Arrakas Rye IPA – “Rye-PA” Ale *Recipe & Details*

Arrakas Rye IPA – “Rye-PA” Ale *Recipe & Details*

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Most recipes don’t cover every single detail for what you are making, but I try everything I post and reveal secrets while simplifying anywhere possible.  Read below each recipe to get it all!

Do you ever try or hear of a beer that is so intriguing you’re left wanting? The thought of brewing it yourself sounds so appealing the more you find out about that beer. There are times when this has happened to me and while it’s fun to get creative in building my own beer recipes, there are other times when it’s nice to give someone else’s ingenuity a try. And that is exactly what I did with this brew. After seeing the hops in this recipe, that alone will give you a good idea of why I felt this way when I was told of Arrakas Rye IPA by my good friend Jeremy at Misfits Brewing.

REMEMBER TO CHECK BELOW THE RECIPE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED WITHIN RECIPE

Arrakas Rye IPA – “Rye-PA” Ale  

Ingredients for 5.25 gallons (20L) 

  • 7 lbs 8 oz (3.4 kg) Pale Malt (2 Row) US
  • 2 lbs 12 oz (1.25 g) Rye, Flaked
  • 2 lbs (907 g) Victory Malt 
  • 1 lb 8 oz (680 g) Aromatic Malt   
  • 1 oz (28 g) Challenger Hops 60 min. 
  • **Optional 1 Whirlfloc Tablet 15 min.
  • 1 oz (28 g) Cashmere Hops 10 min.
  • 1 oz (28 oz) Simcoe Hops 10 min.
  • 1 oz (28 oz) Chinook Hops Whirlpool
  • 1 oz (28 oz) Simcoe Hops Dry Hop 5 Days
  • 1 packet White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001)
  • Original Gravity: 1.068
  • Final Gravity: 1.015
  • Extract Efficiency: 72%
  • IBUs: 52.9
  • ABV: 7.0%

 

 

Directions: Always grab yourself a beer to enjoy while brewing – it’s tradition! Then, mash in 4.5 gallons (17L) of water at 163.7 F (73 C) 60 min. Sparge: Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun 3 times- 1.55gal (5.75L), then 1.55gal, then 1.55gal) of water at 168.0 F (75.5 C) – Sparge Water: 4.66 gal (17.6 L) total. Boil 90 minutes, add hops and the optional whirlfloc tablet at times shown in the recipe. Cool to pitching temp. of 65 F (18 C) and ferment at 65 F (18 C). Dry hop as indicated in recipe.

NOTE – when you brew any batch it is very important to adjust the volume of the runoff that will be in your boiling pot according to the amount of evaporation loss you usually see when brewing similar timed batches. For example, when I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer that calls for a 60 minute boil, I know that I will need about 6 gallons in my boiling pot before the boil begins because I usually lose about 1 gallon during that length of boil. You may lose 2 gallons while boiling for 60 minutes, so you would need to add more water to your mash in order to get 7 gallons of runoff and end up with about 5 gallons after boiling. If you don’t keep track of this, you might end up with less beer than anticipated, or you could end up with more beer that is watered down. Recipes give amounts that are recommended but in the end it all comes down to you and your specific circumstances on how it will turn out. If you don’t have as much experience to have a consistent brewing pattern that you can keep track of, just follow the instructions and don’t be afraid to ask questions, leave comments or submit a contact form, I am more than willing to help and there are so many people in the brewing community that will support you as well.

 

Brewing Information

The first thing you’ll need to do to brew this is get all of the ingredients, this seems like an obvious starting point. What may not be obvious at first is that there is a specific hop in the recipe that is not readily available to most people, but you’ll find that out quickly enough when you begin to buy your ingredients. Cashmere hops can be tricky to find, in my case the local brew supply stores had never even heard of Cashmere and all the biggest online retailers either didn’t sell them or were sold out indefinitely, so I couldn’t put them on back order to be shipped to me when they came back in stock. If you are having trouble like this, there are solutions don’t be discouraged! You can substitute Cashmere with Nelson Sauvin hops, they are very similar. I have also been told you could substitute with Heull Blanc because they are similar to Nelson, this may be a bit of a stretch I’m not sure if I would call it a great substitute, but it may suffice if you can’t find anything else at all. There is the other option of searching online until you find someone who is selling Cashmere hops, which is what I did and I eventually came across a reputable retailer of hops on eBay. I decided to buy a pound since I spent so much energy being invested on the search for the exact hop the recipe called for, and was rewarded with a discount for the bulk amount ordered!

Next, the 3 step sparge seemed somewhat excessive at first – but behold, there is a reason behind it! It’s obvious to me that Misfits Brewing knows what they’re talking about when they give detailed instructions like that. This may not be the only reason, but it is a point that should be covered now that I am aware of it. The grains in this recipe will float and do not settle easily into a nice grain-bed for filtration while lautering, so it is necessary to use small amounts of water in increments to leach all the sugars from the grains and reach the volume of runoff needed while avoiding the issue of grains pulling through into your wort. If you skip these steps and do a one step sparge with the full 4.66 gallons of water needed, be warned that you will have issues getting your grain bed to set and you won’t save yourself any time by changing the process. I don’t see a big problem with doing this, if you don’t mind extra sediment in your wort because you may never be able to recirculate enough to clear the wort. At least you’ll go into it being aware of the reason behind the extra steps for your sparge.

I will be adding a video tomorrow (5/4/2017) to show you how epic this brew day was for me, so be sure to check back to see!!

Comment below and share your thoughts, ask questions & get answers!

Hop Tea For Your Health

Hop Tea For Your Health

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Spring is here, the sun is shining, flowers are blooming and flu season is basically over. Right? Well if you find yourself annoyingly sick and feeling like you would rather die than endure the excruciating sore throat, body aches and fever, like me this last week, then you might just be willing to try about anything to put it to an end. You’re in luck, because what I am about to tell you is so much better than most home remedies you’ve been told to hold your nose and just swallow. And if you like beer, particularly hoppy styles of beer, then this will be a pleasant cure to what ails you.

