Thursday, December 27, 2012

#42/50 NB Irish Dry Stout

1759 Guinness Draught logoThis is the Northern Brewer recipe for Guinness. This is Ireland's most popular and well-known beers, this stout has a pronounced roasty, coffee-like flavor and aroma, imparted by a generous helping of roasted barley.
Guinness (pron.: /ˈɡɪnɨs/ gin-is) originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James's Gate, Dublin. A feature of the product is the burnt flavour that is derived from roasted unmalted barley. For many years a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed beer to give a sharp lactic flavour and fatures a characteristic "tang". The draught beer's thick, creamy head comes from mixing the beer with nitrogen when poured.
Prior to 1939 if a Guiness brewer wished to marry a Catholic girl, his resignation was requested.

Lovely day for a guiness with bird and man
13A. Dry StoutAroma: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent; may have slight chocolate, cocoa and/or grainy secondary notes.
Appearance: Jet black to deep brown with garnet highlights in color. A thick, creamy, long-lasting, tan- to brown-colored head.
Flavor: Moderate roasted, grainy sharpness, optionally with light to moderate acidic sourness, and medium to high hop bitterness. Dry, coffee-like finish from roasted grains. May have a bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate character in the palate, lasting into the finish. Balancing factors may include some creaminess, medium-low to no fruitiness, and medium to no hop flavor. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium-full body, with a creamy character. Low to moderate carbonation. For the high hop bitterness and significant proportion of dark grains present, this beer is remarkably smooth. The perception of body can be affected by the overall gravity with smaller beers being lighter in body. May have a light astringency from the roasted grains, although harshness is undesirable.
Overall Impression: A very dark, roasty, bitter, creamy ale.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

#41 Stephen King’s - The Dark Tower - Graff (Cider/Wine)

I decided that I wanted to make a hard cider.  This sounded easy enough.  Get some cider and add yeast.  I decided to do research by sampling a number of ciders.  Well that didn't help.  I soon realized that there were a number of ciders that I didn't care for the taste.  I decide to read up on possible cider recipes.  This also didn't help.  There are a number of books on Amazon just on this topic.  I quit.  I then looked for the most popular cider recipe on  This recipe had 2k+ responses and almost 400k views.  So, that's how you got here.
Graf is a strong hard cider or apple-based beer widely consumed in In-World.
Brandon O's Graff  
Captain Greencoat's Graff bottle label from Homebrew TalkSlightly malty, slightly hoppy, with some good apple flavor.  If you like a clean, malty, not too tart easy drinking cider style beverage then this is your drink.

Brandon’s approach on how can I make something that will taste good faster and also have body?

Steep 8oz 60L and 1 oz (never more than 2 oz) torrified wheat (head retention) in .75 gallons of water @ 155 degrees for 30 mins.  (If you use cheap store brand juice, switch the 60L to 120L. Cheap juice tends to turn out a tad tart and this will balance it.)
Brandon O's HomebrewTalk profile picutre
This is not a picture of me.
Sparge with .25 gallons
(Option JG:     .5 lb 60L
1oz Flaked Barley
1oz Flaked Oats)

Fermentables 2lb DME (suggestion is for 1lb amber and 1lb light)
Hops .5 oz of Cascade (you favorite hops ( right around 6% AA, using 18.5% AA summit hops can take a month after kegging for strong bitterness to blend nicely))  WARNING! IF YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE THE AMOUNT OF HOPS USED, MAKE IT LESS NOT MORE, it's really just too bitter with any more. (30 min)
Cool and add 4 Gallons of apple juice.
Yeast Nottinham or Safale-05 (Clean fermenting yeast)

Ferment 2 weeks at 64-68 degrees then keg or bottle.
VERY drinkable as soon as it is carbonate.  This will get better with 2-3 weeks of aging.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

#39 Town Hall Hope and King Scotch Ale

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery Logo
The Northern Brewer Pro Series beer kits have been developed in conjunction with professional brewers, using their own award-winning beer recipes.

