Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Longhorn American Wheat

This is a clone of Three Floyds' Gumballhead Wheat beer. This beer uses exclusively Amarillo hops for all additions. Amarillo, TX was one of the great cattle markets in the US and I thought it'd be a fitting to name this beer after the animal that made the town a hub. A stretch...I know.

This is the first recipe I've posted that utilizes the "hop bursting" technique of using a small amount early addition hops and a lot of late editions to get the big citrus flavor and bitterness. It's also the first to use first wort hopping.

5.1 lbs. Malted wheat
4.25 lbs. 2-row
.85 lb. Caravienne

.25 oz. Amarillo (first wort hop)
.25 oz. Amarillo @ 60 min.
.5 oz. Amarillo @ 15 min.
1.25 oz. Amarillo @ 5 min.
1 oz. Amarillo @ 1 min.
1.5 oz. Amarillo (dry hop)

White Lab California Ale V (WLP051)

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 29
SRM: 9

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Whig Party Wheat

Concept beer only:

A little history.

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, (13 March 1764 – 17 July 1845), known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 November 1830 to 16 July 1834. A member of the Whig Party, he backed significant reform of the British government and was among the primary architects of the Reform Act 1832. In addition to his political achievements, Earl Grey famously gives his name to an aromatic blend of tea.

I want to make a beer using Earl Grey tea, but I'm torn on if I want to use the actual tea itself or just the bergamot orange extract/oil. At any rate, here it is.

4.5 lbs. Malteries Franco-Belges Pale Wheat
4.5 lbs. Pilsnen

.75 oz. Hallertau (4%) @ 45 minutes

10 bags of Earl Grey tea steeped for 4 minutes at flame out

WLP 300 Hefewiezen Ale

At 70% efficiency that gives

OG: 1.049
FG: 1.012
ABV: 4.9%
IBU: 13
SRM: 2 (this will change based on the tea addition)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pullman Porter

This, again, is just a scaled version of the robust porter recipe from Jamil. I use Jamil's recipes as the launching point for my foray into styles and I'll branch out from there.

Grain bill:
8 lbs. .8 oz. American 2-row malt
1lb. .8 oz. Munich (20L) malt
1 lb. .8 oz. Crystal 40 malt
5.6 oz. Black Patent malt
8.4 oz. Chocolate malt

Hop bill:
1.65 oz. Kent Goldings @ 60 min.
.75 oz. Kent Goldings @ 1 min.

WLP001 California Ale/WLP060 American Blend

OG: 1.059
FG: 1.012
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 36
SRM: (Not calculated)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Pfeffernüsse are spicy cookies made around Christmas in Germany. They're made with ground nuts and spices including black pepper, cloves, anise, cinnamon and nutmeg. Although this recipe is basically an English oatmeal stout, the addition of ground Pfeffernüsse cookies to the mash will hopefully give the beer the characteristic flavor of these great cookies.
I might not make it this year, but I will for Christmas next year.
Batch size:5 gallons
BJCP style:13C. Oatmeal Stout

Malt bill:
7.8 lb Briess Brewers 2-row Malt
.83 lb Briess Oat Flakes
.625 lb Dingemans Chocolate
.625 lb Briess Victory Malt
.42 lb Briess Caramel 80L Malt
.42 lb Briess Roasted Barley
7 oz. of ground Pfeffernüsse cookies in the mash

Hops bill:
1.5 oz Goldings ( 5.5% AA, Pellet) @ 60 min.

WhiteLabs WLP002 English Ale
OG: 1.058
FG: 1.017
ABV: 5.4
IBU: 38
SRM: 35

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brewing the Tackle Box IPA

I finally got around to brewing the Tackle Box recipe from September.

There's nothing exceptional to report. The only interesting item was that I was told my thermometer was about 5 degrees too warm at typical mash temps. This time, I attempted to counter that, but I still ended up a little too cool. I made a hot water addition to get it up a little and let it go when it hit 153.

The hop additions were plentiful. The AA% on my Centennial was only 8.7% and my recipe was formulated for 9.5%. I used .25 oz. of Magnum at 60 minutes to get my IBUs to my recipe. This thing is nice and bitter with lots of hop aroma and taste.

Started at 9, finished by 2:15.

OG: 1.068 (78% efficiency)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pecan Tree American Brown

Here's the first draft of an American brown ale made with roasted nuts in the mash.

Malt bill:
8.375 lb Briess Brewers 2-row Malt
1 lb Briess Caramel 80L Malt
1 lb Briess Barley Flakes
0.125 lb Weyermann DH Carafa II
2 cups of roasted pecans

Hops bill:
1 oz Willamette (5% AA, Pellet) at 60 min.

Yeast: WhiteLabs WLP001 California Ale

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.011
ABV: 5.7
IBU: 23
SRM: 25

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brewing the Reindeer

I had to wait a couple days before I could post on this if that gives you any indication of how it went.

I packed all of my stuff up in the Wunderauto and was off to the O'Fallon brewery by 8:30 AM. I showed up and nobody else was around. No problem. My pick of brewing spots. I walked inside to meet Brian Owens, who happens to be the Head Brewer for O'Fallon. What an great guy! He's a hard working man. He basically helped me all day, but I'll get to that.

