Category Archives: My Brews

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

Settled In & Finally Brewing Again

My move half way across the country back to Texas from Oregon put a damper in my homebrewing.  I did find time to make a few 1 gallon batches of hard cider and have a three gallon Cherry Mead going since it was so successful before, but I’ve finally found the gumption to brew up a batch of beer.  Since it is still truly summer here in Texas and I don’t feel like sweating it outside for hours on end I decided that I would try a one gallon mini-mini batch.

moose drool malt Moose drool boil

For my first go at brewing again I brewed the Moose Drool clone I first brewed back in December 2012, but this time stepped it down to the one gallon size.  The brew day went very well, I milled the grain aggressively as I am wont to do for BIAB, used 2 distilled water (the water is way way too hard) and hit just under 1 gallon into the fermenter.  This batch was exactly the same as previous but just stepped down to the smaller size.

I’ll have a tasting review in three weeks or so after bottle conditioning since I never did follow up with any tasting notes from my first attempt at the Moose Drool clone.

I’ve since brewed up another one gallon batch, a single hop pale ale using the incredible smelling Australian Galaxy hops- I’ll make a short write up later on.

Moose Drool 1 gal – American Brown Ale
Batch Size: 3.038 qt
Boil Size: 1.760 gal
Boil Time: 60.000 min
Efficiency: 70%
OG: 11.8 P
FG: 3.0 P
ABV: 4.6%
Bitterness: 31.5 IBUs (Tinseth)
Color: 11 SRM (Morey)

Name Type Amount Mashed Late Yield Color
American 2-Row Grain 1.750 lb Yes No 80% 2 L
Briess – 2 Row Caramel Malt 60L Grain 1.120 oz Yes No 77% 60 L
Briess – 2 Row Chocolate Malt Grain 0.480 oz Yes No 60% 350 L
Total grain: 1.850 lb

Name Alpha Amount Use Time Form IBU
Golding 5.0% 0.300 oz Boil 60.000 min Pellet 28.4
Liberty 4.5% 0.100 oz Boil 10.000 min Pellet 3.1
Willamette 5.0% 0.100 oz Boil 0.000 s Pellet 0.0

Name Type Form Amount Stage
Safale S-04 Ale Dry 0.388 oz Primary

Name Type Amount Temp Target Time
Conversion Infusion 2.000 gal 158.000 F 152.000 F 60.000 min

sour mash berliner weiss

Sour Mash Berliner Weiss

Following a method outlined by a podcast I listened to last year, BasicBrewingRadio from July 26, 2012 and the link from that show to Sean Coates blog here, I set myself up to brew a sour mash Berliner Weiss.

There seems to be two keys to pulling this off:

  • A way to get a CO2 blanket on top of the souring mash
  • A way to keep the mash around 120F for the length of time you want to sour it (1-3 days)

The basic method is this.

  1. Using a basic wheat beer malt bill, and shooting for a low SG, mash your grain as normal.   I used a cooler and just let my mash sit in it until it reached 120F the next day.  Once it did reach that temp I threw in 1 pound of unmilled 2-row which inoculated the mash with the lactobacillus that naturally is on all malted grain.  Every 6-8 hours or so I added some boiling water to get my mash back to 120F.  My garage was cool at this time, if it is summer and you live in a warm climate you may be able to maintain 120F in a cooler for an extended period of time.
  2. Once I added the boiling hot water, stirred, I then blew a little CO2 on top of the mash as I closed the lid.  This removed the oxygen from the top of the mash which then helped prevent other ‘bugs’ from taking over.  The kind that smell like feces, vomit etc. By doing this, my mash never really ‘stunk’ like others have reported, but it had a STRONG, and I mean strong cooked canned corn smell.
  3. After 36 hours my sample tasted sour / tart enough and I drained the first running’s, and batch sparged as normal.
  4. I boiled for 30 minutes, and added a touch of hops at 15 minutes to get me to around 5-6 IBU’s.
  5. The rest is a normal batch of beer, and the advantage of this method is that I don’t have ‘bugs’ that are on the cold side, so I can treat it like any other brew.  I did my ferment after cooling down with US-05 and let it sit for a few weeks prior to kegging.


