Spiced Solstice Porter

The tl;dr version of this recipe is that it comes directly from Scott Russell.  Not just his web-published 2010 Holiday Porter recipe, but he was kind enough to collect the grains at the Lebanon Brew Shop for me.  I met up with him at the shop for an Oktoberfest event where I ground the grains and secured the hops and yeast. The two ways this recipe strays from Scott’s original is that the shop was out of the White Labs Bedford English Ale (WLP006) yeast and I used White Labs Whitbread II Ale (WLP017) on Scott’s suggestion. And rather than only use 1/2 ounce of two separate hops, I substituted Galena for the Goldings to limit waste and save a few bucks.

This is kind of a beer drinker’s mulled wine!

Continue reading “Spiced Solstice Porter”

Adrift — An Off Course Porter

(Maldon, England 2007 | Photo: Rick Scully)

I first became aware of Edmund Fitzgerald Porter through Scott Russell‘s book North American Clone Brews. He and I were working together at the time, and he told me it was possibly his favorite American porter.

A year or so later while visiting family in northwestern Pennsylvania — not too far from the beer’s home turf of Cleveland — I found this gem at the local package shop, and found out for myself just how tasty it is.

This beer recipe was intended to follow the American Homebrewers Association article “50 Commercial Clone Beer Recipes,” where they printed one recipe per each American state. Great Lakes Brewing’s Edmund Fitzgerald Porter was Ohio’s representative, and it is a worthy candidate.

Continue to the recipe… Continue reading “Adrift — An Off Course Porter”

Second Branch Ale ❤️❤️ Bell’s Two Hearted Ale Clone

Recently, I was reading a good friend’s beer blog, where he pondered the meaning of seasonal beers, and it helped light a fire under me to start brewing now when the conditions are good, in order to have beer in the winter when it can be a little more challenging to brew ales — which require warmer temperatures to ferment.

Inspiration also found me in the form of “mor beer plz” written on the chalkboard handles of the (empty) beer taps in our kitchen. There was also a sad face emoticon (not pictured).

To be fair, Sarah didn’t just drop … subtle … hints, she was a partner in this brew from start to finish. We completed the brew in record time, and she was able to go to her fiber spinning group’s monthly gathering on time. There were ❤️❤️ making this brew, and we had much fun brewing it together.

It was also exciting because it was our trial run with the FastFerment system I was given as a gift last year.  The try-out was overdue. Hopefully there will be a review of the product after we have had a chance to sample the finished beer.

Read the recipe… Continue reading “Second Branch Ale ❤️❤️ Bell’s Two Hearted Ale Clone”

Tattoo You Two – SMaSH Beer

One of the most interesting projects The Club decided to do this brew calendar is a SMaSH beer, with participants brewing the same recipe. One of the members developed the recipe and we are all charged with following it. The idea is that the differences will be with water and each brewer’s method — and to some extent the freshness of the hops used — and we will see just how different each beer will still taste when we convene on April 16 to compare.

There will be other slight differences; for example, I got a late start and decided I will keg my SMaSH and bring a few growlers. Others may be bottling their beers.

So far — we just racked to the secondary — this beer tastes and smells great. It is super light yellow and clear; however, I missed my target OG. I hope to learn from this experience: How does one determine the efficiency of their set up so that they better hit their targets? The short answer is maths, but my take-away is that I need to do some research on my mash efficiency.

If you are wondering about the name of this brew, it is because Sarah and I each got tattoos the morning before we brewed. My tattoo is an elaborate sleeve of hops, a flower, and two bees. Sarah’s is a bee that matches one of mine.

Surprisingly, this was the first time Sarah has joined to help with the brew day. She has always helped with racking, bottling, etc. I enjoyed her company and her assistance was greatly appreciated!

