Spiced Sweet Stout

Finally made the move back down stairs. Really like off down here much better. Everything is where I need it.

Anyhoo,,went with a spiced sweet stout.  But not really sure of the grain bill.  I bought the specialty grains but never brewed them.  I’ll have to go back and cross reference my notes to see what it is.

Added 1 lb of lactose, 2 crushed cloves, and a 1/4 tsp each of ground ginger,  nutmeg, and cinnamon. With a 04 yeast should make a decent Xmas beer!


The Throwback Brown Ale

This week’s brew was more of a plan ahead kind of thing. I will be brewing a barley wine in the next two weeks, so I need yeast. So, how bout a 3 gallon batch to steal the yeast cake from….

Since I will be using Nottingham yeast, why not an good old Brit Brown? Haven’t had a good British Brown ale in a long time. All the ones you find now days are too Americanized.

So I went back into the vault and found o e of my long lost extract brown ales. (Needs a new name)

Basement Brown 3 gallon extract

  • 1 can light LME
  • 12oz crystal 80
  • 8oz carapils
  • 8oz biscuit
  • 3/4oz EKG
  • 1/4oz EKG
  • Nottingham yeast

Well for some reason, I could not get Beersmith to work they way I wanted. I don’t know if I was using wrong profile or what, but it wanted me to be using 8+ gallons of water for a 3 gallon batch.
But figuring out an extract batches needs is like nothing.

3.125 gallons into fermenter
1.75 lbs grain x .12 water absorb
1.5 gallons boil off
.125 gallons kettle gunk loss
= 5 gallons water

I took 1/2 gallons of that water and mashed/steeped the grains in the mini masher while I was bringing the rest of the water to boil. Once I got boil I dumped it I to the kettle and got under way.

I did do a full boil with all of the extract. I wanted to get a little darker color since I used the golden light Lme.

Mmm the smell of a British Brown is awesome. Caramel, EKG.. Oh yea.

Sure looks like a good color going in. As the way with my first rounds of extract beers, I’ll just chuck it in the basement and let it go at what ever temp it is down there.  And right now it’s still 58.  Perfect for Notty.

Honey, and strange hops

Well it’s National Homebrew Day, so let’s brew!

Nephew wanted to see how the brew process works so he dropped in to check it out. 

 I needed to make a beer for Memorial Day and a something with honey. So a very quick 3.5% honey bitter. Plus I got these free hops from Tenatious Badger. (More on these later.

Honey Burst – 5 gallons

  • 4.5 lb 2 row
  • .5 victory
  • 1 lb honey
  • 1oz Michigan Copper @10
  • 3/4 magnum @10
  • Nottingham 
  • Mashed at 155

This was the first brew in quite a while that I made outside. In fact this beer should be completely brewed, fermented, kegged and drank entirely in the garage.

Now these Michigan Copper hops. They are described as “fragrant floral and tropical fruit”  

If fragrant and floral means vomit and parmesan cheese, then I concur. I really had to force my self to put them in my beer. If would have had another 10% hop laying around, these would have been dumped. 

But once they got into the boil they smelled exactly like fresh cut lemon peel.

Both before and after smells aren’t really something I’m excited about having in my beer.. but we will see.

Golden ale 

Today I brewed up a Golden Ale. A style I’ve never brewed before, but one that looks pretty basic feel to it.

The local homebrew shop is part of a December wine walk and  wants to have a few beers up for it. Only have about 4 weeks to get something up and kegged for it though, so this Golden ale fits the bill. 

Light easy drinking beer. I’d call it a British blonde ale maybe. Nothing complicated. Not over the top hoppy or malty. Balanced low gravity.

Now the only thing that may cause a hiccup is the clarity in this particular time frame  Maris Otter and the bit of wheat might leave a bit of a haze that won’t drop  in the two weeks or less it will have.

Will need a bit of bitterness to firm it up. But don’t want to get deep into the pale ale range. So keep a light hand on the late end hopping.

I chose the grain bill to give a more malty impression that would hold up with such a light mash temp. This style is known for it cleaner yeast, so went with Nottingham for its low, but still noticeable esters.

  • 5 lbs Maris Otter
  • 1.5 lbs Munich 
  • 1.5 lbs wheat malt
  • .5oz Amarillo @6o
  • .5oz cascade @60
  • .25oz Amarillo @15
  • .25oz Amarillo during whirlpool 
  • Mashed at 148 with a ramp to 152 at 15 minutes.
  • Nottingham yeast  

I did an extended hop stand during whirlpool. Like 25 minutes. Temp only dropped to 197, and really let the cone firm up and add you can see in the pic, the wort was very clear going into fermenter.  

Mix and go graff

My cider cider keg is getting low so need to get it filled soon. The black graff went over well so I’ll make another one. 

This time I’ll go back to the lighter version I used to make. Like today’s Reds Apple ale. 

  • 1 prehopped extract beer kit
  • 4 gallons apple juice or cider
  • Yeast of your choice  

I wanted to used an ESB kit but they were out, so I grabbed this old ale kit. I’m guessing it will be a bit more raisiny but that should be just fine. I’ll just be using the enclosed yeast packet this time around. 

Easy stuff here. I just heated up a gallon of water and stirred in the extract. Just wanna get it liquid enough to pour into the carboy
(If your extract is still hot that’s fine, but pour in a gallon of your juice first to buffer the heat or you’ll probably break the carboy)

Pour in the rest of the juice and add your yeast. That’s it.

Take your graff home and let it ferment.

I have a cider keg and line now, but used to bottle this Same carbonation as beer so prime how ever you normally do. 

This came out with an OG of 1.06o