Recipe: Sour Mash Berliner Weiss
Brewer: Jerry
Asst Brewer:
Style: Berliner Weiss
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 6.12 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.60 gal
Estimated OG: 1.040 SG
Estimated Color: 3.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 8.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 82.8 %
Boil Time: 15 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs 4.8 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 58.9 %
3 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 41.1 %
1.00 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.60 %] – Boil Hop 3 8.4 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 4 –
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 7 lbs 4.8 oz
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 9.13 qt of water at 163.7 F 149.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 4.96 gal water at 168.0 F
Mashed at 1.5qt/lb at 149F, let drop to 120F and then added 1 lb unmilled 2-row.
Let sour for 36 hours, boiled 30 minutes and added hops at 15 minutes
1 pkg US-05 at 63F

Sour Mash

Sour Mash

Flaked Wheat

“Red Louse” Wit Brewday

I have moved away from naming my brews unless it is a recipe I will repeat which has not been very many.  This beer was an exception since hours after ending my brew day my wife, niece and grand niece (who were staying at our house for a while) discovered lice.  What I thought was a long brew day turned into a tortuous delousing night that lasted well past 2:00am.

The good news is the lice are under control and gone for now, I already have short hair and now issues, and the ‘trauma’ has given me a name for this beer.  The ‘Red’ will be 1 oz of hibiscus tea I will add to it at kegging time.

It was again another 3 gallon batch, which I will likely keep doing (with my 2.5 gallon kegs especially) unless it is a repeat sure fire winning recipe I want to hand out and drink again.   This was only my second Belgian Wit attempt, the first last year was wonderful (used Wyeast 3944) and was fairly popular.  But, ever changing, the recipe was different this time, I went with nearly a 50/50 split with 2-row and flaked wheat.  A pinch of Munich added to top it off.  That was it.

Also different in this recipe is my first shot with Wyeast Forbidden Fruit (Wyeat 3463).

  • 2lb 9 oz 2-row
  • 2lb 9 oz Flaked wheat
  • 8 oz Munich (light)
  • 1 oz 4.6% Hallertau for 60 minutes
  • Mashed at 122F for 15 minutes and 154F for 60 minutes
  • Zest of 2 Cara Cara Oranges at 2 minutes
  • 5 grams of crushed Coriander

Pretty simple stuff really.  Except the yeast.

This was my first go with this strain, and only second Wit yeast and I found it was REALLY clumpy during the active part of fermentation.  I also found disturbingly that I have what appear to be chunks of protein from the cold break that have floated to the top, making me originally think I had a serious infection under way once the krausen settled.  But luckily, no.

OG 1.054

IBU: 20

SRM: 4

Four days in I measure 1.011 and it has a nice ‘clean’ grainy flavor.  I’ve lost the orange / coriander taste so at the suggestion of someone on g+ I’ll likely make a new ‘tea’ to add at kegging once I get to that point.



ESB mash


The first in my English Beer ‘series’ I’ll be producing this summer.  This is a cross between a Brewing Classic Styles and a recipe off of Homebrewtalk, so my own I guess.  I’ve decided on a ‘series’ of English brews since I had picked up WLP-022 Essex Ale ‘platinum series’ yeast that I need to use and look forward to using, as well as getting that huge jar of Wyeast 1318 (London Ale 3) from H.U.B.  So, I need to use the yeast, I want to try some malty English beers, hence my ‘Series’ is born!!

Well, for this first run (of maybe of a few) ESB I used the London Ale 3 and to be honest, that is a monster in a starter!

From what I’ve read the London Ale 3 should leave quite a bit of malt sweetness, and to ensure I get full fermentation I’ll likely move my fermenter upstairs after 3 to 4 days where it is a little warmer.

Here is the recipe and also a link if you would like the BeerXML version of it from – a great website by the way.

  • 3 gallon BIAB
  • 5 lb 6 oz Marris Otter
  • 6 oz Caramel 60
  • 6 oz Victory / Biscuit malt
  • 1.4 ml ‘Hop Jizz’ to 30 IBU at 60 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Kent Goldings 20 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Kent Goldings 5 minutes
  • Mash full volume Brew In A Bag (BIAB) for 60 minutes at 154F

I’ll likely make another post on the ‘Hop Jizz‘ after this beer is complete so I can give it a full review.  Interesting stuff.

Hop Jizz

Hop Jizz

Hard Cider 2013

I made up a quick batch of hard apple cider on January 2, 2013.  I didn’t add any extra sugar, just used the natural sugars in the juice.


1 gallon

SG 12 (1.048)

Added Lavlin 71B-1122 yeast

Yeast energizer

As of today, February 2, the SG is 5 (1.007), tastes very dry and super tart.  This puts it at 4.9% abv.  I have a strong desire to experiment a little with this, freeze it and make ‘applejack‘.  I would likely end up with just 12 oz of around ~20% or so, but I am really curious about how this stuff tastes.  Thoughts?