Category Archives: Beer

Black Butte Clone Batch Number 3

Batch: 3

Recipe:

  • 3 lbs Maris Otter Pale
  • .5 lbs English Chocolate Malt (omitted by choice this time)
  • .75 lbs American Caramel 60*L [Crystal]
  • 4 lbs Dry Light (malt extract)
  • .33 oz Galena (Pellets 13.00 %AA) boiled 60 min
  • .75 oz Cascade (Pellets 5.50 %AA) boiled 30 min
  • 1 oz Tettnanger (Pellets 4.50 %AA) boiled 5 min
  • yeast: White Labs WLP002 English Ale [used wyeast 1338]

Original Gravity:  Oops.

Notes:

Bought another plastic airlock since I slightly melted my other one.

I picked up a Fluke meter like Matt’s through a seller on E-Bay for under $35.  I have to fashion a probe for it but now I have what I hope will be an excellent way to measure most temperatures. I bought a couple of probes (one for insertion and one for surface temperatures) and it’s working great.

I talked with them at Cellar and they pretty much always have Chocolate malts so it’s unlikely that my first batch used a substitute.  I have to assume that I paid for but never actually received them.  They were kind enough to give me a discount for that mishap as I purchased the new batch of supplies and ingredients.

Color is pretty light compared to what I remember from the first batch.  Perhaps I only received a portion of the Chocolates the first time?  Maybe I misremember the color?  Who knows.

I made a slurry from the dry malts and warm water.  That made adding the dry malts a lot easier.  Definitely worth repeating.

Fermentation:

  • Tuesday 29 May – 64.2 f – no bubbles
  • Wednesday 30 May – 64.2 f – ~28 seconds
  • Sunday 3 June – 64.8 f – ~16 seconds
  • Monday 4 June – 63.2 f – 18.16 seconds
  • Sunday 10 June – 65.4 f – 18.34 seconds
  • Monday 11 June – 66.8 f – 17.48 seconds
  • Wednesday 13 June – 64.4 f – 21.94 seconds
  • Thursday 14 June – 62.0 f – 32.59 seconds
  • Friday 15 June – 64.8 f – 54.25 seconds
  • Saturday 16 June – 66.0 f – 43.87 seconds
  • Monday 18 June – 66.0 f – 88.19 seconds
  • Thursday – switched from blow-off tube to airlock (unmelted w/ vodka)
  • Sunday 24 June – 65.2 f – 50.55 seconds
  • Friday 27 July – Bottled (Finally!)

Final Gravity:

End Notes:

JamesIsIn

Black Butte Clone Batch Number 2

Batch: 2

Recipe:

  • 3 lbs Maris Otter Pale
  • .5 lbs English Chocolate Malt
  • .75 lbs American Caramel 60*L [Crystal]
  • 4 lbs Dry Light (malt extract)
  • .33 oz Galena (Pellets 13.00 %AA) boiled 60 min
  • .75 oz Cascade (Pellets 5.50 %AA) boiled 30 min
  • 1 oz Tettnanger (Pellets 4.50 %AA) boiled 5 min
  • yeast: White Labs WLP002 English Ale [used wyeast 1338]

Original Gravity: 1.052

Notes:

I don’t know what we may have done differently but the beer seems much darker than the first batch.  Was the first batch short on the dark malts?  Did our (longer/more efficient) mash/sparge bring out more color?  This mash smelled more toasted (burnt) and the color of the brew is noticeably darker than the previous batch.

I broke a carboy by missing the protective carpet I had put down by about an inch.  It shattered on the concrete sending five gallons of sterile solution and glass all over the basement.  At least I didn’t lose any beer.

For whatever reason running the oxygen tank was troublesome as bubbles tended to bubble over the carboy.

I made a mark on the propane valve at what I hope will remain the perfect boiling BTU for future batches.  We shall see how that plays.

Fermentation:

(All ambient temperatures are a little more than 2 f shy if I compare my white thermometer with Matt’s Fluke device.)

  • Sat 5 Nov — 57.9 ? (in shop)

I moved the beer into theater where it will receive periodic (morning and evening) influxes of heat and the temps ought to range 62~68.

  • Sun 6 Nov — 64.9 f ambient; bubbles near exactly 3 seconds (perhaps increasing)
  • Sun 6 Nov — bubbles under 2 seconds
  • Mon 7 Nov 8:48 — 71 f ambient; bubbles are < 1 second
  • Mon 7 Nov 21:27 — 63.4 f ambient; blow-off tube more than one third full of ick
  • Mon 7 Nov 22:38 — 67.4 f ambient; vigorous bubbles up to several per second
  • Tue 8 Nov 7:14 — 66.0 f ambient; bubbles back to around 1 second
  • Tue 8 Nov 19:35 — 63.5 f ambient; bubbles ~4 seconds
  • Wed 9 Nov 7:42 — 65.7 f ambient; bubbles ~4.5 seconds
  • Wed 9 Nov 18:52 — 65.8 f ambient; bubbles ~7 seconds

I changed the airlock even though it got a little melty when I boiled it; I need to buy a new one; there is about 1/8″ of dough in the bottom of the blow-off bucket; with the airlock bubbles are under 4 seconds.

