Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wanna brew a Stone beer?  Here is the recipe:

Stone Pale Ale
Yield: 5 Gallons (about 54 12-ounce bottles or 30 22-ounce bottles)
10 pounds plus 7 ounces crushed North American two-row pale malt
1 pound plus 4.2 ounces crushed 60L crystal malt
4.8 ounces crushed 75L crystal malt
About 9 gallons water
0.44 ounce Columbus hops (12.9% alpha acid)
½ tsp Irish moss
0.77 ounce Ahtanum hops (6.0% alpha acid)
1.19 ounces Ahtanum hops (6.0% alpha acid)
1 (35ml) package White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast or WLP002 English Ale Yeast
1 cup plus 3 Tbsp light dried malt extract
Clean and sanitize all of your equipment.

In a 10-galloln insulated cooler, combine the crushed malts with 3 gallons plus 12 cups of 172°F water. The water should cool slightly when mixed with the grain. Hold the mash at 156°F for 20 minutes.
Add 2 gallons plus 2 cups of 184°F water. The mixture should come up to 165°F.
Lautering & Sparging
Lauter the mash. Once the liquid is lower than the level of the grain, begin to slowly sprinkle 3 gallons plus 1 cup of 168°F water over the grains to start the sparge. Continue sparging.

The Boil
Set the brew kettle of wort on top of a propane burner and add water to bring the wort level up to about 6 gallons plus 12 cups, if needed. Bring the wort to a rapid, rolling boil. As it begins to come to a boil, a layer of foam and scum may develop at the surface. Skim it off and discard. Once the wort is at a full boil, put a hops bag containing the Columbus hops in the kettle and set a timer for 90 minutes. Stir the wort frequently during the boil and be watchful to avoid boil-overs.
At 15 minutes before the end of the boil, stir in the Irish moss. At 10 minutes before the end of the boil, put a hops bag containing the 0.77 ounce of Ahtanum hops in the kettle. When the boiling time is over, turn off the heat and put a hops bag containing the remaining Ahtanum hops in the kettle. Cover the kettle and immediately begin cooling the wort as quickly as possible.

Pitching Yeast and Fermentation
Once the wort has cooled to 72°F, discard the spent hops and check the specific gravity of the wort with a hydrometer. The target starting gravity is 1.057 (14 Plato).
Transfer the wort to the primary fermentation bucket. Pitch the yeast (or prepare a yeast starter).
Allow the wort to ferment through primary and secondary fermentation at 72°F until it reaches a specific gravity of 1.014 (3.5 Plato).

When you’re ready to bottle, clean and sanitize the bottles, caps and bottling equipment. Put the dried malt extract in a medium saucepan and stir in just enough water to dissolve it. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let cool slightly. Proceed with bottling.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Brewing setup

I have been using this setup for 3 years now, there is just enough elevation left to fill a 6.5 gal carboy.  No pumps and no lifting needed!   Note the water filter on the back wall.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Very useful brewing chart

I refer to this during every brew.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Great video on making beer

I thought this was really well done.

3 things she could have done to help her beer taste better:
  • Don't let the water boil when soaking the malted grains!!! The water should be no hotter than 170f.
  • Hydrate the yeast before adding it to the fermenter.
  • Leave the lid off the boil kettle, there are compounds given off during the boil that should not be trapped by a lid (partially open isn't horrible, but no lid would be a safe bet).

4 things that were not shown but are very important:
  • Sanitize the fermenter before fermentation
  • Sanitize the bottles before bottling
  • Add 3/4 cup of corn suger before bottling so your beer will be carbonated.
  • Keep your fermenter in the dark, or cover it with a dark cloth to ensure the beer isn't light-struck.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2 Lagers

I did a Pilsner and a Dunkel last month, and they are slowly finishing fermentation in the chest fridge. I re-used the yeast from the Pilsner on the Dunkel, and now I am waiting for the last 15% of gravity to ferment away, it is taking a long time, I had hoped for 2 weeks in primary and 4 weeks in secondary, but it looks like it will be more like 8 weeks in secondary.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reusing Yeast

I have reused yeast before, by pouring it out of the carboy and into a jug, preparing another starter prior to brewing and using that yeast. It worked as well as purchasing yeast at the homebrew shop and saved me $6.00.

This time, I brewed my West Coast IPA , and then 2 weeks later when fermentation had stopped, I racked it to secondary and brewed my Pale Ale and poured it on the yeast cake in the bottom of my primary carboy.

