Spent Grain Dog Biscuits

I’ve been making these for a while and realize I need to make an entry for the recipe that I used the first time as well as what I’m doing now to please our three pups.


The first batch I made I followed Deschutes Brewing posted recipe here.  These are simply grain, flour, eggs and peanut butter.

  • 4 C spent grain from your local brewery or homebrewer
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C natural peanut butter

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes and then 225F for 2 hours.

These were ‘OK’ but were dried out crisps and my youngest dog, Walter, didn’t seem to enjoy them much.  After fiddling around a bit, the next batch I replaced the peanut butter with 1 small can of pumpkin.  That was an improvement but I decided on the next batch to leave them with a little moisture.  Because of this you need to keep the extra bags in the freezer until ready to use, then keep the individual bag in the fridge that you are using.

This is now what this recipe has morphed into for me:

  • 2 1 qt bags of spent grain (about 6-8 cups)
  • 1 C flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tsp peanut butter
  • 1 cooled baked sweet potato

Bake at 325F for 30 minutes and then 40 minutes at 225F


Quick Sour Berliner Weisse Tasting

As a follow up to my GoodBelly Sour Wort experiment, I have the tasting notes from the ‘clean’ half of the wort, the Berliner Weisse.  Following the 26 hours of souring which dropped the pH to a tested 3.1 (I believe this reading was a bit lower than actual) I brought half of the wort up to a boil, dropped a few hop pelets in and boiled for 15 minutes to try to drive off any DMS that may have been there.  I chilled as a normal beer and pitched an active 1.3L starter of WLP-090, San Diego Super Yeast, my go to now for clean american ales.


Low malt aroma, alomost nothing noted, it is a hint of wet bread dough.  No hop aroma.  Medium to high fruit scent reminiscent of tart apple.


Very pale straw color just the slightest bit of haze.  1.5″ white head that has very little retention.  Leaves a slight bubble ring around the top of the beer after several minutes.


Very low malt similar to the aroma noted.  High sourness, very clean lactic appropriate to style.  No hop flavor noted.  Lemony and tart apple front and center, finish has the slightest bready flavor.


Light body that is appropriate.  Carbonation is very high, no alcoholic warmth, no creaminess and very crisp and sharp.

Overall Impression:

A very pale refreshing crisp tart clean sour beer that is appropriate to style, finishes with a sense of fruity sweetness and just a touch of doughy bread.

Potato pic thanks to my cracked lens cover on my phone.

Potato pic thanks to my cracked lens cover on my phone.


GoodBelly Sour Wort


GoodBelly Mango

As my garage sits around 100F during the day now and only drops to 85-90F at night here in balmy Houston, I decided that I should make a sour mash Berliner Weiss since it is very easy to maintain the warm temps for the lactobacillus several days to get the sour and low pH.  After talking over this plan with a coworker who is very experienced with lacto/brett fermentations, he suggested a sour wort method instead of the sour mash, as it is easier to keep O2 out, select the lacto strain and better probability to get a good result.  He also turned me onto Milk The Funk wiki pages which have just a ton of recent reliable information.


Calibrating pH meter

For my lacto strain I decided on buying GoodBelly PlusShot Mango as the mango flavor reportedly is light and goes away.  It is also chock full of lactobacillus Plantarum which has given others very good results.   There was one other aspect of this project I wanted to cover, and that is the reported increase head retention/creation on lacto fermented beers by acidifying the wort to 4.5 or lower prior to pitching lacto.  I have had a cheap pH meter for some time that I’ve never used so it was another first for me on this adventure called project.  So, new stuff for me: 1) Sour Worting 2) Pitching ProBiotic 3) pH management & measurement.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, for the 5 gallon batch I wanted to keep half and pitch a standard american ale for my Berliner, the other half I plan to pitch a brett strain, preferably Wyeast 5526 Lambicus which produces a cherry pie flavor.  Well, my LHBS did not have that and pretty much the only option was WLP 644 Saccharomyces “Bruxellensis” Trois, which is the strain that caused a lot of hub bub recently when it was noticed that it really wasn’t a bret strain but a normal sach strain.  At the end of the day I don’t really care, I like the tropical fruit flavors it throws off.  So, this second half of my batch will get the Trois and sit for 2-3 months until finished out.  2 beers, 1 batch, I like that kind of efficiency.