  • Thu 10 Nov 7:14 — 67.6 f ambient; bubbles ~4 seconds
  • Thu 10 Nov 21:19 — 67.1 f ambient; bubbles ~5.5 seconds
  • Fri 11 Nov 7:22 — 67.5 f ambient; bubbles ~5 seconds
  • Sat 12 Nov 15:59 — 67.8 f ambient; bubbles <7 seconds
  • Sun 13 Nov 9:19 — 65.7 f ambient; bubbles ~8 seconds
  • Mon 14 Nov 12:51 — 68.0 f ambient; bubbles <10 seconds
  • Tue 15 Nov 19:47 — 69.4 f ambient; bubbles ~10 seconds
  • Fri 18 Nov 6:37 — 70.2 f ambient; bubbles ~13 seconds
  • Fri 18 Nov 23:52 — 64.0 f ambient; bubbles 24.09 seconds
  • Sat 19 Nov 8:17 — 68.9 f ambient; bubbles 19.37 seconds
  • Sat 19 Nov 17:58 — 69.6 f ambient; bubbles 18.18 seconds
  • Sun 20 Nov 3:19 — 57.9 f ambient; bubbles 1:40.47 minutes
  • Sun 20 Nov 22:23 — 65.5 f ambient; bubbles 31.02 seconds
  • Mon 21 Nov 21:15 — 63.9 f ambient; bubbles 1:09.72 minutes
  • Tue 22 Nov 21:33 — 68.0 f ambient; bubbles too infrequent to bother measuring
  • Wed 23 Nov 20:27 — 63.1 f ambient; bubbles too infrequent to bother measuring

While there are still new bubbles forming at the froth line I am aiming to bottle Saturday.

  • Fri 25 Nov 17:19 — 68.0 f ambient; bubbles 10.50 seconds

This morning I moved in a personal heater to make sure the yeast was really finished with the sugars; I’ll make more measurements later.

  • Fri 25 Nov 23:43 — 73.2 f ambient; bubbles 11.72 seconds
  • Sat 26 Nov 8:34 — 79.5 f ambient; bubbles 23.46 seconds
  • Sat 26 Nov 16:12 — 77.9 f ambient; bubbles 19.63 seconds
  • Sat 26 Nov 23:42 — 74.1 f ambient; bubbles 26.29 seconds
  • Sun 27 Nov — no discernible bubble activity all day

I am hoping I made a better estimate this time in my secondary sugars so this batch will not be quite so effervescent as the first batch.  We shall see.

Bottled:

Monday 28 November 21:41

  • 2 x 1 L
  • 18 x 16 oz
  • 10 x 22 oz

I had a hard time keeping any of the sediment from getting into the bottles.  Some of the bottles have visible sediment in them.  I guess this is from the hops and the fact I didn’t use bags.  There was a lot of sediment in the carboy (two inches?) and it seems unlikely it’s all yeast.

Final Gravity: 1.010

The final gravity sample tastes a bit thin.  We shall see how that comes together after the bubbles come to being.

ABV: 5.5125 %

End Notes:

JamesIsIn

Black Butte Clone

Batch: 1

Recipe:

  • 3 lbs Maris Otter Pale
  • .5 lbs English Chocolate Malt ?
  • .75 lbs American Caramel 60*L [Crystal]
  • 4 lbs Dry Light (malt extract)
  • .33 oz Galena (Pellets 13.00 %AA) boiled 60 min
  • .75 oz Cascade (Pellets 5.50 %AA) boiled 30 min
  • 1 oz Tettnanger (Pellets 4.50 %AA) boiled 5 min
  • yeast: White Labs WLP002 English Ale [used wyeast 1338]

Original Gravity: n/a

Notes:

Color very light.  Did I get all the correct grains?  I will attempt another batch without the Chocolates for comparison.

Forgot to measure OG.  Oops.

Fermentation:

  • Sat 8 May 1:19 — There is gaseous activity and a scummy froth, so all must be well.
  • Tue 11 May 17:20 — The lowest temperature I have seen is about 60 and the highest is about 64.  I am seeing a bubble from the tube about every dozen seconds these last two days.
  • Mon 17 May 20:34 — (Note from Matt:  I have a feeling you’ll end up with more of an “amber ale”.  Having just brewed a batch myself, looking at the dark malt ratios, mine were considerably higher.  I don’t know why they gave you “pilsner” dry malt — I would have gone with “amber”, myself.  Pilsner is the lighest, followed by “light”, followed by “amber”.  Normally, for a darker ale, you’d use “amber”.  It should still be potable, though — it’s still beer!)
  • Tue 18 May 20:02 — It looks just fine. I will switch airlocks tonight.
    Should I give as much time as possible in the carboy to compensate for these slower fermentation speeds (assumed from lower temps and slower bubbles)?
  • Tue 18 May 22:15 — (Note from Matt:  Yeah, in theory you can leave it in the carboy for a month or more.  But that assumes you have really good sanitation and not a lot of microbial stuff floating around in the air.  My experience is that leaving it in for more than a couple of weeks results in weird flavors.)
  • Sun 23 may 18:36 — It tastes like flat beer.  Seems pretty well balanced.  The bitterness cuts fast and then disappears.  Pleasantly malty.  Not a lot of aroma because that comes mostly with the head I suppose, but it’s not boozy either.
  • Sun 23 May 20:04 — With the small valve in place it’s bubbling about 35-40 seconds.

Bottled:

Final Gravity: n/a

ABV: ABV = 131.25 * (OG – FG)

End Notes:

I used too much secondary sugar as the beer was so effervescent that I was only able to open cold bottles (opening warm bottles resulted in uncontrollable frothing over, though since I use flip top bottles I was able to reseal and cool these transgressions).

This beer had an absolutely wonderful aroma in the head.  Delightful.  Not sure about reproducing it as the color suggests I may have made some error with the malts and the unusual brewing temperatures meant the beer spent a month in the carboy and another month in the bottles (while I jetted off to France).

Finally these notes are incomplete because I wote this post post hoc culling the data from various e-mail (and my shaky memory) to and from my brewing mentor.

(I picked my recipe from among those on-line.  I think this is where I found it.  You can find others like this one or this one.)

JamesIsIn