Monthly Archives: October 2011

Homebrew: Plans for upcoming brews

I’m soon about to order more ingredients for some new brews. I’ve decided to brew some smaller batches, since in this way I can try out lots of different styles and recipes, without having to produce more beer than I can drink. I also got a new fermentation fridge today, as my last one broke down. Below are the planned recipes.
 
 
 
Recipe: Black Panther
Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 16.56 l
Post Boil Volume: 14.56 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.00 l
Bottling Volume: 8.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.101 SG
Estimated Color: 62.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 84.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 89.3 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
0.36 kg Rye, Flaked (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 6.8 %
0.26 kg Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.9 %
0.23 kg Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.3 %
0.50 kg Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 7 9.5 %
3.30 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 62.7 %
0.26 kg Chocolate Malt (Thomas Fawcett) (508.0 S Grain 5 4.9 %
0.36 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.8 %
20.4 g Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 6.9 IBUs
30.6 g Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 9 25.8 IBUs
30.6 g Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 52.1 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 11 -

 
 
 

Recipe: Snoopen Dogg – Mocca
Style: Imperial Stout

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 16.56 l
Post Boil Volume: 14.56 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.00 l
Bottling Volume: 9.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.086 SG
Estimated Color: 59.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 42.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 90.7 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.56 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett) Grain 1 61.5 %
0.5 kg Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 7 12.5 %
0.32 kg Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.7 %
0.28 kg Chocolate Malt (Thomas Fawcett) (508.0 S Grain 3 6.6 %
0.12 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.9 %
0.15 kg Carafa Special III (Weyermann) (470.0 SR Grain 5 3.7 %
0.21 kg Roasted Barley (Thomas Fawcett) (609.0 S Grain 4 5.0 %
16.70 g Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 31.9 IBUs
16.70 g Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 9 10.4 IBUs
14.92 g Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
29.47 g Ground Coffee (Secondary 1.0 weeks) Spice 13 -
29.47 g Ground Coffee (Boil 0.0 mins) Spice 12 -
36.98 g Chocolate (Boil 15.0 mins) Spice 10 -
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 11 -

 
 
 

Recipe: Lusty Leopard
Style: Belgian Tripel

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 15.52 l
Post Boil Volume: 13.52 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 9.00 l
Bottling Volume: 8.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.077 SG
Estimated Color: 5.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 91.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.90 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 82.5 %
0.11 kg Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 3 3.2 %
0.14 kg Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 2 3.9 %
0.09 kg Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.5 %
0.28 kg Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 5 8.0 %
10.92 g Horizon [12.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 22.4 IBUs
5 g Saaz [4.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 3.2 IBUs
8.00 g Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 9 -
1 pkg Belgian Ale (White Labs #WLP550) [35.49 Yeast 10 -
10.00 g Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 8 -

 
 
 

Recipe: Bold Bobcat
Style: American Amber Ale

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 16.56 l
Post Boil Volume: 14.56 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.00 l
Bottling Volume: 9.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.066 SG
Estimated Color: 13.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 53.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 98.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.40 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 76.7 %
0.23 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.3 %
0.23 kg Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.4 %
0.11 kg Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.5 %
0.11 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.5 %
0.05 kg Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) Grain 6 1.6 %
16.82 g Magnum [13.40 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 35.2 IBUs
16.82 g Cascade [8.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 8.4 IBUs
16.82 g Centennial [9.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 10.1 IBUs
14.92 g Centennial [9.60 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
14.92 g Cascade [8.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
1 pkg Denny's Favorite (Wyeast Labs #1450PC) [ Yeast 13 -

 
 
 

Recipe: Cunning Coon
Style: Imperial IPA

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 16.56 l
Post Boil Volume: 14.56 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.00 l
Bottling Volume: 8.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.091 SG
Estimated Color: 7.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 80.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 90.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
3.30 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett) Grain 1 75.1 %
0.50 kg Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 5 11.4 %
0.26 kg Munich II (Weyermann) (8.5 SRM) Grain 3 5.8 %
0.29 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.6 %
0.05 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 1.1 %
15.00 g Warrior [18.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 7 40.8 IBUs
15.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 6 22.7 IBUs
10.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 9 10.9 IBUs
10.00 g Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 6.0 IBUs
30.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
30.00 g Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
15.00 g Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
15.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
15.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
15.00 g Chinook [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1 pkg Denny's Favorite (Wyeast Labs #1450PC) [ Yeast 13 -

Homebrew: Label Tutorial

I got some requests for writing a tutorial covering how I make my beer labels, so here goes. I use Photoshop, but the same techniques can be applied using free software, such as GIMP.

