Tag Archives: recipes

Oct Pale Ale

The nose isn’t bad; a whiff of citrus is there but it’s largely malt, which is not what I was looking for. I might have to start adding hops in the following days, after the initial yeast activity, if I want to really get something in the nose, because this isn’t doing it.

October pale ale on kitchen counter

There’s also a rather prominent run of malt in here. So the hops really aren’t getting to shine much. Even the finish isn’t offering me much bitterness.

Honestly, this might not make a bad red ale-it’s dark enough and there’s enough sweetness but…how the heck did I get here?
And then I see it; Light malt extract, not extra light-so the malts were going to be pushed more than the hops I was adding in.

It’s not bad, but I possibly mismanaged my expectations.

Brew date: 10/4/20

Steeping grains
4 lb Golden Promise
4 lb Genie Pale

Fermentables: 3 lb LME

.25 oz Pallisade 1oz Galena @60
1 oz Galena, .75 oz Pallisade @5

Yeast: Imperial’s Loki

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.012

Bottled: 10/11

ABV: 7.2%


Inspired by this article about festbiers, I thought: hey, I should make one of those! Soooo here we are.

Malty and caramel-but not toffee, so not as rich or deep. It’s pretty tasty; nice effervescence on the finish, so it clears off the palate nice.

Is there just a drop of butteryness in there? I think there might be. But a small flaw in a beer that’s quite drinkable. It actually fits well with the early Autumn; clean enough that if it’s warm, that suits the day, but matly enough that on those cooler days, more of this seems good.

Brew Date: 9/5/20

Steeping Grains
4 lb Munich
4 lb Vienna

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

1.5 oz N Brewer, .25 oz Nugget @60
.5 N Brewer, Nugget @5

Yeast: Imperial Pub

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.011

Bottled 9/12

ABV: 6.9%

Cream Tea Ale

Cream ale with tea

This one…is a weird one.

The nose has an herbal quality and the flavors are, unfortunately, dominated by the tea-in this case there’s a cinnamon quality that really overrides most everything.

But it isn’t spicy and it isn’t undrinkable. It’s got a nice dry finish and the tannins from the tea haven’t made it bitter.

However, it doesn’t play nice with other flavors. Most beer you can have with some kind of food and this one, not so much.

This is one of those corner case beers that isn’t bad but maybe I shouldn’t’ve made an entire batch of it.

Brew date: 8/8/20

Steeping grains
4 lb Pilsner malt
3 lb Two Row
1 lb honey

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

1.5 of Hallertau & .5 oz Pallisade @60
.5 oz Pallisade & Hettenaur @5
1 oz black tea blend @ flameout

Yeast: Imperial Tartan (2nd use)

OG: 1.059

FG: 1.019

Bottled 8/15

ABV: 5.4%

Pale Ale Jun 20

Pale Ale on counter

This beer is good. Very solid.

It isn’t a pale ale. Not because of the color-although it is a little dark for a pale, but it’s not deep enough for an amber, either.

Because I get a lot of malt, and can’t pick up a lick of hops.

With Citra hops, I was expecting to get some citrus flavors, especially in the aromas. That’s why I saved those for 5 minutes left in the boil.

Comets tend to push grapefruit, so I thought they’d be a fine compliment, but with their high Alpha percentage (9%+) I figured they’d do well as as bittering agent, hence using the majority of those early in the boil.

But did not work out like that. The malts have mostly taken over the beer. There is some finishing, grapefruit leaning bitterness on the finish, that I start to pick up halfway in and the effervescence at the end is very good at clearing my palate.

So it’s good. But it isn’t what I was shooting for.

Brew date : 7/26/20S

Steeping grains
6lb Gambrinus pale
1 lb Mecca Opal (40L)
1 lb Great Western high color pale

Fermentables: 3 lb Extra light malt extract

1.5 oz Comet, .5 oz Citra @60
1.5 oz Citra, .5 oz Comet @5

Yeast: Imperial Tartan

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.01

Bottled 8/2

ABV: 7%


So…this one is a mixed bag.

50-50 pale ale homebrew

It seems as though half the bottles I opened didn’t have any carbonation. That has an undeniable impact on the quality of the beer. The flavors flatten out, the malt really takes over and while it isn’t bad, it reaches “OK” status and stays there.

But when there is carbonation the beverage lightens up; some subtle citrus elements appear in the nose, there is a decent bitterness and bubbles on the finish-nothing excessive but all those little extra qualities add up to more than the sum and the beer becomes much more drinkable.

I’m not exactly sure what went wrong; did I forget to add simple syrup when I went to bottle? That would explain the lack of carbonation.

It doesn’t taste off or infected, so that is the best explanation I have, unfortunately.

Brew date: 7/26/20

Steeping grains
6lb Gambrinus pale
1 lb Mecca Opal (40L)
1 lb Great Western high color pale

Fermentables: 3 lb Extra light malt extract

1.5 oz Comet, .5 oz Citra @60
1.5 oz Citra, .5 oz Comet @5

Yeast: Imperial’s Tartan

OG: 1.062

FG: 1.01

Bottled 8/2

ABV 7%

Bitter Cream Ale

This one is very malt forward; smells of honey and a little roasted quality. Oddly remarkably comforting smells.

