Brewing Daisy Cutter pale ale Clone

It’s been a while since I’ve brewed at home and it feels longer since I’ve brewed a good beer. I’ve felt either rushed, distracted, or otherwise I screwed up my last few batches. Coincidence or not, I also haven’t brewed a really hoppy pale ale in some time. I won’t go into the details here, I’ve already shared one failure on Facebook. Lets just say I could really use a win. Early this year I decided I was going to try to dial in my brewing, calling it the year of calibration. I am trying to both harden my brewing process, and add process controls. That way I can know how specifically I brewed a beer, which will allow me to reproduce success, and improve upon the beer in future batches. I haven’t been terribly consistent with either process or equipment in my last few batches. I think I’ve made my last major changes for a while, and my hope is that I can take this beer, evaluate it, access the recipe and brewing process, then brew it again making only slight changes to the process.
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Duo Brew Day

When Brew Free or Die announced a Dynamic Duo club competition I knew two things: that I was in, and I’d be brewing with my buddy Mike. What wasn’t immediately obvious was what we’d be brewing, but I did have a hunch. This fall Mike brewed a very tasty version of Mike McDole’s famous recipe, Janet’s Brown, A hoppy american brown ale. I have just brewed a not so tasty american brown ale (story for another day), and both of us agree the style is quite enjoyable. The club competition is named Dynamic duo. Brew a 1.040-1.050 beer, using only two hops, two malts, no adjuncts, no spices, etc. With that in mind, I tried to reworked the Janet’s Brown ale recipe down to just two malts, two hops, and bring the gravity down. Continue reading

Review: Homebrewers Guide to Vintage Beers

I’m a bit of a beer/brewing book collector, I have a Library of twenty or so books, and my amazon wish list is sure to have a few brewing books on it. I have recipe books, basic brewing books, advanced technique books, scientific books, historical brewing books, books about starting a brewing businesses, the list goes on. I have so many unread, that I made a goal for 2014 not to purchase any more books until I’ve gotten through the backlog. Fortunately I preordered this book back in March of 2013 so it doesn’t count as failing against that goal. When this book finally arrived I did not expect to pick it up for some time, or do what I did, read it cover to cover in a week. Continue reading

Designing a Parti-gyle brew day.

This is not my usual brew day recap, I’ve planning on brewing a big imperial stout, and I wanted to use all the grains we were putting in the mash tun to create two beers instead of just one. This calls for leveraging the age old Parti-gyle technique. While the technique is old school, I’ve yet to find a modern tool that can design a parti-gyle recipe. Continue reading

Very small batch Cyser

Making a mead has been in my brewing pipeline for quite some time. Last fall I took a swing at a cyser, but it was really more of a honey fortified cider, than a real cyser. Having tried a really good example at one of the BFD club meetings, I knew I wanted to make a better example. After listening to Michael Fairbrother (member of, and former President of BFD) of Moonlight Meadery on BeerSmith’s podcast talking about meads, and specifically Kurts Apple Pie (Cyser) I had a fairly good idea how to make a cyser I was hoping for. Continue reading