Sunday, January 31, 2016


I was drinking a Rampant IPA and looking at my hop supply in my freezer, just tossing around ideas for beers to brew, when I realized that I couldn't shut the freezer door.......Too many hops.......That same day my last hoppy keg kicked and left me with a slew of lagers, Belgians, and sour beers, but nothing with a strong hoppy presence.  I knew right then that I needed to put together an over the top tropical IPA.  What better way to do it that to use a hop new to me and one of my favorites?

For a yeast choice I was able to get my hands on Wyeast's current PC release West Coast IPA, lets just say that I am quite happy with the yeast (beer is currently carbonating).  It ferments fast, very clean though fairly malt forward, and drops like peanut butter!

I was originally hoping to use a randal with this beer for serving, but Ive been lazy lately and haven't gotten around to finishing welding up the one Im building (to come soon).  Its an entirely sanitary fitting based hop randal that can connect to any keg in my (somewhat) new 8-tap kegerator.

Brewday went smooth this time, and I was lucky enough to be brewing on one of the coldest days of the year!!  Every time I'd drip a little water or pour something out Id be left with a nice slick layer of ice.

Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
13.0Belgian Pale Malt
Amt (oz)TypeTime
1.0Mosaic (11.8%)15
1.5Azacca (11.3%)15
1.0Mosaic (11.8%)10
2.0Azacca (11.3%)5
1.0Mosaic (11.8%)KO
1.5Azacca (11.3%)KO
1.0Mosaic (11.8%)Dry Hop
2.5Azacca (11.3%)Dry Hop
Mash Schedule
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastWest Coast IPA WY1217 (500mL Starter)
73% effIBU68
8gal BoilFG

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Rauchbier err...Smoked Scottish Ale?

This beer evolved quite a bit after I went to the brew store.  Instead of my original intention of a Rauchbier that used cherry smoked malt and an Alt yeast, I ended up using a Scottish yeast, pale chocolate and some crystal malt.  My hop selection even changed, and on a lark I did a long concentrated boil of the first runnings!

This brewing session was a first for me........ brewing when it was less than 10F outside, not much fun. I did have an extra pair of hands this brew session though which made the clean up process much easier!  A buddy who is interested in learning how to brew came over to watch, learn, and ask questions.  Looking back I really wish that I didn't have to improvise with the recipe so much because there is a lot to take in during your first brewing session, especially considering my equipment is more involved than many (most?) homebrewers setups.  I have pumps, electric heating, PID control, auto sparging, etc, etc. So the fact that I had to adjust the recipe on-the-fly didn't help.  I had thought about going back to basics (no pumps, etc.) to keep things simple while teaching someone about grainbills, what mashing, sparging, and boiling are for, but frankly I was too lazy to go back to manual lautering/sparging/filling the BK...........

All in all I think this beer will turn out pretty tasty, just a bit different than I originally envisioned, and for all the chaos my buddy is still interested in learning more.  I'm also really hopeful that my second go around with cherry smoked malt will be a bit different than my first.  That first time the smoke was far too overpowering, and I had to age that beer for many years before eventually souring it and calling it a Lichtenhainer, before it was palatable.

There should be several new posts/recipes in the coming weeks as I will be on a brewing tear in early January to fill up my kegs again before the arrival of a new baby, because something tells me I wont have a lot of time this spring.......

Little Smokey
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
7.0Belgian Pale Malt
4.0Cherry Smoked Malt
0.25Pale Chocolate
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.75First Gold (7.2%)60
Mash Schedule
170F2qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastScottish Ale WY1728 - 500mL starter
74% effIBU23
7gal BoilFG

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