A note about my Recipes

I finally got caught up posting all my 2014 recipes that I’ve brewed this year.  The order I posted them was a bit all over the place, but they are listed in order brewed in the recipes section.  Beers brewed in the beginning of the year are towards the bottom, newer ones up top.

So, what about my older recipes?  I’ve been brewing beer for a few years now.  It was only towards the summer of last year where I brewed anything that I’d still be proud of if I made it now.  Some of those still contained extract, and I’ve moved to all grain so the recipe will change.  Anyway, There’s really only one beer from 2013 I plan on brewing again that I haven’t yet without a large overhaul, and that was my black rye IPA, Black December.  It’s one of my favorites.  As much as I dread winter rearing its ugly head again, at least I’ll get to brew that beer again, and with no extract this time.  So the point of all this is that I’m not going to bother posting any 2013 recipes that I made as Black December is the only beer making a return that I haven’t posted yet, and I’m sure as hell not posting any 2012 recipes.


Coming up in September, I hope to brew another batch of White Death, with some very minor improvements.  I plan on doing another batch of Doodle Face, which will see an overhaul of the malt bill and will go from an IPA to an APA.  I’ll have my Oktoberfest bottled in a few weeks, and should be opening my first bottle of Flood Waters, an improvement of a 2013 amber ale recipe.  After that we’ll see!  I plan on doing Black December and Hoppy Grinchmas, an Imperial Red, in November.  I may try and fit a small batch of something light and easy drinking in there somewhere, but that should complete my brewing for the rest of the year.



527 Celebration Ale (2014)

This is my annual IPA to celebrate me and my wife’s wedding anniversary on May 27th.  The recipe will always be a DIPA, but the recipe will change each year.  For the 2013 vintage I brewed my first DIPA.  It was a disaster!  I was just getting into all grain, and used too much Munich and crystal malt.  I didn’t use any sugar, and used too small an addition of bittering hops.  The result was more like a cross between a DIPA and a barleywine without being good for either style.  Thankfully, after some IPA experimentation and learning some about water chem, I finally started getting my hoppy beers where I wanted them.  This beer was my fist DIPA that I felt like I actually knew what I was doing and exactly what I wanted to achieve.

I can’t remember anything about the brew day by this point, since i brewed it in late April.  I don’t recall anything out of the ordinary.  It was a 2.7 gal stove top batch with my MR Beer keg being used as the fermenter.  I do remember that this was my first time doing a hop stand at the end of the boil, and it had great results.  I did the dry hop in two stages.  I put the first round in with 7 days before bottling, and left those in four four days.  I then pulled the hop bag out, and added the second charge of hops with three days left to bottle.

Here’s the recipe:

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 2.70 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.076 SG
Estimated FG: 1.014
Estimated Color: 5.5 SRM Estimated IBU: 200.5 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type # %/IBU 3 lbs 8.0 oz Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM) Grain 1 48.5 % 3 lbs Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcet Grain 2 41.6 % 4.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 3.5 % 2.5 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.2 % 0.75 oz Caramalt (Simpsons) (35.0 SRM) Grain 5 0.7 % 4.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) [Boil for 2 min](0 Sugar 14 3.5 % 1.50 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 165.5 IBUs 1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 35.1 IBUs 1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 8 0.0 IBUs 0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 9 0.0 IBUs 0.50 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Hop 10 0.0 IBUs 0.50 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Steep/Whirl Hop 11 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 12 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Hop 16 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Hop 17 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 19 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 20 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Hop 21 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Hop 22 0.0 IBUs 0.25 oz Zythos [10.90 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 23 0.0 IBUs 1.0 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35 Yeast 13 - Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Mash In Add 8.70 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 75 min

Tasting Notes:


This beer initially turned out great.  It poured a really nice looking hazy orange color.  It had a WONDERFUL mango and tropical fruit smell.  The taste followed, the Citra hops were the dominant aroma and flavor, but the other hops added some depth.  The beer had a nice smooth mouthfeel and just a hint of malt sweetness. 