To view the recipe, continue reading.
Continue reading “Tattoo You Two – SMaSH Beer”

CoCo Porter

I like brewing beer, for sure, but I love brewing beer with friends even more. Too many cooks may spoil a stew, but they add something when it comes to beer. When our dear English friend Chris Mear said he would be visiting and bringing his fiancé who makes wine with him, I suggested we have a brew day whilst they were here. I decided to brew something dark as I had promised Sarah, and settled on an interesting recipe I found on Brewer’s Friend by someone who goes by Jeremydgreat. I chose this recipe not just because I promised a dark winter beer for my wife, but also because I had cocoa nibs that had been in my supply kit for at least a year. Plus, if you haven’t already, check out the name of Chris’ website. When it came time to brew we had a rainy Autumn day on our hands, which was just perfect. Chris and Amelia were great helpers, and my only disappointment is that I wasn’t able to share the final product with them. The name of the beer is a reference to brewing with company, and stands for Company Cocoa Porter.

I am sure I made some slight modifications to this recipe but not enough to change it. I rounded the grains to quarters, and used half the amount of cocoa nibs as the recipe originally suggested, which the recipe’s author also did with future batches. Rounding up a bit meant I was right at the capacity of my mash tun and had to run off some of the wort immediately to add all the grains. This may be the last batch I brewed with a 5-gallon mash tun as I tire of doing that!

Fermentables

  • 12lbs American – Pale 2-Row
  • 1.75lbs American – Wheat
  • 0.75lb American – Caramel / Crystal 90L
  • 0.75lb American – Chocolate
  • 0.75lb United Kingdom – Chocolate
  • 0.75lb American – Carapils (Dextrine Malt)
  • 16.75lbs Total

Hops (pelletised)

  • 0.5oz Nugget (60 mins)
  • 0.25oz Cascade (30 mins)
  • 0.25oz Tettnanger (5 mins)

Other Ingredients

  • 4oz Cocoa Nibs (Secondary)

Yeast

  • White Labs – English Ale Yeast WLP002

The strike was at approximately 156ºF with a 60-minute boil time. We sparged using the fly method and water at 170ºF for approximately 45 minutes. The beer spent 1 week in the primary, and 4 weeks in the secondary as I got busy. I then racked it to my keg system. I met most of the same targets that Jeremydgreat did, and the resulting brew was not too chocolatey and absolutely delicious!

Scully Summer SunSessionAle!

This beer was brewed for our annual summer party. It was designed to be easy to brew, and at 4%, easy to drink over a long day.

  • 5 lbs. Marris Otter (UK) 2-row malt
  • 2.5 lbs Organic (CAN) 2-row malt

Ideally I would have preferred to use all of one malt rather than mixing the UK and the North American, but the guru was on holiday and so there wasn’t as much in stock — and I really needed to brew today in order to have the beer ready for the party on 16 August.

A low-temperature mash of 149° or so used to create a thin mash using 1.2 quarts per pound of grain (10.8 qts = 2.7 gallons) for 75 minutes maximum to ensure a light color.

Sparged with 15 quarts (3.37 gallons) of water based on 2 quarts per pound of grain.

Boil was 60 minute boil exactly to avoid darkening the beer. 1 oz. of Bramling Cross (all 7.8% AAU) hops were added at the beginning of the boil, 1 oz of Bramling Cross was added at 30 mins from completetion of the boil, 1 oz of Bramling Cross was added at 15 mins from end, and 1 oz of Bramling Cross was added as the pot was removed from the stove. I said it was an easy recipe, didn’t I?

I used the SO-5 dry yeast for a more neutral yeast profile. The beer was left in the primary for 1 week and then racked to a keg.

Double Sunshine Daydream

This Imperial IPA recipe is based on a clone found on www.brewtoad.com. I have dubbed it “Double Sunshine Daydream” because I would be dreaming to believe I could come close to Sean’s masterpiece. I didn’t change the Brew Toad recipe up too much, other than using Citra with different AAU than the author’s source, and a bit more of the Columbus at the start of the boil. I still am under the AAUs of the original, but I expect it to still be bitter and fragrant. I also chose to blend a U.S. 2-row pale malt with the Crisp pale malt I had success with in the American India Pale Ale recipe from 2013.

