Is Reusing Yeast Cake From A Homebrew Fermentation Okay?

Reusing Yeast Cake When Homebrewing.After bottling a batch of beer, many homebrewers have looked at that inch-deep layer of yeast and wondered, “Hey, isn’t there something I can do with all that yeast?” As a matter of fact, there is!

When we think about reusing yeast cake, our natural inclination is to pour another batch of wort right onto it and let ‘er rip. Why not save a few bucks, right? While it is possible to be successful with this strategy, there are a number of factors to consider when reusing yeast cake. Among others, these include:

 

  • Is the style of homebrew appropriate for the yeast being used? If pitching wort onto an existing yeast cake, the styles of the two beers should be relatively similar. Many American and English ale yeasts can be used interchangeably to produce a variety of ales, so you could probably get away with using an ale yeast to make another ale. The same thing with many of the European lager strains. The main exception is with very distinctive yeast strains,Shop Conical Fermenter especially those for Belgian ales and German hefeweizen. You’d be safe if reusing yeast cake from an English pale ale to ferment an American stout, but you obviously wouldn’t want to use a Belgian strain to ferment an English pale ale (though you may end up with a very tasty Belgian pale!).
  • How long has the beer been sitting on the yeast cake to be reused? The longer the beer has been sitting on the yeast, the greater the number of yeast cells that may be mutated or dead. Dead and mutated yeast cells can contribute off-flavors to your beer, so if you plan on reusing yeast cake, use one that has only been in primary for a short amount of time (7-10 days).
  • What was the gravity of the original beer? High gravity fermentations and the alcohol produced from them stress yeast more than lower gravity fermentations. And yeast stress leads to – you guessed it – off-flavors. You’d be better off pitching a high gravity wort onto the yeast cake from a low – to mid – gravity fermentation.
  • How hoppy was the original beer? The amount of hops in the first beer can influence the second. You generally want to pitch a hoppier beer onto a yeast cake from a less hoppy beer (e.g. pitch an IPA onto the yeast cake of a pale ale), otherwise you may end up with excessive hop bitterness or flavor.
  • What color are the two beers?Shop Liquid Beer Yeast As with hops and bitterness, the color of the first beer can influence the second one. To avoid a change in beer color, pitch a darker wort onto the yeast cake from a lighter beer. For example, pitch a stout onto the yeast cake of an amber ale.

 

Other issues that come into play when reusing yeast cake include accurately predicting the number of yeast cells being pitched and whether there was any infection in the original batch. For these reasons, it may be worth starting with a batch of fresh beer yeast. If you really want to reuse yeast cake, consider harvesting and washing the yeast to reduce the impact of dead yeast cells, beer color, and bitterness, and then use a calculator like Mr. Malty to get an estimate of how much yeast slurry to pitch into the second beer. And as always when working with beer yeast, practice impeccable sanitation techniques to avoid contaminating the yeast.

Have you ever pitched onto an old yeast cake? How did it work out? Shop Temp Probe

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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Spring Forward with These 3 Single Hop Beer Recipes

Making Single Hop Beer RecipesAs temperatures rise, spring offers a great time to transition away from malty stouts and porters and towards beers that suggest the beginnings of the growing season. As an ode to the flowers and the trees starting to bloom this month, consider paying tribute to every brewer’s favorite flower: the hop with these 3 single hop beer recipes!

If you’re a hop aficionado, you’ve likely come across some single hop beers in your drinking explorations. Making beers that showcase a particular hop variety is a great way to learn the strengths and weaknesses of different hops. The warmer temperatures of spring suggest a lighter, paler beer, the perfect backdrop for experimenting with different hops.

 

Choosing Hops for Your Single Hop Beer Recipes

If you’ve shopped around for hops before, you’ve probably noticed that they are often labeled bittering hops, flavor/aroma hops, or dual-purpose. Single-hop beers will give you the chance to put these conventions to the test.

Super alpha hops have been developed to highlight their bittering potential, but you might be surprised how many of them work well aromatically. Bravo, Magnum, and Simcoe come to mind. Use restraint with these hop varieties in your single hop beer recipes – a little can go a long way.

Conversely, low alpha and noble hops are often celebrated for their aroma characteristics, but some brewers find that they provide a clean bitterness. East Kent Goldings is a versatile hop in this regard, often used as the single hop in traditional English beer styles.