I did learn a lesson here that contributed to my previous failures in previous IPA’s done in my MR Beer keg.  Oxidation sucks.  I’m not sure the LBK is a good fermentation vessel for a super hoppy brew.  I’m not sure if its because there’s no airlock, or maybe the shape of the keg and more beer is exposed to the head space, but I’ve had oxidation issues with every really hoppy beer I’ve done in that keg.  After a couple weeks, this beer noticeably darkened.  The hop flavor dulled some, but the beer was still good.  I also decided that unless I start kegging and can purge with C02, I’ll only do one dry hop charge.  This means less opening of the fermenter and less disturbing the beer.  I like doing small batches of big beers to keep costs down, and because I don’t always feel like an 8 or 9 %abv beer, but from this point on I think I’ll save the hoppy brews for my other fermenters! 


OKtoberfest in GlassOktoberfest (1)This one was a big brew day for White Pointer…my first lager!  And what better way to pop the lager cherry than an Oktoberfest.  Though I’m definitely a hop head, Oktoberfest are still one of my favorite styles.  I figured I could go two ways with this recipe.  Something like a true German fest beer with bready malt qualities, or more like the caramel malty Americanized versions.  For those unaware, if you go to THE Oktoberfest in Munich and order a liter of beer, the beer you’ll get is going to be like a more robust Munich Helles.  You won’t find the amber colored Marzen beer that most think of when they think Oktoberfest.  Both takes on the style certainly have their merits, but I opted for the drinkability and bready biscuit malt flavors of a more German style festbeer over the darker American versions. This beer was brewed on July 19th.  It was a fun brew day, and I had a bunch of family members over.  I brewed out on the deck in my new house for the first time, which was great.  We had a beautiful day for it. Deck Brew The brew day went really smoothly.  I was tempted to do a traditional step mash, but with the family over I wanted to keep things a bit simpler so I just mashed for an hour at 150.  I boiled for 90 minutes since I was using a lot of pilsner malt.  I chilled down to 60 degrees then pitched my yeast.  I used a 2L starter with three vials of WLP 838 Southern German Lager yeast, which still may be underpitching, but my fermentation seemed to go well.  I should have chilled down to 50, but I got impatient.  My og came in a bit high at 1.062.  I added another quart of water and that brought me to 1.058, right about what I was shooting for. Here’s the recipe:

Recipe Specifications

Batch Size (fermenter): 5.75 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.059 SG
Estimated FG: 1.014
Estimated Color: 6.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 22.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %

Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
6 lbs                 Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)            Grain         1        48.0 %        
4 lbs                 Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                    Grain         2        32.0 %        
2 lbs                 Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM)           Grain         3        16.0 %        
4.0 oz                Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)                      Grain         4        2.0 %         
4.0 oz                Melanoidin (Weyermann) (30.0 SRM)        Grain         5        2.0 %

1.25 oz              Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min     Hop 6 20.1 IBUs 
0.25 oz              Hallertauer [4.80 %] - Boil 20.0 min     Hop 7 2.4 IBUs 

Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8 -

3.0 pkg Southern German Lager (White Labs #WLP83 Yeast 9 - 

Mash In Add 15.63 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 60 min

I fermented at 50 degrees for about 10 days, then brought it to room temp for two days for a D rest.  I checked the gravity and the beer finished out at 1.012.  The sample already tasted very nice, great malt flavors were already evident.  I put the beer back in the fridge and dropped the temp five degrees per day until I got down to 35, where it will sit for about 6 weeks.  Ideally, I’d lager it for longer, but I want it bottled for my friend’s Oktoberfest party on the official first day of Oktoberfest, September 20th.

Bottling Update 09/09/14: Bottled this beer tonight, the gravity was still steady at 1.012.  The beer was a deep golden color in the hydrometer, and it was crystal clear.  The flavor seemed nice and malty, but still crisp.  I couldn’t detect any off flavors.  I’m really looking forward to pouring a bottle of this beer into a stein to drink! I’ll post a tasting update in a week or so after the beer carbs!

Tasting on 10/02/14:

Appearance:  Poured into a half litter stein as pictured at the top of the page.  This beer has a light copper to deep golden color to it.  It poured really clear, probably the clearest beer I’ve ever brewed.  The beer had a nice foamy head that left lacing down the side of the stein.

