Away day, Belgian style

Got after another brewing away day at a friend’s place. The target was another iteration of a belgian tripel, after a previous attempt that possessed pretty rough yeast character (Safebrew Abbaye ale probably won’t be my go-to for much of anything).

Took a pretty simple approach to the style, hoping to let the White labs 530 (abbey ale-I think from Westmalle) bring it’s yeast profile to the table. Brew was relatively painless once we got all the parts rounded up, here is a recipe:

Belgian Tripel

Style: Belgian strong ale




2.5/15/Munich Malt

2.0/12/Rye Malt

1.0/6/White Corn Sugar





Stats: SRM 6, IBUs 33, 8.3% ABV


3.10.2015: prepared 1.4L started, 1.035 gravity (5.5 oz DME) w/ WLP530-Abbey ale, starter had some really interesting yeast notes, maybe pear-ish, complex. Aimed to compliment that with a little rye spice. Saved some of the starter and stepped it back up to save, ended up with 3 vials.

3.12.2015: Brewed, ended up a little short on volume, but after distilled water dilution, should have hit right about the intended 1.082 o.g.

3.27.2015: Bottled, tasted good going into the bottle, curious to see how it matures.

I’ve had reasonable success with the Westmalle abbey strain from Wyeast and White labs. Glad to have saved a pretty big dose of the stuff using a new method I’ve stumbled upon, I’m hoping to brew a moderately hoppy, yeast-heavy belgian small beer in the near future.



Citra Pale Ale

Style: Am. Pale Ale



8/68/Pale Brewers Malt

3/25/Vienna Malt

0.75/6/Crystal 40L






Stats: SRM 6, IBUs 39, 5.4% ABV


Pitched 1pkg us-05 dry yeast

Kegged 3.16.15, US-05 took much longer to drop bright than I recall, Probably won’t keep up with it. Need a new American strain to keep around…


Just the other day I noticed the potential for a beer shortage approaching, thus, decided it was a good plan to pull the trigger on a brew session today. After procuring a large cup of coffee, I set about the house in search of inspiration, which came in the form of unused hops in the freezer, which I can’t bring myself to throw out. As such, the hop bill on today’s brew was a bit less organized than I’m accustomed to, but I decided to throw in the kitchen sink and brew up sizable amber IPA, hoping to showcase the over-ripe tropical fruit profile of NZ Galaxy with some balance from various american varieties.

Beamsplitter amber IPA

Predicted O.G. 1067, F.G. 1012

13 SRM, ~65 IBU’s



2-Row pale malt (Malteurop)-70%

Light munich-25%

Crystal 80L-4%

Pale Chocolate-1%



@60 min, 1.25 oz Nugget

@5 min, 1oz Centennial, 1oz Galaxy, 0.5oz Zeuss

@1 min, 1oz Centennial, 1oz Williamette, 1 oz Galaxy

Dry Hop: 1 oz Centennial, 2 oz Galaxy (7days)

Yeast: US-05

Given my druthers, I think I would have opted for columbus in place of the Nugget, Williamette and Zeuss, and added some in the dry hop, but none in the fridge, so this is what I’ve got.


For best result, apply at high volumes.


Brewed again today, with the roommates this time. The suggestion was something in line with Manny’s pale ale from Georgetown brewery. As such, I did some snooping, reading and thinking and came up with something I hope proves itself as a reasonable starting place. I like the simplicity, though typically I find myself avoiding cascade hops so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about the result here. The brew went pretty swimmingly, we ended up overshooting the gravity slightly, but i’m hoping it stays a little more full bodied, as Manny’s isn’t a particularly dry pale.

Batch size: 5.5 gallons, predicted O.G. 1057, Color: 7 SRM, Bitterness: 35 IBU’s


2-Row (10 lbs/83%)

Crystal 45L (1 lb/8%)

Carapils (1 lb/8%)


0.75 oz Magnum @ 60 min

0.5 oz Cascade @ 5 min

0.5 oz Cascade @ 1 min

1 oz Cascade dry/keg hops

US-05 yeast.

Irish moss in the kettle.

As of now, Georgetown’s website says they use Summit hops, presumably for the bittering addition, however these were unavailable and I thought I had seem somewhere that magnum had been used at some point, and in the long run it will probably have little to no effect on the flavor (plus we don’t have any of the real version to compare to, so it’s not a big deal). Anyways, the measured O.G. fell somewhere around 1058, which puts us a full 6 points higher than the real deal, but I doubt we’ll see fermentation all the way to 1010 as is suggested on Georgetown’s website (here) so we might break even (typically I’ve been seeing terminal gravities in the 1014-1016 range).


First brew of the new year! I’ve been brewing sporadically the last several months, but par usual life keeps my time to brew pretty limited.  Decided to finally try my hand at a smoked porter. It’s a style I’ve nearly always enjoyed, but never brewed, maybe because it is a little less universal than some other styles. Anyways, I think this one will turn out a little less smokey than I intended, but this is ok.