We milled my grain using O'Fallon's mill. It made short work of the 23.5 lbs. He pulled water straight from his hot liquor tank for us to use. It was a little warm for the mash in, but it worked fine. After lots of stirring and some cold water, according to the same thermometer I use every time, I was in a 154. The mash wasn't even that thick, which surprised all of us. More people were gathering now and it was starting to be fun. I was explaining the process to a couple people and I was in my element.

The first minor issue. I pulled the first runnings without a problem. I sparged in with more of the hot water...without checking the temp. Bad idea. My sparge was sitting at 150. Blek! I need the hotter water to make sure all the sugars get into solution. Think of it like dumping sugar into warm tea. It takes a lot of stirring to get the sugar to dissolve.

The second and major issue. I hadn't brought any cooling method. Honestly, my thinking was that there was going to be at least ten brewers there and surely I could use someone's immersion chiller. Nope. There were four brewers including me and it wasn't looking promising. Brian to the rescue. He pulled out a plate chiller and pump. So cool! I've never seen one in action, much less use one for my brew.

The time came to chill. Brian engineered some fittings using my tubing (bad idea) to connect to the chiller. My tubing always does fine to pull off the cooled wort, but it was a total failure at pulling near boiling liquid. Between the temp and the pump, it collapsed after just a minute of so and dropped the flow rate to a trickle.

That was acceptable for a while...until I clogged the plate chiller. It could have been that fact that I let it suck on one of the hop bags for a while or maybe that I didn't use a hop bag at all for the first addition. Whatever it was a lost cause. Once again, Brian helped and tried to get it back pressured to flush it, but it was done.

I still had a fair amount in the kettle. Steaming hot and nowhere to go. Jim Leabig (the unofficial organizer for the day) had pity on me, boiled his chiller and let me use it. By this point, my wort had sat for a while. I was warned, rightfully so, that if there's any infection after the first ferment, that I wouldn't make it to the barrel. So be it. I pulled out the rest, which wasn't much. That left my 6.5 gallon carboy with a lot of headspace after leaving a little in the kettle and losing some to the ground during the transfer through the chill plate.

Final tested gravity was 22 Brix, which is 1.088 or so.

The lessons learned:

1. Bring your own chilling method.
2. Make sure all the tubing that can be used on the hot side is able to take the heat.
3. Test your water temp for all processes. (This isn't usually an issue since I'm typically heating my own mash and sparge water.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reindeer Games Russian Imperial Stout

This is going to be brewed on Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day at O'Fallon's brewery. It's part of a bourbon barrel project hosted by the Garage Brewers' Society. The bourbon barrel is from the Four Roses distillery.

19 lbs. Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter 77.4%
1.5 lbs. Roasted barley (500 L) 8.5%
1 lb. Special B (120 L) 5.6%
.5 lb. Caramunich (60 L) 2.8%
.5 lb. Chocolate Malt (350 L) 2.8%
.5 lb. Pale chocolate malt (200 L) 2.8%

Mash temp: 154

1.5 oz. Magnum (14% AA) @ 60 min.
2.0 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA) @ 10 min.
2.0 oz. Kent Goldings (5% AA) @ 1 min.

*OG: 1.091
*FG: 1.030
*SRM: 57
*ABV: 9.7%
*IBU: 77

*Numbers from the original, not the calculations.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Brewing the Black Horse

This brewday didn't go quite like I'd hoped, but I guess that's what you get for trying to get everything ready in the last moments. I hadn't even decided if I was going to brew when I got up on Sunday, so I didn't do anything to prepare.

Everything was going to plan. I measured out the grain and rushed to get in the garage to avoid delaying even further. With my lovely assistant, I was milled and mashed in before I knew it.

For a supposed black beer, it sure was amber.

I made a dash down to the lab and grabbed a palm full of roasted barley. I made quick work of it using what I call the "brick and meat tenderizer" method and tossed it in. Some stirring later, but no real difference.

Screw it. It is what it is.

Time goes by. Willie and family drop by. Mash out. Sparge out.

I went to the lab once again to grab the scale for the hops. What did I find? The 4 oz. of Carafa II sitting in the measuring bowl. Not milled. Not in the mash. Holy cow.

So I've already got a boiling wort by then. What to do? Stovetop steeping!

Using the B&MT method again, I made a nice tea of Carafa II and 150 degree water. I let that sit for 20 minutes and added it straight to the boil. Did it darken it? Yes. Did it make it black? No.

So what happened in the end? No 5.2 pH stabilizer. No Irish Moss. Lot's of kettle trub. Bummer. Around 70% efficiency.

I pitched it on the 2nd generation 351 Bavarian weizen yeast with an extra vial. I thought I would need the extra because of the super high gravity (which I didn't hit).

I had bubbles this morning. By lunch it had ruined a blowoff tube. When I got home, the second tube was full, but with enough room to allow lots of CO2 through. Good enough.

Chalk this one up to a lesson learned.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cellar Mouse Bière de Garde

The percentile amounts of grain in this recipe were taken from Farmhouse Ales in the Classic Beer Series as provided on the White Labs site.

Cellar Mouse Bière de Garde

Batch size:5 gallons
BJCP style:16D. Bière de Garde

Malt bill:
9 lb DeWolf-Cosyns Pilsen
1.8 lb Weyermann Dark Munich (1 lb. 12.8 oz.)
0.6 lb Dingemans Aromatic (9.6 oz.)
0.144 lb DeWolf-Cosyns Biscuit (2.3 oz.)
0.42 lb Dingemans CaraVienne (6.7 oz.)
0.036 lb DeWolf-Cosyns Black malt (.6 oz.)

