Dec 27, 2012

Ornery Old Bock

 Ornery Old Bock
1.066 - 1.012
18 IBU
6.5% ABV 

13 lbs Munich I
10 lbs Vienna
3 lbs CaraMunich
2 lbs Melanoiden

The Hops:

1oz Tettnang (4.7%AA) -75 min
1oz Hallertaur (4.3%AA) - 75 min


28 pounds of grain (1.75 qts / lb) -- thinner for decoctions:
12.25 gallons strike water
3.5 gallons absorbed
6.25 gallons of sparge water needed (includes an additional gallon for decoction boil-off, etc.)

Brewday Notes:

Mashed @ 122 for 30 min

Heated decoction too much - closer to 165 let cool without sleeping bag

First decoction only raised to around 132 - pulled another.

Mash temp ended way too high after second decoction. I've got it down to 150 with ice. There it will stay for an hour. 148 by the end of the hour.

Not doing further decoctions. Mashing out with boiling water -- one gallon.

Only about half fit in mash tun. Negligible effect on temperature.

First runnings: 1.072

Kettle Carmelized the first gallon or so of runnings. It was not as dramatic as I thought it would be. After heating Sparge water, I will continue to boil these runninings down to half the original volume.

Second runnings: 1.034

Ran off a little more than 14 gal (before adding back reduced wort. Reducing wort more, and will now do the longer boil as planned.

Reduced wort 1.114
Preboil 1.049 closer to 15 gallons

Boiled 135 minutes to get down to 11 gal.

O.G. 1.066


1.1.13 - Pitched yeast arounf 40 degrees. Letting it climb to around 53
1.20.13 - Diacetyl rest begun
1.26.13 - Transferred to serving kegs and placed in chest freezer to lager
1.20.14 - Tasting Ornery Old Bock:

Appearance: Light copper and very clear. Fluffy off-white head that is sticking around a little more than usual. One of the faults of this beer has been its head retention. This example's head is dying, but at a rate slower than what has been typical. Head is nearly gone after about 2 minutes.

Aroma: Not as aromatic as I would like. Aromas are more bread than toast. Overall, very neutral in aroma. No diacetyl or DMS. No hop aroma.

Flavor: Toasty flavors with good melanoiden presence, but still not as rich in this department as I would like. No hop flavors. Bitterness is in balance with the malt sweetness -- some bitterness lingers in the finish along with a hint of toasty flavors. Well-attenuated with not much residual sweetness. There is a slight alcohol warmth in the aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated with a medium-light body. Very slightly astringent and not very creamy. Slight alcohol warmth as mentioned previously.

Overall: This is a decent first go at a traditional bock. I am not sure of the effort involved with carmelizing the first runnings really paid off in the end, because the caramel flavors are not as rich as I would have expected. The flavors are there, but they may be more of a result of the grain bill than the procedure. The head is also an issue -- while I did do a protein rest, the long lagering period may have had an effect on its sustainability. If I were to make this recipe again, I may include some carapils just to insure some decent head.

Dec 15, 2012

Black and Mild

Black and Mild

1.043 - 1.013

3.9% ABV

28 IBU

Sine Yo Piddy on the Runny Kine

Gold Medal -- Olde Hickory Pro-Am, Hickory, NC

The Malts:
7 lbs Marris Otter
5 lbs British 2-row
1.25 lbs Chocolate Wheat
1 lb 60L Crystal
1 lb Flaked Maize
1lb 6-row

The Hops:

1oz Fuggles (5%AA) -- 60 minutes
1oz Challenger (7.7%AA) -- 30 minutes
1oz Fuggles (5%AA) -- 20 minutes


7 gallons Strike Water
at least 9 gallons Sparge Water

Brewday Notes:
Mashed at 156 for an hour

Sparge was too cool: grain temp 153

First runnings 1.079

Second runnings 1.060

Original Gravity: 1.043

Brewday Reflections:
Everything went very well with the exception of the sparge being a bit too cool, which may have turned out to be a good thing since the O.G. turned out to be 1.043. It may have been a little too high if my sparge temp had been normal. The low temp was due to using a different thermometer -- the one I intended to use got dumped into the mash with the grain. The thermometer I then had to use registered about 15 degrees higher than the one installed on my tun. Apparently that was not correct because my sparge water was cooler (apparently) than I thought it would be.


