Tag Archives: recipes

Halloween Amber

Halloween Amber ale, in glass on kitchen countertop

The nose is pleasantly malty-caramel with a smidge of grain! I like it.

The middle is a little thin-there’s a very steady carbonic element to this beer. On the one hand, that makes it a very drinkable beer-it clears out well, it’s good to pair with food.

On the other, it gets going so early that it wrecks the midrange flavors pretty hard. That doesn’t make it a bad beer-but it does keep it from being all it can be, in my opinion.

However, the plus that it goes well with nachos cannot be overshadowed by these minor quibbles.

Brew date: 9/5/22

Steeping grains
4 lb Eureka
1 lb C15
4 lb Pale toasted 2 row

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

@ 60 .5 oz Zamba, 1 oz Motueka
@5 .5 oz Zamba, 1 oz Motueka

Yeast: Imperial Tartan

OG: 1.055

FG: 1.011

ABV: 6%

Fresh Hop 2022

Two jars of fresh hops on a countertop

We have hops that a friend of mine grew, so that I could make an attempt at brewing a fresh hop ale. One jar full of Mt Hood, the other Cascade hops, and here’s what the result was.

Of note, I’m reviewing this beer in October-which is relevant b/c I don’t want the audience to think I’m writing about a beer that’s old.

It’s sweet. Too sweet for what I designed, and it’s too dark, as well. I suspect, but have no way of confirming, that the extra light malt extract I asked for was not extra light. 

Visually, you can just tell, right?

It looks like an amber. It’s got a hop profile that can probably be considered similar as well: very muted, with maybe a little bitterness on the finish but nothing particularly special about it.

Fresh hop ale in glass on counter

Which is a little disappointing! I was hoping to profile some hops here.

Brew Date: 9/4/22

Steeping Grains
7 lb toasted pale 2 row
2lb Eureka pale

Fermentables: 4 lb ExLME

Most of the Cascade, a little Mt Hood @60
Rest of Mt hood, little Cascadia @5
*I didn’t have a scale to weigh things out

Yeast: Imperial’s Flagship

OG: 1.066

FG: 1.013

Bottled 9/11 (I FORGOT)

ABV: 7.2%

Summer Pale

This pale has a good nose; just a little floral. But…most of my beers have had an excess carbonation-as you might see from the head on this beer.

The nose fades quickly, which isn’t so bad, the malts get a chance to step in but not very long. The effervescence of the beer starts rapidly, and its very, very prominent.

The tingle remains on my tongue long after the beer is gone.

It isn’t bad, but something went awry and I’m not sure what or why. It isn’t contaminated, I’m relatively certain of that. There arn’t the kind of off flavors that would be associated with contamination.

But, the overcarbonation does suggest something was amiss.

Still, it’s drinkable, and goes well with nachos. Hard to complain about that.

My failure to attach a recipe however, IS a problem. I’m usually really good about this!

Ah well. If this is the big mistake of 2022, then I’m getting off pretty light.

This will be the last post until Wed, Nov 30th so I can go on vacation. Cheers!

Amberish 2022

Amber ale in glass on table outside

The nose fades quickly, unfortunately. But what I can get is some malt, and some yeast-the bread dough moment. It’s only there for a whiff, but it was there. Once the head fades, there’s some caramel malt but again, it isn’t very strong.

It’s a good foreshadowing though for the caramel quality in the middle of the beer. That’s prominent and well established. 

The finish gets interesting. Although there isn’t a strong head on this amber, it is persistent, and establishes itself well through the final notes of the beer. There isn’t a lingering hop quality, but there isn’t that sour rebel note from too much sweetness, either. 

All in all I think I’ve got a winner here. 

Brew date: 5.29.22

Steeping grains
7 lb Evergreen plale
1 lb melanoidin
.5 lb Victory

Fermentables: 4 lb ExLME

.25 oz Ekuanot, .75oz Styran Koldings @60
1.75 oz Ekuanot, .25 oz Goldings @ 5

Yeast: Imperial Flagship (2nd use)

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.012

Water adjustments: .5 tsp Gypsum at boil

Bottled 6/5/22

ABV: 6.8%

June Pale

Pale gone Amber, in glass on my desk

I know it doesn’t look like a pale. I blame the Light malt extract, instead of the extra light.

That’s OK! It’s just color and a little more caramel in the middle of the beer. I ain’t mad about it. I’m a little less enamored with my efforts to get some homes in the nose. I would’ve thought that a 1.5 ounces with five minutes left in the boil would do the trick. I may need to ask some people about that one, because while this beer isn’t bad it doesn’t have some of the sensory qualities I associate with a pale.

Brew Date: 6.12.22

Steeping grains
3.5 lb 6 row
3.5 lv Toasted pale 2
1 lb Munich

Fermentables: 4 lb Light Malt Extract

@60 1 oz Mt Hood, 1oz Warrior
@30 .5 oz Warrior
@5 1oz Mt hood, .5 oz Warrior

Yeast: Imperial Flagship (3rd use)

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.012

Bottled: 6/23

ABV: 6.8%


A pale ale that isn't so pale in a glass on a table indoors.

