Category Archives: Recipe

Batch 82: Black (-Hearted) IPA

A collaboration beer born from the local social network a2mi.social. George suggested a Black IPA; I had Centennial hops to use up so decided to brew “Black Hearted”, an improvised recipe loosely inspired by Bell’s Two-Hearted (though we also used a bunch of newer wave hops in addition to Centennial).

Easy brew day. For recent brews, I had the grain crushed at Adventures in Homebrewing and experienced a middling 70-75% brewhouse efficiency. Their mill is set to a cautious crush. For this brew, George crushed the grains quite fine and we fly sparged slooooowly, which I credit for the whopping 94% (!!) efficiency we experienced. (We did have a stuck mash but got out of it quickly). 94% is not out of the question: Kal, the creator of The Electric Brewery on which my system is modeled, claims to get a consistent 95% efficiency.

Continue reading Batch 82: Black (-Hearted) IPA

Batch 80: Blueberry Sage and Rhubarb Berliner Weisse

For Round 9 of the Knob Creek sour barrel project, we brewed a Berliner Weisse.  This was the simplest recipe I’ve brewed: 60% Pilsner malt, 40% Wheat malt, 1.040 OG (our actual was more like 1.035).  No hops: hops inhibit lactobacillus and there’s no hop character needed for the style.

Spencer and I brewed a quadruple batch (23 gallons) – this included an extra 5 gallons to be shared by the group, covering the angel’s share and making for fuller take-home portions.  I thought I’d get by with reusing the yeast cake from a batch of cider; that failed to take off so I pitched a fresh packet of US-05.

Continue reading Batch 80: Blueberry Sage and Rhubarb Berliner Weisse

Batch 81: Flanders Red III

I brewed my first Flanders Red – my first sour beer – in 2010.  Other AABGers brewed sour beers but they weren’t yet commercially ubiquitous.  I knew mine was good when in a head-to-head tasting it was plainly superior to Jolly Pumpkin’s La Roja.

In a stroke of beginner’s luck, that beer placed 1st out of over 1,000 entries at the 2012 Homebrew at the W.E.B. competition.  I won a $1000 gift certificate, which I spent on the two kettles that are are the foundation of the brewing system I use today.

Coming full circle: this is my third Flanders Red, all using the same recipe.  This time, instead of fermenting with my own microbial culture mix, I’ll be doing a clean ferment and adding it to the Knob Creek barrel (round 10!) along with my co-brewers.

Recipe

The recipe was formulated by the AABG’s Jeff Rankert.  Hard to see how the maize would be historical, but it should give non-yeast microbes more to chew on.

Continue reading Batch 81: Flanders Red III

Batch 78: Belgian Golden Sour II

Our AABG Knob Creek Barrel Project group decided to rebrew our Belgian Golden ale.  This is our first re-brewing of a previous recipe and a testament to how good that beer was.

Brewed 2018-07-18.  Yielded about 21 gallons at 1.071 OG, I was targeting more gallons at lower gravity but this was okay.  I could always add water at the end of the brewday, but it feels wrong.

Recipe was shaped by the convenience of using a full bag of malt.  It’s here on BrewToad.  I omitted the CaraPils because I didn’t have any, but would recommend it if brewing again.

The recipe was as simple as it gets:

  • 55 lbs Pils malt
  • 2 oz Magnum hops (12.5% AA) @ 75 minutes
  • Whirlfloc
  • Repitched the CCYL 129 Eagle River yeast used in Batch 77: Zingibier VI.

Had a boilover, doh.

Quick active fermentation.  Racked about 16 gallons into the barrel a few weeks later, reserving one 5 gallon share to drink clean.

One participant in the barrel project wasn’t able to participate this round, so we covered his share by adding a carboy of 2-year-old Quadrupel ale I had lying around.  It was too dull and boozy to drink and had become slightly oxidized.  This will slightly boost the SRM of the combined beer and the other 90% of the fresh beer should cover up the oxidation notes.