Smell:  Not much going on here, a bit of crackery malt aroma, but that’s to be expected as this isn’t a very aromatic style compared to the hoppy stuff.

Taste:  This turned out pretty damn tasty.  The beer has a decent amount of sweetness, but not a cloying caramel type of sweetness that bring some other Oktoberfests down.  It had a nice cracker and baked bread flavor.  No real hop flavor contribution other than the bitterness to balance the beer.  Tasted similar to good German examples of the style.  The only criticism I can think of was it may have been just a touch too sweet, but its close.  Not much I’d change, I’d maybe bump the hops up a bit, but I’m not sure.

Mouthfeel:  Somewhat high carbonation, smooth mouthfeel.  Pretty easy drinking, but it could have been just a bit dryer.  This one took about 3 to 3 and a half weeks to carb up.  It got to the level I wanted, but I may add yeast at bottling next time I brew a lager to speed the process up a bit.

Overall:  This was a pretty damn good first lager for my brewery.  Like I said above, it was MAYBE just a touch sweet.  I need to have a few more to be sure, but I’d maybe up the hops just a bit next time, or just go a bit lighter on the malt bill.  I’m not detecting any off flavors, and that was my biggest focus with this being a lager since any mistakes would stand out.  This beer was definitely a success, I just need to remember to brew it a bit earlier next year!   It’ll be interesting to leave a couple untouched in the fridge to see how it lager for another couple months, I expect it will get even better.

Voodoo Rookin Phantom

Vooddoo in glass

VooDoo Rookin Phantom

I got the name for this beer from an especially stupid episode of Shark Week.  The Rookin is a legendary Bull Shark in Louisiana I guess, and I figured it was a fun name and I had been drawing a blank on what to call this one.  This was a 4 gallon batch of beer that I used my 5 gallon glass carboy for.  I had been wanting to brew a coffee stout for a while now and now was as good a time as any.  Back in my extract days in 2012, I brewed a Imperial Stout flavored with chocolate and coffee.  It was good, but the coffee didn’t come through enough to really call it a coffee beer.

I knew I had to brew another coffee beer, and I tried a beer by a local brewery called Solemn Oath in Naperville, IL.  The beer was called Most Important Beverage of the Day.  It was a coffee milk stout with sweet orange peel.  The beer was great, and had some really nice coffee flavor in addition to gread body, and a bit of hop punch.

I wasn’t looking to clone this beer, but I wanted to get something similar.  I loved the way the milk stout was a nice sweet base for the bitter roast coffee notes, so I decided to go with a milk stout base.  I had a bit of Zythos and Citra hops on hand so I used those to get a nice citrus hop presence.  I used an ounce of coffee per gallon of beer.  I bought some Starbucks French Roast, and took 4 oz of ground coffee and cold steeped it in a quart of water overnight in the fridge.

The brew day was the day after I brewed my DIPA, White Death.  I again brewed at night in my garage.  I took it a bit easier with my beer consumption, and was very careful with my measurements.  I mashed in at 154 for an hour.  The brew day was really smooth and I hit all my numbers.  My OG was right on the money at 1.071.

I let the beer sit in the primary for 3 weeks.  I cold brewed the coffee the night before bottling.  The coffee was poured in the bottling bucket through a strainer, and added to the priming mixture in the bucket.

Here’s the recipe:

Recipe: Voodoo Rookin
Asst Brewer: 
Style: American Stout
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0) 

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 5.72 gal
Post Boil Volume: 4.42 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 4.00 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.071 SG
Estimated FG: 1.014
Estimated Color: 38.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 49.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
7 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        67.8 %        
1 lbs                 Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                   Grain         2        9.7 %         
7.0 oz                Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)               Grain         3        4.3 %         
6.0 oz                Carafa Special III (Weyermann) (470.0 SR Grain         4        3.7 %         
6.0 oz                Crystal, Dark (Simpsons) (80.0 SRM)      Grain         5        3.7 %         
6.0 oz                Roasted Barley (Briess) (300.0 SRM)      Grain         6        3.7 %         
12.0 oz               Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM)           Sugar         7        7.3 %         
0.25 oz               Zythos [10.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           8        10.9 IBUs     
1.50 oz               Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min          Hop           9        38.9 IBUs     
0.75 oz               Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins)       Spice         10       -             
2.00 oz               Citra [12.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0 m Hop           11       0.0 IBUs      
4 oz               Coffee (Bottling 0.0 mins)               Flavor        13       -     
1 Package Safale US 05 American Ale yeast

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 5.1 oz
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 11.96 qt of water at 165.9 F        154.0 F       60 min        

Tasting Notes:

My FG came in at 1.018, a bit higher than anticipated, but that’s OK.  The beer turned out great.