For my 5 gallon Berliner Weiss:

  • 3 lbs Wheat
  • 3 lbs 2 Row
  • 5.6 gallons of spring water
Quick Sour Wort

Quick Sour Wort

Yep, that is it, I will add a touch of hops when I bring it up to a boil (15 mins) post lacto fermentation, I’ll add those to this recipe at that time, likely enough for 4-6 IBUs to stay in bounds of the 2015 BJCP guidelines, if nothing else than to make sure it is still a ‘Berliner Weiss’ style.  I will depend on the troi yeast for the other half to flavor up and bring out the tropical fruits from it, I may sit it on fruit as well, I’ll decide in a few months when I am at that point and taste it.


So far for this process this is what I have done:

  • Mashed the 6lbs of grain in 5.6 gallons of water and adjusted pH to 5.2 with Phosphoric Acid blend (1/2 tsp for me)
  • Mash temp 152F
  • After 1 hour of mash, I removed the grains (BIAB) and took the wort up to 200F, pulled a pH sample and noted 5.2
  • Adjusted pH down to 4.4 with 1 tsp of phosphoric acid (85%)
  • cooled to 105F
  • Drained into my carboy, added 4 containers of GoodBelly Mango PlusShot and topped off with a spray of CO2
  • Connected a 2nd temp probe from my BrewBit to the carboy, wrapped it and set in garage

So now my wort sits in the garage, it maintained ~103F during the day yesterday (it was already a hot afternoon by the time I put it into the garage) and now this morning with a relatively cool garage it is at 93F, perfect.

I’ll update the blog and reference them at the bottom of this post as the project moves forward.  The thought of how easy this was and the fact I can do this in my kitchen during the hot sweaty summer months and have a perfect heat location for the lacto makes me think I should do another batch or two for longer term sour projects using brett fermentations.  I still want to get the Wyeast 5266 and experience that cherry pie flavor.  Luckily (I guess) I have a full three more months of god awful Houston heat and humidity to pull this off in.


7/3/2016: My first pH reading after 26 hours shows 3.1 and seems to suggest I didn’t need to pitch all 4 bottles of GoodBelly, good to know for the next batch. Had a slight grain aroma and a lemony tart flavor, the residual sugar is balancing out what should be a super sour beer.  I’ve moved the carboy back inside from the 95-100F garage to help slow things down as my yeast is in a starter right now.

Sour Beer 26 hours



Quick Sour Day 2

7/4/2016:  I put half of this batch in a 3 gallon fermentor and pitched WLP 644 Sacch Troi once it hit 64F.  I left the lacto intact for this part of the split batch.  The other half I heated up to boiling, added a few hops and then cooled down to 80F, which was as cool as I could get it with the little ice I had and the nice Houston tap water that is at 90F.  I put it into another 3 gallon fermentor and cooled in my fermentation chamber (chest freezer) down to 64F and pitched an active 1.5L starter of WLP 090, San Diego Super Yeast.  This has been my go to yeast this past year for American clean fermentation’s.



Tasting notes from the ‘clean’ beer, the Berliner Weisse


Starter Wort Canning

I’ve given the thought to canning my starter wort for a long time now and I’ve finally taken the plunge and given it a shot.  Overall the process went fairly smoothly and assuming the wort is ‘fine’ when I make starters in the future, I will repeat this adventure again with one slight modification I will detail below.

