Category Archives: homebrew

Second Serving

Homebrew cream ale 2

So, after that last cream ale, I thought I’d try it again, but without the crazy alcohol.

The nose…isn’t bad but there’s something suggesting that I’m off a little. A very subtle hint of something sour. Maybe like bread yeast but definitely not appropriate to style.

That same flavor comes in at the very finish of the beer, a late guest to a party that just ended.

It’s a bummer, because I really tried to get this one right, after such a simple mistake.

Because it’s fairly clear, and pretty crisp. The malt does appear but it’s not overwhelming by any means and the ABV is far, far closer to what it should be, as opposed to my last effort.

However, it doesn’t quite finish clean and that throws it off. It’s not undrinkable. but I’d have difficulty promoting it to someone else.

Brew date: 8/4/19

Steeping grains
5 lb Ballad Munich
3 lb Vienna

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

Added .5 tsp Gypsum

1 oz UK Fuggle @60
2 oz Mt Hood @5

Added .5tsp Peated Moss at flameout for clairity

Yeast: Imperial’s Pub yeast

OG: 1.058

FG: 1.014

Secondary: 8/15

Bottled: 8/17

ABV: 6%

Wash Your Mouth Out

Soapy IPA homebrewThis one is a puzzler. I was shooting for a pale ale and…well. No.

The nose and the finish remind me of cheap lemon soap.

I mean, there it is: I don’t have much more to add. The flavor that some people pick up when they eat cilantro; this is what I imagine they’re going through.
The suggestion that this was left too long in the fermenter doesn’t wash, because I bottled it 15 days after brewing. It’s possible that the hop additions or this combination of hop additions produced this-I’m definitely way off the map for the recipe I’ve been using most of the year.
It’s troubling, too, since I tried to make sure everything was sanitized well. I kinda need an expert on this one.

Brew date: 9/14/19

Steeping grains
7 lb 2 row
1.25 lb encore

Fermentables: 4.5 lb ExLME

1 oz Simcoe, ekuanot, Azacca @ 60
.5 z Simcoe, ekuanot, azacca @30

Yeast: Imperial Pub (3rd use)

OG: 1.072

FG: 1.014

Secondary 10/1
Bottled 10/6

ABV: 7.9%

Steep Dropoff

IPA #4 the bummerWell, this was a disappointment.

Everything seemed to go well-the first week, this beer was tasty! I got the hop nose, and the bitterness on the finish seemed about right. (This is part of my IPA series for 2019).

But then the infection kicked in and the beer just tasted dirty and bitter. I had really thought I’d gotten it right but no, no this just does not work.

Then again: the note to self about cleaning means cleaning, and don’t skimp on the work.

Brew date: 8/25/19

Steeping grains
.5 lb pale
2 lb C 60

Fermentables: 7 lb Golden light LME

1 oz Mt Hood, Simcoe, Centennial @60

Yeast: Imperial Pub (2nd use)

Added 3/4 tsp Gypsum, 1/2 tsp Irish Moss to water for hardening and clarity, respectively

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.012

Secondary: 9/3, adding 1 oz Simcoe, Centennial hops

Bottled: 9/7

ABV: 6.5

Fall Amber

2019 fall Amber aleTime to start clearing out some of the homebrews I made in 2019!

First up, an amber I put together in September. The nose is a bit sweeter and caramel oriented. Head is thin but steady. The effervescence lasts, but it isn’t a palate clearer in the same way some lagers or IPAs might be.

Coffee is a pretty strong element here-this amber has got a roasted quality that, despite the lightness of the beer visually, is fairly strong, especially on the finish.

On the upside, the beer has a sweet front, so there’s more balance here than bitter, and that’s definitely a good thing.

