Monthly Archives January 2004

Mike’s Homebrewing Page

Welcome to my Homebrewing page!

I hope you will find something here that helps you in your own brewing, or that you might find interesting.

I have been brewing since 1998, and have progressed from Extract Brewing to Extract with Grain on my 3rd batch to All Grain on my 25th batch about a year and a half after I started brewing. I have increased my knowledge of brewing over the years and served two years as the local homebrewing club’s, CARBOY, Education Vice-President. Since I began brewing, I have won several awards in competition for my beers, and I have taken and passed the BJCP exam to become a Beer Judge and currently I am ranked as a Certified Beer Judge and after a few more judging points will be ranked National. In 2002, I came in third for North Carolina Brewer of the Year. I generally brew multiple batches on the same day with different mashes to end up with two to four 5-gallon batches at the end of the day. I prefer variety, and if I brew a recipe twice, I usually tweak it some the second time around. I post frequently on rec.crafts.brewing, and I lurk around on the HBD and Brews&Views as well as many other homebrewing and beer sites.

Below are some pages about my brewing equipment and techniques.

Fermentation and Serving – I think I am unique in this aspect. I know a few folks with more elaborate systems, and some with similar equipment, but I cannot think of anyone with more flexibility and variety.

Inexpensive Rectangular Mash Tun – This is the mash tun I started with, and still use to this day. It generally runs in the 80-85% efficiency, and I think once you see the simplicity and low cost of it, you will no longer be scared of the potential costs people often associate with All Grain equipment.

Malt Mill and Large Hopper – This is my malt mill that I motorized, and the large hopper I made for it. I wrote an indepth article about motorizing a mill that you can link to.

Propane Burner conversion for Sanke Kettle – This is how I made a three legged propane burner work for my converted Sanke kettle which was originally too large in diameter to fit on the burner.

Setup and Mashing Techniques – This is a rundown of my brewing setup, and the techniques I use to make the brew day more productive.

Starters and Pressure Canning Wort – This is how I make starters and the procedure I use for pressure canning wort for starters.

Freezing Yeast – This is my method from freezing yeast and then bringing them back to life.

Measurement Devices – This page details some information on Thermometers, Hydrometers, and Refractometers.

Counter Pressure Bottle Filler – This is my filler that I designed.

Great Taste of the Midwest 2003 – Twelve of us from North Carolina made the trek to the Great Taste in Madison, WI. This is highlights of that trip!

Here are several articles I have written.

Building a Keg Pressure Tester – This is a device all people who are kegging must either purchase or make. It is the only way you can insure the pressure in your keg is exact. (Word version)

Cleaner or Sanitizer? – This article lists a majority of the cleaners and sanitizers on the market and their recommended concentrations to properly do the job. (It is about midway through the newsletter or Word version.)

The Brewing Library – This is a list of the publications you might want to get to establish a decent brewing library. (It is about midway through the newsletter)

Motorizing a Malt Mill – An indepth article on how to go about motoring your mill. The article should be applicable to any type of mill that can be motorized. (Word version)

Yeast Washing, Quick and Dirty – An article taken from the information on the Wyeast website, and an old article by Robert Arguello. (Word version)

Cleaning and Rebuilding Ball Lock Kegs – A slightly dated article but with good information. It should be updated to suggest cleaning with Straight-A, and sanitizing with StarSan. (Word version)

Lubricants for Keg Parts – An article describing what “keg lube” is and might be.

Base Malt Steeping Experiment – An article on whether base malts can be steeped or not. I conclude they must be mashed, and not simply steeped.

Below are links to many of my recipes that have done well for me in various competitions.

(The recipe Aye Corona was meant to be a crowd pleaser for a party, and has become a favorite of many of my homebrewing friends, some who brew it fairly often.)

Fuggled Up Pale – ESB recipe I brewed to get rid of a plethora of Fuggle Hops, 5 gallon recipe.

140/- Shilling Historical Scottish Ale (1850) – Very strong historical Wee Heavy, 3 gallon recipe.

IP Freely – IPA recipe that was brewed to get rid of Cascade Hops, 10 gallon recipe.

Klassic Kolsch – Very good Kolsch recipe, 5 gallon recipe.

Altstadt Alt – Very good Dusseldorf Altbier, 5 gallon recipe.

Red Mild – Very good mild that uses quite of bit of cane sugar, 5 gallon recipe.

Bigfoot + – Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Clone that doesn’t miss by much, 5 gallon recipe.

Weizenbock Party – Helles Weizenbock that is excellent, though very light, 5 gallon recipe.

Historical Porter – My first shot at what a historical Porter would been like, and a great beer, 5 gallon recipe.

Spaten + – A decent Oktoberfest/Maerzen recipe, 5 gallon recipe.

Red Ryder – A California Common recipe originally given to me by Mike D’Brewer, 5 gallon recipe.

MD CAP – My Classic American Pilsner recipe, 5 gallon recipe.

Berlin-Er-We-I-See – My Berliner Weisse recipe, 5 gallon recipe.

Wit or Witout – My Belgian Wit recipe, 5 gallon recipe.

Now We’re A Bruin – My Oud Bruin recipe, 5 gallon recipe.

Mike’s Hard Lemonade – An experiment that got out of hand, 5 gallon recipe.

SinSaisonal – A very good Saison, 5 gallon recipe.

Aye Corona – A no style beer that is a crowd pleaser. Plenty of alcohol, and a really nice finish. You can increase hops and other ingredients as you please. The key to this beer is the corn, the honey malt, the mash temp, and the yeast. 5 gallon recipe.

Historical Recipes
Below are a list of the Historical Recipes I have brewed and some notes about them.
A few appear above and have won awards in competition, but most were brewed just to see how beers you cannot purchase today would have tasted originally.

1908 Kentucky Common – This recipe is a naturally soured brown ale that was brewed in Kentucky around the turn of the century. I decided to go the route of yogurt to sour the mash, if I made it again, I would use grain. It is a quite refreshing, slightly sour brew that was a favorite of many.

1837 Historical IPA – This recipe was send to me by Andy Davison before I had a copy of Old British Beers and How to Brew Them. It is an 1837 IPA recipe. It uses nothing but pale malt, and the original hops were Kent Goldings. I substituted Fuggle for bittering, and used Kent Golding for aroma and dry hopping. The beer is surprisingly balanced and very good.

1850 Historical Scottish 140/- – A recipe from Noonan’s style book. This beer is only a 3 gallon recipe and requires a large amount of malt, and caramelizing the first runnings. It only gets better with age, and stands the test of time as good as any strong beer. It is a very potent brew.

Historical Porter – When reading the book on Porter, I decided to try and brew one based upon the recipes and descriptions given in the book. This was and excellent beer, and one I will try again.

Classic American Pilsner – This is a pre-prohibition recipe. CAP only exists in homebrewing, and this recipe is a good one for the style. In 2000 CARBOY brewed a commercial sized batch of CAP for NHD. The details on that can be found here NHD2000.

Beer Judge Exam Study Aids – BeerStud
In our area we have a YahooGroups site that has many good links and lots of files that help brewers prepare for the BJCP exam. (Current BJCP Exam Schedule) If you are interested you would need to join the group. It is called BeerStud and to be included, you would need to send an e-mail to BeerStud to join, and give your name and city/state in the body of the e-mail. Once signed up, you can change the format, to read on the web, digest, etc. If you are not going to take the exam when given in our area, I suggest you change your format to digest.

Here are some Palm versions of the BJCP Study Guide and the BJCP Style Guidelines. These will require an E-book reader to view. I use CSpotRun.