 

Tips For Formulating Your Single Hop Beer Recipes

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules for single hop brewing, but you might want to consider the following as you develop a recipe for your single hop brew:

  • Select a beer style that really showcases the hops. A golden ale, pale ale, or IPA are often good choices.
  • Develop a simple grain bill that won’t cover up or distract from the hops. Try a base malt plus small amounts of one or two specialty grains for color and/or flavor.
  • Choose a clean yeast strain, like Wyeast 1056, that will let the hops shine through.
  • If brewing multiple single hop brews, consider using a constant base recipe, simply changing the hops for each one.
  • You may wish to brew small batches to get the most experimentation out of your raw materials.
  • Don’t be afraid to throw all these suggests out the window – feel free to try a single hopped stout or Belgian IPA!

 

Single Hop Beer RecipesShop Hops

Ready to try some single hop brewing? Give one of these recipes a try!

 

East Kent Bitter
(five-gallon batch, all-grain)

Specs
OG: 1.045
FG: 1.011
ABV: 4.4%
IBUs: 31
SRM: 9

Ingredients
8 lbs. Maris Otter malt
1 lb. Crisp Crystal 45L
1 oz. East Kent Goldings hops at :60
.5 oz. East Kent Goldings hops at :30
.5 oz. East Kent Goldings hops at :15
1 oz. East Kent Goldings hops, dry hopped for 5 days
Wyeast 1099 or Safale S-04 Shop Barley Grains

 

Bravo IPA
(five-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

Specs
OG: 1.058
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.7%
IBUs: 51
SRM: 8
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Boil Volume: 6.5 Gallons

Ingredients
6 lbs. light dry malt extract
1 lb. Munich 10L malt
.5 lb. Caramel 40L malt
.33 oz. Bravo hops at :60
1 oz. Bravo hops at :15
.67 oz. Bravo hops, dry hopped for 5-7 days
Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast or Safale US-05 Shop Bazooka Screen

 

Amarillo Wheat Ale
(5-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

Specs
OG: 1.053
FG: 1.013
ABV: 5.25%
IBUs: 23
SRM: 5
Batch Size: 5 Gallons
Boil Volume: 3 Gallons

Ingredients
3.3 lbs. light liquid malt extract
3.3 lbs. wheat liquid malt extract
.5 lb. torrified wheat
.5 lb. caramel 10L malt
.5 oz. Amarillo hops at :60
1 oz. Amarillo hops at :15
1 oz. Amarillo hops, dry hopped for 7 days
Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast or Safale US-05

Shop Hop BagsDo you have any favorite single hop beer recipes? We’d love you to share in the comments below!
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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Ready? Start Brewing Summer Beers Now!

The result of brewing summer beers.It’s helpful as a homebrewer to always be thinking ahead. Laying out a brewing calendar and deciding what beer styles would be best for the upcoming season.

Now that summer’s just around the corner, do you have your brews lined up for the warmer months? Do you know what summer beers you’ll be brewing?

To help get your mental brewing calendar flowing, here are twelve beer recipe kits that will quench your thirst in the summer heat! These are excellent kits for brewing summer beers

 

