imperial IPA

Brooklyn Local 1

Brooklyn Local 2

Brooklyn Monster

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Pretty Things Baby Tree

Troegs Mad Elf

And a Great Adirondack Brewing Company Pint Glass!

What a terrific and tasty haul!  Thanks Man!!

I hope you enjoy the Perennial Heart of Gold Wheat Wine, Perennial Abraxas, and Boulevard BBQ.  I think you outdid me on this trade, I owe you one for the next trade!

BILF!!! Bacon is life Federation, Wrath of Bak’han!! REPORT

Wow, what a spread!!  Great food, Great beer, Great people!!!  BILF II was a huge success!!  Here’s the report…

Pictures here.

Can’t guarantee the spellin’ of every one of these, BTW. It’s a product of a multi-user effort between me and @meggitymak, and alcohol WAS involved!

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad

Maredsous dubbel

bruery collaboration (forgot which one, lol)

the brewery faster bigger better bolder

Rogue voodoo donut bacon maple (HAD to have bacon beer!!)

Schlafly reserve barrel aged imperial stout 06

woodcut dark aged crimson

founders backward bastard

sam adams infinium

Schlafly raspberry coffee vertical ’10+’11

new belgium snow day

woodcut oak aged

mckeller beer hop breakfast

big john

Stone Epic Vertical 11.11.11

woodcut oak aged lager

half acre

Three Floyds behemoth

black xantus

Schlafly southern hemisphere IPA growler

Stone cheery choco stout

Great Divide espresso oak aged yeti


brooklyn black chocolate stout

old chub

new glarius black top

santa’s litter helper

knight train

goose island 09 xmas

new holland night tripper

marshall zhukovs imp. stout

Dogfish Head porta marillo

oskar blues g’night

great lakes xmas ale

new glarius dancing man wheat

firestone 14

breakfast stout clone homebrew x3

avery rumkin

horny devil

velvet merlin (firestone)

he’brew 1515

dew clavy hero

new glarus smoked rye

hoppin frog double imp. stout

he’brew jewbilation

life and limb

hoppin frog boris stout

mikkeller 1000 IBU

mikkeller beer geek brunch

lips of faith prickly passion saison

Three Floyds gumball head

Goose Island bourbon county brand stout

firestone parabala

peace offering

coney island sword swallower

The food was great.  Everything from bacon-chocolate cupcakes to bacon pizza, bacon dip, bacon wrapped barbeque water chestnuts, and bacon chocolate bars!!

The people are great too.  Thanks to DicemanSTL for hosting.

Saint Louis, this is one of the gems of the craft beer world in your city.   I intend to attend every one I can, and enjoy the great bacon and beer delights as much as possible!!

My New Brewkit And First 5-Gallon Batch: Pour Me An English IPA!

Went shopping for a 5 gallon brew kit this weekend, can’t wait to try it out!!  It’s got a 6.5 gallon glass primary fermentation vessel, 6.5 gallon bottling bucket, and all the necessary hoses and tubing.  It’s also got a thermometer and hydrometer, Star-San no-rinse sanitizer, and everything else I need (other than bottles, which I have).  I can’t wait to get started!!

My first 5 gallon batch is going to be an English IPA.  Here’s the ingredients I’m going to use:

  • Columbus Bittering Hops, 13.9% Alpha, 5% Beta, 1oz
  • US Northern Brewer Flavor and Aroma Hops, 8.6% Alpha, 3.8% Beta, 1oz each
  • Nottingham Ale Yeast, 11g (0.388oz) Saccharomyces cerevisiae top fermenting yeast
  • Briess Dried Malt Extract, Golden Light, 1lb
  • American Crystal Malt, 40L, 1lb
  • Briess CBW Non-Diastatic, Unhopped, Pilsen Light, 3Kg (2  3.3lb jars)
  • 3/4 Cup Corn Sugar (Priming Sugar)

Instructions say to crush the malt with a rolling pin or heavy bottle.  Then add 2 gallons cold H2O (I’m using bottled spring water) to brewpot, heat the water to 150F, add malt, hold for 30 minutes.  Strain the grains.

Next, bring the steeping water to a boil and add bittering hops.  Boil gently for 45 minutes (scraping bottom to prevent sticking).

Next, add dry malt extract.  Boil, being careful not to boil over.  Stir in flavor hops, boil 12 more minutes.  Stir in aroma hops, boil 3 more minutes.  Turn off heat and cool pan in water bath till temperature is 100F.

Add 3 gallons chilled brewing water into sanitized primary fermenter.  Strain the wort into the fermentation vessel.  Top to 5.5 gallons.

When temperature is below 80F, stir vigorously to aerate the wort.  Sprinkle yeast on top*.  Install airlock with sanitation solution inside.

There are a few aspects of these directions that I am going to get clarification on before proceeding (like when and how to add the unhopped malt extract!).  I will make sure to have everything laid out and a specific plan in order, with all questions answered, before starting!!  If I have any unanswered questions, I will wait to brew until next weekend if need be, in order to make sure they are all answered!!

Fermentation will take place inside my closet, where I intend to carefully keep the temperature between 65-70F.  Bottling will take place in around 2 weeks to 20 days!  That will be another post!!

Any experienced brewers who read this, please do comment, elaborating in great detail!!

*note: yeast says to rehydrate for 15 secondes with 100 mL H20 86-92F.  I am going to call the store I bought it from to ensure this is the right method, because it disagrees with packaging.  Will comment later on the final method chosen.

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