Tag Archives: magnum

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!

A new and different IPA, plus some unsolicited beer philosophy

Well this one will be sorta smash-like, in that I’m not using any specialty malts, just base malts.  It’s going to have 6 lbs pilsner malt, 6 lbs golden promise, and 2 lbs Munich malt, 14 lbs total.  That’s a little bit bigger than I usually make my beers, but hey, I’m experimenting, so I can do what I want!

Here’s what I planned to do with the hops:

0.5 oz magnum at 60
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 15
0.5 oz tettnanger at 15
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 10
0.5 oz tettnanger at 10
0.25 oz each magnum, bravo at 5
0.5 oz tettnanger at 5
0.5 oz each magnum, bravo at FO
2 oz tettnanger at FO

Here’s my thinking: I’ve seen some cases where other people have experimented with magnum hops NOT solely at the 60 minute mark, but as late additions, flameout additions, or even dry hopping..  None have had anything bad to say about their beers, so I figure I’ll step outside the box a little and try some magnum late in the boil.  Now I’m also going with a little bravo, which I already know works fine at any stage of the boil.  If you recall that far back, my Munich / Bravo SMaSH had half an ounce bravo early, 1 oz at 5 minutes, and two ounces at flameout, and that’s one of my favorite SMaSH beers I’ve ever made.  Purely delicious.  So to me, that’s a tried and true hop.  It should offer support to the magnum, which is a little unknown, but I have no worries.  Then I’m tossing in tettnanger, in approximately double-ish the amounts of the two higher AA hops.  I really don’t know what I’m going to get out of this, but I bet it will be tasty!  Well of course I think it will be tasty, or I wouldn’t bother making it!

Oh, and probably US-05 yeast.

In the near future I’m going to be brewing with some Irish Ale yeast, and some 3711.  I think the 3711 will go with the next weird extract experimental two gallon batch I’m planning.  Can’t wait to see how EXTRA DARK extract goes with 3711!  Hey, the last one worked out great, so who knows!

Now also in the spirit of trying new things, if this one comes out really good, I may have to try a smash beer with all magnum.  I know one guy who’s tried just such a beast, and it came out tasty beer.  Who says you can’t use magnum late?  Sure, it’s a great bittering hop, and I have no plans to take anything away from it in that respect.  But is it being unfairly relegated to the background, when it deserves some time center stage?

Well let me just say this – if it’s generic, commonly spewed forth advice that seems regurgitated and taken for granted “just because,” then I’m willing to challenge that notion.  I’m already challenging the standard advice with extracts, and now maybe even a little bit with magnum, and maybe a lot more with magnum soon.  I encourage everyone to do the same, challenge the norms, try stuff that maybe doesn’t seem like the obvious thing to do.

And when it comes to giving out advice… Yeah, you can always say “sanitation is important,” and you’ll never be wrong.  But if you say “don’t use amber extract, use light, then add specialty grains bla bla bla…”  Have you actually TRIED amber or dark extract?  Is this advice universal and unchanging, etched in stone from cradle to grave?

I say no.  There are times when amber or dark extract will be perfect for the beer you intend to make.  If that’s the case, just use them!  Taint no big deal!!  Now other times, it may be better to use light extract, and adjust the finer points of your beer with specialty grains.  There’s no doubt that there are many times when this advice is also the best advice, so again, I’m not trying to take away from this approach.  But there should be a reason why the light extract+steeping grains is superior in the particular instance at hand.  Conversely, if amber (or even dark) extract is appropriate for the beer at hand, at least try it once.

I recently had an email exchange with a representative from Munton’s about their extracts.  While he didn’t hand over the manufacturer’s specifications to me, he did indicate that the notion that extracts are “chock full of crystal malt” was simply not the case.  If they were, then extracts would not have the versatility that they do.  instead, they would consistently produce cloying, overly sweet, overly thick beer (just like if you put too much crystal malt in a beer!  Imagine that!).  And of course he believes that the quality of extracts (particularly Munton’s, lol) is very high, and the quality of beer you can make from extracts is also very high, including for the amber and dark or extra dark varieties.  I tend to agree, at least so far.  I know I’m brewing all grain now, but my extract brews  were very tasty too.  That’s part of why I keep experimenting with small extract batches.

So anyway, I’ve digressed into pointless rambling.  I tend to do that sometimes.  Make of it what you will, or just grab a beer and go watch reruns of your favorite TV show (as a means of ignoring my ramblings)*.

Anyway, I need a beer.  Cheers!

*wouldn’t be the first time that happened, lol

EDIT: Brewed 11-23-13

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.

Cloning Pliny The Elder – My First Double IPA

Well I’m going to attempt a Pliny the Elder clone this weekend.   Consistently rated as one of the best beers on the planet, Pliny deserves its reputation.  With ratings of 100 on BA and 100/100 on ratebeer.com, it seems the rest of the craft beer geek world agrees.  If you’ve ever had Pliny, you’ll probably agree too.  I don’t think I’ll quite do it justice, but it’s a great place to start for my first attempt at brewing a Double IPA.

