Batch #15: SMaSH Ale Brewed with DI Water (An Experiment)

I brewed this beer for a purpose. No, not just to drink, but to use for an activity during a brewing water presentation I gave for my local homebrew club — the PUBGuild. The purpose of this activity was to demonstrate how the sulfate ion changes the way one perceives hop bitterness in a given beer.

At high concentrations, sulfate adds dryness and sharpness to the hop profile. By brewing a beer with distilled or de-ionized (DI) water to control the water profile, it is easy to observe how calcium sulfate (gypsum) impacts the hop perception of a beer by adding a gypsum solution to the finished beer.

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Batch #14: Somewhere In-Between Ale

So, what’s with the ‘Somewhere In-Between’ name? Well, this one didn’t really turn out as planned. I intended for this batch to be an amber ale, but it ended up being more pale. Not quite an amber, but not quite a pale ale, so “somewhere in-between.” Nevertheless, it’s still pretty tasty!

Now that we got that out of the way, here’s the recipe…

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Oatmeal Stout Image

Batch #13: McNerney’s Oatmeal Stout

I finally ventured into the wonderful world of stouts!

When drafting this recipe, I wanted to create a good base stout recipe that I could use to build upon for other variations moving forward (oak aging, imperial stouts, etc.). I went with an oatmeal stout, because I like the flavor and body the oats impart into the beer, and I wanted to maintain a bit of residual sweetness with the final product.

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Batch #11 – Super Berry Melomel (Mead)

As you can see, I’m going backwards in batch numbers. No, I didn’t brew this recently — this is actually an older batch that I forgot to number and I’m just now getting to enjoy.

Back in August of 2013 I made my first mead. I’ve never had a mead before but decided to give it a try when I saw an email from the American Homebrewers Association about Mead Day 2013. I didn’t actually make this on Mead Day, but rather the day after (August 4th).

I decided to start with the AHA’s suggested recipe — a Super Berry Melomel recipe from Curt Stock. Though I didn’t use the same ingredients, I followed the same procedure. I did back-sweeten this batch, but would like to see what this would by like dry. Continue reading

Batch #12 – Windward Amber Ale

This beer was a carefully planned accident. Let me explain…

For my last few beers I have used the Brewers Friend software to draft my recipes, but I was recently given a copy of Ray Daniels’ Designing Great Beers. Having a better understanding of how the ingredients affect the end product, I decided to create a worksheet where I could create my recipes by hand.

For quite a while now I’ve had a vision of creating an easy to drink pale ale. I even had a name picked out — Leeward Pale Ale. With that in mind, I set out to draft a pale ale recipe. I decided on a grain bill consisting of base malt, crystal malt for head retention and body, and honey malt for a touch of sweetness. (I used honey malt in my Munich lager as a substitute for melanoidin malt, and I was a fan.) I was also planning on using a mixture of glacier and willamette hops for a floral, herby, citrusy note. After a few recipe drafts, and some feedback from the fine folks on Reddit, I had a recipe.

One problem. My local homebrew store doesn’t carry glacier hops… Whoops… Continue reading

Brew #10 – NernBock, a Traditional Bock

This beer has been in the making for quite some time. It started back in August when I was inspired to do a bock style beer by the upcoming Reddit homebrew competition for 2013. I did some research on the style and decided I wanted to take a stab at creating my own recipe from scratch. With the help of Brewing Classic Styles, the BJCP style guidelines, and various recipes I found online I created the recipe found below.

Though I did not brew this beer in time for the homebrew competition, I found it to be a good exercise in crafting recipes from scratch. I’ve since received a copy of Designing Great Beers from my buddy, Dan, and his wife, Nikki, and have a much greater hold on how to draft and fine tune recipes. Continue reading