Hops bill:
.33 oz Magnum (14.5% AA, Pellet) @ 60 min.
1.5 oz Strisselspalt (2% AA, Pellet) @ 15 min.

Yeast: WhiteLabs WLP072 French Ale

OG: 1.069
FG: 1.017
ABV: 7.0
IBU: 25
SRM: 16

Monday, October 12, 2009

Black Horse Weizenbock

This is an adaptation of the Draft Horse Dunkelweizen that is going to be brewed 5o% stronger and darker in anticipation of Mattingly Brewing Co. Big Black Beer Night.

Beer name:Black Horse Weizenbock
Batch size:5 gallons
BJCP style:15C. Weizenbock

Malt bill: (Edited amounts to show oz. instead of small decimals)
2 lbs., 8 oz. Dingemans Pilsen
3 lbs., 12 oz. Briess Munich 20L Malt
8 lbs., 10 oz. Dingemans Pale Wheat
7.5 oz. DeWolf-Cosyns Special B
7.5 oz. Briess Caramel 40L Malt
4 oz. Weyermann Carafa II®

Hops bill:
2 oz Hallertauer (4% AA, Pellet)

Yeast: WhiteLabs WLP351 Bavarian Wheat

OG 1.091
FG 1.022
ABV 9.6%
IBU 30
SRM 56

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gone Grizzly Gone California Common

Did you know that at one time San Francisco was home to grizzly bears? In fact, grizzly bears once wandered a large area of the western United States reaching all the way to the Nebraska-Iowa state line. All of that changed of course and now they roam mainly to Canada. In homage to the heritage of the grizzly bear and the Bear Flag Republic, here is my recipe for a California Common.

8 lbs. 2-Row
.5 lb. Crystal 90
.5 lb. Carapils

.75 oz. Northern Brewer @ 60 minutes
.75 oz. Northern Brewer @ 15 minutes
1 oz. Northern Brewer @ 1 minute

WLP810 San Francisco Lager

OG 1.052
FG 1.014
ABV 5.1
IBU 43
SRM 12

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tackle Box IPA

This is an attempt at a clone of Bell's Two-Hearted IPA.


10.625 lbs. 2-row
.5 lb. Crystal 40

Mash @ 153 for 60 minutes

1 oz. Centennial @ 60 minutes
1 oz. Centennial @ 20 minutes
1 oz. Centennial @ 10 minutes
1 oz. Centennial @ 1 minute
1 oz. Centennial (Dry hop)

White Labs WLP001 California Ale

OG 1.064
FG 1.013
ABV 6.9%
IBU 67

Monday, September 14, 2009

Smoked Applesauce Ale

What started out as a joke might actually get made someday.

Malt bill:
1 lb Weyermann Beechwood Smoked Malt
1 gal Apple juice
6 lb Briess Brewers 2-row Malt
1 lb Briess Caramel 20L Malt

Hops bill:
1 oz Tettnanger (4.5% AA, Pellet) @ 60 minutes

Yeast: White Labs 072 French Ale (only available during Nov/Dec)

Additions: Mulling spices
Pectin enzyme (to reduce pectin haze)

OG: 1.058
FG: 1.013
ABV: 6.0
IBU: 18
SRM: 9

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mockwerks Brewing Co. welcomes a new assistant brewer

Mockwerks Brewing Co. is pleased to announce the arrival of our new assistant brewer, Charles A. Mock. Charles (Charlie) was hired on September 2nd, 2009 for our production plant in St. Louis, MO.

Although Charlie hasn't worked for a brewery previously, he does come from a brewing family and is sure to be a quick study and hard worker.

He's pictured here with our Senior Vice President of Finance, Kelly.

From Charlie090909

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brewing the Old Thresher

Brewing this beer wasn't nearly as eventful as the brew session itself. In addition to Willie and Peter, I also had an open invite to STL Hops and STL Brews members. Two guys from Hops showed up and an additional Brews member as well. Peter also invited two other Brews members to step into all-grain brewing for the first time.

8 people. 3 beers brewed. Many, many beers drank.

Combine that with the Missouri sun and you've got a long day. The good news was that all of the brewing seemed to be a success.

My original gravity measured in at 1.060 relating to a 81% efficiency. My efficiencies are starting to level out in that range, so I'll be calculating my recipes closer to that from now on.

I transferred the dunkel into a keg and pitched my beer right on top of the yeast cake.

I was done early. My fellow brewers...not so much. Willie's Belgian Tripel clocked in at a killer 1.110 OG after not using enough sparge water and a big 90 minute boil. Mike's first time all-grain American IPA measured up at 1.060 using my mash tun, so again a 80%+ efficiency turn out.

6 hours after I pitched, I had bubbles in the blowoff. Nice yeast.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The dos and don'ts of making candi sugar

For the third time ever, I made a batch of candi sugar for an upcoming Tripel brew on Sunday. The first time I did this, I had great success and I was loving life. The second time wasn't quite as easy because I did 2 lbs. worth compared to the 1 lb. batch the first time. Not learning, I went ahead and did 3 lbs. last night. The problem isn't the amount of sugar I'm using, it's the cook.

