Brew Dudes

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Amarillo Hops and The Pursuit of Orange Essence

Mike brewed an Amarillo Pale Ale to see if he could bring out the orange aroma and flavor notes that make this hops variety special. While doing so, we muse on the subject of hops freshness. Let’s dive in.

Amarillo Pale Ale Recipe

To get to the heart of the matter, Mike brewed this recipe to seek the orange essence of Amarillo hops. This recipe is for a 3.5-gallon batch of beer.


Calcium: 87 ppm
Magnesium: 5 ppm
Sodium: 20 ppm
Sulfate: 139 ppm
Chloride: 100 ppm
Sulfate to Chloride Ratio: 1.4


92% Pale Malt (US 2-row)
8% Munich Type 1


0.5 ounces (14 g) of Cascade hops. boiled for 60 minutes – approx. 16 IBUs.
1 ounce (28 g) of Amarillo hops at 10 minutes to go in the boil
1.5 ounces (42 g) of Amarillo hops at flameout
1.5 ounces (42 g) of Amarillo hops for dry hopping for three days.


Fermented with Mangrove Jack’s Hophead Ale yeast, which is a blend of Ester yeast strains and enzymes to promote aromatic esters and beta-glucosidase.


Mashed at 140°F (60° C) for 60 minutes
Ramped up to 154°F (67°C) for another 20 minutes
Followed by a normal Mash out at 168°F (76°C) for super fermentability

Fermented at 68°F (20°C) for 2 weeks.


Original Gravity (OG): 1.046
Final Gravity (FG): Approximately 1.010
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): Almost 5%

Results And Hops Tips

We Brew Dudes are generally positive about Mike’s Amarillo Pale Ale. It has a pleasant and well-constructed hop-forward profile, with a focus on orange flavor. The aroma is enticing with a strong citrus note. Mike didn’t think it has the essence of orange juice, but it is quite enjoyable.

Discussing hops freshness and quality, we discussed these tips:

  1. Buy Hops from Hop Suppliers Directly: We recommend purchasing hops directly from hop suppliers rather than from local homebrew supply stores. Purchasing from the source ensures that the hops are in their original packaging and are likely fresher.
  2. Purchase Larger Quantities: Instead of buying one or two-ounce packages, consider purchasing larger quantities like 8 ounces or 16 ounces. Even if you buy these larger packages from your local homebrew store, they are often original packages from the suppliers, helping maintain freshness.
  3. Use a Vacuum Sealer: If you have a vacuum sealer, you can take the hops you don’t immediately use, vacuum-seal them to remove excess air, and store them for future use. Following this process helps prevent the oxidation that can occur when hops are repeatedly exposed to air.
  4. Store Hops in the Freezer: Keep your hops in the freezer to extend their shelf life and preserve their freshness. Freezing hops can help slow down the degradation of hop oils and flavors.
  5. Consider Hop Varieties and Turnover: Some hop varieties have a higher turnover and are more readily available and fresher at your local store. If you’re looking for a specific hop variety, it’s a good idea to check its popularity and freshness level

Thanks for reading and best wishes on your hop flavor adventures.

Cheers and BREW ON!

Dry Yeast Comparison – NovaLager / W-34/70 / Lutra

As two dudes who have been homebrewing beer for decades, the evolution in equipment, ingredients, and techniques has been fascinating. Case in point, the number of yeast strains that are now available to use at home has really grown. In the last 10 years, the quantity and diversity of yeast has grown substantially.

One type of yeast that we’re enamored are the ones that help homebrewers ferment lager or lager-like beers at room temperatures. Thinking about them more, we decided to conduct a dry yeast comparison. Our audience has requested more of this type of content and we are more than happy to put it together and learn along with you. Take a look at what we came up with brewing the same beer with three different yeast strains:

The Comparison Set Up And Process

For this comparison, we brewed a beer where the only variable was the yeast. Here’s how we set it up.


