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Nut Brown! Tis The Season San Diego Style

16 Dec

I wanna start by saying I can’t take credit for the formulation of this recipe, I just brewed it! I’ve brewed a few recipes randomly found on and this is by far the best and most worth giving an honorable mention to so hats off to fellow home brewer  Lil’ Sparky off the homebrewtalk forum.  I didn’t change the recipe to my brewhouse efficiency, I just ran with it. I brewed this one with my neighbor Jesse for a family wine and foodie get together. They loved it!

This beer pours dark hazel nut with a nice creamy tan head! The aroma is slightly malty and nutty. The taste is very creamy due to the considerable amount of oats used. The maltiness is more pronounced in the nose than taste. The maltiness is well balanced by bitterness with a generous amount of hops for style.

OG: 1.058 & FG: 1.012

I definitely recommend this beer for anyone who wants to brew something brown and tasty. I look forward to brewing it again!

Stay thirsty my friends…..

Lil' Sparky Nut Brown

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Smoked Cherrywood Wheat With and Without Fruit

18 Oct

Credit to Alex Flores for this odd brew…Totally Goat style! Brewed 10.5 gallons of this and split into two carboys, this beer fermented out as normal as any other beer in just a few days with a moderate krausen. The original idea was to find a smoked applewood malt, but after not finding the malt and not having the time to personally smoke our own we went with the smoked cherrywood and added some caramelized apples to it to give it that apple touch. Instead of adding the apples themselves we  actually simmered 1.5 pounds of sliced apples in a saucepan with a couple cups of water, little bit of brown sugar, and a pinch or two cinnamon. Once the apples turned opaque and the sauce tasted of tasty goodness we discarded the apples and pitched the sauce.

Note: My brewing software (beer alchemy), didn’t have the smoked cherrywood listed under available malts, so we put it down as US 2-row. The SRM will be slightly darker than shown above, but at 4 L not so significant. As for the apples, we pitched the sauce three days into fermentation right as the krausen was falling and within 5 hours a new krausen developed for the night. The other half of the wort was left as is, to either bottle that way or further experiment with…not really sure yet?  Tasting notes to come on this one!

Few new beers in the mix

17 Oct

Been meaning to post about these beers for some time now, but I’ve been on the lurk. Here’s a pic of the newer experiments I’ve been working on down here in San Diego.

On the left side of the bunch is a wheat beer mashed with smoked cherry wood malt and fermented out with nottingham. The front left version was infused with caramelized apple sauce with a touch of cinnamon and the version in the back left was left alone. The dark red/purple beer in the back right corner is a twist on the kentucky uncommon I posted about a few months back at The intensely red beer is a new sour mash I’m working on with peaches and raspberries, the peaches seem to be a little subdued by the strong raspberries at this point and the yeast for that beer is forbidden fruit by Wyeast, wish I would have stuck with US-05 or nottingham, seems to be lacking something.  I will be posting these recipes individually in the next day, as well as a new kegging method I use to eliminate O2 exposure. Stay tuned and stay thirsty…

Saison Recipe

24 Jul

After reading Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in the Belgian Tradition by Phil Markowski several times over and personally being a huge fan of these beers I thought it was time to put together another recipe. This would be the pilot batch for the new system I recently built, and the beer of choice…saison. I brewed a 10 gallon batch and separated it into two 5 gallon batches. In one carboy I pitched WLP 566 Saison II and the other carboy I made a two stage starter of WLP 644 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois and pitched it.


The reason for the huge starter was the difference in cell counts. When purchasing standard yeast vials from white labs you can generally count on having around 100 billion cells to work with versus their Brett vials which only come with about 3 billion cells. I’m sure this will change soon as Brett beers are gaining in popularity but as for now you have to make the starter necessary for the beer. So I made a 7 day 2 liter starter than cold crashed and decanted most the liquid and added a fresh 1.5 liters of 1.037 wort for the a couple more days as the second stage.


The recipe shown below is what I wanted to end up with but instead when I originally put it together I was aiming for 75% efficiency, not knowing what I would get on the new system. Turns out I get just shy of 85% and I overshot my starting gravity. I ended up with 1.067 compared to the anticipated 1.056. I didn’t top off to compensate and that will be noted in the tasting notes. Can’t wait till it’s ready. I will be bottling the brett beer and kegging the saison!


Stay thirsty my friends…

Kentucky Uncommon Update

5 Jul

A little late on this post… after pitching the fruit I gave it another 10 days to ferment out and then cold crashed it, racked it into secondary and bottled two days later with priming sugar to 2.65 volumes of co2 for carbonation. The beer has been carbonating for just over two weeks now and is ready to drink. Fortunately Travis was back in town for the weekend and I was able to give him a bottle of each beer, so tasting notes are just around the corner!

Stay thirsty my friends…

Fermentation notes on Kentucky Uncommon

10 Jun

Just under a week now and the yeast is mostly finished doing its job. I pitched the two yeasts at noon on Sunday and when I checked it the next morning I was greeted by a standard krausen on both beers. I used Nottingham in one and US-05 in the other. On day two of fermentation,  the beer with Nottingham fell out and the beer with US-05 still had a small krausen. By the middle of day 2, both krausens had completely fallen out. A gravity read showed both beers at 1.010, that’s 2.6 Brix for you “Plato Nerds” (<—–Mark?). From 1.040 SG or 10 Brix to 1.010 FG or 2.6 Brix was rather quick but good!

I figured it was time to pitch the fruit and let the yeast finish it up. I weighed out 1.5 pounds of cherry puree and 1.5 pounds of raspberry puree for each beer. On day 4 of fermentation there was a small krausen and the beers were a deep reddish purple, like a nice black cherry soda. On day 5, most of the krausen had fallen out on both beers once again and on day 6 another gravity reading put both beers at the 1.007 mark or 1.8 Brix. This will give it a nice dry finish. I’m guessing over the next week the yeast will be able to lower it one more point.

Kentucky Uncommon Recipe

6 Jun

Separate the specialty grains from the 2-row. Mash the 2-row for 48 hours at 118F and steep the specialty grains between 150F and 170F for up to 20 minutes. Also fruit will be added during fermentation changing the SRM entirely to a bright red. Add 3 pounds of cherry puree and 3 pounds of raspberry puree.