Dec 28, 2013

Keller E.P.

Keller E.P.
1.050 - 1.005
 41 IBU
5.9% ABV

Malts: 16# Weyerman Pilsner + 3# Munich II + 1# Carapils

2oz Spalt (4.8% AA)- 60 min
2oz Hallertaur (4.3% AA) - 30 min
2 oz Hallertaur (4.3% AA)- 15 min
2oz Saaz (3.8% AA) - 15 min
1 oz Saaz (3.8% AA) - 0 min

9 gallons strike water
2.5 gallons absorbed
at least 7.5 gallons sparge water needed
total water: 16.5 gallons

Brewday Notes:
Fire lit at 6:36 AM
mash in at 7:20 AM
Initial mash temperature 146°F
8:53 AM first runnings 1.063. Just shy of 6 gallons.

14 pre-boil gallons at 1.041
11:10 AM final gravity 1.050. A little bit less than 12 gallons. Also I added 2 ounces of Saaz at knockout instead of one.

11:54 AM chilling done beer is in the buckets.

Completely done cleaning and all at 12:40 PM

1.26.14 - Gravity reads 1.005. Primary fermentation has been in the high fifties with the exception of a day or so in the low 60s. I have attempted a diacetyl rest of sorts, but it has been damn cold, so I do not think it even got to 65 once I removed the buckets from their fermentation chambers. I tasted it again today, and did not notice any diacetyl flavors, these are going to be ready for their cold conditioning.

Dec 11, 2013

Smokey the Bandit

Smokey and the Bandit, Sally Field Giving the Finger

Smokey the Bandit
1.040 - 1.007
28 IBU
4.3% ABV

The Malts:

10 lbs American 2-row
3 lbs Cherry Smoked Malt
1.5 lbs Chocolate Wheat Malt
1 lb Carastan
1 lb 80L Crystal Malt


1 oz Target (8.5%AA) - 60 min
1 oz East Kent Golding (5.6%AA) - 30 min


7.5 gal strike water
1 gal mash-out
at least 7.6 gal sparge water


S-04 slurry from Bullfrog Brown

1.4.14 - Both buckets are now kegged. The one today may have a slightly lower final gravity than the one I kegged a couple days ago. The lower F.G. version is in the keg that says "use last".

Nov 2, 2013

Bullfrog Brown

Bullfrog Brown
1.040 -- 1.014
19 IBU
3.4% ABV 

The Malts:

6 lbs Marris Otter
3 lbs Munich (9L)
3 lbs Toasted Malt
2 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lb 80L Crystal
.5 lb Chocolate Malt

Hops: Hops: Hops:

1.50 oz East Kent Goldings (5.6% AA)

Water Needed:

7 gallons strike water
1.9 gallons absorbed
+1 gallon boiling water (mash out)

at least 8 gallons sparge water needed.

Brewday Notes and Reflections:

Mashed in at 7:55 AM. Meeting to add a little more boiling water because mash temp is too low.

I managed to get it up to about 157° with about 45 minutes to go.

First runnings: 1.061.
Pre-boil gravity 1.033.
Final gravity: 1.040.

All done at 2:20 PM.

Bullfrog Brown Notes:

11.4.13 - pitched yeast (S-04)

1.20.14 -- Tasting Bullfrog Brown:

Before tasting, it should be noted that this beer fermented in the low 60s. 

Appearance: Dark copper with excellent clarity. Light tan head that is very thick and persistent.

Aroma: Caramel and bready (toasty) notes are most noticeable. There is also a very faint hop aroma that is best described as earthy. Very fait fruity esters as well - peachy. No diacetyl; no DMS.

Flavor: Very light bready and toasty flavors, but the dominant and initial flavor is grainy and a bit sharp. Finish is bitter and lingers for quite a while. Finish is also a little watery. Caramel flavors do not come through past the grainy and sharp nature of the beer. The flavor is not bad, but just not what it could be. Sharpness fades as beer warms, as the malty flavors become a bit more prominent. Very low to no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and sharp. Slightly astringent. Low carbonation and medium bodied.

