Category Archives: Brad Homebrew

Homebrew YAK II.5 Kolsch

I’ve Kolsch in Cologne, Germany a few times, and it’s been fresh and delicious.  Most of the Kolsch I’ve had in the US has not been very good, other than rare exceptions.  I’ve tried many times myself to brew one and they never come out to my expectations, with the unique yeast flavor overpowering my palate.  This time I tried a recipe that seemed close before, but fermented under pressure, which is a technique used to suppress yeast flavors.  Didn’t work.  I’d say it even accentuated the flavors I was trying to subdue.  Tasting notes below are after lagering in keg for 61 days, but the flavor wasn’t calming down.

Strong sweet aroma somewhere in between a fruit and a wine. Taste is slightly tart with minor hop flavor in background, then finishes fairly clean, with lingering sweetness.

Brewed: 9/27/2021.  Distributed: 12/10/2021.

ABV: 4.5%,  IBU: 20

Malts: Brewer’s 2-row, White wheat, Vienna.

Hops: Magnum, Saaz.

Yeast: White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch.

Homebrew Wiley’s Rye Ale

This recipe came from a book I have with homebrew recipes written by commercial breweries, for some of their beers.  This one was from a brewery in Wisconsin.  I hadn’t had this beer commercially before, but it looked like an interesting combination of rye malt with this yeast.  I can’t say I’m a fan of the result.  Tasting notes below were after 39 days lagering/aging in a keg, hoping to tame down some of the more bitter flavors.

Strong alcohol aroma. Hot, almost like a bourbon. Taste is crisp with some floral hop flavors in the background, mixed with a slight caramel malt taste. Rye sweetness comes on strong and flavorful. Overall leaves the mouth fairly “warmed” with lingering rye flavor.

Brewed: 10/11/2021.  Distributed: 12/10/2021.

ABV: 6.4%,  IBU: 20

Malts: Brewer’s 2-row, Rye, Flaked Rye, Munich, Caramel 80L.

Hops: Nugget, Challenger, Willamette.

Yeast: Wyeast 1318 London Ale III.

Homebrew Warner Fruit Cellar Dusseldorf Alt- Tweak

I’ve made this recipe many times.  The first time I brewed this it was perfect, reminded me of exactly the Alt beer’s in Dusseldorf, Germany.  This time turned out decent, but I didn’t get the exact yeast.  Not sure if that made the difference or not.

Sweet aroma, almost like corn? Crisp malt bite that’s very flavorful and break-like. Slight hop crispness that helps give it a bite then disappears before giving a notable hop flavor. Crisp and bready- like a cracker or something, I guess.

Brewed: 10/7/2021.  Distributed: 11/20/2021.

ABV: 5.1%,  IBU: 44

Malts: Munich.

Hops: Spalter Select.

Yeast: Imperial G02 Kaiser.

Homebrew SRL (Secondary Rye Lager)

This is the second rye lager I’ve made, in trying to make a beer like I remember Bell’s Smitten.  This didn’t turn out like I wanted it, but still turned out enjoyable.

Faint sweet aroma of malt. Crisp taste of malt and a hint of yeast. Hop flavor is very much in the background, but gives a slight bite. Leaves palate fairly clear with a mild lingering malt sweetness.

Brewed: 10/3/2021.  Distributed: 11/20/2021.

ABV: 5.0%,  IBU: 38

Malts: Brewer’s 2-row, Caramel 20L, Munich, Rye, Vienna.

Hops: Magnum, Willamette.

Yeast: Imperial L17 Harvest.

Homebrew Black Whiteout Stout

I’ve made this brew a few times before and it’s a good solid black ale.  The recipe came from a homebrew book, and they didn’t know what specific style it was, but I’m calling it a stout.  I brewed it once while doing a homebrew teaching, and it was in the middle of a snowstorm.  So the name came up to be Black Whiteout Stout just because it was a cool sounding play on words (I thought).

Dark, slightly sweet, and full-flavored maltiness.  Finishes fairly cleanly, but has a little malt sweetness in the tail end.

Brewed: 8/25/2021.  Distributed: 10/1/2021.

ABV: 7.0%,  IBU: 59

Malts: Brewer’s 2-row, Black Malt, Flaked Barley, Caramel Munich II, Caramel 80L

Hops: CTZ.