The middle holds that sweetness but the finish has a strong bitter quality for the style. It doesn’t make the beer undrinkable, but it is divergent from my previous attempts at the style.

This can be attributed to the use of Bravo and Palisade hops-hops with higher alpha acids (the qualities that increase bitterness in beer). However, the usual hops I was getting were out of stock.

Thanks, pandemic.

However, with this bitterness is a persistent but not overpowering bubbly quality and that goes a long way to keep everything in line. THis beer is very light on the tongue and that makes it more drinkable than perhaps it would be if it was higher in ABV or had less of a bubbly ness.

So I’m calling this a success.

Brew date: 6.21.20

Steeping grains
4 lb Vienna
4 lb 2 row

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

1.5 oz Palisade, .25 oz Bravo @60
.75 oz Bravo, .5 oz Palisade @5

Yeast: Imperial House

OG: 1.058

FG: 1.01

Bottled 6/27

ABV: 6.5%

June Cream Ale

June cream aleSo, the nose on this is sweet-malt sweet though it lacks that element of graininess-basically, this ale falls a bit more towards a maple syrup sweetness (not as sweet, but like that) rather than bread.

That isn’t bad, but I’ll confess, it wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I very much like the bready qualities of the kolschs I’ve had, and I was hoping that the use of vienna and biscuit malts would bring that flavor a bit more forward.

That doesn’t quite seem  to be the case. It isn’t a bad beer though: it’s very light and bubbly, so it is easy to drink and sweeps itself off my palate like a good houseguest.

Do I wish it had a slightly different flavor profile? I do. Am I unsatisfied with how it tastes? I am not. It’s good.

Brew date: Jul 12
Steeping grains
1 lb Biscuit

3 lb Wyeyermann Pils malt
4 lb Weyermann Vienna malt

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME|

1.5 oz Mt Hood, .5 oz German Blanc @ 60

Yeast: Imperial House (3rd use)

OG: 1.059

FG: 1.009

Bottled 7/18

ABV: 6.8%

Amber Ale 2020

Nose has a little bit of honey to it-sweet but also a little floral.
The flavors go along with that. It’s got a very strong malt backbone, which I like. The finishing bitterness isn’t very strong but it is just enough to keep any malt-sugar sourness pop up.
The Amber ale 2020effervescence isn’t very strong and I’m not sure if that’s a flaw or not. On the downside: the olfactory elements don’t get very far but on the upside, it does just enough work on the finish to make this a quaffable ale, and no more. There isn’t a sparkle on the tongue as with some lagers, for example.

All in all, though I like this beer and I think I did well with it.

Brew date: 5.16.20

Steeping grains
.5 lb 50L Caramalt

.5 lb biscuit
3 lb munich
3 lb 2 row

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLMe

1.5 oz East Kent Goldings @60
.25 oz Cascade @ 60
.25 oz East Kent, .75 oz Cascade @5

Yeast: Imperial House (2nd use)

OG: 1.064

FG: 1.01

Bottled 5.23.20

ABV: 7.3%

Cream Ale From May #2

Cream Ale 2020Here we go:
Head is steady and very white. It’s not thick, but it keeps the layer of foam on the beer throughout.
It’s got nice malt nose, too; not strong enough to be called grainy or bready but notable.
The flavors are excellent, to me; the malt is there and the bitterness on the finish isn’t intense at all. The carbonation really picks up the slack when it comes to clearing the palate.
It’s nice to know I can get beers like this made; no, it isn’t perfectly clear but it’s still bright and, as the kids might say ‘crushable’. I think one could easily put away a few of these at a time easily.
Brew date: 5.25.20

Steeping grains
7 lb 2 row
1 lb 15L Cara malt

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME
1.5 oz Fuggle .5 oz Cluster @60
.5 cluster, .5 Fuggle @5

Yeast: Imperial House

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.018

Bottled 5.31

ABV: 5.7%

May’s Cream Ale #1

May cream aleNose is…odd. Has a malty quality, to it with almost a vanilla note? It makes me think, just a little bit, of nougat from a candy bar.

While the head on the beer dies down pretty quick, the scent remains, and it carries into the beer. A prominent malt element there but it steps back just shy of caramel. The finish, now here’s where things get weird. The hop bitterness comes on pretty hard, which is a surprise, but there is also a pleasant pop on the finish, when the bubbles kick in to keep things in check.

It’s really drinkable, which is something I don’t know that I’ve gotten to say about my beers too often.

Still, I’ve been trying to simplify and really drill down into beers that are just a few ingredients and for this one, at least, it’s been a working out.

Brew date: 5/3/30

Steeping grains

4 lb Serenade Vienna
3 lb Bohemian Pilsner

Fermentables: 3 lb ExLME

1.75 oz Mt Hood, .5 oz German Blanc hops @60
.25 Mt Hood, .5 oz German Blanc @5

Yeast: Imperial House

OG: 1.061

FG: 1.01

Bottled 5/10 (Smells a little apple-y at bottling)

ABV: 6.9%