White Death (Version 7) New England Style DIPA


White Death was brewed on 10/10/16.  Well well well, here we go again!  I knew I wanted to brew another batch of this beer before long, and there wasn’t much I wanted to change about it.  Since the last time I brewed this beer, Chicago has had a few breweries come out with some truly great examples of the New England IPA style.  Breweries like Mikerphone and their Special Sauce beers, Hop Butcher’s Galaxy Bowl, and The RAM’s Juicy have all been stellar beers that I just couldn’t get enough of.  The more I had these beers, the more things I realized that I needed to tweak to get White Death to be 100% where I want it.


A couple tools of the trade

One thing I wanted to improve was just the overall saturation of hop flavors and aromas.  Sadly for my wallet, this just meant more hops.  There’s basically a pound of hops in this recipe, and the vast majority of those are in the hop stand and dry hop.  I’m not sure if this is overkill or not, I’ll have to see once this is done and see if there’s anywhere I can scale the hops back a bit without losing any flavor or aroma.


Me, giving the mash a good stir

Looking back, I love how I said I wouldn’t change much if anything with that recipe last time, and just look above.  What can I say, I love tinkering with my recipes, but I really think this will get me where I want to be!

As for the brew day itself, it went about as perfect as it gets.  I was with my friends Jason and Dave, so I had plenty of help when I needed it.  I hit my mash temp right on the dot.  I mashed for an hour and then sparged.  Once the boil got going, I had some time to relax and have a couple beers with the guys.


Jason stirring the mash


A nice fall day for brewing some DIPA

Below you’ll see my hop additions, and that’s without the dry hop!  I added Citra and Mosaic at 10 minutes left, and got my chiller going at flameout.  I brought the beer down to 180 degrees and added a hopstand charge.  I let those hops steep for 45 minutes, chilled down to pitching temperature, and took my OG reading.  Right on the money at 1.075!  I swear, this brew day went too good to be true, I’m waiting on some disaster with the yeast or I’ll drop the carboy at kegging or something.


The boil and hopstand hops…there’s anoth 8oz for the dry hop!


My brew assistants Jason and Dave

I’ve said it before that this is my favorite beer that I brew, and this is the most excited I think I’ve ever been about a batch that I brewed.  I really think this recipe nailed the style, and I executed everything on brew day.  Hopefully the repitched slurry of Wyeast London Ale III yeast do their job, and I minimize any oxygen pickup during dry hopping and kegging.


Pale Malt (2 Row)
Oats, Flaked
White Wheat Malt
Honey Malt
Corn Sugar


Keg Update 10/18/16:  The beer was kegged on the second round of dry hops.  The FG came in at 1.014, right on target to get my 8% ABV!  The sample I took was absolutely fantastic tasting, tons of juicy hop flavor.  I can’t wait to see what another four ounces of dry hops does!

Tasting Notes 11/3/16:

Appearance:  White Death pours a deep golden orange color with a beautiful haze.  If you you dig New England IPAs, you’ll love this.  The beer beer looks like its glows under a light source, its really a beautiful beer.  The appearance really enhances the juicy feel of the beer.  The head is fluffy and white and maintained by lively tiny bubbles.  The head eventually dissipates and fades to the side of the glass where it clings as nice, sticky lacing.

Smell:  So, so juicy smelling.  Its like opening a blended bag of hops and putting your nose in.  It smells like a smoothie made of orange and a bit of generic citrus, pineapple, peach, berry, passion fruit and mango.  It’s just very juicy!  I feel like I’m overusing that term, but it’s really the best descriptor.  I love how the Galaxy hops really amped up that peach and tropical fruit aspect.  The yeast esters further compliment the fruitiness of the hops.  If you want floral notes or piney resin, look elsewhere.  This beer is like a glass of carbonated fruit juice blend with some alcohol.

Taste:  The bitterness is very mild and so smooth, but its enough to keep the beer from being too sweet.  The taste follow the nose with predominant flavors of orange, pineapple, mango, and peach.  There’s lighter hints of passion fruit, lemon zest, and a bit of berry.  Malt definitely takes a back seat here, but I love the way the sweetness and slight fruitiness of the honey malt compliments the hops.  The 1318 yeast provides a wonderful profile that really enhances everything else going on with this beer.

Mouthfeel:  Silky smooth from the wheat and oats.  The body is on the fuller side of medium, with lighter medium carbonation that enhances the creamy body.  Even the body of this beer is juice like, and it really enhances the aromas and flavors.  I feel like I’ve gotten close with previous beers in terms of mouthfeel, this is the first time I’m really nailed it on the head.

Overall:  Yes!  Yes yes yes!  This is truly the beer I’ve been trying to make!  The almost pound of hops I put in this beer truly turned out to be worth it.  This beer is so saturated with hop flavor and aroma, I’ve never brewed anything quite to this level.  The addition of Galaxy rather than Amarillo really played well with the Citra and Mosaic.  It was an improvement for sure with what I was going for.  I think the higher percentage of oats and wheat really made the body perfect on this one.  The dry hop is right on the money.  I’d love to shave a couple ounces of hops off somewhere if I could to keep the cost down, but I don’t want to lose anything from this spectacular beer.  I might up the Apollo at 60 to .5 oz, then do an ounce of Apollo at 10 and save all my flavor and aroma hops for flameout and dry hops.  I also might be around the end of this pitch of 1318, though that doesn’t factor into the actual recipe design.  I’ve never had this beer even get close to clearing at all until the very end of the keg on my last batches.  I just harvest slurry from my fermentor without washing it, and I’m thinking I’m getting more and more flocculant pitches.  Every three or four days I need to agitate the keg a bit to get more of those hop oils and yeast back into suspension.  That seems to be the key with beers like this.  It loses some flavor when it clears since there isn’t much going on behind all those wonderful hop oils.  This beer is the best beer I’ve made…..period.


Hop Harvest IPA 2016

dsc_1148Hop Harvest IPA was brewed on 09/18/16.  This beer marks the first time I’ve had access to freshly picked hops!  A coworker of mine, Steve, is a fellow homebrewer who happens to also grow his own hops.  I showed up to work and found a bag of about three and a half ounces each of freshly picked and dried Nugget and Cascade hops!