Starter Wort Ready To Pressure Cook

What moved me to finally give this a try was a link someone posted to a 2009 Drew Beechum article on the Maltose Falcons website recently and realizing that my brewing season is over for a short period (I decided to not brew much in the hot humid Houston summers) I had time to consider some other auxiliary brewing projects besides the ‘Summer of Mead’ I’m starting.  I am also lucky to have a huge but old pressure cooker that my dad gave me and my wife had all of the canning extras needed already.  Below is the equipment needed and the basic process:


  • Pressure Cooker
  • 1 Qt Canning Jars (Ball, Kerr, etc)
  • Lids and Rings for Jars
  • Dry Malt Extract
  • Canning Funnel (Really helpful)
  • Scale

The Basic Process:

  • Fill Jars half full with filtered water
  • Measure out 3.2 Oz or ~90g of DME and pour into each jar
  • Lightly Tighten Rings and Lids (not too tight)
  • Set Jars into Canner Using Manufacturing Instructions (Don’t set jars directly on bottom of canner)
  • Add the amount of water Pressure Cooker manufacturer recommends (I used about 28 oz)

Use Your Pressure Cooker Manufacturer Instructions but I will list my process:

  • Turn heat up to high, leave weight off of steam vent hole
  • When steam starts exiting, place weight on steam vent for 15 psig
  • Turn down heat after 1 minute the just under Medium
  • You should hear steam escape from weight maintaining 15 psig
  • Start timer for 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, turn off heat and let the Pressure Cooker sit for 2 hour
  • After 2 hours of cooling carefully remove 15 psig weight, should already be depressurized
  • Remove Lid and let sit overnight if you are not doing another batch or if you are doing another batch, remove jars carefully with the appropriate canning jar lifter


So, I did two batches, my Pressure Cooker would fit 7 one quart jars, so I did a second batch of the 5 remaining jars. For this second batch I decided that I would double the gravity of the starter wort to about 1.080 and then dilute with 900ml of boiled and cooled water when I make my starters.  This gives the ability to make 7 starter worts in one batch instead of 3.5 as you need to one quart jars at 1.040 gravity for a 1.8 – 2L starater.

So for the second batch I added 180g of DME to each jar.


I mentioned I would change one thing to this process above, I will just make a simple BIAB wort of 1.080, mash and then can using the same method above.  It will be cheaper and should be easier overall.  Just make 3 gallons roughly if you will be canning a 12 count case of quart jars.

Let me know if you have any experience and tips to do this easier or if you have any questions.

Starter Wort Ready To Pressure Cook


Racking to my 1 gallon jug

Cherry Mead ’16

First, I’ve had several experiences with a few 1 gallon meads I’ve made turn out to have a burnt rubber after taste & it was obviously really bothersome to me.  I changed my plastics out thinking it was a sort of infection causing the off flavor.  I really started making sure I added extra ‘elbow grease’ in cleaning, soaking with oxy-clean longer, etc.  I still found I had this offensive flavor.  Finally I started digging around the interwebs and found that Lavlin 71B-1122 can give this horrendous flavor if left on the lees (yeast cake) too long.  I was guilty of this no doubt, sometimes going months with a yeast cake under my mead.

Laziness.  That is what was likely contributing to my burnt rubber flavors.  Figures, and appropriate.

Well, I am now going to start ramping up some 1 gallon meads, and do some experimentation plus I have a whole bunch of the ‘Narbonne’ yeast (Lavlin 71B-1122) so I will rack, and rack often to avoid this off flavor.  I’m sticking with 71B since I did have so much good luck with it in the past, just wonderful flavors for fruit fermentation’s and well, as I said, I have quite a bit of it.