The magic potion is hop tea, a blend of whatever your favorite tea is with honey and a good helping of hops. I was given this cure for fever and sore throat from a very good friend and fellow home brewer, Kostas of El Greco Brewery in Poland. He has so much knowledge about hops, malts and brewing and is constantly studying more about it, do yourself a favor and check out what he’s doing on social media! Click these links to see his El Greco Brewery Instagram and Browar Domowy El Greco FaceBook. I have made this tea twice since I was told of it a couple of days ago and am floored by how much better I have felt since having this!! It completely clears head congestion within about 30 minutes after drinking a small cup of tea, which is almost a constant issue for me anyway, and it keeps you clear for upwards of 8-12 hours after. I have tried decongestants, expectorants, essential oils and even sinus rinses – believe me when I say I have never seen such an effective congestion clearing method and it felt amazing to be rid of that extra pressure that built up from the bug I’ve been fighting. The strong hop oils present in the tea make you feel sleepy once they start to kick in, and you will rest with easy comfortably with easy breathing.

 

 

 

When making this, it helps to choose a tea that compliments the hoppy flavor so I chose to try two different kinds of tea as my base and see what I liked best. I made a green tea blend with lemon & ginseng, then an English Breakfast black tea with lemonaide for an Arnold Palmer style drink. Here’s the basic hop tea recipe, followed by my variations and experience.

 

 

 

 

Hop Tea Recipe

  • About 8 oz or 200 mL tea of choice
  • 3 large tablespoons of honey
  • 5-10 whole-cone hops (the higher the alpha acid the better, ex. Simcoe or Magnum)

Directions: Brew a small cup of tea with 1 tea packet as directed on packaging then put tea into small pot on stove, or pour 8 oz premade tea into small pot. Bring tea to a boil and add honey and hops. Boil 5 minutes. Strain hops as you pour into mug. I like to press the hops firmly into the strainer with a spoon to squeeze out the tea soaked into them and extract as much of the hop oils as possible, the more potent this is the more effective it will be. Drink while still hot to soothe sore throat. Snuggle up under a comforter with a box of tissues and relax.

 

When you drink this it will be very bitter since you are using so many hops in a small amount of tea, but the honey and the tea base help give it a nice depth of flavor to accompany the hoppyness. You could easily do this with hop pellets as well if you don’t have whole cone hops available. Just use about half the amount since hop pellets are condensed and put the pellets into a tea strainer, if you have one, or wrap into a coffee filter and tie it closed with a piece of thread or string and dunk it like a teabag.

 

 

 

 

 

Making this with the green tea was quite good, a mild sweet tea with a punch of hops that is easily swallowed in a couple gulps before laying down to rest. I think this one is very nice to have just before bedtime for that boost to the immune system while it heals overnight. The recipe is so quick to whip up and drink down you’ll be curling up in a blanket within minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an Arnold Palmer style tea was very tasty and invigorating with the caffeine shot from the black tea. I brewed a small cup of English Breakfast tea and boiled the hops in it, then after straining into a glass I added another 8 oz of Simply Lemon lemonaide and sipped away pleasurably. This is better in the morning, the caffeine counteracts the sleepiness you can feel from the hops and the bright flavors of the lemonaide, tea and hops wake up your senses. I have to admit, this was my favorite one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

No longer is hop tea just a reference to something disgusting and only used rarely to become familiar with hop flavors after being boiled. This remedy will cut back your sick time considerably, the health benefits are truly astounding! The combination of healing effects of the hops, the soothing honey with it’s immune boosting properties of it’s own, and the antioxidants infused from the tea all pack a punch that no sickness can withstand. So go ahead, give hop tea a second look and indulge in using hops in more than your beer.

Red & Gold Ale – Almond Butter Irish Red Ale *Recipe & Details*

Red & Gold Ale – Almond Butter Irish Red Ale *Recipe & Details*

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Most recipes don’t cover every single detail for what you are making, but I try everything I post and reveal secrets while simplifying anywhere possible.  Read below each recipe to get it all!

What makes you crave red ale? When rainy days abound as winter nears its end and the skies are full of rolling clouds while the snow on the ground disappears, I can’t help but feel the urge to drink something a little lighter yet still full bodied, a hearty feeling without being too heavy in the spirit of spring warmth thawing the frozen winter chill. There are a few beers that fit this profile, but the more I thought about what I wanted the idea formed of a red ale, with its perfectly fitting medium body and mid-range ABV to give a slight warmth, but it needed that extra something to give it a little more hearty feel. It didn’t take me long to figure out what could add that, I love almond butter and have always felt it is a hearty addition to many snacks, plus almond goes great with red ales, so almond butter became the cherry on top of this tribute to Spring. Kick the lingering chill of winter and welcome the light of spring at the same time with this smooth Red & Gold Ale.

REMEMBER TO CHECK BELOW THE RECIPE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED WITHIN RECIPE

Red & Gold Ale – Almond Butter Irish Red Ale  

Ingredients for 5.5 gallons (21L) [Net: 5 gallons (19L) after boil]

  • 11.25 lbs (5.1 kg) Maris Otter Malt (or other British Pale Malt)
  • 6 oz (170 g) Roasted Barley 
  • 6 oz (170 g) Crystal Malt 120L 
  • 6 oz (170 g) Crystal Malt 40L  
  • 1 oz (28 g) Northern Brewer 8.5% AA 60 min. 
  • 8 Heaping (overflowing) Tablespoons natural almond butter, oil poured off 5 min.
  • 2 packets Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale Yeast, or prepare yeast starter
  • Original Gravity: 1.054
  • Final Gravity: 1.010
  • Extract Efficiency: 73%
  • IBUs: 25
  • ABV: 5.75%

 

 

Directions: Always grab yourself a beer to enjoy while brewing – it’s tradition! Then, mash 5.5 gal (21L) of water in grains at 153° F (67° C) for 60 minutes. Mash out 2.5 gal (9.5L) water at 168° F (75.5° C) for 20 minutes and sparge. Collect about 5.5 gallons (21L) of runoff, or increase volume as needed for your 60 minute boil, and bring to a boil. Add hops as indicated in the recipe. Add almond butter in the last 5 minutes of the boil and stir well. After boil, chill wort to 66° F (19° C) and transfer to fermenter. Pitch yeast and aerate well. Ferment at 66° F (19° C).