I brought the hops home that night, measured them out in 1 ounce bags, flushed with Co2, and then put them in the freezer until brew day a few days later.  The flavor fresh hops impart is supposed to be unique and intense when compared to using pellet hops.  I had about 6 and a half ounces to work with here, so that’s not a ton given that whole cone hops have more plant material that doesn’t impart anything to the beer than pellets do.  I figured to get the most out of this beer I needed to both do a smaller batch to make the amount of fresh hops I had go further, and I needed to supplement them with some pellets.

I bought two ounces each of Cascade and Nugget pellets to use during the boil and first round of dry hops, saving all my fresh hops for the hopstand and keg dry hops.  If you read my blog, you know I make my pale ales in the New England/Northeast style.  I always do a round of dry hops in the fermenter while primary fermentation is still active.  I used an ounce each of Nugget and Cascade pellets in the fermenter just for ease of removal.  Getting bagged whole cone hops out of the carboy would be awful, and not bagging them would make yeast harvesting difficult.  So pellets it was.  An ounce and a half each of my freshies were saved for hopping in the keg.

Cascade and Nugget are not the trendiest types of hops, and I’ll be interested to see what these classic American hops do in the new school NE hoppy style.  Cascades are still citrusy, and I can see Nugget fitting in here too.  Nugget can lean more towards the herbal, pine and spice side of things, but I’ve had strictly Nugget hopped beers that were fruity as well. Cascade and Nugget aren’t the Citras and Mosaics of the IPA world anymore, but that’s kind of appealing here, combining old and new.  I’ll also be excited to see what using fresh hops brings to the table as far as flavor and aroma intensity goes.  In reality, 6 ounces of fresh cones isn’t a lot by today’s pale ale standards, so I’m hopping that by doing a smaller batch I was able to stretch them a bit further.

Brew day was a madhouse, but in a fun way.  I was given two one gallon brew kits by my friend Andy, and I decided to put them to good use.  While I was brewing my fresh hopped pale ale, I had two batches of one gallon all grain beers going on the stove.  Needeless to say, I had my hands full.  Things were pretty hectic, but everything turned out well for the most part.  The Hop Harvest ale went really well, I hit all my numbers.  I mashed in at 152 for 60 minutes, sparged, and got my 60 minute boil going.  I used some of my Cascade and Nugget pellets in the boil, and saved a bit for a flameout addition.  I had a big addition of fresh hops go in right at flameout, and I steeped the hops in a hopstand for 45 minutes to let those freshies really soak in.  After the hopstand I chilled to about 70 degrees, took my hydrometer sample, and poured through my strainer into the carboy.  My hydrometer sample came in at 1.058.  The beer fermented at 68 degrees for 4 days.  I hit it with the first round of dry hops on day 4 and ramped the temp up to 72 to help the yeast finish out.


Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 4.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 6.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 36.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
5 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcet Grain 1 64.5 %
1 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 2 11.7 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 11.7 %
6.0 oz Honey Malt (Gambrinus) (25.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.4 %
4.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 5 2.9 %
4.0 oz Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.9 %
2.5 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 7 1.8 %

0.25 oz Nugget [13.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 15.3 IBUs
0.75 oz Nugget [13.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 16.6 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 4.7 IBUs
2.50 oz Nugget [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 12 0.0 IBUs

1 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Dry Hop 1
1 oz Nugget [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 1

1.75 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Dry Hop 2
1.5 oz Nugget [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 2

London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318)

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 8 lbs 8.5 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 10.66 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Keg Update 09/29/16:  I kegged this beer last night on 2.25 oz of fresh Nugget and Cascade hops.  I used some stainless steel washers to help keep the bag weighted down.  I took my final hydrometer sample and it came in at 1.012, giving me an abv of 6%!  The sample tasted nice already, with citrus and some herbal and pine notes.  I’ll be anxious to see jhow this turns out!

Tasting Notes 10/12/16:

Appearance:  Hop Harvest pours a cloudy orange color with gold highlights.  This beer started with the usual level of juice like haze I get in my New England style beers, but as the keg has gone, it’s begun to settle out a bit.  Its still hazy, but not turbid.  The beer has a nice white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell:  I’ve never used Nugget hops, and its been a while since I’ve used Cascade, so I’m not sure how much the fresh hops differ from the usual pellets, but this beer has a unique smell.  The dominant smell almost reminds me of being in a forest after a rain shower.  Its a very fresh floral and herbal note I think, with citrus and a bit of peach underneath that.  I’m guessing the peach comes from the 1318 esters, while the citrus should be the Cascade.  I’m thinking the herbal and floral notes are from the Nugget hops.

Taste:  This beer benefits from the stirring the keg up periodically, otherwise its a bit bland for a NE style pale.  The bitterness would be mild in a more flavorful beer, but there’s not a ton of hop flavor, so the bitterness sticks out a bit more.  There’s a spicy herbal flavor, with just a hint of grapefruit and peach beneath that.  The Golden Promise and honey malt add a bit of complexity to keep the beer from seeming boring, but there’s a bit of harsher bitterness in the finish.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a decent beer, but its pretty balanced and certainly not a hop bomb.  Its just a bit bland.

Mouthfeel:  Pretty nice body on this,  but nothing special.  Medium carbonation.  The bitterness in the finish creates a drier feeling on the tongue that interferes with what would otherwise be a smooth finish.

Overall:  I can’t say I’m necessarily let down here since I didn’t really have any expectations for this beer, but I’m certainly not impressed with it either.  I think the issue comes down to the amount of hops used.  The fresh whole cone hops have a lot more plant material by ounce, and while the aroma and flavor they provided was raw and pretty cool, I just didn’t have enough.  I should have done an even smaller batch to really make the most of them, but oh well.  I’d love to try another fresh hop beer though, and it was cool getting to use some varieties that I don’t use much if any of.  In the grand scheme of things, this is a forgettable beer.  I’ve brewed plenty worse, but I’ve certainly brewed better IPA’s.