To those readers (I have readers?) that don't know what candi sugar is or how to make it, I'll explain. Some Belgian beers are made with sugar as a fermentable. The sugar can be regular sucrose from either beets or cane or it can be invert sugar. What is invert sugar you're saying?

In a nutshell, the process of inverting sugar breaks down the sucrose into glucose and fructose. The rumor is that the glucose and fructose are easier for the yeast to eat and produce alcohol. However, "Brewers yeast have their own invertase (enzyme) and readily convert table sugar (sucrose) into its monosacharide components of fructose and glucose which can then be fermented.". Competing thoughts on the subject are rampant. Additionally, there are other brewers that say you can not duplicate in your kitchen what is produced commercially due to the trace minerals and other chemicals in household sugar.

Forgetting all of that, let's talk about my mistake(s).

3 lbs. of Schnuck's sugar (most likely beet)
Just enough water to make into a stirable solution
1 healthy squirt of lime juice

Cook in a non-stick pot until the solution reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit or the hard crack stage (1st mistake). Pour onto a jelly roll pan (2nd mistake). Cool this COMPLETELY (3rd mistake). Break the sugar into pieces and freeze for storage.

1st mistake: Make sure you get the entire pot up to 300.

Lesson: Don't rush it. Just because the probe reads 300, stir it up and make sure.

2nd mistake: When you use 3 lbs. of sugar, it makes a lot of hard crack syrup. Since I used a single pan, that makes the hard sugar very thick and hard to break apart. We're talking over 1/4" of a substance that's about as strong as anything as you can make in your kitchen.

Lesson: Seperate the batch into multiple pans to avoid having bulletproof sugar.

3rd mistake: Hard crack candy only cracks and breaks well when it's had a chance to totally cool down. If it has any warmth at all, it will bend then break. A contributing factor to this is also the 1st mistake.

Lesson: Put your pans in the fridge. It won't do anything but help.

I worked on getting the sugar pieces out of my single pan last night for almost 30 minutes and that was on a non-stick pan. Hopefully, I remember this for next time or we'll just use table sugar.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Old Thresher Dampfbier

This is a little known style outside of Germany. Dampfbier means "steam beer", but it shouldn't be confused with the San Fransisco steam beer. German Dampfbier is an all barley malt beer fermented on Weissenbier yeast. It's one of the few German ales and comes from the forests of Bavaria. This will be served at Mocktoberfest if things work out.

On to the recipe.

7 lbs. Pilsner
2 lbs. Munich
1 lb. Carapils

90 minute boil with

1 oz. Hallertaur @ 60 min.
Irish moss @15 min.

Fermented on a White Labs 351 Bavarian Weizen

OG - 1.049
FG - 1.010
ABV - 5.2%
IBU - 19
SRM - 10

Monday, August 3, 2009

Brewing the Draft Horse

The sea was angry that day my an old man trying to return soup at a deli!

It started like any other mild mannered brew day. I was at Willie's house around 8:30 with all of my equipment in tow. Setting up was no issue and all looked well. The calm would not continue.

Willie's Giganta-burner would not light. I wish I had a picture of this thing to post. It's a 200K BTU house warmer that can shoot a flame about 6 feet high on full blast. It's taken a lot of abuse over the last year that I've known it including a lot of boilovers. Well it finally gave up the ghost Sunday. The last hurrah was an attempt by Willie to bypass the safety mechanisms. He shut it down when it started peeling all of the labels off and it looked like we were about to have a full on meltdown and/or explosion.

Willie had to bust out his old burner, but it was obvious that to boil the 14 gallons or so, he would have to use my burner.

Fast forward to my brewing. Milling, mashing, sparging, and boiling went off without a hitch, except I forgot my thermometer. I had to use my old floating thermo, which actually worked ok. I'm sure I mashed a little hot and probably sparged a little hot too. Colling the wort also went fine with the combo of Willie's immersion chiller and a tub with a little ice water. I had already put away the thermo, so I used the finger test (sanitized of course). Cool to the touch is fine enough for brewers of old, so it was good enough for me.

Original gravity: 1.060 on a 5.5 gallon batch. (We left the last half gallon in the pot avoiding the cold break).
Brewhouse efficiency: 82%

I pitched two vials of WLP351 Bavarian Wheat.

Willie got his giant kettle to almost boiling on his little burner. Once we switched to mine, it took off like a rocket and I actually had to dial down the heat. Since his giant kettle covers the area of the burner completely, almost none of the heat is wasted off the sides.

We finished out the day with an attempt at finishing my immersion chiller, but by that time the afternoon sun had beaten our wills and burned our skin. It was finished.

This morning, my beer was bubbling away through the blowoff tube I had set up when I got home.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Draft Horse Dunkelweizen - Redux

It's been pointed out to me that Jamil's recipes are always formulated at 6 gallons with 70% efficiency. In fairness to this, I've recalculated the grain bill and numbers to show this.

Pilsner 1 lb. 10.66 oz
Munich 2 lbs. 8 oz.
Wheat 5 lbs. 12 oz.
Special B 5 oz.
Crystal 40 5 oz.
Carafa Special II 1.66 oz.

Total: 10 lbs. 10.33 oz.

OG 1.055
FG 1.013
ABV 5.6%
IBU 16
SRM 23

Never doubt the Pope!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blue Rooster ESB

A possible for this Saturday?

