Brew Dudes

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American Homebrew Lager – New Beer Style

Hey, it’s not every day that you see the birth of a new beer style. Mike took what he learned from the Jar of Destiny American Light Lager experience and created a new American Homebrew Lager. Learn more as we discuss the beer’s conception to tasting, exploring how he aimed to elevate the classic American lager into something uniquely crafted at home.

Crafting a new style for the masses!

The Recipe

Mike set out to build upon the foundation of an American light lager, aiming for a crisp, refreshing brew with a subtle yet distinctive hop character. His recipe, the “American Homebrew Lager,” centered around simplicity and quality ingredients.

Grains:
50% Briess two-row Brewers malt
50% American Pilsner malt
4 oz Aromatic malt (for background and head retention)

Hops:
1 oz Willamette at 60 minutes
1 oz Willamette at whirlpool (10 minutes)

Yeast:
NovaLager yeast (repitch)

Results:
Starting at 1.050 and finishing at 1.009, our American Homebrew Lager achieved a balanced ABV of around 5.5%, characteristic of the style.

American Homebrew Lager Tasting Notes

Right of the first sip, this beer revealed a pronounced hop expression. The Willamette hops provided a subtle herbal and minty zing, adding a refreshing complexity that lingered pleasantly with each sip. The beer maintained excellent head retention and a clean, bright appearance, though we noted it could benefit from further conditioning for optimal clarity.

Compared to the American light lager, our style with homebrewer sensibilities showcased a more assertive hop profile while retaining the light, crisp body ideal for warm weather enjoyment. The use of NovaLager yeast contributed to a neutral flavor profile, allowing the hop character to shine through.

Crafting the American Homebrew Lager is an exploration into elevating a classic style with modern techniques and ingredients. We hope to highlight the accessibility of brewing lagers at home, thanks to advancements in yeast strains that don’t need strict fermentation control.

Embrace the new style and remember to make it your own.

Brew on!

Pinter Review 2 – The All Grain Rebrew

We take the Pinter for another spin. This time, Mike and I tackled an all-grain rebrew using the Pinter, focusing on a classic English ale. We aimed to create a Best Bitter with a rich, balanced flavor to see how the brewing system performed with fresh ingredients. In this post, we’ll walk you through the brewing process, share the recipe details, and conclude with our tasting notes and overall thoughts on the brew.

The Brewing Process

Recipe and Ingredients

For this all-grain rebrew, we tailored the recipe specifically for the Pinter, which handles a one-gallon batch sizes. Our grain bill consisted of 87% Maris Otter malt, 9% Crystal malt (60°L), and 4% Victory malt to add a bit of a biscuit note. We used 14 grams of East Kent Goldings (EKG) hops, aiming for around 35 IBUs.

We had two additions: one at the start of the 60-minute boil and one at flameout. For yeast, we chose Lallemand Windsor British ale dry yeast. Its known for slightly lower attenuation and ability to bring what I wanted – a full English ale character.

Brewing Steps

We started with a boil size of 1.75 gallons, mashing our grains in two gallons of water. Using the brew-in-a-bag method, we removed the grains after mashing and proceeded with the boil. After boiling for 60 minutes, we chilled the wort and transferred it into the Pinter, added the yeast, and sealed it up. The fermentation took place at around 64°F (18°C).

We fermented for 10 days, cold crashed for one day, and conditioned for about four days. This method allowed us to achieve a well-fermented beer.

Pinter Rebrew Thoughts

Tasting the Brew

The final product had an original gravity of 1.042 and a final gravity of 1.010, resulting in an ABV of 4.2%. As we poured and tasted the beer, we were greeted with a delightful aroma, reminiscent of chocolate and grain. The flavor profile was dominated by biscuit notes, a subtle sweetness from the Crystal malt, and an earthy, tea-like quality from the EKG hops. The Windsor yeast contributed to a slightly hazy appearance and a complex, ester-rich profile.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we were quite pleased with how this all-grain rebrew turned out. The Pinter proved to be an excellent tool for creating small batches of cask-style ale. The fermentation process, although not visible from the outside, was effective, and the final product was a testament to the potential of this brewing system. If you’re a fan of English ales and looking for a convenient way to brew small batches at home, the Pinter is definitely worth considering.