Serrated Summer Ale 3.0 – Hoppy Blonde


Serrated Summer Ale (1)

Brewed 06/12/16.  Finally, I get to brew a summer beer while its warm enough to feel like summer outside!!!  My Munich Helles required jeans and long sleeves and I brewed that in May.  Oh well.  Anyway, this is my third time brewing my main summer beer, Serrated Summer Ale.  The first time I brewed this ale, it was basically a different beer.  It was essentially a knockoff of Two Brothers Sidekick extra pale ale.  Its a very light pale ale with a big tropical and citrus kick, but its definitely West Coast.  The beer is crisp, dry, and clear.  If that appeals to you more, check it out here.

The second version of this beer, as well as this version, are more modeled after a beer called Eureka by TreeHouse.  Eureka is a blonde ale, but not in the traditional sense.  When most people think of a blonde ale, they think of an entry level craft ale that isn’t a drastic departure from the macro lagers that many enjoy.  The beer is typically crystal clear, subtle, and crisp.  There usually isn’t much going on in the way of hops or any sort of yeast profile.  I dare say that blonde ales are a bit boring.  I enjoy them from time to time, and have even brewed several, one I really liked, but if I want crisp, refreshing with not a lot going on, I’ll usually take a lager like a Helles.  Eureka, and my Serrated Summer Ale, are not blonde ales of this traditional variety.   The beer is cloudy in the New England/Northeast IPA style of beers.  The soft mouthfeel is there.  And so are those beautiful citrus and tropical hop flavors.  The beer is still super light and easy drinking, and I’ve only tried Eureka once, but I imagine I could guzzle those by the dozen during the summer.

That brings my to this summer ale.  I wanted something similar to Eureka, but I’m not really into doing clones.  Given what I know about brewing New England style beers, I figured I could brew something close to Eureka without knowing really anything specific about it, and I succeeded last year in that effort.  This year’s Serrated Summer Ale really isn’t much of a departure from last years batch.  I kept the OG down a little bit just to make this one even lighter and more sessionable.  I’m shooting for an ABV between 4% and 4.5%, last year was about 5%.  I simplified the hop bill a bit, cutting out Zythos hops and strictly focusing on equal parts Citra and Galaxy.  This beer should be packed with citrus and tropical fruit flavors that should be perfect in the summer months coming up.  I subbed flaked wheat in place of oats from last years, I just prefer the body they provide over the oats.  As usual, my yeast of choice is Wyeast 1318 London Ale III.  Last years version of this ale was the first time I used London Ale III and I haven’t looked back.  I love this yeast and have written about it in great detail in a number of other articles here, but its just so damn good.


Cheers! I finally got to wear some short sleeves on brew day this time!

This was a fairly quiet brew day.  I play in an ice hockey league and I had a 8:00 pm game on the night of brew day, so I wasn’t able to partake in my usual shenanigans.  Don’t get me wrong, beers were had, but I kept things pretty low key.  Steve came ove rto help me out which was very much appreciated.  I brew a modified version of BIAB, where I still do typical mash volumes, and I fill another pot with the full sparge volume and basically soak the grains in that for another 15 minutes.  This method usually gets me between 70 to 78% efficiency.  The downside is it can be a pain to brew alone.  I like to squeeze the grain bag to get all the sugars I can out, and that’s hard to do alone.  Long story short, thanks Steve!


Steve contemplating

I was having some thermometer difficulties on this one, the digital reading seemed to jump around a lot even after I changed the battery, but I think I got my mash temp around 154, a bit shy of the 156 I was aiming for.  I really don’t want this one drying out too much.  Around the half hour mark I went to stir and found that I had lost four degrees which is not typical.  I’m guessing it was from their being less volume in the mash, so there was more headroom in the kettle for heat to escape, even when covered by my usual pile of blankets.  I heated it back up to 156, stirred and covered again.


The rest of the brew day was fine.  I boiled for 60, hit all my hop additions, and chilled to 180 for a 30 minute hopstand.  I did run out of propane once with about 15 minutes in the boil, but I always have an extra on hand to that was a quick fix.  After the hopstand, I chilled the rest of the way down.  My hydrometer sample was right on the money at 1.045.  I pitched my yeast and into the ferm chamber it went.  As always, I’ll post a kegging update and tasting notes as I go.  Here’s the recipe and water profile.

Recipe Specifications

Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 4.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 32.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6 lbs Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 65.3 %
1 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 2 10.9 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 10.9 %
8.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.4 %
8.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 5 5.4 %
3.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.0 %

0.25 oz Warrior [15.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 14.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 8.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 9.6 IBUs
1.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.50 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 11 0.0 IBUs

2.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

2.0 pkg London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124. Yeast 12 –

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 3.0 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 11.48 qt of water at 168.2 F 156.0 F 60 min

Ca+2                  Mg+2               Na+                   Cl-                 SO4-2                     HCO
126.9                  7.4                   4.9                  140.1               92.0                        16.260

Keg Update:  The FG of this beer came in at 1.015, giving me an abv of 4% which is perfect for summer drinking sessions!  The aroma and hop flavor were great going into the keg for more dry hops, so I can’t wait to see how this turns out!

Tasting Notes 07/18/16:

Appearance:  Serrated Summer Ale pours a hazy gold with hints of orange and a fluffy white head.  If you’re a fan of New England style pales, this should appeal to you.  As stated above, this doesn’t look like your typical blonde ale.

Smell:  This beer has a very fruit forward aroma.  There’s a ton of passion fruit, citrus, pineapple, mango, and some lemon zest.  The aroma is really pleasing on this one.  Blending with the hop aroma is some nice fruity esters from the yeast.

Taste:  This beers is saturated with hop flavor without the bitterness of a pale ale.  The hop flavor is mostly citrus and pineapple.  There is a light sweetness, but not much malt flavor to speak of.  Still, for a 4% beer this one has some nice flavor to it.

Mouthfeel:  Light bodied without feeling thin.  Dry and refreshing but there’s still enough body to maintain a smooth texture.  This beer is really juice like in mouthfeel, it really enhances the drinking experience.