5 gallons (18.9 L) of spring water, enhanced with 5 grams of gypsum
6 pounds (2.72 kg) of 2-row Rahr Palt malt
1.25 ounces (35 grams) of US Tettnanger hops (4.4% AA)
1 packet each of LalBrew NovaLager, Fermentis Saflager W-34/70, and Omega Lutra Kveik dry yeast

Conducted a full volume mash at 150°F (66°C) for 1 hour
Transferred all available wort to kettle, around 4.5 gallons (17 L)
Boiled for 60 minutes, adding hops at the start of the boil
Chilled to 68°F (20°C) and racked 1 gallon (3.79 L) of wort to 3 different jugs
Fermented at 68°F (20°C) at for 1 week
Cold conditioned at 33°F (1°C ) for 1 week
Racked to serving vessels including the UKeg and carbonated for 4 days

Starting Gravity: 1.050
Finishing Gravity (all 3): 1.012
IBUs: 35

Our Takes On This Dry Yeast Comparison

Again, we are just two dudes who did their best to compare these yeast strains. Our methodology is focused on room temperature performance and a quick turnaround. Use our findings as a data point in your homebrewing adventure.

LalBrew NovaLager
Overall, this yeast performed well in this experiment. The flavor was clean and the finish was OK. All elements were in balance with each other.

Fermentis Saflager W-34/70
This beer is the best of the lot. Crisp finish, hop forward, and seemingly a light body. It was the most lager-like of the bunch.

Omega Lutra Kveik
Mike has strong opinions of this beer. It is the most fruity of the bunch. The beer had more Ale characteristics as compared to the other two. The mouthfeel was a bit glue-y to me.

Hopefully, this post helped you in understanding these dry yeast stains better. We feel that only in comparisons we can get the information to brew better in the future.


English Porter – Classic Beer Style

When these Brew Dudes first started brewing, English Porters were a style we brewed a lot. It’s a good style when the base of your beer is built off of malt extract and your steeping grains on your stovetop. It’s been a while since we have had a Porter on the show, so we go with a bit of a throwback. Here’s a quality, straightforward English Porter with no extraordinary ingredients like fruit or chocolate to mess it up.

Bring on the dark! Watch this video

Straight Ahead Porter Recipe

For this recipe, we are providing percentages for the grain bill for you to use for your own typical volume.

Distilled water with additives to hit this profile.
Calcium: 100 ppm
Magnesium: 5 ppm
Sodium: 41 ppm
Sulfate: 80 ppm
Chloride: 200 ppm (resulting in a 2.5 to 1 chloride to sulfate ratio)

Rahr Pale Ale Malt (77% of the bill)
English Crystal Malt – 55°L (7% of the bill)
Dark Chocolate Malt – 500° L (7% of the bill)
Biscuit Malt (6% of the bill)
Black Patent Malt (3% of the bill)

2 ounces or 56 g of East Kent Goldings Hops – added for a 60 minute boil

1 packet of LalBrew Windsor Ale Yeast

Mashed at 152°F (67° C) for 50 minutes
Ramped up the temperature to 168°F (76° 68C) for 10 minutes mash out
Fermented for 2 weeks at 68°F (20° C)

Starting Gravity: 1.046
Final Gravity: 1.014
ABV: 4.2%

Our Straightforward Tasting Notes

Appearance: This beer is dark brown, not black which we feel hits the mark for this style.

Aroma: There is definitely the presence of roasty notes from the Black Patent Malt and some caramel notes from the Crystal malt. There’s also a hint of black licorice and a dusty milk chocolate character.

Flavor: This beer has a balance of flavors, with a significant roast character and a strong presence of darker chocolate malt. The low attenuation yeast keeps a certain sweetness in the beer, which complements the roastiness. Mike thinks there is a subtle hint of instant coffee or a weak cappuccino in the background.

Overall Impression: We like this beer and think with a bit more conditioning time to allow yeast to settle, it will taste cleaner and even better. This English Porter is going to be a great choice for colder weather and campfires that is coming our way in the Northern Hemisphere. Bring on the dark.


