The Bitter Beast

July 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Not to much to say about this one other than I’ve been super busy lately with my move to Philadelphia and pulling together the remaining details of our upcoming wedding.  After brewing a few bigger beers I was looking to brew something low in alcohol and more malt forward.  I also decided to take the opportunity to use up the last of a few specialty grains I have been sitting on for a while.

I figured the low percentages of Special Roast Malt, Roasted Barley, and touch of Citra hops would spice up an otherwise pretty straightforward bitter recipe.  Ill be bottling these this weekend and hope to get back on a more regular posting schedule as things settle down a bit in the upcoming weeks.

The Bitter Beast

Batch Size: 11 Gallons

Original Gravity: 1.045
Est. Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV: 4.2%
IBU: 38.3
Color: 12.6 SRM
Boil Time: 60 Min

89.3% Maris Otter
6% Crystal 60
2.6% Special Roast Malt
2.1% Roasted Barley (Unmalted)

1.5 Oz Magnum (10% AA) at 60 min
1.5 Oz Tettnang (4% AA) at 60 min
.25 Oz Citra (10% AA) at 20 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
1.5 Oz East Kent Goldings (4.06% AA) at 5 min

1.7 L Starter White Labs 013 London Ale Yeast


60 minutes at 1525F (Saccharification Rest)

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Far East Wheat

July 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

The beauty of homebrewing is that you get to brew what you want, when you want, including beers that either do not exist or are not readily available for purchase.  Experimentation with unique ingredients has been embedded into the culture of most homebrewers from the onset.  Often times inspiration for a new beer comes when we least expect it, while driving, cooking dinner, or in my case reading a cooking magazine at my fiances parents house.

While on a recent visit I was flipping though the pages of Saveur and a small caption for a traditional Japanese marinade caught my eye.  It was a mixture of several ingredients including Yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit and hot peppers.  I immediately began Googling Yuzu as I thought it would be perfect ingredient for my next homebrew experiment.

Upon some further research I was convinced that Yuzu would be a worthy addition to a wheat style ale.  It is described as being a cross between a sour mandarin and an Ichang papeda.  The flavor is described as tart, closely resembling that of a grapefruit.  (I tried a small sample and it definitely was tart, I also noted tangerine flavors) After searching all over the internet I was finally able to find some Yuzu peel that I thought would be suitable for the brew.  Few vendors offered the peel itself, most sold a powdered form of Yuzu, I wanted to make sure I got the peel as that is were the aromatic flavors lie.  I wound up purchasing 1 oz of Yuzu off of Amazon directly from Japan.

Before I stumbled upon the article I had been kicking around the idea of an Asian Saison that would include a mix of spices, including Sichuan Pepper.  Sichuan Pepper is not spicy like traditional black pepper, instead it offers more of a lemon flavor.  I decided to combine the Sichuan would complement the Yuzu in both flavor and concept, Far East Wheat was born.

I decided on a wheat beer for the base as they traditionally pair well with citrus, which in this case I wanted to be the star.  I kept the grist fairly basic with a roughly 2:1 ratio of 2-Row to Wheat, I also added a touch of CaraPils and Crystal 15 for some sweetness to offset the perceived tartness of the Yuzu.  I used Magnum and its clean bitterness at 60 and a mix of Amarillo and Citra throughout the finish for their well documented citrus flavors.  I selected SafeAle US-05 for its clean fermentation as I wanted to let the Yuzu, Sichuan, and hops  highlight the beer.

I am hopeful that the unique citrus flavors of the Yuzu and Sichuan will meld with the citrus flavors of the Amarillo and Citra on top of a balanced wheat beer base.  Im really looking forward to this one, as it has been a while since I stepped out of the box and brewed a truly unique beer.

