Tag Archives: recipe

Sorachi Ace Rye

I had read about a rye ale that used Sorachi Ace hops to give it a lemony quality, complimenting the rye and I thought: I can do that! I have made rye ales before and they’ve been pretty good. All I need to do is add in some Sorachi Ace hops and bingo! Right?

Not exactly. What I didn’t take into consideration was how subtle SA hops are. I should have hopped this more like an IPA, in order to get the effect I was looking for.

Instead, what I got is as solid beer with a heavy rye presence and maybe just a touch of the roasted quality you might find in a good Scotch ale. What there isn’t, however, is much-if any-of the qualities of the hops.

There’s nothing wrong with this beer at all…so long as you don’t know that I was trying to add in the Sorachi Ace qualities. I think I’d like to take another swing at this beer, because all the groundwork is done: it’s as good beer at base. That it didn’t come out the way I hoped is a positive sign for me and my work as a brewer, because this beer isn’t flawed, it’s just not what I hoped for.

I seem to be doing more beers like this, lately: they aren’t flawed, they just miss my mental target. I can build on that.

Brew Date: 12.8.13

Steeping Grains
3 lb 2 Row
2 lb C80
1 lb Crystal Rye

Fermentables: 3 lb LME

1/8th oz Cascade in preboil
1 oz Sorachi Ace @ 60
.5 oz Sorachi Ace @ 20
.5 oz Sorachi Ace @ 5

Yeast: Wyeast 1272 American II

OG: 1.054

FG: 1.016

Put into secondary on 12.18
Bottled 12.22

ABV: 5.14%

(Not a) Winter Ale

When is a winter warmer not a winter warmer? When I forget to put the spices in that would make this beer a winter ale (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and/or ginger).

Sigh. Ah well: Sometimes these things happen. I tried to make up for it by adding orange blossom tea in secondary, to add some complexity to what I was pretty sure was going to be an overly boozy tasting ale. It mostly worked!

There’s a strong caramel presence throughout the majority of this beer, with the orange blossom tea serving as a highlight until the end when the tea bitterness kicks in. It’s probable that this bitterness is combining with the hop bitterness but the dominant flavor is one that resembles black tea, along with a slightly oversweet maltiness. It’s not a terrible beer but it definitely tastes incomplete.

Brew Date: 11.11.13

Steeping Grains
3 lb C 80
3 lb Maris Otter
2 lb 2 row

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

.5 oz Nugget @ 60 (some in preboil)
.5 oz Millennium @ 60
.25 oz Mt Hood @ 30
.5 oz Palisade @20
.25 oz Palisade & Millennium @ 5

Yeast: Hopworks ale yeast (Wyeast 1811, I think).

OG: 1.092

FG: 1.03

Put into secondary: 11.22
Added some orange blossom tea (handful)

ABV: 8.4%

Better Red Than Dead

I may not have shared this before, but I’ve been trying to make a really balanced red ale for a little while now. Something with a solid malt presence but legitimate hop characteristics in the nose and finish. Too dark and malty to be called a pale, but not bitter enough to be an IPA. I don’t even know if such a style really exists because red ales tend to emphasize malt and pales tend to lean hops, but this is what I’m shooting for.

This beer is the closest I’ve come to that, so far. It’s pretty good and I’m mostly pleased with that.

There is a little bit of a bite on the very finish; I’m having trouble sussing out if it’s metallic or just really dry. There may be a yeast impact that I haven’t accounted for and that may be because this yeast was on it’s third and final pass, or it’s possible I didn’t clean properly and a mild infection set in. Still, this is a batch that I should transition into a partial-grain brew, because I want to try it again. A different yeast and I think I might have a real winner on my hands.