Blue Rooster ESB-

10.5 lbs. Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
.5 lbs. Cara-pils
6 oz. Crystal 55
1 oz. Chocolate Malt

Mash for 90 min. @ 150 degrees

1.5 oz. Fuggle @ 60 min.
.5 oz. Fuggle @ 15 min.
.5 oz. Fuggle @ 1 min.

White Labs Premium Bitter yeast

OG 1.060
FG 1.016
ABV 5.9
SRM 14
IBU 31

Monday, July 6, 2009

Notes from the 1st Annual Brewcation

First off, beer fans, I was not able to brew both of my recipes. Only the Bulldog Brown Ale (Hobgoblin clone) was made on Thursday morning.

Here are some pics from the first runnings.

Here is a pic shot by Willie of me working the ice bath chiller.

The gravity was dead on to the recipe, but that means my efficiency was only around 70%. Not as high as I would like, but acceptable. The whole process took about 5 hours and 15 minutes.

I pitched with the Platinum strain of White Labs Premium Bitter. I checked after about 18 hours and the bubbles were less than a second apart.

The only other beer related activities, other than drinking my brother-in-law's Sam Adams was de-labeling bottles in a OxyClean bath.
I have another brew day coming up July 24th, so maybe I can get the Snakebite in this month anyway.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Draft Horse Dunkelweizen

This is the recipe given by Jamil Zainasheff on the "The Jamil Show" as heard on the Brewing Network.

The only thing different for me is the yeast. He recommended the typical White Labs Hefeweizen yeast and I'll be using a Platinum strain, WLP351.

2 lbs. Pilsner malt
3 lbs. Munich malt
6.9 lbs. wheat
6 oz. Special B
6 oz. Crystal 40
2 oz. Carafa Special 2

Mash at 152

Boil for 90 minutes

Add 1 oz. Hallertau at 60 minutes.

Note: I've recalculated the figures below. Jamil's seemed off.

OG 1.066
FG 1.017
IBU 16
SRM 19
ABV 6.3%

Monday, June 15, 2009

Brewing the Barn Mouse

I started early running some errands at 7:30 AM for the brew. I needed a refill on gas and some bags of ice since I still don't have my immersion chiller complete. Stay tuned for a post on that.

Everything went very well. My lovely assistant Kelly helped me mill the grain the night before, so it was straight into mashtun warming and mashing for me.

I won't bore you with the gory details, but here are the results. Almost 6 gallons at 1.070. If I round that down to 5.5 gallons, it's 78% efficiency, which is my highest using this pilsner malt. The key, it would seem, is stirring at the 15 and 30 minute marks.

I was all done, including cleanup by 1:30PM.

I used the 3rd generation yeast from the Saison du Mock. I pitched about .5L slurry. I was a little concerned about using it since I hadn't seen activity this morning, but as of 5:30PM the next day, the bubbling is non-stop.

Since Willie hasn't brewed a saison yet, I've offered my yeast cake for his Belgian pleasure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Souris de Grange Belgian Blonde

Have you seen this before? Yes! This is a small revision on the Church Mouse Belgian Blonde recipe that went over really well at the St. Louis Brewer's Heritage Festival. The only difference is that I might be forced to use some domestic 2-row in place of the Pilsner malt if I don't have enough for the batch and I'm going to ferment this a lot warmer than last time to try to gain some big Belgian flavors. Also, I'm using Styrian Goldings for the single hop addition.

10 lbs. Belgian Pilsner (or 2-row depending on supplies)
.5 lb. malted wheat
.5 lb. Dingemans aromatic
1 lb. beet sugar
Mash at 150 degrees.
90 minute boil
1.5 oz. Styrian Goldings for 60 minutes
WLP540 Abbey IV Ale Yeast

By the way, the name translates to Barn Mouse. I figured it's not as prestigious as the Church Mouse if I have to use 2-row.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strike 2 American IPA

I'm taking another shot at my American IPA recipe. The first batch was good (it even took a second place in a competition), but I think it could use a little more late edition hops. Since my first batch was boiled way down, I'm going to work on making sure I pull the right amounts of everything.

Here it is for now. The hops may change a bit since I have Centennial available.

12 # Breiss 2-row
1 # Breiss Crystal 40
1 oz. 14.4 AA Magnum @60 min
1 oz. 4.5 AA Cascade @30 min
1 oz. 4.5 AA Cascade @15
1 oz. 4.5 AA Cascade @1 min

1 oz. 9.0 AA Centennial @1 min

Dry hop with 1 oz. 4.5 AA Cascade and 1 oz. 9.0 AA Centennial

White Labs WLP001 California Yeast

At 70% efficiency -

OG: 1.067
FG: 1.013
ABV: 7.2%
IBU: 71
SRM: 12

Monday, June 1, 2009

Snakebite American Strong Golden Ale

The other Brewcation recipe. This is going to be similar to a light barleywine.

Brew date:7/4/2009

Beer name:Snakebite Oaked American Golden Strong

Batch size:5 gallons

BJCP style:19C. American Barleywine

Malt bill:

14 lb. Briess Brewers 2-row Malt

.5 lb. Briess Carapils 2-row Malt

1 lb. Gambrinus Honey Malt

1 lb. Light Munich Malt

Hops bill:

1 oz Magnum (14.0% AA, Pellet) at 60 min.

