Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

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Homegrown Cascade Hops SMaSH Beer Tasting

All told, between these Brew Dudes and one of the Dudes’ brother, we have 7 different hop varieties growing in our yards. The 2018 harvest was a bountiful one and it has given us the opportunity to brew beers with just one hop in them. A few weeks ago, I brewed a SMaSH with Chinook hops. This time around, we taste a beer with only homegrown Cascade hops.

Some Hops Notes

These hops came from my brother’s backyard. I went over his house on Labor Day weekend and we picked them all off the bines. When I left, my five gallon bucket was halfway full. Once the drying was done, I had 6 ounces of Cascade to use for my brew

Cascade SMaSH recipe

For a 5 gallon batch.

10 pounds of Maris Otter Malt

2 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at 60 minutes to go in the boil
4 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at flameout/whirlpool for 20 minutes

1 packet of Danstar Nottingham Ale Dry Beer Yeast

Brewing Details:
Mashed at 155°F
Boiled for 60 minutes
Fermented at 68°F for 7 days
Racked to keg and carbonated

Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.014
ABV: 4.73%

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Cloudy, with a light amber to copper color. It has a white persistent head with some lacing on the sides.

Aroma: There is a nutty, earthy quality to the aroma. Mike said it was like a Brazil nut.

Flavor: There is a strange, enhanced malt like quality to the beer. The flavor had a diesel quality to it. Beyond that, there was a small amount of fruit character to it. It wasn’t citrus notes but rather a pineapple/plum thing. Clearly, this hop took on a bunch of the terrior of my brother’s back yard.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was medium. We feel like the hops and yeast added a full malty quality. The Maris Otter gave the beer a good foundation but the rest of the ingredients brought a fullness.

Overall Impression: I don’t think I had enough hops to really brew a beer that let the hop shine. In my experience, I need a half pound of hops at minimum to get something going in the aroma and flavor of the finished beer. I still wanted to see what these hops could do even with the amount I had. Experimentation is a big part of my homebrewing and it should be a part of yours too – once you get to a certain level of experience.

Thanks for reading and brew on!

2018 Community Brew Swap Details

Are you getting pumped for this year’s community brew? What’s that? You don’t know what that is? Well, let me tell you.

It’s a chance to brew a beer with other homebrewers around the world and have a chance to swap it.

If you want to get caught up – here’s the announcement and here’s the recipe.

Now – on to the details!

The Official Date for the 2018 Brew Dudes Community Brew

If you want to join the fun along with us, we are brewing the Brown Ale on Saturday, October 20, 2018. It will be happening some time during the day Eastern USA time.

If that date is a no-go for you, it should not be a show stopper. If you like to participate, any brew day between now and the end of October should work well.

We plan to live stream on that day so watch your YouTube alerts for a notification from us.

What Do You Mean By Community Brew?

That’s a good question. Thanks for asking.

As Mike and I put out these videos, we thought a lot about what viewers were getting out of them. Mike is often critical about everything and questioned why anybody would like watching two dudes drinking their own beer.

I noted that comment and we discussed ways of making better connections with the people who watched our videos. We thought about how it would be nice to share the beer we are drinking on camera with everyone (of legal age) who is watching.

Noting that sending beers to everyone is not possible, we decided upon the next best thing.

Wouldn’t it be great to put out a recipe so people could drink our beer? They don’t even have to watch our videos while doing it.

Plus, we have viewers from all over the world. Wouldn’t it be great to connect with people from different countries?

So the community brew is a chance to be a part of a larger brewing event with the ultimate goal of sharing it with others.

How Do I Swap?

If you would like to be a part of the swap, use the email on our contact page. Send us an email that has a subject line relating to the community brew swap and send us your address and a phone number. Many shipping companies require a phone number for shipping so providing one will be needed.

We will be using this information for the swap only.

Once I have your information, I will pair you up with someone who lives close to you. From there, you can work out details on how to exchange Brown ales.

Any Other Community Brew Notes

If you want to alter the recipe, you can. I would take notes on what you did different and why. It will be helpful with anyone you swap with to share the details.

This year, we would like to collect photos and/or videos of your homebrew day. Send them to us and we’ll splice them together for a future video.

If you have any other questions, please let us know.


2018 Brew Dudes Community Brew Recipe

If you been following this blog and watching our YouTube videos, you know that we announced our 2018 community brew!

We put out three choices of beer styles for the community brew and we let you choose one of them.

You voted and we noted.

The winner is: British Brown Ale!

The 2018 Community Brew Recipe

This Brown Ale is inspired by Northern English Brown recipes. It is a little richer, a little darker, and a touch more robust than a classic Newcastle Brown Ale.