Brew Date: 9/8/19

Steeping grains
1 lb Caramel Steam
1 lb Opal 22
.5 lb C 75
.25 Chocolate

Fermentables: 7 lb ExLME

1 oz Mt hood, .5 oz African Queen @60
1 oz Mt hood, .5 oz African Queen @5

Yeast: Imperial Darkness

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.01

Bottled 9/22

ABV: 6.8%

IPA 3 2019

If I get my nose in there, the is definitely pine notes and a little forestry wet grass too. That part is good, but I feel a little concerned because I have to work for it.
IPAs should be obvious when it comes to their hops.

IPA 3 2019 homebrew

And it’s not like the bubbles are shy: a steady, white head sticks around while I drink this beer, and provides a little palate cleanse.

Midrange has some fruit quality to it; dried apricots. I don’t hate this, but it’s an off flavor and one I’m thinking might be there because fermentation temps were a little high.

The finishing bitterness isn’t too strong, either. I can taste it, but it isn’t everything I hope for.

It’s a solid beer, and it tastes pretty good, I just wonder if it’s a hoppy red more than what I was going for.

That’s when I notice-holy crap did I add in too many malt sugars. What is up with me this year? 9% IPAs need more hops to balance them and I wasn’t even thinking about it, clearly.

Brew date: 7/20/19

Steeping grains
7lb Lamonta
1/25 lb C60

Fermentables: 6 lb Light malt extract

1.5 oz Mt Hood, .5 oz Centennial @ 60
.5 oz Mt Hood, .5 oz Centennial @p5

Yeast: Imperial Dry Hop (3rd use)

OG: 1.084

FG: 1.014

Secondary: 8/6, 1 oz Centennial & 1 oz Mt Hood added

Bottled 8/10

ABV: 9.5%



Homebrew cream aleI was hoping to make a cream ale for summer: something light and easy to drink with the heat. Plus, it would be a nice break from the IPAs that this year has been centered around.

The upside of this batch: color and clarity are outstanding. A lovely tawny shade and possibly the clearest beer I have made!

The nose has a little bready quality but it’s faint. The beer itself is where it falls apart. Too sweet, too boozy. Not quite sickly sweet but sweet nevertheless, in a way that isn’t pleasant.

The body is too dense; this beer lingers on my tongue like bad seafood. This is despite a solid bubbly quality that exists on the finish.

I’m being a little hard on this beer. It isn’t undrinkable. I just don’t want a second one, because the beer has too much alcohol and not enough flavor. It’s malt liquor, not tasty beer.

Fortunately, it’s easy to figure out where I went wrong once I reviewed my recipe.

I effectively doubled the amount of fermentable sugars in this recipe, without balancing anything else. Why? What was I thinking? I have no idea. But at least it’s an easy problem to fix!

Brew date: 6/16/19

Steeping grains
5 lb 2 row-Copeland pils
3 lb Vienna

Fermentables: 7 lb ExLME

2 oz Mt Hood @ 60
2 oz Amarillo @flameout

Yeast: Imperial’s Tartarn, 3rd use

OG: 1.09

FG: 1.01

Secondary: 7/4

Bottled: 7/7

ABV: 10.8%

IPA 2 2019

Second IPA homebrew of the year!

The nose has a bit more citrus to it, less dank forest, but some of that foresty quality shows up too.

IPA 2 2019The reason this version has more citrus going on is because the OBC was gifted a bunch of Mount Hood hops and I figure; hey, let’s just use a bunch of these. So I deviated from the standard recipe in order to use them. I can’t be surprised that the beer is a little different.

The finishing bitterness is still pretty intense though and more old school bitter, piney so I’m keeping at least some of the qualities I’d expected. Good drinkin’ beer.

Brew date: 5/19/19

Steeping grains
7 lb Lamonta
1.25 Encore

Fermentables: 5 lb ExLME

1oz Centennial, Mt Hood @60
.5 oz Mt Hood @ 30
.5 oz Mt Hood, Centennial @5

Yeast: Imperial Dry Hop (2nd use)

OG: 1.077
FG: 1.014

2ndary 6/4: Added 1oz Mt Hood, .5 oz Centennial to secondary

Bottled: 6/8

ABV: 8.5%