Best Beer Styles For Brewing Summer Beers

  • Blonde Ale – In the same ballpark as cream ale, blonde ale is a great beer for the beach. Subtle sweet malt notes support a very light dose of hops, making this beer very easy-drinking.
  • Witbier – Belgian witbier is a wheat-based ale that uses orange peel and spices to give it a citrusy flavor. The wheat gives the beer a bit of sweetness, making it an easy drinker. If you like Hoegaarden or Blue Moon, this one’s for you! This is a beer style that’s always in my plans for brewing summer beers.
  • Weizenbier – German weizen is a wheat beer with notes of tropical fruit and cloves. These characteristics are derived entirely from German weizen yeast, and may also feature notes of vanilla or bubblegum. The wheat gives the beer a somewhat creamy texture, but the light body keeps the beer from being too filling.
  • Kölsch – This German-style ale is a clean, crisp, golden-colored ale with a touch of light malt flavor and a hint of apple or pear. Though similar in appearance and mouthfeel to light lagers, German noble hops give the beer a more assertive bitterness and a decent amount of hop flavor.
  • American Pale AleShop Beer Recipe KitsGood old American pale ales are always in season. APAs tend to feature some notes of caramel malt, but the main feature is always the hops. American hops tend to showcase flavors and aromas of pine, citrus, and spice and usually a bracing bitterness as well. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the benchmark.
  • American Cream Ale – Cream ale is a great beer for the summer. It’s very similar to light lager, but it’s fermented at ale temperatures, making it easier to produce for the average homebrewer.
  • English Bitter – If you like hops, but find American Pale Ale a little too aggressive, try an English Bitter. This English Pale Ale is a little more balanced between the malt and hops, and tends to have a slightly lower alcohol content as well.
  • Light Lager – Here’s a good option for tailgating, a cookout, or any event with red plastic cups. Also makes a great lawnmower beer!
  • PilsnerGerman lager is somewhat more refined, with more pronounced hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Dry and crisp, pilsner works well in just about any summertime situation.
  • Saison – Saison features a fruity, citrusy aroma with some floral and spicy notes – definitely a flavorful option for summer drinking! It’s usually an enticing, bright orange color with lots of carbonation. Saison usually finished dry with a touch of refreshing acidity.

 

Shop Chugger PumpWhat are some of the beer styles you’re thinking about putting on your summer brewing calendar? Are any of the above fit into your plans for brewing summer beers?
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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Home Brewing With Hops: A Simple Resource Guide

Beer Wort Boiling HopsWithout hops, most beers would be unrecognizable. Hops are both a preservative and a bittering agent, and their oils are responsible for much of the flavor and aroma found in beer. Whether you prefer a malty beer or you’re a full-blown hop-head, home brewing with hops is a critical part of making beer at home.

Here are a number of resources to get you started on your journey of learning all about home brewing with hops:

 

About Hops

  • The Anatomy of the Hop – Hops, as used in homebrewing, are the flower of the humulus lupulus This post explains what it is about the hop flowers that make them so valuable to brewers.
  • What are Noble Hops? – You’ll often hear the term “noble hops” if you enjoy brewing traditional beers from Europe. Learn what makes these kinds of hops so high and mighty.
  • A Quick Guide to American Hops – What makes American hops different from other hops? What are some popular American hop varieties you can use in your American IPA, American pale ale, or American stout?

 

About Hop Bitterness Shop Hops

  • How to Calculate the IBUs of Your Homebrew – International Bittering Units (IBUs) are a measurement of the bitterness in beer. It’s a factor of how much alpha acid is extracted and isomerized into the wort.

 

About Hop Flavor and Aroma

  • Understanding Hop Oils – Hop oils are the seemingly magical ingredients that give beers a wide range of flavor and aroma characteristics, from citrus and pine, to grapefruit and herbal. Learn more about hop oils and how to maximize their contribution to your homebrew.
  • How to Dry Hop in a Homebrew KegShop Bazooka ScreenSome homebrewers like to dry hop right in the keg. Learn how to do this so you don’t end up with a bunch of hops in your pint glass.

 

Hoppy Extract & Partial Mash Beer Recipe Kits

 

Hoppy All-Grain Beer Recipes

 

Hoppy Home Brewing Resources

Want to learn even more about hops? If after mastering the topics above you still want to learn more, I suggest the following:

Is there something you want to learn about home brewing with hops that isn’t covered here? Share in the comments below!Shop Home Brew Starter Kit
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David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Dandelion Beer Recipe: A Springtime Treat

Dandelion Beer RecipeYou may have heard of dandelion wine, but have you ever made dandelion beer? Here some info on making one – including two dandelion beer recipes!

Though most people consider the dandelion an obnoxious weed, the whole plant is actually edible: roots, leaves, and flowers. Dandelion is medicinal as well, sometimes taken in the form of tea for its detoxifying qualities.

For those interested in traditional and rustic pseudo-beers, a dandelion beer may give a hint as to what an early American settler would have made in the absence of hops, using the ubiquitous dandelion to help provide bitterness and flavor.

A number of American craft brewers have given dandelion new life by putting it in some of their specialty beers:

 

  • New Belgium made a Dandelion Ale as part of the Lips of Faith series. Their version used pilsner malt, dandelion greens, grains of paradise, and Belgian ale yeast.
  • Magic Hat recently release Pistil as a spring ale, their recipe produces a light, 4.5% pale ale brewed with flaked oats, Apollo hops, Northern Brewer hops, Cascade hops, and dandelion leaves.
  • Fonta Flora, a newer brewery in Morganton, North Carolina, brewed a dandelion brettanomyces saison.

 

As you can see, there are many ways to interpret the style of dandelion beer. The key component, as with any beer, is balance.

A Note on Harvesting Dandelion
It should be easy enough to find dandelions. Just be sure that the location you’re pulling the dandelions from hasn’t been sprayed with pesticide or herbicide, is far enough away from any cars and pets so as to avoid contamination. Shop Beer Flavorings

A Traditional Dandelion Beer Recipe
This recipe, from Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, is a traditional dandelion beer recipe from 1931. Though the fermentable sugar in this case is from sugar, feel free to use malt extract instead for more body. Sugar beers tend to finish a little thin. The flavor is hard to describe: floral, yet not in the way hops can be floral. I served this beer at a homebrew festival a couple years ago – it’s strange, but some people really liked it. Be warned – the beer will stain a plastic fermenter, so I recommend a glass carboy.

 

Ingredients (two-gallon batch)
2 oz. dried dandelion
2 oz. dried nettle
1 oz. dried yellow dock root
1 gal. water (plus 1 gallon preboiled and cooled for topping off)
2 lbs. sugar
2 tbsp. dried ginger
Beer Yeast

 

DirectionsShop Carboys
Boil the dandelion, nettle, and yellow dock root in water for 15 minutes. Place the sugar and ginger in your glass fermenter, then strain the “tea” over the sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then add enough preboiled, cooled water to bring the total volume to two gallons. Rehydrate your yeast (if using dried) and stir into the wort. Ferment til complete, then bottle.

 

A Modern Dandelion Beer Recipe
The Dandelion Bitter from the Homebrewer’s Garden offers a recipe a little closer to what most of us consider beer.

Specs
OG: 1.045 – 1.056
FG: 1.014 – 1.018
Color: orange-brown

Ingredients (five-gallon batch)
1/2 lb. toasted malt
1/2 lb. 60L crystal malt
1 can light liquid malt extract
2 lbs. light dried malt extract Shop Liquid Malt Extract
1 lb. dandelions: leaves, blossoms, and roots at :60
1 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :15
1/2 oz. Willamette hops at :2
1/2 oz. Willamette hops (dry hops)
Wyeast 1028: London Ale Yeast or Safale S-04
2/3 c. corn sugar for priming

 

Directions
Clean the dandelions thoroughly. Steep crushed malts in 1.5 gallons water at 150-160˚F for 30 minutes. Strain into a brew kettle and rinse grains with 1/2 gallon of water at 170˚F. Stir in the malt extracts and bring to a boil. Boil for one hour, adding dandelions and hops according to schedule above. Pour 1.5 gallons of preboiled, prechilled water into a fermenter. Strain hot wort into the fermenter. Rinse hops with 1/2 gallon of boiled water. Top up to five gallons. When wort is 70˚F or below, pitch yeast. Ferment at 65-70˚F. At the end of primary fermentation, add the Willamette dry hops. After secondary fermentation, bottle with priming sugar and condition for two weeks.

Have you ever brewed a dandelion beer? Or, do you have a dandelion beer recipe you’d like to share with us? How did it turn out?Shop Home Brew Starter Kit

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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the IBD and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Is Homebrewing Art Or Science?

Artist rendition of homebrew.What gets you excited about homebrewing? Is it the art of recipe development? Or the science behind fermentation and mashing? The creativity behind combining malt, hops, and yeast, or the learning that comes from every single batch of beer you make? These are the thoughts that crop up when we ponder the question: Is homebrewing art or science. While some may lean towards either the art or the science side of homebrewing, my guess is that for most of us, we’re drawn to both aspects of the hobby.

 

The Science of Homebrewing

One could spend a lifetime trying to understand the science behind making beer. Indeed, many do. It’s the science side of homebrewing that helps us understand the specific actions that allow four ingredients to combine into a flavorful, alcoholic beverage known as beer.

First, we have the science of water. Not all water is created equal. What is the make-up of your brewing water? Is it pure, like the soft water of the home of Pilsner in the Czech Republic? Or is it hard, like the sulfate-rich water of Burton-on-Trent, homeland of English pale ales. Knowing the mineral content of the water you brew with can help you optimize mashing, fermentation, and flavor.

Shop Malted GrainsHow about the science of malting? Why does grain need to be malted? It’s the malting process that begins to convert the energy in the grain into what will become fermentable sugar and eventually alcohol. Malting also affect the flavor and color of the grain and creates a whole range options that allow beer to be light or dark, sweet or roasty, and everything in between.

The science of hops reveals what makes beer bitter. It helps us understand IBUs and why an IPA stands apart from a pale ale. Understanding hop oils allows us to grasp how beers can taste and smell like citrus, pine, or grapefruit.

Finally, my favorite science of homebrewing, the science of beer yeast, the mysterious microorganism responsible for converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide, explains how the other ingredients can magically transform a sugary porridge into an elixir that relaxes the body and soothes the senses.

 

The Art of Homebrewing

Shop HopsBrew masters have a deep understanding of their craft, not only the brewing side of the equation, but also the sensory side. For without understanding the way that flavor can change our mood or remind us of a special memory, brewers would just be shooting in the dark.

Brewers have to understand the flavors that different ingredients bring to a beer. Science can begin to explain flavor, but to fully understand it, a brewer needs experience. They need the vocabulary to describe the flavor, and only experience can help them understand how much is too much. While some scientific measurements (BU/GU) can help to facilitate an understanding of balance, only experience can help brewers develop an inherent knowledge of it.

There is an art to homebrewing – a creativity, but creativity isn’t just haphazardly throwing in whatever ingredients come to mind. The art is in understanding balance. How much hop bitterness is appropriate for a Bohemian pilsner? How much coriander should be used in a Belgian wit? One could easily follow a recipe, but a true artist will know from experience when enough is enough.

And of course there’s an art to the act of brewing. There’s a certain art to learning how and when to transfer beer from one fermenter to another, and a certain art to bottling without losing a drop of beer. Again, the art is improved with experience.

 

Putting It Together Shop Beer Recipe Kits

So, is homebrewing art or science? My approach is that through understanding the science of homebrewing, we begin to develop the artistic skill needed to create truly wonderful beer. This is something that only comes through practice and repetition. Through science with develop our art of homebrewing. John Palmer agrees:

“Brewing is an art as well as a science. Some people may be put off by the technical side of things, but this is a science that you can taste. The science is what allows everyone to become the artist.”

Yes, homebrewing is both an art and a science. The beginning homebrewer may focus on the art of the brewing procedures before getting into the science of different ingredients and techniques. Then maybe combine the two into the art and science behind recipe development. I believe that a large part of this hobby’s appeal is that homebrewing fits so easily into both categories. It’s both.

Shop Home Brew Starter KitWhat’s your take? Do you learn more toward the art of homebrewing or toward the science of homebrewing?

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David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Pellet Hops vs Whole Leaf – Which is Better?

pellet hops and whole leaf hopsAmong the “this or that” debates of homebrewing, the question of whether to use pellet hops or whole leaf hops is primarily a matter of personal preference. But, there are a few things to consider when deciding what kind of hops to use when brewing.

 

Pellet Hops vs Whole Leaf

The term “whole leaf” is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to talking about hops. Brewers use the flowering part of the hop plant, often called a cone or a strobile. When hops are harvested, the pinecone-shaped flowers are picked by hand or with a machine. Then the hops are dried in an oast. Next, if the hops are being processed into pellets, the hop cones get milled and pressed into pellets. Finally, the hops are pressed into bales, vacuum packaged, sealed, and stored cold.

One of the main arguments against using pellet hops in your beer is that heat generated during the pelletizing process can degrade the quality of the hops, but most any modern hops farm will take precautions against this. You can be confident that any of the major hop producers you buy from have taken care to prevent any degradation due to pelletizing of the hops.

Without further delay, below are several of the pros and cons of pellet hops vs whole leaf.

 

Pellet Hops: Pros Shop Hops

  • Less plant material means less wort gets lost in the kettle trub, improving brewhouse efficiency.
  • Pellet hops offer slightly higher hop utilization, meaning more IBU bang for your buck.
  • Pellet hops store well.
  • Pellet hops are readily available.

 

Pellet Hops: Cons

  • The processing of the pellets may damage some of the aroma compounds in the hops. That said, with modern harvesting and processing techniques, actual damage is likely negligible. Hop pellets are used by brewers all over the world.
  • Since the hop material is shredded, it can sometimes clog spigots and tubing. A bazooka screen can be installed inside the brew kettle to protect against this.

 

Leaf Hops: Pros Shop Bazooka Screen

  • Whole leaf hops can be used as a filter bed when drawing wort from the brew kettle.
  • Whole leaf hops are the best option if brewing a wet hop beer.
  • Some think whole leaf hops offer better flavor and aroma characteristics. Sierra Nevada uses exclusively whole leaf hops. Randy Mosher, author of Radical Brewing, also prefers whole leaf hops.

 

Leaf Hops: Cons

  • Whole leaf hops take up more space in storage and in the brewing kettle.
  • Whole leaf hops offer slightly less hop utilization than pellet hops.
  • Whole leaf hops may not always be available or their selection may be more limited.

 

There you have it. There are some of the pro’s and con’s of pellet hops vs whole leaf hops. As you can see they are somewhat minor, even thought there is a minority who believe whole leaf is the only way to go. In the end, both can be used to make excellent beer.Shop Hop Bags

So what’s your preference – pellet hops or whole leaf?

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David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA Clone Recipe

Drinking Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA Clone RecipeDogfish Head’s popular 60-, 90-, and 120-Minute IPAs came into being through a pretty innovative hopping technique. Instead of adding hops at intervals, the hops are adding continuously through the boil. Early on, Dogfish used a modified foosball table to shake the hops into the brew kettle. They’ve come a long way since then, but their IPAs are still delicious as ever.

 

Grain Bill
The grain bill for this Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA clone recipe is surprisingly simple: 90% pilsner malt with 10% amber malt. If you haven’t heard of amber malt before, it’s a specialty malt somewhere between a caramel 20L and a caramel 40L, featuring flavors of biscuits and toast and contributing a – you guessed it – amber color to your homebrew. It’s traditionally used in English ales, up to 20% of the grist.

 

Hopping  Shop Grain Mills
90-Minute IPA uses Amarillo, Simcoe, and Warrior hops, sprinked into the wort gradually over the course 90 minutes. Just in case you don’t have a foosball table, an easy way to do it mix the hops together and then divide them into equal parts to add every 5-10 minutes. For example, if you wanted to add the hops every 5 minutes, divide the three or so ounces of hops into 19 equal parts. This will give you a roughly 4.7 gram hop addition every five minutes, including one at flame out.

For additional hoppy aroma, the same hops used in the boil are used for dry hopping.

 

Yeast
This beer recipe uses Whitbread ale yeast. You’ll need two packs and yeast starter if brewing with liquid yeast, otherwise, use 1.5 packs of dry yeast.

Ready to give this Dogfish Head clone recipe a try? It comes from Brew Your Own Magazine (with the help of Sam Calagione himself!).Shop Barley Grains

 

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA Clone Recipe
(5-gallon batch, all-grain recipe)

Specs
OG: 1.088
FG: 1.021
ABV: 8.7%
IBUs: 90
SRM: 13

Ingredients
16.5 lbs. pilsner malt
1.66 lbs. amber malt
2 oz. Amarillo hops (16 AAUs) added over 90 minutesShop Hops
0.62 oz. Simcoe hops (8 AAUs) added over 90 minutes
0.53 oz. Warrior hops (8 AAUs) added over 90 minutes
1 oz. Amarillo hops (dry hopped 3-5 days)
0.5 oz. Simcoe hops (dry hopped 3-5 days)
0.5 oz. Warrior hops (dry hopped 3-5 days)
2 packets Wyeast 1099: Whitbread Ale Yeast (with a yeast starter) or 1.5 packets Safale S-04

 

Directions
Mash the crushed grains in about five gallons of clean water at 122˚F, then raise for 149˚F for 60 minutes. Sparge to collect about 7.5 gallons of wort. Boil for 105 minutes, adding the hops after 15 minutes gradually over the rest of the boil. Whirlpool, chill wort, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch yeast at 70˚F or below. Ferment at 71˚F. After primary fermentation, transfer to a secondary fermenter and dry hop for 3-5 days. Cold crash, then bottle or keg for ~2.3 vols CO2.

If you like IPA’s but haven’t ever tried a clone recipe before, this would be a fun one for you. The Dogfish Head 90 IPA is an incredible beer. It has a lot of malt flavors and body to support the extreme hopping. It’s aggressive, but balanced. Shop Draft System

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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

Bottling Homebrew with Flavored Liqueurs

Beer With Flavored LiqueurDid you know that you can bottle your homebrew beer with flavored liqueurs?

Adding liqueur at bottling time is one way of adding more flavors to your homebrew, especially when making a fruit beer. Liqueurs are lower-alcohol spirits flavored with fruit, herbs, spices, or nuts, and then sweetened. These concoctions are normally used for flavoring cocktails or coffee, but flavored liqueurs can be used for homebrewing, too.

To help get your creative juices flowing, here are some of the common flavored liqueurs that have potential for adding to homebrew:

  • Amaro (herbal)
  • Amaretto (almond)
  • Chambord (raspberry)
  • Cointreau (orange)
  • Crème de cacao (chocolate)
  • Crème de menthe (mint)
  • Crème de mûre (blackberry)
  • Crème de cassis (black currant)
  • Curaçao/Triple Sec (bitter orange)
  • Fernet (herbal)
  • Frangelico (hazelnuts and herbs)
  • Grand Marnier (orange)

Try doing a taste test to see which flavors might work with different beer styles. In his book, Radical Brewing, Randy Mosher mentions having success with Triple Sec, crème de cacao, and Frangelico, among others.

 

Tips for Adding Flavored Liqueurs to Homebrew

In Radical Brewing, Randy Mosher offers a number of tips for adding liqueur to homebrew:

  • Avoid creamy liqueurs – These will not have a good affect on your beer.
  • Add spices if desired – Optionally, add additional spice flavor by soaking the spices in the liqueur before mixing into the beer.Shop Hydrometers
  • Do a taste test first – Measure out a small sample of beer and add the liqueur in .1 mL increments. Keep in mind that most of the sweetness in the liqueur will ferment out. Scale up when you find the right ratio. For example, if .1 mL liqueur per 1 ounce beer is the magic number, multiply by 128 (ounces in a gallon) then by 5 (gallons in a batch) to arrive at 64 mL of liqueur.
  • Plan for an increase in alcohol content – Two cups of a typical liqueur will add about 1% ABV to your five-gallon batch of homebrew. Plan your beer recipe accordingly.

 

How to Bottle Your Homebrew with Flavored Liqueurs

Since liqueurs are sweetened, we need to account for the added sugar. Mosher offers the following instructions for bottling homebrew with liqueur:

  1. Measure the specific gravity of the liqueur with your hydrometer and convert to degrees Plato (% sugar).
  1. Compensate for the specific gravity of the alcohol present, which is less than 1.000. Multiply the proof by .106 and add this to the specific gravity of the liqueur. This number will give the total percentage of sugar in the liqueur.
  1. Take the weight of the liqueur being added and multiply it by the sugar percentage from above. This will give you the weight in sugar being contributed by the liqueur.

 

Shop Coffee StoutAlternatively, you can take the weight needed for priming and divide by the sugar percentage (as a decimal) to arrive at how much liqueur to use for bottling. Just keep in mind that depending on the flavor of the liqueur, you may or may not want to use that much.

Let’s work through an example:

Say you’re brewing Captain Cogsworth Coffee Stout, but instead of priming with coffee and sugar, you use eight ounces (by weight) of a 40 proof coffee liqueur.

  1. Measuring the specific gravity of the liqueur, you get 20˚ Plato.
  2. Multiply the proof (40) by .106 = 4.24˚P
  3. 20 + 4.24 = 24.24˚P
  4. 8 (weight of liqueur in ounces) * .2424 (percent sugar in liqueur) = 1.94 oz. sugar

In this example, the 8 ounces (by weight) of coffee liqueur contributes the equivalent of 1.94 oz. of priming sugar. Adjust your priming sugar addition accordingly.Shop Root Beer Extract

Alternatively, if you want to prime with just liqueur, take the total amount of priming sugar and divide by the total sugar percentage from above:

5 oz. priming sugar / .2424 = 20.63 oz. liqueur (by weight)

Add 20.63 ounces (by weight, not volume) of the liqueur at bottling time.

You can also experiment with soda pop flavorings if you don’t want to worry about a change in alcohol content or calculating sugar content. These extracts don’t contain sugar, so either add them during secondary fermentation or mix with your priming sugar solution at bottling time to contribute unique flavors to your homebrew.

You can also play around with liqueur flavorings. These are flavorings designed to be added to a spirit to make a flavored liqueur. Instead of bottling homebrew with flavored liqueurs, you can add just the concentrated liqueur flavoring instead.shop_liqueur_flavorings
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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Sweet! Home Brewing With Chocolate

Home Brewing With ChocolateAmong the many different herbs, spices, and flavor additives that can be used to make creative and intriguing homebrews, chocolate is one of the most tantalizing. Is it chocolate’s antioxidant power? Its aphrodisiac properties? Whatever the reason, millions of people around the world find chocolate irresistible, so why not put it in beer?

When home brewing with chocolate, it’s important to consider the balance between the chocolate and flavors of the base beer style. You would probably use a light hand if adding a note of chocolate to a pale ale, for example, but for a porter or a stout, you can be more liberal, as the chocolate will blend into the dark roasted flavors of the darker beer. Most people eat chocolate that has been sweetened, so you also consider supporting the chocolate flavors with some sweet caramel malt, unfermentable lactose sugar, or residual malt sugars derived from a higher mash temperature.

It’s also a good idea to think about the color impact of home brewing with chocolate. “Dry-hopping” your beer with cacao nibs will impart less color than boiling cocoa powder or baker’s chocolate. Again, brewing a chocolate porter or stout will leave more room for error than a paler beer style.

 

Below, find six of the best ways for home brewing with chocolate:Shop Beer Flavorings

  1. Chocolate malt – Before experimenting with adding actual chocolate to your beer, be sure to consider the possibilities of achieving the flavor your want with chocolate malt. No, chocolate malt isn’t made with chocolate. A skilled maltster is able to manipulate roasting temperatures to bring out chocolate flavors, yet keep the malted barley from tasting too burnt or bitter. Chocolate malt is roasted beyond the sweeter caramel malts, but shy of the more heavily roasted black patent malt or roasted barley. Use chocolate malt for as much as 10% of the grist in porter and stouts. In smaller amounts, it’s also an effective way to adjust beer color. Also consider experimenting with chocolate wheat and chocolate rye.
  1. Chocolate syrup – Chocolate syrup is a convenient and effective means of adding chocolate flavor to your homebrew. It can be adding directly to the boil or during secondary fermentation. Due to its sugar content, it can even be used for priming (1 cup per five-gallon batch). For best results, make sure the syrup is fat-free.
  1. Cocoa powder – Cocoa powder is the finely ground, unsweetened beans of the cacao plant. Cocoa powder can be added to the mash or the boil, but contributes a fairly subtle flavor and may have problems dissolving. Double check to make sure your powder is made from pure cocoa, and start by using two to four ounces in a five-gallon batch. Shop Malted Grains
  1. Chocolate bars/baker’s chocolate – Chocolate bars can also be added to the boil, but be careful what kind you use. Many of these bars have high fat content or other additives that can negatively affect your beer. For best results, melt the bars before mixing into the kettle. Use 2 oz. of baker’s chocolate as a starting point for a stout.
  1. Chocolate liqueur – Chocolate liqueur, often sold as crème de cacao, is a great way of adding chocolate to your homebrew. It’s sterile, and it offers the ability to add measured doses of chocolate flavor post fermentation. Read more about Bottling Homebrewing with Flavored Liqueur.
  1. Cocoa nibsCocoa nibs are roughly crushed cocoa beans. They’re great for “dry-hopping” your beer to give it a subtle, nutty chocolate flavor. When used this way, they impart little color to your beer. Three or four ounces of cocoa nibs is a good starting point for a five-gallon batch.

 

Interested in trying your hand a home brewing with chocolate? Try this Chocolate Milk Stout! Shop Steam Freak Kits

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David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.