Here is my 1 gallon Cherry’ish recipe:

  • 32 oz Tart Cherry Juice (no preservatives)
  • ~3 lbs Wildflower Honey
  • Balance of water to make just over 1 gallon
  • 1/2 TSP Yeast Nutrient & Yeast Energizer
  • Lavlin 71B-1122 yeast
  1. I mixed the honey, water and cherry juice at 85F to dissolve the honey
  2. Placed it in a 2 gallon bucket, added 1/3 of my initial yeast nutrient & energizer and fermented at 67F
  3. After 1 day I degassed, and added another 1/3 of my yeast nutrient & energizer
  4. After 3 days more I degassed again and added the remaining nutrient & energizer
  5. After 7 days total, I racked to a 1 gallon ‘jug’ aka ‘carboy’

I’ll likely rack this off in 1 week or when the fermentation slows way down as it already has some lees on the bottom after 18 hours, and well, I’m going to be super paranoid about preventing this god awful off flavor.


An example from the Brewdog recipe release and this one looks like the first of Brewdogs I will brew

Open Source Beer Recipes

A lot of noise was made this week when BrewDog released every recipe in its entire history of commercial beers.  The recipes here are freely downloadable in pdf format, one per page and sized for a typical homebrewer 5 gallon brew day.  James Watt, a co-founder of BrewDog had this to say

Many of the classic BrewDog beers were developed during our homebrewing days, and we still use a homebrewing 50L system to develop new beers and recipes. Home brewing is ingrained in our DNA, and is a cornerstone of the craft beer industry. We have always loved the sharing of knowledge, expertise and passion in the craft beer community and we wanted to take that spirit of collaboration to the next level with DIY Dog. The more people that home brew, the more craft breweries will pop up and help us in the fight against global mega beer corporations, making the future brighter for craft beer.

Excellent stuff there and really gets to the heart of the ‘craft beer movement’ that seems to have grown over the last fifteen to twenty years.  At the heart of most craft breweries is a homebrewer.

I didn’t necessarily think to highly of BrewDog prior to this, they just seemed over the top and just too much ‘in your face’ if that is really a thing.  Now I did enjoy their show on Esquire where they brew in various parts of the world and in strange places (floating down a river in Oregon for example) but just felt too ‘commercial’ to me.  That was just how I viewed them.

As I use open source software on my own laptop (Elementary OS) and have done so for nearly twenty years I greatly enjoy the idea of brewers sharing their recipes for others to tinker with.  Of course, I don’t think it is something that has to be done by any brewery, it is their intellectual property obviously, but I really enjoy it.

The only other time I remember a brewery releasing a full recipe is Stone, which specifically did after they announced the retirement of the infamous Stone IPA.  The thought there is that Stone IPA will live on indefinitely with random home brewers making a batch whenever they really have the knack for an early hallmark of American IPAs.  I will say that Stone IPA was the first IPA I fell in love with and for me was always the standard bearer of what an American IPA should be.  I’m sure through the years there were others that won peoples palates over, but as there are commercial examples of beers listed in the BJCP guidelines for styles that are the standards to compare to, Stone IPA was mine.

Well, this post was about BrewDog and their recipes.  I have so many recipes that I want to try out outside of the Brewdog release I just don’t know when I will get to one.  I will say, the first to catch my eye is “Hops Kill Nazis”, an Imperial Red that just sounds delicious.  If you are curious it is on page 73 of the BrewDog release.  A nice caramely chewy body with bitterness to balance it out.  Sounds delicious and if I was planning a brew right now, I would go for it.  It is a little heavy handed for quenching a thirst after working in the yard at 75F all day (what I’m doing today), but I would give it a shot.

And this of course leads to homebrewing.  I can take the exact recipe BrewDog released for Hops Kill Nazis, brew it, and it will still be mine.  Sure, highly skilled and practiced (on cloning) homebrewers can nearly nail it, but generally this will still be ‘mine’.  Different in some hopefully only subtle ways, but still good.

Thanks BrewDog.

Happy Homebrewing.

Texas Brown Ale

Another Texas Brownale

Another warm winter day and another American Brown Ale / Texas Brown Ale attempt.  This one should hit the hop lover just in the sweet spot and those that are fans of darker maltier beer in a pretty good place.  This is my second use of ‘San Diego Super Yeast’ WLP-090, the first being a version of Janet’s Brown Ale, and the cleanliness of my first beer with it gives me high hopes.  I will continue to play with this yeast and split batches with other yeasts.

