Archive for August, 2009

House smells of wonderful vegetable stock. 112oz here for the freezer in 16oz containers. Each frozen block will then make 32oz of vegetable stock. Most likely we will use it for soups this winter. We always have a bag in the freezer for vegetable scraps. It doesn’t take too long to fill it up and then follow this recipe:

August Crop wrap up pictorial

Still going strong

The braggot took off and is bubbling away still. Changed the ice jug, still around 60-62F, just where I like to ferment at. Nice fat Krausen. Looks like we’re sailing with Admiral Nelson today. Very cloudy wort, hope it clears up. I’ll probably give this one a month in the primary. If I don’t see clearing near the end of that, I’ll bring out the gelatin.

Rice/Corn beer questions

Wifey loves those Smirnoff Ice thingies which in the states do not have vodka in them, they are a malt beverage. They are pretty spendy and limited in flavors so I was thinking on how they could be made.

What if you made a brew with just rice and bottled it without additional flavors. Then you could pour it into a glass with whatever flavor juice or concentrated flavor extract you wanted.

What flavor would the rice beer have using just rice and beer yeast? Would corn impart a flavor? How would you go about trying this? I was thinking a 1 gallon batch for a tester but have no idea even where to start or if it would be worth it. Would some malt be needed, and if so, how little could be used?

If none of this works out I may try flavoring some water beer like Michelob Ultra for her and see if that satisfies my non beer drinking wife.

Any thoughts/experiences out there? (just check your beer snobbery at the door please)


Thar she blows!!! Take 2

Within 1 hour of pitching the braggot onto the fat IPA yeast cake, we have airlock activity. Nice bubbly Krausen too. Should ramp up nicely now. Just cross our fingers that the additional hops in the cake won’t make much of an impact on the braggot. Also, hopefully the transfer of the IPA into a secondary won’t have any impact either.

Lesson learned: Toss a big beer/braggot/whatever onto a fat yeast cake. Next time I’ll brew up a pale ale and use the yeast cake from that.


Call in the BRC!

I’m calling in the Beer Recovery Crew for this batch. Time to rack the IPA off that fat yeast cake and get the braggot onto it to see some activity. I think I’ll omit the spice bag, I imagine sitting in there this long is probably enough.

The plan:
1. IPA racked off into a sanitized bucket, a little yeast in there is fine as it will sit for a few more weeks anyways.
2. Siphon out as much yeast slurry and as few hops as possible into my sanitized 5 gallon glass fermenter.
3. Siphon the braggot onto the yeast slurry.

Question: Do I re-aerate?

Still nothing

Still no signs of activity on the Braggot. Going to give it until tomorrow afternoon. If no activity by then I’m going to rack my IPA off into a secondary and that fat yeast cake onto the braggot. There are a lot of hops in there so I’ll try to remove as much as possible then pour the cake onto the braggot I think.

Thar she blo…wait, what???

No activity at all in the braggot yet. Not characteristic of Nottingham yeast at all. I opened the lid and not even a hint of yeast aggregation or Krausen at all. I pitched some yeast energizer in there and shook it up before noon. Checked again at 7pm and still nothing. Past 24 hours now. If there is no activity by tomorrow morning, I think I may rack my Vulcan Warrior IPA into a secondary and pitch the braggot onto that S-05 yeast cake. That should take off and should be a problem for the braggot. It may be the high OG, I haven’t brewed anything that high yet. I’m crossing my fingers that we get something by tomorrow, no sense rousing the Vulcan Warrior if you don’t have to.

Earl Grey Cinnamon Braggot-8-26-09

I’ve been wanting to brew a spice beer for some time but haven’t found a recipe I liked. I just happened to have some honey and a can of LME so a braggot came up as an idea. I searched and searched for good recipes and finally came upon Daniel Eskridge’s blog of his braggot adventures. Amongst his pages I found his Earl Grey Cinnamon Braggot recipe. I love Earl Grey Tea so I thought this is my recipe!
Here is Daniel’s original recipe (

Ingredient List

  • 125 oz of water
  • 1 lb light liquid malt extract
  • 1.5 lb clover honey
  • 4 sticks of cinnemon
  • 2 bags of Earl Grey Tea
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 packet Nottingham Ale Yeast
  • 1 Tbs Czech Saaz Hop Pellets
  • A small pinch of Fermax


