Saturday, December 31, 2011



Ok, today I try a Czech Pilsner.  The grain bill is

6 lb Pilsen light DME
1/4 lb American 2-row
1/8 lb Caramel/Crystal 80 L
5 oz Saaz hops
WLP800 yeast

First I'll bring about 1 gal of water to 200 F to steep the grains.

12:43 Water is at 200 F so I put in the grains for 30 min.

13:15  Remove grains from the water and wash with 1-1/2 pts of water at 165 F (heat in microwave for 3 minutes).  Add this to four gallons of water already being heater on the main heater.  Bring the volume up to 5-1/2 gallons and heat to boiling.

14:40 Boil starts, add 6 lb DME and bring back to boil

14:43 Boil starts again.  Add 1.25 oz Saaz.

14:58 Add 1.25 Saaz

15:13 Add 1.00 oz Saaz

15:28 Add 1.00 oz Saaz plus 1 tsp Irish moss, 2 tsp yeast energizer and 5 tsp yeast nutrient

15:43 Add 0.50 oz Saaz and end boil.  Start cooling the wort in a cold water bath.

T = 70 F
SG = 1.060
ASG = 1.061

This is a little high for the style, but we'll see.

pitch the yeast.


Fermentation is underway.  Looks good.


Check the gravity
T = 50 F
SG =1.022
ASG = 1.021

This is still a little higher than the expected final gravity, but I still want to leave it to longer fermentation and lagering.  So this is ok.


T = 50 F
SG = 1.022
ASG 1.021

Not much change.  Still I'll rack it to a secondary to leave for lagering for a month or more.


Check the gravity again.  I plan to leave it to lager for another two weeks, but let's see where it stands now.
T = 50 F
SG = 1.017
ASG = 1.016

This is within the range I'm expecting, good.  I'll keep lagering for two more weeks as I planned and bottle on 11-Feb.


Check the gravity and transfer to a tirtiary fermenter for a week.

T = 50 F
SG =1.016
ASG = 1.015

Rack to a tertiary fermenter for a few days to improve clarity a bit.


Bottling day.  Got 38 bottles.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Coffee Stout


Today I start brewing my Coffee Stout. This is an extract with grain brew that produces a pretty good stout. The ingredients are:

2 lbs Dark Dray Extract (Munton's today)
6.6 lbs Dark LME (Bries today)
0.5 lb Black Malt (0.485 lb)
0.5 lb Crystal 40 L (0.505 lb)
0.5 lb Roasted Barley (0.51 lb)
1.0 oz Golding East Kent (alpha 5.8%, beta 3.2%) for 60 min
1.0 oz Fuggles (alpha 4.2%, beta 2.5%) for 15 min
WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast

Start by crushing the grains with marble rolling pin on marble rolling board, placing in a sparge bag and putting this in 1 gallon of cold water. I'll heat this to 170 degrees, hold for 1/2 hour and then sparge the grains with a bit more water at 170 degrees.

15:10 Grains have been processed and wort is in the brew pot.

15:21 Fill brew pot to 24 qts (6 gallons) and start flame.

15:58 Brew pot boiling, add ME.

16:12 Boil restarts, add Kent Goldings hops.

16:57 Add Fuggles hops.

17:12 End boil.

19:15 Wort is down to near room temperature. Get the gravity
Temp = 76 F
SG = 1.064 ASG = 1.066

This is in range for what the recipe estimates, although high for the Stout style.

19:30 Pitch yeast.


10:00 Yeast is doing well, fermentation is under way.


I've been storing the fermentor where it is, unfortunately, too cold. What I have now for the gravity is

T = 51 f
SG = 1.042
ASG = 1.041.

I'm moving it to a warming location to see if further fermentation will take place. The gravity ought to be down below 1.011.


I warmed up the fermentor and got the fermentation started again for the past week. Now it looks like fermentation is done, the yeast have all settled to the bottom. So again with the SG.

T = 59 F
SG = 1.025
ASG = 1.025

The gravity is still a bit high, but I'm going to rack it anyway. I just don't think I can get much better. We'll see how it goes.


Now I put 8 oz of coffee into 1/2 of water in a sealed container and let it sit for about 36-48 hours. I'll strain this, boil it and add it at bottling time. This can go in with the priming sugar.


Check the gravity again.

Temp = 51 F
SG = 1.030
ASG = 1.029

Now this is higher than before. Perhaps I misread the hydrometer. Don't know, but in any case there has been no improvement in the gravity. I'll bottle tomorrow in any case.

18-Dec-2011 Bottling day

Strain the steeping coffee and heat to about 200 F.  Also boil some water and dissolve the priming sugar.

All bottled, two cases and a six pack.  Put it away for about two weeks.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Goulash Alt

Ready to bottle

T = 70 F
SG = 1.016
ASG = 1.017
ABV = 4.62%

These numbers are right where I wanted them.

Bottled and stored.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Alt - rack to secondayr

Ok, the fermentation has been done for a few days, so it is time to rack to a secondary.

T = 72 F
SG = 1.016
ASG = 1.017

Very close to the SG I'm shooting for, 1.016, so this is good.

Rack over.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Goulash Alt

Fermentation is under way.

