Tag Archives: APA

Changes to the Double-Smash Beer

Well I finally got around to actually brewing the Double-SMaSH, with Vienna/Munich, BUT – I forgot the cascade hops on brew day.  Since I have to drive a ways to get to where I brew, I wasn’t going back.  However, I had some hops there, so I just changed the hops schedule around completely.  So now it’s a double-TRIPLE-SMaSH.  Yes, I realize that’s one hell of a misnomer.  But hey, it’s my beer, and I can change it up if I want to!  Plus I was never that good at keeping to the strict interpretation of literary meanings or definitions of words.   I do what I want!!

Still 6 lbs each Vienna / Munich malts.

Here’s the new hops schedule:

0.25 each at 60 bravo/belma
0.25 each at 15 bravo/belma/centennial
0.25 each at 10 bravo/belma
0.5 centennial at 10
0.25 each at 5 bravo/belma
0.75 centennial at 5
1 oz each belma/bravo at FO
DH one ounce each belma/bravo

From past experience, it’ll at least make beer, and probably tasty beer.  Maybe it’ll be the new sensation, who knows?  But as long as it makes tasty beer, I’ll be happy.

Fresh Hops are in!!

Just picked up three bags of fresh hops, 8 oz each:

  • cascade
  • citra
  • simcoe

Gonna make a fresh hop pale ale today!  No idea what the IBUs will be, not even sure what the OG is going to be either.  I’m going to use 17 lbs of Golden Promise as the grist, so basically it’s a smash (one grain, fresh hops, a loose definition, lol).  OG should be about 1.060, but I’m making seven gallons, not my usual five, so not sure what the exact efficiency is going to be.

All the fresh hops will be added at flameout and hopstand.  A tiny bittering charge of pellet hops will be added at 60 minutes to ensure enough bitterness.

I’ll dry hop with something.  Probably cascade, but I’ll decide when the time comes.

Can’t wait to see how it comes out!!

Just wingin’ it CCC APA

An odd one here.  A couple weeks ago there was a small accident regarding a computer keyboard.  Well, it’s in the shop getting fixed ($46 installed, but it’ll take about a week to get the part).  Well, this is where I had the copy of beersmith that had today’s homebrew recipe on it.  Thus, today didn’t exactly start out with 100% efficiency on perfection.

But alas, if you’re gonna do something, do it right.  OR if you’re not gonna do something the right way, don’t skimp on it.  Go for broke!  Well that was today, go for broke!

The recipe at one point was clear and I had a specific plan (at least that was before I ordered the grain!).  That’s out the window, obviously.  All I had was a bag of grain of around 12 lbs that I wasn’t sure exactly what was in it, but there was approximately…

  • A decent amount of 2-row
  • some munich malt (or some other non-2-row base malt, I can’t remember what it was)
  • some crystal malt (I am sure it was eight ounces of crystal malt total, there wasn’t a lot of crystal)
  • 3 oz honey malt (I am positive there was 3 oz honey malt in there)

I am guessing 12 or so lbs total grains, OG in the 1.055-1.060 range.  I didn’t measure.  Why bother!

Might as well guess on the hops too (though I did use a scale to weight them)…

  • 0.5 oz cascade FWH
  • 0.5 oz each cascade/centennial/citra at 7 minutes
  • 0.5 oz each cascade/centennial/citra at flameout

Dry hops (pre-weighed and bagged for when the time comes):

  • 0.5 oz each centennial/citra dry hop
  • 0.75 oz cascade dry hop

The yeast was a proper starter of NW ale yeast, WY1332.  That much we couldn’t possibly slack off on!

Then the thermometer took a dump during brewing.  We’re about a 60 mile round trip from anywhere that we could get a thermometer (or even a battery for the one that took a dump), so we used the one that came with the turkey fryer.  Prolly not as accurate, LOL, but it went from 50-300 and read just over 210 at boiling.  Good enough.  Mashed at 165-ish strike water (which probably left me at around 152-155 mash temp) and stirred once during the 1+ hour mash.  No point in using a timer either, eh?  Well I timed it on my phone to “close enough.”

So all during this brew-stravaganza, we continued work on the “man-cave” / brewhaus.  Today we framed the roof and added two of the skylights and some of the roof panels.  Then it started raining!  When it rains, it pours!!  It’s gonna be totally badass though, a big, nice sheddy kinda shed with plenty of room to brew, and several “add-ons” to the outside, including two built in, covered, insulated freezer/controller boxes (will eventually be enough for 30 gallons of fermenting beer in three different temperature controlled freezers with controllers, 5 gallons times 2 buckets per freezer).  Also the new 10+ gallon system (burners and all) will be on the outside, with a tiled sink and floor on the inside and storage for everything on the inside.  It’s gonna kick total ass man!  We’ll be on the man show for sure!  More on this in the future!

Well, when I get my other computer back, I can find out what exactly were the grains that were in there.  Will my hops schedule work?  I bet it will!

We shall find out soon!

More Upcoming!

I’ve got my next SEVEN beers planned out!  I’ve already discussed a few of them, and the next two will be my Cascade APA (recipe and procedure already blogged, brewing is just delayed a few weeks), and the very next one will be Coffee Oatmeal stout!

After that I’ve got (in no particular order…)

  • a nice English Mild on the way, coming in at low ABV and hopefully high flavor, this will be my first usage of Bramling Cross Hops
  • a mega-hoppy IPA, called Benchwarmer IPA, inspired by two posters on BeerAdvocate.Com, using some combination of colombus, chinook, northern brewer, and willamette hops
  • Juniper Pale ale, a moderately hopped APA with a touch of Juniper berries added near the end of the boil
  • Elderberry Wheat, which should be slightly purple in color and a bit tart in flavor.  This American wheat is a real experimental brew, we’ll see how it goes!