We formulated this all grain recipe for a 5 gallon batch. We added percentages for other batch sizes.

11 pounds of Golden Promise Malt – 2°L (89% of bill)
5oz Chocolate Malt – 450°L* (3% of bill)
8oz Med Crystal Malt – 55°L (4% of bill)
8oz Special Roast – 50°L (4% of bill)

*See video for notes on Chocolate Malt.


1.5 ounces of East Kent Goldings hops – 5% AA (added with 60 minutes left in the boil)
1.0 ounce of East Kent Goldings hops – 5% AA (added with 10 minutes left in the boil)


Wyeast 1968 – London ESB or similar strain


Mash at 152° F for 60 minutes. Collect enough wort for 6.5 gallons at end of boil.

Predicted Outcomes

Calculated bases on a 70% Mash Efficiency
Original Gravity: 1.049
Final Gravity: 1.014
IBUs: 30
Color: 16.3° SRM
ABV (depending on attenuation): 4.6%

Notes on Water

Water Profile should favor 2:1 or 1.5:1. Chloride to Sulfate ratio.
We aren’t providing specifics in terms of measurements since it is system and process dependent for grams added of each salt.

That’s the recipe for our Brew Dudes Brown Ale. We will follow up next week with the scheduled brew day and instructions on how to be a part of the swap.


Brew Dudes Community Brew 2018

Hey – we have an announcement to make.

Since we had a good time doing it last year, we are doing the Community Brew thang again in 2018.

What’s the Community Brew? Well, the concept started when we reflected on the brew videos we were posting. We do a lot of drinking our own beer, which is great for us but not as great for everyone watching. So our thought was to put out a recipe for a beer for anybody who wanted to brew it with us on the same day. We chose the Extra Special Bitter (ESB) style to formulate a recipe, posted it, and then brewed it.

Then, we offered homebrewers to send and swap their beers with others who brewed the same beer. We had people from around the world brewing this beer. It was a great thing.

Here’s last year’s recap.

That was then – this is now. Let’s get to our 2018 announcement.

Please Vote

We are putting out three beer styles for you to choose one for the Community brew. Here are your choices:

  • Cream Ale
  • Brown Ale
  • Belgian Wheat (Wit)

You can vote for your selection in the comments below.

Next week, we will announce the winner and we will formulate a recipe using BeerSmith. Mike will post a video of him putting that together.

We will then pick a date to brew it and then, if you are willing, we can coordinate with you and other homebrewers to share your beers.


Homegrown Chinook Hops SMaSH Beer Tasting

I have been growing hops in my backyard for many years now. Although I need to dedicate time and effort to make sure the plants survive and produce cones, I feel it’s worth it.

In years past, I have harvested hops from many different plants and used only the best ones for a “harvest ale”. This year, since I have so many mature plants that are producing a bounty of hops, I have decided to brew up SMaSH of every variety I have. Here’s the first one of the season – this is my homegrown Chinook hops SMaSH beer.

Simple Recipe

With just over 10 ounces of dried hop cones to use, I built this recipe to showcase the hops. I thought one malt would do the trick.

For a 5 gallon batch.

10 pounds of Crisp Maris Otter Malt

2 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at 60 minutes to go in the boil
4 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at 10 minutes to go in the boil
4 ounces of homegrown Chinook hops at flameout/whirlpool for 20 minutes

1 packet of Safale 04 Dry English Yeast

Brewing Details:
Mashed at 155°F
Boiled for 60 minutes
Fermented at 68°F for 7 days
Racked to keg and carbonated

Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.016
ABV: 4.46%

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Great color, it had a copper hue that you could detect through all the haze. As Mike put it, the beer was holding haze very well. We speculate that the use of Maris Otter plus the sheer amount of whole hop additions at the end of the boil is probably the cause but interesting with the use of the highly flocculant yeast.

Aroma: The aromas were fruity and floral aroma. It had that fleshy berry thing with a little orange.

Flavor: The flavor followed through with some fruity sweetness. I was detecting some resin in the aftertaste but Mike countered that he would not consider it to be on par with what we consider a strong resin presence.

Mouthfeel: It had a medium mouthfeel. The malt backbone sat well in the finished beer.

Overall Impression: This Chinook SMaSH was less of a herbal, smoky, and piney hop experience and more of a muted Mosaic and Galaxy like hop experience. As this beer as aged in the keg, the fruity notes are expressing themselves more.

I am glad this beer turned out well. I wish I had more to share.

It’s smaller than small batch…it’s only available for a small amount of time.

Brew On!

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