Batch 70: Glitter Barleywine

So many thanks to Tom and Drew for the assistance with this brew 🙂 The day began with a disappointment, when the new heat sticks tripped the breaker. We moved outside into the COLD, and lost a lot of heat in the mash. In addition, we couldn’t fit all 36# of grain that were planned into the mash tun. So, we made beer … we’re just not entirely sure what it will be like. Salud!

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-05
Yeast Starter: 4 pints of settled yeast from Batch #68
Batch Size (Gallons): 10
Original Gravity: 1.084
Final Gravity: 
IBU: ??
Boiling Time (Minutes): 105
Color: ??
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

30# Maris Otter
4# C60
2# Rye

6oz Northern Brewer FWH

About 32# of the grain made it into the mash. We lost a lot of temperature in the process, and ended at 140°. 20 minutes into the mash, I drew off 6 qts and boiled, then another 6 qt and boiled, yielding up to 150° mash in certain areas of the mash (though the heat didn’t quite evenly distribute). Chilled to 65ish°. I had taken three pints, and one half pint, of liquid with yeast from Batch #68. The yeast settled to a few inches thickness at hte bottom of each, and these were pitched into the fermeter.

UPDATE 3/19 pm: VIGOROUS fermentation goin on, temps at 64 😉

Batch 69: Oriander Pale Ale

It took a lot of restraint to not come up with a more salacious name for this beer.

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Nottingham (1 packets)
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): intended 6
Original Gravity: 1.051 (1.049 anticipated)
Final Gravity: 
IBU: 22
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 3° L
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

6# 2-row
4# German Wheat

3.5 gal 170° strike water yielded initial 155° mash, and I stirred and left the cap off of the mash tun until it came down to ~152°.

Sparge (infusion) with 5.25 gal 170° water
7 gal recovered into boil kettle
SG: 1.050 (1.030 at 155°)

Technical difficulties were encountered. One of the heat sticks was taking on water and shorting, so while the FWH were simmering away, I went out to secure propane. All in all, the FWH lasted about an hour, which is great b/c we had a boil over once we got to temperature.

1oz Cascade FWH
0.5oz Cascade 15 minutes

1 Whirlfloc @ 10 minutes

0.75oz Bitter Orange Peel @ flameout
0.75oz Crushed Coriander @ flameout

Chilled to ~68°, transferred to the FerMonster (recovered ~6 gallons), and pitched 2 old packets (expired 3/2017 and 10/2017, respectively) of Nottingham 🙂

UPDATE 3/12: nice calm krausen, and the fermenter reads just under 61* 🙂

Batch 68: Yankee IPA

IPA brewed after a long hiatus and a number of equipment upgrades, including the capability of fly sparging, purchase of a plate chiller, and addition of a chilling coil in the conical fermenter. Oh, and I have pumps. 2 pumps. An I’m Gonna Use’em.

This was originally planned as a NEIPA, however I didn’t have quite the hop complement in the freezer that I needed, and I didn’t have exactly the yeast (something that is known to bioconvert hop oils), so I went with a “kindabutnotreally”NEIPA (maybe should consider that for the name?).

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: SafAle 05 (3 packets)
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): intended 11
Original Gravity: 1.058
Final Gravity: 1.008 (~6.75% ABV)
IBU: 67
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 6 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 12 days at ~65°, dropping down to ~61° toward the end of fermentation (due to cellar temps)
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

4tsp Gypsum, 0.25+ (heaping) tsp Salt, 0.75tsp Calcium Chloride in the strike water

16# 2-row
4# German Wheat
2# Melanoidin

Strike with 180° water, ~7? gal, mash temp starting 152° at 9:35am (perfect!! BrewPal said 6.3 gallons of 175° strike water, but I am finding that adding about 5 degrees can account for heat loss through water transfer during mash-in)

1 Whirlfloc @ 10 minutes

2oz CTZ (15%) FWH
1oz Cascade (6.3%) @ 10 min
1oz Cascade (6.3%) in whirlpool (starting at 180°, then adding plate chiller until pitch at 65°)
1oz each Mosaic (12%), Simcoe (12.9%), 1.05oz Cascade (6.3%) 3 days into fermentation

I have to say, I pretty much hit all of my numbers for the first time in a while 🙂 Target mash temp hit on the dot, OG: 1.059 predicted by Brewer’s Friend, I hit 1.058. This new setup is DOPE

pitched at ~2pm

UPDATE 3/5/18: checked at 8am and observed the beginnings of krausen, with infrared temperature holding steady at 65°

UPDATE 3/6 am: The outside of the conical fermenter read 66° this morning. Tame krausen evident.

UPDATE 3/6 pm: The outside of the conical fermenter read 70° this evening. Delicious odor of fermentation apparent.

UPDATE 3/7 am: The outside of the conical fermenter read 66° this morning. I opened the lid to a bright, harsh waft of CO2, and the top of the krausen read 66.2°. And, the beer smelled amazingly tasty.