Town Hall Brewery's beer is renowned throughout the US, but only available at their amazing brewpubs in Minneapolis - until now. One of a handful of breweries to have an "A" rating on, it is known for producing high-quality beers in both experimental and classic styles.

Bronze Medal Winner, 2002 and 2004 Great American Beer Festival, Gold Medal Winner, 2011 Great American Beer Festival.   Hope and King is a full-body brew and is rich in malt complexity.   “Our interpretation of the classic ale that originated in Glasgow, Scotland. A full-bodied ale, rich in malt complexity. Brewed with both English and American barley and many, many specialty malts allowing hints of roasted chocolate, caramel and raisins with very little hop presence.  Our interpretation of the classic ale that originated in Glasgow, Scotland.” - Town Hall Head Brewer Mike Hoops.

Rate Beer: 91 or 100 and Beer Advocate 88 of 100
Beer Selection
Town Hall Brewery - A Beer for every season
0.25 lbs Briess Caramel 20 
0.25 lbs English Chocolate Malt 
0.25 lbs English Medium Crystal 
0.125 lbs English Roasted Barley 
0.1875 lbs Belgian Special B 
6 lbs Gold Malt syrup (60 min) 
2 lbs Golden Light dry malt extract late addition (15 min)
.25 oz Centennial (60 min)
3 oz UK Fuggles (10 min)
 Wyeast 1098 British Ale

Saturday, November 24, 2012

#38 NB White House Honey Ale

There’s a decent crispness from the hops, and the beer is sweet but well-balanced. The honey flavor was muted. Adding it during fermentation would have given the beer more depth of flavor -- as Al Marzi, Harpoon's chief brewer, predicted, our beer is a little dry -- but it’s an entirely pleasant drinking experience.

White House Honey Ale logoHistory
White House Honey Ale is the first beer known to have been brewed in the White House.  The process began in January 2011 at the request of President Barack Obama who purchased the homebrewing kit using his personal funds.  As of 2012, three styles have been brewed in addition to Honey Ale: White House Honey Blonde Ale, White House Honey Porter and White House Honey Brown.

Former president Thomas Jefferson, who lived in the White House between 1801 and 1809, is known to have brewed beer himself, particularly after his retirement. He has been called "America's first microbrewer", but there is no evidence that it happened within the White House.


Jason G Petition signature August 21, 2012 Signature #717 for White House Honey Ale RecipeOn August 21, 2012, at least two Freedom of Information Act requests were sent to the White House seeking the recipe of the White House Honey Ale from California attorney Scott Talkov and Texas attorney Brodie Burks, both home brewers. On August 29, 2012 during a brief Q&A session on Reddit, President Obama announced he would release the recipe, stating "It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty."

The recipe was released on The White House Blog on September 1, 2012.

White House Honey Ale does not match a specific beer style as outlined by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines. Gravity, alcohol by volume, bitterness and color are within the guidelines for a Belgian Dubbel, however the English hop and yeast selection are not in keeping with the Belgian Dubbel style. Therefore this beer would fall under BJCP Category 23- Specialty Beer.

BJCP Style 16A/23
Date Brewed 11/23/2012
ABV 4.99
OG 1.048
FG 1.01
Calories 135
5 lb Wheat Extract
8 oz Flaked Wheat
1 lb White Wheat
1 1/4 lb Belgian Pilsner Malt
Hops-Bittering .5 oz Cascade
Hops-Flavor .5 oz Cracked Coriander
.5 oz Bitter Orange Peel
Yeast WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale
Safbrew T-58"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#37/76 Saison de Noel LE (#37/76/109)