At ~8% ABV this is a nice, big, Imperial IPA. The OG was ~1.070.

FERMENTABLE INGREDIENTS

  • 6.0 lbs Crisp pale (mash)
  • 3.5 lbs of Briess U.S. 2-row pale (mash)
  • 2.5 lbs. Briess Vienna Malt (mash)
  • 1.0 lb. Flaked Oats (mash)
  • 1.0 lb. Corn Sugar – Dextrose (boil)
  • 0.75 lb. Briess Carapils® Malt (mash)
  • 0.38 lb. Weyermann® CARAMUNICH® I (mash)

Mashed in at ~150°F using 15.9 qts (~4 U.S. gallons) for 75 minutes maximum in an effort to achieve a lighter color. I sparged with 16 quarts (4 U.S. gallons) of water at ~165°F. The boil was 60 minutes exactly to avoid darkening the beer.

HOP SCHEDULE

  • 1 oz. Columbus (19.5 AAU) for full boil
  • 1 oz. Citra (13.3 AAU) at 20 mins from end of boil
  • 2 oz. Citra (13.3 AAU) at 5 mins from end of boil
  • 3 oz. Citra (13.3 AAU) at removal from heat
  • 2 oz. Citra (14.5 AAU) upon racking to secondary (dry hop)

The original recipe called for Wyeast 1056 (White Labs 001), but I decided to use the SO-5 dry yeast for a more neutral yeast profile.

The primary fermentation was 7 days. I allowed the beer to stay in a secondary for 2 weeks, and bottled at the end that time.

Winter Bear Stout

This stout is my take on Scott Russell‘s clone recipe in his excellent book, North American Clone Brews. Not being a huge fan of Fuggles hops I opted for Styrian Golding, Kent Golding, and Bramling Cross.

Winter Bear Stout

5 gallons, all-grain

Ingredients:
7lbs Pale Malt
8oz Roasted Barley
8oz Dark (90ºL) Crystal Malt
4oz Chocolate Malt
1oz Styrian Golding
1oz UK Kent Golding
1oz Bramling Cross

Procedure:
Crush grains. Heat 3 gallons of water to 165°F. Dough in grains and hold 90 minutes at 152°F. Heat 3.75 gallons water to 167°F. Begin runoff and sparge. Bring to a boil, add Styrian Golding. Boil 30 minutes and then add Kent Golding. Boil another 30 minutes and Bramling Cross. Chill to 80°F and take a hydrometer reading. Pour into a sanitized fermenter, splashing well to aerate. Pitch Irish ale yeast, seal and ferment at 65 – 68°F for 2 weeks. Rack to secondary, condition 3 to 4 weeks. I transferred this to a clean keg and pressurized to 15 PSI for about 5 days before tapping.

OG: 1048

American India Pale Ale

This recipe came about as a desire to create a nice “session” IPA for the new keg tap set up Nancy and Sarah got for me for my birthday. At 5.2% ABV this is a little more than a traditional session beer, but it will do.  The target OG of about 1052 based on a mash of about 9 lbs.

  • 7 lbs. Crisp Pale Ale
  • 1 lb Light Crystal Malt
  • 1 lb light wheat (for body, for creaminess)

A low-temperature mash of 149° or so used to create a thin mash using 1.2 quarts per pound of grain (10.8 qts = 2.7 gallons)  for 75 minutes maximum to ensure a light color.

Sparged with 13.7 quarts (3.425 gallons) of water.

Boil was 60 minute boil exactly to avoid darkening the beer.  1 oz. of Galaxy hops were added at the beginning of the boil and
1 oz. of Citra hops were added in the last 10 minutes.

I used the SO-5 dry yeast for a more neutral yeast profile and I dry hopped with 1 oz. whole leaf of my own Chinook hops from the garden in the secondary.