Far East Wheat

Batch Size: 11 Gallons

Original Gravity: 1.046
Est. Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV: 4.5%
IBU: 24.4
Color: 3.7 SRM
Boil Time: 60 Min

64.9% American 2-Row
27% White Wheat Malt
5.4% Carapils Malt
2.7% Crystal 15

.5 Oz Magnum (14.1% AA) at 60 min
.25 Oz Amarillo (9.8% AA) at 20 min
.25 Oz Citra (10% AA) at 20 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
.5 Oz Amarillo (9.8% AA) at 10 min
.5 Oz Citra (10% AA) at 10 min
1 oz Yuzu Peel at 5 min
12 Grams Sichuan Pepper at 5 min
.75 Oz Amarillo (9.8% AA) at 0 min
.75 Oz Citra (10% AA) at 0 min

2 Packets US-05 Safeale Yeast


60 minutes at 152 F (Saccharification Rest)
10 minutes at 165 F (Mash Out)

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Timber Ridge Double IPA Tasting Notes

June 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Timber Ridge Double IPA


Timber Ridge Double IPA Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Pours deep burnt orange bordering on a brown, golden yellow and orange highlights when held to the light.  Crystal clear with two finger pillowy white head, that quickly dissipates giving way to long lasting lacing.

Smell: Ripe fruit, citrus, strong lemon, grapefruit and orange aromatics present.  sweet malt.

Taste: Starts smooth, overly aggressive bitterness characterizing many Double IPA’s is noticeably absent.  Nice blend of herbal grassy notes and citrus throughout.Finishes sweet with big citrus aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, semi-sweet.  Moderately carbonated, mild alcohol bite on the finish.

Drinkability & Notes:   For being such a strong beer (9.2%) this is extremely drinkable.  The dextrose did its job and took this beer a down a couple of extra gravity points, to the sweet spot for this style.  With that being said there is something that is off with this beer, something subtle that I cant quite place that tempers my enthusiasm for it.  After giving it some thought I have narrowed it down to two possible things.

The first and most likely in my opinion is the use of large quantities of Belma hops.  The Belma hops contribute some nice lemon notes, but also a harsher almost vegetal flavor that throws off the balance of the hop flavors.  It is a truly unique flavor, one that I could do with out, and one that I am also struggling to describe.  One reason Im leaning this way is that I did a dry hop with Belma hops when I first got them and remember the same slightly off putting taste.  The second possible cause of the off flavor is that I pitched this batch directly on a Burton Ale yeast cake, most likely drastically overpitching.  I don’t usually do this and have read that it is possible to pick up certain off flavors from pitching directly onto an unwashed yeast cake.

All in all its not a bad beer, it tastes great on a hot summer day and gets you toasty in a hurry.  If I were to brew this beer again I would drop the Belma hops altogether and substitute a traditional American hop such as Cascade or Cenntennial.  I would also make sure to pitch on either a washed yeast cake or a fresh pitch of Burton Ale yeast.


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Saison de l’amour

June 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Saison de l’amour or Season of Love is the second beer for my wedding this coming October.  This recipe is based heavily off of the Oaked EKG Single Hop Saison with a few subtle differences.  For this beer, I wanted to increase the overall complexity from the previous EKG Single Hop recipe. One way  I decided to do this was enhance the hop bill with additions of Citra and Hallertauer, two hops that I have used in the past with great results in saisons.  My intent with these selections was to introduce some citrus aromatics from the Citra, (which oddly enough is a cross between EKG, Hallertaur, US Tettnanger, and a few other unknown hops) and some spicy flavors from the Hallertauer to complement the spicy yeast phenols.

My second recipe tweak was to use the notorious Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saision yeast in favor of some of the White Lab Strains such as 566(Belgian Saison II) or 568(Belgian Style Saision Blend) that I have used in the past.  The 3724 has a reputation for stalling out leading to problematic fermentations, however in my opinion it produces some of the most prominent Belgian yeast characteristics out of any Saison strain available to homebrewers.  To me, this yeast produces flavors comprable to some proprietary commercial brewery yeast blends from Belgium or elsewhere.  I chose to focus on my mash, keeping a temperature ranging from 145 to 147 degrees instead of the addition of sugar to increase attenuation.  I also moved my fermentors into the garage  which should bring the temperatures well within the range of this yeast.

