Tag Archives: american


I’m on a simplicity kick.  Nothing for a total of ten beers (only successfully completed and drank beers) can be in any way complicated.  My reasons for this are a few in a row of very so-so beers that were also too complicated to be able to accurately trouble shoot without doubt.  So it’s KISS only from here to a while from now.

My lager came out good, that’s one.  It was merely golden promise plus cascade, and it’s damn tasty.

I’ve got a couple Munich SMaSH beers going too.  One’s a petite saison smash with munich and citra, one’s a regular old
US-05 munich/cascade smash beer.  Also got a super simple stout planned with 90% 2-row, 10% roasted barley, and Irish ale yeast, for a super simple dry Irish stout.

Also got a blonde ale that came out fantastic (again!)  Reasonably simple beers that I’ve done before successfully are IN as far as my simplicity kick goes. Elderberry wheat may be repeated shortly too.

When you realize that your simplest beers are usually your best, then you should consider going on a simplicity kick.  Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

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!

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.

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!

Classic American Cream Ale

Well I’ve made a Classic American creme ale, based on recipe info found around the web and on threads on BeerAdvocate.com homebrew forum.  I’ve gone with an older interpretation of the style, a little hoppier, dry hopped, and using six-row and corn for the grist.  The grist is quite simple:

  • 9 lbs 6-row
  • 3 lbs flaked corn

Now hops wise I had planned to use tettnanger, but there was a bit of a failboat moment when I forgot the hops when I went to where I brew (my bro’s house).  So given the fail, I winged it on the hops:

  • 10 grams centennial at 60
  • 15 grams centennial at 10
  • 15 grams centennial at 5
  • 15 grams centennial at 0
  • 14 grams citra at 0
  • hop stand ten minutes
  • 2 oz centennial dry hop
  • 26.5  IBU
  • 5.5 ABV
  • 3.6 SRM
  • 1.056 OG

It sure was light when it was done boiling, so the SRM estimation should be pretty close.   I’m interested how this hop combo will go with the body of what will presumably be a light, easy drinking beer.  We’ll find out in about a month!

Oh, Nottingham yeast!

UPDATE: bottled 10-26.  very clear, perhaps my clearest beer yet.  sweet, corn like taste (to be expected).  All signs point to a good batch.


UPDATE 2: drinking GREAT!  Completely clear, lots of rising bubbles, light corn sweetness yet still quite dry, light, thirst quenching body, lightly fruity/corn sweet aroma, I dare say a very fine creme ale.  Flavor and aroma aren’t super high, but this is not a beer that’s supposed to be super high on flavor and aroma.  I’m quite pleased with this beer.

The Averagely Perfect American IPA Project

Very interesting project started by Vikeman on Beer Advocate.  31 polls decided all aspects of this beer, from gravity and ABV to ingredients and amounts, even fermentation temperature.

Well I brewed it last night.

5 Gallons (into fermenter)
Target ABV: 6.5%
Target OG: 1.062
Target FG: 1.012
Apparent Attenuation: 81%
Recommended Mash Temp: 151F
Fermentation Temp 64-66F*
64 IBUs (per Tinseth Calc)

Grain Bill:
Two-Row Brewer’s Malt (92%)
Crystal 40 (5%)
Carapils (3%)

Bittering Hop: Bravo

Flavor/Aroma Hop Schedule:
15 minutes – Simcoe 0.5 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz
10 minutes – Simcoe 0.5 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz
5 minutes – Simcoe 0.75 oz, Centennial 0.5 oz, Cascade 0.5 oz

FO/Whirlpool/Stand – Simcoe 1.0 oz, Centennial 0.75 oz, Cascade 0.75 oz
Dry Hop – 1 oz Simcoe, 1 oz Centennial, 1 oz Cascade

Wyeast 1056/WLP001/US-05

It’s in the fermentation chamber now, we’ll see how the “wisdom of crowds” doees on this one!  I suspect it will come out great!!

*note: mine is getting 64-66F because that’s where my fermentation freezer/controller is set and that’s where I like it, lol.