Appearance:  I poured the beer into a tulip glass as pictured at the top.  The beer poured a nice dark black color with a foamy tan head that faded fairly quickly.

Smell:  Big roasted coffee aroma hit me as soon as I poured the brew into the glass.  The coffee overshadows any hop or malt aroma, but that’s ok, I wanted this beer to be very coffee forward.  I couldn’t smell the orange peel at all.

Taste:  Nice big coffee taste is the fist thing that hits.  There’s a nice bitterness from the hops as well.  The lactose provides a very nice sweetness to balance the roast flavors from the coffee and dark malts.  There’s also some hints of chocolate.  No real citrus flavor from the hops or orange peel.

Mouthfeel:  I love the silky mouthfeel that the flaked oats provided this beer,  The beer has a nice creamy texture.  The beer has a medium light carbonation.

Overall:  I’m very pleased with the way this beer turned out.  I had high hopes going into the brew day, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the final product.  I’d probably scrap the orange peel next time, as anything it contributed was overshadowed by the coffee.  Other than that, there’s really nothing I’d change!

White Death

White Death 2

This beer was my newest DIPA Recipe, and one of the best beers I’ve brewed.  There’s room for improvement, but mostly just in my process.  This beer was brewed in the beginning of July, and I’m still enjoying it now.

I’ve been trying to brew my ideal IPA recipe for a while.  I realized that I’d be happier brewing a Double IPA on the lighter side of the style.  I’m planning on doing a post about my quest for the perfect IPA, and to sum it up here, I leaned towards a beer in the Vermont Style of IPAs.  Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to try beer such as Heady Topper, Double Sunshine, and Abner, but from what I’ve read they seem to possess all the things in an IPA that I like.  I found clone recipe for Heady online, and started getting ideas for this beer.  I was able to find a DIPA yeast made by a local yeast lab called Omega.  The yeast is apparently the same strain as Conan, the yeast used in Heady.  Another DIPA I love is Abrasive by Surly.  Its got such great mouthfeel, and I’m sure it comes from its use of oats.  So, I combined elements of Abrasive and Heady Topper.

The brew day was the first in the new house.  It was also my first nighttime brew.  My new neighbors came over to hang out with my wife and I and we had a ton of fun brewing this beer.  Probably too much fun, as I feel my process was sloppy on this one, and it led to some last minute scrambling to hit my OG.  I realized I didn’t have caramalt, so I subbed in the quarter pound of crystal 10 I had.  I did my 60 minute boil, then did a 30 minute hop stand with the huge flameout hop addition.  I then chilled, aerated, and dumped it into my bucket.   I either didn’t boil off as much as I anticipated, or I just added to much mash or sparge water.  Either way, I had more wort than I expected after the boil, and my OG was well under what I wanted.  If I recall, I wanted 1.074, and I came in at 1.065 or something along those lines.  I thankfully had some DME and more corn sugar on hand.  I added about half a pound of DME, and another quarter pound of corn sugar.  I got the OG up to 1.070.

I fermented at 65 degrees for a week, then let it come up to room temperature to finish out for another week.  I added my dry hop with five days to go till bottling.

Since I wound up adding more corn sugar than I originally intended, the FG of the beer was lower than I expected.  I wound up at 1.011, and I was hoping for 1.014.  So, I still hit right around the 8% abv i was looking for, but the beer turned out dryer than I intended.  Still, this was easily one of the best beers I’ve brewed.