Lastly, I wanted to oak age the beer to incorporate another layer of complexity, however for this batch I switched from Hungarian Oak to French Oak Cubes.  I did this as in my past experience French Oak tends to be a bit smoother than both Hungarian and American Oak and due to the shorter than ideal time on the oak (3 months) I thought this would be the better choice.  Furthermore, French Oak is said to contribute notes of cinnamon and allspice, two flavors that I thought would complement the overall seasonality of our October wedding.

Saison de l’amour

Batch Size: 11 Gallons

Original Gravity: 1.061
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.008
Estimated ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 35.5
Color: 6.1
Boil Time: 90 Min

71% French Pilsner Malt
18.2% French Wheat Malt
4.5% Munich II Malt
3.4% Vienna Malt
2.8% Caramunich Malt

2 Oz East Kent Goldings (6.1% AA) at 60 min
.75 Oz East Kent Goldings (6.1% AA) at 20 min
.75 Oz Hallertauer (4.0% AA) at 20 min
.5 Oz Citra (10% AA) at 20 min
2 Oz East Kent Goldings (6.1% AA) at 5 min
.75 Oz Hallertauer (4.0% AA) at 5 min
.5 Oz Citra (10% AA) at 5 min

4.2L Starter of Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saison

Mash at 147 for 60 min
Mash out 168 for 10 min

Notes: Age on .5 oz of French Oak Cubes per Corny Keg for 3 months.

Wedding Saison

Bier De Garde

June 10, 2013 at 8:55 am

For many of us, when we hear the words Farmhouse Ale our minds immediately think of the Saision, (with or without Brett), as this style has been romanticized not only in the U.S but also in Europe.  Saisions are not the only farmhouse ales, the often overlooked Bier De Garde is the other.  Bier De Garde is the saision’s maltier big brother, it is also the French contribution to the craftbeer universe.

Bier De Garde’s (BDG) are described by the BJCP guidelines as being “A fairly strong, malt-accentuated, lagered artisanal farmhouse beer.” Traditionally there are three types of BDG’s including the blond, brown, and amber with the darker having more pronounced malt characteristics.  My BDG would fall in the brown category as I focused on making a malty ale that would be serve as a contrast to the saisions I usually brew.  The BJCP guidelines describe the differences between the two styles perfectly stating “Bière de Garde is rounder, richer, sweeter, malt-focused, often has a “cellar” character, and lacks the spicing and tartness of a Saison.”

When doing some recipe research I came across several blog posts for BDG recipes, and noticed many of them cited the book Farmhouse Ales, by Phil Markowski when discussing the style.  It had been a while since I read the book so I dusted it off and read the chapter on the BDG, it served as the primary source for my recipe formulation.  The main take away for me was that traditionally there were two main types of BDG recipes, the simple and the complex or the big and small brewery versions.  Due to production considerations the large brewery version has a simple grist consisting of mostly pilsner or pale malts while the smaller breweries developed BDG’s with more complex grain bills often consisting of 6-8 different malts.

Another tidbit from the book that caught my attention and influenced my recipe was the thought that the single malt BDG’s would work better for an extended aging (6 months or more) than the multi grain small brewery types.  This as Markowski explains is because as the beer ages it begins to slowly react to oxygen, intensifying the malt characteritics bringing it into its sweet spot between 6-12 months.The multi-malt grist small brewery example, already malty, may become to malty over this same period of time.  Since I operate an extremely small brewery and have several beers already in my long term aging pipeline, I opted for the small brewery multi-malt BDG.

One final point that I considered was the length of the boil.  BDG traditionally undergo extensive boil times to bring develop the deep orange, amber, and brown colors that define the style.  Boil times of 3 hours or more are not uncommon for this style.  I on the other-hand had no intention of an eight hour brewday, so I decided to use the technique of kettle caramelization to achieve similar effects in much less time.  I have performed kettle caramelizations in the past, specifically for my Wee Heavy 2.0. and had great results.  This technique calls for drawing the first runnings from the tun and boiling them down in the kettle, until the majority of the water is boiled off, leaving a thick caramel behind in the kettle.  This process causes the wort to undergo a series of Malliard reactions, adding to the overall malty character of the beer.