American Amber with Sweet Orange Peel and Fuggles

Well I’ve now moved to TX, and this will be my first batch using my new freezer-chest and Johnson temperature controller, plus outdoor turkey fryer heating setup!   This will be an all-grain batch.  I’m shooting for a pretty tasty but non-bitter, non-threatening 4 gallon batch of American Amber ale, with a touch of sweet orange peel for just a touch of that Grand Marnier flavor.  I think this will make a good Orange Amber, so let’s find out!

UPDATE: Brewed 12-2-12.  Made some slight adjustments to the recipe.

4 gallon batch

7.0 lbs. pale malt (2-row)
6 oz carared
6 oz caraamber
2 oz carafa III
3 oz chocolate

Mash temp 154


1 oz fuggles at 30
1 oz fuggles at 10
1 oz fuggles at 5
1 oz fuggles at 0

1/8 tsp Irish moss fining agent at 15 min
1/8 tsp yeast nutrient at 15 min

1 oz sweet orange peel at 5 minutes**, removed before fermentation

S-04 yeast, rehydrated

6 gallons bottled spring water***

OG 1.052
IBU 26.2
SRM 15.4
ABV 5.0%

*all hops are leaf, and in nylon paint bags (I have plenty of paint bags)
**orange peel also in nylon paint bags
***note: the water at the brewing location has a funky chemical smell to me. I want to brew and I’m not sure about the water yet, so six bucks worth of spring water will be used on this batch until I learn more
NOTE: This is my first batch with my new turkey-fryer outdoor brewing setup, and with my freezer chest w/Johnson controller for temperature control.  Freezer is set up and working at 66F.  Turkey fryer pot must be seasoned first by boiling water in it first, which will be done!  I am looking for a 10+ gallon brewpot, but for now I’m using what I have and thus will continue brewing four gallon batches for now.


  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. reconstitute dry yeast using 95F boiled spring water and allow to cool to room temperature
  4. Add grains to mash tun
  5. bring 3 gallon spring water to 169 F
  6. Add 2 3/4 gallons of 168F spring water to mash tun on top of grains, then stir well
  7. add more water to boil pot, bring to near 172F and hold for sparging
  8. measure temperature after temperature equalizes in mash.  Once again, this has been pretty spot-on the last few batches, so I don’t anticipate having to boil extra water, but I will be ready just in case
  9. adjust mash temperature using either heated mash water or cool spring water as needed to reach 154F
  10. mash for 60 minutes at 154F
  11. during mash, stir about every 15 minutes or so, checking temperature and adjusting if needed
  12. at end of mash, begin draining wort into pitcher
  13. allow first runnings to drain into a pitcher until clear
  14. pour first runnings back on top of mash
  15. slowly drain remaining wort into boil pot until mash tun is near empty
  16. add 1.6 gallons 172F water (adjusted as needed)
  17. stir well, let sit at least 10 minutes
  18. drain first runnings of first batch sparge into pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  19. pour first runnings of first batch sparge back on top of mash
  20. drain wort into main boil pot until near empty
  21. add another 1.6 gallons 172F water to mash tun (adjusted as needed)
  22. stir well, let sit at least 10 minutes
  23. drain first runnings of second batch sparge to pitcher until clear (or close to it)
  24. add first runnings back into mash tun
  25. drain wort into main boil pot
  26. add wort chiller to boil pot, filled with hot water
  27. bring main boil pot to a boil
  28. when boil is reached, boil 30 minutes
  29. at 30 minutes, add 28g Fuggles leaf hops in nylon paint bag
  30. during boiling, skim off hot break as needed
  31. at 25 minutes, add about 1/8 tsp Wyeast nutrient blend to a small amount of spring water and dissolve
  32. add nutrient blend at 20 minute mark
  33. add 1/8 tsp Irish moss powder at 20 minute mark
  34. add 1 oz Fuggles leaf hops in nylon paint bag at 10 minutes
  35. add 1 oz Fuggles leaf hops in nylon paint bag at 5 minutes
  36. add 1 oz sweet orange peel in nylon paint bag at 5 minutes
  37. add 1 oz Fuggles leaf hops in nylon paint bag at 0 minutes
  38. at flameout, turn on water for wort chiller and chill to 170 F
  39. let stand about 15 minutes hop rest, then turn wort chiller back on
  40. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  41. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during cooling
  42. ensure bucket, wine thief, thermometer, strainer, spoon are sanitized
  43. when wort gets to about 68F, add to fermentation bucket, pouring through sanitized strainer to catch any extra solids and to help aerate.  If necessary, clean strainer during process and re-sanitize to remove most of the trub before fermentation
  44. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  45. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  46. ensure wort is 68F or a little less before pitching yeast
  47. ensure yeast is a little cooler than wort before pitching
  48. pitch yeast
  49. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  50. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  51. ferment in temperature controlled freezer chest for 14+ days at 66F
  52. take FG sample and bottle
  53. use 3.5 oz corn sugar at bottling