Here’s the recipe:


Recipe: White Death
al IPA
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications

Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.076 SG
Estimated Color: 5.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 106.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
7 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        43.1 %        
6 lbs                 Golden Promise (Simpsons) (3.0 SRM)      Grain         2        36.9 %        
1 lbs                 Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                   Grain         3        6.2 %         
1 lbs                 White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               Grain         4        6.2 %         
8.0 oz                Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM)     Grain         5        3.1 %         
4.0 oz                Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)                      Grain         6        1.5 %         

.5 lbs of corn sugar

1.50 oz               Apollo [17.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           7        73.4 IBUs     
0.50 oz               Apollo [17.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min         Hop           8        18.8 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min           Hop           10       6.9 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min          Hop           11       7.5 IBUs      
2.00 oz               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0  Hop           12       0.0 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Amarillo [9.20 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0 Hop           13       0.0 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] - Hop           14       0.0 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Apollo [17.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0  Hop           15       0.0 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Citra [12.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0 m Hop           16       0.0 IBUs      
2.00 oz               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days      Hop           19       0.0 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Amarillo [9.20 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days     Hop           20       0.0 IBUs      
1.00 oz               Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Dry Hop  Hop           21       0.0 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Apollo [17.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days      Hop           22       0.0 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days       Hop           23       0.0 IBUs      

Omega Yeast Labs DIPA Ale
Mash In           152.0 F       60 min        

Tasting Notes:

`White Death

Appearance:  This was a pretty beer.  It turned out just a hint lighter because of the crystal 10 sub for caramalt, but its pretty negligible. It was that nice orange color that I’d been trying to get my IPAs.  Conan yeast, oats, wheat, and tons of hops left the beer pretty cloudy.  To be honest though, I really like a nice hazy IPA.

Aroma:  Huge dank and citrus hop aroma, I loved it.  No real floral notes, which I was glad about.  I can smell this beer after I pour it from halfway across a room.  I love the fruity aromas that the Conan yeast gives off.

Taste:  I love the way this combo of hops came together.  Its citrusy, dank, and has just a hint of pine.  The hop flavor was great, and the bitterness was smooth.  I would have liked just a bit more malt sweetness, but as I said the beer dried out more than anticipated.  I love the peach like notes the Conan gave off.

Mouthfeel:  It was a bit thinner that I’d hoped, but the oats still lend a silkiness to the beer that I liked.

Overall:  Despite having a couple of problems to overcome, this beer turned out great.  I’ll brew this again for sure after I run out.  I’ll be anxious to try to hit my numbers to get a bit more body and just a touch more sweetness.


UPDATE 09/04/14:  I finally was able to get a hold of some cans of Heady Topper, and I’ll be damned if this beer wasn’t in the ballpark.  I wasn’t going for a clone, since to my knowledge there is no Citra in Heady, but this beer was close.  I plan to brew this beer again soon, and I plan on just using Pearl malt as the base, the same base malt as Heady.  I figured why not just simplify the grain bill?  As for this beer, it got darker as it eventually cleared up.  Its now a deep gold/light copper color and pretty clear.  The hops of faded and the beer has more balance to it.  Its still really good, but I can’t wait to brew a fresh batch!

Flood Waters

Flood Waters glass

So, today is my first actual brew day log not done way after the brew day.  I did a 2.7 gallon batch on the stove top.  My ferm chamber is being used to lager an Oktoberfest, so the other way I can easily control fermentation temps is by using my Mr Beer keg, and putting it in a cooler.  I then add frozen water bottles to the cooler as needed to ferment in the mid 60’s.

I brewed Flood Waters, an American Amber ale.  This would technically be Flood Waters 2.0, but the last time I brewed this beer was when I was still doing partial mashes back in the spring of 2013.  I also changed the hop bill pretty drastically to give it some pop, and added Victory malt and a bit of Melanoiden malt to give a bit more malt complexity.  This beer got its name from the fact that as the first batch was fermenting in my brother Kevin’s basement, we had terrible rain and flooding.  My brother went downstairs to find several inches of standing water.  My Ale Pale was on the floor, surrounded by flood water.  Thankfully, nothing major was damaged, my beer included.