Safale s-04
Pitched 12.16.12 (62 ambient)


12.24.12 -- Gravity reads around 1.014. May be done (3.8 ABV if it is). Flavor and aroma is very bready / toasty. Some UK (earthy) hops in the aroma. Bitterness seems good, but overshadowed by the toastiness. Carbonation can change this.

12.27.12 -- five gallons racked into cask and primed for 2.3 volumes.

1.13.13 -- The other half kegged and pressurized.

2.15.13 -- Cask to be served on 2.17.13.

4.15.13 -- Tasting Black and Mild. I completed this BJCP scoresheet since the judges at the Old Hickory Pro-Am used the simpler first round scoresheets that are intended for weeding out entries in very large competitions, or for BOS rounds. They gave this beer a 45; I gave it a 41.

Sep 30, 2012

Cyrus Wheat I.P.A.


Wheat IPA


7.3% ABV

70 IBU

I had a lot of flaked wheat and a lot of American hops. What was I to do?

The Malts:

17 lbs Marris Otter
9 lbs Flaked Wheat
4 lbs Blockader House Toasted Malt

The Hops: 

1.25 Magnum (13.5%) - 60 Minutes
1 Centennial (8.8%) - 20 Minutes
2 Zythos (10.9%) - 10 Minutes
1 Centennial (8.8%) - 10 Minutes
1 Simcoe (14.4%) - 2 Minutes
1 Centennial (8.8%) - 2 Minutes
1 Zythos (10.9%) - 2 Minutes

1oz Columbus -- dry 9-10 days
1oz Zythos -- dry 9-10 days

Mash: Single Infusion 150 degrees

First Runnings: 1.090
Second Runnings 1.050
Preboil: 1.052
Original Gravity: 1.061

Yeast: Pitched 9.30.12
5 gallons - US-05 - laundry room
5 gallons - US-04 - hall

11.3.12 - Tasting sample from the hall (s-04) hop aroma and flavor are both fruity and dank both at a moderate level. Finish is very dry and very bitter. Next time I am going to dial back the bittering addition. As this tastes, it may be close to too much. I am pleased overall, and will see what's up once this beer is carbonated.

2.15.13 - 

Tasting Cyrus:

Appearance: Dark gold / light copper with a thick white head that is very persistent and marks the glass all the way to the end.

Aroma: Hop aroma (duh) up front which is piney and resinous, and then gives way to more fruity hop characteristics like mango and orange. Some grainy sweet malt aroma as well as some faint esters (this is the US-05 version), which are hidden behind the hop aroma. No diacetyl

Flavor: Medium toasty with a touch of caramel malt sweetness followed by a very long hoppy finish that starts out with tropical fruit flavors (mostly mango, but also orange and other exotic fruits (passion?)) but then gives way to more piney and resinous hop flavors that linger much longer into the finish. Hop balanced, but malt characteristics are not completely overwhelmed. The beginning of the taste has a nice showing from the malts (bread, grainy, toasty) before hops take over. Slight fruity esters, but these tend to comingle with the hop characteristics which are also fruity. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy texture with no hot alcohol sensations. Hoppy bitterness is a little prickly on the tongue, but not unpleasant. No astringency.

Overall: I am very pleased. This turned out the way I wanted: an IPA but not a blow your brains out version of the style. Zythos hops (which were free) (mango) make for an interesting combination with the Centennial (piney) and the Simcoe (orange / citrus). The unmalted wheat also adds the grainy characteristic to go along with all those hops.  I cannot immediately think of improvements I would make at this point.

