Hazy Stone Fruit Ale / Single Malt, Dual Hop – SMaSH, SMaDH

It is said that in order to become really good, or semi-pro or Pro beer Crafter, at the very least you need to be able to consistently create good beer from just one grain and either one hop or some mix.  This means that you need to dial in the entire process well and put to work your understanding of everything.

For the grain we used a local barley, just makes sense to support your local Eco system and local farmers, so unless you can duplicate this, your results will be different, but the idea is to select a grain that has good characteristics and which will produce good beer, your local brew shop should have a few choices to select from, talk to them.

Whillamette Value Barley – https://www.mainstemmalt.com/2017-vintage/willamette-valley/

We opted for just a good ALE, nothing even fancy as an IPA and of course I did something fun when using the yeast.

I used a re-pitched from a previous brew, an Imperial Barbarian that was sitting in a jar in the fridge for the last 11 months, yikes, right! ?  The average person would be like, what!!! and you did “no” starter, whuuuut! Exactly!

Yeast was pitched a few hours after removing from fridge to let it warm up, no starter, no nothing.  This yeast is typically slow to start, even if fresh, it took a solid 2 days, but then the activity started, it was a very steady fermentation, very consistent and lasted 3 weeks!

It went from OG of 1.047 to 1.006 FG, resulting in an approximate ABV of 5.25%

The Barbarian yeast will produce nice stone fruit esters that work great when paired with citrus hops. Barbarian is recommended for exceptionally balanced IPAs.  Our attenuation rate was crazy high at 86%, compared to the range of Attenuation: 73-74% expected.

For the Hops we used whole hops that we grew on our property (about 50/50) Cascades and Yakima, both also developed in this region.

A picture of the beer after 1 week in the fridge keg, after removal from fermentor – no secondary stage was employed.  It was a little cloudy, it looks almost like a NEIPA, or some hazy Ale.  At 2 weeks it cleared up, but still had a nice haze.  This could be because of the grain or maybe my experimental yeast more likely given the 3 week fermentation, but good news no off flavors and the haziness was a welcomed surprise!

The beer tasted good and is very drinkable only after 1 week, with nice hints of Stone Fruit, Peach and maybe even some Apricots.

Bottom line, good beer, low cost (we paid no money for yeast or hops), efficient yeast and quick availability.

More taste details with aging will be posted later along with a more exact recipe.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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English style “Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout” – Clone All Grain 8 gallon Recipe

This beer was brewed on June 24th – OG was at 1.082.  We did a vigorous boil for 90 minutes to get down to target.  About 7.5 ~ 8 gallons was brewed, we expect this to end up at 9% +/-

Out of the many dark beers we have brewed over the years, we never tried this one, substitute grain as close as possible per your local availability.

If you want a smaller or bigger batch, simply divide everything by 8 and multiple by your brew size.  Since this is a big beer you might be better off leaving some extra head room in your fermentor(s).  The grain bill of this is not cheap, approx $53, however this is a 9% beer, plus cost of hops and yeast / we like to make dog biscuits after brew to maximize the use of all that grain (just don’t put any hops with it)…

Beer came out exceptionally good only after a few weeks – it gets better with age :- )

We will split this batch in half and apply Oak Cubes to one half (American, Medium Toast).

grains:

  • 22.4 lb Maris Otter
  • 1.6 lb Crystal 30
  • 1.6 lb Crystal 120
  • 0.8 lb Chocolate 350 love
  • 0.8 lb Brown Malt 60-70 Love
  • 0.4 lb Roasted Barley 300 Love

hops:

  • 3.5 ounce Cluster – add at start of boil
  • 1.6 ounce Northern – add at 5 minute end of boil
  • 1.6 ounce Centennial – add at 5 minutes end of boil

yeast:

English WLP-002 – ” A classic ESB strain from one of England’s largest independent breweries. This yeast is best suited for English style ales including milds, bitters, porters, and English style stouts. This yeast will leave a beer very clear, and will leave some residual sweetness. ”

 

 

 

 

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Apricot Ale – All Grain Recipe

2018 Brew – 11 Gallon Brew

03/10/2018 / Today we brewed this recipe again, 11 gallons..

