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Sunday, March 20, 2016


Alpha-amylase-  They chop starches in half, reducing the chains into one, two and three molecules of glucose. This process is called Liquefication or Dextrinization. 

Alpha- works best at temps of 149f - 153f.

Beta-amylase- They "nibble" on the ends of the long starch chains. This process is called Saccharification. 

Beta- Works best at temps of 126f -144f.

For the best conversion of starches to fermentable sugars Alpha and Beta have to work together. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Graff Ale

Beer: Graff- iti  Ale
Style: Brown ale and Cider Mix
Brewed on : 9-20-2015
Kegged on: 10-3-2015
ABV: ~
OG: 1.060
FG: Unknown-- Broke me hydrometer that day.

Appearance: Dark amber to the edge of orange, hazy, low head
Smell: Strong, alcohol, lite apple
Taste: Up front apple to start, slightly bitter, Wine- like characteristics, ending almost hot.
Mouthfeel: Thin body, mild carbonation, small bite at the end, wine- like


5 gal, All grain
Mashed at: 155 F for 60 min
Fly sparged at: 168 F for 60 min
Fermented at: 70 F


4lb - Maris otter
4lb- Rawl 2- row
2lb- Caramel 60
1lb- Biscuit


60 min - 1oz Williamette

30 min- 1oz Chinook


Irish ale - White Labs WLP004


16 fl oz- Molasses to Boil at 5 minutes
1 Gal. - Fresh apple cider to boil at 5 minutes


Sunday, October 4, 2015


Melanoidin-    Melanoidins are formed from the chemical reaction (Maillard Reaction) when sugars and amino acids combine at elevated temperatures. Melanoidins add color with no flavor. The flavor associated with melanoidins is from the Maillard Reaction of the sugars and amino acids combining. 

The flavors being - the flavor you get when you toast bread or roast marshmallows. 


The compound  6-Acetyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydropyridine (pictured below) also is part of the flavor and smell associated with melanoidins.


Photo from





Thursday, August 6, 2015

Back yard Hops - Pictures of the day-

           Here are some pictures of my back yard cascade hops. I can't wait to put them in a beer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Home grown Cascade, Nelson Sauvin, Citra and Galaxy IPA

Beer: 7-11 IPA
Style: IPA
Brewed on : 7.11.15
Kegged on: 7.27.15
ABV: 6.8%
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.008

Appearance: Dark gold, hazy, medium head
Smell: Peach, grapefruit, citrus, white wine
Taste: Earthiness, peach, citrus, white wine
Mouthfeel: Thin body, low carbonation, smooth in the middle with a small bite at the end


5 gal, All grain
Mashed at: 153 F for 80 min
Fly sparged at: 160 F for 40 min
Fermented at: 70 F


84% - 10 lb 2 row
8% - 1 lb Munich light
8%  - 1 lb Carmal 40


60 min - .5oz Home grown Cascade

45 min- .5oz Nelson Sauvin

30 min- .5oz Galaxy
             .5oz Citra

5 min- .5oz Galaxy
            .5oz Citra
             .5oz Nelson Sauvin

7 day dry hop- 1oz Galaxy


Wyeast 1056

Monday, July 13, 2015


Have you ever stopped to think about why you are adding the hops to the boil when you do? 60 minutes, 45 minutes, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, flame out and into fermentation (dry hopping).

The point of adding hops  at different points of the boil is to get the various qualities of the hops in your beer. Hops contain Alpha acids located in the Lupulin gland. The longer your hops are in the boil the more Alpha acids you will extra from the hops. The more Alpha acids in your brew the higher your IBUs will be.

All your hop additions change from one beer style to the next. Why?  I will give some examples.

Brown ale will have most of the hop additions at the 60 minute mark and few at the middle and end of the boil. But why is this, you ask.  Brown ales have a profile emphasizing on the malt over the hops. Lower hop additions in the middle and end give a lower to no hop flavor and aroma.

India Pale Ales are big on bitterness, hop flavor and aroma. IPAs may have a 90 minute hop addition to extract as much of the alpha acids as possible. For the flavor there will be large hop additions and for the aroma the additions can be from large to mammoth amounts of hops. IPAs will be dry hopped to bring the aroma to the next level.

Below I have put in a chart so you can know when to add your hops on your next brew day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HomeBrew Wednesday # 1

Happy Home Brew Wednesday  
This will be my first home brew Wednesday blog post. Today I will talk about what I have been doing in the brewing world and some of my up grades in my home brew equipment.  
Back on January 10 one of my local breweries (Draft Line)  had an event called Brew and Chew.  As the Head brewer said " we will BREW some home brew and  CHEW on some brewing facts. There was around twenty homebrewers on hand. All brewing our own 5 to 10 gallon batches. I brewed a Pale Ale with all Nelson Sauvin hops and cultivated Wyeast 1272 from my last brew of ESB.  What a great brew day.
(in the center) Jamie McMillan , Draft Line Brewing head brewer
-Photo courtesy of Kellie Evans

A great angle of brewery with me in the middle with the hat on
-Photo courtesy of Kellie Evans-
Wort Chilling with an awesome immersion chiller.
-Photo courtesy of Kellie Evans-

Yeast starter cultivated from my ESB batch. (Wyeast 1272)
-Photo courtesy of Kellie Evans-
From the Brew and Chew I picked up a few techniques to bring my Brewing up to the next level. Up until that day I had only batch sparged, but from some of the other home brewers I was able to get some ideas on how to build a fly sparge system, which I used on my next brewday.
Diagrams for my fly sparge system
My Fly sparge system in action.

Brew today, See you Tomorrow.