Brew Date: 11.23.13

Steeping grains:
1.5 lb Maris Otter
1.5 lb Victory

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

.75 oz Wakatu pellet hops @ 60
.25 oz Glacier @ 60
.5 oz Chinook @ 30
.5 oz Glacier @20
.25 oz Wakatu & Glacier @5

reused Wyeast 1332-3rd final use

OG: 1.068

FG: 1.012

Put into secondary 12.13, .5 oz Chinook in secondary
Bottled 12.14

ABV: 7.58

Hazelnut Porter (again)

If it was good once, then make it again, right? As with before, I don’t have a brilliant backstory here. I just liked this beer before and with winter descending upon the city, what could be better than a hazelnut and chocolate porter?

This time I added more Frangelico to secondary to boost the hazelnut flavor and it seemed to work out great. I also didn’t add any bottling sugar to this batch because the Frangelico is such a sweet liquor. I think it paid off, because this isn’t too heavy or sweet yet it’s still properly carbonated, which suggests the yeasts came alive and did their thing.

Brew Date: 11/3/13

Steeping Grains:
.5 lb Caramunich
.5 white wheat
1 lb Chocolate
.25 lb Black Patent

Fermentables: 7 lb Light Malt Extract

.75 oz Nugget @ 60
.75 oz Palisade @ 60
1/8th oz Nugget @25
1/8th oz Palisade @25
.5 oz Ahtanum @25
.5 oz Ahtanum @ 5

Yeast: Wyeast 1332 NW ale (2nd use)

OG: 1.068

FG: 1.013

Notes: I went a little over time, trying to get the wort back up to temp after adding the light malt extract. Maybe 10 minutes.

Put into secondary: 11.20
Soked cocoa nibs in Frangelico for 4 days, then added 3/4ths of a fifth of it to secondary.

Bottled 11.24
ABV: 7.45%

Red Ale 2013

This ale was merely OK. I had attempted to hop this a bit more but it just didn’t bear out. In this case, I blame my own brewing schedule. For some brews, I won’t use my entire stock of hops, so I’ll put them in a plastic bag and keep them in the fridge until I brew next. Sometimes, though weeks can pass before I use them and old hops just aren’t as effective a fresh ones.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been reducing the amount of hops I’ve used in my beers. This I blame on bad habit: it used to be that hops came in two ounce packages and now they come in one. So now when I go to put hops in a beer, I have less than I had for the first seven years I spent brewing! Sure, I make it work but the fact of the matter is: I need to pay attention and buy enough of what I need to make a beer work.

Brew date: 10.12.13

2 lb 2 row
3 lb pale
1 lb C80
1 lb Vienna
.5 lb C120

Fermentables: 3 lb LME

.25 oz Wakuna in preboil
.5 oz Wakuna @ 60
.25 oz Millenium @60
.25 oz Millenium @ 30
.25 oz Mt Hood @ 30
.25 oz Wakuna @30

Yeast: Reuse Wyeast 1813-final use

OG: 1.058

FG: 1.014

2ndary 10.24

ABV: 5.96

Not Quite A Pale

My latest batch came out fairly nicely. I think it will go well with Thanksgiving dinner, if I can save some until then…

I get a bit of toffee and orange in the nose. This beer is reasonably malt sweet but the hops seem to be just enough to keep it in line. There is definitely a orangeish citrus presence in this beer. Even in the finish there’s an element of sucking on the last of an orange wedge after a soccer game. Except with alcohol, which, excepting fire, makes everything better.

It’s a little higher in ABV than I usually hit but I’m not going to complain: it’s a solid beverage and I can drink a couple of them before calling it a night. That said, pale ales tend to have more hop presence and this just doesn’t. I’ve been rather restrained in my hop additions lately and I suppose that it’s starting to show.

Brew date: 9.14.13

Steeping Grains:
Added less than 1/8th tsp Calcium salts
.75 lb Biscuit
.75 lb C40
8 oz C120

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

1 oz Mt Hood @ 60
1/4 oz Falconer’s Flight @ 60
.5 oz Mt Hood @30
.5 oz Mt Hood @ 5

Wyeast 1332 NW ale-starter made day before

OG: 1.068

FG: 1.012

ABVL 7.5%

Bottled 10.5

Han & Chewie Ale

I totally ripped the idea for this beer of from someone else, who made a beer called Millennium Falcon that I saw at Baileys.  However, because I was only stealing the idea not the recipe, I decided that Han & Chewie Ale was a cooler name.