  • we used 18 lb of Copeland 2-row (native to Washington state)
  • 4 lb crystal 20 L

bittering – start of boil 1 ounce of pellet hops and 2 ounce of whole Cascade were used.

aroma/flavor – At end of 10 minutes we added 2 ounces of Saaz and 1/2 ounce of Fuggle.

White Labs California Ale Yeast was used this year.

At day 3 of fermentation, the puree from the canned apricots will be added to the fermentor.

OG 1.050 / because we brewed 1 extra gallon, 11 vs. 10 and used same amount of grain.

more update later..

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2016 Brew – 10 Gallon brew

apricot_ale

glass_hopped

On 6/4/2016 this year, we have brewed a 10 gallon version from last year, we scaled the grains and hops up by a factor of 2.  Total water used was 15.5 gallons, and to be honest I think we ended up with 11 gallons total beer.  However, this time we use canned Apricots, 5 cans total, they were already soft and super easy to create a puree (see video below) // also cost was much cheaper, 1 can costs $1, so $5 total.  At the brew store, canned Apricots extracts were much more expensive $20 – so that’s something to consider…

Yeast, since we maintain our own yeasts, we use that, saves a lot of money and we have great results, Wyeast 1056 was used.

OG 1.056 // on day 3 we added 5 cans of apricots, this for sure raised the sugar levels, but we haven’t figured out exactly how to measure that, fruit calculators do exist, but I am not sure how accurate that really is..  Fermentation was for 2 weeks, below is a 2 week fermentation plot derived from the logger and their respective fit lines.  You can see a nice spike when the fruit was added to the fermentor (blue lines are internal temps, orange external [outside the fermentor]).

2694b8d8-51d9-426a-8f23-f618c200e51a

FG 1.008

without factoring in the fruit added on day 3, final ABV 6.3% // which probably is closer to 8% 😉  when you do factor in the fruit.

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2015 Brew – 5 Gallon All Grain Recipe – Apricot Ale

This recipe is fairly easy and the finished beer is delicious!  The ABV % will range between 4 % ~ 6 % depending on how much fruit you use and what kind and the efficiency of your brew setup and the attenuation of your yeast.

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/homebrew/beginners-attenuation-and-flocculation-definitions

OG – 1.043 // Brew Date: 6/14/2014

FG – 1.012 // Kegging and Botteling Date: 6/21/2014

We only used 2 LB of Apricots and later 4 ounces of a natural Apricot flavoring – which will most likely push the ABV up a little bit too once it is finished aging.  Normally recipe calls for 1 to 1.5 lbs of apricot fruit per each gallon of beer.

Grain:

9 lb American 2 row
2 lb Crystal 20L

Hops:

Set your timer and once a nice steady rolling boil has been achieved, then:

  • add 1 oz Cascade (at start of-boil )
  • add 1/2 Cascade or (1 OZ if you want more Hops) at last 15 minutes of Boil

– The resultant aroma is of medium strength and very distinct. It has a pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristic. The hop is good for both flavor and aroma uses. It can also be used for bittering effectively, and can be used to make any ales.

Fruit:

2~3 lb of Canned Fruit Puree – add this to the Primary fermentation at day 3 of the fermentation.  You can also add some apricot flavorings (you can buy those at the brew store), but add this at the kegging or bottling time.

Apricot Extract/Flavoring or making your own Apricot puree (lower cost)…

unnamed

 

Do a test before bottling or kegging if you go with the extract: Take a dropper or pipette with mL measurements and blend a measured amount of the extract into a measured sample of beer, this will help you to find the mix ratio you like, and then simply scale up to figure out how much to add for the volume of beer that you have – most people add 4 ounces per 5 Gallon…

Yeast:

Wyeast American 1056 – we always do a starter!

