Archive for the ‘brew in a bag’ Category

You Brew Your Own Beer? Pretzel beer?

I am taking a break from brewing starting January so I can prepare for my Professional Engineer exam in April. I have some backstock ingredients so I have been working them down. Today I brewed an experimental beer that I hope reminds me of pretzels.

Here is the recipe for 1.5 gallons:
10.00 g Sea Salt (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 –
1 lbs 10.4 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 69.5 %
4.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 10.5 %
4.0 oz White Wheat Malt-toasted (2.4 SRM) Grain 4 10.5 %
2.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.3 %
0.30 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 6 23.1 IBUs
1.6 oz Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 7 4.2 % post krausen

I did a step mash, biab, stovetop. The first rest was 122F for 30 minutes. The second rest was 152F for 60 minutes. I did a 90 minute boil. I didn’t have any beer yeast, so I used a packet of Montrachet. Hopefully it rips through the sugars, I’m not looking for yeast character on this one anyways. Hopefully the acid malt gives the hint of sourdough, the salt, well salt, and the toasted wheat that toasty outer crust of a pretzel. The wort tasted pretty good going into the fermenter.

I used a 5 gallon paint strainer for this BIAB on my stovetop

The mash, really light with the white wheat

Sleeping bag wrap for the rests

Almost the scale of steeping grains in extract brewing…

Back to the kitchen sink cooling

While I was brewing, some other things were going on at Little House on the Sandpit…

Panels for gingerbread houses were made

I tried some pine needle and spruce tip tea

and our sick chicken started to feel better, she can stand without falling over now.

You Brew Your Own Beer? (and Cider) Stovetop Pasteurizing

Got my Wee Scottish 60 shilling into the fermenter and happily bubbling away.

The Recipe
Type: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal
Boil Size: 8.75 gal
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: BIAB
Est Mash Efficiency 82.0 %

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs 6.1 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 80.0 %
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 9.1 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.6 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.6 %
1.5 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.7 %
0.64 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 14.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml] Yeast 7 –

Est Original Gravity: 1.031 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.035 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 3.0 %
Bitterness: 15.3 IBUs Calories: 114.8 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 9.5 SRM

Then I pasteurized my Caramel Apple Cider
View the recipe here: Caramel Apple Hard Cider on Homebrew Talk
The cider is finished high then more sugars are added (back-sweetening) and it is bottled. I watched closely as it carbonated up by putting a couple in plastic bottles to check for firmness and by opening a few along the way until it appeared to be carbonated enough. Once ready, I put 10 bottles in 190F water for 10 minutes to kill the residual yeast, thus preventing bottle bombs. Apparently the sugar striated some or I have older bottles because 4 bottles burst in the process. Three blew in the pasteurizer kettle, and one on the counter cooling. A little bit of a mess and a scare, but I had a cover and towel over the kettle just in case and the counter one burst in the back of the bottle line so nobody was hurt.

I preheated the bottles in 100F tap water figuring it would lower the temperature in the pasteurizer less.

The bottles in the pasteurizer under the towel, the bottles preheating in the kettle, and bottles on the counter cooling.

The cider came out really good, a little sweeter than I had hoped so next time I will backsweeten a little less. Also, I think this would taste great aged a bit on oak and/or with a little bit of amber malt. This goes on the “to brew again” list for sure.

PS Sorry no in the glass picture, I keep forgetting to take one, I guess I get caught up in the yumminess.

You Brew Your Own Beer? BIAB Moravian Pale Ale

Go little enzymes, go forth and convert

The mash

Grains so heavy…

Chickens love spent grains. Chickens give eggs. Little House on the Sand Pit loves eggs. Win win.


All tucked in

Got some miscalculation on this batch. Ended up with an extra gallon which means the OG, ABV, and IBUs will be much lower than planned. Oh well. It will be beer. Serves me right for not brewing for so long. I put the blowoff from the main batch into 2 one gallon jugs. The yeast went in the main, we’ll see if the blowoff can get the overflows stated fermenting as well.

NED year 2!

Today marks my second year of No Evidence of Disease. Three more and I will be officially Cancer Free! So of course that means time to sample the Russian Imperial Stout I am aging for 5 years.

Fancy Grolsch bottles with wax for extra aging protection

Beautiful beer!

Appearance: 2 finger head subsided to 1 finger off white mostly medium bubbles. Pitch black, no sediment visible in pour all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, ashy.

Taste: big smooth chocolate up front with a hint of coffee, the chocolate turns to dark chocolate at the end, and a burnt flavor at the end, not overpowering

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, not a big carbonation bite but a bit there.

Drinkability: Single beer only, will blow your taste buds out with big flavors. Not to say it is harsh, it is very smooth, just a very complex beer with bold flavors that would wreck a pale ale drunk afterwards. Drink this beer as a relaxing sipper.

Overall: I wouldd pay for this at a bar and be happy with my purchase. It is hard to believe i brewed this one, it is so commercial like. I really want to chill another bottle to drink, but no, you must last another 3 years for a big celebration.

Aging: The flavors are really melting together well. No sign of oxygenation. The flavors are smoother than last year. No issues yet. See you next year RIS.

Does colon cancer run in your family? Got a relative that had cancer at a young age? Do you know when you should get a colonoscopy?

If you have a family history, get screened 10 years younger than the youngest case of colon cancer in your family. I was 38 when diagnosed. Had I waited I could easily have been a sad cancer story instead of a survivor. Lynch is just one of several genetic cancer diseases and it isn’t just colon cancer, that is just the biggest one.

You Make Your Own Beer? – Angel Over My Shoulder brew 2011: Sassafras Spruce Porter BIAB

The wort was nestled, all snug in its bed.

