Friday, May 11, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cinnamon Chocolate Stout


OG 1.060 adjusted

FG 1.019 adjusted

Abv 5.5%

Abw 4.4%

Cal 207

Spice Notes:
cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace


From BJCP 13A:
Aroma: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent; may have slight chocolate, cocoa and/or grainy secondary notes. Esters medium-low to none. No diacetyl. Hop aroma low to none.
Appearance: Jet black to deep brown with garnet highlights in color. Can be opaque (if not, it should be clear). A thick, creamy, long-lasting, tan- to brown-colored head is characteristic.
Flavor: Moderate roasted, grainy sharpness, optionally with light to moderate acidic sourness, and medium to high hop bitterness. Dry, coffee-like finish from roasted grains. May have a bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate character in the palate, lasting into the finish. Balancing factors may include some creaminess, medium-low to no fruitiness, and medium to no hop flavor. No diacetyl.
Mouthfeel:Medium-light to medium-full body, with a creamy character. Low to moderate carbonation. For the high hop bitterness and significant proportion of dark grains present, this beer is remarkably smooth. The perception of body can be affected by the overall gravity with smaller beers being lighter in body. May have a light astringency from the roasted grains, although harshness is undesirable.
Overall Impression:A very dark, roasty, bitter, creamy ale.
Comments: This is the draught version of what is otherwise known as Irish stout or Irish dry stout. Bottled versions are typically brewed from a significantly higher OG and may be designated as foreign extra stouts (if sufficiently strong). While most commercial versions rely primarily on roasted barley as the dark grain, others use chocolate malt, black malt or combinations of the three. The level of bitterness is somewhat variable, as is the roasted character and the dryness of the finish; allow for interpretation by brewers.
History: The style evolved from attempts to capitalize on the success of London porters, but originally reflected a fuller, creamier, more “stout” body and strength. When a brewery offered a stout and a porter, the stout was always the stronger beer (it was originally called a “Stout Porter”). Modern versions are brewed from a lower OG and no longer reflect a higher strength than porters.
Ingredients: The dryness comes from the use of roasted unmalted barley in addition to pale malt, moderate to high hop bitterness, and good attenuation. Flaked unmalted barley may also be used to add creaminess. A small percentage (perhaps 3%) of soured beer is sometimes added for complexity (generally by Guinness only). Water typically has moderate carbonate hardness, although high levels will not give the classic dry finish.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.036 – 1.050
IBUs: 30 – 45 FG: 1.007 – 1.011
SRM: 25 – 40 ABV: 4 – 5%
Commercial Examples:Guinness Draught Stout (also canned), Murphy's Stout, Beamish Stout, O’Hara’s Celtic Stout, Russian River O.V.L. Stout, Three Floyd’s Black Sun Stout, Dorothy Goodbody’s Wholesome Stout, Orkney Dragonhead Stout, Old Dominion Stout, Goose Island Dublin Stout, Brooklyn Dry Stout

Belgian Dubbel

From BJCP 2008 Guidelines:
Aroma: Complex, rich malty sweetness; malt may have hints of chocolate, caramel and/or toast (but never roasted or burnt aromas). Moderate fruity esters (usually including raisins and plums, sometimes also dried cherries). Esters sometimes include banana or apple. Spicy phenols and higher alcohols are common (may include light clove and spice, peppery, rose-like and/or perfumy notes). Spicy qualities can be moderate to very low. Alcohol, if present, is soft and never hot or solventy. A small number of examples may include a low noble hop aroma, but hops are usually absent. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Dark amber to copper in color, with an attractive reddish depth of color. Generally clear. Large, dense, and long-lasting creamy off-white head.
Flavor: Similar qualities as aroma. Rich, complex medium to medium-full malty sweetness on the palate yet finishes moderately dry. Complex malt, ester, alcohol and phenol interplay (raisiny flavors are common; dried fruit flavors are welcome; clove-like spiciness is optional). Balance is always toward the malt. Medium-low bitterness that doesn’t persist into the finish. Low noble hop flavor is optional and not usually present. No diacetyl. Should not be as malty as a bock and should not have crystal malt-type sweetness. No spices.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation, which can influence the perception of body. Low alcohol warmth. Smooth, never hot or solventy.
Overall Impression:A deep reddish, moderately strong, malty, complex Belgian ale.
Comments: Most commercial examples are in the 6.5 – 7% ABV range. Traditionally bottle-conditioned (“refermented in the bottle”).
History: Originated at monasteries in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the mid-1800s after the Napoleonic era.
Ingredients: Belgian yeast strains prone to production of higher alcohols, esters, and phenolics are commonly used. Water can be soft to hard. Impression of complex grain bill, although traditional versions are typically Belgian Pils malt with caramelized sugar syrup or other unrefined sugars providing much of the character. Homebrewers may use Belgian Pils or pale base malt, Munich-type malts for maltiness, Special B for raisin flavors, CaraVienne or CaraMunich for dried fruit flavors, other specialty grains for character. Dark caramelized sugar syrup or sugars for color and rum-raisin flavors. Noble-type, English-type or Styrian Goldings hops commonly used. No spices are traditionally used, although restrained use is allowable.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.062 – 1.075
IBUs: 15 – 25 FG: 1.008 – 1.018
SRM: 10 – 17 ABV: 6 – 7.6%
Commercial Examples: Westmalle Dubbel, St. Bernardus Pater 6, La Trappe Dubbel, Corsendonk Abbey Brown Ale, Grimbergen Double, Affligem Dubbel, Chimay Premiere (Red), Pater Lieven Bruin, Duinen Dubbel, St. Feuillien Brune, New Belgium Abbey Belgian Style Ale, Stoudts Abbey Double Ale, Russian River Benediction, Flying Fish Dubbel, Lost Abbey Lost and Found Abbey Ale, Allagash Double


1.070 at 73 degrees adjusted
1.014 at 72 degrees adjusted



Brewed 12/18/2011

Kegged 1/20/2012

Cold Crashed 2/22/2012

Tapped 2/26/2012


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vanilla Pecan Porter Part Deux

Reviewing my notes from 2011 and considering feedback from everyone who had it, I decided to recreate the Pecan Porter I brewed back in July.

From BeerAdvocate:

Inspired from the now wavering English Porter, the American Porter is the ingenuous creation from that. Thankfully with lots of innovation and originality American brewers have taken this style to a new level. Whether it is highly hopping the brew, using smoked malts, or adding coffee or chocolate to complement the burnt flavor associated with this style. Some are even barrel aged in Bourbon or whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is quite wide but most are balanced. Many are just easy drinking session porters as well. 

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.5%


Vital Statistics:OG: 1.048 – 1.065
IBUs: 25 – 50FG: 1.012 – 1.016
SRM: 22 – 35ABV: 4.8 – 6.5%

The cool down took about 20-25 min. from flameout. I pitched onto an existing yeast cake from the American IPA. I let it ferment for 20 days. The FG turned out to be 1.020.

Below are my notes, including updates on the kegging and taste of the brew.


1.070 Adjusted from 73 degrees
1.020 Adjusted
6.7 %

245 per 12 oz


Cold Crashed:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

American IPA dry hopped with Cascade and tapped young

For my last brew of 2011 I decided to go with an American IPA.
From BeerAdvocate:

"The American IPA is a different soul from the reincarnated IPA style. More flavorful than the withering English IPA, color can range from very pale golden to reddish amber. Hops are typically American with a big herbal and / or citric character, bitterness is high as well. Moderate to medium bodied with a balancing malt backbone."

So I brewed this on Dec. 23rd with 1 oz. of Columbus for bittering and 2 oz. of Cascade for flavor and aroma.
My OG was 1.060 adjusted for the 73 degree reading.
Using an IBU calculator I found on the web, I got 77.3%, pretty average for the style.
According to BJCP I should have stayed between 40-70, maybe the calculator is wrong because I didn't overhop or use a high AA hop.

BJCP vitals:
OG: 1.056 – 1.075
IBUs: 40 – 70
FG: 1.010 – 1.018
SRM: 6 – 15
ABV: 5.5 – 7.5%

The cool down took about 20-25 min. from flameout. I pitched a vial of WLP001 that had an expiration date of Oct 2011 without a starter. I let it ferment for 2 weeks then moved to a 5 gal secondary and dryhopped with another ounce of Cascade. I tossed this in directly. Before I tossed I read the FG at 1.010.

I then let that sit for around 10 days and went to the keg.

Below are my notes, including updates on the kegging and taste of the brew.

Brew Specs:
1.060 at 73


8 oz.
2 Row Malt
4 oz.
Special B Malt
1 lb.
Crystal 60L Malt
8 lb.
Extra Pale LME
1 oz.
2 oz.
1 oz.
Cascade (Optional)
WLP001 California Yeast

Brew Schedule:
Secondary/Dry Hopped
Cold Crashed

Kegging Notes:
Added CO2 to seal the keg. Bled 3 times and shook slightly.
Decided to condition until at least the 20th.
Couldn't wait until the 20th, shook up keg and pressured until head came out of pressure relief valve!
Added to fridge to cold crash and drew a small sample to smell and taste. Aroma almost has grassy smell.