Actual OG: 1.050

Actual FG:

Notes: Actual color was a little darker than I had hoped.  We shall see what it looks like when it’s ready.  Overall brew day went well.

Bleach Blonde Ale – First Usage Of Liquid Yeast

Well despite what I already blogged about, I’m changing my weekend brewing schedule around again!  I’ve decided that my new stir plate was beckoning me to use it, so I made a started for my White Labs American Blend yeast, which is going in my Bleach Blonde Ale!

I took 1/2 a cup of DME and added it to a quart of spring water (making approximately 1.040 wort) , then boiled for ten minutes.  After the solution cooled I added it to a sanitized 2L flask and put it on the stir plate.  There was a bit of foam left over from the starsan, but then it’s “don’t fear the foam” so I’m not worrying about that!  After the wort and the yeast got to about the same temperature, I pitched the yeast and put it back on the stir plate.  The stirring should oxygenate the wort sufficiently for the yeast to be healthy and numerous when I pitch tomorrow. I’m not worrying about the exact calculations, I’m just going to pitch it!

Here’s the ingredients and procedure:

  • Briess Pilsen Extra Light Liquid Extract  6 lbs, 0 oz
  • Crisp Pale Ale  1 lbs, 0 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 10  1 lbs, 0 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Carapils  0 lbs, 8 oz
  • Williamette Pellets  1 oz @ 60 mins
  • Williamette Pellets  1 oz @ 20 mins
  • Williamette Pellets  1 oz @ 10 mins
  • Williamette Pellets  1 oz @ 1 mins
  • White Labs American Ale Blend

The day before: Prepare yeast as already described

Brew Day:

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 1.75-2 gallons spring water to 160 F
  4. add grains (in mesh bag)
  5. steep for 40 minutes at 155F
  6. In separate pot, pre-boil 1 gallon spring water
  7. when grains are finished steeping, remove grain bag, add 1 gallon boiling water and bring entire pot to a boil for one hour
  8. add bittering hops, 1 oz Willamette 60 minute mark
  9. at 20 minutes, add 1 oz Willamette
  10. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, siphon, hoses, wine thief
  11. add wort chiller, pre-filled with hot water
  12. over the course of the last 20 minutes of the boil, add the LME
  13. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder
  14. at 10 minutes, add 1 oz Willamette
  15. at 1 minute, add 1 oz Willamette
  16. let stand 10 minutes before beginning cooling
  17. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during cooling
  18. while wort is cooling, add 2 gallons chilled spring water to sanitized primary fermenting bucket, allowing it to fall into bucket to increase aeration
  19. when wort gets to about 75F, add to fermentation bucket using strainer
  20. top to 5.5 gallons with chilled spring water
  21. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  22. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  23. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  24. pitch yeast
  25. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  26. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  27. ferment in closet for 12-14 days at 69F ambient air temp.
  28. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 12 days)
  29. use 4 oz corn sugar at bottling

OG: I doubt I’ll ever know because I probably won’t have a SG meter in time for this one.  As you recall, I broke mine on Wednesday!


OG: 1.053  FG:  1.014  IBU: 22.7  SRM: 4.44  ABV:   5.11

Notes: In reality, I did not get my order yet which has a second (8-gallon) fermentation vessel, so I had to split this batch between my Mr Beer keg and my 5-gallon carboy.  I’m not exactly sure how much water was added to each before I added the wort, as it was eyeballed by me.  Therefore I’ll probably have two batches that will be a little different in FG.  I’m kind of considering adding some fruit to the portion in the Mr Beer keg, just for kicks!

EDIT: I decided to go with some fruit in the smaller half of this one, blueberries!  Who knows how it will turn out, but I’m going to try it!

I’m going with the wash then freeze and add directly to primary method.  Wish me luck, I hope it goes well!!

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