Batch #5 bottle day

Original post here.

I didn’t get to this as soon as I would have liked to, but only about a week past when I’d have put it into the secondary. After reading a bit about why using a secondary isn’t really necessary in all cases, I decided to just leave it in the carboy (this time, in the place where I’d bottle), and let the yeast cake settle even more.

As you can see from the top picture, I had all sorts of trub. I did my best to keep it out of the bottling bucket, and ended up leaving roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of a gallon to do so. It looked like it should have been even more loss than that, but I ended up with 14 22-oz and 10 12-oz bottles (roughly 3 1/3 gallons out of a 4 gallon batch). 

It smelled great; even the family commented on it. Tasted a little, but after I’d added the priming sugar (derp). Seemed way more on target than batch #4. (Which has settled down significantly, I might add. I can’t really think of anything to compare it with, but maybe the Ithaca Hopbloem double IPA, with less bass.)

The final gravity reading was almost a full point lower than expected. Recipe said to look for 1.018, ended up a clean 1.010, giving an ABV of 8.14%. Going to give them a full three weeks to bottle condition so I don’t waste any, like I did with batch #4.

Going to start looking into keg systems, I think.

Batch #5 - Don’t’cha wish your GF was hopped like me

Don’t have a name for this yet. Simply Simcoe has to already be taken, right? I went with a smaller batch with less sorghum and hops this time, added some darker belgian candy syrup and an extra pound of rice solids, hoping for a bit more body and a maltier character than batch 4

Hit the gravity spot on, which was nice for a change. Used my wort chiller for the first time, which was pretty great. I do a split boil because I don’t have large enough kettles yet. I removed the smaller of the two 15 minutes early, and had it chilled to 75 by the time the boil finished. It took about the same to do the other. I also used a strainer in the funnel this time, but forgot the whirl-floc. I’ve only used it once, because it came in a kit. Seemed to work well enough, but I’m not real hung up on the clarity anyway. 

Went with Kolsch yeast after reading about White Labs experiment regarding IBUs and yeast. I usually enjoy incredibly hoppy beers but the sorghum is just too different from the standard malts to get where I want to be. The last batch is really out of balance. It’s astringently hoppy with no backbone to support it. A month or three in the bottle should chill it out enough. 

Edit: gravity reading 1.014 as of 3-9, time to bottle!

DIYbeer turned 1 today!
I bottled my first gluten-free batch yesterday. Nifty!

DIYbeer turned 1 today!

I bottled my first gluten-free batch yesterday. Nifty!

(Source: assets)

Brew #4 - Midnight Blonde (Gluten Free)

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Omission IPA


Omission IPA is brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Oregon and has been specially crafted to remove gluten. But what’s even more important is that this beer tastes damn good. If you know anyone who has a gluten allergy or intolerance (or simply a craving for a good IPA) I highly recommend this smooth and flavorful IPA with a surprising 6.7% ABV. Plus, it’s fun to hand them the beer and watch their expression when you tell them that it is gluten free.



have i mentioned how much i love this beer?
see also: 


have i mentioned how much i love this beer?

see also: 

(Source: challenger23)


mmmm…. beer.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute this evening…


mmmm…. beer.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute this evening…

(Source: challenger23)


Ready for bottling tomorrow. (They’re all covered with t-shirts now by the way).

Left to right, we have the Jalapeno porter, the Serrano porter, the Habanero porter, the Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Chili) porter, and then in the rear the porter with all 4 peppers.

And I’m curious to see what this little demon has up its sleeve. Plenty hot on its own. But not sure what the result will be when combined with beer.

t-shirts! brilliant.

also… ghost chili beer? you’re a wizard, harry.

Batch 3: SO MUCH HOPS…

I decided to make an Imperial Amber. From the online calculator I used, it was supposed to come in around 106 IBUs and 6.5%. It ended up coming in at almost 8% and closer to 111 IBUs. I did a couple things differently this time, which I think made all the difference.

For one, I used two kettles for boiling. This allowed me to boil much more water than usual, roughly 3.5 gallons total. I also did a late malt addition, holding back the LME until the very end of the boil. This gave more punch to the hops (roughly 20% more) and made me a nervous wreck that I’d fucked the whole brew sideways until about three days ago.