  1. I brought the water up to boiling and steeped the teabags in it
  2. When the tea cooled to 160 degrees, I dropped in the crushed cinnamon and cloves (crushed via a ziplock bag and a rolling pin)
  3. I then stirred gently as a I added the liquid malt extract, then the honey
  4. I brought the temperature back up to 160, added the hops, and heated for 45 more minutes, then dropped the brewpot in a cold water bath to rapidly bring the temperature down. This was to pastuerize the must.
  5. While waiting for the must to cool, I rehydrated the yeast in water then added a bit of must and fermax after fifteen minutes or so.
  6. Using a long handle spoon I fished out a bit of cinnamon and cloves and put it in the carboy.
  7. I poured the must into the carboy through a strained funnel. This filtered out most, but not all, of the hops and cinnemon.
  8. I then added the yeast to the carboy and capped it off with an airlock

My ingredients were a little larger so I scaled it up for 3 gallons. Here is what I did:

Ingredient List

  • 3 gallons of water
  • 3.3 lb light liquid malt extract
  • 5 lb clover honey
  • 12 sticks of cinnemon
  • 6 bags of Earl Grey Tea
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 packet Nottingham Ale Yeast
  • 1 0z Czech Saaz Hop Pellets


  1. Heated up a couple gallons of water in one pot and set my honey and malt so they would pour easier.
  2. Brought 2 gallons of water to a boil and turned off the heat.
  3. Put 6 bags Earl Grey Tea bags into the water and steeped until the temperature fell to 160F.
  4. Put cinnamon sticks and cloves into a grain bag and crushed them with a marble rolling pin. Put the cinnamon and cloves into my hop sock.
  5. Poured LME and Honey into the pot and stirred until dissolved.
  6. Added heat until I reached 160F while stirring to keep malt from scorching.
  7. Added 1 oz Saaz hops to hop sock and started 45 minute timer.
  8. Brought temperature to approximately 170F and turned flame off. Maintained temperature between 160F and 180F for the 45 minutes. Required flame on a few times.
  9. Took my immersion chiller out of a bucket of sanitizer that covered it and chilled the must down below 70F.
  10. Put my hop sock over the fermentation bucket and poured the must into the bucket, pitched the yeast, secured the lid and airlock and aerated by rocking the bucket.
  11. Placed in a swamp cooler in my basement.

OG: 1.070 @ 177F = 1.098 @60F.
Smells awesome and tastes awesome!

The ingredients.

Liquifiying the honey and liquid malt extract.

The cinnamon and cloves.

Tea bags in.

Looks and smells like Earl Grey tea.

Honey and malt dissolved, cinnamon and cloves in.

The hops in my hop sock.

Hold the temperature for 45 minutes.

Hops and spices in my hop sock waiting for the must.

Chilling the must.

Tucked away in a swamp cooler in the basement.

Big Brew Day-Vulcan Warrior IPA

We got together again to brew up Greg’s IPA recipe for 20 gallons of wort. Greg and I each took 5 gallons of wort home and Mark took 10 gallons of wort home. We had a great time, even though Greg forgot to bring the grain mill…thank goodness it is an extract recipe! Here is the recipe by the way:

20 Gallons of Wort
33.00 lbs. Briess LME- Gold
3.00 lbs. Crystal 40L
0.50 lbs. Special B Malt

3 oz of Warrior Hops 60 minutes
2 oz of Warrior Hops 15 minutes
3 oz Cascades Hops 0 minutes

My brew is with S-05 yeast, and I did something really different in an attempt to get that big cascade flavor I wanted.

My procedure, the day after brew day:
Boil 1 gallon of water.
Stir in 1# DME.
Toss my chiller and 2.5oz of cascade.
Boil for 15 minutes.
Chill to around 60F to match the wort closely.
Pitch onto the IPA.

The gang getting ready.

The ingredients.

Someone forgot the grain mill so he did it old school style.

Heating up the malt to make it pour easier.

Chilling the wort.

Measuring out the wort.

Siphoning off the wort from the kettle.

20 Gallons of wort

Tucked into bed ready for yeast sex.

The beer fermenting