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Grape-Infused Berliner Weiss

Goal: Berliner Weisse – though well balanced and not overly tart

I tend to make bigger beers, or summer drinking beers. My partner likes a different sort, and while I’ve tried making lagers to suit, have thus far not hit it out of the park. Add to that the fact that lagers take a long time to be ready to drink, and something different was in order. Accordingly, I’m trying for a beer that will hold up to those like the Festina Peche from Dogfish Head brewery. Not overly sour, and well balanced. Since I had a lot of grapes on hand, I decided to utilize them for some of the fruity flavors and results. Recipe below – time will tell if I hit the mark.



  • 6# 2-row
  • 2# white wheat
  • 1# 40L
  • .25# Honey Malt
  • .5# Wyerman Acidulated specialty malt (1.7028 Lovibond)
  • 4# Concord grapes. Half reduced to juice and with seeds and skins strained off, half with seeds and skins remaining.


  • 1oz Czech Saas hops (whole, not pelletized) 2.4% alpha, 3.4% beta


  • 100 ml. Brettanomyces lambicus
  • Wyeast 1007 – German ale yeast

Added 24 hours after start of fermentation

  • Lactobacillus Brevis (added 24 hours after start of fermentation)
  • 1 oz. Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 oz. Red wine vinegar

Brewing Process

Grains were soaked for an hour starting at 180 deg. Fahrenheit and ending at 155, with occasional stirring of the mesh bag. The bag was removed and allowed to drip, with the drippings added to the boil. Grapes and juice added after mashing at the start of the 1-hour boil. Hops were added in approximately equal portions at the 0, 30 and 60 minute marks (flame out).

Original gravity (OG) 1.049 / 12.1 Brix, which suggests this may be as high as a 6.4% ABV beer.

The result is much tarter to the taste than is common for a beer going into primary fermentation, and tastes strongly of grape. From what I hear, most of the grape contribution will ferment out, hopefully leaving a nice fruitiness and complexity.


Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Brewing


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Vienna Ale – Arromatic Caramel Wheat

The recipe I made up for Daniel’s brew smelled and looked so good, I had to make a variation before I’d even tasted the final result. In particular I used different grains for the consumable sugars and picked some with a bit more aroma. Also, I used a different yeast and hops, so while I had a similar goal in mind, I changed a lot of the recipe along the way. Initial brix 17.4, which could lead to an ABV as high as 9.7%. By the time it went into secondary, the brix was down to 10.5.

Yeast was Nottingham, started in a canning jar with honey, which was a great way to use up the last of the honey as well as speed up the start of fermentation.


  • Czech saaz 3% alpha, 4.8% beta
  • Nugget 13.5% alpha, 4.5% beta
  • 5 lbs. Vienna
  • 5 lbs. Maris Otter
  • 2 lbs. roasted barley
  • 2 lbs. 20L
  • 1 lbs. Belgian special aromatic
  • 1 lbs. Belgian biscuit (FrancoBelges)
  • 1 lbs. chocolate


This had a lovely flavor and an excellent smell.

This had a lovely flavor and an excellent smell.

racking a whole lot of tasty roasted grains

Cooling was done directly in the brew kettle

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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Brewing


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Dark as Sin, and Twice as Tasty – Coffee Stout

July 27th Daniel came over hoping to get something appropriate for football season. In particular, something with ‘lots of coffee flavor.’ Towards that end, I picked up a grain bill with lots of roasted flavors and residual malts to make up a strong stout.


  • 1 lbs.Chocolate Malt
  • 2 lbs. Roasted Barley
  • 1 lbs. Belgian Aromatic Wheat
  • 1 lbs Belgian Biscuit
  • 1 lbs 20 Lovabond Caramel
  • 7 lbs. 2-Row

Hops were added throughout the boil and were 1 oz Summit pellets and 1 oz. Nugget pellets. Yeast was new to me, but came well recommended; Denny’s Favorite 1450, which claimed to be good for big ales and stouts.

Initial Brix was 13.95. After one week, primary fermentation had slowed, and the Brix was down to 9.8, meaning it is already 3.9% ABV. The smell of the roasted grains is very strong, making me think this may take too long to be at its best for the coming football season. Given the recipe was mine, and I’m willing to give it the long cellar time, I offered Daniel the chance to do make a stout which is ready sooner and take this one off his hands if he wants. =) Clearly I was only trying to help out a friend! I look forward to seeing this one come to fullness.

Update: 9/27/2014

Moved to final keg, with a BRIX of 6.9, or 1.027 FG. This speaks to the amount of non-fermentables visible in the result. Great taste with a nice balanced mouth feel, some treacle flavors along with the roasted grains. Look forward to having this chilled and carbonated. Final ABV: 4.1%


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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Brewing


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End of Summer Hefe

Time to make something I’d never made before; a simple hefeweizen. After some looking around for recipes online, I settled on a simple recipe, which I modified in small ways.


  • 5 lbs. White Wheat
  • 5 lbs. Pilsner Malt

Hops were the 1 oz. German Tettnang pellets which were in for the entire boil, and the yeast was the Weihenstephan Wheat yeast, which is designed to give it the particular hefeweizen flavor.

Initial Brix 11.2, and after a week when most of the fermentation was over it was down to 7.0 for a 3.8% ABV thus far. Moving to the keg it was about 7.5 brix.

Brewing Hefeweizen - July 2013



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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Brewing


Light Lager

The Vienna Lager was so well received another variation on the theme was in order. The day of the brew was muggy and warm, but most of the brewing time it was left to do its own thing, allowing us to hide in the air-conditioning.

It was a whole grain brew, using a mesh bag once again instead of the more complicated mash tun setup.

 Grain bill

  • Vienna Lager, 6 lbs
  • Munich, 2 lbs
  • Honey, 1 lbs
  • Pilsen, 3 lbs
  • Crystal, 40L, 2 lbs
  • Dingemans Cara 45, 1 lbs

Hops and Yeast

Hops were a combination of Mt. Hood and Cluster for the entire boil, and UK Fuggles for the last 15 minutes. Bavarian Lager yeast was used, along with fermcap after the cooling.


Initial Brix: 10, or 1.04 OG. This suggests the final result might be around 5.2% ABV.

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Brewing


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