Nice looking mash

My BIAB rig

How I squeeze the wort from my grains. Twist the bag and press it into the colander with a pan lid.

Boil started

Spruce tips and sassafras roots in a hop sock

We pulled some of the spent grain to make granola, it tastes good with the chocolate malt.

Night brewing is beautiful

So many more colors than daytime

The Angel Over My Shoulder arrived as always in the form of my lone star in the sky.

Watching daddy do all this work makes the Gavinator sleepy

Boil done, great color!

Look, Marc brought some of his friends

Visions of spruce tips dance in the wort's head

You Make Your Own Beer? – Angel Over My Shoulder Brew 2011 and BIAB Water Volume Calculations

Tomorrow is the night I brew my yearly beer with my little brother over my shoulder. This year it will be a Sassafras Spruce Porter. Here are my plans.
The Recipe
5.5 Gallons
90 minute boil
60 minute mash at 156F BIAB
1.050 @ 80% efficiency
24 IBS
23.2 SRM
4.9% ABV estimated
7 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 77.8 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 2 10.4 %
10.2 oz Wheat, Torrified (1.7 SRM) Grain 3 6.6 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.2 %
9.64 # Total
0.55 oz Northern Brewer [8.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 18.0 IBUs
0.10 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.60 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 6.0 IBUs
6.00 oz Spruce Tips (Boil 60.0 mins) Spice 7 –
2.00 oz Sassafras Root Bark (Boil 60.0 mins) Spice 8 –
Safale US05 64F 2-4 days Raise to 68F
Primary 3-4 weeks
Secondary none

    The Math

Water Volumes

  • Batch Volume = 5.5 gallons
  • 90 minutes x 2 gallon/hr boil off = 3 gallons
  • 9.64# x 0.05 gallons/# absorption = 0.48 gallons
  • 8.98 gallons, use 9 gallons
    Salt Additions

  • 23.2 SRM = Ruby Brown which means I need 50 mg/l Ca and 75 mg/l HCO3 so I will use Calcium Carbonate (chalk)
  • CaCo3 is 40% Ca and 60% CO3
  • My base water is 2 mg/l Ca so I need to add 48 mg/l Ca
  • 9 gallons of mash water = 34.07 Liters
  • 34.07 L x 48 mg/l = 1635.36 mg Ca total needed
  • 40% x Ca = 1635.36
  • Ca=1635.36/40% = 4,088.4 mg = 4.1 grams
  • CaCO3 is 1.8 grams per teaspoon
  • 4.1 grams / 1.8 grams per teaspoon = 2.27 teaspoons so I’ll add 2-1/4 teaspoons of CaCO3
  • You Make Your Own Beer? : Boumpy’s Beer tasting

    Appearance: Big huge fluffy head of large and small off white bubbles. A bit cloudy, I did get a lot of sediment from the dryhopping but I don’t fret over beer a little cloudy, especially IPAs. Nice lacing.

    Aroma: Huge floral and citrus that screams Cascade hops

    Taste: caramel backbone with citrusy punch to the tongue.

    Mouthfeel: big oily feeling left in the mouth, huge carbonation bite, slightly dry finish.

    Drinkability: A great IPA, you probably won’t want a lighter beer after this as your tastebuds will be used to the cascades.

    Overall: will definitely try this hop schedule again.
    1 oz CTZ first wort hop
    .5 oz CTZ 10 minutes
    1.1 oz Cascade 5 minutes
    1.7 oz Cascade dry hop 7 days

    You Brew Your Own Beer? Blessed Bitter, BIAB style.

    Brewed up what was supposed to be an ordinary bitter today but got really really good efficiency so it’s more like an ESB. I mashed in before church starting about 8:45, then brought up to a mashout after church at about 12:15. The recipe:

    Type: All Grain
    Batch Size: 5.50 gal
    Boil Size: 9.00 gal
    Boil Time: 90 min

    Amount Item Type % or IBU
    7.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) UK (1.0 SRM) Grain 80.92 %
    0.50 lb Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 5.78 %
    0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5.78 %
    0.40 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 4.62 %
    0.25 lb Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 2.89 %
    0.75 oz Goldings, East Kent [6.10 %] (90 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops 20.2 IBU
    0.25 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops –
    1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (30 min) Hops 8.7 IBU
    0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (15 min) Hops 2.8 IBU
    0.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [3.00 %] (1 min) Hops 0.2 IBU

    I added 4-1/8 tsp gypsum to the mash

    Original Gravity: 1.047 SG
    Bitterness: 31.9 IBU
    Est Color: 9.6

    The 1st ounce were commercial, the 2nd two ounces were homegrown by Joe from our homebrew club, thanks Joe!

    The homegrown hops going in, smelled AWESOME

    Whole hops floating in the boil always look so cool

    After racking into the fermeter, the whole hops do a pretty good filter of the beer

    The wort has a nice color, this should look really nice when fermented and clear

    All oxygenated, yeast added, airlock and blowoff attached and tucked into a nice 19C chamber.

    You Brew Your Own Beer? Centennial Blonde bottled

    A happy Newcastle bottle.

    Bottled 4.5 gallons of Centennial Blonde, racked 1 gallon onto gooseberries and left 5 gallons to bottle later.

    You Brew Your Own Beer? Roggenbier bottled

    Another happy Corona Bottle.

    Bottled up the Roggenbier Wednesday night. Lots of sediment, even after sitting for a month. You couldn’t see it until it got about half way down the bucket then the yeast cake was floating and not compact. I used a second generation Weihenstephan yeast cake over pitched to keep bananas at bay. The beer is sweet with a nice rye taste to it so far.