Category Archives: Brewing

Related to brewing beer.

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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Crowd Pleasing Dark Wheat Beer

This past weekend was an attempt to make a crowd-pleasing wheat beer, but using some unconventional ingredients.

The brew started with 6 gallons in the pot, which in retrospect should have been more like 7 given how much steamed away.

This was a partial mash brew, with 2 lbs plain extra light dry malt, and the following grains:
1 lbs Vienna
1 lbs 2 Row
2 lbs American Crystal 40L
1.5 lbs American Crystal 60L
0.5 lbs American Crystal 120L
0.5 lbs Carapils
0.5 lbs Pale Chocolate Malt

Grains were steeped in two grain socks, tied loosely. Initial temperature was 170 degrees F, but dropped to 150 degrees at the end of the 60 minute steep, which should have allowed both a fair amount of the ferment-able sugars lower in the range as well as some pleasant residual sugars from the higher temperatures. Hops were 1 oz. of the Northern Brewer hops, with 8.6% alpha acids. They were added after 55 minutes of boiling, and given 10 minutes in the boil.

The result was only about 4 gallons of beer, fermenting happily away with a packet of dry Nottingham yeast. OG was 1.052 once temperature corrected, which is bubbling continuously at this point ~24 hours after the completion of the brew.

My goal is that this would be a simple beer which most people would enjoy. Now I get to wait and see if I hit the mark!

Next weekend I’ll be attempting a Belgian style. One of the following, assuming the kits arrive in time. Knowing me, it will likely get modified. =)

Belgian Tripel Extract
Belgian Strong Golden Ale



Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Brewing


Wheat Beer

Wheat Beer

Today’s experiment was to make a simple, crowd-pleasing wheat beer. To accomplish this, I made up a recipe of:

    3.3 lbs. Wheat LME
    3 lbs. Wheat DME
    1 oz. Willamette hops
    1 lbs. Crystal malt from 2-row barley (60L)

The yeast was the yeast after transferring from secondary from both the Paving Tar Stout, and the Caribou Slobber. Some priming sugar was added and the result aerated a couple hours before brewing, to give the yeast a chance to start multiplying – and from the pressure in the container when it was opened, it seems they did just that!

Steeping grains were added at 165 degrees and steeped for 20 minutes. The wort was brought to a boil and the LME and DME added. Most of the hops were added early for bittering, with the last added about 10 minutes from the end of the boil for aroma. I didn’t want to have a highly hopped beer, which drove this decision.

Given that this is an all-wheat beer, it is expected to ferment a bit violently. To help contain the brew, whirlfloc was added shortly before flame-out, and Fermcap-S was used in the primary fermenter. This should contain the brew and prevent it from doing anything dastardly to the brew room.

As the recipe was my own, the expected gravity was not known. We obtained an original gravity (OG) of 1.060 however, which is quite reasonable.
Wheat Beer In Secondary Fermenter Yeast from wheat beer when racking to secondary


Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Brewing