I was amazed at the difference, the beer went from a gravity of 1.059 to 1.014 in 2 days, completing fermentation in about 20% of the time! I will be racking to the conditioning keg tonight and may be able to drink the beer within 1 week of brewing!

I have decided to brew my stout this weekend and use the yeast cake 1 more time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My best beer so far

West Coast IPA - I only have a couple bottles left, but this one is a winner. My brother-in-law loved it too.

It is modeled after the Green Flash IPA, and inspired by the Mammoth IPA. On a related note, I got up to Mammoth last week and tried their double brown, another winner. If you are anywhere that Mammoth beer is sold, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recent Brew Results

West Coast IPA - Still Fermenting 4 weeks later. Gravity is down to 1.016 so it should be ready next week. Tastes promising, it is still quite cloudy but it is hard to tell if that is the yeast or other issues. I plan to crash cool this beer once it is fully fermented.

American Lager - Tasted pretty good, I made another lager after that with all barley that tasted good as well, but it was a bit sweet. The mash for that lager was a step mash and I mashed out at 165. I think for my next lager I will be more careful on the mash temperatures and not let them get above 152, and let the mash go a bit longer.

Disaster Porter 2 - Was good, it went quick. I may back off the hops a bit more next time.

Hoppy Amber Ale - Was great, I would like to have this on tap 12 months a year if I had the space.

Extra Stout - Amazing flavor. The oak really helped. I used too much agave in this beer, it could stand to have a bit more body considering the alcohol levels. I have kept several bottles of this beer to ages since I think the alcohol bite will mellow with time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

West Coast Trip

The wife, kids and I headed up to Oregon via Yosmite and I got a chance to have some great beer. The bar at Curry Village in Yosemite serves up Mammoth Pilsner (good) and their Epic IPA (great).

I also got to taste the Deschutes Red Chair IPA at the Suttle Lake resort's restaurant. It was also amazing, and only $4.00/pint on tap there! After paying $9.00 for a 21 oz glass at Yosemite it seemed like a screaming deal.

I enjoyed the Mammoth IPA so much I decided to brew an IPA as one of my next brews. It tasted a bit like the Green Flash IPA that I found a recipe for here:

Green Flash Co.: West Coast IPA

6 Gal. batch
OG: 1.069
FG: 1.013-1.014
SRM: 8.8
IBU: ~93

14# American Two Row
1.31# British Carastan 30-37
1.31# CaraPils

0.5oz Simcoe @ 90min
0.5oz Columbus @ 90 min (optional)
0.25oz Simcoe @ 60min
0.25oz Columbus @ 60min
0.25oz Simcoe @ 30min
0.25oz Columbus @ 30min
0.75oz Simcoe @ 15min
0.75oz Columbus @ 15min
1oz Cascade @ 10min
0.5oz Simcoe @ Flameout
0.5oz Columbus @ Flameout

0.5oz of each: Amarillo, Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial, Cascade for Dry Hop

Mash Temp: 152F, Boil Time 90min

Yeast : WY1056 or WLP001
Ferment Temp: 68F -> 72F

Monday, May 11, 2009

Brew 14: Disaster Porter 2

The original Disaster Porter is of my favorites so far, and a favorite of my friend Greg's. He wanted to get in on another batch and came over with Ed to watch and help out.

I realized something with this brew. Watching someone else brew is like watching someone else cook. If you really want to do it yourself someday it is cool to learn, otherwise it isn't that much fun. They were good sports though, and we brewed up 10 gallons of delicious porter that is now in secondary and will be bottled for them and put on tap for me in about 2 weeks.

This was the first brew with my 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler, and the difference is amazing. I did a step mash as you can see below, and for the first time I nailed the temps and they held. The process went much faster even though I did 10 gallons instead of 5. The cooler could have held another 2 lbs of grain, but no more.

1:20 PM 5/2/2009 dough in at 154
1:32 PM 5/2/2009 Temp @ 140
2:00 PM 5/2/2009 Recirc 2 gals (draw off, boil, add again) + add hot water to 155
2:30 PM 5/2/2009 Recirc 2 gals to 165
2:44 PM 5/2/2009 Started Sparge
3:35 PM 5/2/2009 Started Boil of 12.5 gallons
3:45 PM 5/2/2009 Added 60 min hops
4:15 PM 5/2/2009 Added 30 min hops
4:40 PM 5/2/2009 Added 7 min hops + Wort chiller coil + Irish Moss
4:45 PM 5/2/2009 Added 0 min hops, started chill