BREW ON!

Homebrew Jar of Destiny: The Eleventh Pick

The Homebrew Jar of Destiny keep rolling along like a freight train as fate provides us with two more styles to explore and brew. We started this challenge 2.5 years ago and we have brewed 20 beers so far. See what the next two beer styles we’ll be adding to this list by viewing this video!

The 11th Picks from the Jar of Destiny

This Round’s Picks

John’s Pick – 7C – Pale Kellerbier

I didn’t know too much about this beer style right after the pick. At first glance, it’s a young Helles. Based on this short description, I am confident I can brew a good version of it. Timing will be important as the beer should be brewed so that it is fresh for the tasting day.

Mike’s Pick – 24B – Belgian Pale Ale

Upon review, Leffe is not a Belgian Pale Ale so our thoughts about this style being of a higher ABV that other pale ales is wrong. Still, the real challenge here lies in balancing the yeast’s phenolic, slightly spicy character with an interesting hop profile. Belgian Pale Ale is known for its crispness and is an excellent choice for the fall. This will require a bit of research and careful selection of yeast strains to achieve the desired complexity and flavor.

Thanks again for reading and thanks again to the Jar. We appreciate you both.

BREW ON!

Check out the First Pick and the start of it all!
Check out the Second Pick
Check out the Third Pick
Check out the Fourth Pick
Check out the Fifth Pick
Check out the Sixth Pick
Check out the Seventh Pick
Check out the Eighth Pick
Check out the Ninth Pick
Check out the Tenth Pick

Links To The Jar of Destiny Series Results
Check out the British Strong Ale post
Check out the Black IPA post
Check out the International Amber Lager post
Check out the Belgian Tripel post
Check out the Double IPA post
Check out the Kölsch post
Check out the English IPA post
Check out the Wood-Aged Beer post
Check out the Belgian Golden Strong Ale post
Check out the American Amber Ale post
Check out the German Pils post
Check out the Brett Beer post
Check out the Munich Helles post
Check out the Imperial Stout post
Check out the Foreign Extra Stout post
Check out the Belgian IPA post
Check out the Eisbock post
Check out the Czech Dark Lager post
Check out the California Common post
Check out the American Light Lager post

American Light Lager – Jar of Destiny

In this post, we dive into another pick from the Homebrew Jar of Destiny. Back in April, we selected an American Light Lager, and now, a few months later, we’re excited to share the results. This light, crisp beer aims to capture the essence of its commercial counterparts while adding our own unique twist. Join us as we break down the brewing process, ingredients, and our final thoughts on this refreshing brew.

USA!

American Light Lager Homebrew Recipe

Ingredients

Base Malt:
3 pounds (1.36 kg) American two-row barley

Adjunct:
1 pounds (.45 kg) rice solids

Hops:
0.5 ounces (14 g) of Tettnang (60 minutes)
0.25 ounces (7 g) of Tettnang (10 minutes)
0.25 ounces (7 g) of Cascade (10 minutes)

Yeast:
1 packet of NovaLager yeast

Brewing Process

Mash:
60 minutes at 145°F (63°C)
Ramp up to 158°F (70°C) and hold for 10 minutes
Ramp up to 168°F (76°C) for mash out and hold for 10 minutes

Boil:
60-minute boil
Add hops at times directed above

Fermentation:
Ferment with NovaLager yeast
Target final gravity: approximately 1.008
Estimated ABV: 4.2-4.3%

Notes:
Aim for a pre-boil gravity of 1.038 and a post-boil gravity of 1.040-1.041.
Consider using rice solids instead of rice syrup to maintain light color.

Tasting Notes and Thoughts

The Flavor Experience
The first few sips of our American Light Lager took a bit of adjustment, but once our palates settled in, the beer became quite enjoyable. The nose offered a slight hint of yeast and maybe a touch of sulfur, but overall, it was clean with a subtle grain aroma. The taste reminded me of Night Shift Brewery’s Night Lite, with a crisp, dry finish and light body. The rice solids contributed a distinct sweetness, almost reminiscent of a heated rice pad’s aroma, adding an interesting layer to the flavor profile.

