Bohemian Pilsner

So we’re making a Bohemian Pilsner this weekend at Shepody Brewery!

Here’s what the recipe will look like:

7 lbs Pilsner malt
2.5 lbs Vienna malt
0.5 lbs Carapils

0.75 oz Saaz @ 3.8% aa – FWH
1 oz Saaz @ 3.8% aa – 60 mins
0.5 oz Saaz @ 3.8% aa – 30 mins
0.5 oz Saaz @ 3.8% aa – 10 mins
0.25 oz Saaz @ 3.8% aa – 1 min

1 Whirlfloc tablet – 10 mins

Saflager W-34/70 yeast

Mash at 154F for 60 minutes. Do a 90 minute boil to drive off DMS.

OG: 1.051
FG: 1.009
SRM: 3.4
IBU: 34

ABV: 5.5%

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Canadian Ale?

So, I’m not sure about the provenance or style of this beer. Is it a California steam beer? Nope. Is it a blonde ale? Not really. I’m not sure what style it is, but I’m thinking it’ll still be tasty. I’ll just call it a Canadian Ale. Why? Well, because it’s being brewed in Canada, eh!

9 lbs 2-row pale malt
0.5 lb 15L crystal malt
0.5 lbs biscuit malt

1.33 oz Cluster hops @ 8.1% aa – 60 mins
0.33 oz Cluster hops @ 8.1% aa – 10 mins
0.33 oz Cluster hops @ 8.1% aa – 1 min

Mash @ 154F for 60 mins

Mangrove Jack’s Californian Lager Yeast M54

I forgot to add in one teaspoon of Irish moss at 10 minutes, because I was too busy watching Narcos. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll still turn out just fine.

OG = 1.044, for what it’s worth. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.

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Critical Control Points

So we made a new batch of Belgian Ardennes Ale this past weekend. And I noticed (not for the first time) that my brewing has evolved into a predictable schedule, whereby I have to pay attention and do a few specific things, but then I can walk away and let the process take care of itself, to a large degree. And, when I do have to pay attention and do a specific task, it has some sort of technical detail about it. And I start thinking of these specific tasks as ‘critical control points’, not unlike we find in HACCP food safety plans.

So in analyzing my brewing process, I’ve come up with the following critical control points:

  • Strike water should be at 74C/165F.
  • I should have approximately 22 to 24 litres of strike water.
  • If grains are at standard temperature (about 18C/65F) then the mash will equilibrate at around 67C/152F. It makes no difference in the final product if I am off by a degree or two either way.
  • Mash time should be no less than 60 minutes and does not need to be more than 90 minutes. Most experts seems to agree that 75 minutes is an ideal time, as far as fermentability goes.
  • Once mashing is completed, do the runoff in about 10 minutes. Do not run off too quickly.
  • Keep good notes!
  • Second batch of water (in a batch sparge) should be at 78C/173F.
  • Do about 15 litres for the second batch, but go by gut feel.
  • Hop additions are best done according to a strict schedule. If dealing with Pilsner malt, do a 90 minute boil, with bittering hops thrown in at the beginning. Flavour hops go in at 10 minutes left, aroma hops 1 minute left.
  • Measure out the hops as the wort is coming up to a boil temperature, and have all additions ready to go when the bittering hops go in. Use your timer!
  • Be ready to add the Irish moss or Whirlfloc tabs at the same time as the flavour hops.
  • Be ready to put the wort chiller in as soon as the hop schedule is done. Start getting it ready as soon as you add in the flavour hops.
  • Keep track of the water flow. Not too fast and not too slow. Keep an eye on the wort temperature and stop when it gets to 37C/98F.
  • When the wort is cool enough, pour from the kettle to a sanitized brew bucket, at least three times. This is better than aerating with pure O2.
  • Don’t forget to take a gravity reading with your refractometer!
  • Be ready to pitch the yeast as soon as the third aerating pour is done.

And you know what? That’s about it. It’s not that hard. For most of the process it just goes on its own with very little input from me. Large gaps of time are available when I do basically nothing (waiting for strike water to boil, waiting time for mash, waiting for second batch to come up to temp, waiting for the majority of the boil to occur). That’s okay, as that is part of the brewing process. As long as I am paying attention to the CCP listed above, and am ready for the next step, and carry it out, the beer will be fine. Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew, as a wise man once said!