 

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Strawberry Grape Wine 4 gallons

This is out 3rd time making wine (first 1 gallon, 2nd 2.5 gallon) and now we feel confident to scale higher to 4 gallons.  One benefit of making wine from kits or raw ingredients, is that it helps you to sharpen your wine making abilities.  Grape harvest comes only once a year, but we want to make wine more than once a year :- )

ingredients:

  • 4 lb of White grapes ( Rio King ) Costco $10
  • 2 lb of strawberries, Costco $4
  • (3) White Grape Langers frozen fruit concentrates $2 each

we cleaned well and blended all the grapes and berries and added to the fermentation bucket along with the frozen juice, top it off with water to 4 gallons and added 9 cups of sugar.  We added 4 campden tablets ( 1 for each gallon of wine ) and left it sit overnight – recommended blend time is 12 to 24 hours – then add the yeast.

The campden will kill off any wild yeasts, molds, bad things… the next day we dehydrated the packet of yeast and added to the fermentor.  To help prevent any spills because of active fermentation, we put the fermentation bucket inside another tub.

We will check on the fermentation a week into it and add any clarifiers in primary and later in secondary. In end, we check the pH and stabilize the wine and bottle.

More updates and pics later…

4 gallons of delicious wine for $20 / think about that :- ) – Cheers!!

 

 

 

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Red Hobbit Wine

So this is not in any way official with any movie or anything like that, this is a pretty darn good red base wine, but I wanted to call it a Hobbit Red Wine, because in my imagination, I envision, that hobbits would be drinking something like this.  The cost of the ingredients is also inexpensive ($10 ~ $12) and in the end it produced about 2.0 gallons of wine after all the racking stages / if this is your first time making wine, keep your batch size small – there are all kinds of learning curves, as making wine is different from brewing beer, so before you scale up, learn and observe.

Of course you want your fermentor and anything touching your ingredients to be clean and sanitized.

Take your grapes, disconnect from the vines and clean them well, put into a blender and blend that all up into a slurry – you can skip blending if you want, by just squeezing the juice out, but we think this makes a more complex wine and there really isn’t enough grapes used to cause any issues with tannings from the skins / which normally would be if you were using a lot of grapes, that’s why you gently squeeze them out.  You will add this slurry to your fermentor.

Again, have a clean container, bucket or final fermentor and add that in there, along with your water and frozen concentrate juice.

After you mix the (water, grapes juice, frozen concentrate), take a brix reading with a refractometer and then use a lookup chart to see how much more sugar to backfill for your desired end product.  There is not enough residual sugar coming from the grapes + frozen concentrate to make a 14% or 16% wine.  You can change this ratio by buying more grapes or more frozen concentrate – but the costs go up.

  • 1 bag of grapes from your local grocery store, in our case it was the “Red Seedless Raising Rouge Sans” grapes – you can get more than 1 bag, but the costs go up
  • 3 frozen concentrates ( 100% juice ) from red grapes, brand: Langers – each is 11.5 fl oz – you simply add these contents with the grapes
  • 2 gallons of water – we used artesian water
  • backfill now with sugar to achieve your desired alcohol level, we did 12% ( sorry, I didn’t save the weight used ) but use a lookup table so see how much you need, and yes, use inexpensive white granular table sugar – http://www.honeyflowfarm.com/Winemaking-Information/sugar-addition-chart.html
  • yeast – dry yeast Lalvin K1-V1116 – rehydrate in luke warm water and add to the final fermentor

tip: because we used blended skins, we don’t put an air lock, we simply put some tinfoil over the fermentor output and that is good enough, we never had any contamination, the positive pressure of the fermentation will let co2 gas out and nothing in… Once the bulk of the active fermentation is over, when you rack to the secondary – you can put an air lock on it, some people use baloons.  If you don’t follow this tip, the skins can clog up the air lock, block it up and then give you nice art work on your ceiling, if you want grape art work – go for it.

For fining agents we use Bentomine, a natural clay in the secondary, but you can use it in both primary and secondary.  Once all the fermentation is over and done, we add a crushed tablet of campden – this will kill off any remaining yeast and help to condition the wine.  You want all the fermentation to be done before bottling wine, because if not, the bottles would carbonate and maybe explode.

