Red Spring Bitter

Finally worked up to brewing: Preparing space, finding and cleaning equipment, reading. Inspired by talk at ORMATYC by Garrett Greggor.

Sort of reproducing Gregory’s and Gary’s Red Gruel Ale, my first all-grain beer modeled after St Rogue Red, a beautiful red ipa.


  • 6 lbs Pale 2-row malt
  • 2 lbs Crystal Malt 40L
  • 1 lb Crystal Malt 15L
  • 1 lb Crystal Malt 75L
  • 2 oz Nugget Hops
  • 2 oz Centennial Hops
  • 2 tsp Gypsum
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss
  • 1 pkg Safale s-04 Dry Ale Yeast
  • 1 pkg Munton’s Premium Gold Active Ale Brewing Yeast
  • 2 tbl corn sugar to start yeast

Infusion Mash at 152° after adding 2.5 gallons of 170° water over 7 minutes. After about 1 hour I started adding 180° water, mixed, and drained. Nice thick red wort drained out. About 5 gallons and 40 minutes later the mash ran mostly clear.

About 6 gallons of wort got to a boil after another hour. Boiled for 1 hour to drop volume.

Added 2 oz Nugget hops (14.8%α) to boil, 1 hour.

1 tsp Irish moss added for last 10 minutes of boil.

Added 2 oz Centennial hops (9.4%α) after the boil.

Old yeast in starter. Seems alright.

Oops. Boiled too much off, had to add 1 gallon of water.

O.G. = 1.048

Hoppy Wort! Hopefully not too hoppy.

Maybe Don’s Wheat

My goal is to make a traditional German wheat that Don Taylor will like. If it turns out, I’ll name it after him. Or maybe I’ll just name it “Maybe Don’s Wheat”.
I’m worried about conversion with all of the wheat malt so I’m planning on a longish protein rest and mash. My last few batches have used a relatively high mash temp and have turned out pretty sweet. Today I’ll do a single step infusion to about 150. Only infustion because I want to avoid both the carmelly flavor and hints of darkness that come from decoction. I had planned on using SafAle WB-06 because I recently tasted a homebrew that was as close to a German Wheat as I’ve ever tasted that used that yeast… but the brew shop didn’t have it. So I switched to the Wyeast 3068 and I’m cautiously optimistic after reading the description of it on the web site.
My other plans for filling the time while brewing include staking up one of the little maple trees and studying Semidefinite Programming.
I’m drinking coffee.

  • 5 lbs wheat malt
  • 1.5 lbs cara-pils
  • 3.5 lbs pils malt
  • 1 lb munich
  • 1 oz Tettnanger Hops (60 minute boil)
  • 1 oz Tettnanger Hops (2 minute finish)
  • 1 tsp Calcium Sulfate
  • Wyeast 3068 (Weihenstephan Weizen™)
13:14 Added 11 or 12 quarts of water to grain. Temp settled to about 127.
14:21 Added 7 quarts of nearly boiling water to raise temp to 148.
15:41 Getting the sparging setup. Immediately the thing was stuck, but I think it was because something was pressing against the bottom of the lautering bucket rather than supporting the entire bucket at the bucket edge.

Now the first round is coming through like water from a faucet and I’ll have to find a way to slow it down.

15:47 It’s going slower on its own. Based the the clarity of the wart, the grain bed is established.
19:37 On to boil about 10 minutes ago. Sparging took a long time.
20:06 Added the first oz of hops. Past the hot break. I should probably start cleaning up, but I’m opening a bottle of wine instead.
20:48 Added another oz of hops. Boil over in another minute.
21:23 Chilled. Carboyed. Pitched at 72 degrees. Initial specific gravity 1.076.