Overall:  Another successful attempt at this beer.  I’d be ok bumping this up to 4.5 percent, but I like keeping this light and mild.  The hop flavor is exactly where I want it.  I’d consider subbing some of the 2 Row for Golden Promise to add a bit more malt flavor to this, maybe even dropping the caramalt and doing all Golden Promise as the base.  We’ll see, that’s next summer’s dilemma!  For now, I’ve been enjoying this one for a few weeks now and I’m very pleased with the result!

Reinvention – New England Style American Pale Ale

DSC_1051This beer was brewed on 04/30/16.  This is a new recipe that I’m trying for what will become something of a house pale ale I may brew whenever the need for a easy drinking hoppy beer may arise.  This beer should be light, but not thin.  It should lean towards hop forward without being hop juice.  And it should sessionable without being a light beer.   Though its a recipe I’ve never tried, its certainly not a departure from my wheelhouse of New England Pale ales.  I titled this beer Reinvention.  My personal life has seen a number of changes lately, so I figured this would be an appropriate name for this beer!  Beyond my personal reasons, I feel like these new breeds of New England style hoppy beers are reinventing what American hoppy beers can be like.  Gone is the focus on clarity and assertive bitterness, instead focusing on hop saturation in the flavor and aroma along smooth drinkability.  I’ve grown so bored with the typical copper colored IPA, the standard West Coast version.  Ok, so maybe reinventing hoppy beers is a stretch, but they’ve certainly rejuvenated my interest in them.

This beer is a New England style take on an American Pale Ale.  Think something along the lines of Trillium’s Fort Point Pale Ale, but scaled down a bit and with some different hops, or Hill Farmstead’s Edward .  I’m not going into detail about the New England style of APA/IPA/DIPA, I feel like I’ve covered it at length in some other blog posts on here, but this beer should certainly fit right into that style.

The base of this one is good old 2 Row, with some White Wheat to add some body and mouthfeel to the beer.  I added some carapils to enhance that effect.  I went with a higher dose of Light Caramalt in this one than I typically do with my IPAs and DIPAs to add a level of balance to this one.  It’s going to be a juicy, hop forward beer for sure, but I want there to be a nice malty sweetness to act as a good backbone.


Mashing in!





Enjoying a Surly during brew day, need to stay hydrated after all!

The hop bill on this beer should wind up fairly fruity.  Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo all play well together.  The Simcoe should take on a pineapple, citrus, and a bit of pine when paired with the more citrus forward Amarillo.  The Citra should add even more citrus, a bit more tropical fruit, and maybe some dankness.  I’m excited to use more Simcoe here, I’ve phased it out of my latest take on my DIPA, White Death, but its still a hop I enjoy, especially when paired with even more fruit forward varieties.


The boil!

This was the second half of my 4/30/16 brew day, I started this one immediately after completing my latest batch of White Death.  I had a little more company for this batch, and had a bunch of fun with my friends while I brewed.  It was a couple of their first times at a brew day, and it was fun to show them the process, though I could see the life draining from their eyes as I explained the ins and outs of the process in painful detail to them, I’m sure they’ll never be back!  Oh well, I’ll just bribe them with beer!  Anyway, despite the friendly distractions,  I was on my game the second batch of the day as well as the first.  I mashed at 153, just a degree short of my intended goal of 154.  I sparged and got my boil going with no issues.  I hit all my hop additions, and then cooled the beer to 180.  I did a 30 minute hopstand at 180, and then chilled the rest of the way down and pitched the London Ale III yeast at about 70 degrees.

I was just one gravity point shy of my intended SG of 1.056, coming in at 1.055.  I’ll take that any day, especially the first time brewing a recipe!  I filtered out as mush hop sludge as I could and into the carboy it went.


White Death on the left, Reinvention on the right

This will ferment next to its stronger, older, brew day brother at 68 degrees.  The first round of dry hops will be at day five, the second will come when I transfer to kegs at day ten.




Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain
Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain
Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain


Kegging Update:  This beer was transferred to the keg onto the second round of dry hops on 05/11/16.  The FG of the beer was 1.013, giving me an ABV of 5.5%, right around what I was hoping for with this beer!  The hydrometer sample tasted really good, there was nice balance to it, and I’m very anxious to try this carbed up!

Tasting Notes 05/27/16:

Appearance:  This beer pours deep gold with hints of orange.  This one’s hazy, but not quite at the level of some of my other beers that use Wyeast 1318 and a bunch of hops.  The head is white and sticks around the edges of the glass, leaving a good amount of lacing.  A really nice looking brew.

Smell:  Pineapple, papaya, citrus, and a hint of pine, floral, and berry are the predominant aromas I pick up in this one.  I love the pineapple and candied fruit aromas that Simcoe takes on in addition to the pine when used with other fruity hops.  There a pleasant undertone of sweet malt just barely perceptible under the hops.

Taste:  Very mild bitterness, but nice hop flavor.  Its not as saturated with hops as some other pales I’ve brewed, and I’m not sure why.  I’m being picky though, this is a fine beer and I’m really happy with the flavors.  I get a lot of citrus, some orange and grapefruit, some pineapple, and some grainy sweetness from the balanced malt profile.  While hop forward, its not hop juice.  A hint of resiny pine in the flavor as well.

Mouthfeel:  medium bodied and medium carbonation.  Its smooth, but it still finishes dry and crisp.  This one is very easy drinking, and is really nice as the weather is FINALLY warming up around here!

Overall:  A really nice pale ale.  Not sure how much I can really improve upon it.  The recipe is mostly sound, I did well on brew day, and the only hiccup I had was some keg sealing issues that I got sorted.  I don’t think I detect any oxidized hop flavors, but I thought the hops might pop just a bit more.  I think upon re-brewing this I’ll cut the caramalt down to a half pound.  I’m wondering if the sweetness is whats keeping the hops from popping more.  I’m not trying to be negative though, I’m still pretty damn pleased with this, and will certainly come back to it again!

White Death Version 5 – Northeast Style DIPA

White Death 5

White Death 2

Perfecting this beer has become my white whale, my never ending quest for perfection.  The problem is, I always mess something up or change too much.  I still have sky high hopes for this batch, and it may still be the finalized recipe for this beer that I was hoping to find, but I made one error that I need to touch on before I get on with this:  I used the wrong base malt!