I’ve got my eight gallon fermentation vessel now, ready to brew stouts, barleywines, double IPAs, and anything else with higher gravity (and the potential for a large krausen).  This piece will also allow me to have multiple batches fermenting at once.  Along with this I’ve just gotten a three gallon better bottle, allowing me even more access to making split batches and secondary fermentations for experimental purposes!

My next brew day will be bottling day for my English Special Bitter.  I’m anticipating that to be in about one week from this posting.

A few days after that I’ll be bottling my Bleach Blonde Ale / Blueberry Bleach Blonde Ale.  I’m really anxious to see how that one came out, as not only was it my first attempt at liquid yeast and making a starter, but it’s my first experiment with using fresh fruit!

Once those are bottled, Coffee Oatmeal Stout will be brewed next.  The coffee will be added as a cold brewed addition to a secondary fermentation.  I plan to split this batch as well, putting half of it on vanilla beans in secondary fermentation.  I haven’t decided the exact amount of vanilla beans to use yet, but it won’t be a lot.  I’ve got the beans and they’re potent!  I just want a lightly vanilla flavor, nothing overpowering.  I don’t want the vanilla to clash with the coffee.

And finally, I’m participating in a homebrew BIF on beeradvocate.com.  We’re exchanging homebrew, and a few local commercial beers too.  Always anxious for a BIF!

Lots of good beer stuff coming soon, I can’t wait to taste it!


May 5th, Big Brew Day! Al’s Cascade APA

May 5th, a perfect day to brew my 5th batch of delicious homebrew!

Well with May 5th being big brew day, I’m going to brew an APA which showcases cascade hops.  Actually, this should be fairly similar to my previous beer, Al’s Red-Eye Ale, in that both have lots of cascade hops.  This partly reflects the fact that I bought an entire pound of cascade pellets!   I’ve got some different hops on order for the near future, but cascade has done me so well so far, I don’t think I’ll go wrong here!

EDIT: After drinking some of Al’s Red-Eye Ale, I’m going to cut the hops a little for this one.  I want a pale ale, and not another IPA.

I haven’t quite decided for sure on the bittering addition, but I will modify this post when I’ve made up my mind.  For the moment, I’m going to say I’m bittering with Chinook.

I’ve also read a number of posts where people use a little bit of wheat to help with head retention, so I’m going to try a few ounces of wheat in this one.  I haven’t had a problem with head retention yet, but hey, it’s always nice to have a great looking brew!  I suppose it can’t hurt to give it a try.

A new addition to my equipment is a nice scale that will allow me precise control of all ingredient amounts.

Regardless of the final recipe, I’m going to add a lot of hops, so this one might really be more of an IPA, but whatever, I’m calling it Al’s Cascade APA.

This recipe is pretty close (not exact though) to another pale ale I’m going to make soon using Juniper berries.  I won’t use as much hops in the Juniper Pale Ale though, as I don’t want to choke out the Juniper!

Another thing I have noticed is that the website I’m using for the targets doesn’t match software I downloaded when it comes to the numbers.  The downloaded software gives considerably higher bitterness values.  Since I can’t see how they’re doing the calculations in either case, I’m not exactly sure which one is right.  I tend to question free software, but at least it’s fun to play with!  However, this brew should be fine either way.

  • Briess Golden Light Liquid Extract  3 lbs, 4 oz
  • Briess Golden Light Dry Extract     3 lbs, 0 oz
  • Briess 2-Row Brewer’s Malt  1 lbs, 0 oz
  • Briess 2 Row Caramel 40  1 lbs, 0 oz
  • Briess Flaked Wheat  0 lbs, 4 oz
  • Chinook Pellets  0.75 oz @ 60 mins
  • Cascade Pellets  0.5 oz @ 15 mins
  • Cascade Pellets  0.5 oz @ 5 mins
  • Cascade Pellets  0.5 oz @ 0 mins
  • Cascade Pellets  1 oz @ Dry
  • SAFALE US-05 American Ale


OG  1.054

FG  1.014

IBU  30

SRM  8.33

ABV  5.24

Volume: 5.5 gallons


  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 1.75-2 gallons spring water to 165 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, 3/4 oz chinook at 60 minute mark
  9. over the course of the last 20 minutes of the boil, add the LME and DME
  10. at 20 minute mark, add wort chiller, pre-filled with hot water
  11. begin pre-boiling of 2 cups spring water for yeast rehydration
  12. add 0.5 oz cascade at 15 minute mark
  13. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder
  14. add 0.5 oz cascade at 5 minute mark
  15. add 0.5 oz cascade at flameout
  16. let stand 10 minutes before beginning cooling
  17. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, siphon, hoses, wine thief
  18. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during hop rest and during cooling
  19. while wort is cooling, add 2 gallons chilled spring water to sanitized primary fermenting bucket, allowing it to fall into bucket to increase aeration
  20. add pre-boiled water to sanitized 2L flask for yeast rehydration
  21. when 2L flask reaches about 95F, pitch yeast into flask and place on stir plate for about 20 minutes
  22. when wort gets to about 75F, add to fermentation bucket using strainer
  23. top to 5.5 gallons with chilled spring water
  24. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  25. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  26. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  27. pitch yeast
  28. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  29. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  30. add bucket to large plastic container filled partially with H2O to keep fermentation from getting too warm.  add ice daily if needed to keep fermentation temperatures reasonable.
  31. ferment in closet for 7-9 days at 69F ambient air temp.
  32. after 7-9 days, add one ounce cascade hops for dry hopping
  33. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 14 days)
  34. use 4 oz corn sugar at bottling

Actual OG:

Actual FG:


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