Thursday, September 22, 2011


I have returned to brewing! Actually, about two weeks ago I returned to brewing. Just moved a pale ale into the fridge for some cold crashing before kegging. I realized, when planning this batch, that in more than five years of brewing I've never done a standard pale ale. I went from ambers to porters and stouts, with various lager attempts like California commons and maibocks, straight into the world of IPAs. No pale. No need, really, since hop bombs were what I was going for. Now, having become a little tired of high alcohol IPAs, and doubles/imperials, I've made a pale that's sitting right around 5.5%abv, with just about 67 IBU's. A little high for a pale, but hey, I like hops. The real point was to get something that I could drink a few of without getting drunk.

On a separate note, I'm sick of Black IPAs! Seriously, they aren't that interesting. You could make the argument that the astringency of the dark malts would help accentuate the hop character. I would counter and say the astringency serves to accentuate...nothing but itself. Great experiment, glad everyone gave it a try, but lets move on to something else. Something that doesn't have a roasty flavor, sometimes bordering on acrid, as a substitute for making a solid IPA.

For those who might be interested, the recipe for the pale was as follows:

7 lbs (3.18kg) Pale 2 row
1/2 lb (227g) C20
1/4 lb (113g) Munich

1.25 oz Summit @ 60 min
1.0 oz Crystal @ 10 min
.25 oz Summit @ 10 min

WLP-001 California Ale Yeast
OG 1.047
FG 1.006 (might have finished a bit drier than expected due to high fermentation temps)

In case you were trying to do the math in your head, that's roughly an 82% efficiency of extraction during the mash and lauter. Not bad on a homebrewing scale.

Oh, and one last thing. Found a guy who will do a free acid analysis for my mystery hops, so I can better utilize them for hopping. The only drawback is the sample size he needs is roughly half my crop, which wouldn't leave me enough to do a whole batch.

Cheers, and happy beering.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Everything is on hiatus. I'd like to brew for an upcoming trip to a festival, Hops in Humbholdt, but moving to a new house, or apartment, or my car seat, has that idea on hold for now. Dammit! I'd really like to do a double IPA like I planned for this fest, but current situations may not permit it. Oh well. A temporary stay at the parents' house will give me a chance to brew a beer for fun, and a new apartment, once found, will give me all the room I need to brew whatever the hell I want, when I want. Only stipulations: garage, below the unit, or attached to. And no stupid regualtions against gas burners. Stupid cheap-ass apartment managers not wanting to pay fire insurance. Go to hell.

On another note, Green Flash West Coast IPA is officially one of my all-time favorite IPAs. Dank, wet hops, with just a tinge of malt in the background. Not terribly expensive, but at roughly $8 per 4-pack, it's enough to make me stick with one per night.

All in all, things can only get better from here. More brewing, more fixing and tinkering with things. More freedom.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The time is, Rye-p?

I couldn't resist the terrible pun. But I won't apologize, either. I'm taking a breather from the brewery idea. Time to regroup. I put all my eggs in one basket, mentally, that it is, and that basket never really materialized. No worries. Learning is necessary.

On to the main point. Next brew is gonna be a Rye IPA. I've been on a bit of a bourbon kick recently, having tried some bourbons with high rye content, as well as having a delicious Rye Double IPA, namely Bittersweet Lenny's RIPA. Life changing, and the hebrew in me loves me some spiciness. So, without further rambling, the RIPA recipe:

8.5 lbs Pale 2-row
1 lb Munich
0.5 lb C20 (or similar)
1 lb Rye malt
0.5 lb Cane sugar

2.5 oz Columbus or Northern Brewer @ 60min
0.5 oz Cascade @45
1.5 oz Cascade @15
1.0 oz Citra or Amarillo (or split) @ 5min
1.0 oz Dry hop Cascade + Amarillo or Citra mix

WLP-001 California Ale Yeast

Target 1.070 OG, target 1.012 FG, 7 %abv, ish.

Cane sugar is to dry out the beer, not necessarily to add alcohol. I actually removed some pale malt to accomodate the sugar without increasing alcohol.