 

NOTE – when you brew any batch it is very important to adjust the volume of the runoff that will be in your boiling pot according to the amount of evaporation loss you usually see when brewing similar timed batches. For example, when I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer that calls for a 60 minute boil, I know that I will need about 6 gallons in my boiling pot before the boil begins because I usually lose about 1 gallon during that length of boil. You may lose 2 gallons while boiling for 60 minutes, so you would need to add more water to your mash in order to get 7 gallons of runoff and end up with about 5 gallons after boiling. If you don’t keep track of this, you might end up with less beer than anticipated, or you could end up with more beer that is watered down. Recipes give amounts that are recommended but in the end it all comes down to you and your specific circumstances on how it will turn out. If you don’t have as much experience to have a consistent brewing pattern that you can keep track of, just follow the instructions and don’t be afraid to ask questions, leave comments or submit a contact form, I am more than willing to help and there are so many people in the brewing community that will support you as well.

Tips to Brewing with Almond Butter

The addition of any nut butter can be a little tricky if you are using natural, fresh ground nut butter, but with these tips you can easily use it without mishap, To avoid the issue with lack of head retention because of oil from the nuts in this recipe, I like to use natural creamy almond butter with the oil skimmed off. You will still have a little bit of oil go into your beer with the almond butter but not enough to ruin the head when you carbonate your beer. For further details on skimming oil off your nut butter and adding the butter to your beer, refer to my Tips to Brewing With Peanut Butter. I have used this trick in a few batches, with forced carbonation and natural carbonation methods, and it has worked well each time.

 

Fermentation & Conditioning

As beer ferments with nut butter in the wort, I have found that those flavors can weaken, or ferment out. However, I have brewed this beer once before and found the almond butter was not completely fermented out, though it did leave a little to be desired once aging was finished. I added about 3 Tablespoons more almond butter to the recipe in creating this brew and this post to get some more of the smooth almond flavor. I thought about simply adding more to the ferment, which I still may try, but I thought it might help the balance of richness the almond adds to the beer if there was only a little more added to the boil and I skip adding the fresh almond flavor you get from it being in the ferment. I will be testing this during the fermentation process, as usual, to see how this develops and make decisions according to how I feel then. I will continue to add to this recipe so don’t forget to check back to see the updates as this beer develops!

Do you like red ales? Have you even made one? What did you like or dislike that you would like changed? Comment below and share your thoughts, ask questions & get answers!

Scotch Ale Aged With Toasted Oak *Recipe & Details*

Scotch Ale Aged With Toasted Oak *Recipe & Details*

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Most recipes don’t cover every single detail for what you are making, but I try everything I post and reveal secrets while simplifying anywhere possible.  Read below each recipe to get it all!

Have you had the pleasure of drinking a nice, smoky oaked Scotch Ale before? That rich, dark, brown malt flavor with peat smoked malt and roasted barley taking main stage, along with a well balanced infusion of toasted oak notes. It is an experience that is not to be missed. I have always enjoyed a nicely brewed Scotch Ale, so when I began brewing from grain I set out to brew something similar to the flavor of my first Scotch Ale encounter from Moab Brewery. At the time I dreamed up this idea, I had little experience brewing from grain and had a lot of wonderful help from my local brew supply store, Salt City Brew Supply, in creating this recipe. Together we went over the description of Moab Brewery’s Scotch Ale and came up with a recipe we thought would be similar. I have had great results with this ever since and it has become one of my favorite recipes to brew.

So when I bought my malt whiskey barrel from my friends at Sugar House Distillery, my husband and I immediately thought of this Scotch Ale to age in it. I debated whether to use the first idea that came to mind, but the more I contemplated the amazing varieties of barrel aged beers, the more I realized that I couldn’t go wrong brewing a tried and true favorite. I hope you obtain the same enjoyment from this excellent brew.

REMEMBER TO CHECK BELOW THE RECIPE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED WITHIN RECIPE

Scotch Ale “Wee Heavy” 

Ingredients for 5.5 gallons (21L) [Net: 5 gallons (19L) after boil]

  • 15 lbs 8 oz (7.03 kg) Maris Otter Pale Malt
  • 12 oz (340 g) Brown Malt 
  • 8 oz (227 grams) Peat Smoked Malt 
  • 4 oz (113.4 grams) Roasted Barley  
  • 0.75 oz (21.26 grams) Northern Brewer 8.5% AA 60 min.
  • 0.25 oz (7.1 g) Northern Brewer 8.5% AA 15 min. 
  • 2 packets Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast, or prepare yeast starter with 2L of wort  
  • 3 oz (85 g) heavy toasted American Oak chips

 

  • Original Gravity: 1.087
  • Final Gravity: 1.021
  • Extract Efficiency: 82.8 percent
  • IBUs: 19.2
  • ABV: 8%

 

Directions: Always grab yourself a beer to enjoy while brewing – it’s tradition! Then, mash 5.5 gal (21L) of water in grains at 163.5° F (73° C) for 75 minutes. Mash out 2.5 gal (9.5L) water at 168° F (75.5° C) for 20 minutes and sparge. Collect about 5.5 gallons (21L) of runoff, or increase volume as needed for your 60 minute boil, and bring to a boil. Add hops as indicated in the recipe. After boil, chill wort to 67° F (19.4° C) and transfer to fermenter. Pitch yeast and aerate well. Ferment at 67° F (19.4° C). * If you will NOT be aging in a wood barrel, add about 2-3 oz (57-85 g) heavy toasted American Oak chips at 7 days into fermentation-these can be added directly to the wort. After fermentation is complete and final gravity is stable for 2 days, rack into your wood barrel (or bottles/keg if not using a barrel). Purge the head space with CO2 and age for 10-60 days, or longer according to taste and barrel type, as some barrels are drilled to cover more surface area of the brew and impart more flavor from the barrel quicker.

 

 

NOTE – when you brew any batch it is very important to adjust the volume of the runoff that will be in your boiling pot according to the amount of evaporation loss you usually see when brewing similar timed batches. For example, when I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer that calls for a 90 minute boil, I know that I will need about 6.5 gallons in my boiling pot before the boil begins because I usually lose about 1.5 gallons during that length of boil. You may lose 3 gallons while boiling, so you would need to add more water to your mash in order to get 8 gallons of runoff and end up with about 5 gallons after boiling. If you don’t keep track of this, you might end up with less beer than anticipated, or you could end up with more that is watered down. Recipes give amounts that are recommended but in the end it all comes down to you and your specific circumstances on how it will turn out. If you don’t have as much experience to have a consistent brewing pattern that you can keep track of, just follow the instructions and don’t be afraid to ask questions, leave comments or submit a contact form, I am more than willing to help and there are so many people in the brewing community that will support you as well.