This pale isn’t a pale. I recall what I was trying for but the malts (Likely the Opals) are just too dang dark. This might be getting in the way of the hops as well, because there isn’t a strong hop value, olfactory.

But that’s about the worst of it, honestly. What I’m experiencing after that is a pleasant beer, almost amber-ish in it’s normalcy. The kind of beer that might be easy to overlook because it isn’t presenting a lot of dominant flavors.

Until you get to the finish, and then there’s enough of a hop bite there to get something going. I did something right, that’s for sure.

Honestly, I’ve always had difficulty getting some hop nose in my beers, but if this is my result, I’m hard pressed to complain. It’s not quite what it’s supposed to be, but it’s still pretty decent.

Brew Date: 5/8/22

Steeping grains
6 lb Lamenta Pale
1 lb Barke vienna
1.5 lb Opal 22

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

1 oz Zamba, .5 oz Evergreen @60
.5 oz Zamba @15
.25 oz Zamba, .5 oz Evergreen@5

Yeast: Imperial’s Flagship

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.012

Additions: 1/2 tsp Gypsum pre-boil
1/2 tsp Irish moss @5 (for clarity)

Bottled: 5/22

ABV: 6.5%


Pale ale in glass on kitchen countertop

The pale is messed from the nose. It smells a bit dirty and that scent reappears on the finish. It’s a bit like I’ve licked a rock.

Which is a bummer. I’m reviewing this beer a little late in its life cycle-which might have something to do with it? But it’s not good at this point and I think it may have gone stale. Because I don’t remember it tasting like this for the previous 40 bottles I was able to sip on.

This beer also seems to improve as it warms up; the dusty quality diminishes. But it isn’t one I’d be pleased to give to a stranger.

Brew date: 4/17/22

Steeping grains
3 lb True British Ale malt
5 lb Evergreen pale
.5 lb Eureka

Fermentables: 4 lb Extra Light Malt Extract

Hops: .34 oz Sultana & .5 oz Mt Hood @60

Added 1 tsp Gypsum to the water

Yeast: Imperial House (3rd use)

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.012

Bottled 5/1

ABV: 7.9%

The Carabohemian

Strong amber ale in glass in kitchen

The nose on this is just a great maltiness; I don’t even remember it smelling that good when I bought the malts-but, I think that one thing to remember is that malt that has been steeped develops flavors.

This one has its own scent-not quite bread, not the roasted character of a stout. Stops just shy of an amber’s caramel roast, I’d say.

And it’s really drinkable. There’s a spark of bitterness on the finish-but the fact that I only used one ounce of hops for bittering really shows.

The scent of the hops though, that doesn’t quite come out. While I’m not sure why this is, I’m happy with this beer all the same. It is a little sweet, but not cloying, has just enough bitterness stepping in after I’ve swallowed the beer to clear off everything, and has a good scent to it.

Let’s do this one again.

Brew date: 2/13/22

Steeping grains
7 lb Finest Golden Promise
1 lb Carabohemian

Fermentables: 4 lb LLM extract

.5 oz Sephir and Galaxy @60
.25 oz Sephir and Galaxy @30
.25 oz Galaxy and 1.25 oz Sephir @5

Yeast: Imperial House (3rd use)

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.015

1 tsp Gypsum added
1 tsp Irish Moss
Bottled 2/21

ABV: 7.4%

Imperial Amber 2022 v.2

Hitting the ground running with this beer.

The nose seems a little sweeter than average. The caramel malts are there but there’s also an additional sweetness that isn’t quite expected. It’s not offputting, but it isn’t normal.

Drinking it, the weight of the beer is a touch more than expected. It isn’t quite thick, but it doesn’t rest lightly on the tongue.

It’s a solid beer nonetheless.

Brew date: 3.12.22

Steeping grains
.75 lb Carabohemian
7 lb Talisman british
1 lb Eureka

Fermentables: 6 lb Light Malt Extract

.75 oz East Kent Goldings, .5 oz Pearle @60
.25 oz EKG, .5 oz Pearle @5

Yeast: Imperial House (2nd use)

OG: 1.08

FG: 1.012

Bottled: 4/2

ABV: 9.2%

Strong Amber Ale

Amber ale in glass on table

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to bottle this beer as quickly as I have in the past, so I boosted the malts in this to give it a little more life.

The nose has some malt quality-is almost touching a roasted quality-but, interestingly enough, also has a smidge of dried fruit to it. (I like the word smidge). The sweetness bears that dried fruit quality well so when it comes back in the last third of the beer, it ties nicely together.

This amber is a little stronger than average: I knew it would have to ferment for two weeks instead of one before bottling, due to my schedule. I tried to amp it up a wee bit so that it would stay drinkable.

I’d say that worked out! It’s not boozy by any means but I’d say there’s an element of robustness.

Brew date: 2/26/22

Steeping grains
7.5 Lb Evergreen pale malt
.5 lb Amber malt

4 lb extra light extract

.75 oz Northern Brewer, .75 oz Multihead @60
.25 oz N Brewer, 1.25 oz Multihead @5

1 tsp Irish Moss in flameout
1 tsp Gypsum in preboil

Yeast: Imperial’s House

OG: 1.063

FG: 1.01

Bottled 3/5

ABV: 7.2%