Monthly Archives: October 2012

Munich Pseudo Dunkel Brewday

After drinking a nice Heater Allen Dunkel a few days ago, I decided my next brew would be a Dunkel.  I’ve never brewed a Dunkel as I haven’t done many lagers.  I felt like this wouldn’t be too big of a challenge, plus it would give me a chance to experiment a bit.  That’s what homebrewing is mostly about.  Experiment, change, challenge, explore, etc.
So, I’ve tried the pseudo lager route before using Wyeast 2124-Bohemian Lager, and it didn’t turn out all that wonderful.  It was still too warm for the yeast and I got too many sweet esters from it.  So, even though Wyeast publishes it as being fine at a warmer temp, I didn’t find that it worked too well.
This time, I’m going the Kolsch route.  Per Wyeast “This yeast may also be used to produce quick-conditioning pseudo-lager beers and ferments well at cold 55-60°F (13-16°C) range“.  The downside is that I will need to let this set a bit to clear completely.  Not a problem.Picture

Red Neck Starter in a wine bottle

I found a little 8oz canning jar in my fridge with some Kolsch yeast that I had rinsed and save from March 11, 2012 – Over 7 months ago!  It looked perfectly fine, powdery white (unlike some 6 month old S-04 that turned dark).  I thought to give this a shot and sure enough, I was able to get a nice starter going with this after about 18 hours. I got a little red neck and made my starter in an old 750ml wine bottle.  Worked well!  I used the starter after 2.5 days, and to be quite honest, because of the lag time to start, it was still going strong when I pitched it.

American Dunkel
Brewer: Jerry
Style: Munich Dunkel
Batch: 3 gallon All Grain

Recipe Gravity: 1.052 OG
Recipe Bitterness: 20 IBU
Recipe Color: 17° SRM
Estimated FG: 1.013
Alcohol by Volume: 5.1%
Alcohol by Weight: 4.0%

Briess – Blackprinz Malt 0.12 lb, Grain, Mashed
Briess – Munich Malt 10L 6.25 lb, Grain, Mashed

Hallertau 0.25 oz, Pellet, 45 minutes
Hallertau 0.40 oz, Pellet, 60 minutes

Whirlfloc Tablet 1.00 unit, Fining,
Wyeast – Kolsch 1.00 unit, Yeast, True top croppint yeast similar to Alt strains. Produces slightly more fruity/winey characteristics. Fruitiness increases with temperature. Low or no detectable diacetyl production. Also ferments well at cold temperatures (13-16C). Used to produce quick-conditioning pseudo-lager beers. Requires filtration or additional settling time to produce bright beers. Liquid yeast.
Yeast Nutrient 0.25 unit, Other,

Recipe Notes:


Batch Notes:
Pre mash 6 gallons
Post mash 5.5 gallons
Pre boil 11B (1.044)
Post Boil: 14B (1.056)
Cooled to 66F, whirlpooled
Fermented 62F, moved to 69F after 4 days
8B (1.0158) 4.9% ABV
Moved to basement at 62F


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Bottling Day – Rogue Chocolate Porter

I  bottled up the chocolate porter today, using 2 oz of white table sugar and getting 25, 12 oz bottles when I was complete.  I should have cleaned 3 more bottles, I likely could have filled them up.  I usually do have 3 to 4 extra bottles just in case I calculate incorrectly.
This finished at 1.030, really high, but pretty much expected after mashing it so warm 156F.  The next chocolate porter I do, I will bring that down to 154F and try to get it a little dryer.  The issue is though, and I know from experience, is you can easily get a weak thin tasting beer from what would otherwise be something nice, by mashing a chocolate porter too low.  It doesn’t take much either.

The nose was intense chocolate / cocoa.  I loved the smell, it was excellent.  The taste of the flat beer was not as chocolate intense as the nose, but seemed pretty decent.  There is a definite residual sweetness, and I will be interested to see how it turns out when there is some carbonation.
I was shooting for 2.0 volumes of CO2, and contemplated even going lower.  I will taste test in 1 week, and then do an official tasting in 2 weeks, which reminds me, I need to do an official tasting of my last Irish Red, which I am now calling a Black Irish ale.


Dirt Yard Girls White Wine 2012


My first shot at making a wine comes under some ‘pressure’.  A large bucket full of white wine grapes from a friends yard showed up at my house, my wife having visited that friend.  The grapes were fresh picked that morning, and measured about 18B.
Some hand de-stemming, a friends daughters clean feet, we had a white wine must.
I added enough sugar to bring it up to 25B, I overshot my target of 22B.  It was about 1.5 pounds of sugar to get to that point.
I placed 4 crushed campden tablets in the must and let it sit for 24 hours and then added the Lavlin 71B-1122 yeast with some yeast energizer.

The plan is to have a semi-sweet wine when I am finished, the request of the friend who supplied the grapes.  I will probably give her most of the bottles, keep a couple for myself.  This will be good practice for next year, and if it goes well, I may buy some red wine grapes from the homebrew store.  I wouldn’t mind making a couple of cases of some nice merlot or cab, my dad might enjoy some.  A little ‘Three Buck Chuck’ or ‘Three Buck Jerry’.




1 Overflowing bucket of white wine grapes
2 lbs sugar
3 campden tablets (sodium metabisulfite)
1 pkg Lavlin 71B-1122 yeast
Yeast Nutrient (1 1/2 tsp at pitching of yeast)
Yeast Energizer (1 1/2 tsp at pitching of yeast)
Original 18B, added sugar to 25B (overshot 22B target)

24B at 63F
Moved must/grapes to smaller bucket so I could add a heater.
Heater maintained 72F temperature.

Added 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient & continued to punch down the cap several times a day.   Activity is increased and the cap forms within 1 hour of punching down.

Took the must off the grape skins and seeds and measured 13B and 1.025 S.G.  Placed in the carboy and the fermentation is going strongly.  The taste is still very sweet, even with 10.8% ABV.  I am on my way out of town tomorrow for a nice week long trip and this should sit between 62-65F, perfect.  Hoping by the end of my weeks vacation primary fermentation will be done and I can let this sit and condition for a bit.

I just returned home from vacation and the gravity is at 8B (0.9942 corrected) & 14.1% ABV.  There is some clearing now as well.  The few drops I had and used for the refractometer still tasted very much like the same grape tannin(y).  I hope leaving the skins and seeds with the juice for the 3-4 days did not adversely effect the outcome.
I will let it sit and clear some more and once I bottle my chocolate porter this coming Sunday, it will give me a free carboy to rack to.  I’m a little concerned as there is so much head space, and so little CO2 generation at this point, that I could get too much O2 exposure.  I may connect my CO2 regulator up to the bottle and blast the carboy with the CO2 prior to racking into it – as well as afterwards.
Also, when I rack I will get a small sample to taste and see where it stands with sweetness and acidity.  At some point pretty soon, I will also be thinking about stabilizing and clarifying.

Racked the wine to a 3 gallon better bottle.  Only maybe 1.75 gallons really at this point so I blew some CO2 on top of the wine before stoppering.

Still at 8B which is what I would expect.  Still tasted ‘green grape’ plus some slight sourness? Not sure about that, will taste again in a week or so.