1 oz Cascade ( 5.5% AA, Pellet) at 20 min.

Yeast: 2 packets of Fermentis Safale US-05 (US-56) American Ale (dry)

Original Gravity: 1.085
Final Gravity: 1.019
ABV: 9.1%
IBU: 53
SRM: 11

Bulldog Brown Ale

This is for the upcoming Brewcation happening during the 4th of July weekend. At least one British beer and one American beer are going to be made. This is the Brit.

Brew date:07/03/2009
Beer name:Bulldog Brown Ale

Batch size:5 gallons

BJCP style:11B. Southern English Brown Ale

Malt bill:
10.5 lb Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
.5 lb Briess Caramel 60L Malt
.4 lb Briess Carapils Malt
.3 lb Thomas Fawcett Chocolate

Hops bill:
.5 oz Fuggles-UK at 60 minutes
.5 oz Styrian Golding at 60 minutes
.5 oz Fuggles-UK at 30 minutes
.5 oz Styrian Golding at 30 minutes
.5 oz Fuggles-UK at 0 minutes
.5 oz Styrian Golding at 0 minutes

Yeast: WhiteLabs WLP026 Premium Bitter Ale

Original Gravity: 1.061
Final Gravity: 1.015
ABV: 6.1
Bitterness (IBU): 33
Color (SRM): 34

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Know Your Styles: Berliner Weisse

As the French Protestants Reformers known as the Huguenots were making their way to Flanders in the 1600s, they documented a particular beer as they passed through Berlin. Later in 1809, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his troops decided to celebrate their Prussian victory with that same type of beer, which the Napoleon referred to as the "Champagne of the North". That beer, of course, is Berliner Weisse.

Berliner Weiss is a very specific style of wheat beer most often originating from Berlin, Germany. An interesting note about this style is that is one of the lowest in alcohol among all styles, with the the BJCP guidelines listing it between 2.8-3.8% ABV. The two examples I enjoyed were Bayerischer Bahnof Lepzig (3%) and 1809 by Dr. Fritz Briem (unusual at 5%).

Interesting facts
Unlike any other beer I can think of, it is served in a large goblet with a straw. Because of its sour taste, it is commonly drunk mixed with raspberry (Himbeersirup), woodruff (Waldmeistersirup) syrup, or lemon (Zitronensirup) and is then called Weiße mit Schuss (Weiße with a shot [of syrup]). The mixtures are called Berliner Weiße rot, grün, or gelb respectively. This mixed drink is very refreshing in the hot summer months and is served throughout Berlin. For my tasting, Paul provided authentic German raspberry syrup. I decided to drink half way through, then mix the syrup in.

As described in one of my homebrew books and also on the label of the 1809, the wort or a portion of the wort in this beer is not boiled. The boiling kills off the natural bacteria to allow the yeast to ferment the beer without other "critters" infecting your finished beer.

This beer has been described by some as the most purely refreshing beer in the world.

What you should be smelling
A sharply sour, somewhat acidic character is dominant. Can have up to a moderately fruity character. The fruitiness may increase with age and a flowery character may develop. A mild Brettanomyces aroma may be present. No hop aroma. The 1809 was much more sharp in sourness than the BBL, but the BBL did show some light fruit notes.

What you should be seeing
Very pale straw in color. Clarity ranges from clear to somewhat hazy. Large, dense, white head with poor retention due to high acidity and low protein and hop content. Always effervescent. The 1809 poured like champagne as you can see in the pictures. The BBL was very similar to most other wheat beers, but lost it's head quickly.

What you should be tasting
Clean lactic sourness dominates and can be quite strong, although not so acidic as a lambic. Some complementary bready or grainy wheat flavor is generally noticeable. Hop bitterness is very low. A mild Brettanomyces character may be detected, as may a restrained fruitiness (both are optional). Again, no hops. I didn't even pick up light bitterness. The 1809 came through with the sour, but was not sharp. You might expect a real sour kick from the aroma, but it's not really like that.

What you should be tasting with syrup
Awesomeness. The super sweet syrup rounds off the sourness and turns this into a happy little mixed drink. It wasn't bad at all to start, but this is like raspberry Kool-Aid with a tiny punch. Ohh-Yeah!

Additonal comments from the BJCP guidelines
Wheat malt content is typically 50% of the grist (as with all German wheat beers) with the remainder being Pilsner malt. A symbiotic fermentation with top-fermenting yeast and Lactobacillus delbruckii provides the sharp sourness, which may be enhanced by blending of beers of different ages during fermentation and by extended cool aging. Hop bitterness is extremely low. A single decoction mash with mash hopping is traditional.

Vital Statistics
OG: 1.028 – 1.032
IBUs: 3 – 8
FG: 1.003 – 1.006
SRM: 2 – 3
ABV: 2.8 – 3.8%

Commercial examples
Schultheiss Berliner Weisse, Berliner Kindl Weisse, Nodding Head Berliner Weisse, Weihenstephan 1809 (unusual in its 5% ABV), Bahnhof Berliner Style Weisse, Southampton Berliner Weisse, Bethlehem Berliner Weisse, Three Floyds Deesko

New Glarus also made a version available last summer. I don't know if they are planning that again, but it was very good.

