Tag Archives: recipes

Brown #1

32600157634_2587a5a9c1_cIt begins! Long time readers of the blog might remember that last year, I tried making pale ales (every other batch, to be precise) in order to find and properly execute a recipe that I liked.

It was a good experience, and there will be more opportunities to make pales ales but this year, I’m changing to brown ales. Brown ales come in two major categories: English and American. I can’t say I have a favored style at the moment, I just know that the commercial versions of this style that I’ve had, I’ve liked. But they appear infrequently so it’s time to brew my own.

There’s a dark malt note in the nose (when I get to it) that isn’t flawed but…it feels incorrect.

Which is not a bad description for the beer at large. It’s drinkable, yes, but there’s also a molasses flavor, both sweet and sulfur, that is far, far too strong for the kind of beer I was aiming for.

As with my last beer, B#1 suffers from staying a little too long in the bottle. It doesn’t taste infected though, so whatever bonuses I can take from that, I will.

Brew date: 1/8/17

Malts
.5 light roast barley
1 lb chocolate
1 lb C 120
1 lb Carapils

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

Hops
1.5 oz Nugget @60
.5 oz Nugget @ 5

Yeast: Imperial Darkness (3rd use, starter made)

Forgot to get FG readings and…so I don’ t know how strong this beer is. That is too bad, as it could’ve told me some information but I think next time, I maybe have to leave out the roast barley.

It’s Solid, If You Can Get To It

33040749792_ae524e0ba6_cI know what it looks like…it looks impossible.

It also looks infected: some of the other beers I have made have had similar issues, visually, which corresponded to something going wrong with the flavor.

I’m pleased to say that’s not the case this time: the nose is definitely more malty, with a pleasant orange sweetness wrapped in there. The taste is undercut by the effervescence, the pops of tiny bubbles sweeping away flavors. But it’s pleasant and drinkable and once I give the beer time for the head to settle out (five minutes, tops!), there’s even a smidgen of a hop bite at the end.

So what’s causing this?

Well, in January I was a steward for the Oregon Beer Awards, where a bunch of experts tried over 900 beers (we poured over 3,000 samples on Saturday alone, I was told), and at the end of Saturday the organizers said to the serving staff: “None of this beer can stay here. Take it all home!”

I walked out of there with three cases of hastily assembled beer from all over Oregon.

Drinking three cases of beer takes time. Even for me. The consequence of doing so, however, meant that all of this beer spent a few weeks longer in the bottle than it normally would and that, I believe, lead to the carbonation levels.

The proof will be in my next couple batches of beer, though. If those are also overcarbonated but taste fine then the hypothesis is supported. If not, well then maybe I just got lucky with this batch.

Brew date: 12/15/16

Steeping Malts
3 lb 2 Row
2 lb Metolius
2.5 lb Golden Promise

Fermentables:5 lb EXLME

Hops
1 oz Sorachi Ace@ 60
.5 oz Medusa@ 60
.5 oz Sorachi Ace @60
.5 oz Medusa & Sorachi Ace @5

Yeast: Imperial- Barbarian, 3rd use

OG: 1.08

FG: 1.019

Additions: 1/2 tsp Gypsum added to boil
Pinch of Irish Moss @flameout

Secondary 12/30/16: 1 oz Medusa in secondary

Bottled 1/2/17

ABV: 8.3%

S.A.D. 2

31216209232_9d05c10374_cWe are getting to the end of my year of pale ales. I may not have made it explicit, but I was trying to engineer a pale ale that I liked and could make regularly-or on request-because it’s a pretty common style. I’d like to improve on some basics and so a lot of practice was done in 2016. In this case, I went after a repeat of a successful recipe.

The hop nose is faint but I can tell the Columbus hops are there. The is a definite spike in the bitterness on the finish but before I get there it’s got a pleasant sweetness, very much like an orange with a tiny bit of caramel drizzle over it. It’s also pleasantly dense: got enough body to it to justify itself, along with encouraging having another beer.

I have to say, I’m fairly pleased with this and think that some version of it should work its way into my regular rotation.

Brew date: 10/14/16

Steeping grains
1.5 lb Munich
1.5 lb Vienna

Fermentables: 7 lb extra light malt extract

Hops
1 oz Columbus @60
.5 oz Simco @60

Yeast: Imperial Barbarian

OG: 1.064

FG: 1.014

Secondary 10/28, added .5 oz Simcoe hops

ABV: 6.8

Bottled 10/30

Resisting Puns

30715895215_a52454e624_cWhen an IPA is made with rye malt, it’s pretty difficult to refuse a cutesy name. There’s rhyming schemes that human brains just like a lot and the temptation hangs out there, like a free beer.