Stove top Flood Waters

Flood water boil

On to the brew day.  I cracked open a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and heated up my pot/mash ton as pictured above.  I mashed the beer at 154 degrees for 60 minutes to give it some body.  Boiled for 60 minutes, with three hop additions, 60, 12, and flameout.  I got my chiller going right at flameout, and chilled down to 75 degrees.  I used Safale S-05 for this one.  I usually re-hydrate when using dry yeast, but I got wrapped up with taking care of my and my in laws dogs, so I didn’t get around to it.  Oh well, there’s more than enough yeast in those packs to ferment this small batch healthily.   Filtered the hops and trub on the way into the little keg, stirred like crazy, took a hydrometer sample, pitched the yeast, then looked at the hydrometer sample I had taken.  1.052 OG, four points under my 1.056 goal.  Damn.  Well, thats why I keep DME on hand.  3oz DME in a couple cups of water put me close to where I needed to be at 1.055.  I tossed that into the brew, then put the keg in the cooler.

Here’s the recipe:

Recipe: Flood Waters Small
Style: American Amber Ale
Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 2.70 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated Color: 13.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 37.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
3 lbs                 Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM)    Grain         1        53.3 %        
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM)           Grain         2        26.6 %        
6.0 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)    Grain         3        6.7 %         
6.0 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)    Grain         4        6.7 %         
4.0 oz                Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)                  Grain         5        4.4 %         
2.1 oz                Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM)               Grain         6        2.3 %         

0.25 oz               Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min     Hop           7        17.0 IBUs                 
0.50 oz               Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 12.0 min         Hop           9        7.9 IBUs      
0.25 oz               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 12.0 min         Hop           10       9.3 IBUs      
0.13 oz               Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 12.0 min     Hop           11       3.6 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Cascade [5.50 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0  Hop           12       0.0 IBUs      
0.50 oz               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0.0  Hop           13       0.0 IBUs      
0.25 oz               Centennial [10.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool   Hop           14       0.0 IBUs                  
0.50 oz               Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days      Hop           16       0.0 IBUs      
0.25 oz               Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days      Hop           17       0.0 IBUs      

Yeast: Safale S-05 American Ale

Mash at 154 for 60 Min

Bottling Day:  I got 23 beers out of the little brown keg, not bad.  I could have gotten a full case or more, but my hand slipped when I was racking and I stirred the yeast up when I was close to the bottom.  Oh well.  My FG came in a bit lower than anticipated unfortunately.  I hit 1.009, so it brought my abv up to six.  Sample at bottling was nice and clear, and tasted pretty damn good.

Tasting Notes Update on 09/11/14:

The beer has been in the bottle for a couple weeks now which should be sufficient to start enjoying this brew!

Appearance:  Added a pic to the top of the post.  It poured with a fingers worth of off white head.  Though its hard to tell in the picture from condensation on the glass, the beer turned out very clear.  Its a very nice amber color.

Smell:  Some slight pine, floral, and citrus aroma, and the aroma of bready malt.

Taste:  The beer has a nice slight bitterness to cut through the malt a bit.  There are hints of citrus and pine.  These hop flavors are well balanced with the malt flavors.  The flavors from the malt are of toasted bread, a bit of caramel sweetness, and biscuit.  I really like what the Victory malt added to this recipe.

Mouthfeel:  Medium carbonation and a fairly light body.  The beer attenuated a bit more than I’d hoped, so its a bit dryer than I wanted this beer.  Still, its very drinkable and nice.

Overall:  An improvement over the amber I brewed last year for sure.  Its a slightly complex malt bill, but the parts all make a nice whole.  I really like the hop profile on this beer.  I do wish it had a bit more body, but this is still one of the best balanced beers I’ve made, pleasing to both malt and hop fans.  Nothing in the recipe I’d change, just nailing the process down.

Doodle Face


So this was a beer I brewed back in February.  This beer was in honor of my wife and I getting our dog, Whiskey, pictured above 🙂  She’s a blast, and I wanted to dedicate a beer to her.  I had a bunch of Citra hops from my friend Ted, and I wanted a beer to showcase them.  I did this batch in my Mr Beer Keg since I wanted to use some Citra, but not deplete my whole stock.  

I was inspired by Three Floyds Zombie Dust when I set out to brew this one.  If you haven’t been fortunate enough to have this beer, then find a way to get it.  It is great.  The thing about this beer is the balance.  It has a bunch of Citra hop flavor, but it’s also got some great biscuity and bready malt flavor.  The beer is really more like an IPA, but they call it a pale ale.  I used a clone recipe I found on homebrewtalk.com, for Zombie Dust and modified it to use some leftover stuff I had.  

