Friday, 27 December 2013

Happy New Year

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a good Christmas and Safe new Year, it's been quite a year here at the brewery. from infection to shoulder surgery, and for those of you who read this, thanks for you support.

Last update prior to my first batch in the new year, which will be a patersbier, low Alcohol Belgian beer with the WLP530 i picked up recently, this will then be pitched into a Belgian IPA, and Tripel as well.

my current brew... The Legacy of Wallace is still going, but the disappointing MJ burton yeast, hasn't moved to where it should have. Beer has finished at 1.024, which again continues to lead me to the requirement of a new thermometer.
anyways, it'll be bottled not long after the new year, if it stays sitting at 1.024 it'll be a scottish export 80/-  at 4.3% abv.

Some exciting stuff in 2014, a kegging system, and some work in the brewery, as its pretty messy. so I'll see you all in a couple of weeks, be safe and have a HOPPY New Year...

Oh and Mountain warrior is good... Very Good.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Carbonation experiment

so I overcarbed the beer. i used 126g of dextroze for 2.55 volumes, but used 20 litres of beer instead of the final volume of 19litres... I need a kegging system.
So heres my actual results:
Week 1: Creamy head some hop aroma, not jumping out of the glass, similar to Zombie dust, which was undercarbed for style. nice solid pale ale type beer.
Week 2: (ok Thursday) so a few days, good carbonation, slightly tart, maybe getting too bitter, but all in all around the correct level, i would has at a guess m,aybe 2.5-2.55 volumes at this point. Aroma jumps out and smacks you in the face. Girlfriend was mighty surprised...
Saturday around 2 weeks, fully carbed I think? the warmth is good for it, and well as above grossly overcarbed, not gushing or anything, i initially suspected a small infection (this is still a possibility) but I think its just too fizzy and the bitterness fro mther beer is smacking everything, and theres no taste except a harsh tart hops bitterness,  this relaxes a bit when some of the fizz disappears,  I did have 1 or 2 bottle infections by the looks, so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself? Who knows, I'm gonna give it a third week and crack one open. see the final result...
A final question to those out there reading this; what level do you carb at for an IPA style, and if overcarbed what do you do to rectify the situation?
Food for thought. Mountain warrior will be carbed to an estimated 2.5 volumes of co2, and if i do the same thing again it'll be ok, i'll probably get the carbonation correct...

Monday, 9 December 2013

Priming and Bottle Carbonation

Hi Everyone,
As mentioned in my last post, here is the first of a series of informative pieces, taken from numerous souces around the web. along with some advice direct from my friends on
This will be a long post so bare with me:
First up I've been thinking a lot about the affect of carbonation for IPA's and Pale ales, as it seems to affect the perceived bitterness of the final product and the "Zing" from the hops flavour. So in retrospect of this, I brewed the recent smell the Roses, and the even more recent Mountain Warrior, and will be carbed to their respective CO2 levels based off Beersmith 2 for the volume of beer being bottled. both beers will be carbedat very slightly different levels to test the difference in taste, and bitterness/flavour.

So firstly, the process:
2 cups of water brought to boiling point, the appropriate amount of sugar is added using the various calculators available online. (I'm currently using Beersmith 2), this is dissolved into the warm water and boiled for 10-15mins for sterilisation.
Next: The sugar solution is added to your sanitised bottling bucket, and the beer is siphoned/racked on top of it. Be careful not to splash it round, as oxidation can occur.
Then: makes sure the solution is dissolved into the beer, either by a gentle stir with sanitised spoon, or using a whirpool motion from the racking (this is normally what I do, as I can get a pretty good whirlpool motion going). I stirred the most recent one, to ensure even carbonation.
then bottle as usual with bottling wand attached.

Each different style requires a different level of carbonation to bring out some of the flavours, whether it be hops, yeast, malts etc.
So here is a general list of the recommended volume range for each individual style:
American Lager - Light/Standard/Premium (2.57-2.73) American Lager - Dark (2.5-2.7)
American Lager - Classic American Pilsner (2.3-2.5) European Pale Lager - Bohemian Pilsner (2.3-2.5)
European Pale Lager - Northern German Pilsner (2.52) European Pale Lager - Dortmunder Export (2.57)
European Pale Lager - Muenchner Helles (2.26-2.68) Light Ale - Blond Ale (2.3-2.6)
Light Ale - American Wheat (2.3-2.6) Light Ale - Cream Ale (2.6-2.7)
Bitter And English Pale Ale - Ordinary Bitter (.75-1.3) 
Bitter And English Pale Ale - Special or Best Bitter (.75-1.3)
Bitter And English Pale Ale - Strong Bitter / English Pale Ale (.75-1.3)
Scottish Ales - Light 60/- (.75-1.3) Scottish Ales - Heavy 70/- (.75-1.3)
Scottish Ales - Export 80/- (.75-1.3)
American Pale Ales - American Pale Ale (2.26-2.78) American Pale Ales - American Amber Ale (2.26-2.78)
American Pale Ales - California Common Beer (2.4-2.8) India Pale Ale - India Pale Ale (1.5-2.3)
Koelsch And Altbier - Koelsch-Style Ale (2.42-2.73) Koelsch And Altbier - Duesseldorf Altbier (2.16-3.09)
Koelsch And Altbier - Northern German Altbier (2.16-3.09) 
German Amber Lager - Oktoberfest/Maerzen (2.57-2.73) German Amber Lager - Vienna Lager (2.4-2.6)
5Brown Ale - Mild (1.3-2.0) Brown Ale - Northern English Brown Ale (1.5-2.3)
Brown Ale - Southern English Brown (1.5-2.3) Brown Ale - American Brown Ale (1.5-2.5)
English And Scottish Strong Ale - Old Ale (1.5-2.3)
English And Scottish Strong Ale - Strong Scotch Ale (Wee Heavy) (1.5-2.3)
Barleywine And Imperial Stout - English-style Barleywine (1.3-2.3)
Barleywine And Imperial Stout - American-Style Barleywine (1.3-2.3)
Barleywine And Imperial Stout - Russian Imperial Stout (1.5-2.3)
European Dark Lager - Munich Dunkel (2.21-2.66)
European Dark Lager - Schwarzbier (Black Beer) (2.2-2.6)
Bock - Traditional Bock (2.2-2.7) Bock - Helles Bock/Maibock (2.16-2.73) Bock - Doppelbock (2.26-2.62)
Bock - Eisbock (2.37) Porter - Robust Porter (1.8-2.5) Porter - Brown Porter (1.7-2.5)
Stout - Dry Stout (1.6-2.0) Stout - Sweet Stout (2.0-2.4) Stout - Oatmeal Stout (2.0-2.4)
Stout - Foreign Extra Stout (2.3-2.6) Wheat Beer - Bavarian Weizen (3.6-4.48)
Wheat Beer - Bavarian Dunkelweizen (3.6-4.48) Wheat Beer - Berliner Weisse (3.45)
Wheat Beer - Weizenbock (3.71-4.74) Strong Belgian Ale - Dubbel (1.9-2.4)
Strong Belgian Ale - Tripel (1.9-2.4) Strong Belgian Ale - Belgian Strong Golden Ale (1.9-2.4)
Strong Belgian Ale - Belgian Strong Dark Ale (1.9-2.5)
Belgian And French Ale - Belgian Pale Ale (1.9-2.5) Belgian And French Ale - Witbier (2.1-2.6)
Belgian And French Ale - Biere de Garde (1.9-2.5) Belgian And French Ale - Saison (1.9-2.4)
Belgian And French Ale - Belgian Specialty Ale (1.9-2.4)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Straight (Unblended) Lambic-Style (3.0-4.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Gueuze/Geuze-Style Ale (3.0-4.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Fruit Lambic-Style Ale (2.6-4.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Oud Bruin (1.9-2.5)
Lambic And Belgian Sour Ale - Flanders Red Ale (1.9-2.5) Fruit Beer - Fruit Beer (2.0-3.0)
Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer - Spice/Herb/Vegetable (2.0-3.0)
Smoke-flavored Beer - Classic Rauchbier (2.16-2.57)
Smoke-flavored Beer - Other Smoked Beer (2.16-2.57)
Specialty/Experimental/Historical - Specialty/Experimental/Histroical (2.2-2.5)