Final thoughts
The two commercial examples I was provided were both great beers, but the BBL is probably closer to the style guidelines. It was very refreshing, especially when you add in the syrup.
If you haven't tried a Berliner Weisse style beer, do yourself a favor this summer and grab one (preferably from The Wine and Cheese Place). Even if you're tried other sour beers and didn't like them, you may enjoy this one. While you're at it, get some of the syrup. I think it was $.99 and it would also be great over ice cream.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Brew-centric weekend without actually brewing

It's been a while since I've posted anything regarding my brewing, so I thought I would stick out there what my activities I have to accomplish this weekend.

I have the old Dirty Cow to bottle. It's been sitting in the cold basement in it's secondary for a while now. It's ready.

The Belgian Blonde has to go into a keg in preparation for the Brewer's Heritage Festival, so that means a little cleaning and sanitizing action.

I'm entering the First Crack IPA into another competition. It took second in Light Ales at the St. Louis Microfest. It also received Honorable Mention at the Bluegrass Cup.

On Sunday, I'm going to both a baby's Christening who's father happens to be another homebrewer. It's mostly a reason to drink homebrew and his keg of O'Fallon 5 Day IPA. After that, it's off the STL Brew's Picnic for more homebrew and nice food.

I'm going to try another bottle of the Little Pig Wheat tonight. Hopefully it will have fully carbonated and developed some kind of head. The last one at 5 days in the bottle was fizzy, but had no head to speak of.

Later, beer fans.

Monday, May 11, 2009

National Homebrew Day - Saison du Mont

National Homebrew Day was May 2nd, but we celebrated in St. Louis this last Saturday instead because of the Microfest the weekend before. Worm's Way provided the grain, honey and spices as a promotion of the hobby. Here's the recipe.

Saison Du Mont – All Grain Recipe
For a 5.5 gallon (21 L) yield:
O.G.: 1.056F.G.: 1.008IBU: 21
Fermentables -

7.25 lb 2-Row Pale Malt
2.0 lb Vienna Malt
8 oz Flaked Wheat
8 oz Flaked Oats
8 oz Honey, added after boil
Hops -

1.0 oz Golding, (4.75% AA), 90 minutes (If Golding is unavailable, substitute Willamette hops for 17 IBU.)
0.5 oz Hallertauer, (4.0% AA), 15 minutes
0.5 oz Hallertauer, (4.0% AA), at 0 minutes
¾ tsp Irish moss, added at 15 minutes
Spices -

0.5 oz crushed coriander, 0 minutes
0.5 tsp Grains of paradise, 0 minutes
0.25 oz Curacao (sweet) orange peel, 0 minutes
0.25 oz Valencia (bitter) orange peel, 0 minutes

The only changes I made to this were the hops. I used Styrian Goldings instead of EKGs at 60 minutes (not 90 minutes) and used Styrians again at 0 minutes. I traded off the Hallertauer I had to Trish for some nice Centennial.

My OG was 1.056, so right on. I used a donated amount of proprietary Belgian yeast from Mattingly Brewing Co. , but it didn't seem to be taking off too fast. I pitched some of the yeast from the Church Mouse Blonde and it seems to be doing fine.

I need a name for this. Saisons are traditionally farmhouse ales. Maybe I'll just call it Saison du Mock.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Brewing the Church Mouse Belgian Blonde

I brewed the Belgian Blonde recipe on Sunday after painting the nursery. It was a long day.

I started the process at 3:00 PM on the nose. Everything went very smooth all the way through. With the assistance of my beautiful bride, I was able to use my new drill with the grain mill. Speaking of, I set the rollers with a feeler gauge to .030 inches.

I finished at everything including cleaning at 8:00 PM. The original gravity was 1.055. To continue the beer fun, I bottled the German Weizen (Little Pig) then which took me until 9:30.

Something seemed lost.

I forgot the sugar!

Long story short, I was boiling down 1 lb. of sugar until 11:45. It's bubbling away now and looks to be very happy with the sugar addition.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Updates on the Cow and Bull

An update on the Cow.
The Kolsch yeast did a great job. I transfered to the secondary last night. When I opened the bucket, I was greeted by a huge floating yeast cake (or sponge). I broke through with siphon starter and pulled very clear beer. As I moved the siphon around, I managed to pull in a lot of bottom yeast, which was not my goal. It will clear even more and be a great summertime beer. Even at just basement cool and with some of the yeast sponge, my little sampler was very good.

And for the Bull.
It's going to get less bittering hops at 60 minutes in favor of getting more hop additions at the midpoint and later in the boil. I'll also bump up the chocolate malt and use a lighter British pale chocolate to avoid getting too roasty.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Old Bull Brown Ale

Here's a possible recipe that will be made for drinking in the fall.

Beer name:Old Bull Brown Ale
Batch size:5 gallons
BJCP style:10C. American Brown Ale
Malt bill:
10 lb Briess Brewers 2-row Malt
.5 lb Briess Caramel 80L Malt
.375 lb Dingemans Biscuit
.125 lb Briess Chocolate 2-row Malt
Hops bill:
.50 oz Magnum (14.0% AA, Pellet) @ 60 min.
1 oz Cascade ( 5.0% AA, Pellet) @ 15 min.
1 oz Cascade (5.0% AA, Pellet) Dry Hop in the secondary
WhiteLabs WLP001 California Ale

At 70% efficiency

OG 1.057
FG 1.011
ABV 6.1%
IBU 40
SRM 23

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


In an unrelated post...

