Double The Pleasure! Double the Fun!

Double brew day today! I’m doing a 10 gallon batch where I will boil 10 gallons for an hour, drain half of the wort, and boil the remaining wort for another hour.

It’s going to be a 60-/ Scottish Ale for the lighter bit and a Wee Heavy for the stronger version. I also took the first two gallons off before boiling and refrigerated them. I will boil that down into a syrup and add it to the wee heavy on Saturday. I’m pretty excited to see if this works out. I am always making 10 gallons, so they might as well be a couple of different beers. I got inspired by a Zymrugy article on the subject.

Here is the stats:

Smoked Wee Heavy/Light Scotch Ale
Strong Scotch Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 9/15/2010
Batch Size: 11.00 gal Brewer: Alex Shafer
Boil Size: 17.08 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 120 min Equipment: Shafer Lab Setup
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 82.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
30 lbs ESB Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 93.02 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Cherry Smoked Malt (Briess) (5.0 SRM) Grain 3.88 %
1 lbs Caramunich Malt (45.0 SRM) Grain 3.10 %
0.30 oz Chinook [13.10 %] (60 min) Hops 5.8 IBU
1.00 oz Magnum [13.70 %] (60 min) Hops 20.3 IBU
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale
1 Pkgs Scottish Ale (Wyeast Labs #1728) [Starter 1500 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.083 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.010 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.021 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.11 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 0.65 %
Bitterness: 26.2 IBU Calories: 43 cal/pint
Est Color: 8.6 SRM Color:

Mash Profile
Mash Name: My Mash Total Grain Weight: 32.25 lb
Sparge Water: 11.12 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
My Mash
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Infusion Add 39.32 qt of water at 167.4 F 155.0 F
0 min Mash Out Heat to 170.0 F over 20 min 170.0 F
120 min boil, and the first two gallons collected were set aside to boil down and put into the wee heavy later. Will drain 5 gallons at 60 minutes and continue the boil the additional hour.

Light scotch: 16.25 Brix OG

Cheers to double beers!!


September 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

Double High Pumpkin Pie Ale

I absolutely love pumpkin beer. This one is my first of the year, hopefully I will get a couple more in before the season is over!
Double High Pumpkin Pie Wit
Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
Type: All Grain Date: 9/12/2010
Batch Size: 11.00 gal Brewer: Alex Shafer
Boil Size: 13.44 gal Asst Brewer: Mike Allen
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment:
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
18 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 82.76 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3.45 %
12.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 3.45 %
12.0 oz Wheat Malt (1.6 SRM) Grain 3.45 %
1.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 12.8 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (10 min) Hops 3.1 IBU
0.33 cup Nutmeg (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
4.00 items Cinnamon Stick (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
8.00 items Cloves, Whole (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
56.00 oz Pumpkin (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
1 lbs 8.0 oz Brown Sugar, Dark (50.0 SRM) Sugar 6.90 %
1 Pkgs Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) [Starter 1500 ml] Yeast-Wheat
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.059 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.057 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.000 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.80 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.43 %
Bitterness: 15.9 IBU Calories: 246 cal/pint
Est Color: 14.1 SRM Color:

Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body Total Grain Weight: 20.25 lb
Sparge Water: 8.53 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Single Infusion, Light Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 30.38 qt of water at 169.6 F 159.0 F
10 min Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 2 min 168.0 F

September 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Monk’y Tripel

Monks are awesome. The first thing that comes to my head when I think about monks is Monty Python, when they are walking through the city chanting, and whacking themselves on the head with a big plank. Probably not an image blessed by the pope, but…what are you going to do. Well, the images of people whacking themselves on the head is good inspiration in my book, and it lead me to this simple tripel recipe. Probably a shade too dark to actually call a tripel, yet too light to call a dark strong, this one lies in purgatory, waiting for its time to be drank. Recipe after the break… (more…)

August 2, 2010 at 9:13 am Leave a comment

Summer Time Calls for Summer Beer

It’s been up in the 90’s in Seattle which means that Summertime has officially hit (although it was terribly late this year…) Therefore, it was time to break ou the old standby: Nightengale’s Honey Ale. This beer is the epitome of lawnmower beers – light and refreshing with a hint of honey o make it special. This isn’t quite a session beer however, it rings in at about 5.5% ABV and can knock you off balance quickly if you’re not careful.

I didn’t modify the recipe too much except that I used Citra hops instead of Cascade. Here’s the recipe:

Nightingale’s Honey Ale
Specialty Beer
Type: All Grain Date: 7/11/2010
Batch Size: 11.00 gal Brewer: Alex Shafer
Boil Size: 13.14 gal
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Alex’s Setup

Brewhouse Efficiency: 81
Amount Item Type % or IBU
10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 52.63 %
1 lbs 9.6 oz Wheat Malt (1.6 SRM) Grain 8.42 %
1 lbs 6.4 oz Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 7.37 %
1.20 oz Citra [11.70 %] (60 min) Hops 26.2 IBU
6 lbs Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 31.58 %
1 Pkgs Kolsch Yeast (Wyeast Labs #2565) [Starter 50 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.054 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.060 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.32 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.52 %
Bitterness: 26.2 IBU Calories: 266 cal/pint
Est Color: 5.0 SRM Color:

Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 13.00 lb
Sparge Water: 11.44 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 16.25 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 21.6 PSI Carbonation Used:
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

I’m hoping to have this fermented and on tap for Saturday. We’ll see how that goes.

July 11, 2010 at 6:17 pm Leave a comment

About Propane as it applies to Brewing Beer

I recently built a brewstand, if you are interested, check it out here: Brewstand. For the stand, I had initially thought that I would have a separate propane tank for each burner. This was mostly for simplicity’s sake, but also because I knew that if you drive one propane tank too hard, it cannot keep up. If you have ever been hitting a tank on full blast, you’ll notice condensation build up, and eventually freezing to the side of the tank. This is the result of a reaction in which the propane turns from liquid (in the tank) to gas (in the burner). The byproduct of this conversion is heat loss. The propane will drop from room temperature to below zero fairly quickly if you are using a large amount of it. As the temperature of the liquid drops, the pressure of the tank goes down and down, until you can no longer get the pressure you need to adequately keep the burners flowing. This is why I had initially though I would do a separate tank for each burner, so that this would not be an issue.

But 3 tanks seems a bit over the top, so after some though, I decided I would do two: one for the boil kettle (BK), and another for the mash tun (MT) and the hot liquor tank (HLT). I decided this because I know that I will never have a full burner going for the HLT and the MT at the same time, or if I do, it would be for a breif period of time (never over 10 minutes). Therefore, I decided that one propane tank would be sufficient.

The next step was to figure out how to get two burners to draw from the same propane cylinder. I had seen a couple of brewstands that use black steel pipe, so I decided that was the way to go. I went down to Lowes, and talked to the dude in the piping section (always a bad idea), and he sent me away to a propane specialty store. I went there, and they weren’t able to help much. So I decided to head back to Lowes and try to put it together myself. And it turns out your local box store is going to have eveything you need to put this thing together. Basically, this is what my manifold was comprised of:

  1. The first (and most important) piece is the propane regulator. This is the hose that goes from the propane tank to the piping. I made the mistake of buying one at the box store, only to find out that a normal barbecue regulator only delivers 0.5 PSI. This is not nearly enough to drive two burners! You need to find a regulator that is 20-30 PSI to run two high BTU burners. I am running 70,000 BTU burners, and so 20PSI was plenty for me. You’ll want to check, but the most common connection on the end of these is a 3/8″ male flare fitting. I got mine on amazon.
  2. So you need an adapter from 3/8″ flare to 1/2″ MIP. This will plug the regulator into the black steel pipe.
  3. From there you will need a ‘T’ fitting, followed by two 1/2″ valves rated for use with gas.
  4. After the valve (which you want as close to the burners as you can get them), you will need another adapter that goes from 1/2″ MIP to 3/8″ flare fittings again.
  5. Again, check on this one, but the adapter that my burners came with are 3/8″ flare. You do need propane specific adapters for the connection to the burner, otherwise you won’t get a proper flow. These adapters have a very narrow tube so that the propane is pushed out forcefully so that it makes it around your burner. I initially tried to use 1/4″ black steel pipe into the burners, and that did not work, you must have the proper propane fitting here. Mine came with the burners when I bought them. I got these from I bought the BURNER CAST LOW PRESURE MULTI-HOLE 6″ which work great, but I would actually recommend you buy the CAST IRON HIGH PRESSURE BURNER because it has a higher BTU output for less money.

The most important part of working with black steel piping is to make sure that you wrench down the pipe really well. When you get it all put together, turn on the propane full blast and then spray on soapy water (I used my kid’s bubble mix) on all the joints and make sure there are no leaks.

All the black steel piping you could want is available at your local box store, just don’t ask anyone that works there, unless you’ve had success with that person in the past. Anyway, I just fired up my burners for the first time tonight after working out all of the leaks:

July 7, 2010 at 10:06 pm 1 comment

I promised some pictures…

Well, I’ve gone from humble beginnings to a pretty sweet setup over the last year. I wanted to show off a bit of what I have now. Lots of pictures of what I spend all of my free time creating after the break.

Continue Reading July 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

From Virtual to Material

The Beer Sculpture is now nearly complete. All of my beer funds and energy have gone into this project for a couple of months now. I picked up the metal at my local hardware store and welded it at my parent’s house. My dad just recently bought a Oxy Acetylene torch and we decided that this would be a glorious first project. And it was! It has gone wonderfully. Pictures to follow, but it is mostly put together now with only a propane regulator to wait for before the initial brew on the new system can commence!

July 3, 2010 at 1:08 am Leave a comment

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