All posts for the month January, 2016

Euforia (Duclaw Brewing Company) Well, being in Florida we were spared the widespread panic of a blizzard this weekend and we were left with a couple strong thunderstorms and colder weather.  Never fear, 40 degree temps won’t keep me from setting up in the garage for today’s brew.

Today’s recipe is a clone from Duclaw Brewing Company in Maryland called Euforia.  The company lists it as a Toffee Nut Brown Ale with notes of toffee, caramel and almond.  with creativity on the part of this homebrewer, it’s not as sweet as the original, but still maintains the toffee-like notes.

For those who haven’t followed this blog, and don’t want to poke around and read my prior posts, I use a very basic setup consisting of a “re-purposed” half barrel keg for a Hot Liquor Tank (HLT), a 36 quart igloo cooler for a mash tun with a manifold for extracting the wort, and finally, a 15 gallon Bayou Classic kettle.  I have fought many urges to tinker, upgrade, acquire as much gadgetry as possible.  Most of this is due to financial concerns, but hell, this system is easy to clean, it makes good beer, and it’s mine!

As I near the end of the third runnings of my batch sparge, I realize how much I miss this beer from it’s creators.  Living on the Florida Panhandle, the craft beer and brew pub revolution hasn’t really made the scene.

Third runnings are complete and I have 12.7 gallons of sweet wort ready for boiling and hop additions.  This beer is very much too my liking in regards to hops.  There is only one 2oz addition of US Fuggles (AA: 4.5%) at the beginning of the boil.  If I could go the rest of my life without drinking excessive “Murican” IPAs, I would be ok with that.  I won’t put down the style, but it’s just not for me.

Well, time to get this wort boiling and start the cleaning regime that curses all homebrewers.  See you for the taste test!


Until next brew day!


Prarie Doggin' Stout

Chocolate Oatmeal Stout with a roasted mildly bitter profile.

Brew day was a busy affair to say the least.  At some point basic knowledge of one’s own brewing system takes over after a year off from the craft.  With all equipment set up, and grains crushed, it was off to make some delicious chocolate oatmeal stout, which has become to be known as Prairie Doggin’ Stout.

Everything seemed to be running smoothly until checking the original gravity just prior to boiling.  I was using 2-row pale malt that was over a year old, but to my surprise, the wort was a full 12 points below original gravity!  The barley was stored in air-tight containers and seemed to smell and taste just fine.  I’m not one to just dump a batch, so I preceded to move on with the boil and keep the recipe as intended.  A week later, after tearing down the malt mill, it was discovered that over the course of our move, the mill was offset, which in turn didn’t crush the grain properly.

Fast forward to today, and checking final gravity, the beer came out at a beautiful 5.4% ABV.  Apart from a slight increase in bitterness, it still has all the qualities of the intended recipe.  It is now on CO2 and will be ready for consumption within a week or so.

In closing, I may have found an alternative recipe that could lead to a Turtle Head Stout.  It just goes to show that even when a recipe doesn’t seem to hit all the numbers during the brew process, or something seemingly catastrophic takes place, you may find great quality beer on accident.

Until next brew day!


empty kegerator

After a very busy 2015, things have finally settled down around the hacienda.  With the unexpected move, kids’ sports, work, and all other life events that came up, I wasn’t able to devote anytime to brewing at all.  And, since this is a home brewing blog, my activity on this site has been limited to checking for messages and comments and general up keep.

Now that we are in a new year, and life has settled, there is time for making more of the sweet nectar that we all cherish.  I started with a diagnostic check of the equipment to ensure everything was still in working order.  Aside from some minor slow leaks, everything checked out.

My first beer for the new year is a standard winter beer that I have favored over the years.  It’s a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout which I have affectionately name “Prairie Dog Stout”.  Since my brewing throw-together rig is highly portable, the process I use doesn’t change much, if any.  I did take a risk using American Pale 2-Row that has been sealed in buckets for over year knowing my efficiency would suffer.  But, I figured that since the malt passed the smell and taste tests without any alarms that I could compensate and add a couple extra pounds of malt to overcome any losses.  Things went well enough, and as expected, I was a couple points off of my starting gravity.  I decided to go forward with fermentation and, who knows, I may have found a new and interesting flavor profile for a great session stout.

I have some plans in the works for this blog this year mostly with adding more to the DIY section.  Most of my equipment is made on a budget, so researching the best possible practices and keeping costs low is something would like to bring to a wider audience.

Take care and see you on brew day!