Jul 31, 2012



1.049 - 1.005

5.7% ABV

26 IBU

Grisette is a type of Saison that was specifically marketed to miners in the Hainaut region of Belgium in the late 1800s (they did not want to be associated with a farm hand's beer). The name comes from the word for an independent working-class women (in some contexts it means "prostitute") who usually wore undyed (inexpensive) fabric (gris=grey). It is said that one of these ladies would usually be the server who had the tray of beers for the miners as they exited the mine. The server and the style of beer she had became synonymous. At one point during the height of the Belgian mining industry, there were 30 commercial examples of Grisette. My recipe is faithful to my research - with a couple DSB tweaks.

The Malts:
15 lbs Belgian Pilsner
6 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lb Piloncillo

1oz Centennial (8.8%) - 60min - 17.27 IBU
1oz Saaz (4%) - 30min - 5.35 IBU
1oz Hallertaur (4.8%) - 5min - 1.76 IBU
1oz Saaz (4%) - 5min - 1.47 IBU

Wyeast Beire de Garde

8.5 gal strike
2.6 absorbed
8.5 gal sparge (more than enough. Run until 14 gal)

30 @ 122
60 @ 140 - ph 4.7
20 @ 158 - ph 4.7 - 1.070
5 @ 168

First runnings : 1.075 only about 4g when I was expecting 6.5 or so. Added more sparge water.

Second runnings : 1.029
Preboil: 1.040

O.G. 1.049

7.31.12 -- Pitched 1.75qt starter into each fermenter
8.5.12 -- (Laundry room cool box) gravity down to around 1.024. Still tastes pretty sweet, as I would imagine. I am going to stop adding ice and let the temperature rise in both boxes to help finish this off. This tastes like it will be a good beer with complementary hop flavor, but the finish (too sweet now) is what should improve with further fermentation.
8.11.12 -- Gravity down to 1.005. This yeast has really restrained esters as far as I can tell, which goes well with the aroma and flavor hops. Nice dry finish. Imagining what this will taste like once it is cold and carbonated has me encouraged. Kegged and put in the chest freezer for cold conditioning.
12.31.12 -- Removed from freezer (conditioned 4.5 months (around 40 degrees))
 2.3.13 --
Tasting Grisette:

Appearance: Dark yellow with a little bit of haze. Many bubbles rising through the beer. Head is fluffy stiff an white. Head retains quite well.
Aroma: Grainy pils malt aroma up front with some lemon-citrus aromas as well. Malt aroma is a bit rustic: grainier than other beers (unmalted wheat).  Light spicy hop aromas. All aromas are pretty delicate -- nothing jumps out and smacks you around. No diacetyl -- slight DMS.
Flavor: Medium-light grainy malt flavors followed by lemony esters and some spicy phenols. Yeast characteristics are lighter than other Belgian beers, but their delicate nature goes well with the malt profile. Hop bitterness balances the malt profile well, and some of the spicy hop flavors linger into the aftertaste with the phenols to provide a complex spicy finish. Finish is moderately dry with a small hint of sweetness. Very slight sulfur flavors that are not a distraction.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. No alcohol warmth with slight creamy texture. Spicyness leaves a little bite on the tongue. Not astringent.
Overall: A very delicate and refreshing beer. I am very pleased with this, but pause at the notion of entering it into a competition because it would qualify as a Saison, and I know most other Saison entries would be much different. I really do not have the faith in judges to enter something so unlike the other entries or something so delicate. I really like the contribution from the unmalted wheat, which is becoming one of my favorite ingredients.

Sour Grisette Notes:

8.18.12 -- Second five gallons racked into a carboy with the dregs from one bottle of Russian River Consecration and then the dregs from a large bottle of Dirty Blonde
8.25.12 -- Added dregs from a bottle of Boon Geuze Mariage Parfait.
11.21.13 -- Added one ounce medium toast oak cubes
3.10.14 -- Bottled at 4 volumes carbonation. Renamed Bie´re de Lorette.