Yeast is California Ale Yeast.


  • 13.25 lbs 2-row
  • 8 oz carafoam
  • 8 oz caramel-40
  • 10 oz corn sugar


  • 1.5 oz millenium FWH
  • 1.5 oz cascade FWH
  • 2 oz cascade FO
  • 1 oz belma FO
  • 1 oz bravo FO
  • 1 oz millenium FO

quickly cool to 170F and let stand 30 minutes

Dry Hops

  • 2 oz millenium 14 days
  • 1 oz cluster 14 days
  • 1 oz belma 14 days
  • 2 oz bravo 5 days
  • 2 oz cascade 5 days


  • OG: 1.075
  • FG: 1.011
  • SRM: 7
  • IBU: 108

Total fermentation time should be 3 weeks from boil to bottle, plus conditioning time.  I’ve gotten advice to bottle and enjoy as quickly as possible to preserve delicate hop aromas and flavors.  Makes sense to me.

This will be a unique beer for me because it’s only got first wort hops and flameout hops, and a lot of them at that.   Thanks to Barfdiggs on beer advocate for the hops schedule!

Batch 4: Al’s Red-eye ale

Changed the name of this one because I haven’t got my scale in yet, and thus I’m having to “eyeball” the hops! Should be pretty close… LOL!

OK.  Just ordered the stuff for my 4th batch.  It’s going to be a “red” ale, about 6% ABV.  I haggled with a bunch of people on various forums with the recipe, and a lot of good advice was digested.  In the end, I decided upon  this recipe, for whatever it’s worth:

  • 4 lbs, 8 oz Briess pilsen extra light liquid extract
  • 3.o lbs Briess sparkling amber dry extract
  • 1.0 lbs Weyerman Cara-munich II
  • 0.5 lbs Briess carapils
  • 0.5 lbs Briess 2-row caramel 120
  • 1.0 oz Magnum 15.2% AA bittering hops 60 min
  • 1.0 oz Cascade 6.0% AA 10 minutes flavor/aroma hops 10 min
  • 1.0 oz Cascade 6.0% AA at flameout
  • 1.0 oz Cascade 6.0% AA dry hops after one week in primary
  • 1.0 oz Amarillo 9.3% AA dry hops after one week in primary
  • 1/2 tsp 5-star super Irish moss powder
  • Safale S-05 dry yeast
  • 5 oz corn sugar at bottling*

5.5 gallon batch

  1. fill pot number one with two gallons bottled spring water (actual volume used about 1.75 gallons)
  2. heat to 165.
  3. add crushed malt
  4. hold at 155 for 40 minutes
  5. In stainless 5 gallon pot, pre-boil 1 gallon spring water
  6. strain wort from the grain bucket into stainless steel 5 gallon pot
  7. bring to boil
  8. add 1 oz magnum hops
  9. boil 50 minutes
  10. with about 20 minutes to go, I added the wort chiller to the pot.  I had the wort chiller filled with hot water at this time to prevent this step from killing the boil
  11. add dried malt extract, liquid malt extract.  I actually added this a little at a time over about the last 20 minutes, so as to keep the boil going.  This seemed to work well, I plan to do this again.
  12. stir
  13. Once the boil started again, (which was quickly this time) I added an ounce of cascade flavor hops packet at the 50 minute mark and boiled 10 more minutes.
  14. at flameout added the last ounce of cascade hops
  15. at flameout I started cooling the wort by running cold water slowly through the wort chiller.  It cooled the wort quickly, SO much easier than using ice!
  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 by letting it fall off the counter into the bucket, adding oxygen to the water in the process
  19. poured cooled wort into fermentation bucket.  No straining this time, we’ll see how this works.  I figure with dry hopping it probably won’t make much difference anyway, but we will see when it’s done.
  20. top to 5.5 gallons
  21. Used sanitized thermometer to check temperature of wort before pouring into bucket, it was about 80F or so, while the water in the bucket was cooler than this.
  22. Used sanitized wine thief to sample for OG reading
  23. Aerated wort by vigorous stirring
  24. Pitched yeast into bucket (was dry yeast, I pitched directly)
  25. Waited five minutes
  26. gently stirred using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  27. Installed sanitized lid and airlock
  28. Put in closet, ambient temperature 68-70F.
  29. After one week, dry hopped with 1 oz cascade and 1 oz Amarillo pellets


  • 1.061 SG
  • 1.015 FG
  • 45.5 IBU
  • 14.14 SRM
  • 6.03 ABV

Actual OG: 1.060, pretty spot on!  Actual FG 1.012, close enough!

*going to try the 5oz package of bottling sugar on this one and see how it comes out

**note: targets are according to website.  Thus the targets are approximate.  I don’t have the BeerSmith software yet to check it myself but will soon get it.

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