Charitable IPA

  • 11 lb 6-row pale malt
  • 1/2 lb Cara vienna
  • 1/2 lb Biscuit
  • 1/2 lb Honey Malt
  • 1/4 lb Cara Pils
  • 1.5 oz Columbus hops 60 minute boil
  • 1/2 oz Columbus hops 15 minute boil
  • 1/4 oz Cascade hops 15 minute boil
  • 1/2 ounce Columbus 2-minute boil
  • 1 tsp calcium sulfate
  • 1 tsp Irish moss
  • 1/4 lactic acid
  • thingy Wyeast 2018 “Pacman”
  • 1/2 ounce Columbus (secondary)
  • 1 oz oak chips (secondary)
12:50 Added 1 tsp gypsum to water. Brought water up to about 135 and added 13 quarts to grain. Temp up to about 120.
13:16 Took about 2.5 gals of mash, heated to about 160. Readded. Temp to 140.
13:26 Added 6 quarts of nearly boiling water… temp up to about 150. Decocted another gallon and brought temp to about 180… temp stabilized at about 156. Good enough.
15:21 Finished boiling a while ago. Added 1/4 tsp lactic acid to about 4.5 gallons of sparge water at 180 degrees. Sparing very quickly… ran 6 or 7 gallons through to establish the grain bed. Wort is a very light color.
16:09 First pot on to boil… not much sparging left.
16:32 First pot boiling… add 1.5 oz Columbia hops.
16:41 Past the hot break. The Columbus hops are the most mild smelling hops ever. Now I’m going to bottle the Pulmonary Embolism Barley Wine that I made, yes, 5 months ago.
17:43 Probably over-boiled. Added 1/4 cascade, 1/2 oz columbus for 15 minutes boiling.
17:52 Added 1`tsp irish moss
17:57 1/2 oz columbus 2-minutes hops in.
18:29 Pitched Wyeast #2018, “Pacman”. OSG 1.060. Temp 76 degrees.

Also Happy Oatmeal Stout

  • 11 lbs 6-row pale malt
  • 1 1/4 Flaked Oats
  • 1 lb Crystal 55
  • 3/4 lb Chocolate Malt
  • 3/4 Roasted Barley
  • 1/2 lb Cara Pils
  • 1 oz fuggles (boiling>
  • 1 oz fuggles
  • 1 oz toasted oak chips (secondary)
12:59 Added 8 quarts of water, 120. Not getting a stable temp read since the grain soaked it all up. heating some more water.
13:15 2 quarts of nearly boiling water. Temp around 120.
13:44 6 quarts of nearly boiling water raised the temp to about 140. Decocted 1 gallon and raised to about 190, readded. Temp settled at about 150.
15:00 Decocted a gallon, boiled, readded, temp up to 150. Decocted another gallon, boiled, readded, temp up to 160.
15:45 Started sparging. Not going very fast… but fast enough… it’s New Years Eve and I’ve no plans until midnight.
18:37 Full boil, past hot break. Started with rougly 8.5 gallons. Adding 1 oz fuggles.
19:25 Added last oz of fuggles
20:18 After boiling the last hops for 2 minutes, chilled the wort and pitched. OSG: 1.08. Temp 72.

More Wee Than Heavy Scotch Ale

  • 10 lbs 6-row pale malt
  • 2 lbs Cara-Munich
  • 1.5 lbs Crystal 80L
  • 1.5 lbs Bisquit malt
  • 1 lb Cara-Pils
  • 2 oz. Special B
  • 1 oz Roasted barley
  • 1 oz Fuggles (1 hour boiling)
  • 1 oz Goldings (2 minutes finishing)
  • 1/2 tsp Irish Moss
12:44 Added 12 quarts of water @ 130 to graint. Temp settled at about 120.
13:32 Added 2 quarts of nearly boiling water, then heated 2.5 gallons of the mash to nearly boiling. Mixed the heated mash back in and the temp might be in the 150s. It’s a little hard to tell since the mash is so thick and it’s hard to stir.
14:56 I checked the temp of the mash… low 150s. Nice. Heated sparging water and transferred it to a bucket. Running the first bit through to establish the grain bed.
15:13 Sparge is on. I boiled the hell out of the first 1/2 gallon of the sparge.
16:00 Sparging done. On to the boil.
17:10 Been boiling now for an hour but the propane tank is about empty… need to switch it over. Boil for another hour.
17:15 Add fuggles
18:15 Add Goldings
18:18 Chilling
18:45 Pitched Irish Ale Yeast at 56 degrees. Specific gravity… 1:048.

