Friday, August 26, 2011

What to Brew?

I mentioned on Wednesday that I am planning to brew this Sunday, usually I brew on Saturdays but this weekend I am working the tasting room at Starr Hill - if you're out and about, escaping from the coming hurricane for example, pop by and say hello, try some beer and buy some merchandise!

The question of what to brew has been going round and round my head all week. Here's the issue, I have a hefty stash of dark malts that need using, caramels of varying degrees, chocolate, chocolate wheat, bits of this and that. Obviously then I could just brew a dark ale, but I have a cellar full of dark ales, having just bottled more porter and a "dark" mild (I don't think it is particularly dark, or mild for that matter).

I thought then, what better than to ask for suggestion from the many fine people that read this blog? So here goes, I will be buying more base malt this afternoon, Golden Promise if the local homebrew place has some, Maris Otter if not, and the list below is what I have in stock and that isn't already spoken for:

  • 2lb 8oz Briess Caramel 80
  • 9oz Simpsons Chocolate
  • 12oz Weyermann Chocolate Wheat
  • 12oz Simpsons Peated Malt
  • 5oz Briess Caramel 120
  • 5oz Saaz
  • 1oz Unknown, possibly Goldings – unlabeled prize from Dominion Cup
  • 1oz First Gold
  • Nottingham Dried Yeast
  • Wyeast Biere de Garde
  • Wyeast French Saison
  • Safale 04 Dried Yeast – Whitbread
One of the reasons I am only buying base malt this afternoon is that I want to get through the malts that are knocking about before buying more. Also please keep in mind that I only brew 2.5 gallon batches, so rather than specific recipes, percentages and IBU ratings works better.

Have at it good people!


  1. Maybe a Smoked Saison with a stupidly massive Saaz dry hop (I don't do ounces but something like 100g in 2 gallons). 5% Peated Malt, 2% of the caramel 80 and use the first gold to get to 25 ibu with an OG of 1.050 ish?

  2. hmmm.... tough call. There are a lot of darker malts there but your already have a cellar full of darker beers. Hmmm, how about:

    3% caramel 80
    3% caramel 120
    3% chocolate
    2-3% peated malt (just enough to give something interesting in combo with the caramel and late hops)
    base malt brings it to 100%
    don't ask me why they are all 3%... it just seemed right

    Mash around 68C (154F)

    OG around 1.055-1.060

    bitter with whatever to about 35-40 IBU and do a couple late additions of the mystery hop. Maybe 30g (1oz) at 15min and another 30g at 5min or flameout.

    Ferment with the french saison.

  3. sorry... that bittering addition should only be around 25-30 IBU now that I look at it again

  4. There is never such a thing as too much mild. However, an 'Irish Red' might be a nice change of pace for the fall.

    O.G: 1.045, 12-14 SRM, 20 IBU

    90% Maris Otter/Golden Promise
    5% Crystal 80L
    3% Crystal 120L
    1-2% Chocolate malt

    Goldings or First Gold at 60min for 20 IBU

    S04 yeast fermented cool (64F).

  5. Golden Promise/Marris Otter, a good bit of peated malt, a little caramel 80 —for the vanilla note—and the possible Goldings/First Golds might lead to a nice, earthy homage to a beery scotch whisky. The Saison yeast might add some spicy peppery citrus notes, too.


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