Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Harvesting yeast

Date: Aug. 22, 2012

Tonight marks my first foray into harvesting the yeast cake from my fermentor. I'll be harvesting Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale.

I'm basing the process off of a few videos I've seen on YouTube. This one was the most straight-forward:

Using two large mason jars: One for cleaning the yeast, and one for storage.

Indian Brown Ale [Secondary]

Racking date: Aug. 22, 2012

Racked the Indian Brown Ale into my new 3 gal carboy to further condition. Also able to get a read on the final gravity, flavor, smell, etc.


FG: 1.019 (1.018 at 75 'F)
Taste: Nicely sweet and malty, bitterness prominent, alcohol-ish on the end. Tastes like the offspring of a sweet nut brown and bitter IPA. Excellent. Strong too.
Smell: Nuttiness
Color: Medium brown, not cloudy

TBD Indian Brown Ale

Brew Date: Aug. 10, 2012
3 gal

Much has happened since my last batch. But in the interest of keeping this posting short, suffice it to say that it's been a VERY long, HOT summer. With temps hitting 95+ F in the house at 8 pm throughout most of June and July, brewing anything was totally out of the question. This, of course, made me sad. And itching to brew. No longer! Here, at last, is the latest batch. The recipe is from "Extreme Brewing" by Sam Calagione, p. 142.

I recently purchased a copy of Beer Tools Pro, a software program for homebrewing. It worked great for loading all the ingredients and then scaling down the recipe.


  • 6-8 oz Amber Malt (Fawcett)
  • 6-8 oz Caramel Malt 60L (Briess)
  • 5-6 oz Chocolate Malt (Briess)
  • 1-2 oz Roasted Barley (Briess)
  • 1.92 kg Light DME (Golden Light) (Briess)
  • 138 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 0.5 oz Warrior pellets (A: 16%)
  • 0.6 oz Mt. Hood hop pellets (A: 6.1%)
  • Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale*
*Yeast starter the night before. Boil 2 c water. Remove from heat. Add ½ c (109 g) light DME. Boil 10 min. Cool and pitch yeast. Aerate on and off for approx 1 hr.


In a grain bag, add amber, caramel, and chocolate malts, and roasted barley to 2 gal water heated to 150-160 F. Steep for 30 min. Remove grain bag and bring water to boil. Remove from heat and add DME. Return to boil. After 15 min, add the Warrior hops in a nylon bag and boil 60 min. 30 min before end of boil, in a separate pot, boil 1 gal water for 10 min and add to brew kettle to compensate for evaporation loss. 10 min before end of boil, add dark brown sugar. Add Mt. Hood hops at end of boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 20 min. Cool wort to 70 F. Rack to fermentor. Add cold water and top off to 3 gal. Transfer to secondary fermentor after 7-10 days to condition. Condition 2-3 weeks.

OG: 1.072 (1.070 at 78 'F)
Smell: Roasted, slight hint of chocolate
Taste: Thick, sweet, rich, chocolate, balanced bitterness, brown sugar?
Color: Deep brown

Original recipe called for OG 1.070. Pretty darn close! Looking for a FG of around 1.015 and ABV of 7.2%. 50 IBUs.


With Taj Mahal's "The Natch'l Blues" spinning in the background, a half day at work, and my first brew day in over two months, I was feeling fine. Not to mention a buddy of mine had managed to land me a ticket to the Great Taste of the Midwest beerfest that afternoon. All in all, I'd call it a mighty fine day. Cheers!