Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap Exchange 8

We are tasting homebrew from our wonderful subscribers again! This week its two beers from Andy Podnar in Arizona. We sample his Weizenbeer and a Pilsner-esque Ale. SWEET!!!

Two beers came in from Arizona, the first we tasted was a Weizen style (recipe below).

This beer was medium to low body. The color was yellow with slight haze. The carbonation was spot on and good for the style. This beer presented clean and tasted great. The abundance of German variety malts and hops in the recipe makes me think that a German Wheat was being targeted. John however felt that the overall yeast profile was more subdued and suggested more of an American Wheat result. In the end it was still a great beer. It would be interesting to see how the beer would do entered into both the Weizen and the American Wheat categories of a competition.

Second beer up was a Pilsner inspired ale recipe. This beer again presented with slight haze. It had an gold ro off copper hue to it. Very nice appearance. The carbonation was about the same as the Weizen beer. This beer had a definite malt forward backbone. The use of some Vienna and a generous hand of C60L is certainly driving the flavor profile. The was a touch of flaked maize in this beer which had us thinking. There as a bit more than expect of an corn aroma in the beer and in the flavor. I wonder if it was a weak finish to the ferment or a premature ferment that went to secondary. A day after shooting this video I began to also consider the idea that while the beer shipped warm across the country it is possible that some diacetyl formed along the trip. That can happen in the packaging even if it doesn’t present during bottling. A good test would be to leave a bottle in the Arizona warm room temperature climate for a few days. Then chill it and sample. I’d be interested to hear if the beer didn’t present as corn like prior to shipping.

Thanks so much to Andy (Gila River Brewer) for sharing his beers with us. Hopefully he enjoys the Nordic Ale I send him (got to get on that).


6 Lbs. German Malted Wheat
3 Lbs. Briess Bavarian Wheat DME
2ozs. Hallertau hop pellets
Safale K-97/ Single stage unfiltered
Mashed grains at 152-155F for 1 hr.
Sparged grain with 1 gal. at 160F
Boiled 60 min.
1oz Hallertau for 60 min.
.5oz Hallertau for 15 min.
.5oz Hallertau for 5 min.

Pils Ale
2.5 Gal./ 60 min. Extract with Specialty Grain
Bottled 5/27/16
OG 1.058
FG 1.013
5.9 ABV

3 Lbs. Briess Pilsen DME
.5 Lbs. Crystal 60L
.25 Lbs. Flaked Maize
.25 Lbs. Vienna Malted
1oz. Tettnang hop pellets
1oz. Hallertau hop pellets
“Yes… I am very fond of Hallertau.”
Safale US-05/ Single stage unfiltered
Mashed grains at 155F for 30 min.
1oz. Tettnang for 60 min
1oz. Hallertau for 5 min

Brown Ale and High Final Gravity

Its another one of Mike’s beers this week. We sample a re-brewed version of his brown ale and discuss a secret problem in his brewhouse.

I confess that I have had several beers over the last couple months that just refused to ferment out and attenuate as much as I would have liked. The primary issue I think can be tracked to some issues with my mashing setup.

My direct fired mash tun works great for the most part. It heats up strike water fast and I get great efficiency with my wort recirculation. The problem is holding a constant mash temp. Until recently, I didn’t have any insulation or a lid on the MT. I switched some things up bought some reflectix and made a nice jacket for the MT. I also carved out some pink foam core board for a lid. I had a definite difference in performance when I rebrewed my latest brown ale. I went from one beer with a 1.019 finish to a 1.010 finish on the second brew.

The primary difference was a closer attention to maintaining temps in the stainless steel MT. I think what was happening is that if the temp dropped too much I had to apply some heat. But the further away that temp was the more heat I had to use to catch back up. This I think lead to superheating of the wort at the base of the tun and denatured enzymes. Coupled to this issues was that I had been experimenting with No Sparge brewing. In no sparge, brewing all the water goes into the tun for the entire batch. Its pretty well known (although bot paid attention to by me I guess) that the thinner the mash gets, the more easily the enzymes are denatured either by pH woes or temperature increases.