Tips to Brewing with Wood / Wood Infusion

When brewing with toasted oak, whether you are using wood chips or putting your brew into a barrel, there’s a few things you might have questions about so I’ll cover some basics. First, you should know that there is a lot of wiggle room to play around with when infusing wood flavors into any brew, so don’t get worried about branching out to this if you haven’t had much experience. When you are making a brew that you would like to get a barrel aged flavor into, it is usually advised to have the wood in contact with as much surface area of beer as possible in order to give maximum flavor. After all, you are hoping to be able to taste smooth, oaky notes in the first place right? If you are using wood chips to achieve this flavor, it’s best to add them directly to your brew, free-floating and uninhibited by any container such as a hop sack or stainless tube. I like to stir them in just a little, to get all sides of the chips moist and begin the infusion process as soon as the wood is added to the brew. I have done this in beer and red wine homebrews with successful results. You can put your wood chips into a hop sack or other diffuser and still achieve a nice flavor, it will just take more time to get there so be prepared to give it that time and a few extra tastings as you check on it’s progress. Tasting your brew after putting it in contact with wood chips or wood barrels is something that you will need to do likely more than once, to see when it has reached the flavor you desire, and this can be intimidating for some weary of infection. You can avoid infection pretty easily by properly sanitizing all of your equipment and your hands before each taste test and minimizing the amount of time the brew is open to the air. I do this by thoroughly sanitizing a large plate, wine thief, cup or glass, and of course my hands. The plate is a sanitary platform to hold my wine thief and glass when I need to put them down. I then open my fermenter or aging vessel just enough to put the wine thief into, siphon a sip into the glass, place the glass and wine thief on the plate and re-seal the lid. I then take two small sips, enough to prime the palate then get the full flavor, and make a decision whether it’s ready according to the flavor. If not, leave it alone for a few more days or a few more weeks if the flavor is too weak. If it is to your liking, you can rack it over to the container it will be in for the next phase, which could be secondary fermentation if you are still fermenting and have decided not to infuse wood flavors any further or it could be your bottle if it is ready for consumption.

Aging & Conditioning

As beer ages with wood it picks up the flavors of the wood, any toasting or charring that has been done to the wood, and anything that the wood has stained into it – such as liquor or wine. Some brews are made with plain wood to give a clean, lightly woody flavor, while others are made with charred and/or soaked wood to give a more complex blend of flavors. You can soak wood chips in whiskey, tequila, wine or any other liquid for 12-48 hours before using them in your beer if you would like to add those flavors, the longer they are soaked before going into your brew the more of the flavor of what they were soaked in will be given to your beer. I am aging in a charred American oak malt barrel that was used to make tasty whiskey at Sugar House Distillery prior to my ownership, so as you know my Scotch Ale will be infused with delightful tones of charred oak and malt whiskey. The timing varies widely on aging, as it is all to taste and preference, so aging can be anywhere from a few days to several months. Again, taste testing is a necessity, though the more experienced you become with infusing these flavors in your brews the less tasting will need to be done as you get familiar with the process and create your own style. The barrel I have is drilled inside to allow more surface area of beer contacting the wood and infuse the flavors more quickly. As this brew develops I will continue to post more about it’s progress and tasting notes, don’t forget to check back for the results!

How do you feel about barrel aged beers? Have you done anything with wood and beer yourself? Comment below and share your thoughts!

And Everything Nice – Peanut Butter Apple Spice Dunkelweizen *Recipe & Details*

And Everything Nice – Peanut Butter Apple Spice Dunkelweizen *Recipe & Details*

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Most recipes don’t cover every single detail for what you are making, but I try everything I post and reveal secrets while simplifying anywhere possible.  Read below each recipe to get it all!

Thinking of the most fun way to celebrate the new year and set things off right to embark on what can only be a better year than 2016, I felt doing a Brew Year Beer was the best course of action. What better brew to make the new year begin on the right foot than a mix of my favorite homemade morning smoothie and a light, yet full bodied beer? It’s complex and intriguing, not overwhelming and very easy going, everything I would want for 2017.

Now it’s time to ring in the New Year, celebrate the end of the last and toast the good times for both. The base of this recipe follows all the usual makings of a Dunkelweizen, I won’t have many surprises in store for you if you’re familiar with the simple grain bill that makes this type of beer. Sweet, simple beginnings with a little added spark are my favorite kinds of recipes, in fact that is my favorite way to do anything. Not everything has to be terribly difficult in life, and if it is you can bet I will find a way around all that without skimping on any of the good stuff. Let’s celebrate, a toast to YOU, the people who make every year spectacular!

REMEMBER TO CHECK BELOW THE RECIPE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED WITHIN RECIPE

Peanut Butter Apple Spice Dunkelweizen

Ingredients for 6.5 gallons (24.6L) [Net: 5 gallons (18.9L) after boil]

  • 7 lbs (3.18 kg) Pale Wheat Malt               
  • 2 lbs (0.91 kg) Pilsner Malt 
  • 6 oz (170.1 grams) Special B Malt 
  • 6 oz (170.1 grams) Caramel/Crystal Malt  
  • 2 oz (56.7 grams) Carafa Special II
  • 1.6 oz (44 grams) Hallertau 2.5% AA 90 min.
  • 2 lbs (0.91 kg) apple puree (about 4 cups) 90 min.
  • 20-23 oz (567 grams-652 grams) Natural Peanut Butter, oil skimmed off 40 min. 
  • 1 stick cinnamon 10 min.
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutmeg 10 min
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Allspice 10 min
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon Cinnamon 7-10 days into fermentation
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutmeg 7-10 days into fermentation
  • 1 scant Tablespoon Allspice 7-10 days into fermentation
  • 2 packet Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen 

 

  • Original Gravity: 1.056
  • Final Gravity: 1.014
  • Extract Efficiency: 75 percent
  • IBUs: 16
  • ABV: 5.6%

