Over the years, I've spent quite a but of time fine tuning my recipes through trial and error....mainly through error! Some have been around since the inception of my short brewing career and maybe only slightly tweaked. Some recipes have and are still going under major overhauls. But I've got my core beers that I and try and keep on hand depending on the season. We seem to always have a version of our Barefoot Pale Ale and our Black Dog Cream Ale (especially in the summer) on tap. But I have a great time challenging myself to brew either new recipes or different styles of beers. This is where all grain brewing can really add variety to the beers you brew. Whether you try a brew with a American 2-Row base malt, an English-style ale with Maris Otter malt, or maybe a Pilsner beer with you guessed it, Pilsner malt...the possibilites are endless. Maybe you brew the same recipe over and over and only switch up the hops or yeast, again endless possibilities! Below are some of my favorite recipes that I brew.
***These recipes have been adjusted to 6.5 gallon batches with a brewhouse efficiency of 72%.***
This easy-drinking ale was inspired my black labrador retriver, Grace. It was the first beer I ever brewed and after a couple of tweaks to the recipe a few years back, I think I finally got the profile I was looking for. Cream ales are brewed to be light and refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. If you've ever heard the term "lawnmower beer", this would fall into that category. Even though this beer is fermented with ale yeast, I have found that cold-conditioning or "lagering" for a month or so really gives this beer a very crisp, clean finish.
OG: 1.048 SRM: 4 IBU: 17 ABV: 4.8%
10 lbs. - American 6-Row Malt
1 lb. - Flaked Maize
4 oz. - Crystal 20L
.33 oz - Columbus (60 mins)
- Mash at 150° (60 mins)
- Ferment at 68°
This rich, malty ale is probably my favorite beer to make and have on tap. It's smooth and creamy and the yeast used is a high-floccer so it pours clear after just a few days of cold-conditioning. The general brown ale style orginated in London and the early recipes were lightly hopped and made with 100% brown malt. Today, breweries around the country use a variety of malts to achieve the dark amber or brown color. I had envisioned for this beer a rich, chocolatly beer with just a hint of bitterness from the malt. And then just enough hop flavor to offset the sweetness of the malt. In trying to keep with the style, I use English style hops and yeast. This beer is in the Fall after a day of fly fishing or watching some college football!
OG: 1.053 SRM: 18 IBU: 23 ABV: 5.3%
12.25 lbs. - American 2-Row Malt
1.15 lbs. - Crystal 80L
.33 lbs. - Chocolate Malt
2 oz - Black Patent Malt
1 oz. - East Kent Goldings (60 mins)
1 oz. - Willamette (15 mins)
1 oz. - Liberty (5 mins)
- Mash at 154° (60 mins)
- Ferment at 68°
My flagship beer! There is always some version of this on tap in my bar. My approach to pale ales is a simple one...the world doesn't need another pale ale! But I wanted a beer that was my "go to" if I wanted a good session ale with some nice mild hop flavor...this accomplishes both. Clocking in around 5% ABV, it's a beer you can have a few of and not feel weighted down and with your head spinning. But at the same time, it's got some smooth bitterness with a mild hop flavor and aroma in the finish. This is a recipe that I tweak almost every batch. Not so much with the grains but definetely with the hops. It's a very standard malt bill that I sometimes add a touch of Munich malt to. I'll also switch up the hops. Go American, go English...just get some good hops in there!
OG: 1.050 SRM: 9 IBU: 35 ABV: 5%
Although the Weissbier/Witbier style has been around for centuries, the American wheat beer has gained in popularity over the last 5-10 years no doubt in part to popularity of Blue Moon. Wheat beers are sometimes referred to as bridge beers meaning it's the style that people trasitition to craft beers through. The wheat beer style which originated Germany has taken on a life of it's own in the 21st century. When hops weren't added to beer hundreds of years ago, a blend of spices and fruit were added instead to add flavor. Today, there are a variety of commercial wheat beers on the market. Breweries are making Wheat IPA's, Pumpkin Wheats, and any assortment of fruit wheat beers. In addition to the spice and fruit additions to the beer, the strain of yeast that used to ferment this style is important. There are a variety of yeast strains that can will turn out a solid version of this style. WYeast 1056, 1010, 3068, 3942, and 3944 will all produce a great wheat beer.
OG: 1.051 SRM: 4 IBU: 19 ABV%: 5.1
5.5 lbs. - American 2-Row
5.5 lbs. - White Wheat Malt
1 lb. - Flaked Wheat
8 oz. - Munich 20L
1 lb. - Rice Hulls
1 oz. - Hallertau (60 mins)
1 oz. - Cascade (5 mins)
2 oz. - Orange Peel (5 mins)
1/2 tbsp. - Coriander (5 mins)
- Mash at 152°
- Ferment at 68°