Akward Family photos with dog smiling
Deceptively dark and beguilingly complex, this holiday specialty is brewed in the tradition of Belgian farmhouse ales. Unlike most saisons, intended to refresh and sustain farmers doing manaul labor, this one is engineered to complement rich holiday fare and sustain you through long winter nights. A generous malt bill with highlights of butter toffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and bread tangles with the earthy, spicy funk of Wyeast’s French Saison strain and a single addition of bittering hops to strike an evolving balance. The porter-like color tricks your palate into expecting burnt, roasty notes and perhaps even a full body, but the reality that hits your mouth is a lean, attenuated beer with a snappy, estery, slightly tart edge and a warming, peppery finish. No spices here - all the complexity comes from malt, yeast, and your skill as a brewer! Brew now for Christmas, and stash away at least a six-pack of this age-worthy saison to enjoy on into the spring.  Purchase this from Northern Brewer.

Akward Family photos with family and fig leaf6 lbs Pilsner malt syrup
1 lbs D-90 Candi Syrup
1 lbs Briess Pilsen dry malt extract late addition (15 min)
1 lbs Corn Sugar late addition (0 min)
0.5 lbs Belgian Aromatic malt
0.25 lbs Weyermann Carafa III
0.25 lbs Weyermann CaraAroma
Hops-Bittering 1 oz US Magnum
Yeast Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale

Nice Christmas beer.  Keep it around and call it your Valentine's brew.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

#35 NB White House Honey Porter

President Obama with Beer

White House Honey Ale Label
Honey Ale Label
This original recipe brewed by White House staff is both a callback to the favored beverage of our Founding Fathers as well as an opportunity to come together in an election year and share pints across the aisle. More than just simply black and roasty, this porter builds consensus with generous applications of sweet caramel and toasty Munich malts, while moderate bitterness and a pound of honey lets us all find common ground. In a year of divisive politics, we think it’s especially important to remember what we have in common: homebrewing!  Quote: Northern Brewer

BJCP Style Brown Porter
Date Brewed 11/23/2012
ABV 4.99
OG 1.054
FG 1.013
Calories 182
ABV 5.5%
SRM 17
IBUs 20.4

1 lb Briess Caramel 20 
0.75 lbs Briess Munich Malt 
0.625 lbs English Black Malt 
0.188 lbs English Chocolate Malt 

6.3 lbs Gold malt syrup (boil for 60 min) 
1 lb Honey (boil for 60 min)

Hops-Bittering 0.5 oz Nugget hops (boil for 45 min)
Hops-Flavor 0.5 oz Nugget hops (boil for 30 min)
Hops-Aroma 0.5 oz Hallertau hops (add at end of boil) 
Yeast : Danstar Nottingham Ale
Obama thumbs up with a pint

Sunday, August 26, 2012

#31/47 AHS Smithwick's Ale (9D) - Mini Mash

Smithwick's Ireland's Oldest Ale logo
Smithwick's is an Irish red ale style beer from Kilkenny, Ireland.  THE Irish red ale took its roots in the town of Kilkenny, Ireland over 300 years ago, and now owns the titles “Ireland’s longest established brewer” and the “oldest working brewery in Ireland.”

Although the pronunciation of this beer’s name looks straight forward, the “w” and the “h” are silent. The result is “smitt-icks” or “smiddicks”.
Smithwick's Ale
St. Francis Abbey is a 12th Century abbey which now houses the Smithwick's brewing company.
St. Francis Abbey is a 12th Century abbey which now houses the Smithwick's brewing company.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

#30 AHS Canadian Ale (6B) - Mini Mash

This is from Austin Homebrew . This is a traditional Canadian ale, crisp and lightly hopped, that is similar in style to Labatt’s Blue.  The first year I got a lactobacillus infection that added a bit of sour to the taste.  This didn't really slow anyone down as this was the first to disappear at the holiday party.

Austin Homebrew Canadian Ale logo5 lb Extra Pale Extract
2 3/4 lb 2-Row Malt
Hops .75 Cascade (60 min)
Yeast WLP007 Dry English Ale or Danstar Nottingham

ABV 3.94
OG/FG 1.05/1.020
Calories 142

#29 AHS Belgian White Beer (16A) - Mini Mash

This Belgian White achieves a really unique flavor using coriander and orange peel. This cloudy wheat is also very good with a slice of lemon. 