UPDATE 3/7 pm: Outside fermenter and inside krausen both read 67°. I added 1oz Mosaic, 1oz Simcoe, and 1.5oz Cascade 🙂 Smelled INCREDIBLE (the beer, and the hops), can’t wait to taste it!

UPDATE 3/9 am: Checking every morning and evening, and the temps on the outside of the fermenter are between 65° and 67° … keeping it low and slow, that is the tempo, and I like it 🙂

UPDATE 3/12: fermenter reads ~64*. Yesterday I pulled 2.5 pints from the side port, and collected some rather thick (compared to past attempts when I “washed” yeast) layers of creamy yeast. Hurray!

UPDATE 3/15: the beer has looked relatively clear for a few days through the frosted side of the conical. I pulled another head of yeast and then hydrometer sample, and the hydrometer read 1.008. I think she’s near ready. Oh, and that plan for a ~5% beer turned into a typical 6.75% IPA. Woohoo?? (For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out how to brew a session IPA). Gonna keg it tomorrow!!

Batch 67: Harford Porter

Straight-up porter, as the first beer brewed in my baesment.

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WLP001 (2 pure pitch packets)
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): intended 10, collected 9.5
Original Gravity: ??
Final Gravity: ??
IBU: ?27? ?33
Boiling Time (Minutes): 75
Color: ~25?
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

18# 2-row
1# Biscuit
1# Chocolate
1# C40
4oz Black Patent

2oz Cascade (4.5%) FWH
26 grams Nugget at 30 minutes into boil

1 whirlfloc

mash extended due to pump failure (2 hours total). boil extended from intended 60 minutes due to other failures. Transferred to conical fermenter for no-chill period after fermentation, due to counter-flow chiller failure. Wondering what will become of this bastard child.

Posted September 5, 2017 by fbarrett in 2-row, Biscuit, Black Patent, Cascade, Chocolate, Crystal 40L, Nugget

Batch 65: Ben’s Wedding Ale

Insert thoughtful introduction acknowledging Ben & Olga’s wedding and the honor of brewing their beer 🙂

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Notty (1.5 packets)
Yeast Starter: no starter, just 1.5 packets 🙂
Batch Size (Gallons): intended 5.5, collected ?
Original Gravity: 1.072
Final Gravity: 
IBU: ?
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: ?
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 62* to start
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

25# 2-row
1# C60
1# Honey
1# Honey Biscuit

2oz CTZ (First wort)
.5oz CTZ, .5oz Cascade 15 min
.5oz CTZ, .5oz Cascade 10 min
.5oz CTZ, .5oz Cascade 5 min
.5oz CTZ, .5oz Cascade flameout

mashed for 1 hour, ended up being 154*

UPDATE 6/26: racked to kegs, tasting yummy & grainy & a little sweet, ending at 1.006 (wow!), yielding a whopping 8.6% ABV

Batch 66: Olga’s Wedding Wheat

Insert thoughtful statement regarding the beautiful help that Olga provided to us today, the lots of beer that were brewed, and the honor of providing libation for her and Ben’s wedding reception 🙂

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Safbrew WB-06 (1.5 packets)
Yeast Starter: no starter, just 1.5 packets 🙂
Batch Size (Gallons): intended 5.5, collected ?
Original Gravity: 1.061
Final Gravity: 
IBU: ?
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: LIGHT
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 71* to start
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

13# Wheat
12# Barley
1# Rye

20z Cascade, FWH

Mashed at 149* for 60 minutes

Collected 10 full gallons (maybe a little more)

UPDATE 6/12/17: added 3# blood orange puree to one of the carboys

UPDATE 6/29/17: kegged the straight wheat beer, clocked in at 1.007 (7% ABV) and DELICIOUS: Sweet, full-bodied, lots of bubble gum, a little banana and a hint of clove.  Also kegged the blood orange wheat beer: nose is a bit boozy, beer is a bit thinner and more muted but a bit more complex. Where the straight-up wheat beer has esthers and phenols forward, this is more subtle and complex. YUM.

Posted May 21, 2017 by fbarrett in 2-row, Cascade, German Wheat, Rye, Safale WB-06, Wheat Beer

Batch 64: Cool your jets IPA

Brian and Jill at Nepenthe recently provided an astute diagnosis of developing off flavors in my beer. Turns out I’ve been neglecting the health of my yeast, both in terms of under-pitching and not controlling temps. I’ve had some pissed off yeasts. I’ve also recently begun to really dial in my water. With these tools in hand, I will attempt a new IPA which I’ve named in homage to my originally very careful but forgotten and new-found respect for temps and pitching rates 🙂