My recipe consists of Pilsner malt complimented by a series of specialty malts and two German hops, Tettnang and Halertauer.  Since I do not have lagering capabilities I opted for White Labs 011 European Ale which is said to produce fuller bodied malt accented beers, fitting for the BDG style.  I mashed at 147 degrees to produce a highly fermentable wort that should hopefully put this beer in the FG range of 1.015-1.017. Lastly, I pulled an estimated 1 gallon of the first runnings and reduced it to roughly a pint before adding the rest of the wort from the mash and continuing the boil.  I am really looking forward to trying this one, as I love malty beers and think that this has all the makings of a solid homebrewed version of the classic farmhouse style.

Bier De Garde

Batch Size: 11 Gallons

Original Gravity: 1.075
Est. Final Gravity: 1.017
ABV: 7.6%
IBU: 23.7
Color: 8.9 SRM
Boil Time: 90 Min

71.6% Belgian Pilsner
16.3% Munich 10L
6.5% Wheat Malt
3.3% Caravienne Malt
1.3% Caraamber Malt
.6% Amber Malt

3.5 Oz Tettnang (4% AA) at 60 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
.75 Oz Halertauer Mittelfrueh (4% AA) at 5 min

4.2 L Starter of White Labs 011 European Ale


60 minutes at 147F (Saccharification Rest)
10 minutes at 165 F (Mash Out)

Ferment at ambient air temperature of 65 F


Upon completion of mash pull the first gallon of wort and perform a kettle caramelization, cooking down to roughly one pint of liquid.

BDG Kettle Caramelization

Cognac Oak Aged Belgian Blonde

May 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I like most of you love bourbon barrel aged beers.  Common examples include bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts and barleywines.  The popularity of these beers is so high at the moment that brewers are beginning to branch out into other styles such as the bourbon barrel aged Belgian Tripel, Allagash Curieux.  I have been thinking a lot about other types of spirits that could be used in lieu of bourbon and my mind keeps going back to Cognac.   For those of you unfamiliar with Cognac, it is a type of Brandy named after the town Cognac in France.  Cognac is aged in French Oak barrels and aged for a minimum of two years. and matures much in the same way as whiskey and wine, often times undergoing aging in barrels much greater than two years.

Once I decided go with Cognac as my spirit of choice, I checked around to see if there were any common commercial examples.  It appears that a few brewers have been experimenting with Cognac aged beers such as Cigar City’s Swamp Head Church on a Hill and Mikkeller George! Barrel Aged.  However these all seem to be somewhat small one off offerings, and as far as I can tell there are no breweries currently offering a Cognac Aged beer in their traditional rotations.

I happened to have a bottle of Corvossier VS Cognac lying around which is a middle of the road Cognac described as having flavors of mellow toffee, dried orange peel, stewed prunes, and a hint of coffee.  I thought that these flavors would complement the flavor profiles of a Belgian ale and decided to soak some French Oak, to keep with traditional Cognac aging, as well as the regional geography of the beer and spirit.

I decided on a Belgian Blonde because I wanted a beer that would let the Cognac flavors come to the forefront as well as have enough secondary flavors to create a highly complex finished beer.  The Blonde, with its higher ABV should also hold up well to the extended aging that this beer will undergo.  In advance of the brewday I added .75 oz of French Oak Cubes to a mason jar and added enough Cognac to cover the cubes.  This will be enough to add to a 5 gallon keg upon completion of primary fermentation.  I allow for three weeks to strip away some of the oak flavor out of the cubes and allow the spirit to completely absorb into the cubes.  When adding the cubes to the secondary I make sure to add only the cubes, not the spirt of choice.

As far as the recipe, this is my first attempt at a Belgian Blonde so I decided to keep it fairly straight forward with a grist consisting of Belgian Pilsner, Wheat, Aromatic, and a touch of biscuit.  Table sugar was used to ensure a dry final beer as is standard in most Belgian Blonde recipes.  Hops are subtle in this style so I decided to go with a low alpha acid Styrian Golding, with a big addition at 60 minutes followed by a smaller addition at 5 minutes to give a touch of aroma.  Lastly, I chose White Labs 510 Belgian Bastogne yeast which is described as having somewhat of a clean fermentation with a slightly acidic finish.

I am really looking forward to seeing how this one turns out as I think the Cognac, French Oak, and Belgian Blonde have geographic ties as well as flavor profiles that may lend themselves to the development of a truly unique beer.  I plan to let the beer age on the Cognac soaked oak for 3-6 months and potentially blend a bit with some of the un-aged Blonde depending on how things turn out.  Stay tuned for the tasting notes, I have a feeling this is one recipe some of you might want to try in the future.

Cognac Oak Aged Belgian Blonde

Batch Size: 9.5 Gallons

Original Gravity: 1.070
Est. Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV: 7.9%
IBU: 26.6
Color: 5.4 SRM
Boil Time: 90 Min

80.7% Belgian Pilsner
9.2% Table Sugar
4.6% Aromatic Malt
4.6% White Wheat Malt
.8% Biscuit Malt

3.75 Oz Styrian Goldings (3.56% AA) at 60 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
.5 Oz Styrian Goldings (3.56% AA) at 5 min

4 L Starter of White Labs 510 Bastogne Ale Yeast


60 minutes at 150 F (Saccharification Rest)
10 minutes at 165 F (Mash Out)

Ferment at ambient air temperature of 62 F


Add .75 oz French Oak Cubes to courvoisier vs cognac and let sit for 3 weeks. Add oak cubes to keg and age for 3-6 months.

Belgian Blonde Ingredients

Rich’s Coffee Pale Ale 2.0 Tasting Notes

May 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I will admit it, I am a coffee addict.  I absolutely love coffee and enjoy each and every cup I drink throughout the day.  I have also been known to enjoy a coffee porter or two from time to time, however with that being said I have never experimented coffee in any of my homebrews.  Traditionally coffee finds its way into darker beers usually porters and stouts as the darker malts used in them tend to compliment the roasty, coffee notes.  Recently, I have been reading about brewers experimenting with coffee in other non traditional beers such as IPAs.  I decided that I would experiment with a small batch of my Pale Ale and attempt to infuse it with some coffee flavors.

After doing some research online it appears that the two most common ways to extract the good coffee flavors without the bad (astringent) is by one of the following methods.  Cold brew.  This process calls for grinding up the appropriate amount of coffee and placing it in cold water for 24 hours, after which the coffee is seperated and the coffee is added to the beer usually before bottling or kegging.  The second option, is to do a coffee bean dry hop where whole coffee beans are crushed slightly and added to the secondary or keg directly.  When brewing a porter or a stout option one is available, however when attempting to add coffee to a pale ale, realistically the coffee bean dry hop is the only option in order to preserve the classic Pale Ale color profile.

Below are my tasting notes after adding 22 grams of slightly crushed Columbian finca villa loyola coffee beans and 1 oz of whole leaf Chinook Hops to a 2.5 gallon keg.  The coffee beans were left in the dry hop for two days prior to being removed, the hops were left for the full 7 days.

Rich’s Coffee Pale Ale 2.0(WLP023) Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Pours a deep orange with shades of brown.  A one finger slightly off white head dissipates slowly leaving the glass rimmed with lacing. (No discernible visual difference between this and the regular Rich’s Pale Ale.)

Smell: Mild cocoa, fresh flowers, orange and lemon notes are complimented by a sweet malt and fruit.

Taste: Smooth clean sweetness  serves as a basis for the coffee notes which cut right through immediately as the beer hits the palate.  Mild and restrained, but definitely noticeable the flavors work wonderfully with the fruitiness of the Burton Ale Yeast.  Much less bitter than the SafeAle-05 batch which allows the interplay between the citrus and floral hop aromatics and the coffee to take center stage.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, nice interplay of hop aromatics and malt sweetness with a slight edge towards the hops.