All these things summed up to create wort that is likely to have had to high a dextrin content leading to poor fermentation performance. Other little factors also came into play; like discovering I had a 20F difference in two different thermometers once I was at mash temp! Goos thing I use calibratable dial thermometers and I can reset the temperature on them.

I still ned a couple batches for experimentation, but I hopefully have my problem fixed. No more no sparge brewing and use much gentler heat cycling for that MT mash temp. Sometimes I still think that there is the obvious well accepted brewing information; but there is still a ton of info on best practices that has yet to really be well based out and discussed. When you have your own equipment and process dialed in an working well things are great. But when you deviate a bit from the norm there aren’t many resources to help you out. You better be able to put your own brewer’s hat on and figure it out.


Summertime Porter Tasting

Another beer from Mike this week. Summer is just getting into the swing so its time for.. Summertime Porter Tasting? Check it out.

It wasn’t my intention to brew a Porter for the warm summer months, trust me. But we inspiration hits and curiosity lurks sometimes you just have to brew what you have to brew. I’ve been interesting a good mellow porter for quite awhile now and I think this one is a good start.

Recipe basics:
Maris Otter 83%
Black Patent 5.7%
Brown Malt 5.7%
Medium Crystal (55L) 5.7%
25IBU OG EKG 60min
WY1028 London Ale

This beer has an exceptionally smooth mouth feel (Mash 154F). There is a nice dark fruit/berry thing on the nose backed by toasty malt and chocolate notes. The flavor is equally smooth with a subtle brown sugar/molasses taste to it. The OG of this beer was 1.047 but it finished high for the style at 1.016. I think the low attenuation on this one is contributing to the mouthfeel and the “sweet” fruit character.

Not knowing what to do with this one I decided to package half for immediate consumption (hopefully before the summer heat actually starts) and the other half went for a little nap with some Brett Claussenii. I was hoping to mix some of that chocolate and dark fruit character with some of the tropical and fruit esters that Claussenii is known for. Hopefully, little horse blanket/leather strap… and certainly no acetic acid.

Time will tell. I hope its an interesting beer in a few more months. Something to dip into once the summer heat backs down in late September. I’ll probably brew the next iteration if this porter recipe prior to that for a side by side. However, I am likely to tweak the ingredients a bit. Shoot for more roast character, less fruit and a strong drier finish in the FG. Something closer to 1.009 for sure.

Keep this one in your back pocket and we’ll see you again when the Brett version is ready.

New Nordic Yeast Blend Saison Tasting

This week its the New Nordic Yeast Blend Saison Tasting. I decided to craft a Saison inspired grain bill to give the New Nordic Yeast Blend from WhiteLabs a try. This week we finally dive into a tasting of that beer. Check it out!

This beer started with me being curious about the WhiteLabs Vault program. The way the vault works is that WhiteLabs has decided to share some of the special strains or blends that they don’t readily make available to home brewers. In order to make it viable for them you have to pre-order the strain you want (and pay for it). Once enough orders come in to reach a threshold (250 orders)… the yeast goes into production and the mail it direct to you.

The description of this yeast blend is complex. Having characteristics of both Saison and of German Hefe strains I thought a Saison grist would be fun as I was looking for a reason to start making a couple Saisons for the summer months. New Nordic Yeast Blend does not disappoint on complexity.

The beer is very dry, fruity, mildly funky and dynamic. We got hints of graham cracker, banana, apple and I even detected a root beer aroma at one point. None of these dominate or overwhelm you. Which is what actually leads to the complexity. The more you sample and sniff it, the more you palate gets confused and you explore newer and newer flavors and aromas.

Brewing with this yeast blend was so much fun. I still have another tube and I am note sure if I’ll go the cider route or a different Saison route. (I am remotely interesting in co-pitching with Brett C. and seeing what type of tropical fruit madness I can conger up!!)