Belgian White pint

BJCP Style 16A
Date Brewed 8/19/2012
ABV 0/4.99
OG 1.048
FG 1.01
Calories 135
5 lb Wheat Extract
8 oz Flaked Wheat
1 lb White Wheat
1 1/4 lb Belgian Pilsner Malt
Hops-Bittering .5 oz Cascade
Late Additions .5 oz Cracked Coriander
.5 oz Bitter Orange Peel
Yeast WLP400 Belgian Wit Ale
Safbrew T-58"

16A. Witbier
Aroma: Moderate sweetness (often with light notes of honey and/or vanilla) with light, grainy, spicy wheat aromatics, often with a bit of tartness. Moderate perfumy coriander, often with a complex herbal, spicy, or peppery note in the background. Moderate zesty, citrusy orangey fruitiness.  A low spicy-herbal hop aroma is optional, but should never overpower the other characteristics. No diacetyl. Vegetal, celerylike, or ham-like aromas are inappropriate. Spices should blend in with fruity, floral and sweet aromas and should not be overly strong.
Appearance: Very pale straw to very light gold in color. The beer will be very cloudy from starch haze and/or yeast, which gives it a milky, whitish-yellow appearance. Dense, white, moussy head. Head retention should be quite good. 
Flavor: Pleasant sweetness (often with a honey and/or vanilla character) and a zesty, orange-citrusy fruitiness. Refreshingly crisp with a dry, often tart, finish. Can have a low wheat flavor. Optionally has a very light lactic-tasting sourness. Herbalspicy flavors, which may include coriander and other spices, are common should be subtle and balanced, not overpowering. A spicy-earthy hop flavor is low to none, and if noticeable, never gets in the way of the spices. Hop bitterness is low to medium-low (as with a Hefeweizen), and doesn’t interfere with refreshing flavors of fruit and spice, nor does it persist into the finish. Bitterness from orange pith should not be present. Vegetal, celery-like, ham-like, or soapy flavors are inappropriate. No diacetyl. 
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, often having a smoothness and light creaminess from unmalted wheat and the occasional oats. Despite body and creaminess, finishes dry and often a bit tart. Effervescent character from high carbonation. Refreshing, from carbonation, light acidity, and lack of bitterness in finish. No harshness or astringency from orange pith. Should not be overly dry and thin, nor should it be thick and heavy.
Overall Impression: A refreshing, elegant, tasty, moderate strength wheat-based ale.
History: A 400-year-old beer style that died out in the 1950s; it was later revived by Pierre Celis at Hoegaarden, and has grown steadily in popularity over time. 
Comments: The presence, character and degree of spicing and lactic sourness varies. Overly spiced and/or sour beers are not good examples of the style. Coriander of certain origins might give an inappropriate ham or celery character. The beer tends to be fragile and does not age well, so younger, fresher, properly handled examples are most desirable. Most examples seem to be approximately 5% ABV.
Ingredients: About 50% unmalted wheat (traditionally soft white winter wheat) and 50% pale barley malt (usually Pils malt) constitute the grist. In some versions, up to 5-10% raw oats may be used. Spices of freshly-ground coriander and Curaçao or sometimes sweet orange peel complement the sweet aroma and are quite characteristic. Other spices (e.g., chamomile, cumin, cinnamon, Grains of Paradise) may be used for complexity but are much less prominent. Ale yeast prone to the production of mild, spicy flavors is very characteristic. In some instances a very limited lactic fermentation, or the actual addition of lactic acid, is done.
Vital Statistics
OG: 1.044 – 1.052
IBUs: 10 – 20 
FG: 1.008 – 1.012
SRM: 2 – 4 
ABV: 4.5 – 5.5% 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

#28 Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest Amber Marzen (3B) (28/69/84/85/100/101/102)

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest tent
 When Ludwig I, the Crown Prince of Bavaria, was to celebrate his wedding in Munich in 1810, he decided it was an occasion for all of Bavaria to celebrate. He commissioned Joseph Pschorr, then the brewmaster of the Hacker-Pschorr brewery, among other Munich brewers, to develop special brews to commemorate the occasion. The beer was so good that the party lasted for days and Oktoberfest beer was born.