Jul 16, 2012

Ugly American Yella Beer

Ugly American Yella Beer
1.045 - 1.0??
44 IBU

6.5 lbs 6-row
2.5 lbs Flaked Maize

1 oz Cluster (6.8% AA) -- 60 min
1 oz Saaz (3% AA) -- 30 min
1 oz Saaz (3% AA) -- 15 min (with whirlfloc)

US-05 Dry

The Mash:
20 min 125 -- ph 5.3
30 min 146 -- ph 4.8
30 min 152 -- ph 6.6
10 min 168

7.16.12 -- Pitched yeast
7.20.12 -- Most active fermentation seems to have passed (62-68F)


11.3.12 -- Okay, so dumb ass me can't find where I wrote down the final gravity, though I know I took a reading and wrote it somewhere. I remember this being in the high 80s as far as attenuation goes. Initially, this beer had a sour-ish off-flavor that I could not place, but it also should be noted that I took this one out of cold conditioning much sooner (perhaps a month) than the other Ugly American(s) (1911 too). The lesson learned here is that this beer needs at least two months of cold conditioning. I had a couple glass of this last night, and it was much improved from the first pulls almost a month ago when I hooked it up.

Captured Wild Yeast Test Beer

4 Gal
1.053 - 1.0??

Cool ship

Malts: (Extract)
3 lbs Dry Pilsner
3 lbs Dry Wheat

.4 oz Centennial (8.8% AA) -- 60 min

3qt Starter of yeast captured on June 7-8, chilled and decanted

7.16.12 -- Pitched yeast -- as I was decanting the starter there was a Belgain-esque aroma, albeit with some band-aid-like phenols as well. I tried a small sip of the starter beer and it also has a little bit of a cidery presence. Of course this wort did stay outdoors and uncovered for 18 hours, so that could have something to do with that.
7.19.12 -- After about 30 hours (60-65F), visible yeast activity. Big fluffy krausen.
7.22.12 -- Yesterday the fluffy krausen gave way to chunkier cheese curd looking chunks which are beginning to drop out today. The fermentation is kicking off some foul odors, but the beer inside the carboy still smells okay, but by no means "clean"
7.22.12 (later) -- The cheese curd looking krausen has completely dropped, and it has been replaced by a seemingly newer billowy krausen.
8.25.12 -- Gravity down to 1.003. Sample starts off with some nice Belgian-esque phenols, followed by some cidery flavors, then ultimately finishes with a funkyness that is still a little bit harsh, but not terribly unpleasant. I think with a little more maturity, especially when the Brettanomyces becomes active, this could still develop a little more.

Jun 5, 2012

Mordecai Brown 2012 / Mordecai Bruin

Mordecai Brown:
1.051 -- 1.010 -- 5.4% ABV
55 IBU

Mordecai Bruin:
1.056 -- 1.006 -- 6.5% ABV
55 IBU

12 lbs Golden Promise
5 lbs Abbey Malt
2 lbs Brown Malt
1 lb 60L Crystal
1 lb Carafoam
.5 lb 40L Crystal
.5 lb 80L Crystal
.5 lb 120L Crystal

1 oz Magnum (13.1%AA) -- 60 min (clock 30)
1 oz Centennial (8.8% AA) -- 30 min (clock 10)
1 oz Simcoe (14.4%) -- 20 min (clock 5)
1 oz Centennial ( 8.8%) -- 15 min (clock 5) (Whirfloc)
1 oz Zythos (11%) -- 10 min (clock 10)
1 oz Simcoe (14.4%) -- 10 min

Mordecai Brown -- California Lager Slurry
Mordecai Brun -- Wyeast Bierre de Garde (2qt starter)

Single Infusion (154 degrees)
22.5 lbs grain

10 gallons strike water
2.8 gallons absorbed
6.8 gallons sparge water needed

Brewday Notes:
Everything went very smoothly -- nothing to report
25 min into mash -- 9%Brix 1.043 -- Ph around 6