Drinkability & Notes: This beer is absolutely fantastic, and has to be one of my favorite beers brewed ever!  Im having a hard time believing that something as simple as adding a few grams of coffee to a dry hop could have such an amazing impact on the final beer.  The coffee flavors meld beautifully with the malt sweetness and the subtle citrus and floral hop aromatics.  The fruitiness of the Burton Ale yeast puts this beer over the top for me as pulls all the flavors together into one absolutely delicious sip.  I will definitely be experimenting with additional coffee bean dry hops in the future, and am considering brewing 10 gallons of the Coffee Pale Ale for my wedding as I believe that the flavors of this beer will be enjoyed by a wide audience, not just the beer connoisseurs.

Coffee Pale Ale

Rich’s Pale Ale 2.0 Tasting Notes

May 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm


Rich’s Pale Ale 2.0(US-05) Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Pours a deep orange with shades of brown.  A one finger slightly off white head dissipates slowly leaving the glass rimmed with lacing.

Smell: Strong orange and grapefruit, piney and resinous, subtle floral notes accompany a slight malt sweetness.

Taste: Smooth clean sweetness with a mild hop bite on the initial sip, complemented nicely by a moderate hop medley of citrus and pine.  Finishes with a hint of herbs and orange, a lingering bitterness and hints of carmel round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, feels somewhat thin, nice interplay of hop aromatics and malt sweetness with a slight edge towards the hops.

Drinkability & Notes: This being the second version of my pale ale I was able to tweak the recipe, specifically in the addition of a touch more crystal malt in hopes of achieving a better balance.  This version is definitely more balanced than the first and the hop aromas align closer to those found in some of the popular commercial examples of the style.  In the first recipe I used CTZ and Summit which were a bit too aggressive in both bitterness and aroma and pushed the beer towards the upper limits of the Pale Ale range. These tasting notes are from the SafeAle-05 fermented batch, which is evident by the extremely clean fermentation. There are no noticeable yeast flavors, however upon tasting the gravity samples there was a noticeable difference in the bitterness between the US-05 and the Burton Ale WLP23 versions, with the US-05 being much more bitter.  I will provide tasting notes for the WLP23 fermented batch in the near future, which I suspect will be a bit more complex.

Unfortunately, I had brew day problems that forced me to completely drain my mash tun mid mash (never switch dip tubes in a rush) and subsequently caused my mash temperature to drop into the 130 degree range.  As a result this beer finished slightly higher in alcohol than anticipated as well as slightly thinner.  The additional 2-4 gravity points that would have resulted from a proper mash temperature would have really set this beer off, as I prefer my Pale Ale’s to have a slightly maltier mouthfeel.  With that being said I believe this recipe is much more balanced than the first, with a great blend of malt and citrus/pine hops aromatics, and based on the reactions from my friends and family will be a contender for first kegs to kick at my wedding later this year. 


Timber Ridge Double IPA

May 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I’ll preface this post by saying I’m not the biggest hophead out there, in fact I tend to migrate more towards big malty beers when I’m looking for a high alcohol punch.  However, this year I was able to get my hands on several pounds of the popular citrusy/pine hops, namely Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra, that are mainstays in many of the big commercial IPA’s and double IPA’s.  Additionally, as I continue down my “beers to brew” checklist, I decided that now was as good a time as any to give a double IPA a shot.

When brewing a double IPA there are several things to consider in the recipe formulation, the first and most obvious is the hop schedule and varieties.  For this recipe I went with three hops, specifically Belma, Simcoe, and Amarillo.  Belma is a new hop this year offered exclusively from HopsDirect.  On the site it is described as “a clean hop, imparting flavors of orange, grapefruit, tropical, pineapple, strawberry and melon.” However, after reading reviews of fellow brewers it seems like the hop falls somewhat short in the aroma intensity department, described by many as a “mild aroma” and another as a “cheaper Magnum”.