However after my recent failure at NHC, the feedback, mainly for the IPA/Pales Ale Categories was lack of hop vibrancy and "Zing" So I asked the question here:
One of the main bits of advice I received was  fresh hops (I freeze mine in Zip bags to keep as best I can) anmd the other was Carbonation.
Read Ralph's response about bottle carbed vs kegged, and the co2 differences between the 2 beers. very interesting.
 So here by an experiments (all be it different beers, with good similarities) read below for more.
All Priming numbers taken from beersmith by using the estimated final volume, ratherthan whats in the fermenter.
First up is Smell the roses; as I didn't want to grossly overcarb the beer and ruin my New years/Christmas beer, I figured, I'd carb up more accurately to the Numbers on Beersmith. So I decided to Carb higher than my usual, to 2.55 for 19 litres of beer. This equalled 126g of Dextrose usingthe above method of priming/bottling. Results will follow wit h1 weeks test, 2 week test and 3 weeks test
The 3 week test should be a good indication of final co2 level.
secondly the Mountain Warrior will be carbed up slightly higher (not by alot) to 2.6volumes, and the same test will follow.
My next American Pale Alewill be carbedto 2.7 in the new year. this will be my final test for bottle carbonation, although a kegging test once I complete my equipment will come up at some stage.
Here is some good tips on Carbonation:
and a good Priming calculator should you need it:

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Re-starting the Clock...

after my appaulling results in  the national competition, I've decied to resest the cloack on my brewing and establish some good process for sanitation and brewing also.
So in the coming weeks I'll be talking further about some of  processes of beer brewing.
first will be carbonation, then sanitation and so on and so forth.
Onto my brewing...
I bottled up Smell the Roses, and boy does it smell good, fingers crossed for no vege flavours. (asparagus).
OG was 1.055 - FG was 1.012, a tad drier, than i was expecting. only by a point or two, but i think it'll still be good, it'll just be more bitter. I'm ok with that.
The techniques used for dry hopping in this beer will be especially interesting, and if there is some truth behind what Kelly was saying about temperature of wort vs hop oils removed at these temps, it'll be an exciting brew. This beer will receive a full taste review, when completed.
Now I brewed another beer on the weekend, I've called it Mountain Warrior, as it loosely based off 2rowhill56 Pale Ale, from Russian River in the US of A.
A couple of minor differences in the beer, no Crystal 20, so I used Carahell.
I also has 30g of Mosaic to use, so randomly chucked it in at 10 mins left in the boil.
The rest is all simcoe, the last of my secret stash..... Looking forward to this one. although looking back at the beer its distinctly similar to smell the roses, apart from the colour of crystal, and the lack of US Cascade, plus the dry-hop techniques of course, mountain warrior will be dry-hopped with 55g of simcoe. and it'll be chucked in all at once, this will be a good test to see if the dry-hopping techniques add a different dimension to the beer. so strangely enough there is a good similarity between beers.

Secondly; I've been doing some reading on carbonation, hence the upcoming threads about it. I've talked to numerous people, and the consensus is to carb higher than i normally would for Pales and IPA's to bump the perceived bitterness and hop bite. Smell the roses was carbed at an estimated level of 2.55 volumes of co2.
Mountain warrior will be carbed to 2.6 to note any difference with carbonation (0.05 of a volume will be pretty minimal) if these beers turn out well, like i expect (mountain warrior will probably a bit cloudy)  then they will probably be re-brewed again when the new US of A harvest filters through to us here in little old NZ. then a 2.7 Volumes will be created, and taste differences will be established.

Lastly: SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY (Bookbinder type Clone). This has turned out amazingly well, and will be re-brewed using NZ Goldings in place of Fuggles early next year, difference noted. I actually sent a bottle to Manawabrew, and he loved it. the word used was "Brilliant". Which I'm pretty stoked with.

So I've found a couple of beers that I'd like to re-create finally, after much searching.
*1: Sons of Liberty Porter - I really enjoyed this beer, and still have a couple of bottles remaining to drink after all the IPA's are gone. Despite the judges saying it has phenols, it'll get a re-do in the early stages of autumn, but I'm not expecting to have Amarillo available, so Zythos is the most likely candidate ATM.
*2: Silence in the Library NW Bitter - Love this beer, easy drinking session bitter,with a good hop punch. Riwaka will be in short supply soon, but a re-iteration before it all disappears will happen pretty much first thing next year.
I'd like 3 beers that I can keep a good rotation of, so the third is up for grabs, hopefully and IPA/Pale Ale, and in all honesty, if I can nail the Bathed in Blood then i'll be happy. But that'll be down the track.

In the meantime I'll leave you with this, My next beer is Labelled "The Legacy of Wallace"... EstOG 1.063. Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe on

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Beer Review: Fiasco Brewing - Lurqs IPA

My Brew Mates corey and Jason, have released a commercial Beer. Congrats guys, I got given a bottle to try out (I've also had it on tap.)
So Here is my review of the beer, as I see it.
STYLE: West Coast American IPA
BREWING CO.: Fiasco - New Zealand
AROMA: HOPS, HOPS, HOPS. Maybe some more hops, just for good measure. Its big and bold, and I do get some Malty sweetness, coming through which is a nice touch.
APPEARANCE: Pours copper colour, with Off white head, Clarity, is very good. I love the colour of this beer, perfect for the style.
FLAVOUR: This beer smashes you with hoips. Carbonation is Bang on, it really makes those hops ping out of the glass. Small amount of Malt, just enough to back up the big flavour hops.
MOUTHFEEL: good head and retention seems good and rocky. Not thin, not thick of Cloying like some beers. About right really.

OVERALL: Great beer, just as the style intends, bitter resin, hoppy and unapologetic, as the bopttle suggests. I'd also like to point out, that it gives me a hinted flavour of the green flash west coat IPa, mainly the hop flavour. this will be the simcoe hops. AWESOME.

Lesson Learnt...

Well, lesson Learnt, I've tasted the beers, and they are correct there are some considerable faults in each one. (except for the Porter, I still dont getit...)
So its time to take a fresh approach. I've gotten some advice off of, in regarding to hop intensity, vibrancy, and the like. so its time to put some of this into practice... I was originally going to brew the Russian River 2RowHill56 clone, however after reading the feedback I decided I needed to change up a couple of things.
Firstly, the Beer i was going to Brew. It's time to come up with something that works, and tastes like a winner, so I made a winner... apparently. I saw this thread, and the beer does actually look pretty tasty, and at a more sessionable 5-5.5% I figured why not, as I had some hops that needed using.
here's the thread: SOBA NHC 2013 Recipes.
I used Kelly's Smell the roses, which I've put onto brew toad; Here. scaled down to a 21 litre batch, (this is what I aim for into the fermenter)

So time will tell If my processes are correct, and how well I'm actually doing.
I'll also be using a different Fermentaion process... I'll be 2 weeks primary, then a week in secondary, for dry hopping.
Brew date was last Saturday.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Alot to Learn!