Recipe (5.5 gallons)

Predicted stats:

O.G. 1052

IBU: 28

Color: 23 SRM


2-Row (9 lbs/81%)

Crisp Pale Chocolate (0.75 lbs/6%)

Smoked Malt (0.5 lbs/4%)

Medium Crystal (0.5 lbs/4%)

Carafa (0.25 lbs/2%)


1oz Centennial @60



I used the weyerman beechwood smoked malt, which I think has a less burly smoke flavor than some other options, and I think it may turn out a bit more background than I had initially intended. Also, the centennial I got was a touch on the low AA side, so I supplemented accordingly with a touch of UK Challenger I had leftover from an ESB I brewed about a month ago. Mashed at 153*F, collected 6.75 gallons pre-boil volume. Hoping to ferment in the low 60*F range.


After a somewhat lengthy hiatus, I’m back set up brewing. After a year without convenient brewing accommodations and some readjustment to the new digs, I’m pleased to be brewing again (with some regularity). As such, I’ll try and keep up on things here a bit more.

Brewed friday (12.6.13),

Challenger ESB (5.5 gallons)


9lbs Crisp Maris Otter

2lbs Munich malt

0.5lbs crisp medium crystal


1oz UK Challenger @60min

1.5oz UK Challenger @5min

1oz Willamette @5min

1.5oz UK Challenger @1min

1oz Willamette @1min

Pitched 1pkg S-04, vigorous fermentation within 12 hours.

Brewing notes: I under-accounted for boil off, as such I managed to collect about 5 gallons, this put S.G. at 1060, rather than the 1055 predicted.

So begins the wedding saga (parts I and II)

I’ve been gripper busy finishing my undergraduate degree, so I have been on bare minimum beer schedule, HOWEVER, a buddy recently asked if I would brew some beer up for his wedding in July. I was really honored that he would have that kind of faith in me, and I of course jumped at the chance. Even better, when we sat down over drinks to discuss what to make, he basically gave me the reins and said I could do whatever I thought would be good. Suddenly more pressure on my end, but a welcome challenge. This afternoon I brewed the second of three beers and moved the first onto dry hops, so here’s a quick write up of each beer/brewday/whatever. Also: gotta put in a plug for my buddy who is distributing hops to homebrewers at the best prices I’ve seen on the net here.

So here they are:

Part I

Twin Brother Darkness (A cascadian dark)

Batch Size: 5.5 gal, O.G. 1060, F.G. 1015, SRM 25, 69.1 IBU’s

69% 8 0 American Two-row Pale 37 1 ~
13% 1 8 American Munich 33 10 ~
9% 1 0 Turbinado 44 10 ~
6% 0 11 Carafa I 32 337 ~
3% 0 6 Pale Chocolate Malt 34 165 ~
boil 60 mins 1.375 Columbus 14.6
boil 10 mins 1.0 Centennial 10.0
boil 10 mins 0.5 Columbus 14.6
boil 5 mins 1.0 Centennial 10.0
boil 5 mins 0.5 Columbus 14.6
dry hop 7 days 2.5 Centennial 10.0
dry hop 7 days 2.5 Columbus 14.6

Overall, the brew day went well, I re calibrated the temp sensor on the rig, which helped a lot and the wort was delicious going into the fermenter. I’m hoping the balance between sharp hops and smooth chocolate notes holds through and doesnt get thrown off. Today this went into secondary with 2.5 oz’s of centennial and 2.5 oz’s of columbus. I didnt have enough hop bags, so I just chucked the pellets right in, i’m hoping this doesnt cause issues when kegging, but you live and you learn I suppose.

Part II

The Honey Blonde

I wanted to produce a summer friendly beer (the wedding being in July) that would appeal to a whole spectrum of drinkers. Namely, I wanted something unique enough that I would be happy drinking it at a wedding, while keeping those not into particularly malty or hop driven beers. This was my attempt, and I hope it goes well. A light, quaffable summer beer. As of now, I have no idea if it worked, only time will tell, basically, I combined honey malt with a 2 row base and biscuit for a bit of a nice malt presence, to this I added a pound of honey at flame out, hoping to really dry out the finished beer and maybe add a bit of the honey profile. I paired all this with Saaz for the floral profile it contributes. The IBU’s are a bit high for a traditional blonde ale, but I think it will do well.

Batch size: 5.5 gal, O.G. 1042, F.G. 1012, SRM 6, IBU 30

60% 5 0 American Two-row Pale 37 1 ~
12% 1 0 Clover Honey 34 5 ~
12% 1 0 American Wheat 39 2 ~
8% 0 11 Honey Malt 37 25 ~
8% 0 11 Biscuit Malt 36 23 ~
boil 60 mins 1.5 Saaz 5.5
boil 10 mins 1.0 Saaz 5.5
boil 1 min 1.0 Saaz 5.5

That said, I have high hopes. I’m often motivated by challenges when brewing, and I think this project has brought me a new challenge. It’s fairly easy to brew what I like, however it becomes much more difficult for me to brew things other people will be as psyched on as me (I generally enjoy strange styles). It will also be interesting (possibly heartbreaking) to see how people respond to the brews at the wedding. Next up (early next week) will be an american brown!