Pulmonary Embolism Barley Wine

  • 12 lbs 6-row pale malt
  • 4 lbs victory malt
  • 2 lbs aromatic malt
  • 2 lbs crystal (20L)
  • 2 lbs crystal (120L)
  • 3 oz centennial hops
  • 1 oz cascade hops
  • 1 oz willamette hops
  • 1 thingy American Ale II yeast (Wyeast #1292)
11:21 I have so much freakin’ grain that I can’t fit it all into my mashtun. I’ve put about half of it into my mashtun and the rest into a white bucket. I added 9 quarts of water to the bucket and the temp is up to about 122 for the protein rest. I add 7 quarts of water to the mashtun and the temp is only up to 115 so I am quickly heating some more water to raise the temp.
11:31 Added some more water to both containers; both are now low 120s. I’m heating more water for the conversion rest.
11:44 In an attempt to make this beer as unrepeatable as possible, I took 2 quarts of grist from the bucket and added two quarts of water… now I’m boiling it. Then I’ll add it back to the bucket.
12:02 After repeating the above process for the mashtun and adding additional hot water to each, the temp of both are up to 150-152. I’ve decocted another 3 quarts from the bucket and I’m boiling it. I’d like to get the bucket temp up to 157-159, but I’m not doing any calculations.
12:05 And the grain gobbler seems to be broken.
12:08 The temp in the bucket is at 158. I’m so cool.
12:28 I pulled 4 quarts from the bucket and the mashtun. On to boil for mash out. Sparge water is on to boil too. I love decoction mashing; every beer that I’ve made with decoction mashing has turned out well.
12:46 Working to establish grain bed. So far so stuck sparging.
13:11 Sparging, but I have to take a break to go to the doctor.
16:03 Sparging complete. About 8 gallons on to boil.
17:45 Added another gallon of sparge/wort to the boil. I think about an hour to go so added 1 oz. centennials.
17:59 Added second oz. centennials.
18:10 Accelerating the hop schedule a bit; boiling down quicker than I thought it would. Added third oz. centennials.
18:24 One oz. cascades in.
18:34 One oz. willamettes in. What a hopfest.
18:38 Chilling. And boiling some water and a hop bag for filter out the hops and topping off.
19:20 In the carboy. Pitched at 72 degrees. Initial Specific Gravity 1.08… lower than I expected… maybe it was because of the 6-row malt.

The Black

Nothing special going on here… trying to make an “Imperial” porter. I’ll be adding some toasted oak chips to the secondary.

  • 11 lbs 2-row pale malt
  • 1 lb black patent
  • 1 lb crystal 120L
  • 1 lb crystal 20L
  • 1/2 lb chocolate malt
  • 1/2 lb roasted barley
  • 2 oz fuggles (boiling)
  • 1 oz kent golding (finishing)
  • 2 oz toasted oak chips (american)
  • 1 tsp irish moss power
  • 1 thingy Wyeast London Ale Yeast (#1028)
13:06 Added 10 quarts of water @ 125 to grain. Temp stablized at about 115. Letting this sit with the lid off.
13:26 Added 5 quarts of water @ 130. Temp stabliized at about 122.
14:08 Decocted 7 quarts… boiled… added back to mash. Raised temp to about 158.
14:21 We haven’t balanced our checkbook in almost a year, so I’m sorting paystubs during the mash.
14:43 Temp has dropped to about 154.
14:55 Pulled out 6 quarts of the mash… heating… for mash out. Mash is sticky sweet.
14:56 I have augmented my collection of brewing spoons. To my single thin-handled plastic spoon I have add an industrial-sized wooden paddle.
15:12 Replaced the 6 quarts, temp up to 175. Sparging water is almost up to 180.
15:37 Sparging
17:35 Damn… still sparging.
18:20 On to the boil
18:43 Boiling lightly (to avoid boil over). Adding 1 oz of fuggles
19:07 Adding another oz of fuggles
19:33 Added Irish moss powder and 1 oz kent goldings
19:35 Preparing to chill
20:04 In carboy. Pitched at 76 degrees. Original specific gravity… 1.086!

That is the best wort I’ve ever tasted. I’m very excited about this one.
The Black is long gone, but it was great. Really great.