So I made a 6 gallon batch, a bit unusual for me as I’m almost strictly a 3 gallon batch kind of guy.  I have 2.5 gallon kegs that I stack up in my mini-fridge twin tower set up and find I don’t drink A LOT of beer, plus live pretty far from town so don’t have a lot of friends coming over and stealing growlers full of homebrew- too bad I guess.

Anyways, I plan to do 6 gallon batches in the near future and split them into two 3 gallon fermentations with, of course, two different yeasts.  The brew day isn’t much longer and I get more beer- plus get to try out my different yeast.

So for this batch below, I’ve split into American Ale II WY-1272 and San Diego Super Yeast, WLP-090.  I’ll do a taste test and get some others to do one for me.  I’m pulling for the San Diego Yeast, I just want it to be better for no real reason, but I’ll let the tasters decide which is actually better.  I do have WLP-090 saved in 50ml vials for future batches, so that would be one reason- I guess.

I’ll repost the taste test results here!

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 60 min 51.2 IBUs 23.1 SRM 1.068 1.016 6.8 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American Brown Ale 10 C 1.045 - 1.06 1.01 - 1.016 20 - 40 18 - 35 2 - 2.6 4.3 - 6.2 %


Name Amount %
Pale Malt, Maris Otter 12.213 lbs 80.18
Aromatic Malt 1.332 lbs 8.75
Barley, Flaked 1.021 lbs 6.7
Chocolate Wheat Malt 7.11 oz 2.92
Carafa III 3.55 oz 1.46


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Chinook 0.75 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 13
Centennial 1.89 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 9.3
Centennial 0.47 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 10


Name Amount Time Use Type
Calcium Chloride 6.00 g 60 min Mash Water Agent


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American Ale II (1272) Wyeast Labs 74% 60°F - 72°F


Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 152.1°F 60 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Double IPA

Clear IPA

Building on my Citra IPA recipe, I decided to step up the OG a bit and also cut back on the dry hopping with the Citra (1oz in 3gal for 1 week was too much).  So, going for a clear beer and avoiding the overpowering grapefruit from Citra I simply added some whirlpool flavor hops and an extra pound of grain.

The results are excellent.  I couldn’t really be happier with this, and I got a seal of approval from my oldest son (26 yrs) who is a huge IPA connoisseur.


Double IPA BeerXML File

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
3 gal 60 min 74.5 IBUs 14.0 SRM 1.072 1.017 7.3 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American Amber Ale 6 B 1.045 - 1.056 1.01 - 1.015 20 - 40 11 - 18 2.3 - 2.8 4.5 - 5.7 %


Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 7 lbs 81.16
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L 8 oz 5.8
Munich Malt 8 oz 5.8
Victory Malt 8 oz 5.8
Chocolate Malt 2 oz 1.45


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Magnum 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 14
Amarillo Gold 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 8.5
Citra 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 12
Amarillo Gold 0.5 oz 0 min Aroma Pellet 8.5
Citra 0.5 oz 0 min Aroma Pellet 12


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American Ale (1056) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F


Step Temperature Time
Saccharification 152°F 60 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Some Brown Ale Action

With some scrap ingredients that I needed to use up, I changed up my Moose Drool ‘clone’ recipe a bit to get a more English bent on it.  I was able to use a random smack pack of London Ale III yeast I bought on a whim a week before, as well as use up some chocolate malt, Marris Otter and a few open packages of hops.  I’ve brewed with London Ale III once before when I had picked up a mason jar full of it from H.U.B (Hopworks Urban Brewery) in Portland, OR.  When I brewed with it before I did not notice the wet, thick mat the yeast produced.