  • primary fermentation 3 weeks
  • secondary 3 weeks
  • if you want the wine to by crystal clear, you can do another stage and consider other fining agents as well

That’s all we do, you can do more complicated steps and add more things into it, check your pH, etc… but we keep it hobbit style like and simple.

Wine is ready to drink after a few months of aging, you can cellar your wine as well.

Cheers!

 

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London ESB Coffee Porter – 10 gallon batch

11/10/2017 – today we brewed a 10 gallon London ESB Coffee Porter

grains:

  • 18 lb – 2-row premium grain
  • 1.5 – caramel 60 Love
  • 1 lb – coffee malt 150 Love
  • 1.5 lb – roasted barley 300 Love

hops:

  • 2.4 oz Cascade at start of boil
  • 1.6 oz Northern Brewer at start of boil
  • 1.5 oz Fuggle at 30 minutes into boil

yeast:

1968 Wyeast

coffee:

4 oz of coarse ground (to open up the bean) coffee added into the fermentor in a mash bag that was sanitized.

We started the Mash at 140 F and over an 90 minutes slowly run a program controlled by our electric PID to reach 154F – we mashed out at 170F.

Boil was for 90 minutes.

Cooled to 74F

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Steuben Wine

made on 10/8/2017 – updates later…

After brewing beer for almost 10 years, it was time to do something different.  4 year ago I planted my first grape plant – I choose the variety of Steuben – which is a hybrid grape a mix of French and American grapevines, making for good flavor, adds spice, sweetness, hints of honey.

Since this was a small batch, I kept things simple, here are the steps employed:

  • remove the grapes from the vines
  • wash the grapes
  • puree them in a blender, mix with some warm water – so the blender works
  • take a specific gravity reading of the grapes after blending, for us it was 1.035
  • you can tell if the grape is ready to harvest by doing just that, but we didn’t want to take changes with weather (being this was the first year)
  • put all the grapes into your fermentation vessel – that you have sanitized and cleaned
  • 12% wine will have a specific gravity of 1.090 – so you will have to add sugar to the mixture – you can use a lookup chart – http://www.homebrewit.com/hydrometer-basics-for-home-brewing-and-wine-making
  • of course you want to premix the sugar with warm water to dissolve it before adding it to the fermentation vessel
  • mix all that into the fermentation vessel, mix it good and take a gravity reading again – using a refractometer
  • leave some head room for the fermentation of course
  • dehydrate your yeast packet in a separate container with some luke warm water and add that into your fermentation vessel – mix it all up, add your blow off tube
  • you are done!

Ferment away from sunlight, and somewhere where you have consistent non-swinging temperatures, read the requirements for the yeast that you have used, but 70 ~ 80 F should work.

Make wine is fairly easy, and it doesn’t take a lot of time or fancy expensive equipment, at least for home wine.

If you are going to make larger batches of wine using more traditional methods which are less sanitary, then its a good idea to use Campden tablets – to kill off any wild yeasts, then 24 hours later you can add your yeast.

Update: After 20 days, we transferred the wine into secondary fermentation, leaving all the grape skins behind, the purpose of this stage is to finish off the fermentation and allow the wine to settle, leaving any debris to settle on the bottom of the fermentor.  After about two weeks, we want to decant again, leaving any sediment behind.

At this stage you want to check the pH of the Wine and adjust it (you can check the pH before fermentation as well or after or during ) – wine pH should between 3.2 and 3.6 / this allows the wine to be stored and aged in bottles for a long time without going bad as bacteria doesn’t like acidic environments.

Another test you want to check for is the Percentage of the acidity of your wine, there is a lookup chart that you want your wine to fall into depending on the wine you are making ( white wine, red, fruit wine, etc… ), for a red wine, you want to acidity to be about 60% – and you can buy a testing kit at a brew store or online for that step.

Since we are very new to this – I encourage anyone to read more about it and search for useful Youtube videos on all stages of wine making, we posted one youtube link below, cheers!