45 min into mash -- 13%brix 1.050 -- ph around 6

60 minutes into mash -- 17%brix 1.065 ph just below 6

75 minutes into mash 19%brix 1.074

Pre boil -- 1.043
O.G 1.051 -- Brown
O.G. 1.056 -- Bruin after 1lb sugar

6.8.12 -- Pitched yeast into both beers

Brown Notes:
6.12.12 -- I have not been as vigilant as I should changing out the ice in the cool box. I have had the temperature spike to 68 and then got it back down to 62, and then again to 66, but back down again. Temperature sensor is taped to the side of the bucket, so perhaps the temperature inside the fermenter is not as different as the ambient temp as I may think. We'll see. I'm okay with this beer being more ale-like, and it will be nice if that is the only effect the temp swings have. I will probably cold condition it to get rid of any green apple flavors I may have produced.
6.13.12 -- I was a little nervous about the possibility of hot fusels so I pulled at test today (around 1.030), and I do not think I can detect any.But then again, there is a small tingle in the back of my throat in the aftertaste that could be just that. At any rate, if it is there, it is small. The caramel aroma and flavor that I wanted seem to be there, and should get better as the fermentation continues to dry the beer out. The hop aroma is nice -- I can detect the Simcoe easily and perhaps the Centennial, but really cannot taste the complexity yet since the beer is still very sweet.
6.19.12 -- Gravity 1.017. Still has 1-2 points to go before I am considering it done.
6.25.12 -- Final gravity 1.010. I allowed the beer to warm up and finish while I was away at NHC in Seattle. Kegged and put in the chest freezer for conditioning / clarifying / storage.

Bruin Notes:
6.12.12. -- Fermenting well. Ambient temps around 65 for the first few days, then I allowed it to creap up closer to 75.
6.14.12 -- 1.023 on day seven. Nice hoppy aroma on this one too. Hops and caramel flavors last through the finish. May be a bit buttery at this point. I put another jug of ice in the box this morning, but that may be the last one.
6.25.12 -- temp has been between 80-85 for the last week or so. Gravity reading soon.
6.27.12 -- Gravity 1.006, kegged and put in chest freezer to condition

Mar 26, 2012

Curley's Wife -- California Common

Curley's Wife California Common
1.051 -- 1.012
40 IBU

16 lbs Marris Otter
2 lbs Melanoiden
1.5 lbs 60L Crystal
1 lb toasted malt
.5 lb Carapils

1 oz Northern Brewer (8.6 AA) -- 60 minutes
1 oz Northern Brewer (8.6AA) -- 40 minutes
2 oz Northern Brewer (8.6 AA) -- 30 minutes

Wyeast 2112 -- California Lager Yeast

The Mash:
Single Infusion:

10.5 gallons strike water
2.6 gallons absorbed
6 gallons sparge water needed

Notes from Brewday:
30 minutes into the mash, ph was closer to 6 than 5 -- 1.015 )

50 in ph dropped some (approx 5.7-6) -- 1.055


Pulled decoction for mash out (approx 4-5qts)

Mash out 1.074 (first runnings)  ph down a little more ( maybe 5.5)


Sparge water 180 -- tun temp 160

Second runnings - 1.041 -- 160 degrees -- ph if it changed rose a little (5.5 - 5.7)

Pre boil : very slightly less than 14gal


Recipe edit: 1oz nb at 60,40,30

OG 1.053 (maybe 1.055)

Approx .5 gal distilled water
Corrected: 1.052

6.4.12 -- Tasting Curley's Wife

Jan 21, 2012


American Golden Ale 1.057 -- 1.007 33 IBU -- 6.5% ABV
Cask Conditioned Kellerbier 1.046 -- 1.004 25 IBU -- 5.5% ABV
Ugly American 1.046* - 1.006 37 IBU -- 5.2% ABV 
 (2nd Place - Light Hybrid Beers - Summer Suds in Savannah 2012)

Main Mash:

The Malts:
16 pilsner
3 munich
1 carapils

Hops: (main mash)
2oz Spalt (5.6%AA) -- 60 min
2oz Hallertauer (3% AA) -- 30 min
1oz Hallertauer (3.8% AA) 15 min
2oz Saaz (3.1% AA) 15 min
1 oz Sterling (5.7% AA) 1 min

The Mash:
20lbs of grain (arrpox 67 degrees)
First infusion (protein rest) 5 gallons (133 degrees) -- 30 minutes (122 degrees)
Second infusion (sacc rest) 2.25 gallons (boiling) -- 60 minutes (146 degrees)
Third infusion (mash out)  4.3 gallons (boiling) -- 10 minutes (168 degrees)