The only thing I remember about this brew day was WAAAAAY overshooting my OG.  This was one of the first batches that I went to my local homebrew shop and crushed the grains myself.  Prior to that I had ordered online.  When I crushed my own grains at the LHBS, I found I got a better crush, and my efficiency increased.  I’m still trying to get my typical efficiency dialed in.


Here’s the recipe I used.

Doodle Face: Doodle

Batch size: 2.7

OG: 1.070                               FG: 1.014

IBU:62                                     Color: 8

ABV: 7.4%


6lbs 2 Row pale malt

.5lb Munich 10

.25lb Simpson’s Caramalt 35L

.25lb Carapils

.25lb Melanoiden Malt

2oz of acid malt.


.4oz Citra First Wort Hop

.5oz Citra for 15 min

.5oz Citra for 10 min

.5oz Citra for 5 min

.5oz Citra at flameout

1.5oz dryhop for 7 days

Yeast:  Safale S-04 dry English Ale

I mashed at 152 for 60 min.

Tasting Notes:

DF Beer

Appearance: This one poured a copper color.  I know English ale yeasts are supposed to clear up quick, but S-04 seems to take a while to clear for me.  This beer stayed pretty hazy for most of the batch until the last few finally cleared in the fridge.

Aroma:  Citrus, but not huge aroma.

Taste.  Pretty good, but no Zombie Dust.  That’s to be expected since I overshot my OG by a pretty big margin.  My ABV was a full one percent higher than planned, so the hop flavors suffered from the bigger malt presence.  Still, this beer was nice and had the great Citra citrus and mango flavor.  The malt had a nice sweet taste that reminded me of baked bread.

Mouthfeel.  Medium carb.  Pretty standard stuff for a IPA.

Overall:  This beer turned out good, but much stronger than planned.  This threw the flavor profile off some, and the beer was more balanced than I wanted.  I plan on brewing this beer again, but with substantial changes to the recipe. 





Shark Piss

Shark Piss

Yep, Shark Piss.  I brewed this blonde ale in the spring to fill the need for a mild, easy drinking summer beer.  This was another small batch since I knew I wouldn’t drink 5 gallons of this.  It was a fine beer, just not interesting enough to keep me coming back to it to make a large batch worthwhile.  Plus, this batch was nice and cheap.  I used Zythos hops since I had  bunch at the time thanks to my friend Ted.  This was mostly just a beer to have on hand for the BMC crowd to have if they wanted to try a homebrew.  It served that purpose pretty well.  I had intended on adding a quarter pound of carapils that I thought I had, so I did not buy any.  Turns out I didn’t have the carapils, so this beer was all base malt.

The brew day was pretty uneventful as I recall.  I overshot my OG by a few points, but not too badly.  I kept the fermentation temps as low as I could using frozen water bottles and a cooler.  I don’t think the beer got above the low 60’s, which is good since I wanted as clean a yeast profile as possible.

Here’s the recipe:

Shark Piss:

OG: 1.048                                            FG:  1.009

ABV: 5%                                              Color: 3.8 SRM

IBU: 20


3lbs 2-Row pale malt

1lb Vienna malt

.13lb acidulated malt

I mashed at 150 for 60 minutes.


.13oz Zythos for 60 minutes

.25 Zythos for 15

,13oz Zythos at flameout

I used Nottingham Ale yeast fermented in the low 60’s.

Tasting Notes:

Appearance:  This beer poured a straw gold color with a thin white head.  The beer was very clear, more than you can tell from the above picture.  It looked like a typical light American lager.

Aroma:  This beer didn’t have much in this department.  The Zythos hops gave a faint citrus aroma, and I could get a bready aroma from the malt.

Taste:  This beer had a light crisp bitterness that was refreshing.  The hop flavor was very subtle citrus fruit.  The malt was light and cracker like.  The flavor was pretty light all in all, which is ok.  This was supposed to be an easy drinking lawnmower beer, and that’s how it turned out.