1. First create a new image in your image processing software. 1500*900 pixels at a DPI of 300 gives a nicely sized label.

2. Choose a nice background color (in this imaginary beer label I use: #7766aa (purple)). The imaginary beer is an Imperial Stout that has been spiced with coffee, so I thought it would be nice to have a coffee cup in the middle of the label. Using Google Image Search with the search phrase “coffee cup” I found this image. I copied the image to the center of the label.


3. Next, it was time to remove the dark borders from around the coffee cup, so by using the ‘magic wand’ tool, I selected and deleted everything around the coffee cup (and inside the ‘ear’).




4. After this, it was time to find a nice font for the text on the label. If you’re not happy with the fonts already installed on your computer, you can download lots of free and awesome fonts at DaFont. I downloaded and installed a font called ‘Reprise Stamp’, and wrote the name of the beer in the center of the label (unfortunately the text will be in Finnish, as I originally wrote this tutorial for a Finnish forum).


5.I wanted dark edges around the text, so from the ‘Layer’-‘Layer Style’-‘Outer Glow’ menu, I choose I nice color and size for the outer glow.


6.Next, I write some technical information about the beer (e.g. alcohol content, malts, hops, original gravity, etc.), and I give the text the same dark edges (e.g. by copying the ‘Layer Style’ of the previous text).



7. On the other side of the label, I write a short story about the beer, and again copy the dark edges.



8.When this is done, I align and move the different elements, so that everything looks good. At the bottom of the label I finally added brewery name, batch, and bottling date.



9.Then its time to print. After printing (on normal paper), I attach the labels to the bottles by soaking the back of the label with milk. You can download my Photoshop label template by clicking here!

Homebrew: Tasting the American Amber Ale


 

  • Brewery: –
  • Country: –
  • Style: American Amber Ale
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer
  •  

    Today it finally time to try my latest homebrews. First up was the beer that began as a clone of Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, but was slightly modified to include some more caramel malts (making it amber), some left-over hops, and some dry hopping. The beer has been brewed with Maris Otter, Light Crystal, and Dark Crystal malt, and hopped with Warrior, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo and Simcoe to an IBU of around 44. This should be a very hoppy beer, that am really looking forward to trying!

    [easyreview title=”Homebrew American Amber Ale” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a hazy amber color, and forms a slight off-white colored head, that quickly collapses leaving slight lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is floral and fruity, with tones of grapefruit and tropical fruits. There is a slight caramelly sweetness hiding in the background. A slight mead-like aroma as well, that seems to be present in most of my homebrews.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor begins with some caramel and maltiness, that is joined by a grassy, floral and citrusy hop flavor, and finally ends in a slight bitterness to tickle the tongue. The flavors merge very well, and I feel the beer seems well balanced. I felt that there could have been a bit stronger flavors, but otherwise I am pleasantly surprised.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a smooth and medium-full body, and a moderate-low carbonation level. This was really easy to drink, and I would have only wished slightly more carbonation (but that’s my own fault).” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall a good beer, that still suffered a bit from the ‘homebrew syndrome’, meaning it lacked a bit of flavors, had the hazy look, and a slight mead-like aroma. The flavors went well together, and hopefully my beers will improve with each batch.”]

    Homebrew: Tasting the Brandy-Vanilla Porter


     

  • Brewery: –
  • Country: –
  • Style: Robust Porter
  • ABV: 6.8%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer
  •  

    The other homebrew of the night was the Brandy-Vanilla Porter. This porter, originally designed by Denny Coon, was brewed with Maris Otter, Munich, Brown, Chocolate, Dark Crystal and Light Crystal malt, and hopped with Warrior and East Kent Goldings to an IBU of around 42. The beer also matured two weeks together with a mixture containing 3 chopped bourbon vanilla pods, 29 g of French medium toast chips and 2 dl of Jaloviina ***. This should be a nice evening warmer!

