Posts tagged ‘honey’

The Brewery is Finally Operational!


My dad is up at Overlake Hospital right now. I took my brand new iPod Mega (I refuse to call e product by its trade name…) up to show off. He snapped the picture here and said “this is how I fell right now.”

Anyway, it has been over 6 months since the last brew, so I finally unpacked the rest of the brewing equipment and am making some beer. In honor of dad’s recent surgery – we get Twisted Intestines Ale. Here’s the recipe:

Based off of Nightengale’s Honey Ale

Style: Kolsch
Type: All Grain Calories: 206
Rating: 4.0 Efficiency: 85 %
IBU’s: 17.52 Boil Size: 11.19 Gal
Color: 5.4 SRM Batch Size: 10.00 Gal
Boil Time: 60 minutes
Estimated Actual
Brew Date: – 05/07/2011
OG: 1.063 1.061
FG: 1.016 –
ABV: 6.16 % – %
Serve Date: 05/28/2011 / /

Fermentation Steps
Name Days / Temp Estimated Actual
Primary 7 days @ 68.0°F 05/07/2011 05/07/2011
Bottle/Keg 14 days @ 54.0°F 05/14/2011 –

Grains & Adjuncts
Amount Percentage Name Gravity Color
10.40 lbs 53.61 % Pale Malt (2 Row) US 1.036 2.0
1.40 lbs 7.22 % Honey Malt 1.037 25.0
1.60 lbs 8.25 % White Wheat Malt 1.040 2.4
6.00 lbs 30.93 % Honey 1.035 1.0

Amount IBU’s Name Time AA %
2.00 ozs 17.52 Cascade 54 mins 5.50

Amount Name Laboratory / ID
1.0 pkg Kolsch Yeast Wyeast Labs 2565


Mash Profile
Medium Body Infusion In 80 min @ 154.0°F
Add 16.75 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 171.9°F
Sparge 35.57 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins

The water was at 172 deg. When I dumped the grain in, it settled out to about 159. 5 degrees too high. Added cold water to get to 156. Version: 1.440


The boil is at 30 minutes, I’m wrapping up pretty early today, pretty awesome considering I had to give everything a good scrub before I used any of it.


May 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Spiced Apple Cyser

I made the cyser a couple of days ago. Nothing too crazy, here’s what I ended up with:


Spice Apple Cyser


2.5 Gallons Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
4 lbs Clover Honey (from Costco)
Water to fill my 3 gallon carboy
Lalvin K1-V1116 Yeast reconstituted in a cup of water (80°) with a tablespoon of sugar

I will add nutmeg, clove and cinnamon to the secondary.


This time I went the path of least resistance. I just dumped the cider in the carboy, followed by the honey, followed by some water to fill, followed by the yeast. No heating or anything. It was awesome, it took like 10 minutes, but it led to a lot of shaking. What I mean is that if you poor honey in at 60°, it won’t mix with anything without a lot of force. But a good 5 minutes of shaking and it seemed that the yeast did the rest of the work for me.


Brewed 10/13/09
OG: 1.095

It smells wonderful and I am anxiously awaiting my first chance to give it a try!

The ferment just finished up a couple of days ago. It’s sitting at about 0.990 for the FG. That’s what I call bone dry. So I will rack it off, sulfate it to attempt to settle out any remaining yeast, and then add more honey to back sweeten it. I’ve never tried to kill a fermentation before, so I will keep you updated on how it goes. There’s nothing like exploding bottles of what is supposed to be a “still” drink.

October 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm 1 comment

Nightengale Honey Ale – Batch 010

Well, this is batch number 10. It’s hard to believe it’s only been that many. So in my quest for a light yet flavorful honey lager, I’ve changed names from SB² to Nightengale Honey Ale. I think that the name needed to reflect the presence of honey, and a reference to a visionary leader, Florence Nightengale, to truly shine.

Here’s the recipe:

Date: Mar 27

5 lbs 2-row Malt
1 lb Crystal-10 Malt
1/2 lb Honey Malt
3 1/2 lbs Clover Honey

2 oz. Cascade Plug hops @ 60 min
1/2 oz. dried sweet orange peel @ 15 min
1 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min

San Fran Lager Yeast (Steam Beer Yeast) (Wyeast liquid yeast)

I did a single step mash because I did this batch after work and didn’t have a bunch of time to get it done: 75 min at 155°. I sparged with 175 degree water (5 gallons). I boiled in the keggle for 60 minutes, adding the hops and orange in there, and then cooled it and pitched the yeast at 70 degrees.

It was a real pain draining the keg after boiling – I forgot to put in the copper mesh strainer on the inside, and so the drain got plugged by hops and I had to just dump the liquid out the top, which made a wonderful mess. I won’t forget that again. But at least this time I did end up with 6 gallons after my boil, a little more than I needed, which was perfect.

The OG was 1045, which is exactly what SB² was – I’m excited to give it a month and see how it tastes!

March 29, 2008 at 1:37 am 1 comment

Tension Tamer Metheglin – Batch 008

I finally got up the supplies and urge to do another batch of mead. I should mention that I tried a little bit of the Sweet Raspberry Mead when my brother and his wife came to town and it is so good! I cannot wait for it to age a few years, it will only get better. I will have to make another 3 gallons soon.

