Monthly Archives: June 2012

First Attempt – Mild Ale

Today’s target is a mild ale. Found the starting recipe here, which I modified to have a bit more grains since we were extracting the malt without the aid of proper mashing gear. The ingredients were:

  • 7.0 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter
  • 2.0 lbs Crystal Malt – 60L
  • 1.0 lbs Crystal Malt – 40L
  • 0.33 lbs Chocolate Malt
  • 2 oz. Fuggles hops (1st addition with 45 minutes remaining, 2nd addition with 15 minutes remaining)

Original Gravity was 1.030, which appears to be about right for the style. Due to the warmth outside, it was slow going getting the temperature down. Fortunately the fluid level was low, and I was able to add ice to both bring it up to 5 gallons as well as drop the temperature down to 78 degrees. To accomplish that I moved it to a plastic ale pail, which I added ice to to bring it up to 5 gallons, and gave it a stir with the aerator. Once those melted, the temperature was down to 78, and I added the Nottingham yeast, and transferred it to the glass carboy.

Before its addition, the yeast was made into a bit of a starter to prove it was active and give it a kick start. This was done by taking some residual honey in a container, adding some water and heating that up, shaking it around a bit, and putting the result in a canning jar with the yeast. In less than 30 minutes, it was highly pressurized and oozing yeast.



Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Brewing


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Cocoa Mango Amber Ale (in search of a name: Tru-Moo-Bru?)

Target: A drinkable Amber Ale with chocolate and fruit flavors, to make people go “hmmm…”, being not certain if they liked it.

Basis: Brewers Best American Amber kit. Steeped grains at 163, 20 min, drained for 10.  Back to a boil, added DME and LME, and 1/2 of kit’s bittering hops, back to a boil.  6 oz of Nestle’s cocoa powder (started with 4 and decided wth) at 45 min into boil, 1/2 oz of Willamette hops at 55 min. Cooled some, transferred to bucket, cooled some more.  Rehydrated yeast and 1 chopped, mashed mango to the bottom of the carbouy. Wort just under 90 when put in.  A little warm, but it was a warm day.

Tastes definitely of cocoa, even chocolately.  Cocoa didn’t seem to add as much bitterness as expected.

Initial gravity: 1.050
Final gravity: 1.011 @ 76 deg. F
Temp. corrected, 5.3% ABV

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Brewing


Belgian Memorial Day

As mentioned in a previous post, today was a day for brewing Belgian beer. The day was warm and muggy, and the temperature of the water from the hose was only able to get the temperature down to a bit less than 90 degrees.

Strong Golden 1.076 OG, 1.004 FG – 9.6% ABV

Tripel 1.068 OG, 1.004 FG – 8.5% ABV

They were mostly done with the active fermentation in less than 2 weeks, with a gravity of 1.010. The extra several months refined it even further to the final 1.004 @ 78F.


  • Brew day was Monday, May 28th, 2012
  • Moved to secondary Saturday, June 9th, 2012
  • Racked to keg Sunday, September 8, 2012



Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Brewing


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Bourbon Barrel Stout

In an attempt to make a deep and rich beer which will age well, and be pleasant drink, and a bit of a meal in a glass too. The starting kit was the brewer’s best whiskey barrel stout from the local brew store, to which a whole passel of grains were added. Though I recycled the list of grains and amounts, it was about 8 additional pounds, and included some chocolate malt, and 120L, as well as some 60, and some additional 2-row. Common theme: go big or go home. This wasn’t intended to be a beer for casual consumption, but should be one which puts hair on your chest, and might just lay you out flat if not treated with respect.

The original gravity (OG) was a gratifying 1.094 @ 68F. After 2 weeks in primary, it was transferred to secondary, with a gravity of 1.037, for an ABV of 7.5 thus far. We can assume this will increase a bit, as when it was moved to secondary, half a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey was added along with the smoked oak chips which had been soaking in it. This was left in secondary for a bit over a month, to allow the smoke flavor to leech into the beer and blend. The whiskey will likely add about 1% to the final ABV as well.

FG: to come


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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Brewing


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