Well the weekends results didn't go anywhere near to plan. My biggest hope gained the lowest score.
A real shame, as the beers actually taste quite good.... to me.
All Beers were tried and tasted that njight to see if I could pick up what the judges were saying.
I'm not sure how to attach the pdf files... so i'll tell the notes by writing them for you.

First marks back:EMPIRE OF GOLD - Blonde Ale
Aroma: Cidery, Tart
Appearance: Slightly Hazy
Flavour: Cidery, Tart, Some Oxidation
Mouthfeel: Pleasant Hint of CreaminessTart.
Overall: Lacks Malt Structure, Overly Thin, Tart
Whe I retasted the beer,s I could pick up a tart ciderynote in the beer, not unpleasant, but definitely shouldnt be there.
Second Back was worse, I knew there was an issue with the beer, but given my green palate, I couldn't pick it out.
Bathed in Blood American Red Ale:
Aroma: Sweaty Hops Smell, Lacks Malt Smell.
Appearance: Dark gold Too Light
Flavour:Thin, Dry Astringent, Lacking Malt dimension and Hop Character
Mouthfeel: Good Carbonation, Lacks body.
Overall: Lacking Malt & US Hops Character
There was also a tick box for Vegetal character, but seems slight
I knew there was an issue, I just struggles to pick out the flavours individually, now I pick things up.
The beer was a bit thin, M/Otter will fix that up. I disagree with the colour/appearance, it dead middle of style, and definitely too dark for an APA. Its lacking some real malty flavour. I knew the hop character was out of whack, it didn't quite seem right, not enough punch.
Thired was my highest ranked, freshest beer and most undercarbed...
Knights of Freedom Pale Ale
Aroma: Sweet fruit Lacking Hop Intensity
Appearance: Hazy, Poor Head retention
Flavour: Lacks Vibrancy
Mouthfeel:Body ok Lacking Carbonation
Overall:lacking lively flavours
I agree with most of this, its still young and will improve. I've since spoken to memebers of realbeer, and they have given some hints tips etc. for good vibrancy and intensity for hops.
Last Beer, and unfortunately, my favourtie, and lowest least its double digits.?
Sons of Liberty Porter
Aroma: Initial Nice Hop Character, then Phenolic character appears.
Appearance: Good
Flavour: Phenolic Character Distracts from nice hops flavour, lacking malt complexity
Mouthfeel: thin
Overall: Review Sanitation, and recipe for malt character.
I'll be honest I disagree with a few comments regardingthis, its a great beer, sure its probably a bit thin tasting, despite finishing at 1.020. Making it dangerously easy to drink. The Phenols I disagree with, I'm pretty sure they're picking up a slight smokey taste, which I believe will be the Black malt adding a little extra in there, some malt complexity you might say.?? I do pick up the flavour they are talking about. they seemed to think there was a sanitation issue, could be a bad bottle maybe??
The other interesting thing is how do you make a Porter more complex without getting overly complicated with extra malts?
I'm putting this down to a bad botle, and it will be re-brewed in autumn, to give me something warming to drink in winter.

well thats it, I hope this doesn't put you off my blog, and so on. I will talk further about the hop vibrancy thing to give people advice (which I have received myself) and comment on it, I'll be listening to those comments and testing them out, and I'll report back.  Until then, catch ya!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Nation is Watching....Twitter This is the Twitter feed for the NHC Home-brew Competition for 2013, apparently they have just over 350 entries, with a Mac's bottle removing an entry or two. Oops. Glad it wasn't mine, but gotta feel for the guy.

So here are my entries, brewed specifically for the competition:
Robust Porter - 12 B
Sons of Liberty American Style Porter. Full Malty Porter, generously hopped with Amarillo Hops. All thrown in during the boil. Recipe is based loosely on the Robust Porter from Brewing Classic Styles. 5.5%ABV
American Amber - 10 B
Bathed in Blood American Red Ale. Big Caramel Malt flavours, generously hopped with Amarillo Centennial, and Simcoe. Recipe is loosely based off the Heretic Brewing Evil Twin Recipe.
American Pale Ale - 10 A
Knights of Freedom American Pale Ale. Hoppy Goodness. Citra, Centennial and Amarillo, Hopbursted and Dryhopped, with minimal Caramel Malts in the mash. 40-ish IBU from 20min and later additions only. Citra Dryhop. Based on the Electric Pale Ale, by
Blonde Ale - 6 B
Empire of Gold Blonde Ale. Loosely based off an old Extract recipe, I did in the early days. I subbed out the standard Ale Yeast, and Brought in Kolsch Yeast, for a crisper flavour, Low Bitterness, Refreshing, light and very very pale. Malty Aroma, with Minimal Hop Aroma. Clear to Brilliant.

Good luck to everyone who has entered, and hopefully, a good standard of beer has been produced again this year. I'm aiming for a medal too. at least one would be nice.

Champion Brewer receives a beer scholarship and 3 commercial releases, the first is paid for by BeerNZ.
Champion beer is brewed at Hallertau in Auckland, on their new fancy brewing system, with the assistance of Jo Wood from Liberty Brewing.
Champion ale, and Champion Lagers, will receive cash prizes etc.
There will no doubt be other prizes for best in class, best in style etc. etc.  The list goes on.
I will post my scores and notes up once all judging is completed, probably sometime next week.

On a separate note my big brew day beers are all but complete, dryhop is done, they are now cold conditioning, for bottling on Sunday.
Silence in the Library, has finished withthe following numbers: 1.045 - 1.012: 4.4%ABV
Three Eyed Raven, has finished up slightly higher, giving me : 1.042 - 1.014: 3.7% ABV( Exactly what I was aiming for)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Big Brew Day

I got around to brewing my 2 special bitters on the weekend, man what a day! I started at 7am, and finished up around 4pm, after a full clean up etc.
First beer was a Recipe thats been floating around on The spellbinder recipe, which is an attempt/inpsired by Emerson Bookbinder
I used UK Fuggles, as I couldn't get NZ Fuggles, a 50/50 mix with Riwaka.  Recipe by Studio1.
its 4 days in, and I took a taste, great fresh citrus taste, with some good spice. I overshot OG, so ABV is going to be around 4% ish, ratherthan the 3.7% Suggested by the commercial brewery.
This has been dubbed: Silence in the Library Special Bitter

Recipe number 2 is another Special Bitter Dubbed: The Three Eyed Raven Bitter
similar recipe style, but I subbed out dark crystal for cara-aroma and subbed out the medium crystal for caramunich2. I then modelled this off the fantastic beer by Garage Project and used Riwaka, Pacifica, and Motueka, all in equal portions.
Both beers have used WLP001 slurry from the knights of Free dom APA.

On another note all beers sent and received for the NHC2013. Judging begins on 2nd November, and runs through to sunday.
Next beer on the cards is a re-brew of Bathed in Blood, using Simcoe Hops, paired with Nelson Sauvin. I want more punch, and resin type flavour from this beer, and I wanted to move a bit more towards Emersons Oreti Red, which is probably my favourite Red Ale.
See you all in a week or so. I'll post my judging results up here as well.

Monday, 14 October 2013

A Nice Roasty Porter.

Well on the weekend, we probably drank a few too many of Sons of Liberty, and man what a great beer. Here are some notes on it:

AROMA: Roasted Malts, chocolatey roast aroma, slight hint of sweetness, this could be the fruity american hops trying to break through, perfect balance.
APPEARANCE: Crystal clear, opaque black colour, with ruby highlights. this really cleared up nicely with a short cold crash and an even shorter secondary, it seems I've worked out a pretty good process for clearing the beers up a bit.
FLAVOUR: Rich Malt, probably a tad sweet the additional 2 gravity points I wanted would of made this a real winner. even 1 point would of made it better. rich and malty, with a dry roasty finish, very "Robust". Good balance of bitterness to the beer., not hoppy just a hint of something, either the sweetness of the hops trying to do something/mixing together.
MOUTHFEEL: Thick, very thick, and rich, perfect carbonation at around 2.2 volumes. Head is sticky and a nice lacing down the glass. indicates to me a good creamy feel.

OVERALL: A good solid Porter, definitely on the list for re-brewing. Possibly with Challenger to see if I can establish the unidentified flavour coming through. Rich, thick and malty, with the perfect bitterness to style. Advice from the brew guys in Christchurch was to increase gravity by a couple of point, to assist with attenuation, and drop the temp down to 67 for mash temp. the other advice was to use an english hop, see what the differences are, and they felt the Amarillo hops were a bit wasted here.
NHC Beer Number 1, worthy of mention.

Big weekend coming up too.
I'm bottling the Knights of Freedom. This is a final gravity which happens to be 1.012
I'm also doing my first double brew day. Epic weekend coming up.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Smells like Freedom.....Kinda.

Onto my last brew before the NHC2013.
An American Pale Ale, based off the Electric Pale Ale, at
This is the last of my Amarillo hops, which is a shame, Its a shame about the lack of availability of this hop.

anyways, ont othe recipe, It's listed here: Knights of Freedom Pale Ale. A Hopbursted Pale Ale, with all the hops going in from 20mins onwards. Wiuth a good Citra Dryhop... i didn't have enough Citra hops, and had exactly 16g of Amarillo, which makes it a 40g single dryhop.

Secondly, I have bottled both my Empire of gold Blonde Ale, after a 10day Lagering period. Then I also bottled BATHED IN BLOOD Red ale. And boy is it tasty, It's gonna be a good beer, and when tasted in a few weeks, I'll get a good idea of whether its gonna be something that may actually get a medal...

And of course Lastly, I poured a bottle of The sons of Librty Porter. nise tasty brew, probably needs another week or so. Its maybe a tad sweet, which is due to the uinder attenuation at 1.019/20. but still very tasty, and waaaaay to easy to drink.

I'm running a small beer tasting for my friends on the Night of NHC, so will post full tasting notes of each individual beer at that time.
Oh and By the way, I'm listing the tasting beers on Untappd, so in future, should anyone receive a bottle from me. Please rate it on untappd.
Catch you next time, when i embark on my first double brewday, to make a two NZ Session Bitters.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Bathed in Blood a Red IPA

Saturday was an interesting day, I transferred the Empire of gold over to secondary for lagering.
I also brewed up an american amber. It's slightly out of style guidelines for bitterness and OG, based on the recipe, although the eventuating day didn't bring about the numbers i was looking for.

Here is my red IPA Recipe. Dubbed Bathed in Blood.
Brew day itself went ok, and i hit an extra litre again, and a slightly lower OG because of it.
The numbers I hit are as follows:
22 Litres into Fermenter.
Mash temp 67 degrees, Choc malt added with 15 mins to go.
609 min Mash time.
strike temp: 74deg c
I added 2g Chloride and 7g Sulfate to the mash.
Fermenting at 18.5 degrees for 48 hours ramped to 19 degrees this morning.

FG of the Empire of gold has turn out to be around 1.011 and currently lagering in my second fridge. It will sit in there at low temperatures until I bottle the Red IPA. they will then be bottled at the same time.
Then it'll be onto my last NHC recipe... An American Pale Ale. I'm not entirely sure of a name yet I'm still working on that.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

This is my Empire..... of Gold

Hi Everyone, another beer brewed, another fermentation under way... Despite a couple of small issues.

Firstly, the Beer:  this beer dates back to one of my first  Extract batches, which had not real fermentation control, and as such the temperature got a taqd warm, causing some flavour issues to start with. The resulting beer at 4-6months, was actually rather tasty. A nice malty blonde ale, no real hop kick to speak of. i was initially disappointed with the beer, but in retrospect, it turned out to be a good beer. a nice entry into craft beer.
Here is the original recipe from the first time I did it: Ska Tru Blonde Ale
followed closely by the new updated recipe, Empire of Gold
As you can see theres a couple of changes to the recipe, mainly to keep it within style and a nice light summery type beer.

The only real issue to speak of was the yeast starter, I used WYeast 2565, Kolsch (another change to the recipe) The pack I had was actually considerably older than I had anticipated, meanin a slightly longer lag time on the beer beginning fermentation. I'm hoping it won't crap out early. But other than that it went relatively smooth, Hit gravity, and 1 litre under volume, which I'm ok with, Given I pitched the starter direct into the brew.

There aren't that many commercial examples out there, because everyone like big bold flavours. this will be a nice light, simple true to style beer. Beer number 2 into NHC2013.

Lastly  Beer#1 into NHC, my Sons of Liberty Porter, Finished a tad higher than I expected, but its tasting mighty fine, and Theres a good Hop aroma on it, taste wise dark roasty, and smooth. finished at what turned out to be 1.019, which is acceptable. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

New Beers...Some Tasting Notes and a Good Weekend All Around!

Hi everyone.
the weekend just been was a pretty good one, We spent most of the weekend drinking and tasting beers.....
I could have asked for worse  :)
Heres a list of beers I tried and tasted over the weekend: List from best to Worst
1. Behemoth - Celia Wade Brown Ale (Best of the weekend)
2. Green flash West coast IPA
3. Kakariki - Goldilocks Blonde ale
4. Green Flash - Hop Head Red
5. Epic - Comet

The Celia Wade Brown Ale had to be the pick of the weekend, for me. Here is a review of the beer
Appearance: Dark Brown, Nice and clear with a good off white head., lacing round the glass to the end.
Aroma: smells of  roasted malts and minor ash, with a good chocolatey hit.
Flavour: Dark and roasty, superb, poured at room temperature. off the hand pull. nice and sticky, qwuite creamy.
Overall: Superb beer, shame its not more common around Christchurch, would be interested to see how it tastes off the tap./bottle.

Worst; well not so much worst but most disappointing, Epic's New Comet. As a Hop Head I was bitterly disappointed...'so to speak' good aroma and flavour, but it tastes.... just. like,. the rest of them. Zythos and Mosaic I mean. I'm a bit over the whole Epic craft beer thing I guess, there are so many new breweries doing so many exciting things out there, and it just seems like another Pale Ale, and not alot of thoughts been put into it.

A Beer of note while a the twisted Hop, is the Kakariki Blonde Ale. Nice for entrants into the craft beer scene, I reckon it has some Honey malt in it, even though its not generally available in New Zealand. big honey taste, very sweet. no real hop aroma to speak of.

And speaking of Blonde Ale; I've got a Re-brew of one of the original recipes from my early days, transferred to all grain, from extract. and some little tweaks. Watch this space for the recipe on Brewtoad.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The American Revolution - Porter Style

Howdy everyone.
Sunday was a brew day for me, and it was a good one, couldn't have gone any better.
I hit all my numbers; Pre boil O.G, Mash temps and Even got an additional 1 litre out of it for my troubles.
Had a great time doing it too, Got up bright and early at 6:30am and was finished by 11:30-12, 20 hours after pitching the Mangrove Jacks M.44 West Coat yeast its beginning to bubble and has a small ring of krausen forming.

The brew is a Porter, Loosely based on Jamil's Robust Porter. With some minor changes.
As per my last Post, it has been dubbed The Sons of Liberty Porter. As its a mix of an English style beer, with american Hops and yeast. Th hop schedule, is more to the English style of schedule. I'm hoping for a good solid porter, with a little hop kick from the Beautiful Amarillo Hops used.

Now for a small Plug for my brew mate Paul Finney, who has just opened a Home brew-shop. Sourcing Local ingredients from Gladfields, along with Liquid yeast and Imported and Local Hops.
Its in Bishopdale Mall, and is called Finney's Homebrew Emporium.

Secondly, Bottled the Zombie King IPA with Alan yesterday afternoon. This is an amazing beer already, and although its pretty hazy, it's going to taste damn awesome. The aroma was like Fresh Fruit, which for some would be too much. But not for me the big hop head I am.

Now, I have concerns about my BIAB techniques:
#1 is Beer Clarity - The Zombie King is pretty cloudy, This is Hop Haze, but it almost seemed like there was something else too it, a protein of some sort floating around...
Could be chill Haze, from a poor cold break? For those who read this: Is this something that happens when Inputting Flame-out hops and leaving for 10-20 mins to lock in that aroma?
I reckon its something also to do with the BIAB technique. As there is no Grain Bed to filter and Vorlauf the Wort accordingly. Something to think about.

and #2 is Trub - The Porter has a pretty solid amount of Trub even though I whirl-pooled (sort of) and let things settle out as well. This is a BIAB issue I'm pretty sure, I also used a Sieve to get rid of some of this stuff. which should eliminate some of this. this is based on the visual I had this morning when I checked it. It may settle out, so watch this space to see what happens.
I may have to secondary this one, as its my first beer for NHC2013.
Leave comments below regarding the possible solutions using the BIAB techniques on clarity and Trub in the fermenter, would be very interesting to see what others do.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Welcome Back to Brewing!!

After a Much needed Holiday I was actually able to brew a beer.
It felt pretty damn good to brew. with the help my a mate. Al was really helpful, and has a bit of an interest in brewing himself. We are splittingthe beer in half after bottling.
Heres the recipe on brew toad: Its a variation on the Three Floyd IPA available on

I hit 1.064 on Post Boil, which is 1 Point away from where I was hoping to be. and Hit Volume perfectly, after saving some wort from the 3 odd litres of trub after putting in the fridge for a few hours. It something Jo from Liberty has done in the past as well.

Fingers crossed it turns out, due to the issues (probably my own fault) with the S-04. It was going like a machine gun, and I've been away with work for a couple of days and ramped up to 21 now. hoping for 1.016 FG.I'll ramp to 22 in another couple of days to make sure its finished, and dry hop on Monday night... After an FG check of course. :)

With the NHC only 2-3 months away, its time to ramp up the brewing again, got 4 planned for the NHC 2013, a Porter, Blonde ale, American Amber and American Pale ale.
1st is the Porter Dubbed "Sons of Liberty". The reason I've called it is this:
The Sons of Liberty were and organisation of American Patriots, who originated i nthe Pre-Independence North American British Colonies. they were formed to Protect the rights of Colonists and take the streets against the abuses of the British Government. Where as the English Porter brewed in the 18th Century. It is a well hopped Dark beer.
So I kinda figured that the two would be good together... American Porter is the Style, using a British Porter recipe, and American hops and yeast, not heavily late hopped, more of an english hop schedule.
I'm excited.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Another Tasting Night...

Yet another night Spent at Pomeroys on Monday Night! This was a one I was looking forward to as well.

On the cards 9 Beers, and a Bonus Beer, which was still in the conditioning tanks.
Most ofthese were Hop Bombs, includingthe new one Sauvignon Bomb, an IPA Made exclusively with Nelson Sauvin Hops. Based off the Website, this was a simple Grain Bill of base plus Pale Crystal.
The few non Hop Bombs were Dark Stouts, and the Bonus Beer a california Steam Beer, made with one of the girls from Beer NZ.

Theres something else I'll say as well. He's a definite Fly by the seat of your pants kinda guy, if he wants to do something he'll do it, many collaborations etc. and confirmation there will be no Yeastie/Liberty Collab this year, a bit disappointing, but hey, they're all pretty busy doin their thing. Jo has a great sense of humour, and had plenty of stories about his mishaps and people he had met along the way, some beer was talked about as well.

Onto the beers:
Top Beer: had to be Citra!, at 9% and 99 IBU, it was always going to be the beer of the night. Overly Hoppedwith Citra, and funnily enough he actually revealed, its not a single hop brew, despite the misleading name. No Information was given on which hop it was... Something big and American no doubt.
Worst Beer: This is a hard one, as they were all actually very good, but if I had to choose, it'd be the Darkest Days Stout, it didn't quite hit the Creamy stout flavour for me, but still an awesome beer.
With only 9 beers on tap, it was a much shorter night at Pom's than normal, so pints were had.

All in all a good night, with some good beers, most of which I had tried already, including the Monster! Love that beer. I actually have a recipe of 2 for a couple of these beers, Scarlet and Monster, Not sure how accurate they are, but still worth a crack.

There will be no update for a couple of weeks from here, as I'm away on Holiday and there's not alot to talk about, but plenty going on behind the scenes.

Then it's onto Brewery Talk, Brew Rig building and NHC 2013, I'm still on the fence on what to make. I have a massive choice of recipes to choose from.

Oh and I'll be starting up a Brewtoad Page too! Posting my recipes for all who wish to try, as I believe in open source brewing, if people like drinking my beer, why shouldn't they be able to attempt to make it themselves...
Here is the Brewtoad Page:

Friday, 19 July 2013

CHCH Homebrew Club Collaboration

Last weekend I took part in one of the most ambitious brew days ever, two big imperial style beers and a partigyle.
A total of 120 Litres of beer brewed in one day.
A big thanks to the guys who showed up at Oli's place and contributed gear and ingredients.
The recipes decided on were:

the CYBI iStout by 8wired: OG 1.102

A Belgian Stout, Loosely based on the iStout, with some lowering of the grain bill and Some Dark Candi sugar: OG 1.090 Plus belgian sugar later

And a bits and Pieces Partigyle, using some of the runnings from the Grains. OG 1.057
Early indication, of these were good, the yeast were US-05 for the iStouts.
3522 for the Belgian stout, and was split between 2 the other half used the New Mangrove Jacks Belgian Ale, and lastly, they tried out the Newcastle dark ale by mangrove jacks and the /US mangrove jacks yeast.
Will be interesting to see how these turn out.
we did the Beglian stout BIAB, and brewed up 40 odd litres of it, heres some pictures to show you.
Heavy lifting involved. of which I couldn't do any of.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dunedin and Emersons Brewery

Second weekend away, and the last one for awhile.
We went to dunedin, and watched the Crusaders vs Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

afterthe game we were able to catch the Lions game, and got to try the new "Brewers Reserve" Oreti Red Red IPA. all I can say is Wow! Huge aroma, fat malty chewiness, without being cloying, with a high hop flavour, a tad light for a red ale, but I'll let them away with it.
Beer details:
OG 1.063
NZ Pale, Munich, CaraMunich, and Cara-Red
Hops were US Centennial, and a high Alpha NZ Hop (I'm not )
With a standard american Yeast I'm guessing 001.
Worth a try if you can get hold of it. But its Tap only.

