Category Archives: homebrew


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%

The In Between

Brown/porter homebrew picI was shooting for a brown and it’s…almost there? The flavor profile might be a little strong and the beer might be a touch dark. I just can’t quite seem to hold back on the dark malts, I suppose. Maybe next time half of each.

Nose has a pleasant chocolate quality and while it doesn’t fade out completely, it doesn’t come on too strong, either.

Still, this makes a decent enough porter wannabe. On the sweeter side, with the chocolate flavors but a tiny bit of roasted malt on the finish to shore it up. And it finishes drier than I’d expect, too. Quite drinkable, definitely a candidate for drinking another.

Brew date: 5/12/19

Steeping grains
1 lb Chocolate
1 lb Red X
1 Lb Carabrown

Fermentables: 7 lb ExLME

1 oz Saaz @ 60
.5 oz Saaz @ 30
.5 oz Saaz @5

Yeast: Imperial Tartarn (2nd use)

OG: 1.059
FG: 1.014

Secondary 5/25
Bottled 5/27

ABV: 6.1%

First IPA 2019

First homebre IPA 2019It’s the first homebrew IPA of the year!

I’m trying a few new things this year. First: IPAs themselves.

Second: I’m trying to condense the time spent from brew to bottle. If I can get a beer bottled in three weeks, that would be ideal. Fresher IPAs are notably better and better beer is the goal.

The bottling process did not go smoothly, though. The hop pellets I added to secondary broke up into tiny pieces and I didn’t think to strain them out. This meant that my bottling gear got jammed up and the process of un-jamming it both made a huge mess and opened the beer up to contamination. I think I got lucky enough to miss the contamination part, but the cleanup was a pain. Something to fix in the next batch.

The nose is tilted towards pine, but it isn’t overwhelming. Still, it is present throughout the glass, thanks to some consistent bubbly head forming all the way down.

The overall flavor though, is muted. I’d almost go so far as to say bland? There’s some malt there, some bitterness on the finish; this beer isĀ  only cloudy due to my imperfect process, likely resulting in chill haze, not because it’s a juicebox. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t stand out either and I wish it had a little more character. Again, something to work on as I go.

Brew date: 4.7.19

Steeping grains
7 lb 2 row
1.25 lb C60

Fermentables: 5 lb ExLME

1 oz Centennial @80
1 oz Centennial, Cascade @15
.5 oz Centennial, Cascade @ cooldown

Yeast: Imperial Dry hop

OG: 1.08
FG: 1.016

Transfer to secondary: 4/26, .5 oz Centennial, Cascade hops added

Bottled 4/30

ABV: 8.7%

Final Dream

I forgot to get a photo of this, sadly. But I promise, it looked like a stout, no question: very dark and like a light repellent.

Nose has both chocolate and marijuana in it. They’re both fighting pretty hard for dominance but the edge goes to the marijuana. Even 2/3 of the way through the beer, the marijuana is coming on strong.

Chocolate kicks in more as I drink it, but it’s never enough to deny the marijuana flavors entry to my taste buds. I went hard on the pot in this beer and it shows.
The finish is a little dry, little sharp; the chocolate flavor doesn’t have much sweetness coming with it. It’s also nicely effervescent, so it feels light on the tongue, despite having flavors that are strong and linger on my palate.
Brew date: 2/27/19
Steeping grains

1 lb Chocolate 

3 lb Maris Otter

3 LB Ballad

.5 lb Carabrown, Obsidian

Fermentables:5 lb LME

Marijuana: 2 and 1/8ths oz Blue Dream

Yeast: Imperial’s Tartan

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.016

Bottled 3/30

ABV: 7.3%

Last of the Ambers

homebrew Amber AleAt least from the 2018 run of beer.

I really dig the nose on this; pleasantly bready and yeasty. It’s not as clear or bright as I would hope for but that’s a pretty low level complaint, all things considered.

With that, I think I’m reviewing this beer near the end of its life cycle; that is, it’s very, very bubbly. That isn’t the end of the world, either but it IS not what I would consider “to style”.

I wish there was a little more malt here, a little more density. It’s perfectly drinkable, but it’s just shy of the mark. I seem to remember that it was better, a couple weeks ago when I first cracked it open.

Something to think about.

Brew Date: 1/6/19

Steeping Grains
3 lb 2 row
1 lb Chorus
2 lb Vienna
1 lb Blue Ballard
.5 lb C60

Fermentables: 4 lb EXLME

.5 oz Loral and Azacca @60
.5 oz Loral and Azacca @5

Yeast: Imperial Flagship (3rd use)

OG: 1.072

FG: 1.012

Bottled: 2/10

ABV: 8.1%

Dream Stout Part X

Marijuana porterThe nose is very chocolate malt forward, a little dry and roasty, too. And this beer delivers on those flavors: maybe a little more roasted than sweet, but chocolate is there and the finish is quite dry- surprisingly so, to me.

The marijuana flavors are almost completely covered up, which I think is a positive. However, this beer is stronger in that realm than it lets on. If I have three of these in an evening, I can tell that my mental faculites are a little different and I can wake up with a marijuana hangover; feeling a little sluggish and dense until I get moving.

It’s a pretty tasty beverage though and I am pleased with how these have come out. I’m also looking forward to making something different, as there have been a LOT of marijuana beers in the past year.

Brew date: 12/23/18

Steeping grains
1 lb Chocolate
.5 lb Brown malt, obsidian barley
.25 lb roasted barley
1.5 lb maris otter
3 lb Lamonta, pale high color

Fermentables: 4 lb ExLME

1 oz Nugget @60
1 oz Blue Dream (marijuana) @ 60

Yeast: Imperial’s Darkness 3rd and final use

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.018

Bottled on 1/13/19

ABV: 6.4%