I’ve had it around the minimum of 65F for the first four days and now moved it inside for a toasty 73F finish.  Cheers!

deer drool krausen

London Ale III Krausen













Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
3 gal 60 min
Actuals 0 0

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Northern English Brown Ale 11 C 1.04 - 1.052 1.008 - 1.014 20 - 30 12 - 22 0 - 0 0 - 0 %


Name Amount %
Caramel / Crystal 60L 9.6 oz 10.26
Chocolate 3 oz 3.21
Black Barley 1 oz 1.07
Maris Otter Pale - UK 5 lbs 85.47


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Liberty 0.5 oz 15 min Boil 4.5
Willamette 0.75 oz 60 min Boil 5.4


Name Amount Time Use Type
Gypsum 105.82 oz 0 min mash other


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Wyeast London Ale III 1318 73% 32°F - 32°F


This recipe was exported from


Schwarzbier a la Modelo

My adventure in brewing my first lager after all these years got off to a great start.  The homebrew store I ordered from, Austin Homebrew Supply sent along Chocolate Malt instead of Carafa II for my Vienna Lager.  I didn’t notice right away and after a few weeks when I got ready to brew I realized what I had and had to punt.  With my Mexican Lager Yeast finishing up it’s 36th hour on the stir-plate I was all it.

Schwarzbier 2014

Mexican Lager Yeast Taking Off

I went ahead and quickly reformulated my recipe on the fly subbing in a little chocolate malt and a touch of roasted barley for the carafa II knowing it wouldn’t be the same.  I didn’t realize at the time that my recipe became nearly identical to a Schwarzbier recipe in ‘Brewing Classic Styles‘ by Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer.  So, I am not nearly as disappointed as I originally was when I first noticed and scrambled to pull up ‘BrewMate‘ recipe calculator and put this together.

I also had some challenges with my grain bag (doing this brew in the bag method of course) being a little too fine.  My splendid wife sewed up a grain bag for me with my custom dimensions but when she went to buy the voile she was convinced by a lady at the unnamed fabric store that ‘all the brewers like to use muslin’ for grain bags.  Not true at all.  The muslin material when pulled out of the pot at 150F retained the water and it took at least 5 minutes for a lot of it to drain… not all of it, a lot of it.

Well, other than that it was a good brew day.  I brewed with a co-worker who made a 5 gallon batch of an IPA and because I also forgot my propane and burner, we had to split up our time on his burner… I was on quite a streak.

aluminum kettle

Newly added valve and Thermometer

On to the recipe- 3 gallons like I like to roll!  (works well with the 2.5 gallon kegs)


Schwarzbier 2014

Recipe Specs
Batch Size (G): 3.0
Total Grain (lb): 5.913
Total Hops (oz): 0.75
Original Gravity (OG): 1.052 (°P): 12.9
Final Gravity (FG): 1.013 (°P): 3.3
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.11 %
Colour (SRM): 14.7 (EBC): 29.0
Bitterness (IBU): 22.4 (Average)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
Boil Time (Minutes): 90

Grain Bill
2.500 lb Vienna (42.28%)
1.750 lb Pilsner (29.6%)
1.500 lb Munich I (25.37%)
0.100 lb Chocolate (1.69%)
0.063 lb Roasted Barley (1.07%)

Hop Bill
0.50 oz Hallertau Tradition Pellet (5.7% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
0.25 oz Hallertau Tradition Pellet (5.7% Alpha) @ 10 Minutes (Boil) (0.1 oz/Gal)

Misc Bill
0.50 oz Whirlfloc Tablet @ 15 Minutes (Boil)

Single step Infusion at 152°F for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 50°F with WLP940 – Mexican Lager

Austin Homebrew sent chocolatee instead of Carafa II, so sub 1oz roasted barley for color and 1.6oz chocolate for the 2 oz carafa. This was going to be a Vienna Lager but the chocolate & roast barley make it a Schwarzbier.

Recipe Generated with BrewMate


Schwarzbier Day 4

Schwarzbier Day 4