Sly Wry

Don came over for this one. I spent a bunch of time in the kitchen making some vegetable samosas and mint chutney. Everything turned out well but I was frantic by the time the brewing started. Oh, I also made some roasted tomatillo salsa.
Don suggested making a rye beer. I researched rye beers and discovered that there is no uniform style of rye beers. Some were fashioned after wheat beers and that is the direction that I took. I settled on flaked rye rather than rye malt, knowing that flaked rye was supposed to be sticky. I didn’t realize how sticky.
A mild windy and overcast day

  • 8 pounds dark munich
  • 2 pounds flaked rye
  • 1/2 pound chocolate
  • 1/2 pound wheat malt
  • 1 oz spalt pellet hops (boiling)
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss
  • 1/2 tsp Calcium Sulfate
  • 1/4 tsp lactic acid
  • 1 thingy of Wyeast Bavarian Wheat #3638
12:20 Grain was already cracked. Heating some water for protein rest.
12:22 Adding 11 quarts of water at 130 to 11 pounds of grain
12:25 Stirred up, mash settled to 121.
13:10 Add one quart of water at 122. Heated 6 quarts of the mash to about 205. Added the hot stuff back and the temp settled at about 150.
13:42 Add two quarts of water at 162.
13:46 Boiling 4 quarts of the mash…. aiming for 159.
13:53 Rest at 160. Sparge water on to boil.
14:35 The sparge is on with lactic acid added to sparge water. Some gumminess looks like it will make this a slow process.
16:09 Turns out the gumminess stopped the process. Don had the idea of taking all of the grain out of the laudertun then adding it back in slowly with generous amounts of sparge water. We slowly moved all of the grain back into the laudertun and maintained flow. Not fast but still going. Volume is up to about 5 gallons. Next time I should add a rest at 108.
16:37 Sparge water bucket emptied; the last of the sparge water is filtering through the grain. The first pot is on to boil.
16:40 All of my helpers have left, so I’m listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. I retract every bad thing I ever said about Bach.
16:47 Socond pot on to boil. The total boiling volume is about 6.5 gallons.
17:04 Both pots boiling rapidly. Adding boiling hops.
17:26 Added Irish Moss and Calcium Sulfate
17:47 Chilling
18:01 In the carboy… 76 degrees.
18:12 Pitched. I didn’t get the original specific gravity because I broke my hydrometer.

This turned out very nice.

Niall’s Bitter

I met an indoor rower named Niall Williams from Great Britian. He said that Americans don’t know how to make an English Bitter, so I decided to try it. I also decided that this would be my first decoction mash. I learned a little about decoction mashing at the last Christmas party for work. My boss’s husband used to brew and I asked him how to get more body in my lighter beers; he suggested decoction mashing.
I meant to use 8 pounds of grain, but I only ordered 6 because I momentarily figured that there were only 12 ounces to the pound. This will be a good test for fuller-bodied beer.
While brewing, I also have the task of cleaning out the kegs.
I started the process by using the Grain Gobbler to crack the grain. Does the Grain Gobbler gobble grain? Gobble, indeed, it does.

  • 6 lbs 2-row pale malt
  • 6 oz flaked rye
  • 4 oz crystal malt (20)
  • 4 oz roasted barley
  • 1oz Cascade Hops (boiling)
  • 1/2 oz Chinook Hops (10 min. finishing) (13.3% AA!)
  • 1/2 oz Chinook Hops (2 min. finishing)
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss
  • 1 thingy British Ale yeast. (Wyeast #1335)
13:35 Added 9 quarts of water. Temp at 100. This is a rest I’ve never tried before… supposed to be for clarity.
14:18 I pulled out about 8 cups of the mash and boiled it. I re-added this to the mash and it brought the temp up to about 107. Not high enough; perhaps it wasn’t all boiling after all. Pulled another 8 cups out and raised the temp of that to 180. Re-added and mixed. Temp at about 122. Good enough. I’m going to use 180 for the rest of my decoction temps.
14:47 Heated 20 cups of the mash to about 190. Added it back in and the temp settled at about 156; I was aiming for 153. I’m going to give this rest about 25 minutes, then try to hit 161.
15:19 Heated 9 cups of the mash to 190 degress. Mixed it back in and the temp settled at 160.
15:37 Sparge water is at 180. Tired of waiting. Done mashing.
16:05 Sparging is going well. Best ever.
16:30 Sparging complete. On to boil. Add 1 oz Cascades.
17:14 Added 1/2 oz Chinooks for 10 minute finishing. Adding 1 tsp Irish Moss.
17:22 Added 1/2 oz Chinooks for 2 minute finishing.
17:29 Chilling.
17:44 Volume a little short, but not much; I’ll just go with it. Pitched at 67 degrees. Original specific gravity: 1.042.