Yeast: White Labs WLP001 California Ale.

Homebrew Ode to Bob

I sometimes think I like Blue Moon, or have favorable memories of it from the past.  But a clone recipe I’ve brewed in the past, didn’t live up to expectations.  So I decided to just brew a beer that matched my memories of what Blue Moon tasted like to me all those years ago.  It turned out refreshing, but not the beer I imagined, so I’ll be iterating on this again in the future.  The name comes from my neighbor, Bob, who loves Blue Moon.

Crisp sweet aroma of hops/malt/yeast (not sure which). Taste is equally crisp, and palate-clearing. Finishing taste is smooth, with some fruity hop flavor in the background. Leaves minimal aftertaste other some hints of mild hop flavor hanging out in the background. Clean, crisp, and refreshing.

Brewed: 7/23/2021.  Distributed: 8/19/2021.

ABV: 4.9%,  IBU: 28

Malts: Brewer’s 2-Row, Flaked Oats, White Wheat, Red Wheat.

Hops: Hallertauer, Citra, Centennial, Amarillo.

Yeast: White Labs WLP001 California Ale.

Homebrew Machete IPA

This was a new beer for me, based on a picture I saw somewhere.  I envisioned a super-bitter IPA with caramel notes and an overpowering hop bitterness to cut through a hot, humid summer day.

Sharp, sweet aroma of malt with hops in the background.  Initial taste is crisp hop bite, combined with caramel malt sweetness.  Followed by full-flavored hops and then lingering bitterness.  Powerful punch of hop bitterness, buffeted by caramel malt sweetness.

Brewed: 7/9/2021.  Distributed: 8/6/2021.

ABV: 7.0%,  IBU: 89

Malts: Maris Otter, Caramel 20L, Munich, Caramel 60L.

Hops: Magnum, Chinook, Cluster, Ahtanum.

Yeast: Wyeast 1056 American Ale.

Homebrew AD Wheat

This was my second attempt to try to make the ubiquitous “Wheat Beer” I always  had visiting those early microbreweries before “craft beer” was a phrase.  This one is closer than my last, but I’ve got one more step to go.

Sweet aroma of malt. Crisp taste that clears the palate. Tangy, but not sweet. Finishes fairly cleanly with slight flavor hints of hops in the background. Quite refreshing. .

Brewed: 7/4/2021.  Distributed: 7/30/2021.

ABV: 4.9%,  IBU: 27

Malts: Red Wheat, Maris Otter, Flaked Wheat, Caramel 20L

Hops: Magnum, Spalter, Simcoe.

Yeast: Imperial Yeast A07 Flagship.

Homebrew Mosaic of Darkness

This recipe pre-dated my Black IPA recipe, and was something I initially thought would be a Black IPA.  But in the end, it just turned out to be a smooth black ale.  I might change it up some next time, but it’s decent as it is anyway.

Slight sweet aroma of hops and mild black malt in the background. Crispness of taste that clears the palate, then dark malt slides in after that. Flavorful, but leaves the palate clear with a slight lingering dark malt sweetness.

Brewed: 5/10/2021.  Distributed: 6/8/2021.

ABV: 6.4%,  IBU: 68

Malts: Golden Promise, Carafa III, Munich, Carafa I.

Hops: Mosaic.

Yeast: Imperial Yeast A07 Flagship.

Homebrew IRL (Initial Rye Lager)

I wanted to do a lager to try out new pressurized fermentation process/equipment, and I thought a rye lager might be cool.  I was looking for a COVID-inspired name, so came up with IRL, which I learned what it meant during lockdown quarantines.

Aroma is faint sweetness like pears or some sort of light fruit.  Taste is initially pretty flat on the palate, then turns to a nice mild grain taste.  Not much notable hop presence, mostly overall clean malt-tasting lager.  No real detectable rye “spiciness”, other than maybe hints of a slickness on the palate in the background.

Brewed: 5/2/2021.  Distributed: 5/27/2021.

ABV: 5.5%,  IBU: 35

Malts: Maris Otter, Rye Malt, Munich, Caramel 20L, Carafoam.

Hops: Cascade, Willamette.

Yeast: Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager.