Tuesday, October 23, 2012

“Dubble Rainbow"

Brew date: October 21, 2012
#11 - 3 gal

This beer could easily also be called "Lost in Translation" Dubble or "I'm an Idiot" Dubble. (Don't really like the ring of that last one...) Basically, I set out to brew a Chimay Red clone featured on the American Homebrewers Association's website, but scaled down to a 3-gallon batch and as an all-grain Brew-in-a-Bag (BIAB). In this, I failed. Utterly. Not only did I mis-transcribe some of the grain bill (e.g. 1 oz of chocolate malt somehow became 1 lb!), but I couldn't find several of the hop varieties I was looking for, and my efficiency was much lower than I expected (even though I made some adjustments since I wasn't planning to sparge the BIAB). In the end, I decided to just roll with the (largely self-inflicted) punches and see what happens. I decided to call it "Dubble Rainbow" since, well, the dude in that video was ridiculous -- as could be this beer.

This was my first BIAB attempt. I tried to do ample research beforehand and found these videos from Northern Brewer to be helpful (and reassuring), Episode 54: Jake's Got a Brand New Bag and Brewing the "Brew in a Bag" Way. I did my best to keep the mashing temp a constant 154 'F, although I know that it was probably closer to 160 'F a few times when I had to kick the heat back on. After a 60 min mash, I brought the temp up to approx 170 'F and completed a 15 min mash-out before beginning the boil.


  • 5.5 lb Belgian Pale
  • 0.5 lb Cara 20
  • 0.3 lb American 2-Row (Pale)
  • 0.5 lb Chocolate
  • 0.5 lb Clear Candi Sugar
  • 1 oz Willamette leaf (60 min)
  • 0.5 oz Willamette leaf (30 min)
  • 0.75 oz Strisslespalt (5 min)
  • Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey*
*Yeast starter the day before. Boil 2 c water. Remove from heat. Add ½ c Light DME. Boil 10 min. Cool and pitch yeast. Aerate on and off.


Add 5.5 gal cold water to brew kettle. Heat to 164 'F. Add grains. Mash temp should stabilize around 154 'F. Mash for 60 min. At 60 min, heat wort to 168-170 'F and Mash-out for 15 min. Lauter (remove grain bag). Bring wort to boil. Add candi sugar and Willamette hops. Boil 60 min. Add Willamette hops 30 min before end of boil. Add Strisslespalt 5 min before end of boil. Cut heat and let sit for 10 min. Chill wort to 68-70 'F. Transfer to carboy and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 'F. Transfer to secondary fermentor after 7-10 days. Condition 1-2 wks. Bottle.


OG: 1.051
Target Gravity: 1.062
Color: Deep brown-red, ruddy hew
Smell: Roasted/toasted biscuit
Taste: Sweet, spicy, light-to-moderate hop bitterness

Monday, October 22, 2012

“Kiss My Black" IPA [Bottled]

Bottle date: October 20, 2012

After worrying that I oxidized my beer for almost two weeks, I decided to bottle. No readily apparent off-flavors. Taste remains quite bitter, and doesn't have the sweet malty strength I was hoping would balance that bitterness. The Simcoe definitely imparted a pungent hop aroma. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that as the beer bottle conditions, both the aroma and bitterness will mellow. There is a decent undertone of roastiness in there. It remains to be seen if I will come out and play well with a (slightly) toned down hoppiness.

  • 95 oz Light DME
  • 16 oz water
Desired CO2 Volume: ~2.4.
Temp: 66 'F

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

“Kiss My Black" IPA [Dry Hop]

Transfer date: October 9, 2012

Racked to my new PLASTIC (to prevent future knee-mishap) 5 gallon carboy to dry-hop for a week or two on 1 oz of Simcoe whole hops.

It went smoothly enough, but in my enthusiasm to avoid destroying my leg for a second time, I didn't take into consideration the amount of headroom in the 5 gallon carboy with only 3 gallons of beer. This worries me. Oxidation = bad.

After the racking was complete, I decided to swirl the beer on and off a little (again, maybe not a good idea) to try to draw some of the CO2 out of the beer to hopefully push the oxygen out of the carboy. It remains to be seen how effective this strategy was or if I totally fucked up the flavor.


Terminal gravity: 1.022
Smell: Roasty, bitter chocolate
Taste: Bitter, bitter chocolate, spicy

Monday, October 8, 2012

“Kiss My Black" IPA

Brew date: Sept. 30, 2012
3 gal

A thrilling brew day! Packers are on (they won) and brewing a black IPA with brand new equipment: A 10 gallon Megapot and wort chiller.

It took some adjusting. The megapot rests over two burners. This allows it to heat quickly, but given the size of the pot and that I was trying to do a full wort boil, it was difficult to reach a rolling boil. I was forced to keep the lid partially on. I did my best to open it up from time to time to keep too much evaporated water condensing and falling back into the boil. I hope that this helps reduce any potential for off-flavors later on.

The wort chiller was a BIG help. I was able to get the wort down to pitching temp within about 20 minutes. I'm glad I went with the hose attachments, but the male/female adapter on one end still leaks a little. I wrapped it with some teflon tape, which helped, but it's not perfect.

Using the ball spout was great! Easiest wort transfer to my carboy ever. And I know that it aerated the wort well before pitching -- another bonus.


Steeping Grain
  • 5 oz Amber Malt
  • 5 oz Crystal 60L Malt
  • 5 oz Debittered Black Malt
  • 2 oz Chocolate Malt
Malt Extract
  • 1.875 kg Golden Light LME
  • 455 g Amber DME
  • 363 g Light DME
  • ½ oz Warrior hops (60 min)
  • ½ oz Centennial hops (60 min)
  • ¼ oz Mt. Hood hops (10 min)
  • ½ oz Cascade hops (5 min)
  • Wyeast 1187 Ringwood Ale*
*Yeast starter two days before. Boil 2 c water. Remove from heat. Add ½ c light DME. Boil 5-10 min. Cool and pitch yeast. Aerate on and off.


Two days before brew date, make yeast starter.

Add amber, crystal, debittered, and chocolate malts to 4 gal cold water. Heat to 150-160 'F and steep for 30 min. Strain. Bring water to boil. Remove kettle from heat and add all malt extract. Bring to boil. Add Warrior and Centennial hops. Boil 60 min. Add Mt. Hood hops 10 min before end of boil. Add Cascade hops 5 min before end of boil. Chill wort to 72 'F. Add to fermentor. Top off fermentor with cold water to 3 gal if needed. Pitch yeast. Hold temp between 65-75 'F.


OG: 1.083
Color: Deep brown
Smell: Not much, slight roasty chocolate, slight bitterness
Taste: Rich, thick, bitter