The kitchen was a billion degrees (roughly) but things seemed to go smoothly enough. I think I held back a 1/3 lb. of malt just from what stuck to the bag and stayed in the can. Initial gravity reading was 1.090 which was way off. I had no idea if the yeast would even survive that much, as the package labeling was confusing at best. I added another half gallon, which brought it to 1.070. Close enough.

Aerated by hand shaking the carboy, waited until the temperature was well under 70. I added the smack pack of yeast and crossed my fingers. 

The initial fermentation wasn’t all that impressive, considering the amount of malt and yeast involved. 100 Billion cells? Seems like it should make some movement. Well… within 12 hours, my carboy had blown the airlock four feet away, hop cones were lining the outside and wort was puddling on the floor.

It settled down about two days later, and spent another week in the primary. I racked it on 5/7, 14 days after initial fermentation. A day later I noticed a definite separation that looked very much like the LME I’d added late in the brew. Ok, exactly like it. I really thought it was shot, and looked up the issue on several of the main homebrew forums. Consensus seemed to say that it was just the yeast clearing out and that my beer was nearly ready. I was still skeptical, but the pro’s were right. 

A week later, the gravity was at 1.018, and I thought it was close to finished. Thankfully, life got in the way, and I wasn’t able to bottle until a week after that, 5/20. When I took that final reading, it had reached a stunning 1.011. The calculator didn’t even think it would clean up that much. I feel like I vomited paint at a canvas and it landed in the shape of a Dali work. I can’t wait to drink this. (I didn’t wait, actually, and even flat and warm, it was complex and hoppy as can be. I’m expecting good things from this.)

It smells amazing. My good friend and fellow brewer Adam helped me bottle it yesterday. I figure four weeks in the bottle should do it, if I can restrain myself. (I won’t.)


3.3 lb Liquid Malt Extract - Amber

6 lb Dry Malt Extract - Amber  


2 oz Nugget 60 min 13.3 47.91 Pellet Boil

1 oz Simcoe 60 min 13 23.41 Pellet Boil

1 oz Warrior 60 min 16 28.82 Pellet Boil

1 oz Simcoe 5 min 14.1 4.6 Leaf/Whole Aroma

1 oz Amarillo 5 min 8.6 2.81 Leaf/Whole Aroma

Added the DME at the start of the boil, as usual, held the LME back until the very end (after the hop schedule was done). Stirred like crazy to keep the malt from caramelizing. This batch may have seen more oxygen than it should have, hopefully that doesn’t affect the flavor too much. 

btw, did you know Wil Wheaton is a homebrewer? yeah, fuckin guy, just keeps gettin cooler. 






No. I’m sorry, but this is wrong.

Seven paragraphs into this poorly-researched article, the author says:

Let’s be clear: Not all craft beer is hoppy. There are many craft breweries that seek to create balanced, drinkable beers that aren’t very bitter at all, like Patrick Rue’s the Bruery in Placentia, Calif., and the Commons Brewery in Portland, Ore. Among the non-hoppy yet complex and delicious American craft beers available are Widmer’s hefeweizen, New Glarus’ cherry and raspberry beers, and Full Sail Brewing’s Session Lager (a beer specifically developed to serve as a refreshing counterpoint to overhopped beers). America’s independent breweries make beers to suit every palate, not just the ones that revel in bitterness.

Yeah, so the entire premise of the headline is disproven by the author, but somehow Slate thought this was still worth publishing. That’s lazy and should be an embarrassment for both writer and editor.

There are plenty of craft beers that aren’t hop-forward, like Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oskar Blues, Lagunitas PILS, and Coney Island Lager. There are literally dozens of browns, stouts, and wheat beers that feature malt and yeast instead of hops. The first craft beer I ever had, when I was in college and convinced that all beer was Budweiser was St. Rogue’s Red Ale, from Rogue brewing.

A more accurate and actually useful article might be headlined Think All Craft Beer Is Too Hoppy? Think Again.