Archive for June, 2012

A quick note on the Ludwig IPA, which is about gone. This beer has gotten better with warm conditioning, about 6 weeks in the bottle. After more weeks in the fridge, the carbing is pretty fantastic, and the flavors have melded. The bitterness has mellowed, but it is present enough for a nice balance. I think it hit it’s peak this week, so I’m planning to enjoy the last two bottles soon. The lesson here: Patience is a good thing!

Day 21 of fermentation, and I finally got around to putting this one in the bottle. A trip out of town left it a bit longer than hoped, so we’ll see if it helped or not. I don’t think it will be much of a problem, but it’s a bit off schedule.

I did put the dry hop of 1/2 oz. of Centennial hops in on day 7 (thinking I would bottle at day 14). I’m not sure how the extra time will add or subtract to the flavor. I’m thinking the aroma will be more intense, but maybe I’ll lose some of it because it won’t be as fresh. Not sure which way it will go.

I also used a paint strainer bag for this dry hop, thinking it will avoid the floating hop residue I had last time I dry hopped. I even through about 5 sanitized marbles in the bag to weigh it down. It seemed to work pretty well, the bag sunk to bottom and the hops were a nice gooey mess!

I ended up with 21 bottles, 3 of which were trub bottles. I left a bit more than usual in the LBK when I transferred, thinking that would clear it up a bit more. It was a dark brown color, which I’m hoping will clear a bit more red, but the aroma was fantastic as I bottled. FG was 1.012, a bit low, but Qbrew tends to be slightly low with Mr. Beer gravities.

I’m pretty excited for another good IPA!

Today was bottling day (actually, day 16) for the Antes Ale, my throw together summer wheat. I followed my typical procedure, using 2 oz. of corn sugar for this one. Being a wheat, I wanted it just a bit higher for the style.

I did get the extra Willamette in there on day 7. As I bottle, it smells fantastic, so I think the dry hop will add a nice aroma on the pour. The color is a bit darker than I expected, so it’ll be interesting to see how this clears up in the bottle.

I got 22 bottles out of the batch. The FG is 1.004, within .001 of the original estimate.

I think this one will work out nicely as an easy summer session ale!

Tasting: Handel’s Hefe

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Recipes, Tasting Notes

I got around to popping open the Handel’s Hefe early last week. It was a bit early, as it wasn’t supposed to be done conditioning until this weekend, but I couldn’t wait. Plus, I understand that hefes do not need the conditioning time, as the wheat flavor prominent in young beers is expected here.

With that, I have to admit, I was WAY off from my expectations. I thought the higher fermentation would lead to banana flavors. Upon further research, the higher temps lead to more prominence of either banana or clove, but the pitching of the yeast yields the actual flavor. Overpitching leads to clove, and under pitching leads to banana. Since I used an entire vial of the WLP 300, I ended up over pitching for lots of clove flavor in this one.

However, that’s not a bad thing. The flavor, although “clovery”, seems to fit within the style guidelines, depending on your definition of “moderately strong.” I also notice a hint of the banana on the tongue as well, so it is present. I would have preferred this one with the opposite balance of clove to banana. I’m thinking by using 1/2 the yeast, or pitching it at a higher temp would solve this problem.

I did miss the boat on the carbonation. This one pours with a decent head, but quickly fades with little lacing. Carbonation is present throughout the glass, but it is not overcarbed as required by the style. That may be due to not enough sugar, as tastybrew’s calculator does not include a hefe option (maybe I should have used Wheat Beer-Weizen instead of the Helles). I also wondered how much yeast I lost on the blowout, or if I didn’t have enough time in warm conditioning. I did keep 12 bottles back, so we can check the last one, but my guess is sugar.

No pic of this one yet. I’ll try to snap something and edit later.

Final word: would I do this one again? You bet! With the carbing changes, and maybe with 1/2 the yeast vile, and probably some FermCap to avoid the blowout, this would would be a good one to keep in the summer rotation!

Summer break began this morning, so it was a good day to brew the Robert Johnson IPA, Opus 8! The name of this brew comes from the “first blues musician”, Robert Johnson. Legend has it he sold his soul to the Devil to learn to play the blues, and to give me a great name for my beer!

I put together a recipe based on the American Devil IPA extracts from Mr. Beer. Word is that this recipe is good on its own, but additional hops really make it great. I went with an Amber DME base, and added the 3 C’s of hops: Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade. I’ll be dry hopping in a week with another .5 oz of the Centennial. It should turn out with a great Amber color and be over hopped for the style (American IPA), but that’s okay. I like hops!

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.062 OG Estimated FG 1.016 FG
Recipe Bitterness 75 IBU Alcohol by Volume 6.0%
Recipe Color 11° SRM Alcohol by Weight 4.7%


Quantity Grain Type
1.21 lb MrB. American Devil IPA Extract
1.21 lb MrB. American Devil IPA Extract
1.00 lb Muntons DME – Amber Extract
Quantity Hop Type Time
0.50 oz Columbus Pellet 10 minutes
1.00 oz MrB. American Devil IPA Pellet 5 minutes
1.00 oz MrB. American Devil IPA Pellet 5 minutes
0.50 oz Centennial Pellet 5 minutes
0.50 oz Cascade Pellet 5 minutes
0.50 oz Centennial Pellet Dry hop
Quantity Misc Notes
1.00 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast Yeast


There were no drastic changes to the process I used before. Boil the DME, add hops, remove from heat and add Mr. Beer extract. Cool in ice bath, and pitch the rehydrated yeast. For the dry hop, I did buy some 1 gallon paint strainer bags at Lowes. I’ve sanitized them and am going to store it in a sanitized baggy until next week. Hopefully it will allow the hops to work, but keep some of the floaties out of the trub.

This one will should be ready to go by July 4th!