    [easyreview title=”Homebrew Brandy-Vanilla Porter” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a pitch-black color, and forms a minimal tan colored head, that leaves slight lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is roasty, with tones of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and an undertone of vanilla.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor is also very roasty, with tones of burnt malts, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a slight woodiness. The aftertaste is quite dry. The vanilla is definitely there, but the brandy isn’t as detectable.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium-full body, and a moderate-low carbonation level. The roastiness and dry finish makes this a slow sipper, but it is still very drinkable.” cat4rating=”3.5″ summary=”Also a good beer overall, that maybe was a bit too roasty (lacked some caramel or toffee tones in the middle) and dry for my taste. The beer definitely gets better as it warms up, and I think the beer was a bit too cold when I had it.”]

    Brewdog Hops Kill ? (Nazis)


     

  • Brewery: Brewdog
  • Country: Scotland
  • Style: Imperial Amber Ale (could be classified as an American Strong Ale or even an Imperial IPA)
  • ABV: 7.8%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: Brewdog Shop, ~3€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer
  •  

    After a tough week of studying and exams, it was time to have a rewarding beer. Another bottle from my recent Brewdog order, this beer was advertised as 5AM Saint’s bigger brother, and shareholders (see Equity For Punks) were allowed to pre-order it from Brewdog’s online shop. Unfortunately for anyone else wanting to try it, it sold out extremely quickly (even before non-shareholders had a chance to buy it). The beer is described as an Imperial Red Ale, and it has been kettle hopped with Centennial and Chinook to an IBU of 80, and dry hopped with Chinook. This should be interesting, as I usually like maltier hop-centered ales.

    [easyreview title=”Brewdog Hops Kill ?” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a dark amber-mahogany color, is just slightly hazy, and forms a slight cream colored head, that quickly collapses leaving some lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is a battle between the sweet caramelly and toffee-like tones from the malt and the citrusy, piney and floral tones from the hops. I think the aroma is lovely, so that promises good. There is also a slight hint of alcohol as the beer warms up.” cat2rating=”4.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor begins with some malty tones, featuring caramel, toffee and even a slight roastiness. These are joined by tones of resin, pine and grapefruit, contributed by the C hops. The flavor ends dry, with a huge bite of bitterness. I felt the flavors competed/clashed a bit too much, and didn’t fit together as good as in say Port Brewing’s Shark Attack. Tasty, but in no way perfect. The combination of the dryness and bitterness in the finish bothered me as well a bit.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a smooth and medium-full body, and a moderate carbonation level. Felt it was quite drinkable, but the dryness and the flavor clashes draw some points from the score.” cat4rating=”3.5″ summary=”An interesting beer, that definitely is a bigger and meaner brother to Brewdog’s 5AM Saint (which I just noticed I haven’t reviewed yet even though I’ve had it several times already). The beer featured some great tones from both malt and hops, but I felt they didn’t fit together so well. I have another bottle of this in the fridge, and will let it age a bit, to see if the flavor changes (this one had only been in the bottle for 1.5 months).”]

    Stone Ruination IPA


     

  • Brewery: Stone Brewing
  • Country: USA
  • Style: Imperial IPA
  • ABV: 7.7%
  • Size: 355 ml
  • Bought from: Brewdog Shop, 7€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer
  •  

    Decided to try one of the beers from my recent order from the Brewdog Online Shop, so I chose Stone’s Ruination IPA, since I’ve been wanting to try out their products for some time. California-based Stone Brewing are one of the larger and more famous craft breweries in the USA. The bottle promises an extreme IPA, with a bitterness of 100+ IBUs. This beer has gotten some great reviews on both Beer Advocate and RateBeer, so am really looking forward to trying this out. I don’t have any information on the malt used, but it has been hopped with Columbus and Centennial. There are no indicators of freshness (e.g. bottling dates or best before date) on the bottle, but hopefully this one is quite fresh. Let’s see how it tastes!

    [easyreview title=”Stone Ruination IPA” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a golden-amber color, is slightly hazy, and forms a slight off-white colored head, that quickly collapses to leaving lots of lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is dominated by citrusy, floral and resiny hop tones, with slight undertones of honey and caramel. A slight presence of alcohol as well.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor is, as expected, also very hop-dominated, with resiny, citrusy and earthy hop tones in the front. There is a slight caramelly maltiness to counter the hoppiness as well. The flavor ends with a spicy, dry and bitter finish. The beer isn’t very balanced, as I feel there is too little maltiness to counter the, quite harsh, bitterness of the beer. Still, the hop flavors are great, and I would really like this beer if it had slightly less bitterness, or a bit stronger malt backbone.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a smooth and medium-full body, and a moderate carbonation level. The bitterness slightly decreases the otherwise great drinkability.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall a great beer, packed with hop flavors and huge bitterness. The reported 100+ IBUs can definitely be detected, and are a bit on the high side for me. I think this one could be even better with slightly more balance. This wasn’t really worth the price I paid for it, but would definitely buy again if it were available locally for half the price.”]

    Order from Brewdog Shop

    I made an order from Brewdog’s online shop a couple of weeks ago, and today the order arrived. Everything arrived in one piece, although the packaging wasn’t the best. Brewdog had also substituted some beers, Hardcore IPA instead of Hello My Name Is Ingrid (this they mailed me about before they sent the package though, the Ingrid was apparently sold out) and two Ballast Point Sculpin IPAs instead of one Scuplin IPA and one Big Eye IPA. The Sculpin IPA was more expensive and has gotten better reviews so I’m not all too upset, but it would have been nice to have tried them both. Here is a picture of the goodness:


    Left to Right: Punk IPA, Alice Porter, Hops Kill ? (Nazis), Hardcore IPA, Stone Ruination, Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard, Bear Republic Racer 5 and Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

    Sinebrychoff Puolukka-Stout

     

  • Brewery: Sinebrychoff
  • Country: Finland
  • Style: Stout
  • ABV: 4.7%
  • Size: 330 ml
  • Bought from: Gift, but can be found in most supermarkets for around 1.80 – 2€
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer
  •  

    Today it was time to try one of the new brews from Sinebrychoff, Finland’s largest brewery. Their Puolukka-Stout (Lingonberry Stout) was released this fall, and this stout has been brewed with lingonberry juice and blueberry juice (and unfortunately some starch and artificial aromas as well). The beer has an IBU of 25 and an EBC of 110. Should be an interesting beer!

    [easyreview title=”Sinebrychoff Puolukka-Stout” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a dark brown color (with some hints of red color as well), and a slight cream-colored head, that quickly collapses to leave slight lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”3″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma of the beer is dominated by a strong hint of berry juice, lending tones of blueberries and some lingonberry. Behind this one can detect a presence of dark malts as well.” cat2rating=”3″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”Hmm, I don’t know where I should begin, as this beer definitely offers a strange taste experience. The flavors are similar to the aroma, offering a combination of berry juices (though not as dominating as in the aroma) and some slight roasted malt tones. The flavors are introduced quite simultaneously, meaning they clash quite a lot in the mouth. They aftertaste is slightly acidic, slightly dry and roasty.” cat3rating=”2″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a quite light body, and a moderately light carbonation level. It is quite easy to drink, but the strange flavor combination and aftertaste lowers the drinkability a bit.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”A strange, and unfortunately not all too tasty, beer, that I had some difficulty finishing. The combination of berries and a (weak) stout doesn’t work out all too good. I still applaud Sinebrychoff for trying something different.”]

    Thanks Pia for buying me this!

    Christmas Beers at Alko (2011)

    The list of this year’s Christmas beers available from Alko was ‘leaked’ a couple of weeks ago at the Olutopas forum, and yesterday their prices followed. A nice list of 23 beers (but still quite weak compared to the range of Christmas beers that will be available from Systembolaget in Sweden). These beers have usually been released in the beginning of November, so stay tuned until then. I will definitely buy some of them to try out!