Imperial Stout – Jar of Destiny

We were challenged by the Jar once again. This time, we are asked to brew the biggest beer in category 20 of the 2015/2021 guidelines:

20C. Imperial Stout

If you remember, Mike brewed a beer to make a suitable yeast cake this beer. You can relive the magic of this ‘small’ beer and check out the recipe as it foreshadows the ingredients for this beer. We had to wait a bit for this brew to be camera ready, but we feel it was worth it. Check out the Jar of Destiny Imperial Stout!

Look at the color on that beer – watch the video!

American Imperial Stout Recipe

This recipe is for a 6.5 US gallons post boil volume.

Distilled water with additives to match this profile.
Calcium: 68 ppm
Magnesium: 4 ppm
Sodium: 17 ppm
Sulfate: 66 ppm
Chloride: 111 ppm

15 pounds or 6.8 kg of Golden Promise malt
2.5 pounds or 1.13 kg of Munich I malt (7 °L)
2 pounds or 907 g Flaked Barley
1 pound or 453 g Carastan malt (35 °L)
1 pound or 453 g Roasted Barley (550 °L)
12 ounces or 340 g Chocolate Malt (500 °L)

Special Ingredient:
1 pound or 453 g of Dark Brown Sugar (cheap, grocery store stuff)

1 ounce or 28 g of Cryo Columbus hops at 20.5 % AA – First Wort Hopping
1 ounce or 28 g of Cascade hops at 5.6 %AA – 20 minutes to go in the boil
1 ounce or 28 g Willamette hops at 4.9 %AA – 20 minutes to go in the boil
1 ounce or 28 g Cascade hops at 5.6 %AA – flameout
1 ounce or 28 g Willamette hops at 4.9 %AA – flameout

A blend of Cellar Science Cali and Cellar Science English derived from a yeast cake taken from a 1.045 beer

Mashed at 147° F of 64° C for 50 minutes
Then, 158° F or 70° C for 20 minutes
Then, 168° F or 76° C for 15 minutes
Fermented for 3 weeks at 68° F
Cold crashed for 4 days then moved off yeast
Carbonated with 20 PSI of CO2 for 5 days

Original Gravity: 1.096
Final Gravity: 1.032
ABV%: 8.40%

Our Imperial Tasting Notes

This beer came to us bold and malty. On the other hand, the strong American hops bring a strong bitterness to the aftertaste. Cryo hops will do that. It may fade over time.

Mike notes that there is a large amount of roasted grain notes in the flavor but it is restrained. It does not have the unpleasant acrid or ashy aspects that we find in some big stouts. He thinks that because he kept the specialty grains in check and only ramped up the base grains that the flavors blended well together.

We found dark toast and Baker’s Chocolate flavors in the beer. There is a sweet maltiness supporting the whole beer. Additionally, we tried to pick out the contributions of the Carastan and Munich malts, but they are subtle. All the fermentable components, including the brown sugar, seem to all come together to support the beer overall experience.


Homebrew Jar of Destiny: The Eighth Pick

We are coming up on the 2 year mark on this homebrewing challenge. We go back to the Jar and choose another two beer styles to brew. Let’s see what the eight pick gives us.

Are you ready for the 8th pick?

The 8th Beer Style Pick

The Jar gives us a chance to brew beer styles that we may not have brewed in the past. Chosen at random, it gives us the challenge to study up on the classic examples and plan to brew to the best of our abilities. Here are the beers you can expect from us before the end of 2023.

16D. Foreign Extra Stout

We had a stout in our seventh pick and the Jar thought it would be good to have in this round too. Here is another stout style that is a little stronger than a dry stout. It’s going to be interesting to see how we can brew this style to fit the description. The key is in the roast flavors. Mike hates coffee but he may love this beer.

21B. Specialty IPA: Belgian IPA

Mike is excited to a certain extent to brew this style. It is product of the last revision to the BJCP guidelines where the IPA category was expanded greatly. I am not sure if I have had a commercial example of a Belgian IPA but I can imagine how the hop and yeast flavors notes could work together. We’re excited to see what Mike comes up with.

If you have been following along, you know the deal. We will be back in a few months with the beers. To get caught up, check out all the posts!

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 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

Cheers and BREW ON!

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