 

 

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Vienna Barleyweisen Oktoberfest 10 gallon all grain batch / with 3 experiments

Latest update: at 4 weeks this beer should clear up quite nicely and taste considerably better if you have chilled it at serving temperature compared to only 3 weeks, 1 extra week will make quite the difference.  It comes with an immediate hint of clover, and just smooth good beer, super easy to swallow and you want more!

This is a great Oktoberfest beer!

The German-style hefeweizen is straw to amber in color and made with at least 50 percent malted wheat, however; since we are doing an experimental beer or SMaSH (single malt and single hop), we will be using a Single grain and barley at that, no wheat!  🙂

The aroma and flavor comes largely from the yeast and is decidedly fruity (banana) and phenolic (clove). “Weizen” means “wheat” and “hefe” means “yeast”, but we are not using any wheat, just to be clear.  Also to capture as much hop aroma and flavor we are adding very little hops at start of boil (only about 5 IBU) and the remain goes at the end.

Video of the Brew:

Grain:

19 lb Vienna – that’s it, nothing else

Mash – started at 135-F and slowly using an electric PID control raised it to 152-F and kept there for an hour.

Hops:

  • Start of boil (60 minutes) – 0.4 OZ of Cascades, only 5 IBU at this stage
  • 10 minues to end of boil (50 minutes) – 1.0 ounces of Cascades, we don’t want to go above 17~ 20 IBU on this one, since volumes will vary equipment wise on your end, fyi…

Yeasts and experiments:

So we ended up brewing about 13 gallons of beer:

  • In the main fermentor 11.5 gallons – we used the “Imperial Stefon” – for the goal of this brew Barleyweizen, as we are using the classic Wheat yeast, but in barley.

  • In a 1 gallon jug – we used a reclaimed “Imperial Barbarian”, this yeast was about 6 months old and it still worked out well, we did do a starter to help it wake up, it was a bit slow to start – but it did and is still fermenting nicely / anything older than 6 month is a risk.  Since we used an IPA yeast, this will come out different – but we wanted to see how this SMaSH comes out using different yeasts.

  • In a 1/2 gallon grower is put that by the window (open-ferment) to see how that will work out, it was a nice calm summer day, so this will be a natural inoculation by wild yeasts, that took a few days to take off, but there was activity with “krausen” / then the next day a tin foil was put on top of the glower.

OG (Original Gravity) was 1.045 / more updates later

Results of the open fermentation experiment:

As mentioned we put half a gallon from this brew by window to open ferment.  It did ferment well all the way down to 1.007 / but the type of yeast it picked up wasn’t what we wanted.  It smelled very strongly of fusel alcohol/paint thinner or nail polish, so it went down the drain.

We learned quickly, nothing lost, nothing gained.

DIYeast: Capturing Yeast

 

 

 

 

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Kumbocha How To Brew / Part 1 and 2 – SUPER FERMENTED TEA

[wpedon id=”4272″ align=”left”]

Kumbocha is not beer, it is a probiotic drink or basically a fermented tea.

There are many health benefits to Kumbocha and it is an ancient drink originating somewhere from the Asian region around Japan, hard to say exactly from where. 

Kumbocha is also a detoxer, it will clean your system out of the many toxins that have stored in your body over time andy keep it clean.

If you have never drunk Kumbocha, go to a store and get some and see if you are going to like it, because there are small amounts of people who don’t do well with it or like it. 

Again, it will detox your body, which means that you *might* get the runs, (bathroom visit), become bloated, not feel well, in the beginning – but this is all temporary for most people and not everyone reacts to it, you might not.

As far as the instructions, it is much easier to just record a few videos on YouTube, than write a bunch of rules, so that’s what I have done, please watch them below.

The recipe, we will not post ours, not because it is a secret, but because we want you to explore and do some research on your own and through that exercise, you will find your own recipe and learn much about Kumbocha.

Also, watch more videos on the benefits as well.