Directions: First, grab yourself a beer to enjoy while brewing – it’s tradition! Then, mash 6 gal (22.7L) of water in grains at 152° F (66.6° C) for 60 minutes. Mash out 2.5 gal (9.5L) water at 168° F (75.5° C) for 20 minutes and sparge. Collect about 6-6.5 gallons (22.7L-24.6L) of runoff, or increase volume as needed for your 90 minute boil, and bring to a boil. Add apple puree as boil begins. Add hops as indicated in the recipe. At 40 minutes left in the boil add peanut butter (see below about prepping peanut butter before use). At 10 minutes left in the boil add spices. After boil, chill wort to 62° F (16.7° C) and transfer to fermenter. Add 1 bottle (1.75 Liter) of Simply Apple juice. Pitch yeast and aerate well. Ferment at 62° F (16.7° C). At 7-10 days into fermentation add 1 heaping tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of nutmeg, and 1 scant tablespoon (just under a full tablespoon) of allspice to the wort. Put 13 ounces natural peanut butter (oil poured off) into a hop sack, tie it closed and swirl it in the wort to stir in the spices before dropping it fully into the fermenter. Allow everything to remain in the ferment until fermenting is completed.

 

NOTE – when you brew any batch it is very important to adjust the volume of the runoff that will be in your boiling pot according to the amount of evaporation loss you usually see when brewing similar timed batches. For example, when I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer that calls for a 90 minute boil, I know that I will need about 6.5 gallons in my boiling pot before the boil begins because I usually lose about 1.5 gallons during that length of boil. You may lose 3 gallons while boiling, so you would need to add more water to your mash in order to get 8 gallons of runoff and end up with about 5 gallons after boiling. If you don’t keep track of this, you might end up with less beer than anticipated, or you could end up with more that is watered down. Recipes give amounts that are recommended but in the end it all comes down to you and your specific circumstances on how it will turn out. If you don’t have as much experience to have a consistent brewing pattern that you can keep track of, just follow the instructions and don’t be afraid to ask questions, leave comments or submit a contact form, I am more than willing to help and there are so many people in the brewing community that will support you as well.

Tips to Brewing with Peanut Butter

The peanut butter addition can be a little tricky if you are using natural peanut butter, but with these tips you can easily use it without mishap, There is an alternative you can use instead of regular, natural peanut butter if you want to play it a little more on the safe side, such as PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. My preference is peanut butter in its natural form, I like the flavor better but some cannot tell a difference when they taste the dehydrated peanut butter product. The advantages to dehydrated peanut butter are that it doesn’t have oil, which can stifle the frothy head you normally see on beer, and it’s easier to measure since it’s not sticky and fluid. To avoid the issue with the head-killing oil, I like to use Adams Natural Creamy Peanut Butter that has been allowed to sit long enough that the oil has separated and is floating on top of the peanut butter. You can easily pour off the oil as shown in this photo, and allow some of the peanut butter to pour out as well to get rid of as much of the oil on top as possible. Only a little bit of the peanut butter will be thin enough to run off with the oil so don’t worry about losing too much, you’ll have plenty left. You will still have a little bit of oil go into your beer with the peanut butter but not enough to ruin the head when you carbonate your beer. I’ve used this trick in a few batches, with forced carbonation and natural carbonation methods, and it has worked well each time.

 

Tips to Brewing with Apple Puree 

The apple puree can be added at different times, it isn’t set in stone that it has to be added exactly at the beginning of the boil. A tip I received from a fellow homebrewer to help with the clarity of your beer when adding apple to it is to wait to add the puree until after flameout, when the wort is 160° F (71° C). This way the apple puree is pasteurized, if you are using raw apple puree (like I made in my blender, as shown in this photo), but it doesn’t cloud your beer. With this particular beer, a Dunkelweizen, cloudiness is part of it’s normal character so I didn’t worry about trying to keep it very clear. I also like the flavor of the apples being cooked a little longer, so adding the puree earlier on made sense to me. Preferences play a huge part in what you do while brewing, so knowing the different alternatives is very handy in crafting your style.

 

Fermentation and Conditioning

As beer ferments with peanut butter and spices, I have found that those flavors can weaken, or ferment out. I will be testing this during the fermentation process. I expect to be adding a little more spice and maybe some more peanut butter before fermentation is finished, simple adjustments just like dry hopping, I will continue to add to this recipe so don’t forget to check back to see the updates as this beer develops!

Day 3 Update: Morning of day 3 in fermentation (1/3/2017) – it was nagging at me that the apple was a little under done and couldn’t be identified well enough when tasting my wort before pitching the yeast, so I sanitized my utensils and took a taste. The apple flavor was present but not quite what I was hoping for so I made an adjustment right then. I added a full, 1.75 liter bottle of Simply Apple juice to it, resealed the fermenter and shook it a bit to mix the juice in. I then allowed it to sit for 20 minutes to incorporate fully throughout the beer, and took another taste. The flavor of apple is more prominent, this added just a touch more of that flavor without overpowering any of the others. The gravity reading after the addition of the apple juice only raised slightly, by 0.002 (about 0.5%). Since it had fermented for a couple of days some of the sugars had already been consumed by the yeast so the gravity was no longer the same as my last check, so it was important to check the gravity before adding the juice and after the juice was well incorporated. This way I was able to verify the amount of sugar the apple juice added, which will change the alcohol percentage a little when this is finished fermenting.  

Day 10 Update: Day 10 in fermentation (1/10/2017) it’s time to check the flavor of the beer to make adjustments if necessary. When fermenting with peanut butter, or with spices, I like to give around seven days of fermenting then taste my beer to see how it is developing, often I will add peanut butter and spices at this point as those flavors can fade as they ferment out. Since I added the apple juice three days into the ferment, I waited an additional seven days for a taste test to allow the juice to ferment and meld into the rest of the flavors more. Then I sanitized a plate, cup, spatula, and a measuring spoon with my peanut butter and spices at the ready. I use the plate as a sanitary place to rest my cup and measuring spoon. The taste proved that the peanut butter and the spices were weak, and was reminiscent of the type of flavor loss I have seen when I have brewed my favorite stout (Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout), so I added 13 ounces of peanut butter to a hop-sack to add to the fermenter, but DO NOT put in the fermenter yet. Then I added a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon, a level tablespoon of nutmeg, and a scant  tablespoon (just under a tablespoon) of allspice, sprinkled directly into the beer. I swirled it with my measuring spoon to keep it from clumping then stirred it in with the peanut butter filled hop-sack. I allowed the sack to fall to the bottom and re-sealed my fermenter.