Mouthfeel:  Light and crisp.  Not much body, the recipe could have used carapils here.

Overall:  Not a bad summer beer.  I’m not too crazy about the profile Nottingham gives, If I was to make this again I think I’d go with S-05.  To be honest though, I doubt this beer will make a reappearance.  Since brewing this beer I got a fridge and temp controller.  I’d much rather have a good Munich Helles or Pilsner on a hot summer day if I’m not going for something bursting with American hops.


Irish Red

This beer was an Irish red ale I brewed for St. Paddy’s.  This one was one of my small batches done in the Mr Beer keg.  Irish red is a style I enjoy, but I’d get bored having 5 gallons of it sitting around. The brew day for this was done on my stove top.  This was a while back, so I don’t recall anything particularly out of the ordinary about it except that I do recall that I oversparged a bit.  That boosted my efficiency and left me with more beer then I could fit in the fermentor.  I had to dump some, which is a shame.


Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 2.50 gal
Efficiency: 75.00 %
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
3 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 65.5 %
1 lbs Vienna Malt (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 2 21.8 %
4.0 oz Caramalt (Simpsons) (35.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.5 %
3.0 oz Crystal, Dark (Simpsons) (85.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.1 %
2.2 oz Roasted Barley (Briess) (300.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.1 %
0.50 oz Fuggle [4.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 18.5 IBUs
0.25 oz East Kent Goldings (EKG) [5.00 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 8 5.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg Irish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1084) [124.21 ml] Yeast 9

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.051 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.8 %
Bitterness: 23.6 IBUs
Est Color: 16.0 SRM
Measured Original Gravity: 1.051 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.0 %
Calories: 170.0 kcal/12oz

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 5.72 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min

Tasting Notes:

Appearance:  This beer poured a nice deep red.  It took a while to clear for some reason, but when it did it was a nice beer.
Aroma:  Malty aroma, almost toast like, nothing in the way of hops.
Taste:  Buttered toast, some caramel notes.  Bitterness is just enough to keep it from being too sweet.
Mouthfeel:  Very smooth, Light carbonation.
Overall:  I really liked this recipe, but I’d go with a different yeast next time.  I’m not a fan of the buttery taste in this beer, and would prefer a cleaner yeast profile.  I’d also probably drop the Vienna malt.

Mississippi Bull-APA


So, here we have an American pale ale that I brewed back in the late winter.   The only thing I remember about this brew day was that it was the first using my new 10 gallon kettle, and only the second done at full volume on my propane burner.  I remember my brother Kevin and I had a hell of a time keeping the propane tanks from freezing up in the Chicago winter.  I remember that I overshot my OG, and the beer came out a bit bigger than expected, but still one of the better beers I’ve brewed.

Here’s the recipe for Mississippi Bull:

Mississippi Bull

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.75 gal
Efficiency: 70.00 %
I used 1 packet of Safale S-05 dry American Ale yeast
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10 lbs Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM) Grain 1 69.5 %
2 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 13.9 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 10.4 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.5 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.7 %
2.1 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 6 0.9 %
0.75 oz Zythos [10.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 24.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Boil 18.0 min Hop 8 9.9 IBUs
0.25 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 18.0 min Hop 9 2.5 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 18.0 min Hop 10 5.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 19 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 20 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 21 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 22 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.064 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.6 %
Bitterness: 42.3 IBUs
Est Color: 7.7 SRM
Measured Original Gravity: 1.064 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.015 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.5 %
Calories: 216.1 kcal/12oz

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 17.98 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min
Taste Notes:

Appearance:  Poured a nice light copper color.  This beer cleared up very well.  It usually poured with a nice thick off-white head, and had good lacing down the glass.  Was just a really pretty beer.

Aroma:  This beer had great hop aroma.  It have hints of grapefruit, a bit of dankness, and a hint of tropical fruit.

Taste:  Followed the aroma.  Citrus was the dominant flavor from the hops.  The malts were enough to balance things with some bready flavors and sweetness.

Mouthfeel:  Medium bodied.  Not too dry, which allowed some malt to come through.  Medium carbonation.

Overall, this was a really good APA.  I plan on keeping this recipe around, maybe just trying to dial the ABV back some.