Subsequent annual celebrations evolved into the city of Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest, which is attended by over 6 million people each year, who in 2003 consumed over 6 million liters of beer. By Munich law, only the six breweries within the city limits of Munich are invited to serve their beer at Oktoberfest.   The Hacker-Festzelt (Hacker) Tent has a capcity of 9,300.

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest beer label

BJCP Style 3B
ABV 6.04
OG 1.062
FG 1.016
Calories 176
3 lb Munich Extract
3 lb Extra Pale Extract
1 lb Extra Light DME
4 oz Malto Dextrin
2 oz Biscuit Malt
2 oz Aromatic Malt
12 oz Munich Malt
12 oz Cara Munich Malt
2 1/2 lb German Pilser Malt
Hops-Bittering 1 oz Tettnang and 1 oz Hersbrucker
Yeast WLP820 Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager

Friday, June 22, 2012

#22 AHS Session Series Blonde Ale (6B)

Woman carrying the homebrewThis is a generic Blonde Ale session beer from Austin Homebrew.  Easy-drinking, approachable, malt-oriented American craft beer.  The following describes the details of a typical blonde ale.
BJCP Style 6B
ABV 3.94
OG 1.041
FG 1.011
Calories 116
SRM 40.6
8 oz White Wheat
8 oz Cara Pils Malt
Hops-Bittering .75 oz Perle
Hops-Flavor .25 oz Perle
Yeast WLP029 German Ale/Kolsh
Aroma: Light to moderate sweet malty aroma. Low to moderate fruitiness is optional, but acceptable. May have a low to medium hop aroma,.
Appearance: Light yellow to deep gold in color. Clear to brilliant. Low to medium white head with fair to good retention.
Flavor: Initial soft malty sweetness, but optionally some light character malt flavor (e.g., bread, toast, biscuit, wheat) can also be present. Caramel flavors typically absent. Low to medium esters optional, but are commonly found in many examples. Light to moderate hop flavor (any variety), but shouldn’t be overly aggressive. Low to medium bitterness, but the balance is normally towards the malt. Finishes medium-dry to somewhat sweet. No diacetyl.
Brewed June 2, 2012
Kegged July 8, 2012
Tapped August 24, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

#15/16/25/48/88 Negra Modelo Dark Beer (Cerbeeceria Modelo, S.A.) (3A)

Negra Modelo Beer labelNegra Modelo has long been the dark beer alternative for Mexican beer drinkers. It has been identified as one of the few surviving examples of Vienna style lager - a style that was largely replaced in European breweries with Oktoberfest, a slightly lighter lager, in the early twentieth century.  While Negra Modelo is brewed in Mexico and bears a Spanish name, it is (dark) lager first brewed in Mexico by Austrian immigrants.

Negra Modelo Beer bottle“Vienna Lager”? It’s an increasingly rare style developed in Austria in the mid-19th century and brought to Mexico by German immigrants.

Pours a dark brown. Smells roasty and sweet thanks to those Munich malts.  A medium-bodied beer, easily drinkable, malty and sweet, not hoppy. And it don’t need no stinkin’ limes.  Negra Modelo isn’t the only Mexican beer that has character, but it’s on a very short list. A bottle of Negra Modelo next to a bottle of Corona is like Clint Eastwood next to Ryan Seacrest.

Flavors and aromas This beer stands out among its Mexican peers, with its full body of caramel and slight roasted notes and light bitterness.

