IPA homebrew

November 8, 2010

Brewed: October 9, 2010
Dry Hopped: October 26, 2010 in secondary
Bottled: November 1, 2010

OG: 1.052 (or more… things got a bit blurry toward the end of this brew day)
FG: 1.018
ABV: 4.7%
IBU: 86


  • 6 lbs gold DME
  • 3.3 lbs amber LME
  • 4 oz Galena (13.2%a)
  • 3 oz Perle (7.5%a)
  • Nottingham dry yeast


  1. 1 oz Galena at 60
  2. 1 oz Perle at 20
  3. 1 oz Galena at 10
  4. 1 oz Perle and 1 oz Galena at 0
  5. 1 oz Perle and 1 oz Galena dry in secondary

Nottingham yeast pitched dry, not reconstituted or in starter.

We kegged this one. I haven’t had a chance to taste it yet, though Angelos (below) says it’s good. 🙂


Maple Honey Porter homebrew

November 8, 2010

Brewed: October 9, 2010
Bottled: November 1, 2010

Extract with adjuncts and malt tea
OG: 1.055*
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.9%*
IBU: 82*

* (can’t be certain, much sampling going on during brew day)


  • 2 lbs 2-row
  • 0.75 lb Crystal 120L
  • 0.5 lb Chocolate malt
  • 0.25 lb Black patent
  • 3.3 lbs Amber LME
  • 32 oz pure maple syrup
  • 1 lb natural clover honey
  • 1.75 oz Galena (13.2%a)
  • 1 oz Cascade (7.5%a)
  • WLP007 dry English ale yeast

160 degree tea of all grains in 5.5 gallon boil water.

Addition of LME, syrup and honey prior to boil.


  1. 1 oz Galena at 60
  2. 0.75 oz Galena at 30
  3. 1 oz Castade at 2

WLP007 yeast pitched from vial, not in starter.

Color is pitch black yet pours clean and clear. No head but mild carbonation on the tongue. Little nose, though slight hints of maple syrup present. Very smooth, light to moderate body. More maple on the tongue with charred grain notes and light malt sugars. Bitter, but up front only. Finish is clean with lingering bitterness. This one will be quite good given time to mature.


Amber homebrew

November 7, 2010

Brewed: October 9, 2010
Dry Hopped: October 26, 2010 in secondary
Bottled: November 1, 2010

OG: 1.060
FG: 1.012
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 46


  • 9 lbs 2-row
  • 2 lbs Munich
  • 0.5 lb Crystal 40L
  • 0.5 lb Crystal 80L
  • 1.25 oz Chinook (11.4%a)
  • 1.5 oz Perle (7.5%a)
  • Nottingham dry yeast

152 degree mash with 160 degree sparge


  1. .75 oz Chinook at first wort
  2. 1 oz Perle at 15 minutes remaining
  3. .5 oz Chinook and .5 oz Perle dry hop in secondary

Nottingham yeast pitched dry, not reconstituted or in starter.

Color is a nice medium amber with rose hues, not terribly clear though that may break over time. Pours with a thick, spongy head. Excellent lacing. Nice caramel and light grassy notes on the nose. More solid grassiness on the tongue with nice light malt notes. Beer is light bodied with a full flavor, very bitter, with a clean dry finish. Highly drinkable, extremely enjoyable.


Black IPA follow-up tasting

August 26, 2010

I had a cause for celebration this afternoon/evening and popped open one of the Black IPA homebrews. Man this beer keeps getting better! I poured into a pint glass and then went off to do a few things while the beer warmed from fridge temp. About 15 minutes later the head was still 3/4 full and spongy as ever!

Nose is crisp with wet hops and toasted grains. Notes of lemon grass and caramel amid an undeniable and unsuppressible hop presence.

Taste is everything I could have asked for. Faintly tart and very bitter, with a nice mix of burnt caramel and charred wood, and a nice firm bitter finish.

The beer has about a medium body to it, but finishes quite dry and tacky, leaving you wanting another sip.

I am beyond thrilled with how this beer came out, and can’t wait to brew it again!

Black IPA, batch #1

July 28, 2010

This homebrew concoction is a play off the new Cascadian Dark Ale category, but with a huge hop wallop. I don’t have specs for the recipe handy, but here’s the lowdown on tonight’s initial tasting (bottled last Monday). To set the stage, it’s an Imperial IPA brewed with dark grains and both Simcoe and Amarillo hops, and landed at 8.1% ABV.

Pours a very dark brown (need to tweak the color, maybe, else rename it) with a beautiful spongy tan head. Nose of hop cones (dry hopped with several ounces), molasses and charred wood. Beer is very bitter but quite smooth at the same time. Initial attack of citrusy hops and toasted malt, then flavors mellow to an almost lemony caramel flavor, finishing dry with a nice floral hop sustain. Highly drinkable, which could be a problem (this ain’t no session ale!). Mouthfeel is fairly silky going down with a nice dry tackiness to the palate afterwards, leaving you wanting more. Color is a deep, dark brown, and though clean-pouring, does not filter light.

I couldn’t be happier with this batch! Co-brewer Angelos is also wowed. We give a hearty nod to Dark Brewer as this was a bastardization of his quite amazing Simarillo IPA recipe. Enjoy a rather crappy shot I took from my iPhone. Note to self: you need a decent white set with good lighting, and a better camera.

Maple Honey Porter

February 23, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I bottled the Maple Honey Porter I brewed back in late January. This one’s going to need some time to mellow.