My LHBS sells a number of different base malts in bulk out of big containers.  In my haste to get in and out in a reasonable time since I was running late on this brew day (Much like the post about it, this beer was brewed 09/20/15), I saw Canada Malting Pale Malt.  In my rush to get my things together, I didn’t realize I got the Canada Malting Superior Pale malt, thinking instead I had their regular 2 Row.  This malt is kilned slightly darker than your standard 2 Row.  I had intended on just going with 2 row this time around, and getting that golden orange color from a half pound of light Caramalt.  I now have a beer that is potentially darker than I intended.  I say potentially because I was shooting for an SRM of about 5 to 5.5, now I’m around 6 to 6.3.  I’m not even sure in reality I’d notice the difference, but I’m a beer perfectionist so things changing from the plan on brew day threw me off.  This could still turn out exactly like I want it to though, so I’m trying not to get ahead of myself here and make changes that don’t need to be made.  The Superior Pale is supposed to be a really nice base malt, so this could be a fortunate mistake and I may end up loving it.

The other changes I made (Intentionally this time) to this batch from the prior ones is balancing the Citra and Mosaic more with the Columbus and Simcoe.  The last batch was a bit harsher and resiny, and I wanted the fruity characteristics to come through more so I bumped the Cirtra and Mosaic additions up.  I also used Warrior as my bittering hop.  Columbus for bittering was just a touch harsher than I wanted in this beer.

This is also the first batch of White Death to use Wyeast 1318 London Ale III rather than Conan.  I came to this decision after doing my side by side yeast comparison of the two in an otherwise identical pale ale (Read about that here).  1318 is just awesome and I’ve used it a few times in lower OG beers.  I can’t wait to try it in a DIPA.

As has become typical for me, I had a higher chloride water profile to smooth out the mouthfeel for this beer.  If you are reading this and haven’t read my other posts, I’ve been trying to chase the mouthfeel and body from guys like Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Trillium, Tree House, and Tired Hands.  I think yeast selection and water profile are huge components to that.  Really, I’m trying to make the quintessential Northeast DIPA here.  A smooth mouthfeel, smooth bitterness, and a fruity juice like hop quality with a bit of earthy dankness to go with it.

The brew day itself was the usual.  Our neighbors came over to hang out for a while, so did my brother Kevin and his family.  My wife came back from a Las Vegas trip just in time to help me mash in, so that was great!  I hit my numbers on the dot.  I cooled the beer to 180 for my 30 minute hopstand and then transferred it to the carboy.  I dry hopped with the first dose right as fermentation slowed around day 5.  I’l keg it in another day or so with the second round of dry hops and then get carbing!

Water Profile:

Ca+2       Mg+2        Na+        Cl-         SO4-2      HCO
139.3       6.8            22.3       199.0     118.1       0.034

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.074 SG
Estimated Color: 6.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 113.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
11 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 76.4 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.6 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 6.6 %
8.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.3 %
5.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.1 %
12.0 oz Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 6 5.0 %

2.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 90.7 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 7.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Boil 5.0 mi Hop 9 7.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 7.8 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus (CTZ) [15.50 %] – Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Steep/Whirl Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
Dry Hop split into two doses
2.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Hop 19 0.0 IBUs

2.0 pkg London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124. Yeast

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 15 lbs 1.0 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 17.89 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Kegging Update:  I transferred this one into the keg over the weekend for the second round of dry hops.  I do a closed transfer under C02 for all my beer, and for whatever reason I lost my siphon.  I think the bottom of the cane may have gotten clogged with some trub, but even after clearing it and checking the dip tube and poppet on the out post of the keg that I was transferring the beer through, I couldn’t get the siphon started again.  I was pissed!  This is my favorite beer I make, and there was about a six pack or so left of beer still in the carboy.  I was not going to waste it.  I used my old autosiphon to put the beer in some glasses, cooled it down, and then used the neighbor’s sodastream to carb it up.  I lost about another beer worth of foam, but at least I was able to drink most of it over the course of the evening.  I also noticed the beer was a bit darker than I wanted, but not by much.  I likely will go with plain 2 row next time, or cut or lower the caramalt.  Still, the beer tasted awesome already.  The FG came in at 1.013, giving me my 8% abv I shoot for with this beer.

Tasting Update 10/13/15:

Appearance:  As I had suspected, this beer turned out just the slightest bit darker orange than I’d prefer it be, but that’s pretty nitpicky of me.  The color is still in the ballpark of what I was going for, and its still a pretty beer.  It pours a nice orange color with a good white head.

Smell:  This beer smells fantastic.  Very heavy on citrus and other fruity aromas such as orange, a bit or grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple, and some subtle dankness.  Some subtle yeast esters are under all the hops.

Taste:  This is great stuff!  I love the London Ale III with this beer, I’ll be keeping it for sure.  There’s a firm, but pretty smooth bitterness.  When I brew this again, I may still dial the bittering charge back a bit more, but its still not harsh.  The hop flavors follow the nose, lots of citrus and some tropical fruits.  There’s a bit of sweetness that’s pleasing in the finish.

Mouthfeel:  Pretty much perfect for this beer.  So smooth and silky.  Nothing I’d change in this regard.  Nice medium body on this, but it still finishes dry enough to be refreshing.  This thing is chuggable for an 8% beer.

Overall:  This beer is 95% there.  The last 5% is really just dialing in the details.  I do think I’ll try regular 2 Row next time with just a bit of crystal to shoot for an SRM of about 5.  I’ll dial the bittering charge back a bit, but the flavor and aroma hops are all spot on.  This beer is so juicy in taste and feel, it just brings a smile to your face!  The water profile seems to be right on as well.  Wyeast 1318 London Ale III was fantastic in this brew, and I’m glad I went with it over Conan.  I’m very confident the next time I brew this beer, it’ll be the finalized version barring any mistakes by me!