Day 16 Update:
Day 16 in fermentation (1/16/2017) I took the gravity reading to begin testing for fermentation completion. My gravity reading was 1.010 and it appears fermentation is nearing the end as I have reached a reading a little below the estimated 1.014. The flavor is almost exactly how I planned it to be, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post I got the idea from a smoothie of mine, and at this point I feel this is very close to my smoothie flavor in beer form! Tomorrow I will be testing the gravity once more and kegging this beer for consumption. Within a week or two, after aging, I will post the final result!

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 30 – Coming of Age Tasting Notes: The dunkel is on the lighter side of a medium-light bodied beer, a nice blend of apples, spice & peanut butter on the nose. The flavor of apple & spices mingled with the wheat malt hitting your taste buds first, then subtle peanut butter on the back end. This is an easy drinker, this batch coming out at 5.5% ABV. Cheers!

What do you think about making fruity, spiced brews? Do you like to use anything in your brews that can be tricky unless used a specific way? Comment below and share your thoughts!

Dirty Blonde Ale – A Caramel Macchiato Bombshell *Recipe & Details*

Dirty Blonde Ale – A Caramel Macchiato Bombshell *Recipe & Details*

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Most recipes don’t cover every single detail for what you are making, but I try everything I post and reveal secrets while simplifying anywhere possible.  Read below each recipe to get it all!

Enjoy a nice caramel macchiato from your favorite barrista?  Have you ever wished it had a little more, oomph?  I know that’s how I felt last time I was sipping my cool coffee treat, extra-extra caramel added for that not so subtle accent that I love.  Then it hit me, what if I could make a beer that mimicked the flavor and feel of an iced caramel macchiato?  Something light, creamy, coffee-caramelicious with a little malt finish.  Thus, the recipe for a new blonde ale was born.

I began thinking a blonde ale was the way to go for this flavor combination after brainstorming other options and deciding that these flavors had been done to death in stouts.  I wanted something different that would actually make me feel like I was drinking a caramel macchiato coffee that happened to have beer flavor with it, the beer couldn’t overpower the other flavors nor did I want those flavors to overpower the beer.  I chatted with my good friends at the local brew supply store, Salt City Brew Supply, about my idea to make this brew and they suggested their house blonde ale recipe for my base.  I’ve been working with these guys for a couple of years and have used many of their recipes, so I knew this would be a great start to this beer.

I gathered the basic blonde ale ingredients and let my imagination take me away, so without further ado here’s the full recipe & details for my caramel macchiato ale – aka Dirty Blonde Ale.

REMEMBER TO CHECK BELOW THE RECIPE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED WITHIN RECIPE

Dirty Blonde Ale – caramel macchiato blonde ale

Ingredients for 6.52 gallons [Net: 5 gallons]

  • 9 lbs Pale Malt (2 row) US (2.0 SRM)                             
  • 8 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 
  • 8 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM)
  • 4 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)
  • 0.75 oz Falconers Flight 7 C’s (9.90%) 60 min.
  • 0.25 oz Falconers Flight 7 C’s (9.90%) 15 min.
  • 8 oz lactose 60 min
  • 3 bottles Torani Caramel Syrup (16.5 oz bottle size) flame out and before carbonation
  • 1 homemade batch of caramel for an 8×8 pan (about 55 caramels) flame out
  • About 40 grams coarse ground coffee beans (roughly 1/2 cup) 10-13 days into fermentation
  • 1 packet SafAle English Ale yeast (DCL/Fermentis #S-04)

 

  • Original Gravity: 1.061
  • Final Gravity: 1.010
  • Extract Efficiency: 72 percent
  • IBUs: 29.3
  • ABV: 6.75%

 

Directions: Mash 3 gal of water in grains at 163° F for 75 minutes. Mash out 4.8 gal water at 169° F for 20 minutes and sparge. Collect about 6.52 gallons of runoff, or change volume as needed for your 60 minute boil, and bring to a boil. Add lactose once boil begins. Add hops as indicated in the recipe. At flame-out add homemade caramel plus 1 bottle Torani caramel syrup to the whirlpool. After the boil, chill wort to 65° F and transfer to fermenter. Pitch yeast and aerate well. Ferment at 67° F. After kegging, or just before bottling, add another 1 1/2 bottles of Torani Caramel Syrup to the full 5 gallons and stir well to mix thoroughly..

 

NOTE – when you brew any batch it is very important to adjust the volume of the runoff that will be in your boiling pot according to the amount of evaporation loss you usually see when brewing similar timed batches. For example, when I am brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer that calls for a 90 minute boil, I know that I will need about 6.5 gallons in my boiling pot before the boil begins because I usually lose about 1.5 gallons during that length of boil. You may lose 3 gallons while boiling, so you would need to add more water to your mash in order to end up with about 5 gallons after boiling. If you don’t keep track of this, you might end up with less beer than anticipated, or you could end up with more that is watered down. Recipes give amounts that are recommended but in the end it all comes down to you and your specific circumstances on how it will turn out. If you don’t have as much experience to have a consistent brewing pattern that you can keep track of, just follow the instructions and don’t be afraid to ask questions, I am more than willing to help and there are so many people in the brewing community that will support you as well.

Fermentation and Conditioning 

When fermentation activity subsides, then rack to secondary (around 10-13 days). Coarsely grind the coffee beans and put into vinyl hop sack – NOTE it is very important to use a vinyl hop sack so the grounds don’t escape and float around in your beer, which can lead to chunky beer plus making too strong of a coffee flavor because you cannot remove them to stop infusing them. Drop coffee bean sack into fermenter and leave for 12-48 hours, depending on desired strength of coffee flavor.  This method works best for avoiding too much color change, so your blonde ale remains blonde, while getting the benefit of adding tasty coffee to your beer.  I allowed the beans to infuse into my wort for 2 days and found that the coffee flavor was very prevalent, not overpowering but pretty bold.  The malty beer flavor still comes through pretty well, but I also like my coffee a lot so this was really good to me.  Next time I would like to try leaving the coffee in for only one day to taste the outcome, there’s always room for improvement!