For that reason, coupled with the extremely low price of $5 a lb I decided to use the Belma for my main bittering additions.  I used a First Wort Hop to produce a smoother bitterness as well as additions at 20 and 15 to hopefully catch some of the flavors described previously.  I finished out the hop bill with additions of Amarillo and Simcoe at 10 and 5 minutes respectively as well as a huge 6 oz hop addition during my whirlpool.  These additions should contribute the classic citrus/pine aromatics that define American double IPA’s.  It is important to note that I added the hops to the wort upon chilling to 165 degrees, as at this temperature a greater percentage of the hop compounds are transfered to the wort, delivering an aromatic hop punch to the final beer.

Another important aspect of the recipe is the corn sugar addition.  This will dry out the beer somewhat while contributing to the overall alcohol strength that defines the style.  A double IPA shouldn’t be a malt monster, the dextrose provides the extra fuel for the yeast to get you to the sweet spot of around 1.016-1.104 FG. Lastly, one needs to consider the amount of wort that will be lost to the hops during the brewing process.  I calculated a loss of roughly a tenth of a gallon per oz of hops added during the brew.  In the recipe below I calculated my numbers for a 7 gallon batch with 10 oz of hops, and wound up with just over 6 gallons into my carboy on completion of the brew day.

Timber Ridge Double IPA

Batch Size: 7 Gallons

Original Gravity: 1.084
Est. Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV: 9.1%
IBU: 106.3
Color: 8.7 SRM
Boil Time: 90 Min

84% American 2-Row
7.6% Corn Sugar (Dextrose)
4.7% Carapils
3.5% Crystal 40 Malt
.9% Crystal 120 Malt

2 Oz Belma (11.3% AA) First Wort Hop
1.25 Oz Belma (11.3% AA) at 20 min
1 Oz Belma (11.3% AA) at 15 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
1 Oz Amarillo (9.8% AA) at 10 min
1 Oz Simcoe (12.2% AA) at 5 min
2 Oz Amarillo (9.8% AA) at Whirlpool (165 deg)
2 Oz Simcoe (12.2% AA) at Whirlpool (165 deg)
2 Oz Belma (11.3% AA) at Whirlpool (165 deg)
1.5 Oz Amarillo (9.8% AA) at 5 Day Dry Hop
1.5 Oz Simcoe (12.2% AA) at 5 Day Dry Hop
1.5 Oz Chinook (13.1% AA) at 5 Day Dry Hop
1.5 Oz CTZ (8.26% AA) at 5 Day Dry Hop

Pitched onto a washed yeast WLP 023 Burton Ale Yeast Cake


60 minutes at 152 F (Saccharification Rest)
10 minutes at 165 F (Mash Out)

Collected 6 gallons of wort in carboy.

Timber Ridge IIPA ingredients

German Hefeweizen Tasting Notes

May 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

German Hefeweizen (PP) #5

German Hefeweizen (Proper Pitch) Tasting Notes:

Appearance:  Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow.  One finger, pillowy, snow white head lingers long after the initial pour.

Smell:  Mild notes of wheat, clove, banana and citrus are present.

Taste: Grainy, wheat flavors dominate the initial sip, juxtaposed nicely by the sweetness of the Pilsner malt. Slight hints of herb and citrus on the finish.  Finishes with a strong residual banana burst and a ever so slight hint of clove.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation crisp and strong.  Finished slightly drier than I would have liked and is evident. The graininess from the large percentage of wheat malt helps offset this somewhat.

Drinkability & Notes:   The proper pitched batch of my German Hefeweizen yeast yielded a somewhat strong banana flavor, however it left me wanting more of a banana punch that defines the classic versions of the style.  Overall the beer is highly drinkable and true to the style.  I’m not sure why it attenuated down to 1.006 but it does come across in the final beer.  I will be looking to fix this when I brew it again for my wedding as I would like a slightly thicker mouthfeel.  I am also considering swapping Munich Malt for the Vienna to bulk up the color a bit as this finished somewhat paler than I would have liked.  With that being said for a total cost of roughly $40 dollars for 12 gallons this recipe has yielded a highly drinkable, refreshing beer.