The July 4th holiday gave me a chance to brew up this hoppy red ale. It’s a hopped up take on this recipe from Jamil, as done by KNeace from I have been looking to do a hopped up red, and this recipe fit the bill with high praise. I did have to use a new hop, Falconer’s Flight, instead of the called for Amarillo, since my LHBS was out. According to their recommendation, it’s a close hybrid, so it should be ok.

The name on this one makes total sense to our jazz folks in the house. From the 1940s to the 1960s, Miles Davis helped develop jazz styles from bebop to fusion. These styles developed in and around Southern California, and is also known as West Coast Jazz. Since over hopped beers are from the same area (basically), I found the name fitting.

In creating this recipe, I also decided to try out This site just launched after merging a couple former sites. I was drawn in by the batch conversion ability. It worked pretty well, although it did have some buggy reloads sometimes on the iPad. I also liked that I could load up my equipment settings and they imported into the water calculator, and that this calculator had BiaB options for both with and without sparge. I used the sparge BiaB, and it only cut the water in half. This left my main bag with too thick of a mash, so I moved a gallon over (from the sparge water) and it seemed to work okay. I also used the brewday log, which helped me track some data than I sometimes forget to collect. I liked it enough that I’ll probably use it again.

Here is a link to my brewtoad page.

And here is the recipe:

Opus 20: Miles Davis West Coast Red Ale

an American IPA by Mr.BandGuy

  • Type All Grain
  • Efficiency 70.0%
  • Batch size 5.0 gal
  • Boil time 60 min


 2-Row Brewers Malt 10.0 lb76 % Mash 37
 Caramel Malt 40L 1.0 lb7 % Mash 34
 Munich Malt I 1.0 lb7 % Mash 37
 Victory® Malt 0.5 lb3 % Mash 34
 Caramel Malt 120L 0.4 lb3 % Mash 32
 Pale Chocolate Malt 2.5 oz1 % Mash 32


Magnum United States 0.75 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 14.7%
Falconer’s Flight United States 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 11.4%
Centennial United States 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 8.7%
Cascade United States 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 7.3%
Cascade United States 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 7.3%
Centennial United States 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 8.7%
Falconer’s Flight United States 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 11.4%
Cascade United States 0.5 oz 1 min Boil Pellet 7.3%
Centennial United States 0.5 oz 1 min Boil Pellet 8.7%
Falconer’s Flight United States 0.5 oz 1 min Boil Pellet 11.4%
Cascade United States 0.5 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 7.3%
Centennial United States 0.5 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 8.7%
Falconer’s Flight United States 0.5 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 11.4%


Safale US-05 US-05 Fermentis 70.0% 60°F – 60°F


Irish Moss 1.0 tsp 15.0 min Boil

Mash steps

Saccharification Rest Direct Heat 152 degF 60 min
Mash-Out Direct Heat 168 degF 15 min


10 drops fermcap added to boil Dry hop .5 of Cascade, Amarillo, Centennial for 5 days

And here is my brew log. I am debating on reducing the dry hop by about half. OG was spot on at 1.066. I am fermenting at 65 degrees.

Looking forward to this one!


Visiting the in-laws, I got a chance to visit two local breweries in Meadville, PA (south of Erie), Timber Creek Tap and Table and Voodoo Brewery . Tap and Table is a brewpub with eight beers on tap, including a rotating Belgian, and two seasonals. We didn’t eat there, so no food reviews. Word on the street is that service is pretty rough, but we didn’t have any problems in the Tap room side. The atmosphere was pretty laid back, with an industrial lodge feel, highlighted by a windowed floor to the brewery below. Although, I couldn’t help but think that was pretty creepy for the ladies in the bar.

Their beers were pretty much to style, and all pretty good. Unfortunately, nothing really stood out as great. The highlights included the Dortmunder, if you like the style (too sweet for me, but the wife loved it). The stout was pretty solid, too, with a good chocolate and coffee notes, but not so strong you couldn’t have more than one (see Voodoo below). The IPA seemed too hoppy almost, lacking a good backbone to support the five (really!) hops used. It reminding me of a young brewer who decided more IBUs must be better without considering structure. We’ve all been there, but it was disappointing from the pros here. One other note, they also brew a root beer on site. Cool and kid friendly.

Voodoo, in downtown Meadville, is a pretty cool place. Again, we didn’t eat, but the food coming from the kitchen looked pretty tasty. It had a more hip industrial vibe, long tables and bar, and was a good setup to linger. Their beers were more inventive, and most pretty solid. They seems to love Belgians as well, offering three different ones among their 10 offerings. Six of these are year round, and four are rotating. My only complaint was that they seem to love ABVs, with all standard taps above 7.5%. The rotating taps had some session beers to balance, though. These guys have been distributing around PA since 2007, and just moved into New York.

I really enjoyed the brown ale, and brought a growler back to the in-laws’ to enjoy. They also had an imperial stout that was great, coming in at 12%, that’ll knock your socks off. If you like Belgians, their offerings were pretty solid too. Their IPA rotates by season also, changing throughout the year. This will definitely be a standard stop on our visits as I really enjoyed the beers here. If your in the area, I’d suggest you make a stop and check it out.