Doodle Face 3.0

DSC_0646Doodle Face 2

Another batch of one of my favorite beers is done!  Doodle Face is a tribute to the White Pointer brewhouse Goldendoodle, Whiskey.  Doodle face is a Citra hopped APA and I absolutely loved the last batch.    This one is just basically a full sized batch of my Doodle Face 2.0 recipe with a couple changes.

The doodle

The doodle

The malt and hop bill are more or less the same as the last batch, just scaled up.  This beer is almost entirely Citra, minus Warrior for bittering.  My inspirations for this beers are Zombie Dust, Pseudo Sue, and Hill Farmstead Citra.  As per usual, this beer isn’t a clone attempt at any of those, just where I drew some ideas from.  I love Citra hops, and last time I brewed this beer it was just dripping with that citrus and slightly tropical flavor.  I also really like the Golden Promise base in this beer, it adds a really nice bready base for the hops to play on.  The wheat, oats, and carapils are all to help get that smooth, creamy body reminiscent of Hill Farmstead that I strive for in my pale ales.

The first change comes from the yeast.  I used Wyeast 1318 London Ale III in this batch vs the WLP 007 Dry English ale in the last one.  If you’ve been reading this blog you know I’ve been pretty big on 1318 and Conan as two candidates as a house yeast.  I figured 1318 would be better suited to this beer and would allow the Citra character to be the star of the show.  I also went with what it becoming my standard pale ale water profile,  going with a higher chloride to gypsum ratio once again with this batch since I’ve really enjoyed what it does for the mouthfeel.  I loved the balance of this beer last time I brewed it, and the way the Golden Promise base and Citra hops played together was fantastic.


The brew day for this beer was amazing.  It was brewed on 07/26/15.  We had the neighbors over as usual, and our neighbors Jeremy and Sara did a shrimp boil alongside the beer.  We used some Old Bay seasoning, shrimp, Italian sausage, potatoes, carrots, corn, and garlic clove.  Good God it was fantastic!  We times the shrimp boil to be done right as I was waiting for my hour long mash rest, so that was the perfect way to fill that time.  The brew day also ended in a drunk dance party, so really there was no way it could have not been a great day.  Despite the great food and revelry (I love that I just got to use that word), I was spot on in my brew game.  I hit my numbers almost on the dot for everything.  My OG came up just one point short at 1.056.  I did a 30 minute massive hop stand on this beer, so the nose and flavor on this should be incredible.


The shrimp boil! No, this was not in the beer.



Me, mixing up some sanitizer

This is a pretty short post I realize, I just don’t have much new in this beer to elaborate on.  I’m just trying to dial this one in, but there was so little from the last batch I’d change so I feel pretty confident in this one.  This brew day was one of the most fun I’ve had though, so if the beer lives up to the fun I had brewing it, I’ll be thrilled!

Here’s the water profile on this one:

Ca+2       Mg+2       Na+        Cl-         SO4-2            HCO
149.5       0.0           0.0        185.3        107.2            0.000

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated FG: 1.015
Estimated Color: 5.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 50.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcet Grain 1 71.1 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (Briess) (1.4 SRM) Grain 2 8.9 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 8.9 %
8.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.4 %
8.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 5 4.4 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.2 %

0.50 oz Warrior [15.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 25.8 IBUs
3.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 24.6 IBUs

5.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 9 0.0 IBUs

5.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs

2.0 pkg London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124. Yeast 10 –

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 11 lbs 4.0 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 14.06 qt of water at 164.8 F 153.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.47gal, 3.64gal) of 168.0 F water

Update 08/08/15:  This beer has been in the keg on a second round of dry hops for a couple days.  I’ll remove those and start carbing this one tomorrow.  The FG came in at 1.012, giving me an ABV of 5.8% for this batch.  The sample was already fantastic!

Tasting Notes 08/24/15:  

Appearance:  This beer pours a golden/light orange color, and has the look of a glass of fruit juice!  Its a beautiful hazy brew, and while some people may be off put by this murky beauty, I love the appearance of beers like this!  The head sticks around nicely as well.

Smell:  Like putting your nose into a bag of Citra hops!  Kegging did wonders for this beer!  There’s tons of orange and grapefruit citrus aroma along with a bit of mango and passion fruit.  There’s a slight fruity ester note from the yeast in the aroma as well that compliments the hops well.

Taste:  The bitterness on this one is pretty mild and is made softer by the roundness that the London Ale III yeast provides.  The Citra flavor on this beer is huge!  There’s tons of citrus flavor, as well as some tropical fruit like mango, passion fruit, and pineapple.  The London Ale III really works well in this beer, and this just solidifies my intentions to use this as a house yeast of sorts.  The Golden Promise malt lends some nice sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel:  I love what the combination of the London Ale, water chem, and grain bill does for this beers body.  Its so smooth and juice-like.  It drinks like a medium bodied beer with a dry finish, but the body is smooth and creamy.

Overall:  This is one of those beers that just makes you smile when you drink it.  I’ll probably add another half pound of Golden Promise just to bump the ABV up to 6%, but that’s about it.  There’s really nothing else I’d change about this one, its one of my favorites that I brew!

Serrated Summer Ale 2.0


Serrated Summer Ale (1)

Nothing like brewing a summer beer when temperatures are in the high 50’s/low 60’s!  Unfortunately that’s the reality in the Chicagoland area this time of year.  I’ll be in the 80’s one day and then drop 20 degrees the next.

The goal of this brew day was obviously to brew a nice easy drinking summer beer that has great hop flavor, but a light smooth bitterness.  The other goal here was to test out Wyeast 1318 London Ale III.  I’ve been a huge fan of Conan yeast, and as of now I intend to use it as a house yeast for the majority of my beers.  Before I commit to that plan, I wanted to try out London Ale III and see if it lives up to the good things I’ve read about it.  The yeast is supposed to be fairly clean, decent attenuation, lets the hops pop, and lends a creamy mouthfeel.  This is also supposedly the yeast Hill Farmstead uses, and if I can get anywhere near their quality and mouthfeel then I’ll be thrilled.  I wrote an article about my thoughts on a house yeast, you can read it here for more detail HERE.  

