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Updated Recipes

Hey all,
I updated my recipe page with my three most recently completed recipes. Following my new policy where I don’t post the recipe until I know how it tastes, I still have three more recipes that I’ve brewed but haven’t yet posted. Those are my Barleywine, Summer Wheat, and another IPA. The Summer Wheat and IPA are getting kegged this week so I will be trying them soon. The Barleywine has several more months to go. The three new ones posted are:

  • Also, for a complete list of all my recipes, check out my Recipes page.

    Barleywine Brewday

    Brewed my very first >10%ABV beer on Saturday, our version of a Barleywine. I developed and brewed this recipe with a friend of mine, which is good because I needed all the help I could get. The brew started around 10:30 on Saturday mashing in a monstrous 43 pounds of grain! Lots of things went wrong at every step of the way. We had to split the mash into two tun’s, one mash was about 5 degrees low so we boiled some mash water for the other and it turned out about 5 degrees high… oh well. After the mash, we ended up sparging with a ton of water. We ended up with 17+ gallons of wort for what was to be a 9 gallon batch. We were boiling in my 15 gallon pot and his 8 gallon pot at the same time in order to boil off as much liquid as possible, as fast as possible. After about 2 hours of boiling, we were finally down to 12 gallons which meant it was time to consolidate to one pot and start the 90 minute boil timer. We threw in 4 ounces of Nugget at 90 minutes and another 4.5 ounces in the rest of the boil for about 88 IBU’s. Our original gravity came out at 1.109 so we are looking at somewhere between 10.5-12% alcohol.

    No matter what happens, this is a BIG beer. I’m super excited to see what this is going to end up like but I guess I won’t know for many more months. If all goes well, I hope to age some for serveral years and see how it ages over time, we’ll see. In a couple weeks, I’ll probably take gravity reading to see how its coming along. Of course, I’ll also have to grab a quick sip although I’m not expecting much from it this early.

    Brewing up a storm

    The last few months I’ve been doing alot more drinking than brewing apparently because my stock had run down to only two homebrews and a cider… well, that I’ve been making up for the last few weeks. A couple weeks ago, I brewed my IPA that’s loaded with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. It smells fantastic and I will be dryhopping it probably this weekend. Last weekend, I brewed my American Wheat. I probably took the ‘American’ part a little too far as I ended up adding 2 ounces of hops (Cascade and Amarillo) over the last 20 minutes of the boil. I kinda wanted to throw out any notion of a ‘traditional’ wheat on this one… well see how it turns out I guess. Once these two get tapped in a few more weeks I will be back up to five active taps and all will be right with the world again. When that happens, my lineup from left to right will be: Kolsch, IPA, Apfelwein, Imperial Stout, American Wheat. It’s a good summer mix, with a little something for everyone (and a whole lot for me).

    This upcoming weekend, however, will be the biggest, baddest beer I’ve ever done. Me and another brewer (Dave, who held the homebrew competition) are brewing a 9 gallon batch of 13% ABV Barleywine! This beer is gonna be HUGE! It has 43 pounds of grain (compared to 10 lbs average) and will test the abilities of ourselves and our equipment. Everything about it is big. The grain, the boil time, the sparge water, even the amount of yeast we’re using. We’re actually going to use the yeast cake from the IPA for this in order to get such a huge amount of yeast out of it. We’re targeting an OG of 1.128!! and hoping to get it down into the sub 1.020 range.

    After the Barleywine, I’m torn as to what do next. The BW won’t be ready to drink for another 6-8 months so I’m not counting that in my figuring. Based on my list, I will have mostly light beers available so another dark beer may not hurt. Perhaps another porter that I’ll brew on my one year brewing anniversary… since a porter was the first beer I ever brewed. If you have any ideas of what I should do next, let me know in the comments.

    crystal-40-webWell, this weekend was my friend Dave’s first annual homebrew competition/party. It was a ton of fun. There was good company, the weather was perfect and most importantly, lots of good beer. In the end, there were seven brewers. The beers ranged from a Blonde and Blue Blonde Ale (with honey and blueberries) to a Scottish Ale. I brought my House Pale, which for the competition, wore the name ‘Crystal 40 Pale Ale’. The name kinda grew on me, so I may permanently change it. I was proud of the way it turned out but the competition was tough. There were alot of good brewers there. In the end, I guess I bribed enough people because I got first place. I even got a medal! Needless to say, I was pretty excited about it. It was a fun night and I look forward to brewing again for the 2nd annual.