If anone has any ideas on recipes, please let me know.

also had the good old Bookbinder, a good stalwart for the Ermersons guys, and I'd go as far to say it was their flagship beer these days. and at 3.7% It's a beer you can have more than one or two of. I've got a recipe designed to meet the need of the ABV and the general idea behind it. more to come on that soon. enough.

On a seaparate note, I'm still not brewing, but I hasve had another bottle or two of the Bad Wolf.  Great beer, now in its prime at 5-6 weeks bottled, bigger hop presence, but the presence wont last long, and smells distinctly of banana bread as well, clear when warm, so some chill haze, but im ok with the, Will re-make with Mosaic, as theres no Amarillo anywhere, mosaic seems a good hop. and readily available.
I'll also swap the yeast for 3522, and add a flameout addition. maybe remove the willamette dryhop.

Great beer, highly recommended recipe.

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Garage Project

Welcome to Wellington!
We went to Wellington for the weekend, to see some friends and made a point of doing the whole Craft Beer Thing.
First up was lunch at The Malthouse, for the "Darkest Day". Had an EpIC Repocalypse. a Black IPA Collaboration with Fork and Brewer at 8.5%. All I can say is wow, Super Hop Flavour, with the patented Epic Late Hop additions. Pours Inkly black with REd hue.

Now onto the main Event, we spent the afternoon, at The garage Project, a brewery, who like to make very unique beers, they really push the boundaries of style.

The beers we tasted were:
California Uber Alles: Based off the Anchor Steam Beer with a Garage project difference, more hops etc.
Lil' Red Rye:  A Hoppy Red Ale, with Spicy Rye Malt

Sauvin Nauveau: A Grape Harvest Imperial Pilsner, using White wine grape Juice from this years grape harvest.
Pils 'n' Thrills: An American Hopped Pilsner, Big American Citrus Hops.
Aro Noir: A more hoppy version of a Stout.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Baltic Porter: A 10.5% Baltic Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels
Great beers with a twist.
Bought a Trip Hop, a new world bitter/Pale ale with Bold NZ Hops, Motueka, Pacifica, and Riwaka.

Sunday after some standard wellington Sight seeing, we took a trip to Goldings Free dive, for the Garage Project Tap take over, for one reason to drink this:

Heres my full review:
AROMA: American Citrus Hops. big bold and hoppy, with hints of Grapefruit etc. I get small hints of Mint and Chilli, but its very small.
APPEARANCE: Orange/Amber Colouyr with small lacing off white Head, Cealr to Brilliant, With some minor hop Haze
FLAVOUR: Major hops, Hint of Malt Background Complexity. Followed by a minty freshness, and Heated chilli. that reimains, a the bakc of the throat is some minty freshness and heat from the chillies.
OVERALL: WOW! What an amazing Beer, hoppy Spicy Minty, just wow, They only servied in Half Pints, because there was such a small amount.
if they ever make this again, I'll be buying in bulk..... lol.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Manawabrew WCIPA

Well, I thought I'd Post some notes from the brew he sent me. He sent me the recipe as well, which was interesting to note, so I could try and pick out the individual flavours.
Drank it on Sunday aftergetting back from a weekend away.

APPEARANCE: Murky, Hazy Golden Brown, with small off White Head, plenty of Fizz for the Style. Murkiness, could be from the large hopping schedule, and Chill Haze. I think some kettle finings would have helped with the clarity.

AROMA: BOOM!!!!!!! Huge Citrus, passionfruit Aroma from the Citra Hops used. Just plain massive!! Cascade backs it up nicely.

FLAVOUR: Good Hop Flavour, especially when the beer warmed up to a better temperature. a tad boozy, but that'll be the high gravity and brown sugar. Minor Malt Background minimal caramel sweetness. Mainly Hops coming through.

OVERALL: Good Solid Beer. Hoppy and big, just like a WCIPA should be.
 for me , and this is only my opinion, as everyone has different tastes. My changes would be that I'd Keep the malt bill similar, swap the quantities of carapils and munich around.
hops wise, its pretty good, I'd add more late hops, from from 10  to 0, really smash the palate to pieces.

Check him out on some great information, recipes, and a general idea of what goes on in this guys brewing head. Cheers dude.

Friday, 7 June 2013

The End of the Universe "BAD WOLF"

Tasting the Bad Wolf Belgian IPA, gave a bottle  to the Mrs. as well.

Appearance: Golden Orange colour, with White/Off White Head. Very much the colour I'd expect from this beer, it seems similar based on the thread above. Much clearer than I thought it would be at this stage, however there is some chill haze

Aroma: After Pouring, and a quick whiff of the beer, I get a good solid solid Belgian Yeast aroma. Followed by a nice smell of grapefruit etc. from the amarillo. Aroma is not anywhere near as much as I'd like, but very pleasant.

Flavour: Minimal Malt Character, followed by a Biter Hop Character and yeast y character. The beer started out a too cold, and I couldn't taste alot, but once it warmed up a bit, I got a nice Grapefruit flavour, and maltiness came through a little bit more. aroma changes as well once it warms up.

Overall: All in all, a Nice Beer, Still Undercarbed, so it need a nother week or two for carbonation. Good Colour, thats something I wouldn't want to change, the malt balance needs to improve a tad, the honey malt they use in the recipe, would be a great start, but we can't get this in NZ. Overall, I think not the same beer as the recipe suggests.

- Different Yeast, I'd use 3522, Ardennes yeast, the fedback is that this yeast, doesn't hide the hop flavour so much, which is why I have a little trouble smelling and tasting, it kind of subdues it a bit. 
- I'd add a flameout addition into the mix, and probably remove the willamette hops, and add more cascade hops. Get some more aroma and flavour in there.
- Control my Temps better than I have been, This isn't far away, once i get the shed up and running.
- and lastly Fix my Water/Salts Additions, I used 12g of Calcium Sulphate, Which gives the beer alot more bitterness, some of the other beer guys in christchurch are working on this.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dark Red & Hoppy

I was sent this beer recently, and left it to condition for awhile, poured it out like this:
Heres the note i took, what a Nice beer, KiwiRevo is doing some Very interesting things with brewing, and I'm very impressed.
Definitely Dark red and hoppy:

appearance: Dark red/Brown colour Very much a colour I'd expect from an Imperial amber, although slightly hazy, I'm assuming this is the hops causing this. (there were quite a few)

aroma: huge aroma of american hops. I could smell this all day.

Flavour: low carbed. Not sure if this was supposed to be the case. big amber flavour, caramels are very in there with the flavour, lingering bitterness, and really smooth considering the high late hopping. I see what you mean with the late hopping giving that smoother bitterness.

Overall: If this was on handpump I could drink more than 1 although the alcohol content might be a bit high. very nice beer, advice for next time, would be more carbonation, to make those hops smack you in the face. and the other thing I'd do, although some peiople may in fact beg to differ would be that the alcohol content may be slightly too high, but very warming none the less.

Handpump this with a sparkler it'll be awesome. Pour it into a Drink bottle with a hose on the end with a sparkler attached for a makeshift hand pump.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Back to it!

Well, after a mere week off work and 2 keyholes in my shoulder, I'm back at work tomorrow!
The weeks gone by so quick and given, they didn't find anywhere near as much as they said, its good news for me all round. I'm out of the sling and moving around.
Back to work tomorrow on light duties, still no beer though..... as there's still be bit of pain and aching coming from the area, understandable, but I definitely feel better than I thought I would after a week.

Once I get the all clear from the surgeon in a Week, It'll be home for a beer tasting... hopefully. that'll be 3 weeks no booze. and it's been easier than I thought it would be.. but I'm looking forward to trying this Bad Wolf Belgian IPA, its been teasing me all week sitting pon the shelf. lol.

Well see you next week, and Hopefully, I'll have a bottle of Manawa Brews WC IPA in my fridge ready to drink and enjoy. certainly sounds like a ripper of a beer already. I'll post tasting notes up here once I've had it too, give u an idea of what I think etc.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Well I'm out of hospital. just an overnighter. Surgery was a success, in more ways than one. They didn't have to do as much work as they anticipated, no tears just smoothing of some tendons and removal of the inflamed tissue inside the shoulder. much better than being stuck in a sling. less work, means less pain. which means a faster recovery!! So I'm pretty happy about that.
I have 2 holes from keyhole surgery, I'm allowed to lightly move it and "pendulum" my shoulder.

All in all, I'll be back brewing pretty soon. I'll be doing a couple of collaboration brews with mr fraser and one with mr finney, probably a lager for one and the other I'm thinking Zombie Dust.

I'll be getting some hop stocks before they run out. Extra Amarillo some more citra as well. possibly also mosaic and simcoe not sure how much i need to work it out.

Got a swap planned with an IPA for Baylands Brewery West Coast IPA home-brew Competition. I'm sending up my two-face and my apple stout which is 6 months old now. So I'm looking forward to trying that

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bad Wolf - Belgian IPA

Morning all, Just bottled this beer, it's my last one for awhile because of my shoulder.

Its inspired by New Belgium Belgo IPA, and smells amazing, the aroma is huge, probably the biggest one sofar.
I did some more water adjustments..... 12g of Calcium Sulphate.
OG was 1.062 FG is 1.015/6
good colour, getting relatively clear on this by now. 119g of Bottling sugar. batch primed.
Taste test in about 3 weeks or so, when I'm drinking again., although I'll get somethoughts from the mrs. its a beer I think she'll love.

I'e officially named it Bad wolf, from Doctor Who, the geeky ones will understand the reference.
Heres the recipe Thread i got my idea from.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Current Gravity

Its fermented so vigorously in the first 36 hours, and no doubt a little more after bubbling stopped, its at 1.018, I'll be bottling the day before surgery. and then it'll sit for 3-4 weeks, as I'm actually having a dry 4 weeks, I want this shoulder sorted, so 4 weeks without a beer is necessary in my eyes. It'll be good as well to take a break from Brewing for 4 weeks. and I've managed to finish on a high, which is even better for me. I'm feeling a tad less paranoid.

the brew needs to clear and be dry-hopped as yet. So it'll be racked over after the weekend and dryhopped from there. :)
Dryhopping will be 20g Amarillo
15g Cascade NZ
and 15g Willamette
Taste test currently say to me this is going to be utterly awesome!! Exciting stuff.
So, this will be my last post until a taste test of the Belgian IPA. Happy brewing, and I'll see you in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Techniques and Observations

New Post new topic.... sort of:
Hop Steeping/ The Hop Percolator method:
This worked out really well, this gave me a good aroma from less hops. I kept trub out of the fermenter, and gained an additional half litre or so in the fermenter, all be it, there was no wort with this.
The bad things about this process is possibly hops flavour, especially in an IPA there should be a good teeth scraping flavour almost. (I'm not sure how else to describe it) the Aroma out of the "Percolator" was very very grassy, but has cleaned up quite nicely. NZ Hops can have this effect, but I can't taste anything like that. This is something I'd like to try with the Epic Pale ale recipe listed here, to see what the differences are:
Cold Steeping Method:
This was probably the pick of the processes used, and considering there was noboil in this particular process its worked out surprisingly well. I have no idea whether this is actually supposed to be  boiled or not. I assume it should be, based on the sanitation situation. Something I'd try again. Not sure I'd do it for a Porter though, as you want much more of that malt flavour in there.

Yeast Changes:
This was an unintended experiement, but what an interesting experiment it was.
US-05 vs WLP090, two different yeasts sure, both intended to be neutral style yeasts. but this is Liquid vs dry. and i'll say now that the dry won.
Now I used the dry in the smal black Batch and the Liquid in the main batch.
Liquid: This is a high Flocc yeast, and while its very clean fermenting and rapid as well, it definitely stripped some of the hop juice from the final brew, because of the high floccuation of the yeast. This also finished at 1.014 and tastes relatively dry.
Dry: I didn't check the gravity, but it did taste slightly maltier/ sweeter, it tasted better, and it the yeast swishes around a bit more than the WLP090, but it retains the hopps much better. more flavour, same aroma.
I'll be conducting more experiements soon, with 3 different west coast style strains.
BRY-97, Danstar west Coast
and a new one from Mangrove Jack, if I can get my hands on it.

surgery in a week or two, will update as time goes on, i.e. Belgian IPA.

NZ IPA and black IPA

Tasting night tonight: I tasted the two experiemental brews as posted a wee while ago.
So I'll startwith the main brew, which is the NZ IPA, I've named the brew Two Face IPa, as I've run the experiments etc.
Two Fale Pale IPA:
Appearance: Pours a Golden copper colour, with white/off white head, it's a tad Hazy, which I think is chill Haze coupled with the wheat I used in the brew.
Aroma: this is the fun part, The Aroma is definitely there., this hop steeping thing has some power behind it in regards to the aroma. nice hoppy spicyness from the motueka and lingering end with the cascade.
Flavour: this is where the beer falls a bit flat, mind the pun. The aroma from the steep is there, but its lacking in flavour contribution from this addition. Although I'll elaborate more shortly. good Malt backbone, and good head retention.
Overall: Good solid brew, hardly a winner in most books. shame its not clearer and hoppier as I'd hoped.
Now the black
Two Face Black IPA:
Appearance: Crystal Clear dark brown, with ruby high lights, good head retention.
Aroma: againthe hop aroma is there, and funnily enough there a slight coffee aroma, (at this point, I should point out that the Dark Malt addition, I actually forgot to boil the wort from the cold steep). 
Flavour:  this again is where it gets a bit more fun. yeast is the difference between these two brews, along with the hops flavour. This is a very good beer, malty backbone, with a caramel hit, followed by a stronger hoppier flavour to follow. good bitterness.
Overall: good solid beer, not quite a mdeal winner as such, but definitely better than the pale version.

New Post time, so I can figure out what I'm saying.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Belgian IPA

hi everyone, got this brewed up on the weekend, and ran short on volume, because of the high amount of hops, definitely got through some of my stock.

initial fermentation started after 6 hours or so, and went strongly until this morning, thats about 36 hours, now its stopped bubbling, as I've had some fermentation issues recently, I am quite paranoid and concerned about finishing too early, it went gangbusters, so I'm really hoping it's done something and will slowly continue to do so, I'm not touching it until 1 week and I'll then check it, if its ok I'll be dryhopping, If not, then I'm not sure I'm tempted to chuck 3711 at it, I'm pretty sure that'll  chew through it, but I don't want to eat all of it, if its within cooey I'm not touching it, and I'll just up the dryhop I guess.

this is my last brew before surgery, and if it doesn't finish, the break won't come too soon, with my Plan B Clone not finishing either, and a ninfection happening as it didnt finish then when I chucked more yeast at it, the yeast didn't take, it oxidised and from there an infection happened, I think some bugs got in, as I transferred it to another bucket. namely a larger one, which didn't help inthe slightest.

Fingers crossed for this one, I almost feel like I should have just chucked US-05 at it, get myself another IPA, but americanised.

surgery is happening on 21 May and it'll be around 3 weeks in a sling, before moving begins and rehab starts, then I think I'll be able to makje some small brews.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Belgian IPA

Well, I changed my mind again.... So Many Recipes such little time.
I wanted to brew my Belgian Red Ale, but I wanted something Hoppy again, so I decided to combine the 2. and I've had this recipe on the "to do list" for quite sometime. And as I'll be going for surgery soon, and have plenty of hops etc. I thought , why not.
Now I don't have access to Honey Malt, which is a shame, as it sounds damn tasty. So I've subbed it with Some Melanoidin, and the left over Cara-Belge I have left (which isn't much).

The other sub I need to do is Simcoe, as I dont have any and can't be bothered buying 50 grams to only use half of that anyways. so I'm using Amarillo, which I have plenty of anyway. The recipe will be posted new Week, but its on anyways.

I'm mashing low at 65 deg C, and doing Partial Mash.

Separate note, I have an issue again with my Backup Plan, theres some white specs appearing, which mean I may have another infection developing, but it still tastes ok. So, I'll scoop this stuff off tonight, and Dryhop it with Nelson. and bottle over the weekend, I'm not overly fussed with this beer now, so I'll use 24 330ml bottles and the rest of the beer can be chucked. I'll be using Carb drops to bottle cos its super easy, and there little clean up to do as well.
I'm thinking its less of a cleanliness thing and more of a I'll rack and add some random yeast to try to get more out of it, its a 1.018, which gives me about 2.3-2.4% abv, might be good for all the pain pills I'll have after surgery. lol.

and Lastly, I'll be posting some photos of the Hard work I've been doing building a brewery... i.e putting power in etc.
I really hope my Belgian IPA comes out well, after the recent disasters I've had. fingers Crossed.
Yeast Cake (Provided it works will be used for the BigBelgian Beer I've been planning to condition while I can't lift things). Will be good to see if I can do it...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Poor Yeast Viability

SO, it seems I have a poor yeast Viability issue, the 1214 I am using for my Backup Plan, is not running, it started bubbling about 6 hours after pitching, then 8 hours late that was it, so i left it and left it, hoping it was still doing something, it stopped at 1.020, yet another stuck fermentation on a small 12 litre batch!
I figured out that the viability may not be quite so good on the yeast and I guess that my own fault, as there wasn't a whole lotta activity, during the starter time.

So, I re-pitched a Dry Yeast packet of T-58, and it seems to be doing something, which confirms the yeast were a bit pooped, it'll be interesting to see what it tastes like at the end, I'm fermenting on the upper scale of this T-58 yeast.

Basically, its not going to taste anything like the commercial version of Plan B, but here's hoping it has a slight taste or something close-ish.

Next up, anotherchange of plans: I'll be making a belgian Red Ale, I've been working on a recipe for it, sessionable at around 5.5-5.7 % abv. With a new packet of 1214, I'm hoping this will work and I'll finally get my yeast cake for the KWAK Clone recipe I've got on the cards, Hopefully before Surgery. I'm still waiting for ACC anyways, So, I kinda figure I can get another brew or two in. In particular If I can get the KWAK clone down and maybe I'll get a helping hand from a local brewer to do some heavy lifting. once its racked over to another vessel.

Friday, 19 April 2013

What do you do on a rainy day??

Me? I brew....
i just mashed in on my Plan B Clone, I've appropriately named it Backup Plan, which is exactly what it is... a bakc up plan for not being able to put power in my garage, because of the rain, too wet to do it, so I've set my grage up to mash and boil, i measured everything in prepaation, in case of such an occasion...
here it is

Secondly this is the update on the electricity... nothing, we wired up my temp controller for the fridge, and I had everything ready to go, but good old new zealand really turned on the weather.

Rugby tonight, just me and the old man by the sounds. I'll be interested to see how this recipe comes out, I'm not sparging this beer, so efficiency may be an issue, but the est efficiency at 70% is 1.038, which is dead on, fingers crossed i hit it or at least get 1-2 point near., mashed at 70.5degrees for 60 -70 mins, tempted to mash longer maybe 15 mins then remove grains and mash out, then re-add and dunk the grains to remove additional sugar.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


As Jeremy Clarkson would say..... POWER!!!!!!!
That's the operative word at my place, I'm finally getting mains power to the garage :)
Wish me luck, there will be a series of pictures as time progresses, the mains are being run tomorrow, and then as time goes, lights, plugs etc.
I'll be powering it up to get a fermentation fridge running, and later in life, as money and time permits a 3 vessel single tier brewery... get some more consistent brews, better efficiency, etc.

On a separate noite, my NZ IPA is almost ready to bottle, It's being cold crashed in the morning until the sunday when i get a chance to bottle, the same with the dark version, fingers crossed this turns out.
photos to come...
Oh and theres a brew planned in theory... I dont really have time, but the ingredients are there and if we finish the power earlyish, I'll crack on, with a PLAN B Clone.
this beer is from yeastie boys, and as such Stu the master brewer was kind enough to e mail through a recipe, which I have adjusted the smallest bit. with and extra 50g of pale malt, and 5 grams of carabelge.
this will make little to no difference. hops are weighed, and so on and so forth.

Exciting times for me.

Friday, 5 April 2013

NZ IPA and 2 Technique experiments...

As I drink Douglas's Belgian amber, The last Beer in our CHCH Case swap. This morning I took the time i had and made a partial mash with NZ Hops, Pacific Gem, Motueka and Cascade NZ. I beat efficiency, I find that using the Light DME helps with this. Heres a Picture of the colour I got at Transfer...
Pretty good colour, I added 1 teaspoon of Calcium Sulphate to help bring out some of that hop flavour. I used Pacific Gem for bittering,which may be a bit old? I opened the freezer and found that the Pacific Gem was open, so I took 25grams at 60 mins. along with 30g of NZ Cascade and Motueka at 10 minutes and 0 mins. I got hold of WLP090 to try and fix my Porter, but if you look at my previous post i didn't get to use it..
I made a starter for the brew on thursday night, gives plenty of time for the yeast to grow.
Now onto my experiments:
Number One:
Cold steeping - Because I had my infection, I needed to get a dark/black beer for the local CHCH Brew Competition in may. So I thought I'd give this a go. 50grams of Carafa II in 250mls of Room temperature Water. this was put in on Friday morning, mashed for 24hours approximately, then sparged with 200-250ml of 76 degree water, through a sieve. This came out a really inky Black colour, so i split off 4 litres of the finished wort, into a small Demi-John, nice and dark. when I checked the OG there was no difference though, I can't say I'm disappointed, I was just looking for that dark Colour for a Black IPA. It certainly has worked. so far so Good. Heres a Picture.

Experiment Two:
Hot Steeping Hops in 80 Degree Water, for a certain period of time.
I've read a bit about a couple of breweries who use a piece of brewing equipment called a hop percolator, so i thought I'd try  a bastardised version of it, to see if I could gain  any additional Aroma/flavour/bitterness out of the flameout hops. The process I used is to Heat 1 litre on water to boiling point for sanitation, then I let it move down to 80 degrees C and added 25g of Motueka and 25g CascadeNZ, and ad these to the hot water and let it sit for the brewing period, in this case, I probably pre-empted the situation and transferred off the  hops using a sieve and hop bag. i then added the water to the cooled wort in tbhe fermenter, time will tell if this was worth it.
I'm hoping it'll work. and it certainly saves wort/ trub losses.

OG 1.060
Est FG 1.012-4
I'll keep you posted on the results of this.
See you again soon.