Monthly Archives: October 2016

Batch 25 – Blood Orange Mead

This is a pretty simple mead, one gallon batch size.


Process & Ingredients:

1 kg Wildflower honey from Jane’s Honey Bees

1/4 tsp yeast nutrient & 1/4 tsp yeast energizer

1 blood orange without skin

Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast package


Made on Sep 24, 2016 – no OG taken but calculated as 1.088

1/4 tsp yeast nutrient & 1/4 tsp yeast energizer added Sep 30

Gravity reading 10/24/2016 – 1.004

Racked to secondary 10/24/2016. Bottled 05/21/2017 into clear 375mL flint bottles. Ghetto transfer – just poured it in, so oxygen pickup will be higher than usual.

Batch 26: Adambier

Brewed:  October 15, 2016    OG:  1.094   FG:  1.021   IBU: 60   ABV:  9.7%


Hair of the Dog is one of my favourite breweries. I have immense respect for Adam’s unique and delicious beers, which he’s been making with minimal or no change since the mid 1990s. Craft beer was not what it is today in those times; he is truly a pioneer. Adam is a very interesting and unique beer, and the way it develops over time is incredible.

I have been wanting to brew a clone based on Michael Tonsmeire’s clone from 2009 for a while now. It came up when chatting with my friend Ryan, who is a very accomplished homebrewer as well as commercial brewer, and we agreed it would be a great collaboration brewday since we both wanted to make something like it. I adapted the recipe slightly (largely based on my use of heavy peated malt rather than just ‘peated malt’ as it appears is used in Tonsmeire’s version) and we brewed this on my Grainfather system.


Anticipated OG:  1.099  IBU:  60  adambier1



15.00 lbs Maris Otter (Crisp malting) [88.2%]

0.65 lbs Munich [3.8%]

0.65 lbs Crystal 60L [3.8%]

0.35 lbs Chocolate malt [2.1%]

0.20 lbs Heavy peated malt [1.2%]

0.15 lbs Black malt [0.9%]


Hop Schedule:

1 oz Galena @ 120m

1 oz Styrian Goldings @ 45m

1 oz Tettnang @ 10m

1/2tsp ‘Yeast Superfood’, 1 Whirlfloc @ 10m



2 pkg WYeast 1728 @ 57F for 7 days, ramped to 70F afterwards



Tasting Notes:


Oct 22, 2016 – One week in gravity of 1.028. Peat wasn’t too noticeable on brew day but it’s come to the fore now. Not overpowering though. Malt profile is pleasant and interesting already, looking forward to how this develops.


Nov 22, 2016 – Two weeks in bottle, carb-check. No carbonation yet, which isn’t surprising (I should have been more patient!)  I wish it kept more residual sweetness. The smoke is at a nice level though, lending some leathery complexity and coming across as kind of a BBQ note rather than cigarette or anything off-putting like that. Not really any smoke on the nose, mostly plum.


Jan 2, 2016 – Carbonation is there now, and it’s about perfect at the moment at around 1.5 volumes. Nose is plums, BBQ smoke, toffee. Taste follows suit – the level of peat is just where I wanted it, present but integrated nicely. Plum, toffee, chocolate and smoke are all in balance with none overshadowing the others. I’m quite happy with this bottle, and the slightly drier finish than I was hoping for has not done the beer any harm at present.


Batch 24: Alpaca

This is a beer I had been wanting to brew for a while now. I have reinvented the recipe a couple times before brewing it as I changed my perception on what the beer should be.  In the end it has become a light and low-ish ABV beer with big hop character but low bitterness. It’s basically what I want to have on tap in the summer as a crowd-pleasing thirst quencher which will go with anything. It is the new-world version of Zoa, a table ale I plan to refine in 2017.


Here are the specs:alpaca-1

OG:  1.051   FG: 1.007   IBU: 50

Brewed: Sep 11, 2016   Bottled: Sep 25, 2016



7.75 lbs Maris Otter

0.50 lbs Flaked wheat

0.50 lbs  Dextrose


Hop Schedule:


0.5 oz Citra @ 60m

4 oz Citra, 1 oz Galaxy @ 200F whirlpool for 15 min

3 oz Citra, 3 oz Galaxy dry hop, 4 day contact time



1/2 tsp CaCl added to mash water

1/2 tablet of whirlfloc added at 10m


Fermentation: US-05 @ 66F for 14 days


Brew day notes: 

Brewed on my Grainfather system on the patio of the new apartment. Mashed with 4 gal of water at 150F for 75 minutes, mashed out at 168F for 10 minutes.  Sparged with 3.5 gallons of 170F water heated on the stove.  Was targeting 1.048 OG based on 70% efficiency and hit 3 points high. Whirlpooled with hop pellets direct into the grainfather, which resulted in a very slow transfer through the chiller and into the brew bucket. Took about 60 minutes to transfer, no full clogs occurred though. Accidentally turned the cooling water down too much which resulted in warm wort in the Brew Bucket, so cooled in the cellar for 4 hrs before pitching.

Thoughts for next time:  Switch to 1318 for yeast, I just had the US-05 already. Whirlpool at 180F to reduce the bitterness (perceived bitterness on the final product is easily 60-70 IBU). Give Centennial a try in place of Galaxy, though the Citra / Galaxy combo is very nice.


Tasting Notes:

Oct 4, 2016 – Juicy and very hazy. Tastes great, mild carb.

Oct 15, 2016 – Still quite opaque, not sure how or why this happened but I’m glad, it suits the beer well. Great hop character, very aromatic with citra certainly dominating. A little bit grassy and bitter which takes away a bit. Some hop chunks make it into the glass, which is certainly a likely culprit of that grassiness.

Oct 28, 2016 – Haze remains, and hop aroma and flavour have not fallen off noticeably. Very happy with this beer overall.

Nov 2, 2016 – This is the tasting that the pic above is from. Stayed densely opaque which was exactly what I wanted and not what I expected. The citra is still huge and wonderful in both aroma and flavour, and the bit of galaxy also adds further complexity.

Nov 22, 2016 – Still hanging on well after 8 weeks, I would say it’s only slightly dimished. Maybe a little sweeter now as a result, but still very enjoyable.


Batch 23: Pliny-ish

For the second group clone-off within our Vancouver homebrewing circle, we decided to all give the Pliny clone as detailed in this link a go. I brewed this with Sean on his BIAB setup rather than my Grainfather system because I was not yet set up in the new place. With some adaptation to suit our system and what we had available, we brewed this recipe:


14.00 lb Canadian 2-row

0.25 lb  Crystal 60L

0.75 lb   Dextrose

Hop Schedule:

0.5 oz Apollo @ 60m

0.33 oz Columbus @ 60m

0.25 oz Amarillo @ 45m

0.75 oz Simcoe @ 30m

Whirlpool addition: 1 oz Centennial, 1 oz Cascade, 1 oz Simcoe, 0.75 oz Amarillo

Dry hop @ day 5: 1 oz Simcoe, 1 oz Cascade, 0.33 oz Columbus

Dry hop @ day 9: 1 oz Simcoe, 1 oz Cascade, 0.5 oz Amarillo, 0.33 oz Columbus

Fermentation: US-05, fermented in basement (approx 66F ambient) for 12 days

Bottle conditioned with 4oz dextrose for 5.5 gallons after 2 day cold crash

Specs:  OG 1.069,  FG  1.012,  IBU 72

Brewed:  Sep 8, 2016

Bottled: Sept 20, 2016

Brewday Notes:  Mash and boil went smoothly, but we started the chill with immersion chiller and spaced out on adding the whirlpool addition, so the wort had cooled to about 135F before we realized it was missing. We added the hops and reduced flow on the chiller so it could get about 10-15 minutes in there while it dropped to around 120F. Then continued full-speed chill and collected around 5.5 gallons of wort in the carboy.

Tasting Notes:

Sep 29, 2016 – Hop character is pretty muted, surely due to our mess-up on whirlpool. Odd character to the malt, can’t figure it out. Tastes like a bad extract beer that’s been partly covered up by decent hop character.

Oct 10, 2016 – Odd flavour is still there though has declined a little. I expect it’s a fermentation by-product from perhaps lack of oxygenation or yeast health, since we didn’t do a great job of oxygenating to be honest and we pitched a single packet without rehydration. In retrospect, that was pretty dumb.

Oct 24 2016 – Yeah the off-flavour is here to stay it looks like, and hop aroma and flavour are lacking. Not a recipe I would re-brew but I do feel that brew-day errors are generally to blame rather than the recipe.

Dec 15, 2016 – I prefer this with some age on it, the odd character has diminished greatly and the hop flavours have melded nicely though of course have also lost some of their power. Quite floral, with melon and fruit flavours that I don’t typically expect in an IPA.