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Safale US 05
Yeast Starter: no starter, just two packets of Safale 05 🙂
Batch Size (Gallons): intended 5.5, collected ~3-3.5, added 1 gal spring water from Whole Foods
Original Gravity: 1.074 – then added 1 gal fresh water, assuming this brings me down to about 1.062
Final Gravity: 
IBU: ~60?
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: ~9 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 62* to start
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

7.5# Maris Otter (what I had left)
2.5# German Pils (what I had left)
10oz C60 (what I had left)

0.5oz Nugget, 0.5oz CTZ, 0.5oz Cascade 10min
0.5oz Nugget, 0.5oz CTZ, 0.5oz Cascade @Whirlpool (~15 minutes at 120*)

Mash was too hot (~158, intended ~150), didn’t sparge with enough water, wanted to whirlpool at 180* but instead ended up whirlpooling at 120*. Missed the mark in lots of ways, but let’s see if I can keep the temps in check after overpitching, as this was the real goal 🙂 the carboy is resting at a balmy 62* in a water bath.

Posted February 19, 2017 by fbarrett in Uncategorized

Batch 63: Inauguration Ale

This beer is being brewed to drink on the night of the inauguration of our 45th president. A number of friends are gathering to move to DC the following day for a march, and I asked everyone what kind of beer I should brew for the occasion. Top contenders were La Fin du Monde (though I don’t have the time nor ingredients on hand to brew this), Arrogant Bastard (spot on), and “something thick, dark, and bitter” (which leads me to Cascadian Dark Ale). The following is an amalgam of the latter 2: Arrogant Bastard base ( and elements of a CDA (various, including: I’m a bit torn on the name and will leave that one as a game-day audible, maybe left to a crowd vote.

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WLP007
Yeast Starter: 1L starter from 1 packet, made the night before (so pitched at high krausen)
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.066
Final Gravity: ??
IBU: ~65?
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: ~38 SRM?
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

12# Maris Otter
1.5# Special B
.75# Carafa II Special
.5# C60

1oz Nugget 90min
0.5oz Nugget, 0.5oz CTZ, 0.5oz Cascade 10min
0.5oz Nugget, 0.5oz CTZ, 0.5oz Cascade @Whirlpool (after cooled below 180*)

Mashed in and held 148* straight for 60 minutes 🙂 I heated and used 10 gallons for the mash and sparge, and ended up with more volume than I expected: 6 gallons collected in a New FerMONSTER!! (woohoo!), leaving about a gallon of trub in the pot. Pitched 1L WLP007 started at high krausen.

UPDATE from the day after inauguration … the group consensus from the 19 fellow travelers we housed for the march was that we should call this something like “Obama’s Last Stand”. So Mote It Be, mthfkrs.

Batch 62: Extra Special Bitter

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Nottingham
Yeast Starter: 1L starter from 1 packet
Batch Size (Gallons): 10
Original Gravity: 1.059
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: ~50?
Boiling Time (Minutes): ~75
Color: ~12-17 SRM?
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

?16# Maris Otter (18# intended)
2# C60

2.5oz Nugget 60min

Fresh hops: 1/2 of a 2 gallon bucket of fresh CTZ hops from the plant out front, as a hop-stand after cooling the wort to ~180˚

1 Whirlfloc, 15 min

We took a trip to Nepenthe (and a short stop at Union) during mash, so we ended up mashing for about 1:45. The thermometer was a little on the hot side when we opened up to sparge (near 158˚), hotter than I had hoped for. We also ended up boiling a little longer than I had expected to.

We also realized as we were pitching that we had left behind 1-2# of grain, which was all very likely base malt since it was at the end of the crush. Whoops!

Thursday, 9/29: FG is 1.012 (6.2% ABV)

Posted September 19, 2016 by fbarrett in Crystal 60L, CTZ, ESB, Maris Otter, Nottingham, Nugget

Batch 61: Pumpkin Dubbel 2016!

To be entered into the homebrew competition for the 2016 Baltimore Craft Beer Festival 🙂

Recipe Type: All-Grain
Yeast: WLP500
Yeast Starter: 1L and 0.5L starters from two separate pure pitch packs
Batch Size (Gallons): 10.5 gallons
Original Gravity: 1.075 (+0.064 w/ D90 ≈ 1.081)
Final Gravity:
IBU: ~25
Boiling Time (Minutes): 75
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):

18# Maris Otter
6# German Pilsner
2# C60
2# CaraAroma
2# D90 (after krausen falls)

2oz Northern Brewer (7.8 AAU)

(6) 16oz Organic Pumpkin packages and (1) Libby’s 15oz pumpkin can (111 oz) bated at 350* for 60 minutes

half of the pumpkin (roughly) went into the mash, half into the pot

1# rice hulls

Mashed in 10gal water at ~163*, ended up somewhere around 146* mash temp

3 tsp pumpkin spice at 15 min

Sunday 9/25: pitched one package of D-90 in each carboy

Thursday 9/29: FG 1.010 in each carboy (9.6%) Woot!!