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Ardennes Belgian Ale

10 lbs Pilsner malt
1.5 lbs CaraMunich
1 lb cane sugar
1.5 oz Styrian Goldings @ 5% aa – 90 mins
0.75 oz Styrian Goldings @ 5% aa – 10 mins
0.75 oz Styrian Goldings @ 5% aa – 1 min
Mash at 152F for 60 minutes.
Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes yeast
OG = 1.053
FG = 1.014
ABV = 5.1%
10 SRM
31 IBU
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DAB

A fine example of a Dortmunder export lager

23 litres/6 US gallons

8 lbs / 3.6 kg Pilsner malt
3 lbs / 1.35 kg Munich malt

1 tsp Irish moss – 15 mins

50 g Northern Brewer @ 8.5% aa – 90 mins

Saflager W-34/70 or Wyeast 2124 Bohemian lager

Mash @ 151F – 60 mins

Ferment @ 10-15C then lager at 10C for two months.

OG = 1.048
FG = 1.011
ABV = 5.0%
IBU = 30
SRM = 5

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Hook Norton Hooky

Hook Norton Hooky is a tasty golden session bitter.

23 litres/6 US gallons

5 lbs 10 oz / 2.55 kg British pale malt
0.75 lbs / 340 g flaked maize
10 oz / 270 g white sugar
7 oz / 200 g Crystal 60L
1 oz / 28 g black malt

1 tsp Irish moss – 15 mins

24 g Challenger @ 7.5% aa – 90 mins
7 g Fuggles @ 5.5% aa – 10 mins

Windsor ale yeast

Mash @ 151F – 90 mins

OG = 1.035
FG = 1.007
ABV = 3.6%
IBU = 22
SRM = 14

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Leffe Blonde

Ok, so we’ve been jumping around from one Leffe Blonde clone recipe to another. But eventually we settled on one and this is it. For now.

10 lbs / 4.5 kg German pilsner malt
1 lb / 450 g light Munich malt
5 oz / 140 g biscuit malt
3 oz / 85 g melanoidin malt

1 lb cane sugar – 15 mins

1.25 oz Styrian Goldings @ 6.5% – 90 mins
0.75 oz Styrian Goldings @6.5% – 15 mins

Wyeast 1762 – Belgian Abbey II

OG = 1.067
FG = 1.016
ABV = 6.5%
IBU = 33
SRM = 5

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1992 Maclay’s Scotch Ale

23 litres/6 US gallons

11 lbs / 5 kg British pale malt
0.75 lbs / 340 g Crystal 60L

1 tsp Irish moss – 15 mins

21 g Fuggles @ 5.5% aa – 90 mins
21 g Fuggles @ 5.5% aa – 60 mins
21 g EKG @5.0% aa – 30 mins

Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale

Mash @ 151F – 90 mins

OG = 1.050
FG = 1.016
ABV = 4.5%
IBU = 28
SRM = 8

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Trois Pistoles

Trois Pistoles is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale style beer brewed by Unibroue in Chambly, Quebec.

23 litres/6 US gallons

12.25 lbs / 5.55 kg Belgian Pilsner malt
9 oz / 255 g Crystal 60L
9 oz / 255 g Cara-Munich
4 oz / 113 g biscuit malt
1.5 oz / 42 g chocolate malt
1 lb / 454 g dark candi sugar
1 lb / 454 g Lyle’s Golden Syrup

35 g Styrian Goldings @ 5.4% aa – 60 mins
14 g Styrian Goldings @ 5.4% aa – 10 mins
1/8 tsp anise – 1o mins
1/4 oz bitter orange peel – 10 mins

7 g Saaz – 2 mins

Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale or Wyeast 3864 Canadian/Belgian

Mash @ 149F – 90 mins

OG = 1.086
FG = 1.014
ABV = 9.0%
IBU = 25
SRM = 28

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La Fin du Monde


This Canadian beer from Unibroue is basically a Belgian tripel. It’s a strong beer at 9% abv, and is yeasty, estery and absolutely delicious. La Fin du Monde has earned more medals and awards, including some of the world’s highest honors, than any other Canadian beer.

5 US gallons / 19 litres

10 lbs / 4.5 kg Pilsner malt
2 lbs / 908 g malted wheat
1 lb / 454 g caravienne
1 lb / 454 g crystal 20L
8 oz / 227 g Belgian candi syrup

1.25 oz Styrian Goldings @ 5.3% aa – 60 mins
0.75 oz Styrian Goldings @ 5.3% aa – 15 mins

Wyeast Canadian/Belgian 3864

Mash at 152F – 90 mins

OG = 1.087
FG = 1.020
ABV = 8.7%
IBU = 23
SRM = 7

 

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