  • OG: 1.073
  • FG: 1.016
  • ABV: 7.4%

I used my BrewPal iPhone app exclusively in logging this brew. This gave me far more info than I could have hoped for. Some additional factoids about this beer:

  • Color is 36.8 degrees Lovibond
  • there are 236 calories in every 12 oz bottle (yikes!)
  • 48 IBUs
  • 85% efficiency

I took a sample last week after a week in the bottle and it was terribly young. Flavors were all over the place and while tasty it was just too young to note anything specific. I took another sample tonight and the flavors and aromas are starting to work together a bit more. The nose is still tacky-sweet with maple syrup notes though there are some nice caramel notes starting to come through. I’m also getting a touch of honey still, mainly in the form of a faint flowery sharpness.

The body of this beer is thinner than you’d expect from the aroma, but what you would expect from the gravity. The thinness lends a bit to a boozy element to the beer, but there is also a nice faint trace of maple there to bring a little bit of “hefty” flavor back to the beer. Nice toasty flavors coming through, with a dry hoppy finish.

I’m going to let this one sit for a few more weeks before trying again, but it has potential.

2009 Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews

January 27, 2010

I can’t believe I hadn’t blogged this yet…

Back in November 2009 I entered the Knickerbocker Battle of the Brews. It was my first homebrew competition, and I was mainly entering to get feedback on some of my beer other than my friends and family telling me “it’s good, I like it”.

I entered two beers I had handy at home. One was an English Pale that I knew was a bit off and wanted to see what the judges thought of the flavors, and the other was the Imperial Honey Amber that I was really happy with. I was on the fence whether to enter the honey as a specialty beer or a braggot, but settled on specialty as there was a bit more malt than honey in it.

Come the day of the judging, I stopped by at the posted time for the award ceremony and the place was oddly dead. There were a few groups of people still milling about and chatting, but it looked like they were packing up for the day. I walked over to one of the organizers and asked what the deal was… Apparently they finished the judging early and just wanted to get the hell out of there! Fair enough. I can’t blame them, though next time I think I’ll camp out on location for the day.

Anyway, I gave them my name and one guy repeated it and asked me “Didn’t you win an award?” That took me by surprise, and I replied “I don’t know! I just got here. You tell me!” they looked through the many remaining judging folders (I guess being mailed back to non-local competitors) and pulled my folder. Sure enough, my Imperial Honey Amber took 1st Place in its category (Specialty Beer)!!!

I was quite shocked, and think I smiled for the rest of the evening. The judging comments were great – objective, critical, and praising all in one. Best judge comment: “I would pay good money for a beer like this!”

The English Pale Ale didn’t do as well, but I got good feedback. Consistent feedback of mild acetone notes. Ah well. I’ll be able to put all their feedback to good use, and that was the whole point of the exercise. Winning was a bonus!

The Imperial Honey Amber will be the first of several beers I’ll be regularly brewing to come to a consistent recipe.

Followup on the Imperial Porter

January 27, 2010

Well, since it’s now almost gone I’d better get to this follow-up.

The Imperial Porter ended up losing its crown. I couldn’t locate the WLP007 or any high gravity yeast in time for brew day (every homebrewer in the area was apparently making a kick-ass winter beer), so I had to go with a standard English Ale yeast (Munton’s) and work a 2 day starter to get enough cells to take on the porter. They petered out early, and the resulting ABV was only 6.1% which, while reasonable, left the beer extremely sticky sweet. It’s been conditioning well in the bottle and I’ve received no complaints, but this was not the beer I was targeting. Ah well. It’s tasty and drinkable, so I can’t be too upset.

Monday Night’s Brew – Maple Honey Porter

January 27, 2010

I’m a sucker for adjuncts, what can I say?

Here’s a quick run-down of the recipe.


  • 3 lbs Amber DME
  • 2 lbs pale malt
  • .5 lbs black patent malt
  • .25 lbs chocolate malt
  • .75 lbs Crystal 120L malt
  • 32 fl oz pure maple syrup
  • 1 lb wildflower honey
  • 1 oz Cascade hop pellets (5.6%a)
  • 1.75 oz Galena hop pellets (10.6%a)
  • 1 vial White Labs WLP007 English Ale yeast

Brew Day’s Eve: I first stole 1/2 cup of Amber DME to make a 1 qt yeast starter. I gave the starter 24 hours so I’d pitch while the yeast was still highly active.

Brew day: Started with a 30 minute steep of all the grain in 2 gallons of water. Steeping held steady at about 155 degrees. Sparged with another 2 gallons of 165 degree water. Then started my boil with 4 gallons – a thick boil. Dropped 1 oz of Galena for the 60, the remaining .75 oz at the 30, and the Cascade at the 2. Transferred to fermenter, brought up to 5 gallons with clean cold water, chilled to 73 degrees, aerated and pitched the starter.


  • corrected OG: 1.073
  • 48 IBUs
  • color: 37 degrees L

Imperial Porter Recipe

October 8, 2009

I haven’t brewed in a while, mainly due to money and time. My next brew should be an imperial porter. I put this recipe together toward the mid-late summer, and intended it to be bottled by now and conditioning for the Christmas/New Years time period, but that didn’t happen. Perhaps it’ll be ready by St. Patrick’s Day…

Anyway, here’s what I intend to do:


  • 6.6 lbs pale malt extract
  • 3.3 lbs brown/dark malt extract
  • 2 lbs Crystal malt
  • 1 lb chocolate malt
  • .5 lb black patent malt
  • 1 oz Willamette hops
  • 1 oz Fuggles hops
  • 2 oz Northern Brewer hops
  • White Labs WLP007 dry English ale yeast

As you can see, this is going to pack a punch. The yeast I’ll be using is intended for higher gravity worts and can sustain in fairly high alcohol levels. I’m going to wing the Crystal malt and extract selections based on what’s available, but I’d prefer syrups and a lighter Crystal.