BJCP Style 3A
Date Brewed 41021
ABV /5.78
OG 1.052
FG 1.008
Calories 146
SRM 16.2

Receipe #1 
3.3 lb Munton Extract LME
3 lb Amber Extract DME
2 oz Chocolate Malt
6 oz Crystal 60L Malt
8 oz Vienna Malt
1 oz Hersbrucker (60 min)
.5 oz Tettnang (60 min)
.5 oz (15 min)Tettnang
Yeast WL940 Mexican Lager
Receipe #2
6 lb NB Munich Malt
1 lb NB Golden Malt
3 oz Chocolate Malt
6 oz Crystal 60L Malt
8 oz Vienna Malt
1 oz Hersbrucker (60 min)
.5 oz Tettnang (60 min)
.5 oz (15 min)Tettnang
Yeast Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager
After asking for feedback on the different yeast, I tried both and have found that I prefer the Bohemian Lager for the malty characteristics.  The was a good article in BYO related to vienna lagers that is worth a read.

I originally started with a recipe from Austin Homebrew, but have made changes over time.  The first attempt can be read #06 Austin - Negra Modelo (3A).  The big change over the versions has been a change to the Munich Malt.  I may try to change the Munich Malt ratio on future efforts.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

#24/68 AHS Oktoberfest/Marzen (3B)

A malty, full-bodied, spicy amber beer that is similar in style to Paulaner Oktoberfest. This is an award winning recipe. 
Oktoberfest girls drinking

BJCP Style 3B
ABV 5.12
OG 1.054
FG 1.015
Calories 153
SRM 13.1
8 lb Munich Extract
8 oz German Pilsner Malt
8 oz Cara Vienne Malt
8 oz Cara Munich Malt
Hops-Bittering 1 oz Perle
Hops-Flavor .5 oz Hallertau
Yeast WLP820 Oktoberfest/Marzen Lager

3B. Oktoberfest/Märzen BCJP Style Guidelines
Aroma: Rich German malt aroma (of Vienna and/or Munich malt). A light to moderate toasted malt aroma is often present. Clean lager aroma with no fruity esters or diacetyl. No hop aroma. Caramel aroma is inappropriate.
Appearance: Dark gold to deep orange-red color. Bright clarity, with solid, off-white, foam stand.
Flavor: Initial malty sweetness, but finish is moderately dry. Distinctive and complex maltiness often includes a toasted aspect. Hop bitterness is moderate, and noble hop flavor is low to none. Balance is toward malt, though the finish is not sweet. Noticeable caramel or roasted flavors are inappropriate. Clean lager character with no diacetyl or fruity esters.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, with a creamy texture and medium carbonation. Smooth. Fully fermented, without a cloying finish.
Overall Impression: Smooth, clean, and rather rich, with a depth of malt character. This is one of the classic malty styles, with a maltiness that is often described as soft, complex, and elegant but never cloying.
History: Origin is credited to Gabriel Sedlmayr, based on an adaptation of the Vienna style developed by Anton Dreher around 1840, shortly after lager yeast was first isolated. Typically brewed in the spring, signaling the end of the traditional brewing season and stored in cold caves or cellars during the warm summer months. Served in autumn amidst traditional celebrations.
Comments: Domestic German versions tend to be golden, like a strong Pils-dominated Helles. Export German versions are typically orange-amber in color, and have a distinctive toasty malt character. German beer tax law limits the OG of the style at 14˚P since it is a vollbier, although American versions can be stronger. “Fest” type beers are special occasion beers that are usually stronger than their everyday counterparts.
Ingredients: Grist varies, although German Vienna malt is often the backbone of the grain bill, with some Munich malt, Pils malt, and possibly some crystal malt. All malt should derive from the finest quality two-row barley. Continental hops, especially noble varieties, are most authentic. Somewhat alkaline water (up to 300 PPM), with significant carbonate content is welcome. A decoction mash can help develop the rich malt 
Vital Statistics: 
OG: 1.050 – 1.057
IBUs: 20 – 28 
FG: 1.012 – 1.016
SRM: 7 – 14 
ABV: 4.8 – 5.7%

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