Friday, August 25, 2006

Brewing Procedures

With September just around the corner, it is almost time to begin brewing again. I do like the real old-timers used to do and that is take the summer off from brewing. Summer seems to be a better time to drink the beer than to make it. Well, anyways, I was reading my latest copy of Brew Your Own magazine it it has a great article on the proper procedures for extract beers. The four procedures are:
No-Boil Brewing - I have never tried this but looks like a great time saver. The extract is added at the end.
Concentrated Boil Method - This is what I normally use. You boil a condensed wort and then dilute it in the fermenter.
Extract Late Method - This is where you add the 1/2 the extract towards the end of the boil
Texas Two-Step - This is where you essentially boil 1/2 the wort at 1 time.
On my next batch of beer, I plan on using the No-Boil Method. Bascially to see if it saves time and if that method makes good beer.
If you would like to read the whole article Click Here. There are also 5 recipes that you can try.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Octoberfest Beer

You still have time to start planning and gathering together your ingredients to make your Octoberfest beer. I usually brew mine in late March or early April and let it age until September, but you can make it now and have it ready for October. This recipe will make a 5 gallon batch.
2 Bierkeller Liquid Amber Malt 3.5 pound cans
1 pound amber dry malt extract
8 ounces 10 degree crystal malt
6 ounces chocolate malt
1 ounce Cascade hops 5.5 alpha
1 ounce Hallertauer hops 4.5 alpha
3/4 ounce Tettnanger hops
1 packet dry yeast or Wyeast no. 2206
1/2 cup of corn sugar to prime
Crush grains and step for about 1 hour.
Strain and pour liquid into brewpot.
Add additional water and begin to boil.
Slowly add the dry malt and liquid malt.
Make sure that you stir the malts so that they don not burn on the bottom of the pot.
Once the wort begins to boil, add the Cascade hops. After 30 minutes, add the Hallertauer hops. At the end of another 30 minute period, add the Tettnager hops for 1 minute.
Chill wort and add the yeast.
Primary ferment for about 2 weeks at 45 to 50 degrees and about another 2 weeks at the same temperature for the secondary.
Rack one more time and ferment for another 2 weeks at 35 to 40 degrees.
Bottle and keep stored at about 40 degrees.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Double Ale

This is one of my first recipes that I designed and actually wrote down. The term double is more for the number of pounds of grain or equivalent per gallon of water. For example, 2 pounds of grain per gallon of water = double. It's a pretty simple recipe and was hopped up. If you wish to tone down the hops, then cut the boil time by 1/2.

Double Ale


3 1/2 lbs Amber Malt Extract

8 oz Crystal Malt Grain

4 oz Pale Malt Grain

4 oz Oat Grain

1 oz Cascade Hops

1 oz Fuggle Hops

1/2 Teaspoon Irish Moss

1 packet Muntons Ale Yeast

3/8 cup Corn Sugar (priming)

Date Brewed: March 21, 2001

Original Gravity: 1.049

Pitching Temp: About 100 degrees

Primary Fermentation: 1 week at 64 degrees


1. Steep Grains for 1/2 hour

2. Strain grains and add to brew pot along with 1 gallon water

3. Add Malt Extract and allow to boil

4. When wort begins to boil, add 1/2 of the Hops and boil for 1 hour

5. After 1 hour, remove hops and add the other 1/2 of hops, boil for 1/2 hour

6. Last 15 minutes of boil, add Irish Moss

Notes: Cascade hops 7.3%, IBU's around 60, more of an IPA.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006


Boy, things have really changed in the past few years when it comes to hops. Seems like just yesterday that if you had hops reaching a 9% alpha acid, you had some really strong stuff. Most of my brewing books do not mention Simcoe, Warrior, or Yukama-Magnum, all hops that have an alpha content in the double digits.

I found a nice hops chart at Weekend Brewer that list the hops that they sell along with letting you know if they are bittering or aroma hops.

Also, a nice article from the Philadelphia Inquirer that pertains to hops and microbreweries. Part of that is reprinted below.

Joe Sixpack | Hybrid-hop Simcoe is hot

Philadelphia Inquirer
June 09, 2006
We thought, 'Man, wouldn't it be great to make a beer that would be dominated by Simcoe?

FORGET cascades hops. The newest beer craze is Simcoe.

Cascades, of course, is the classic West Coast hop, the small, vine-grown bud that gives beer its aroma, its bitterness, its spice. For 20 years, the fresh, aromatic, grapefruit-like Cascades virtually defined American-made craft beer, and it still reigns as one of the biggest sellers.

But six years ago, agriculture scientists in Washington State introduced a hybrid called Simcoe, and brewers have been boiling it big time ever since.

Yards Brewing, in Kensington, used it in its reformulated Philly Pale Ale recipe, and watched sales rocket. Troegs Brewing, in Harrisburg, adds it to Nugget Nectar Ale. In Delaware, Dogfish Head Brewing's Sam Calagione said his brewers were using Simcoe before it even had a name, when it was known only as 'Experimental Hop No. 555.' Today, he said, Dogfish Head tosses a 'load' of it into 90 Minute IPA.

Even savvy homebrewers are onto Simcoe. 'There's a latent buzz around it,' said Jason Harris, of Keystone Homebrew Supply in Montgomeryville. 'Simcoe's made a huge impact.'

Simcoe is so hot, Weyerbacher Brewing in Easton just named its newest beer after the plant: Simcoe Double IPA.

Read more at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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