On to the metheglin:
Tension Tamer Tea

I love Celestial Seasonings tea. So why not make a mead out of it? Here’s the recipe for 3 gallons of mead:

3½  lbs orange blossom honey
3 lbs wildflower honey
24  tension tamer tea bags
1 tsp yeast nutrient
½ tsp yeast energizer
Lalvin EC-1118
water to make 3 gallons

I used the heat pasteurization method. I brought 2½ gallons of water to a boil for 10 minutes. I then removed it from the heat and added the honey along with the nutrient and energizer. I then let this sit for 30 minutes to pasteurize. During this time I added the tea, 12 bags at a time, for 7 minutes each. I took a reading with the hydrometer to find the OG at 1.077.

I didn’t think ahead enough to make a starter, so I settled for re-hydrating the yeast at 100° for 15 min while I cooled the must with my wort cooler. I cooled it to 68° and pitched the yeast. That’s all there is to it! I may try bottling it in about 2-3 months instead of waiting longer. This after hearing that Redstone Meadery only ages their nectars for 3 months before bottling.

I think I may have to make another batch of mead soon, perhaps another melomel. It goes fast after I start to share it!

March 17, 2008 at 10:20 am 2 comments

006, Alex’s Hard Lemonade (Better Name Pending)

I decided to give the lemonade a try. I didn’t really want to squeeze fresh lemons, but did want some good lemonade, so I took a trip to Whole Foods and got to shopping. The only fresh lemonade they had was the Whole Foods brand, 365, Pasteurized Lemonade. I got 1 Gallon Fresh Lemonade. I also scored about 9 lbs. of honey there, in the bulk foods section, for cheaper than the homebrew store can do ($2.29/lb instead of $2.50)! They also had three choices instead of just one – wildflower, clover, and something else. Sweet!

Anyway, I got home and whipped up a starter that consisted of 3/4 cup DME, about 1/3 gallon water, and and a packet of Lavlin EC-1118 (Champagne Yeast). 24 hours later, it was nicely bubbling away, so I sanitized the primary (a 3 gallon stainless steel pot) and got to work.

I added the lemonade along with 1/2 lb. Corn Sugar, and mixed them up. Along with it, I added my yeast starter. The total volume of the starter was just under 1/2 gallon giving me a total volume of about 1.5 gallons. I’ll let it sit and see how it does!


racked to secondary and recorded SG at 1.014


bottled. I did it a little bit hap-hazardously though. I added 3/16 cup priming sugar straight in (I was too lazy to boil it). I also added a little of the raspberry mead in there because it sounded good. It didn’t taste all that great either. I even forgot to take a reading on it. Oh well, it has to be about the same, as I saw no bubbles come out since I racked it.

February 27, 2008 at 10:15 am 2 comments

My First Brewing Experience – Batch 001

My first batch of homebrew was supposed to be a medium sweet show mead. The recipe was adapted from THE essential book on making mead: the compleat Meadmaker by Ken Schramm. This book is clear enough for beginners and has all the information you need for years of creative meadmaking. The recipe I adapted was the Medium-Sweet Orange Blossom mead described on page 30. However, I decided to make only a 3 gallon batch, seeing as this was my first adventure, and honey is expensive.


Here is the recipe I used to create F I R E M E A D :

9 lbs. Gulimette’s Busy Bees Cascade Fireweed Honey (from a small stand in Lynden, WA)
2.4 Gallons of water (filtered with a Brita pitcher)
1.2 tsp nutrient
0.6 tsp energizer
WYEAST 4184 (Sweet Mead Yeast) (Smack Pack)

The method I used is simply as follows:

  • The yeast smackpack was brought to room temperature and prepared per the instructions on the package.
  • The water and honey were heated to 155° & left for 10 minutes to pasteurize.
  • The must (honey and water) was then cooled to 80 degrees and the yeast was pitched after oxidizing the must (stirring it up vigorously)
  • This mix was then siphoned into a 2.8 gallon carboy to ferment.
  • OG (original gravity) was measured to be 1.110

I did have trouble getting this brew to ferment, I’m not sure why, but on March 11, the specific gravity had only dropped to 1.094, and so I decided to pitch more yeast. I chose Rad Star Pasteur Champagne yeast because it is good at unsticking stuck fermentations. I pitched two packets that had been rehydrated in 105º water. This did the trick as it began bubbling shortly after.

June 6, 2007

Mead was racked off of yeast into secondary fermenter. SG (specific Gravity) was found to be 1.022 (and was largely completed at this point. I was surprised that it stopped here considering that I added champagne yeast capable of up to 20% tolerance. But I was very satisfied, because I wanted a sweet mead anyway.

October 1, 2007

Mead was bottled with a FG of 1.020.

Tasting notes:

  • As a first attempt, this stuff is good.
  • with a couple of months in the bottle, it interestingly developed an effervescence. I suppose there was some dormant yeast that got kicked up during bottling.
  • The mead has a strong yeasty taste, probably associated with the fact that I left it in the primary for way too long (almost 3 months).

So this was my first mead experience (and the only one to date that is in the bottle). I was very happy to have it be the least bit drinkable, and it is much more than just that!

Some day I will add pictures to the site, but currently I have no camera. Damn airports.

January 6, 2008 at 11:56 pm 1 comment

Feelin' The Love

  • 98,759 people love the homebrew

The Cellar

Raspberry Brown

Sweet Raspberry Mead
Tension Tamer Mead
Ginger Mead
Raspberry Peach Mead
Imperial Stout

Flanders Brown


Barley Wine

Top Clicks

  • None

%d bloggers like this: