Archive for Homebrew

Brewday – Burton Ale

Posted in Brewday with tags , on August 1, 2010 by sp1365



Recently I picked up Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. Before I get any further, if you homebrew and design your own recipes, you need to pick up this book. One of the fun parts of the book, is learning how styles have changed over time to what we know of today. Two of the fun styles that I read about were Burton Ales and Brown Porters, thus leading to todays Burton Ale Brewday.

Today was also the day that I got to use my birthday presents for the first time. Those presents being a malt mill, refractometer, and a false bottom for my mash tun. Overall, all of them worked flawlessly, but none so much as the refractometer. So much easier than taking hydrometer samples and without the waste either. Anyway on to the brewday.

The recipe for this was pretty simple:
90% Maris Otter
10% British Medium Crystal (50-60L)
OG: 1.085
Hopped with
Galena(60 min – 71 IBU)
First Gold (15 min – 18 IBU)
Challenger (5 min – 6 IBU)
Fermented with Wyeast Thames Valley

I plan on dry hopping with First Gold and Challenger as well.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. Kinda forgot about that today.



Homebrew RoggenBock

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 14, 2010 by sp1365

So a while back I tried to do a triple decoction Roggenbock. The decoction did not go well and my brewday ended up being around little over 12 hours. Here is just a short list of issues that I had during that day:

  • First decoction went well, but the next 2 would not come up to temperature. Ended up decocting about 2-3 more times then necessary.
  • The second problem I ran into was testing for conversion. Every test turned up positive for starch. After an extra hour of mash time I just gave up and started the sparge.
  • During the sparge, I got my first stuck sparge even though I used a decent amount rice hulls.

Fortunately, the boil, fermentation, and bottling went by without problems. Now I am breaking one out every so often to try them. First thing you notice cracking it open is the aroma. This beer has a huge banana aroma that dominates with a hint of rye behind it and the color is a rich mahogany. The flavor, like the aroma, is yeast dominated with a hint of rye spice and maltly richness. Carbonation is very light (needs some more time in the bottle), and the mouth feel is very thick, yet finishes smooth and dry.

Once this carbonates up it should a pretty good beer, though I am not sure that I really want to go through the trouble of the decoction mash again. Recipe after the picture.



Type: All Grain

Date: 1/4/2010

Batch Size: 3.00 gal

Brewer: Ryan Murphy
Boil Size: 3.75 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Stove Top
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:


Amount Item Type % or IBU
0.25 lb Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 2.50 %
4.00 lb Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 40.00 %
3.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 35.00 %
1.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (1.0 SRM) Grain 10.00 %
1.00 lb Rye, Flaked (2.0 SRM) Grain 10.00 %
0.25 lb Chocolate Rye Malt (250.0 SRM) Grain 2.50 %
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.70 %] (45 min) Hops 22.5 IBU
1 Pkgs Hefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300) [Starter 1200 ml] Yeast-Wheat

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.076 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.069 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.019 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.011 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.50 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.58 %
Bitterness: 22.5 IBU Calories: 309 cal/pint
Est Color: 18.3 SRM


Posted in Ramblings with tags , on April 11, 2010 by sp1365

I hate chlorine.

A few batches back I started delving into the topic of water chemistry in brewing because I want to make the best beers possible. I went online and found the water report for where I live. Low and behold the water is great for brewing. Low to moderate amounts of all the brewing minerals which made adjustment without dilution possible for most styles. Life is good. Unfortunately, the one part of the water report I overlooked was the chlorine content.

Fast forward about 5 batches and all of them have the same off aroma. A medicinal smell and flavor dominates the beer. At first I couldn’t figure it out. Was it caused by fermentation? the boil? ingredients? I couldn’t place it until about a week ago. The off aroma was chlorophenol and looking back at the water report it was staring me in the face the whole time. Fortunately, the beers are still drinkable and now that I know the problem I can hopefully fix it. Going to start brewing with distilled water that I build the mineral content from scratch, which is probably what I should have done from the start.

I guess the moral of the story is that when starting to play with water chemistry, make sure that you take everything into account not just the minerals that you want in beer, but also the ones you don’t want.

Brown Porter Bottling and APA Brewday

Posted in Brewday with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2010 by sp1365

I was going to post this up yesterday after I finished, but I ended up going out with some friends instead. On the plus side, I brought some of my homebrew along with me and got to share it some of my friends siblings and parents.

Anyway, yesterday I got around to bottling a brown porter that I had brewed a while back. I am not a fan of bottling, but I can’t go to kegging since I am still in college without money or space. What I have been doing lately is combining bottling and brewing into one day. My brewday is only marginally longer and it doesn’t feel like I am having to set aside an hour out of my week to bottle. It has definitely made bottling easier to handle.