Overall: Not a bad start, but this beer is missing a lot of the character I hoped would be there. The mash temperature being lower than I wanted could have been a contributing factor. I may also want to add a bit more crystal malt, and perhaps forego the chocolate malt, which I have found to have a bit of a sharp flavor in the past. Though a lot of the negative aspects fade as the beer warms, there is still improvement to be made. One might be to increase the gravity a tad. Much of this could be that there is just not enough malt to contribute to the flavor profile I am looking for. The take-away: serve this beer warmer, and make the adjustments named above, and the end results should be much better. The potential is here, just work on the execution.


Temptation Toad

Half of this batch will be fermented with a yeast and bacteria cultured from a bottle of Russian River Supplication and a bottle of Temptation from the same brewery. I built the culture up starting with about a half liter of 1.030 wort, then ramping it up to a full liter once the fermentation subsided. Then I sent the following inquiry to Russian River Brewing Company:

"Supplication and Temptation Dregs -- What do I have?

Hello. I have been building up a culture from the dregs of the two beers I mentioned above. I would like to use this to ferment one of my next batches. I know there has to be some Pedio and Brett in there, but I wonder if you know more specifically what else may be living in there. Is there any Saccromyces, or is it all Brett and bugs? EIther way, I still plan to use this culture to ferment a brown ale I will brew soon.

THank you for any insight you may be able to provide."

...and got the following response from Vinnie Cilurzo, their head brewer:

"Thanks for the email, you have a mix of Sacc, Brett, and bacteria.  The Sacc is a wine yeast we use to bottle condition with.  The Temptation would contribute some pretty fresh Brett as we use some in the bottle and the bacteria we used in the barrel also has a bunch of wild yeast but the bacteria component is probably on the light side in quantity as it was added early on.  In general though you should be able to grow it up in low gravity low or un-hopped wort along with some apple juice (unfiltered) at a ratio of 80% wort and 20% apple juice."
Good luck!
Vinnie Cilurzo
Russian River Brewing Company

For the next step, I ramped it up to about three quarts, adding unfiltered apple juice to account for about 20% of the total of the final culture volume.

Temptation Toad Notes:

11.4.13 -- pitched culture (70 degrees)
12.20.13 - 1.008 (mildly sour. very thin)
7.9.14 - 1.003 (more pronounced lingering fruity sourness -- beer is extremely dry) -- added 1oz Medium Toast French oak cubes
1.19.15 -- Bottled using 8.1oz corn sugar for 4.25 volumes CO2. I am a little concerned about my process though. I added the priming sugar and bottling yeast after racking the beer to the bottling bucket, which is not how I usually proceed. I stirred the beer gently after the addition and 1-2 more times during the course of bottling to be sure the sugar and yeast were integrated evenly. Also a couple of bottles broke in the oven, so that is also a concern. I had the heat up to 260 for 2.5 hours.

Aug 31, 2013


Second Place: English Pale Ales
Peach State Brew-Off 2014
1.044 -- 1.010
41 IBU
4.5% ABV


13 lbs Marris Otter
4 lbs Flaked Wheat


. 50 oz Pacific Jade (14.2% AA) -- 60 min
1oz Nelson Sauvin (11.4% AA) -- 15 min
1oz Simcoe (13%AA) -- 10 min
1oz Simcoe (13%AA) -- 0 min
1oz Nelson Sauvin (11.4%AA) -- 0 min
.50 0z Pacific Jade (14.2%AA) -- 0 min


8 gallons of strike water
2.125 gallons absorbed
at least 8.125 gallons of sparge water needed.


Dough in 6:03 am 155 degrees.

First runnings 1.051
Almost 6 gallons

Pre-boil gravity 1.026. 14 gallons. Coming in a little low me to recalculate hops.

I made the following adjustment Pacific JD is now half an ounce at 60 minutes an half an ounce at zero minutes

New IBU I BU 41.40

Final gravity 1.043. I don't know how this happened I think it is a little higher than I expected because I boiled it really hard to try to get as many points as possible. I think I got more than I planned.

9.21.13: Half racked to keg, half racked to cask (primed to 2.3 volumes)
12.28.13 - a later note: the keyhole bung failed when i was filling the cask, and the beer intended for the cask was rushed into growlers to prime. Beer was overcarbonated, but otherwise very good. The keg version has not been tapped yet -- it is next.

May 11, 2013


Lajoie Beliner Weisse
1.0?? -- 1.0??
?.?% ABV
(five gallons)

3.5 lbs American Two-row
3.5 lbs Flaked Wheat

.5 oz Hallertaur (4.6% AA) - Mash Hops - added to decoction



7lbs grain:
2 gal Strike water

30 min @ 125
Decoction - approx 3 quarts
.5 oz Hallertaur in decoction (mash hops)
60 min @ 152
Added another 2-3 quarts of cold water to bring temperature down to around 115. Temperature held around 90-100 for 48 hours.

Pellicle on Sour Mash

Apr 4, 2013

Mrs. Gorilla

Mrs. Gorilla
1.037 - 1.010
36 IBU
3.5% ABV
Serve Cool with a Piston Engine

The Malts:

8 lbs Marris Otter
3 lbs Victory
2 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lb 60L Crystal
1 lb 80L Crystal
.5 lb 120L Crystal

The Hops:

1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 60 min
1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 30 min
1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 15 min
1 oz Styrian Goldings (3.8% AA) - 15 min
1 oz Bramling Cross (7.4%AA) - 5 min
1 oz Styrian Goldings (3.8% AA) - 15 min

7 gal strike water
Dough-in 7:39
Mash temp 156
First runnings 1.056
Pre-boil -- 1.031 (14gal)
Final gravity 1.037- should have boiled harder.


Feb 3, 2013


American Pale Ale
1.050 - 1.013
39 IBU
4.8% ABV

The Malts:

12 lbs American 2-row
5 lbs Unmalted Wheat 
3 lbs Victory Malt

The Hops:

.75 oz Columbus / Tomahawk (16.4% AA) -- 60 minutes
1.25 oz Columbus / Tomahawk (16.4% AA) -- 10 minutes 
.25 oz Columbus / Tomahawk (16.4% AA) -- 5 minutes
1 oz Simcoe (13.2% AA) -- 5 minues


Dry S-04


8 gallons strike water
2.5 gallons absorbed
5.5 gallons first runnings
at least 8.5 gallons sparge water needed
Not a clone of this.

Brewday Reflections:


Dough-in: 6:50 a.m.
Mash temp 153

New Orleans Music / Mardi Gras / Tomnahawk!! / Indians

First runnings 1.082
Second Runnings 1.042

EDIT 5 min addition: .25 oz Columbus + 1oz Simcoe (13.2%aa)
New IBU = 39

Original Gravity = 1.050

Chiller: next time put valve on in side not out side.

Shopping list:
Disconnect o-rings 


2.11.13 - Yeast pitched

2.15.13 -- Fermentation temps between 66-70. Gravity down around 1.020 (laundry room) already. Though it was still sweet (of course) the toastiness from the Victory malt and the flavors from the late hops (dankness from Columbus and Orange peel (light) from Simcoe) are already showing to be very nice.

2.22.13 -- Hall batch down to 1.015 (70% attenuation) - close if not finished already. The mash temp (153) seems to be keeping the FG higher (intended). Balance between malty/toasty - bitterness - hop flavor are all what I wanted. This will be very drinkable.

4.4.13 -- Tasting Tomahawk!!

Appearance: Dark gold / light copper with a fluffy white and persistent head. Clear, but not quite brilliant.

Aroma: A spicy and citrus-like hop aroma up front followed by toasty and bready from the malt. Light fruity (peach, honey, etc) esters. A small  bit of rustic graininess from the wheat. Dominant aroma is like citrus peels.

Flavor: Not a rowdy beer flavor-wise. Toasted malts are the first wave, then followed by medium-high bitterness. Bitterness is clean and not at all harsh. Aftertaste features citrus hop flavors (lemon, orange peels) as well as bready and toasty flavors. Hop bitterness lasts long into the finish. Finish is medium-dry with a small touch of sweetness. 

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with medium-low carbonation. Some creamy texture and no alcohol warmth or astringency. Bitternes leaves a light biting sensation on the tongue.

Overall: I am pleased with the drinkability of this beer as well as the flavor controbutions from such a sessionable recipe. I am liking Columbus hops the more I use them. I entered this beer as an ESB in a competition in St. Louis, and I think with the gravity, English character, hop and malt flavor levels, it fits that category well.