Today was bottling day for the milk stout. I used 3.4 oz of corn sugar to batch prime it, ending with 37 bottles and 2 bombers. The FG was 1.018.

The sample had fantastic notes of chocolate and coffee. It was very smooth and very tasty! This one should be great!

Just a quick note to say that I bottled this one up this afternoon. The final gravity ended up at 1.016, a bit higher than anticipated. I think it was done, though, as the color was good and the clarity was pretty good too.

The hydro sample had a nice sweetness to it, and a golden copper color. I expected it to be a bit darker, but I think it is okay for the style. It’s probably a bit low in ABV, so maybe I’ll have to change this to a Scottish Heavy instead of an export. Used .5 oz of corn sugar in a batch prime, and ended up with 31 clean bottles, including 2 trub.

I squeezed in another brew day today, brewing up Opus 19: Kokomo Arnold Milk Stout. This recipe is based on this one from homebrewtalk, and received great reviews. My brother enjoys this style, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’ll also be a nice contrast to the light summer beers I’ve been making. The only adjustment I made was to play with the numbers for a 4 gallon batch.

The name comes from the song “Milk Stout Blues”, originally written by Kokomo Arnold, an early blues musician and contemporary of Robert Johnson. I love it when I can learn a little music history as I brew!

This is also the first batch that I will ferment in my new Better Bottle, which I bought with my winnings at the Madison River Roots Brewoff. This also marks the first time I will be using rinsed yeast, pitching a 1 L starter. I’ll have to describe that process in another post sometime.

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.066 OG Estimated FG 1.017 FG
Recipe Bitterness 24 IBU Alcohol by Volume 6.4%
Recipe Color 48° SRM Alcohol by Weight 5.0%


Quantity Grain Type Use
6.00 lb Two-row (US) Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Munich (German) – [Malty, Sweet – Redish Color] Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Crystal 60L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Chocolate Malt (British) – [Chocolate, Coffee, Nutty, Toasted] Grain Mashed
0.40 lb Flaked Barley [Briess] – Body for stouts and porters Adjunct Mashed
0.30 lb Flaked Oats [Briess] – Body, mouthfeel and head retention Adjunct Mashed
0.75 lb Roasted Barley – [Burnt, Coffee, Grainy, Nutty, Roasted] Grain Mashed
0.75 lb Milk Sugar Sugar Other
Quantity Hop Type Time
1.00 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) Pellet 10 minutes
0.25 oz Magnum Pellet 60 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Irish Moss Fining Added at 15 minutes
1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast 1 liter starter

Recipe Notes

Mash 75 minutes at 152, Ferment for 3 weeks at 65
Add lactose at 10 minutes

Batch Notes

Mashed for 90 minutes at 152-154. 1.047 Preboil gravity. OG is spot on at 1.064!

Used 1 gallon less than calculated, added back for sparge

Pitched 1 L starter of rinsed US-05 yeast at high krausen, at 70 degrees.

Today was one for the wife. She is a big fan of Scottish-style ales, so I created this recipe more for her than me. Brewing hint: Keep the wife happy! I’m hoping to enter this one in a competition or two, and I’ll probably sample a few, but most of them will go to her.

This recipe is a direct ripoff of Jamil’s NHC winning recipe, and is technically a Scottish Export 80 or Scottish Heavy. No jokes there, please.

The name comes from one of the most popular Scottish folk songs, and is my first “song specific” name. I took the “love song” interpretation, where Bonnie is his love (not the exiled prince).

Opus 18: My Bonnie’s Scottish Heavy
Recipe Opus 18: My Bonnie’s Scottish Heavy Style Scottish Export 80/-
Brewer Bandmaster’s Brewing Batch 3.00 gal
All Grain

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.054 OG Estimated FG 1.013 FG
Recipe Bitterness 20 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.2%
Recipe Color 18° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.1%


Quantity Grain Type Use
0.10 lb Chocolate Malt (British) – [Chocolate, Coffee, Nutty, Toasted] Grain Mashed
0.20 lb Crystal 120L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Crystal 40L – [Body, Caramel, Head, Sweet] Grain Mashed
4.50 lb Golden Promise Malt (British) – [Mellow, Sweet, Clean] Scottish and English ales Grain Mashed
0.25 lb Honey Malt (Canadian) Grain Mashed
0.25 lb Munich (German) – [Malty, Sweet – Redish Color] Grain Mashed
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) – Aroma and dry hop intensely resiny, candy-like, sweet, slightly floral and spicy Pellet 60 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast American: Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS

Recipe Notes

BiaB Mash at 158 for 90 minutes, ferment at 65. Irish moss added at 10 minutes.

Batch Notes

I mashed in 5.25 gallons of water, dough in at 160, for 90 minutes. I wanted to start a bit high, since I have had issues maintaining temps. Preboil gravity 1.035. OG 1.044, a bit low, but still in style. Yeast pitched at 70.

Just a quick note to say I bottled up Opus 17. Used about 3 oz (by eyeball measurement) of the strawberry extract and 2.9 oz of corn sugar. I got exactly 36 bottles, including the 4 trub bottles. Since I let it go so long, it was very clear. The FG ended up at 1.010, almost spot on. The sample was also very tasty! This one will be a great, easy drinker!