As for the brewday itself, I brewed an American Pale Ale with Ahtanum and Amarillo hops (recipe after the pics). I have been doing a large amount of English beers lately and wanted to put something different into my pipeline. This was supposed to be an all Cascade hopped APA, but when I went the local homebrew store (LHBS) they were out. I ended up with the Ahtanum hops as they are listed a possible substitute for Cascade and I picked up Amarillo since it seems to be a fairly popular hop for American APAs and IPAs on Homebrew Talk. Overall, the brewday went by almost flawlessly. I was only 1* off my mash temp (149* instead of 148*) and hit my sprage temps perfectly. In general, yesterday was a good day to brew.

The beer for my brewday was Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard. Since turning 21 I have been trying to try as many different beers as possible and somehow I never picked up a bottle of Arrogant Bastard or anything from Stone for that matter. On Friday I rectified that by picked up a bomber of it at Trader Joe’s and cracked it open yesterday while brewing. First impression were great, it poured a beautiful amber color with a light tan head that clung to the glass. The aroma is very flowery with a hint of citrus. Taste was bitter with a definite citrus hop flavor finishing a touch dry. Overall, a fantastic beer that deserves the praise that it gets.

Now time for the pics:

And the recipe:

American Pale Ale
American Pale Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 1/25/2010
Batch Size: 3.00 gal Brewer: Ryan Murphy
Boil Size: 3.75 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Stove Top
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 80.00 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 10.00 %
0.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 10.00 %
0.50 oz Ahtanum [5.20 %] (60 min) Hops 16.9 IBU
0.50 oz Amarillo [8.20 %] (20 min) Hops 16.1 IBU
0.50 oz Amarillo [8.20 %] (5 min) Hops 5.3 IBU
0.50 oz Ahtanum [5.20 %] (0 min) Hops
1 Pkgs SafAle American Ale (DCL Yeast #S-05) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.045 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.045 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.45 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.21 %
Bitterness: 38.4 IBU Calories: 194 cal/pint
Est Color: 7.2 SRM Color:

Mash Profile
Mash Name: My Mash Total Grain Weight: 5.00 lb
Sparge Water: 2.85 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
My Mash
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 8.00 qt of water at 156.7 F 148.0 F


Posted in Ramblings with tags , on March 25, 2010 by sp1365

So there is an interesting discussion going on over on titled Diacetyl: Why the Hate? I think it is an interesting topic as both a brewer and a drinker of beer. On the one hand as a brewer we are taught that diacetyl is one of the deadly sins of brewing. That outside of a few styles any diacetyl in beer is consider a flaw. On the other hand as a craft beer drinker I am a firm believer in drinking what you like. If there are hints of diacetyl in the beer that make it taste better then can it really be considered a flaw?

Foreign Extra Stout Brewday

Posted in Brewday with tags , , , on March 14, 2010 by sp1365

As promised yesterday here are some pictures from my brewday yesterday (recipe provided at the end of the post):

Between other commitments and spring break this was the first chance I have had to brew in a couple of weeks. It was also my first time using washed yeast and a starter. I was a bit nervous, but fortunately here I am little over a day later with the beginnings of some beautiful kräusen forming. One of the most famous (if not most famous) stouts in the world has to be Guinness. The inspiration for this beer was from my study abroad in Ireland. While in Dublin me and some friends went to the brewery at St. James Gate and while there I got to have a glass of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and loved it. Unfortunately, it is not available here in the States and as a whole the style is not very popular, in fact I am not sure I have found any Foreign Extra Stouts since my return which is a real shame. In my opinion the Foreign Extra Stout is a wonderful bridge between the Dry Stouts of Ireland and the rich powerful Russian Imperial Stouts. A nice balance of roasty and bitter with a touch of classic fruit British yeast character. I can’t wait till this is ready.

Cheers! Prost! Sláinte!

Recipe (Provided by BeerSmith):

Foreign Extra Stout
Foreign Extra Stout
Type: All Grain Date: 3/13/2010
Batch Size: 3.00 gal Brewer: Ryan Murphy
Boil Size: 3.75 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Stove Top
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 76.92 %
0.50 lb Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
0.50 lb Black Barley (Stout) (500.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 7.69 %
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (60 min) Hops 25.8 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] (20 min) Hops 15.6 IBU
1 Pkgs Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [Starter 1000 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.063 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.054 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.24 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.39 %
Bitterness: 41.4 IBU Calories: 235 cal/pint
Est Color: 34.8 SRM