    In other news, I’m finally back to brewing. It’s been a long time coming and I finally found the time today to put together a batch. I finally got to use my new Barley Crusher, which was awesome. I was a little disappointed because I expected my efficiency to improve but it basically stayed the same. Guess I can’t blame my crush anymore. I’m still averaging right at 70%. I brewed an IPA that should be about 6.5% ABV. It’s loaded with Simcoe and Amarillo throughout the boil. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m hoping to get my next batch up and running in a week or two.

    My Kolsch is coming along quite nicely. It’s still lagering but I think it will have just the slightest hint of orange flavor when its done. Hopefully, some of the flavors mellow out a bit more. Well, that’s it. Happy brewing!

    Just an update

    Hey guys, been away for awhile but I will be back with a vengeance soon. Here’s what’s going on with me.

    • I’m getting ready to submit my first beer to a competition. It’s an informal competition really, more of a party with a bunch of competitive brewers there. I’m pretty excited about it. Unfortunately, I started too late on it and didn’t get to plan a beer specifically for it. As a result, the first iteration of my House Pale Ale will be my competition beer. It tastes really good though and I’m confident it will rate well, perhaps even win a medal.
    • My Kolsch that I brewed several weeks ago with some new brewing friends will be going into the keg this week. I’m very excited/nervous to see how this one tastes. The samples have been surprisingly good and smells delicious.
    • I still haven’t put my new Barley Crusher to the test yet but I expect that to change very soon. I’m brewing an IPA that’s hopped with Warrior, Amarillo, and Simcoe. I just got the rest of the ingredients recently and this will be my first beer to put the BC to use. I’ll probably do that sometime this week. After that is an American Wheat beer.
    • Lastly, I’m sad to say that I kicked my Ruination Clone IPA the other day. Although it wasn’t much of a clone, it was a delicious beer that I’m sad to see go. As an aside, that last pint was full of foam and had a fantastic hop aroma!

    That’s about it, I will be back on in a few days to let you know how my IPA brewday went and also how the Kolsch tastes.

    Barley Crusher for V-Day!!

    barleycrusher-heartThat’s right folks. My wonderful wife has bought me a barley crusher for Valentine’s Day! I am so excited about this gift mostly because I will finally be free of the tyrannical reigns that is the LHBS (local homebrew store). Mine happens to be very far away and its a pain to go up there just to get grain crushed. Since I buy everything in bulk, including my more common specialty grains (a couple pounds, not a whole sack), its nice to be able to crush it at home. Also, I’m thinking my mediocre efficiency (usually around 69-70%) is because of the roller mill settings on their mill at the store. Did I mention I’m excited! I can’t wait to use it! My wife is the best!

    Picking Recipes

    One of the hardest parts of brewing for me is picking recipes. I can never decide what I want to make. I’m always torn between whether I should do something new or proven, light or dark, hoppy or malty, seasonal or not…. The hardest part is making sure I always have a variety on tap. I have five taps at home and its been my goal to get all five taps active. In a couple more weeks, I will have all five going. From left to right, there will be Ruination IPA Clone, Nut Brown Ale, Apfelwein, Imperial Stout, and House Pale Ale. I think this is a decent variety but it could be better. I expect the Ruination IPA clone to be the first one gone and the House Pale Ale will mostly be devoted to a homebrew party a friend invited me too. Knowing these two things, I realize I will be really lacking of lighter beers coming into summer, which is not good. I have a Kolsch that should be ready to go around the end of March and am trying to decide if I need to add a PA/IPA back into the mix or if I should go with something seasonal, like a wheat. This whole situation would be easier if the Nut Brown would kick first.

    I think what I’m going to do is whip up another IPA in early March and then do the wheat after that. That way, if I need the IPA, I can throw it in the rotation but if not, it won’t hurt to leave it in the closet for a month. This is tough…