This beer is a bit of a departure from my recipe last year.  Without knowing what their recipe was, I based the idea of this beer last year on Two Brothers Sidekick Extra Pale Ale.  It’s a light, dry APA thats really drinkable and perfect for summer days.  I still love that beer, but I had a beer from Treehouse recently that I felt would be an even better summer chugger.  Treehouse Eureka (the Citra version) is a cloudy, creamy, hoppy blonde ale that tiptoes the blonde/APA line.  As I was drinking it, I thought about how it would be the perfect beer to drink a sixpack worth while sitting on my deck on an 85 degree day.  I didn’t set out to brew a clone of this beer, and Treehouse is apparently pretty tight lipped on their recipes anyway.  I wanted a ton of tropical and citrusy hop flavor without a lot of bitterness.  I used Zythos, Citra, and Galaxy in this beer last year, along with Nelson Sauvin.  For this year’s version, I dropped the Nelson hops and focused on achieving a smooth body by using oats and white wheat.  I also kept the higher chloride ratio to boost the body of the beer.  I loved the impact this had on my 527 DIPA.  The hops still popped, but the beer was so smooth, and the bitterness wasn’t harsh.  That same approach should work really well in this beer.  I used some light caramalt for a hint of sweetness to sit under the hops and to get a bit of color.  If all goes to plan, this beer should blend elements of a blonde ale and an APA.  I’ll call it a blonde, but this beer definitely won’t fit neatly in the style guidelines.

Givin' the ol grain bag a squeeze

Givin’ the ol grain bag a squeeze.  I’m holding the bag, my neighbor Phil is doing the squeezing

I was really happy with how this brew day went, and I was determined to have a mistake free day.  As usual, we had our friends and neighbors over, but I laid out my ingredients on a table beforehand and kept my process tight.  I hit my temps and numbers, coming up just one point high on my OG, winding up with 1.050.  I did a 30 minute hop stand at 180 degrees after my 60 minute boil, then chilled to 70 and pitched my yeast.  It’s been fermenting away for a week, and I’ll give it a few more days before transferring to the keg for dry hopping!

Water profile:

Ca+2       Mg+2       Na+        Cl-        SO4-2         HCO
141.9       0.0           0.0         180.9      95.1           0.000

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG
Estimated FG: 1.014 FG
Estimated Color: 4.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 78.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 78.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
6 lbs 12.0 oz Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 71.5 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 2 10.6 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 10.6 %
8.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.3 %
3.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.0 %

0.13 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 8.3 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 7 9.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 10.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Zythos [10.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 7.5 IBUs

1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 m Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 12 0.0 IBUs

1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs

2.0 pkg London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124. Yeast 13 –

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 7.0 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 11.79 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min

Update 06/12/15:  I transferred this beer onto the dry hops in the keg last night.  The FG came in at 1.011, a bit drier than I had wanted, but the beer should have a nice light body for summer drinking.  The other downside of the beer drying out was the abv comes in at 5.1 now, rather than the 4.7 I was shooting for.  It’s not quite the low abv session beer I was aiming for, but this thing should still be light and chuggable.  It’ll sit on the hops for a few days and then I’ll start carbing it!

Tasting Update 06/22/15:  I’m thrilled with the way this beer turned out!  The beer is so smooth with great hop flavor and a nice light malt body.

Appearance:  The beer pours a bright gold with hints of orange.  The beer is hazy and unfiltered just like Eureka from Treehouse Brewing.  It pours with a nice creamy head and sticky lacing that hangs around.  A really nice looking beer if you enjoy the unfiltered look (I do!).

Smell:  Nice fruity aroma consisting of orange, grapefruit, and some pineapple.  There are hints of yeast esters.  The hop aroma isn’t overpowering and goes well in this beer.

Taste:  Very mild bitterness gives way to bright citrus hop flavor.  There’s some orange and grapefruit, but aside from the citrus there’s also passion fruit and mango notes.  The malt base here is pretty light and grainy with just a bit of sweetness in the finish.  There’s a hint of English yeast esters, but they compliment the flavors in this beer really well.  Overall the yeast profile was pretty clean.

Mouthfeel:  This is one of the ways this beer shines.  I really like the silky smooth body that the Wyeast 1318 leaves.  The beer is light in body, but this yeast keeps it from ever seeming thin or watery.  The beer still finished dry enough to be really refreshing and drinkable.

Overall:  I really could not beer more pleased with this beer.  I’d be interested to see what this beer would be like with Conan yeast, but I really like what the 1318 brings to the table here.  This was a great trial run for me with 1318, but I’d like to use it in a DIPA or something a bit bigger before I come to a final opinion on it.  I will say that it lived up to my expectations!  I would maybe add some carapils in place of some basemalt to keep a bit more body in the beer, but I’m kinda nit picking.  I’d like to keep the abv down just a bit more, somewhere around 4.5 to 4.7 or so, but again, that’s a pretty small complaint here.  I’m very satisfied with this beer, and any recipe tweeking will be minor!

Brewz Grump-American/English Pale Ale

Brewz glass 1Brewz glass 2

Brewz Grump

Another small batch in the books!  This beer was brewed on  01/25/15.  This one is the next in our dog series of brews after Doodleface.  To be honest, this beer was a fridge and grain bin clearer, as I had a bunch of odds and ends from prior batches like specialty grains and hops, so I just needed yeast and base malt.  I had just enough left over hops and specialty grains to put together a 2.75 gallon batch.  This beer is named for my wife’s parents dog and frequent house guest of ours, Blu Belle.  Blu is a sweet, smart, somewhat gassy cross between an English and American bulldog.  My wife came up with the Brewz Grump name, and I thought it fit Blu well with her grumpy looking bulldog face.  To honor her being an English and American mix, I though it would be cool to cross ingredients from the UK and American ingredients.  I tend to do this with most of my pales anyway since I love UK base malts, but I thought it was a cool idea.

I started with a Golden Promise base.  I’ve become a big fan of Golden Promise and Pearl malts as the base of my pale ales.  They have more bread like malt character than standard two row, and I can get more malt flavor without too much reliance on specialty grains, which can sometimes muddle the hop flavors if used in excess.  I had some leftover caramalt and carapills, and then tossed some oats in for added body.  I also added a bit of American Munich malt for some added malt flavor and color.  The hops were all from prior batches, most being fairly fresh.  I had originally wanted WLP 007 Dry English Ale for the yeast, but my LHBS was out.  The guy there knows what he’s doing so I respect his opinion, and he recommended Wyeast 1068 English ESB.  Its what’s supposedly used in Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust, so it obviously can complement hops well.  I’ve never used this yeast, but it was fun going into this batch with an open mind and no real expectations of exactly how I wanted this to turn out.

Nothing outside the ordinary on this brew day, just another stove top batch.  I mashed at 154, boiled for 60, then did a 20 minute hop stand.  My OG came in right on the money at 1.057

My water profile on this one was:

Ca+2     Mg+2      Na+      Cl-       SO4-2
151.2     0.0          0.0        67.1     271.5

Batch Size (fermenter): 2.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated FG: 1.018 FG
Estimated Color: 5.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 58.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs Pale Malt, Golden Promise (Thomas Fawcet Grain 1 71.0 %
8.0 oz Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 8.9 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 3 8.9 %
4.0 oz Caramalt (Thomas Fawcett) (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.4 %
4.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 5 4.4 %
2.1 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.3 %

0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 28.1 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 21.6 IBUs
0.38 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 9.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Boil 0.0 mi Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

0.25 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.00 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Hop 19 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 20 0.0 IBUs

1.0 pkg London ESB Ale (Wyeast Labs #1968)

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 5 lbs 10.1 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 7.04 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min

Bottling Update:  This beer attenuated more than I expected it to, but had a nice flavor at bottling.  It tasted a bit maltier than expected, but still very nice.  The FG came in at 1. 012.

Brewz bottling

Bottling up Brewz Grump while enjoying a Zombie Dust, not a bad Sunday afternoon!

Tasting Update on 02/20/15:  

Appearance:  Brewz Grump poured with a nice fluffy white head that sticks around.  The body of the beer is a golden color with some orange/copper hues to it.  The beer has a bit of haze from the dry hops and oats, but its still somewhat transparent due to how fast this yeast drops out.  All in all a nice looking pale ale.

Smell:  The aroma of this beer is pretty hop forward.  The nose is citrus, specifically some orange notes, but there is a general fruity aroma.  There are also some slight earthy pungent hop notes.  There’s also a slight crackery malt aroma that’s just behind the hops.

Taste:  There’s a pleasant bitterness up front, then that quickly fades into ripe citrus and fruity hop flavors like orange, tangerine, and a hint of pineapple.  There’s a solid malt base to this beer too.  The malt flavors have a cracker and bread like quality, not really caramel like sweetness.  The flavors in this beer have a nice balance to them.  Its hop forward, but its not a total hop bomb.  The yeast profile is pretty clean, but there’s a bit more flavor contribution than American yeast.  The yeast does a bit to accentuate both the hops and malt, so it fit this beer well.

Mouthfeel:  The beer has a dry finish, but its not thin due to the caramalt, carapils, and oats.  To be honest, I’m surprised it got as dry as it did, maybe I need to check how many degrees I lose during the mash a bit more carefully.  I was hoping for a creamy texture on this one, and it didn’t quite get there.  Maybe more chloride in the mash would have helped too.

Overall:  For a thrown together recipe intended to clear out some leftover ingredients, I couldn’t really have asked for much better.  I’m not sure if I’d brew this again over some of my previous pale ales or ideas for future ones, but I’m very happy with the way this turned out, and if I have these ingredients left over again, I’d brew it.  The beer dried out a bit more than I wanted it to, but there’s still some nice malt flavor and body to it.

Final Beer Stats:
Measured OG: 1.057
Measured FG: 1.012
ABV: 6.0%
IBU: 58
SRM: 5.9

Serrated Summer Ale—APA

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Serrated Summer Ale (1)

When I actually document a brew day in the future when I brew a batch, I’m going to try and post pictures of the brew day, talk about how the day went, and I’ll update the post later with a pic of the finished beer.  Basically, these brew logs will be much more detailed with more current brews.  I brewed this batch in may, so I just remember a bit of the session.  It was the last one in my brother Kevin’s house, so it was a bit bittersweet.  It was always a fun day there when we’d drink and brew, but I relocated to a house of my own, so I finally had room to put all my brewing equipment and supplies.

The day went really smooth, but I ended up with a higher OG than anticipated.  I’m still dialing in my system, and with a lighter batch I seem to get near 80% efficiency.  What was supposed to be a 5% abv beer turned into a 5.5%.  Oh well.

Here’s the recipe for Serrated Summer Ale

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.75 gal
Equipment: My Equipment
Efficiency: 80.00 %
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 84.8 %
12.0 oz Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 2 7.9 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.3 %
3.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.0 %
0.25 oz Zythos [10.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 9.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Zythos [10.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 13.1 IBUs
0.75 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 11.8 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Zythos [10.90 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.048 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.009 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.1 %
Bitterness: 34.0 IBUs
Est Color: 3.8 SRM
Measured Original Gravity: 1.050 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.5 %
Calories: 163.7 kcal/12oz
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 11.79 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 60 min
Yeast:  Safale S-05
Tasting Notes:
Appearance:  Pours a nice gold color with decent white head.  The beer was decently clear, but had a bit of haze that I’d like to get rid of in future batches, and I’m sure that come from using some white wheat I had on hand in place of carapils.
Aroma:  Tropical fruits from the hop combo.  Smelled like fresh fruits.  No malt aroma.
Taste:  Again, tropical fruit.  There was just a hint of malt sweetness, but this bad boy was almost all hops.  Almost like a session IPA, but not quite that level of bitterness.  Speaking of bitterness, it was pretty smooth since most of the IBUs came from late hop additions.
Mouthfeel:  It was a bit thin and dry, but that was kinda the point.  This is an easy drinking summer beer, and it turned out as such.
Overall:  Really liked this one, and I’ll definitely brew it again.  It says carapils in the recipe, but I used White Wheat because its what I had on hand.  I regret that choice as it probably contributed to the haze.  So really the addition of carapils is the only change I’d make, that and trying to get the OG down a bit.