 

 

Once fermentation is complete and your gravity readings have leveled out, it’s time to add the finishing touches then let those flavors meld together as it ages.  Add another 1 1/2 bottles of Torani Caramel Syrup to the full 5 gallons and stir thoroughly.  I force carbonated this into a 5 gal keg for 5-6 days at 25 PSI.  The head is frothy and the carbonation level is great, but word to the wise – the butter in the homemade caramel adds enough oil to make the head disappear pretty quickly.  Nonetheless, I feel the homemade caramel really added to the silky creaminess without getting too overly rich of a finished product to gulp down, so it’s really up to you on your preference.  You could substitute the homemade caramel for another 2 bottles of Torani Caramel Syrup and it should be similar.

 

 

 

 

December 20 – Coming of Age Tasting Notes 

The flavors in this beer are so reminiscent of an iced caramel macchiato straight from your corner coffee shop.  You first notice the coffee, then the beer and caramel chasing closely behind.  A subtle caramel flavor lingers on the back of your tongue, urging you to drink more as that taste envelopes your mouth.  It is a little boozy, but not too strong at the same time.  I will definitely be brewing this one again and again, perfecting it as I go along.

*NOTE*: As this beer ages all of the flavors mellow out a lot, so if you find that it is too strongly flavored, or you can’t drink very much because it is too rich, then allow more time for aging. At four weeks of aging I found this brew to be much less rich and easier to drink several glasses at a time. I enjoyed the bold flavors it boasted in the beginning, yet could kick back more with it as time matured it into a better refined beer.

What do you think of this concoction?  Do you have any ideas you’ve always wanted to try in your beer?  Comment below and tell me all about it!

 

Craving Pliny The Elder At Home? *Recipe & Details*

Craving Pliny The Elder At Home? *Recipe & Details*

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

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Most recipes don’t cover every single detail for what you are making, but I try everything I post and reveal missing pieces while simplifying anywhere possible.  Read below each recipe to get it all!

Find yourself craving that famously ultra hoppy Pliny the Elder DIPA brew a little more often than not, wishing you could have something more than a measely couple of bottles? Or just wanting to brew something hoppy that’s a little less “ordinary”?  If so, I think you’ll enjoy this immensely.    

Now, chances are if you’ve heard of a Lupulin Theshold Shift, you’re experiencing this phenomena yourself.  It’s best said like this- if you habitually enjoy excessively hoppy beers and one day find yourself saying “There has to be something more…the Douple IPA’s I’ve been drinking are not enough” then you’ve likely felt a Lupulin Theshold Shift.  This is exactly what has been happening in my house, so we set out to find the best recipe for a Double IPA that we could, thinking we would just tweak it to find a way nearer to a clone of something like…Pliny The Elder by Russian River Brewing. Yum! That’s so popular why not have our own rather than fight to find it in the meager beer selection at the liquor store, where Utah Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control hides all the good beer?

I told Google to find me a double IPA recipe, and surprise! The first recipe I opened up was none other than Pliny the Elder for small batch brewing, as written by Brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo (from Russian River Brewing!) and published by American Homebrewer’s Association in Zymurgy magazine & on their website (Pliny The Elder Clone Recipe).  If you click through the link, you will find a very well written explanation and recipe for a 6 gallon batch of this scrumptious brew, with several tips to help you form the perfect Double IPA every time.  Below you will find the exact recipe given by Brewmaster Vinnie, along with my experience brewing this for the first time!  Can you smell the hops coming through the screen yet??  Here they come!

REMEMBER TO CHECK BELOW THE RECIPE FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION NOT INCLUDED WITHIN RECIPE

“Russian River Pliny the Elder Recipe         20161211_190920                                                               provided by Vinnie Cilurzo                                                                                          Ingredients for 6.0 gallons (22.7 L) [Net: 5 gallons (18.9 L) after hop loss]

  • 13.25 lb (6.01 kg) Two-Row pale malt                                                  
  • 0.6 lb (272 g) Crystal 45 malt
  • 0.6 lb (272 g) Carapils (Dextrin) Malt
  • 0.75 lb (340 g) Dextrose (corn) sugar
  • 3.50 oz (99 g) Columbus* 13.90% A.A. 90 min.
  • 0.75 oz (21 g) Columbus* 13.90% A.A. 45 min.
  • 1.00 oz (28 g) Simcoe 12.30% A.A. 30 min.
  • 1.00 oz (28 g) Centennial 8.00% A.A. 0 min.
  • 2.50 oz (71 g) Simcoe 12.30% A.A. 0 min.
  • 1.00 oz (28 g) Columbus* 13.90% A.A. Dry Hop (12 to 14 days total)
  • 1.00 oz (28 g) Centennial 9.10% A.A. Dry Hop (12 to 14 days total)
  • 1.00 oz (28 g) Simcoe 12.30% A.A. Dry Hop (12 to 14 days total)
  • 0.25 oz (7 g) Columbus* 13.90% A.A. Dry Hop (5 days to go in dry hop)
  • 0.25 oz (7 g) Centennial 9.10% A.A. Dry Hop (5 days to go in dry hop)
  • 0.25 oz (7 g) Simcoe 12.30% A.A. Dry Hop (5 days to go in dry hop)
  • *Tomahawk/Zeus can be substituted for Columbus
  • (2 packets) White Labs WLP001 California Ale Yeast or Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast
  • Original Gravity: 1.072
  • Final Gravity: 1.011
  • Extract Efficiency: 75 percent
  • IBUs: 90-95 (actual/not calculated)
  • ABV: 8.2%
  • SRM: 7

Directions: Mash grains at 151-152° F (66-67° C) for an hour or until starch conversion is complete. Mash out at 170° F (77° C) and sparge. Collect 8 gallons (30 L) of runoff (or change volume as needed for your 90 minute boil, see below for more instruction), stir in dextrose, and bring to a boil. Add hops as indicated in the recipe. After a 90 minute boil, chill wort to 67° F (19° C) and transfer to fermenter. Pitch two packages of yeast or a yeast starter and aerate well. Ferment at 67° F (19° C) until fermentation activity subsides, then rack to secondary. Add first set of dry hops on top of the racked beer and age 7-9 days, then add the second set. Age five more days then bottle or keg the beer.