Here is a pic of our winnings at the St. Richard's Trivia Night. This was their Wheelbarrow of Fun raffle. You can't see it all in this. It was about $600 worth of stuff and that didn't even include the wheelbarrow which we donated back. (They use it ever year.)
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Blowoff eh!

Here's the pic of that blowoff tube I had to make for the Little Pig Wheat Beer. My first time using liquid yeast proved successful.
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Dancing Bear Roggenbier

This is scheduled for a July brew, but I thought I might as well get my recipes down.

5 lbs. Weyermann Rye Malt
4 lbs. German Munich
2 lbs. Rahr 2-Row Pale
0.25 lbs. Weyermann Chocolate Wheat
0.25 lbs. Weyermann Caramel Wheat
0.25 lbs. Rice Hulls

1 oz. Mt. Hood (60 min)

WLP351 Bavarian Weizen Yeast or Wyeast 3638 Bavarian Wheat Yeast

Monday, April 13, 2009

Church Mouse Belgian Blonde

I'll think of a better name.

How about

Souris D'église Belgian Blonde?

10 lbs. Belgian Pilsner
.5 lb. malted wheat
.5 lb. Dingemans aromatic
1 lb. beet sugar

Mash at 150 degrees.

90 minute boil

1.5 oz. Hallertau (4%AA) for 60 minutes

WLP540 Abbey IV Ale Yeast

OG 1.068
FG 1.015
ABV 7.2
IBU 26

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Stupid little pig!

This stupid little pig. The brew day was not as successful as the last.

66% efficiency.

I guess I don't know what happened. It's not disasterous or anything...just lower than I would have expected after hitting 82% the Saturday before.

The good news? The White Labs yeast WLP300 (German Hefeweizen) took off like mad the day after brewing. By the evening, I had to construct my first blowoff tube. I'll get pictures up soon.

A blowoff tube for a 1.044 OG? I guess, but maybe my gravity was actually higher than I read.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

kleines Schwein Weizenbeir (Little Pig Wheat Beer)

Here is the beer plan for Good Friday. Good Friday indeed!

4.75 # Malteries Franco-Belges Pale Wheat
4 # Pilsen

1 oz. Hallertau Mittelfruh @ 60 min.

Dry yeast Safbrew WB-06

This will be brewed with the assistance of Jim Ziegelmeyer, a real life chemical engineer!

I can see that the naming beer after farmhouse animals is going to continue. I guess my fictional brewery would be Farmhand Brewing Co.

The Dirty Cow Strikes Back

Here are the results from my second all-grain brew session using the Dirty Cow recipe.

I hit around 80% efficiency. That'd be great normally since it means that I converted more of the starches to sugar meaning more alcohol. However, since I was calculating at 70%, it drove my potential ABV way above the guidelines. I'll probably still enter it in competitions, since most people wouldn't know the difference of a 5.5% beer vs. a 6.4% by taste.

I used a Kolsch yeast slurry provided by Willie ( It's bubbling away right now.

Next up. Ein nettes Bier des deutschen Weizens.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Frist Crack IPA

I really meant to take pictures of this whole process since it was my first all-grain brew. I didn't of course. I also didn't keep great track of the numbers, but I did keep track of the recipe.

10.5 # Breiss 2-row
1 # Breiss Crystal 40
1 oz. 14.4 AA Magnum @60 min
1 oz. 4.5 AA Cascade @30 min
1 oz. 4.5 AA Cascade @ 10 min
S-05 Yeast

I dry hopped this with another ounce of Cascade after 2 weeks in the primary, allow it to sit in the secondary for only a week and a day.

I plan on entering this at the Microfest competition. I don't care about winning, but I want the judging. Who knows? There is a special category for new brewers.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dirty Cow Farmhouse Ale

Like Spotted Cow? This might be another alternative to the Cream Ale.

Beer name:Dirty Cow Farmhouse Ale
Batch size:5 gallons
BJCP style: 6A. Cream Ale
Malt bill: 4 lb Briess Brewers 2-row Malt
4 lb Dingemans Pilsen
1 lb Briess Yellow Corn Flakes
.5 lb Briess Barley Flakes
.5 lb Briess Caramel 20L Malt
Hops bill:.5 oz Northern Brewer ( 8.0% AA, Pellet) at 60 min.
.5 oz Saaz ( 4.0% AA, Whole) at 10 min.
Yeast: WhiteLabs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch

OG: 1.053
FG: 1.012
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 22
SRM: 4

Cream Ale recipe

This recipe is from Jamil's Show on The Brewing Network that I may use on March 28th. There's a good chance I'll switch this around.

5 lbs. Pilsner
5 lbs. 2-Row
1 lb. flaked corn
1 lb. table sugar

Mash at 149 F

75 minute boil

1 oz. Liberty (4.0% AA) at 60 min.
1/2 oz. Liberty (4.0% AA) at 1 min.

California Ale yeast

Predicted O.G. 1.054

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...brewin' times here.

The latest schedule of brewing events. Subject to change at any time for any reason.

March 28th - Cream Ale
April 11th - Hefeweizen
April 19th - Belgian Blonde
May 9th (National Homebrew Day) - Saison

If I think about it, I'll post for each session.

Cheers all!