Archive for April, 2012

Recipe: Handel’s Hefe, Opus 6

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Recipes

It was a busy night as I decided to not only bottle up the il Prete Rosso, but also brew up this easy hefeweisen, Handel’s Hefe, Opus 6. Being an easy going German style, the name seemed appropriate and alliterative!

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.046 OG Estimated FG 1.013 FG
Recipe Bitterness 17 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.0%
Recipe Color 6° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.0%


Quantity Grain Type
1.21 lb MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Extract
1.50 lb Muntons DME – Wheat (60%/40%) Extract
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.25 oz Hallertauer (Germany) Pellet 5 minutes
1.00 oz MrB. Whispering Wheat Weizenbier Pellet 5 minutes
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit White Labs WLP300 Yeast



I tried something a bit different with the Wheat DME, and added it to 1.5 G of water while it was still warming up. I figured it was going to boil anyway, so it would sanitize during that process. It seemed to have dissolved just as easily, but I didn’t have to fight the steam clumping the DME.

Once it came to a boil, I added the hops for the short 5 minutes, removed from heat, and added the Mr. Beer Whispering Wheat. Once cooled in the ice tub to about 75 degrees, I put it in the LBK, topped off with cold water, and pitched the yeast.

From what I understand, this yeast will give off some nice banana notes when fermenting around 70-75. Lower than that, it would give off clove. Since I like the banana flavor, I’m shooting for those. Also, a bonus with this one, is that most hefes need very little conditioning time, so this one should be ready around 4-5 weeks as well!


Bottling: il Prete Rosso

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Bottling Notes, Recipes

Today was the day to bottle up this Strawberry Blonde Ale. The final gravity measured out at 1.016, very close to where Qbrew put this one. I followed my usual procedure, but upped the corn sugar to 2 oz. For this one, I also had to add the strawberry extract. I put this into the bottling jug after the sugar water, but before the wort. I think it mixed up pretty well, since the smell was pretty good going into the bottles. I got 22 bottles out of this batch again, including the trub bottle.

Four more weeks will make this one ready just in time to celebrate summer vacation!

Tasting: Amadeus Ale

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Tasting Notes

Last night, I tried the trub bottle of the Amadeus Ale. If you remember at the bottling, I was a bit unsure about the amount of sugar I used for carbing. Since this one has been sitting for about 17 days, I through one in the fridge and opened it about 6 hours later to check it out.

The carb level was, in fact, low. However, I liked the smaller bubbles of the corn sugar, and I noticed that the carbonation remained throughout the glass. This was much better than before, and the beer did not taste flat at all.

Still, I think I’m going to let them carb up one more week before conditioning them in the fridge. I’ll run the same test next week with the Ludwig to see if it has the same problem.

As for the taste, itself, I’m going to withhold a full review until it properly conditions. However, I did enjoy the “quality check” bottle very much, which had a balanced, or perhaps a bit maltier flavor. I think this one will turn out great!

Recipe: il Prete Rosso Ale, Opus 5

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Recipes

Brewed up another batch today, the il Prete Rosso Ale. This is my first all extract brew and is intended to be a Strawberry Blonde Ale for the beginning of summer. Il Prete Rosso, “The Red Priest”, is Antonio Vivaldi’s nickname, due to his red hair. Good enough reason to name this beer, I think!

I don’t usually like fruity beers, but I do enjoy Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde during the hot summer months. They use just enough strawberry without overwhelming the flavor of the beer. I’m hoping this recipe is similar.

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.050 OG Estimated FG 1.013 FG
Recipe Bitterness 20 IBU Alcohol by Volume 5.1%
Recipe Color 5° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.0%


Quantity Grain Type
2.50 lb Muntons DME – Light Extract
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Kent Goldings (U.K.) Pellet 5 minutes
0.50 oz Willamette Pellet 60 minutes

1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast

Recipe Notes

Strawberry Extract to be added at bottling.


I started out by boiling 1 gallon of water, then removing from the heat and mixing in the DME. Once mixed, I returned the pot to a boil for the Willamette hops. I stirred every 10 minutes.

I did experience two boil overs, the most I’ve had. The first was during the hot break, somewhat expected, so I removed from the heat until it calmed down. I think next time I use this much DME, I’ll use a bigger pot than my 6 quart. The second boil over was when I covered it to see what will happen. Bad idea. Don’t cover during the hop boil.

Otherwise, pretty straight forward from there. Added the Goldings at 5 minutes, ice bath to 70 degrees, aerate, pitch rehydrated yeast, and add to the LBK. I’ll be adding 2 oz. of the strawberry extract when I batch carb in a couple weeks.

I’m looking forward to a nice, refreshing strawberry blonde ale in May!

My son was home sick today, so during his morning nap, I took the opportunity to bottle up the Ludwig IPA. Only one change on this one since the last time, and that is to use  a 3 foot hose tube from the hardware store to rack the beer to my batch priming container. I discovered last time that the new Mr. Beer spigot does not fit my bottling wand, and although I tried to rig something up for the Amadeus, it didn’t work that well.

The only other change is the recommended amount of corn sugar. I am afraid that I may have undercarbed the Amadeus, which I measured using tastybrew’s calculator. For an IPA, they recommended even less sugar (1.3 oz). Maybe I’ll be out of the proper style, but I upped it to 2 oz to be safe.

I got 20 good bottles out of this batch, and one more trub bottle. A new problem also popped up, too. After about 18 bottles, the trub backed up in the bottling wand and really slowed things down. I cleaned it out and dipped it in sanitizer before bottling the last 3 bottles, so if they are contaminated, I know why. I think the clog was because of the dry hop I used, so I’ll just have to live with it. Maybe I can keep some sanitizer in reserve to clean the wand if it happens again.

I also expected a bigger aroma to this one, which I didn’t get. It smelled good, but not big. The hydrometer taste was good, though, and this one should turn out pretty well, I think. The FG was 1.014, .002 lower than qbrew expected. Looks like a good one!