Looks to be pretty vigorous as well. I'm doing this one in a brew bucket, so I can't see the yeast activity as well, but the air lock is popping frequently and rarely settles low in the water.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Goulash Alt

This is a recipe I've made up. I'm calling it goulash Alt because it is basically and Alt beer recipe, but I'm making it of ingredients I have left over. Not exactly a prize winning strategy, but we'll see how it goes.

14:45 Put 5.5 gal of water into the brew pot and start the heat.

Put 1 lb of crystal 40 L and 0.1 lb of Black Patent into a steeping bag and crush the grains.

15:11 T = 157 F, put the grains in to steep. Turn down the heat some

15:41 T = 168 F, remove grains from the pot and turn the heat up.

15:53 Wort boiling, add 3.3 lbs Amber LME and 3.0 lbs light DME. Turn heat back up

16:07 Boiling stats, add 1.0 oz of Galena

16:57 Add 0.5 oz of Williamette

17:07 End boil, start to cool wort

18:45 End the cooling of the wort with a temperature near 80 F

18:54 T = 82 F SG = 1.050 ASG = 1.053 and pitch WLP036 Dusseldorf Alt Yeast

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sweet Summer Ale - Bottling Day

Check the gravity

T = 76 f SG = 1.016 ASG = 1.018

This works out to about 4.2% Alc. by volume

Ok, very little change. Proceed to bottling.

I got just two cases on the nose. Now lay it up for about two weeks and see what we get.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sweet Summer Ale

Time to rack to the secondary.

Fermentation ran at a good clip since Sundary morning. Built up a very good kruezen, maybe 4-5" high. Fermentation slowed down and the kruezen sank by Wednesday morning, but there was still some fermentation going on. It has since come to a stop.

T = 73 F SG = 1.018 ASG = 1.019

A bit higher than expected, but about the same as the last time I made this. Don't know why. But it goes in the secondary for a couple weeks more.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sweet Summer Ale

Time to try another brew. This is one I've tried successfully before, called Sweet Summer Ale.

Weigh out 0.5 lbs of the 40L Crystal Malt, put in a bag and crush the grains. Put this in the brew pot with about 5.5 gal of water.

14:19 Start the heat.
14:53 T = 200 F remove the crystal malt
14:57 boil begins. Add 3.3 lbs of LME and 3.0 lbs of DME.
15:11 Extract added and boil begins again. Add 0.5 oz of Williamette (pellet) hops in bag
15:51 Add 0.5 oz Saaz (plug) in bag. Add 1 tsp Irish Moss, 5 tsp yeast nutrient and 1 tsp yeast energizer.
16:01 Stop boil, start cooling
16:50 T = 79 F remove from cooling bath and set up to siphon into fermentor
16:57-17:09 Siphon to primary fermentor. T = 80 F, SG = 1.048, Adj SG = 1.050. Estimated for this recipe is 1.049. I can live with that difference.
17:17 Pitch yeast. I'm using WLP001 California Ale for this. 80 F is a little warm for yeast pitching, but not by much and this is ambient temperature.

Ok, the airlock is in place, the fermentor is in a closet. Just wait for evidence of fermentation.

Scottish Ale - open

Opened the first bottle after two weeks. Excellent head. Good taste. Not a bad effort

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Scottish Ale - Bottling Day

Sanitize everything and get ready to bottle.

Temperature = 80 F
FG = 1.011
AFG = 1.013

Not much change
ABV% = 3.5%

I got 22 12 oz bottles, a little less than the 2 cases I expect, but not too bad.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Scottish Ale - Racking Day

Fermentation has dropped to nothing now for a couple of days so I'll check the SG.

T = 63 F
SG = ASG = 1.014

Which results in 3.4 ABV%.
This is near the high end, but within range of what the recipe calls for, so the fermentation went well. Rack to a secondary fermenter for another week.

Sanitize all the siphoning equipment.

10:00 start racking to the secondary.
10:10 Racked

Another week and we bottle

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scottish Ale

Fermentation has started, yeah!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scottish Ale

Third time's the charm?

NOTE: Although I had no post, last year's effort never fermented. Don't know why. I might have pitched at a higher actual temperature than I thought.

Brewer's Best recipe again

This time, I created a starter yeast with the dry yeast that came with the kit and I've got a tube of WLP028, which I plan to use for the actual brew. But the starter is there for back-up in case I screw up the first pitch.

11:45 Pull the WLP028 from the fridge

For the starter I just boiled a couple cups of water with about a third of a cup of priming sugar, let it cool and added the dry yeast at about 80 F. I did that the night before and it seems to be fermenting nicely.

12:00 start heating water. I'm boiling a full 5 gallons at once.

12:40 Temperature 163 F, heat is off, start steeping grains.

13:00 Temperature 158 F, remove grains, turn heat back on.

13:20 Full boil, turn heat back a bit, add extract

13:30 Boil is back, add bittering hops

14:10 Add aroma hops

14:15 End boil

15:47 T = 80 F, SG = 1.038 - OG = 1.040 this is slightly high.

16:00 T = 80 F, Ambient T = 78 F, Pitch WLP028.

Now just wait for the fermentation to start. Here's hoping.