This is also the beer I submitted to OBC Fall Classic competition. It did OK, scoring about 32 out of 50 which might seem low but we’re pretty hard on our beers in Portland. That said: I entered it as an English IPA and they seemed to get a more balanced beer between the malt and hops and less a hop-centered ale. That is my fault for not knowing my beer styles well enough to properly categorize the ale for competition.

Despite all that, it’s a pretty good beer and for non-competition purposes, very much worth drinking. I’ll take that.

Brew date: 9.8.13

Steeping Grains:
2 lb C40
1 lb C120
1 lb Victory
1 lb Munich

Fermentables: 4 lb Liquid LME

.25 oz Falconer @ 60 (some in preboil)
.5 oz Millenium @ 60
.5 oz Millenium @ 30
.5 oz Falconer @ 30
2.75 oz Cascade (fresh) @ 5

Yeast: reused Wyeast London 1318

OG: 1.05

FG: 1.013

Put into secondary on 9.17
Added .25 oz Falconer hops

Bottle 9.21

ABV: 5.01%

Golden Blunders

The title is misleading: this golden ale came out great! But I can’t pass up a chance to reference the Posies when I get one.

There’s not much more to say here: It was a success, tasted good and had a great look to it. Funny story: while I was cooling this beer, I had to stick my hand in the wort when it was about 80 degrees in order to retrieve a thermometer. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to this beer since I had to stick my filthy claw into it. I’ve actually called this beer Golden Claw in my notes. Gives it that ‘Sinister Organization out to Kill James Bond’ feel.

Let’s bring on the recipe!

Steeping Grains
.5 lb 2 row
.5 lb Munich
.25 lb munich 20

7 lb LME

.75 ozo El Dorado @ 60
.25 oz El Dorado, Tradition & Summit @ 40
.5 Tradition @ 15
1/4 tsp Irish Moss for clarity

reused Laurelwood from Red ESBish, did starter w/1 gal water, 1 cup sugar




Amber Recipe

This is gonna be what it says it is, about this beer.

Brew Date 4.1.12

 Steeping Grains:
.5 lb 2 row
.5 lb C120
.25 lb rye
.25 lb red wheat malt
7 lb LME
1.5 oz Crystal @ 60
1.5 oz Crystal @ 40
1 oz Pearle @ 20
Reused Pacman yeast from IPA
Boil was a little hot–over 200 in places but not crazy. We’ll see…
Put into 2ndary 4.10
Bottled 4.28
ABV: 5.56%

I don’t like the stout but the stout likes me

While it is true that I don’t like to go out on St. Patrick’s Day, I still really enjoy stouts. As a matter of fact the last stout I made has shown a marked improvement on my previous efforts, as it has the mouthfeel I’d expect from the style; creamy and easy drinking with very little of the coffee bitterness, just the coffee flavor. A definite winner for me.

Ginger stout '10Still no (or very low) carbonation but that can be forgiven in this case. What I’m really looking at is the use of the C-20 malts, as I think that may’ve contributed to the moutfeel.  Recipe is as follows:

Grains steeped for about an hour
1 lb chocolate malt
.5 lb C-20
1 lb Black Patent

Fermentable malts
7 Light Malt Extract

1 oz Nugget @70
.75 oz mystery pellets @ 40 (I used to know the name and then the marker on the bag rubbed off)

1 1.8th oz Ginger @ 30

Wyeast American Ale 1272

Initial Gravity was 1.07
Terminal Gravity 1.02

Personal Notes:  I added the fermentable sugars late to the boil and it dropped the temperature so I ended up waiting for the  wort to come back up to about 170 degrees (or so). This meant I boiled the ginger for longer than I meant to. The wort was starting to smell just a bit vegetal and I was starting to worry. Luckily, everything came out great.