Let’s Catch Up

Well NHC is all but canceled.  I’m sure you know why.  I’v made several beers since the ones I made for NHC.   So let’s catch up.

  • 8 Day IPA
    • This is basically the Northern Brewer Kama Citra recipe, but I changed this up a bit.  If the link still works you can find the original recipe here.
    • First change, the original recipe is for a 5 gallon batch with a target ABV 5.3%.  I decided to reduce the batch size to 4 gallons and the end result was a 6.3% beer.
    • Second, I fermented this beer under pressure using my new Fermentasaurus Snub Nose.  The idea here is that fermenting under pressure will help the beer retain more hop aroma and flavor.
    • Third, I fermented with SafLager S-23.  That’s right this is technically a lager.
    • I really like this beer.  It’s no longer on tap but I have a few bottles left.   I think I’m on to something with making hoppy beers under pressure.
  • Social Distance DIPA
    • Is another IPA I fermented under pressure.  This time I used an Danstar’s Nottingham yeast (one of my favorites).
    • This is an all Mosaic hop brew with additions for bittering, flavor, aroma, and dry hop.
    • This beer seems to have peaked after about two weeks in the keg.   I can a fair amount of Mango / Stonefruit which I’m sure is coming from the Mosaic hops.  I’ll have to do more single hop brews…
    • End results is a delicious 8% 56 IBU DIPA
  • El Hefe 7
    • Hefeweizen is one of my favorite styles of beer, hence version #7.
    • This is a little different than past El Hefe’s.  I’m using German Wheat Malt (Weyermann)  & Pislner (BESTMALZ)  from a maltsters I haven’t used before.
    • I also intentionally brewed this one to rather light at 4.8% ABV.
    • Other than that there’s not much to say. 
  • Galaxy Pale
    • Inspired by Social Distance I decided to make another beer with a single hop.   This time using Australian Galaxy Hops…
    • This brew is cold crashing now and I can’t wait to try it.   Some of my favorite IPAs are made with Galaxy hops.
    • Galaxy hops are highly aromatic and generally impart intense Citrus and Passionfruit characteristics to your beer.
    • I should be trying this one in a few days. 

If you want to see these beers you should be able to find them on untappd (I’ve I’m not too lazy to post them).

Decision Made

I’ve decided which two beers I’ll be submitting to the National Homebrew Competition (NHC 2020) this year.

First up will my my new Wee Heavy; which i’ve aptly named P’s Wee Heavy (I know, very creative)…

Next up is my new Double IPA with a slightly more creative name of Big Hopper.

Wish me luck!

NHC Time

Well it’s that time of year again.   It’s time for the National Hombrew Competition.   I will be submitting two beers again this year so I’ve been brewing.

First up is a Scottish Export, also known as an 80 Shilling (80/-).   Not sure how relevant it is these days in Scotland, but I credit this style getting me hooked on beer.   I wasn’t a huge fan of beer before my first trip to Scotland.  However, on that first trip I was introduced to a “pint of 80” and I found it be delicious.  This is still one of my favorite styles of beer, but it’s hard to find.  I think this version is pretty good:

Scottish Export

Here is a link to the BJCP style guide for Scottish Export.  

I have also have a Double IPA and Scottish Wee Heavy in the works.  Unfortunately, they aren’t ready to drink yet.   Only time will tell which two brews make it into the competition.


Let’s go West

West Coast style IPAs are almost a novelty on the east coast these days.  All these soft juicy east coast IPAs leave me craving a good ole bitter West Coast style IPA.  

So here’s my take on a West Coast IPA.  The malt bill consists of 90% Pale Malt, 5% Crystal 20L, 4% Carapils.   But that’s not the important part.   Here come the hops.    41 IBU of Warrior at T-60, 12 IBU of Cryo Citra in the whirl pool, 1oz Azacca & 1oz Simcoe dry hopped for 3 days, and another 1 oz  Azacca in the keg.

The end result?

P’s West Coast IPA 6.8%

I’m enjoying the bitter bite and piny/citrus aroma/flavor.  This is a pretty good beer, but honestly I had higher expectations.   I already know what I want to tweak for the next version 😉

Uptown Coffee Brown

I’m normally not a fan of Brown Ales.  However, I’ve found some jazz’d up versions I really like (hello Founder’s Underground Mountain Brown).

So I decided to brew my own jazz’d up Brown.   The malt bill: 78% Pale Malt, 7% Brown Malt, 4% Crystal 120L,  4% Crystal 80L,  4% Chocolate Malt, 3% Special B.

I used Saflager 34/70 to ferment it; which is quickly becoming a favorite.

When fermentation was nearly complete I added 7 grams of coarsely crushed Starbucks Verona coffee beans and 1 teaspoon of Mexican Vanilla Extract (Usumacinta).

Uptown Coffee Brown

I was a bit surprised with the end result.   The coffee is quite prominent and I definitely taste the vanilla is the background.  The color went from brown to nearly pitch black…

I really like this brew 🙂


No So Quad

Not So Quad (btw the color is darker than reality)

I was hoping to brew a big Belgian Quad inspired brew.   Something north of 9% ABV.   The goal was to age it and keep around for next winter.

Well you know what they say about the best laid plans.   Yes my brew day went a bit awry with this one.   I’ll spare you the details.   Let’s just say this turned out to more like a Dubbel; hence the name “No So Quad”.  

This brew is being naturally conditioned/carbonated with Belgian Candi Syrup in keg.   The glass above was from the excess I conditioned in a 2 liter bottle.

I like the results from the 2 liter bottle so I have high hopes for the keg.  Only time will tell how this one ultimately turns out.

Stout V3 (Prinz Stout)

As I mentioned with my previous stout I wanted to try using something other than Roasted Barley.   So in this brew I decided to try using a “bittered” black malt called Prinz Black Malt

Briess Brewer’s 2 Row (1.8 SRM)74%
Crystal 40L (40 SRM)7.4%
Blackprinz Black Malt (500 SRM)3.7%
Chocolate Malt (425 SRM)3.7%
Flaked Rye3.7%
Flaked Wheat3.7%
Special B (147 SRM)3.7%
Warrior T-601 oz
Cascade1 oz

The other big change with this brew was the water profile.   I choose a profile that should enhance the body & mouth feel.   This was a 5 gallon batch.  

The water additions for the mash:

Calcium Chloride11 grams
Gypsum2.3 grams
Epsom Salt 0.32 grams
Lactic Acid1/4 tsp

The water additions for the sparge water:

Calcium Chloride8.25 grams
Gypsum1.7 grams
Epsom Salt0.25 grams

Note these water additions are based on my starting water profile and a “target profile”of Murphy’s Stout/Porters from Beersmith…

I definitely think this was a step in the right direction for what I’m looking for in a Stout.  The body is smooth and the harsh finish I attributed to Roast Barley is gone.  It certainly looks the part as well.

Prinz Stout

Hop Hearted

Chalk design by my daughter, Rachel!

Inspired by Bell’s Two Hearted Ale which is an excellent IPA.   This brew features Centennial Hops early and late during the boil and during dry hop. The malt bill is simple.   Basically 95% 2-Row Pale Malt and 5% Crystal 40L

Normally this style would be fermented using something like SafeAle US-05.   I’ve been playing with SafLager 34/70 lately so I decided to give it try for this brew as well.   So technically this is a Lager even though I fermented at Ale temperatures.   I really like the end product.

The result?   A crisp, bitter, piney, and citrus brew that leaves me wanting more after each sip.   I really like having this beer on tap.   I’ll definitely make another variant of this.

For the next version I’ll be looking to dial up the hop aroma and dial back the ABV.

Here’s is a link the Untapp’d profile for this brew:  Hop Hearted!

Hop Hearted

Update on the Hefe

El Hefe 5.0

Looks and tastes the part.  I get Banana and Clove aroma/flavor.   I love passionfruit and can detect it in the slightest amounts.   I couldn’t resist adding a little passion fruit extract at flame out.  I doubt anyone, other than myself, would be able to detect it.

The Dark Munich malt contributed a bit more color than is typical for a Hefe.   I didn’t use Pilsen malt at all which proves you don’t need to use German malt to make a decent Hefe.  This is at least my 5th batch of Hefe.   Of those I’d say two batches pretty much nailed the flavor profile.  I find following grain bill, mash, and yeast will make a decent hefe:

  • grain bill should consist of at least 50% wheat
  • my latest mash schedule for a hefe is:
    • Mash in 110ºF for 10 min
    • Protein Rest 122ºF for 10 min
    • Sach Rest 154ºF for 40 min
    • Mash out 168ºF for 10 min
  • White Labs WLP-300 Yeast.  I find it best it under pitch it.

I use a Grainfather so it’s easy for me to step mash.  Note my system requires 5 – 10 minutes to ramp up between mash steps.  So you may need to adjust the schedule based on your system.

PGB Common

This brew was inspired by the California Common (BJCP 16B).  What exactly is a California Common?   We’ll it’s a style of beer that Anchor Brewing is famous for making;  their “Steam Beer” is basically what this style was born from.  You can read about it at this link https://www.anchorbrewing.com/beer/anchor_steam

It’s supposed to be a medium amber color (mine is a bit too dark) and have notes of carmel and toast.   The body should be medium.  The bit that interested me the most is that’s it’s fermented with a lager yeast at Ale temperatures.   Since I had Fermentis SafLager 34/70 on hand I just had to try my hand at this style.

Brewer’s 2-Row Pale Malt (Briess)8 lbs 12 oz
Rye Malt (Thomas Fawcett)1 lb
Honey Malt8 oz
Crystal 20L4 oz
Chocolate Malt (Muntons) 4 oz
East Kent Goldings (6%) T-60)1 oz
East Kent Goldings (6%) T-60)1 oz
East Kent Goldings (6%) T-60)1 oz

Holy smokes did this beer ferment fast.   I was amazed.  My OG was 1.052, FG 1.010, and it only took three days to get there.  

The end result? A 5.5% Darkish Amber which does hit on some of the style characteristics of a California Common.   I’ll have to see I can find Anchor Steam at my local craft beers shop to compare.

I’m going to enjoy this one…   Cheers!

PGB Common 5.5%