Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Azacca S.M.A.S.H.

This is just a recipe right now, but I'm looking to make this on the next brew day.


  • 6lbs of Dry Malt Extract Plain Light (I'm using Muntons)
  • 1 oz. Azacca @ 60min
  • 1 oz. Azacca @ 30min
  • 1 oz. Azacca @ 15min
  • 1 oz. Azacca @ Dry Hop 7 days.
  • Irish Mosh @ 15 min
  • Wyeast 1272 American Ale II
Someone in my home brew club brought in a beer with Azacca hops and I though it was a very interesting taste and wanted to make a beer with it. I'll post how brew day goes and how it tastes!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


I was brewing at my co-workers again. (well he isn't a co-worker any more Mike retired!)

We decided to make an OktoberAle (Oktoberfest with ale yeast instead of doing the whole lager thing. Most Oktoberfest are actually brewed in March so they are ready for September)

Not much to talk about this beer except that some of the people we brewed with jumped the gun at the 60 min mark and forgot to add the boil-out hops. I'm not happy about that because they were enjoying them selves just a little to much for a brew day. Not that drinking on brew day is bad, you just can't go over board when dealing with boiling liquids around.

So I ended up dry hopping it on bottling day so hopefully that will help a little bit. The beer is currently conditioning so I will be able to try in about a week.

Here are some pictures from brew day, I mostly got the grain crushing and mashing because I don't believe I have pictures of that step yet.

Bel Aire Amber

So I know it has been a little bit since I posted anything. Shame on me. I brewed a couple times over the summer.

I tried my hand at my first created recipe! An amber ale I named Bel Aire Amber. The name comes from the street my fiance and I just bought our house on!

The recipe is:

6.0 lbs of Amber Dry Malt Extract
1.0 lbs of Crystal 60L
1.0 oz Cascade Hops (First Wort Boil)
1.0 oz Willamette Hops @ 30 min
1.0 oz Centennial Hops @ 15 min
1.0 Units of Irish Moss @ 15 min
1056 WYeast

I didn't take readings but according to the brew calculator it is 5.7% ABV.

Here is the new set up in the new house, The Laundry room is now the brew house. It is nice to have access to the laundry sink right there. The wort boiling for the Bel Aire Amber.

Just another picture to see sort of how I have it set up. I really should take more pictures.

It tastes really good to me. and so far everyone who has tried it likes it!

I might try and make it again soon, to see how close I get it to this batch.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bronze Certificate National Homebrew Competition

I entered my Pain in the Kass Cider to the National Homebrew Competition, and earned myself a Bronze Certificate with it!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Construction and Testing.

Before I started construction on my new electric brew kettle I wanted to test my stove out. I put 2.5 gallons of water in my brew kettle and time how long it would take to boil. Well.. I did not give myself enough time before I had to leave. At around the 50 minute mark I was pretty much boiling but it was not a roiling boiling.  

So know that the base testing is out of the way lets add in the water heater element.

The Parts that I used. I have my amazon order I'll put up here eventually I'm feeling lazy right now.

Started to drill the brew kettle. Defiantly take your time! I used a titanium step bit and lots of drilling oil. The stainless steal will not absorb the heat like wood does so it goes all into the drill bit, the oil helps to cool it down.


The bigger hole for the heating element and the smaller hole for the thermometer.  I added the thermometer because I could and was already doing work on the kettle.

Here is a picture of the wired up heating element. black is hot, white is neutral, and the green one is ground with is J-B welded between the washer and the kettle.

Water tight testing. Pass!

Staring to boil water to see how long it will take. Plus a nice picture of the thermometer.

You can see the water starting to boil in these picture. It took about 30 minutes to get the water to a rolling boil. This should really help during my brew day!

My last step is to find a better cover over the electrical elements. The one I bought on amazon ended up not fitting over my heating element. I just need to go to hard ware store and pick up something different and glue it on. Will update when I get a clean picture of that and the finished product!

Total cost including parts and the original price of the kettle came to about a $100. Not to bad. This really wont be able to handle to much more than an extract brew which is not a problem for me. I'll be in that spot for a while.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Electric Brew Kettle

I decided that I really hate the stove that is my apartment. It is one of those coil electric ones (they suck don't get one if you don't have to).  So to remedy this I'm going to install an electric heating element inside my brew kettle.  I'm using this Homebrew Talk forum thread to base my design off of.

His is a much fancier system than I need right now. I'm brewing Extract so that means I'm only boiling 2.5-3 gallons of water. That requires much less power than boiling 5+ gallons of water. The design I'm going with will be 1 1650W 110v heating element with no controller. I'm not mashing, don't need to keep a constant temperature yet.  The water wont pass boiling point so I'm good there. I ordered all of my parts on Amazon today. the cost was about $60 and my brew kettle was originally $30, so a $90 electric brew kettle is pretty good. I might add a thermometer probe to it, I haven't decided, I'm going to see how this modification goes first.  Once I start building I will try and take some pictures and write a post to explain what I did.

I did some math to determine how long this new modification will take to boil water. This design should allow me to boil 2.5 gallons of water in 30 minutes coming from the hot water tap.  I don't know how long my stove takes now. I might experiment with that before the modification to see if I will get any time improvements. I suspect I will immersion heating is much more efficient than the stove would be. Either way this will be worth it because my brew kettle will not be tied to a stove! I will just need an outlet. I also plan on building a little enclosure with a GFCI outlet that can be in between an outlet and the brew kettle for safety. We are dealing with liquids here.

The last thing I still need to figure out is how to keep my wort chiller from sitting on the heating element when I use that. I'm thinking of stand off or something attached to the chiller, or possibly bending it over the edge of the kettle to have the weight supported there.

I will keep you posted on how this works.

Monday, January 25, 2016

New Year's Eve Hefeweizen

I brewed a batch of Hefeweizen on New Years eve with one of my buddies.

Everything went well, Don't have any pictures of it unfortunately.

Though this batch will be interesting about a week and half in to primary fermentation, the air lock blew off.. I'm not sure exactly when it happen but when I found it everything had been hard a crusty...

Good thing is Northern Brewer has a no questions ask replacement policy on their kits. I took a drive over there to ask them about it. The work I talked to said to rack it over to secondary and see how it turns out, because if there was enough CO2 to blow off the airlock it should have keep the beer safe from O2, which makes sense. Currently it is in secondary, I'm going to bottle it sometime next week I think, and let it bottle condition for a week or 2. Once I taste it and see how it turns out I can go to Northern Brewer and have it replaced if it ends up bad.

While I was at Norther Brewer I picked my self up a new toy with gift cards I got for Christmas.

I got a fancy new WORT CHILLER! I'm really excited about this purchase, I think it will make future brew days so much nicer!
That is the Wort Chiller I ended up going with.

I talked with the guy in the store about which one would be better, the Copper or Stainless Steal one. Basically the differences where Stainless Steal should last a bit longer than copper, but you won't really notice, and copper has slightly better thermodynamic properties so it will cool the wort down faster. Luckily for me the price was the same in the store so I went with copper.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Bottling then Brewing

Bottled the Scottish Brown Ale

Made my life easier and bought kitchen sink hose fittings.

And a awesome bottle washer!

Brewed the Waldo Lake Amber Ale

It had specialty grains from Waldo Lake.