Clone again. Bitter American 4

I brewed this a while back, kicked the keg tonight while bottling for homebrewing club night. I said I’d share my notes / recipe. The Recipe is based on the BYO Clones from cans recipes. (no recipe here). I’ve been making … Continue reading

Bitter again.

I took a few months off from brewing this summer to travel, and work my way through some of my homebrew back log. With any layoff it takes a bit of motivation to get started again. It’s not that I don’t want to brew, it’s just that life is busy these days. I figured my first batch back I should make something I’m comfortable with, so I made my third batch of bitter american clone. If you recall this was the first all grain beer I brewed and I brewed a second larger batch focusing on local ingredients for my club to bring to NHC back in 2013. I’m familiar with the recipe, and have mixed results with it, I have not brewed it enough to have it mastered. The original recipe came from a brew your own article on canned craft beers. When planning to brew this, I focused on using the ingredients i had on hand. I’ve got an over stocked freezer full of hops, and a cellar full of grain just waiting for me to brew. Somewhere along the way, I neglected to reference the original recipe and just used pearl malt instead of the recipe’s golden promise which I do have on hand. These two malts are similar, but from reading comparisons, they aren’t the same. I’m wondering how big of a mistake this is. The other shift in recipe was to swap out the warrior bittering hops for citra. I’m not sure why I haven’t bought more Warrior, I liked it in the alpha king clone, but more high alpha hops won’t be added to my freezer any time soon. Continue reading

Plan C, batch number three of the Daisy cutter clone.

The third batch of the Daisy cutter came hot on the heels of batch #2, brewed just one week later. One might think it’s boring brewing the same beer over again, but I’ve found it’s the opposite. The challenge of trying to get repeatability and predictability and improvement from my brewing system is thrilling. Brewing batch two showed me more things that I needed to work on with my process. These are the nuances that I’d otherwise not pick up by brewing a new recipe each time. I’m seeing parts of my process that have been close enough, but that doesn’t cut it when you are trying to hit the same numbers again. One that caught my attention in the second batch was volume measurements of strike, sparge, runoff, and pre and post boil. I’ve jumped around between different brewing vessels so much, that it’s hard to remember which measurement is what volume in a specific pot. Before brewing batch 3 I took some measurements so I knew how much volume my total run off should be, and what my post boil volume should also be. With these measurement and my gravity notes, I’ll be able to tell and tune my efficiency going forward. I feel like I’m slowly working out small process issues, as well as incrementally improve the recipe. Continue reading

Taking a second chop at the daisy cutter.

A month after my first attempt at brewing a daisy cutter clone I brewed this recipe. My first brew session wasn’t the smoothest, but I did hit my numbers and volume, so it wasn’t all bad. The beer isn’t bad either but It’s a work in progress. I gave a few bottles to friends, and I’m looking forward to some constructive feedback. The aroma was nice, but not what I wanted. The color is good, but darker than the original. The residual sweetness is good, it seems clean, dry, but does not have nearly enough hop flavor. The aroma is also too candy like. With that in mind, along with my first batch missteps, I had some process changes and recipe changes in mind. Continue reading

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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Brewing Bitter New Englander for NHC’s club night.

I had to get this brewing session in as I was running out of time to brew my contribution to club night for the National Homebrewers Conference. While I won’t be there, I’m really excited to be sending this beer for my peers.This beer will be one of many being poured by my club members at the Brew Free or Die (BFD) booth, just look for the drinking old man of the mountain. This is my second try at this recipe. I brewed a Bitter American clone as my first all grain batch back in mid December. That first beer was all over the place, missed mash temps, stuck sparges, and extremely low volumes to and from kettle, pretty much what you expect for a first all grain brew day. The resulting beer was well received, I enjoyed it, and I figured if it was good when i screwed it up, it might be really good if I brewed it well. Continue reading

Reviewing Homebrew U the Perfect American Pale Ale with Matt Brynildson

I’ve been a big fan of the brewing network since I started brewing, and I’ve been listening to the shows religiously for the past three years. When I heard they’d be making a dvd to share the best way to brew a pale ale I had to have it. I consider pale ale a challenging beer to brew well. It’s a beer of balance, walking the line of hoppy and clean, while avoiding being thin. I’ve said this before, it’s a large percentage of what I drink, and equally large portion of what I brew. The idea of getting tips on how to brew the beer straight from Matt Brynildson was impossible to pass up. So I signed up for the preorder, and paid my $17.99. Continue reading

Hydrometer reading of rye pale ale

Pales in Comparision: Collaboration with Bow Bog Brewing

This beer is a collaboration beer with my good friend Mike, of Bow Bog Brewing. We have been homebrewing in parallel for the past few years, and have had many an exchange recently about technique, ingredients, and various projects. We both have a similar focus on sourcing our ingredients locally, and trying to build our own equipment, and are at a similar experience level brewing. So when we went in on a few sacks of grain from Valley Malt late last year we started talking about a beer we would both brew. Continue reading

Bitter American Clone

Bitter American Clone Review

This is my first all grain batch, while I find it very had to be objective about my own beer, I’m happy with the results. Despite some of my brew day miscues. It’s not the recipe that it was designed to be do to those changes, but I don’t think it’s worse for it. While I have not tried the beer side by side with 21 A’s bitter american, it’s similar in spirit. Lowish ABV, light body, but not watery, and hoppy. Continue reading