But I’m not going to do it, I tells ya. Smarter (and dumber) people than I have had their way with the name and I just won’t do it.

The nose is a little resiny, nothing too strong but pleasant, for it’s faintness. The body is dense enough to hold up the bitterness on the finish. Definitely a sweet note in the middle that’s tempered with some orange flavor before that finish comes up.

It’s alright. But I mean this in the best way, because a good beer that hits the acceptable standard is sometimes hard to praise or talk up. It’s worth having and even getting another. That’s pretty good!

I don’t think it’ll win me any medals but it won’t make me any enemies either.

Brew date: 11-Sep

Steeping grains:
2lb rye
1 lb victory
1lb Maris Otter

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

Hops:
1.25 oz Columbus @ 60
.25 oz Equinox, .5 oz Columbus @30
.25 oz Equinox, .5 oz Columbus @5

Yeast: Imperial Independence, 3rd use

OG: 1.071

TG: 1.019

Notes:
1/4 tsp Irish Moss@ 5
.5 oz Equinox in secondary
Secondary 10/5

ABV: 7%

9x This

30241084040_ac2e532d37_cWe have the ninth attempt at a pale ale!

The nose is faintly citrus; almost like a good soap. The end also has a bit of this quality too, which might be an element of the hops. This beer isn’t terrible by any means but it faintly has a cilantro or soapy quality to the finish that is really keeping it from being one I can enjoy with relish. This could be the result of leaving the beer in primary too long, or it could be the hops and I suppose the only way to tell for sure will be to try it again.

On the other hand, this beer looks great-a really nice gold with decent clarity. There is a solid note of malt in the middle, so that part is holding. But I think the bittering hops need to be changed up: this finish is not what I’m looking for. I can see why grapefruit is so emphasized as the bittering flavor in IPAs but if I wanted “juicy” I would just buy OJ.

Brew date: 9/5/16

Steeping grains
4 lb Full pint
2 lb Vienna
2 lb C15

Fermentables: 4 lb EXLME

Hops
1.5 oz Columbus @ 60
.25 oz Simco, .5 oz Columbus @30
1.5 oz Columbus @ 20

Yeast: Wyeast 1084 (3rd, final use)

OG: 1.07

FG: 1.01

Notes:
1/2 tsp gypsum added to the wort
Yeast starter made, smelled very fruity

Secondary on 9/21, added .5 oz Simco

Bottle 9/25

ABV: 8.1%

Version 4.0, or is it 5?

This is the latest swing at a pale this year.

The nose has just the barest inflection of hops, replaced instead with a bit of a yeast. The sweet-raisin note is there but it’s not strong.

The middle is practically nonexistent, the beer swept away by the carbonation on the finish.

I seem to be missing more than I hit in this project. Part of this is certainly due to the manner that I add sugar to the beer when I’m bottling. I’m currently experimenting with adding less sugar to the bottling process (2 cups water, now down to 1/3rd cup sugar) in order to prevent “over-conditioning” if you will. It’s a very fizzy beer!

That isn’t bad, exactly but it’s certainly distracting and that process may be giving the yeast more life than I’d like.

Brew date: 4/11/16

Steeping grains
7 lb Maris Otter
1 lb Saccha 50

Fermentables: 3.5 lb LME

Hops
1 oz Glacier & 1 oz Amarillo @60
1 oz Glacier @30
1 oz Amarillo pellets@5

Yeast: Imperial House (3rd and final use)

OG: 1.069
Forgot to get FG! Sigh.

Secondary on 4/28
Added 1oz Glacier hops to secondary

Here’s Your Biscuit

26511963883_c5d941a085_cThis brew has a doughy-sweet nose.  The midrange is got a bit of roasted malt flavor in there, not quite coffee but definitely within spitting distance. The finish is very clean and that’s a huge bonus.

What I’m really pleased about is that this beer is a clear step above the last amber I made. It feels better on the tongue (a little denser) and has a richer flavor that I was shooting for last time.

Now, I’m not going to lay all of this on the addition of biscuit malt but…it didn’t hurt! It’s not quite perfect but it is pretty good. I’ll make it again.

Also: this was a beer I made with Imperial’s House yeast-a second use-and I feel like it worked out just fine. The clean finish on this beer really helps seal the deal for me.

Brew date: 2/15/16

Steeping grains
1.5 lb Belgian biscuit
3 lb Maris otter
1 lb 2 row
2 lb C120

Fermentables: 4 lb LME

Hops
1 oz Dom Goldings (from C40 pale)
1 oz Palisade @60
1 oz Palisade @15

Yeast: Imperial House yeast (2nd use)

forgot to get Original Grafity

FG: 1.018 (and this is a pretty solid number, I think)

Secondary 3/4
Bottled 3/6