[wpedon id=4272]

Part 1 – How to brew Kumbocha

 

Part 2 – How to transfer a new brew to your existing mother

 

How finished Kumbocha after secondary fermentation should look like when you pour, quick video:

 

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Grapefruit IPA 10 gallon batch

On Saturday 2/18/2017 a Grapefruit IPA was brewed.  We used peels from 2 grapefruit in a 10 gallon batch, we didn’t want it to be too overwhelming but also a little bit more than a hint.  Full recipe will be posted later.  It is best to peel the skins when they are fresh using a filleting like knife.  Since we are now brewing using an electric setup, we also follow a very precise Mashing temperature control schedule.  Say goodbye to temperature oscillations!

  1. Mash-in temp at 170F, after grain mixed drops to 150F
  2. A Re-circulation process is started between two vessels (a march pump is used) and we use the PID controller to maintain a perfect 152 F temp. for 1 hour, so there is no temperature swings like with gas.  One vessel is the mash tun and the other the electric kettle.
  3. After an hour, we move up to 162 F (again using precise PID control) and stay there for 30 minutes
  4. We move up again to 174 F to mash out.

The Mash takes a solid 2 hours when you factor in the time it takes to move from 152 to 162 and again to 174.  Since the entire mash is done while recirculating, the beer is crystal clear by the time it is mashed out.

A video on the setup is below, as you can see you don’t need to have fancy setups to make good beer, most home-brew operations are analogous with custom hacks.  We spent very little money to make this stuff together and make it work compared to buying better looking solutions that costs many thousands of dollars.

 

Yeasts:

For this brew we have decided to use a new yeast from a new company (Portland, Oregon) – yeast used was an Imperial Barbarian.  This also seems to be an organic yeast.  We did not do a starter like normally we would, to save on time.  These cans have enough yeast to support 10 gallons for 5-7% beers.

OG 1.054

FG 1.015

Final ABV 5.1%

more to come later…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Citra American IPA, 10 gallon batch

On 11/20/2016, we brewed a Citra American IPA.  More recently we started to preview/simulate brews using an App on my cell phone (android), called: Wort.  This is in a way a simulation, we strongly recommend you do this and then brew.  The developer hangs out in the Brew Nerds community on G+, you can talk to him directly and is very approachable.

This is a sample after all done brewing, but before fermentation.  It looks darker than it is because its mixed with trub.  But final color should be light to medium orange, again, it will depend on your exact grains.

pic below, after fermentation is over, which is quick, 5/6 days.

citra_ipa

pic below is 1 week after bottling, so 2 weeks after brewing, already very drinkable, dominant grapefruit flavor, nice smell and retention head, carbonation came out great, 3 ounces of priming sugar to 5 gallons of beer was used.

citra_ipa_1week_after_bottling

The pic below is beer aged at 2 months, nice and clear..  the dominant grapefruit is pretty much gone, still good beer.  These are designed to be enjoyed fresh, as opposed to say Belgians that need a lot more aging time.

Our OG was 1.054, we also used our electric setup here for the first time with this beer.

OG 1.054 // IBU 56 // SRM 6 // Final ABV tbd…

The color of the beer should be light orange, but might vary on the grains that you end up using or substitute for because of availability.

Total water used was 15 gallons for the 10 gallon batch.

Initially this was a 7.5% beer, but we have brewed so many higher gravity beers in the last 2 years and wanted something lighter and more refreshing this time, so about 5 lb of grain was scaled down proportionally for each malt.

grains:

  • 20 lb Pale Malt – local to our State of Washington
  • 1.5 lb Crystal 15 Love
  • 1.5 lb Munich Malt

hops (60 minute boil):

  • 1 ounce Nugget at start of boil – bittering
  • 2 ounce Citra – 10 minutes into boil
  • 2 ounce Mosaic – 10 minutes into boil
  • 1 ounce Citra – 1 minute to end of boil
  • 1 ounce Mosaic – 1 minute to end of boil

You can also do additional dry hop (we didn’t):

  • 1 ounce Mosaic – dry hop
  • 1 ounce Citra – dry hop

Yeast:

  • Wyeast American 1056 ( 1000ml starter 36 hours before )

 

 

 

 

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