Because of how unique it was we want to open our second round of Brew Dudes Beer Swapping. The first 5 people to email us at will get a chance to receive a bottle of this from me. Its a great way to check out this yeast blend’s character if you didn’t get in on the vault when it opened with this one.

So let us know if you’re in. We look forward to hearing your experience with this beer.


Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap Exchange 7

This is the last swap tasting video from our first round of exchanges. Many thanks to everyone that participated and to those that wanted in but we couldn’t accommodate you this round. Hang in there we will do more in the near future. This weeks Brew Dudes Homebrew Swap Exchange is an IPA double header from Benny in Gainesville, VA!!!

Benny sent us two beers this round. A session strength and an imperial strength IPA; 1.049 and 1.080 SG respectively. Both had a similar color hue with the imperial being a bit darker. Each of these beers had insanely well describe hop bills (I’ll put the recipes below).

The session IPA was slightly cloudy and with a hint of diacetyl on the nose (but just a hint barely noticeable). So much going on in this beer with the huge hop bill. A mild resinous and lingering mouthfeel from the hops, but a clean bitterness that wasn’t overpowering. The flavor was fantastic and was actually pretty well defined for having so many varieties of hops. Sometimes you’d worry about certain flavors getting lost or muddied in all the varieties. The beer was dry at 1.009 finish and had a clean tropical finish to it. John noted it as being pineapple while I thought it was more ripe green melon.

The Imperial IPA lived up to its stature at 1.080 OG. This beer almost presents as a really big hoppy red ale and it might score well in that type of category. I thought the hops presented with an interesting berry like blend dominated by ripe blueberries and maybe blackberries. John noted that the malt bill stood out strong enough too seem like Wheaties cereal almost.

You’ll see that Benny used whirlpool hop additions in both recipes. There are so many different ways to do whirlpool hop stands that it would be great to learn more…hint hint Benny (Maybe over on the YT channel comment section).

Overall both beers were really well fermented. He used Imperial Organic yeast strains in both beers. Which is cool because I haven’t seen any of those yet in my area and liked to explore them more.

Thanks so much for the side by side IPA comparison Benny. Keep on Brewin On!


Obligation Session IPA
OG – 1.049
FG – 1.009
IBU – 93.5
SRM – 4.1
ABV – 5.2%
Grain – 10.5lbs
Rahr Two Row – 10lbs
Munich – 8.0oz
Hops – 9.5oz
Magnum .5oz @ 60
Simcoe 1.0oz @ 10mins
Amarillo 1.0oz @ 5mins
Citra 1.0oz @ 5mins
Mozaic 1.0oz @ 5mins
Motueka 1.0oz @ 5mins
Cascade .05oz @ 5mins
Centennial .05oz @ 5mins
Mosaic Whirlpool .5oz 15mins
Nelson Suavin Whirlpool .5oz 15mins
Yeast – Imperial Flagship A07
Ferment @62 degrees for 15 days
Citra Dry Hop .5oz 10 days
Mozaic Dry Hop .5oz 10 days
Nelson Suavin Dry Hop .5oz 10 days
Amarillo Dry Hop .5oz 5 days

Procrastination Imperial IPA
OG – 1.080
FG – 1.019
ABV – 8.1%
IBU – 93.4
SRM – 6.5
Grains – 18.5lbs
Rahr Two Row – 16lbs
Munich – 1.5lbs
Vienna – 1.0lbs
Hops – 11.75oz
Magnum .75oz @ 60
Amarillo 1.0oz @ 5mins
Chinook 1.0oz @ 5mins
Columbus 1.0oz @ 5mins
Simcoe 1.0oz @ 5mins
Citra Whirlpool 1.0oz 15mins
Mosaic Whirlpool 1.0oz 15mins
Motueka Whirlpool 1.0oz 15mins
Nelson Sauvin Whirlpool 1.0oz 15mins
Yeast – Imperial House A01
Ferment @62 degrees for 14 days
Citra Dry Hop 1.0oz 7 days
Motueka Dry Hop 1.0oz 7 days
Nelson Suavin Dry Hop 1.0oz 7 days

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