Batch 77: Zingibier VI

I first created Zingibier, a “grand cru” style spiced Belgian ale, in 2010.  With beginner’s luck, it won a gold medal in the 2010 National Homebrew Competition, and the recipe is featured on the American Homebrew Association’s website.

The beer is tough to categorize.  It’s a strong (~8%) wheat beer that uses a Belgian Witbier yeast and spices typically associated with the Witbier style: coriander, bitter orange peel, and chamomile.  It also packs a prominent ginger note, with the ginger sufficiently cooked as to not contribute heat.

This was my 6th time brewing the beer.   Recipe is below as well as on BrewToad. Continue reading Batch 77: Zingibier VI

Batch 73: Session Mild

This was simple: the second runnings from Batch 72.  The goal was two-fold:

  1. Have a light, approachable beer on tap for guests who drink “regular” beer
  2. A freebie: extra beer for little effort

Brewed March 24th, OG was ~1.036.  We threw in a partial ounce of random hops for bittering and used S-O4 dry yeast for low attenuation.

By April 7th the FG was 1.013 and I kegged it.  Roughly 3.0% ABV.

I served the beer from my cellar, at around 60 degrees, undercarbonated.  It was a little thin, though great for blending with other beers on tap.  For instance, blending it about 9:1 with my overly-sweet Belgian Dark Strong (~12%) on tap made for a highly drinkable session beer, leaving it slightly below 4% abv.

Like all of my second runnings beers, this keg blew way before the main batch – in this case, before the Imperial Stout was even packaged.

Batch 72: Frank’s Imperial Stout

Having my brother in town as a helper, we decided to brew a partigyle beer: 11 gallons of Imperial Stout and a 2nd-runnings Mild.  I used the same recipe I came up with for the first beer in the Knob Creek barrel.  That beer was outstanding after blending with 10 other people’s beer and barrel-aging; as I recall, mine was pretty good going into the barrel, too.

The recipe was a mix of a few credible recipes.

Continue reading Batch 72: Frank’s Imperial Stout

Batch 71: Scio Pilsner

There’s a closet in my basement that hovers near 50 degrees in the winter.  So before spring arrives, I wanted to take advantage of my natural “temperature control” and brew a lager.  I don’t brew many lagers, but the provocative Brulosophy experiments on lager yeast fermentation temperature gave me peace of mind that if a warm spell comes through and the room gets a little warmer, it’ll be fine.

This was a convenience recipe in other regards.  I used dry yeast to avoid needing a massive starter and I used up half a bag of leftover pils malt.  And I ran off 5 gallons of wort before adding flame-out hops, to ferment with an ale yeast and use to top up the 53 gallon barrel at my house that is mostly full of funky dark saison.  It’s nice to get rid of the headspace in the barrel, and we wager no one will notice 10% of hoppy Belgian ale blended in.

This is one of my favorite parts of using a plate chiller: being able to split batches by running off and chilling part of the brew, then adding and boiling as needed for the remaining share.

Condensation: the price of drinking cold beer in the warm sun

Continue reading Batch 71: Scio Pilsner

Batch 67: Tart of Darkness clone sour stout with Black Raspberries and Cocoa Nibs

A friend came into a 53 gallon Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 9 year whiskey barrel that now lives in my basement and houses homebrew.  We’ve done a Russian Imperial Stout, a Scotch Ale, and an Oud Bruin.  The fresh barrel contributed a massive oak character, but over 3 batches and 1.5 years, the oak faded.  When the barrel naturally went sour during the Scotch Ale, we switched to intentionally soured beers and added 8 sachets of the Flemish Ale F4 blend from Blackman Yeast.

Next up is a sour stout, very low on hops (<10 IBUs), inspired by The Bruery’s Tart of Darkness.  The low IBUs are friendlier to souring microbes and also avoid the clashing of bitterness and acidity.

Continue reading Batch 67: Tart of Darkness clone sour stout with Black Raspberries and Cocoa Nibs