Conclusion
Overall, our American Light Lager turned out to be a successful brew, capturing the essence of a commercial light lager with a homebrew twist. It’s a perfect summer beer—light, refreshing, and easy to drink. The brewing process was straightforward, and the use of rice solids instead of syrup helped maintain the desired color and flavor. As we continue our Homebrew Jar of Destiny series, we’re excited to see what other beers we’ll create. Stay tuned for our next pick and BREW ON!

Links To The Jar of Destiny Series Results
Check out the British Strong Ale post
Check out the Black IPA post
Check out the International Amber Lager post
Check out the Belgian Tripel post
Check out the Double IPA post
Check out the Kölsch post
Check out the English IPA post
Check out the Wood-Aged Beer post
Check out the Belgian Golden Strong Ale post
Check out the American Amber Ale post
Check out the German Pils post
Check out the Brett Beer post
Check out the Munich Helles post
Check out the Imperial Stout post
Check out the Foreign Extra Stout post
Check out the Belgian IPA post
Check out the Eisbock post
Check out the Czech Dark Lager post
Check out the California Common post
Check out the American Light Lager post

California Common  – Jar of Destiny

In this post, we’re diving into a special brew from our Jar of Destiny series: the California Common (BJCP 19B). This style was chosen about three months ago as a part of the 10th pick, and after extensive research and careful brewing, we’re excited to share the final product with you. The timing of this beer tasting is particularly meaningful because of the news that Anchor Steam is set to re-open its doors.

The Jar giveth and resurrects!

Let’s break down the process and see how this California Common turned out.

Brew Dudes California Common Recipe

Here’s the recipe we followed to brew this beer.

Ingredients:

9 pounds (4.1 kg) of German Pils malt
1 pound (0.45 kg) of 40°L Crystal malt
1 pound (0.45 kg) of Munich Malt
1 ounce (28 g) of Northern Brewer hops, 8.6% a.a. (first wort)
0.75 ounce (21 g) of Northern Brewer hops, 8.6% a.a. (20 min)
1 ounce (28 g) of Northern Brewer hops, 8.6% a.a. (knockout)
1 Whirfloc tablet
1 packet of White Labs WLP810 San Francisco Yeast (1 liter starter made 2 days before brew day)

Instructions:

Mash Time: 60 minutes
Boil Time: 60 minutes
4 grams of gypsum and 4 grams of calcium chloride added to the boil
Fermented for 2 weeks at 62°F (17°C)
Cold Conditioned for a month

Specifications:
Yield: 5 gallons (19 L)
Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV: 5.51%
IBU: ~35
SRM: 9 – Pale Amber

The Review

So, how did it turn out? First off, the appearance of this California Common is stunning. It has a beautiful pale amber color with excellent clarity. The aroma is inviting, with a mix of Munich breadiness and earthy spiciness from the Northern Brewer hops.

The flavor follows through with those earthy and herbal hop notes, which play wonderfully with the malt sweetness, especially the Crystal 40. The beer has a clean fermentation profile with no off-flavors. The only minor critique is that the body could be slightly lighter, but that’s a small adjustment in an otherwise fantastic brew.

Overall, we think we nailed the California Common style. It’s a balanced, flavorful beer that stands up to the legacy of Anchor Steam while bringing our own twist to the table. The Jar of Destiny has once again led us to a great brewing experience, and we’re excited to see what it brings us next.

BREW ON!

Links To The Jar of Destiny Series Results
Check out the British Strong Ale post
Check out the Black IPA post
Check out the International Amber Lager post
Check out the Belgian Tripel post
Check out the Double IPA post
Check out the Kölsch post
Check out the English IPA post
Check out the Wood-Aged Beer post
Check out the Belgian Golden Strong Ale post
Check out the American Amber Ale post
Check out the German Pils post
Check out the Brett Beer post
Check out the Munich Helles post
Check out the Imperial Stout post
Check out the Foreign Extra Stout post
Check out the Belgian IPA post
Check out the Eisbock post
Check out the Czech Dark Lager post
Check out the California Common post
Check out the American Light Lager post

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