Extract Substitution: Substitute 6.5 lb (3.0 kg) of light dry malt extract for two-row malt. Due to the large hop bill for this recipe, a full wort boil is recommended. Steep grains in 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water at 165° F (74° C) for 30 minutes, then remove and rinse grains with hot water. Stir in dextrose and top up kettle to 8 gallons (30 L), and bring to a boil. Add hops as indicated in the recipe. After a 90 minute boil, chill wort to 67° F (19° C) and transfer to fermenter. Pitch two packages of yeast or a yeast starter and aerate well. Ferment at 67° F (19° C) until fermentation activity subsides, then rack to secondary. Add first set of dry hops on top of the racked beer and age 7-9 days then add the second set. Age five more days then bottle or keg the beer. “

Missing Information Revealed

  1. While brewing this I noticed that there wasn’t much instruction on the amount of water to put into your mash-in when brewing entirely from grain, nor for the mash-out, but it does mention in the Directions that you should have 8 gallons of runoff, more commonly known as beer wort.  Even with that information, you’re left kind of guessing at the best way to achieve a total of 8 gallons.
  2. If you use the recipe directly on the AHA (American Homebrewer’s Association) website, the yeast amount isn’t specified, you need to read the Directions to see that you need either 2 packets of yeast, or a starter that you’ve made at least a day prior to brewing.  I added the number of packets to this recipe in parenthesis to help you if you are putting together your recipe from my post.
  3. I didn’t see any instruction for how long the mash-out should be, which in my experience can vary a little bit from one recipe to another.

Since this is my first time brewing this recipe, I tried to adhere as closely to the instructions as possible, to my own detriment. Before worrying about how you are going to pull through exactly 8 gallons of runoff from your grains, you should first consider how much volume you normally see lost to evaporation when you are boiling the wort for other 5-6 gallon batches of beer you’ve made. You may not need a full 8 gallons of wort/runoff.  If you typically boil off about a gallon or more of the total volume of your wort, you will need more runoff to go into your boiling pot to begin with, in order to achieve the end result of 6 gallons called for in this recipe. On the flip side, if you don’t typically boil off more than maybe a quarter to a half of a gallon of your wort you will need less runoff and should stick to only 6-6.5 gallons of total runoff.

There is no mention of timing for mash-out at all, so if you aren’t a very experienced brewer you may be left completely in the dark on this, unless you are reading my post and have something to guide you!  Otherwise, I guess you could search the interwebs for 30 min and finally settle on whatever you feel is probably best…which I have done way too many times!

What I Did While Making This Recipe

20161211_180432I mentioned earlier that I adhered to the recipe as closely as possible, which ended up being slightly problematic, in this case it’s an issue for the alcohol percentage of this brew.  I calculated the amount of water I felt was necessary to collect 8 gallons of runoff and went with 6 gallons of water for my mash-in of 60 minutes.  Then I used 4.75 gallons for mash-out of 20 minutes.  I landed on almost exactly 8 gallons of runoff.  Perfect!  Right?

Wrong.  I did not account for the amount of evaporation that I normally see when I brew batches of this size.  I usually lose around a quarter of a gallon to a half of a gallon to evaporation during my boil, depending on the length of boiling time.  I ended up with roughly 7.75 gallons of wort at the end of my 90 minute boil, instead of the intended 6 gallons.  If I had lost more volume to evaporation, it would have concentrated my sugars due to the water loss, which would make my beer finish off being a high alcohol percentage.  However, much of the water remained making me have less sugars available for fementation and resulting in a less alcoholic beer.

I didn’t let that ruin my hopes for a highly potent beer!  I stirred in 1.25 pounds of dextrose at flame out to give it a boost.  I wasn’t sure the exact amount of sugar needed for an extra 1.75 gallons of water more than what should have been going in to my fermentation vessel, so I guestimated this would get me closer to my goal knowing full well that I was still going to miss the mark.

When I checked my specific gravity it was still far from the target reading of 1.072, but I am really happy that I added dextrose so it wasn’t worse.  My Original Gravity read at 1.058, a far cry from what it should have been.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep notes about each of your homebrews, each and every session even if you brew the same thing twice, then review those notes when brewing a new batch.  You may write something different when documenting your batch the first time than what you write the second time, giving you more valuable insights to help you improve each future batch.  Mistakes can be avoided if you remember something that may have seemed trivial when you wrote it down a few weeks, or months, ago.

Knowing how much evaporation you normally lose during a boil and incorporating that into how much runoff is needed to make your desired amount of beer IS EVERYTHING.  Learn from my mistake, even though you may think you remember everything from brewing numerous batches of beer, there’s always a curve ball that can come your way.  Take your time when you are brewing a new batch, stay calm, scan your notes from previous brewing days, and if you make a mistake document it so you can save yourself in the future!

January 24 – Coming of Age Tasting Notes: My Pliny The Elder homebrew has aged and is a hoppy wonder – very hop forward, light and crisp without much malt profile. Exactly how I expected with this recipe, I think next time I will forego that additional dextrose and do more pale malt to give it a little more malt backbone. Still, I’m enjoying this bitter hop blast with it’s spicy, piney flavor blended with bright citrus notes! Now to get a comparison with one brewed at Russian River Brewing, stay tuned I’m getting it very soon 🍻

 

 

 

 

Pliny the Elder face-off has commenced! Russian River Brewing VS Bitches N Brews clone, how do they match up? After getting a consensus of reviews from three people present at the time of the side-by-side tasting, plus myself, I feel confident in giving the following review without too much bias on my part. I would say the two are within a less than 5% difference when accumulating the details of color, flavor, clarity, and mouth feel. My brew is a touch darker and hazier than their, the flavor is strikingly close to the same in each with a little smoother & cleaner finish from Russian River’s compared to a very slight caramel finish in mine. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome, comparing so near to perfect with this legendary beer is truly a delight as a home brewer with the simplest of setup, with no whirlfloc, gelatin or even cold crash done to clear it nor any other trick to change it in any way. This was purely grain, hops, yeast, unconditioned well water, and love – it makes me so proud to say I can and do achieve this quality myself.