Total infusion volume: 11.55 gallons
Absorption: 2.5 gallons
4.95 gallons sparge water necessary for pre-boil volume of 14 gallons


The Malts (and adjuncts)

2.5 lbs 6 Row
2.5 lbs Flaked Maize

.75 oz Cluster (8%AA) -- 60 minutes
1oz Sterling (7.5%AA) -- 1 min

The Mini - Mash:
5 pounds grain (approx 67 degrees)
First infusion (protein rest) -- 1.62 gallons (130 degrees) -- 30 minutes (122 degrees)
Second infusion (sacc rest) -- 0.7 gallons (boiling) -- 60 minutes (146 degrees)
Third infusion (mash out) -- 1.35 gallons (boiling) -- 10 minutes (168 degrees)

Total infusion volume: 3.67 gallons
Absorption: .63 gallons
1 gallon sparge water necessary

Mash Process:
  1. First infusion main mash
  2. Second infusion main mash
  3. First infusion mini mash
  4. Second infusion mini mash
  5. Third infusion main mash
  6. Run off main mash
  7. Sparge main mash / vorlauf / run off
  8. Third infusion mini mash
  9. Run off mini mash
  10. Sparge mini mash / vorlauf / run off

I will run off fourteen gallons pre-boil instead of the usual thirteen since this wort will get split three ways, and I want to ensure there is enough wort to go around.

10 gallons post-boil
5 in fermenter #1: kellerbier (1.050) to be kegged;
4 in fermenter #2 + 1 gallon  water: (1.050 + 1 gal = 1.040) kellerbier for cask

Fermenter #3:
2  gal from main mash, (1.050)
3 gal from mini-mash (maize and six-row) (1.050)

Reflections on Brewday: Everything went great with the exception of a couple rouge hop flowers that clogged the kettle bulk head. Once those were cleared out, things went smoothly and the chiller worked the way it should. I am seriously considering buying a hop taco or a false bottom for the kettle so to avoid this issue, which has been my biggest pain lately.

Wort collection was not what I expected. I ended up with around thirteen gallons instead of the fifteen I had planned for. I think I boiled off too much of the corn / 6 row mash, and might have had the same thing happen with the main wort, so I do not know what percent of this beer is corn / 6 row. I added a gallon of water to what was later named Ugly American, and the resulting gravity was 1.037. I had to check it the next day because I broke my hydrometer. I used Promash's dilution calculator and then boiled up a 1.080 gallon of wort using light golden DME to add to the rest which should result in a wort that is 1.046. I pitched the yeast before adding the extra wort because it had not cooled enough. I figure that is for the best anyhow because the yeast should be more active 24 hours from now when I can add the wort.

1.23.12 -- Chinese New Year (Year of the Dragon) -- Pitched yeast into all beers.

American Golden Ale Notes:
2.13.12 -- Gravity at 1.007 . Sample tastes sweet and then balanced. This will improve with dry-hopping, and I will do this 2-3 weeks before I keg it.
3.13.12 -- Dry hopped with 1oz Sterling

Cask-Conditioned Kellerbier Notes:
2.4.12 -- Gravity reads 1.004 which seems very low. This makes me think the original gravity was a bit lower than I calculated. Otherwise, this beer is around 91% attenuated -- very unlikely. The good news is that it tastes very good (has good bitterness and flavor/aroma from the hops).
2.16.12 -- Dry hopped with 1oz Saaz.
3.2.12 -- Put Kellerbier in cask along with 4.25 oz dextrose (condition to 2.5 volumes), gelatin finings, and champagne yeast.

Ugly American Notes:
2.4.12 -- Gravity reads 1.006, and the flavor is considerably different than the to-be cask conditioned beer. Both the malt character (it has corn and two row and golden extract in addition to the other grain bill) as well as the hop profile are quite different (it has cluster, and was also finished with sterling (the mini-mash)). I do not even know where to begin calculating IBUs for this beer, though I feel it is in the same neighborhood as the others .