Brew Day – Bunsy Bell AIPA Clone – 12/22/2018

So, tomorrow I march into my Fantasy football championship (12 team, full PPR) with this roster…

  • QB: Cam Newton
  • RB: James Connor
  • RB: Todd Gurley
  • WR: Julio Jones
  • WR: Tyler Boyd
  • WR: Alshon Jeffery
  • TE: Rob Gronkowski
  • Flex: Josh Allen
  • K: who cares
  • DST: Denver

What’s that you say – injuries happen? Let’s see what I’m really throwing out there…

  • QB: Josh Allen
  • RB: Gus Edwards
  • RB: Todd Gurley
    • Oh wait, he’s doubtful – probably either Kallen Ballage or CJ Anderson
  • WR: Julio Jones
    • Oh wait, he’s doubtful – probably Robert Foster
  • WR: Alshon Jeffery
  • WR: Jarvis Landry
  • TE: Rob Gronkowski
  • Flex: Could be Kallen Ballage or CJ Anderson, or Robert Foster depending on Julio’s status
  • K: still don’t care
  • DST: Denver

If I end up pulling this off, they should double my winnings.

UPDATE: 12/23 – I got slaughtered. It was over before Todd Gurley even got a chance to be scratched. Oh well, 2nd place in one league, and 4th in another isn’t a bad year. Gronk goosed me in the championships! Never again Gronk. Never again. Julio ended up playing, so I flexed Kallen Ballage. That ended up being garbage.

I need a beer.

BYO just published a bunch of recipes from Bell’s brewery. I love their Hop Slam. I also love their Two Hearted Ale. Since Hop Slam is one of those “…don’t make plans the next day if you are going to drink a few…” beers, it is better suited to be a small batch.

Two Hearted Ale, on the other hand, is well suited to be a keg beer in my tap room. Not a session by any stretch of the imagination, but a beer that I could probably get away with having two, and not feel bad the next day. It is a REALLY good beer.

To give you an idea of how good this beer is Рit got a 100 on Ratebeer. Yes, its that good.

The recipe:

Not a lot of creative license here. I’ll follow the recipe the first time out, and if all goes well, maybe I’ll put my own spin on it. But, it’s a freaking perfect beer – I can only screw it up by monkeying around, right?

The Steps:

  • 75 minute mash
  • 75 minute boil
  • Hops @ 45/30, and dry after primary is done
  • Yeast nutrient and fining agent at 10 minutes
  • 2 packs of rehydrated S-05

The Numbers:

  • Pre boil volume target: 7.59 gallons
    • little on the high side
  • Pre boil gravity target: 1.057
    • exceeded @ 1.060
  • Post boil volume target: 6.34 gallons (5.25 gallons into the fermenter)
    • too much – 6 gallons into the fermenter
  • Post boil gravity (OG) target: 1.071
    • missed @ 1.065
    • makes sense – I have .75 gallons more than I should have, so its a touch diluted
  • Final OG target: 1.010
  • Measured ABV (est): 7.2%

Misc Notes:

  • BIAB large batch
  • No sparge method
  • Struggled with volumes today – it was about 40 degrees outside and I didn’t have a particularly strong boil going. Ended up adding 8 minutes onto the boil to get the volume down a little. In retrospect, probably should have gone about 15 minutes total and pushed it to a full 90 minute boil.
  • The cold wreaked havoc on my poor battery powered drill. I had to break out the corded drill for grain milling and aerating.
    • Oh my freaking god – that corded power drill aerated the HELL out of that beer. Unreal. I’ll have to do that every time from here on out instead of my little 18V battery drill.
  • MY HYDROMETER BROKE DURING CLEANUP! This is a very essential piece of equipment as I have two beers in the tank already, and both are needing hydrometer updates.

12/24 update – The hydrometer I ordered on 12/22 actually ARRIVED. Thank YOU Amazon Prime.

Fermentation Notes:

  • Brought a space heater in to the basement to help fermentation area stay around 70 degrees
  • 12/24 – visible krausening in the tank (since there are a couple gallons of empty space, the airlock doesn’t usually go too crazy – I keep an eye on the krausen activity. I’ll be taking a hydrometer reading on the night of the 27th (per the recipe instructions).
  • 12/27 – dry hopped, couldn’t take a hydrometer reading due to trub surrounding the sample spout, and I’m not ready to empty the bulb yet. Since fermentation could be sluggish to due temp control issues, I don’t want to remove any yeast that I don’t have to yet.
  • 12/31 – emptied the bulb in my conical for the first time. No gravity reading yet.
  • 1/1 – Happy New Year! emptied the bulb for the 2nd time. Most sediment settled and now I have clear beer at the bottom of the conical. Took a gravity reading – 1.010 (TERMINAL). Will give it 24 hours to let any final sediment go to the bulb, and will probably keg tomorrow night when I get home from work. Got a real winner here.

Tasting Notes:

  • 1/1 – first time tasting since my sampling spigot was blocked by a ton of trub. Nice hoppy and pine finish. Slight sweetness. Very much reminds me of a Bell’s Two Hearted (which is good considering its a clone).





Brew Day – My Mosaic – 12/17/2018

Founder’s makes a really good Mosaic centered IPA (called Mosaic Promise). Makes me really appreciate the taste and aroma of the Mosaic hop, so I wanted to design a beer around it. Not quite a SMaSH beer (since the grain bill will have some speciality in it), but kind of close. I learned from my SMaSH experiments that either a touch of caramel 20 or caramel 40 is a nice addition to an IPA.

Going to call this creating “My Mosaic.” If you want to understand why, just sing “My Mosaic” instead of “My Sharona.”

Okay – I’ll stop now.

The recipe:

I’ll admit, I’m going a little nuts on the dry hopping. I’m doing a full ounce of Mosaic for a 1.5 gallon batch! That is crazy. Ideally, I’d like to hone this recipe and make it part of my regular rotation, so I figured I’d go to an EXTREME fence post, and see if that big of a dry addition will make it undrinkable. If it does – oh well, I’ll cut it in half next time. If it doesn’t, I’ll add more next time. I can’t imagine that I can do too much more though. I guess we’ll see.

The Steps:

  • 75 minute mash
  • 60 minute boil
  • Hops @ 60/10, and dry after primary is done
  • Yeast nutrient and fining agent at 10 minutes
  • 1 pack of rehydrated S-05

The Numbers:

  • Pre boil volume target: 2.12 gallon
    • nailed it
  • Pre boil gravity target: 1.047
    • exceeded @ 1.052
  • Post boil volume target: 1.72 gallon (1.65 into the fermenter)
    • had to top off with cold water
  • Post boil gravity (OG) target: 1.060
    • exceeded @ 1.072
  • Final gravity target: 1.011
    • nailed it
  • Est ABV (actual): 7.9% (yowza!) – very high end for this style

Misc Notes:

  • BIAB stovetop (small batch)
  • No sparge method
  • Everything pretty much went as planned!

Fermentation Notes:

  • Brought a space heater in to the basement to help fermentation area stay around 70 degrees
  • 12/18 – FINALLY bubbling
  • 12/24 – gravity reading at 1.011 – terminal gravity reached
  • 12/24 – added 1.38oz of mosaic hops (dry hop add)
    • Note – the recipe I wrote called for only 1 oz of dry hops. I had .38 oz extra in the fridge, so I figured – what the hell??? Throw it in!

Tasting Notes:

  • 12/24 – slightly bitter – will definitely benefit from the dry hopping!
  • 12/29 – drew a couple samples for my buddies – AMAZING. Rave reviews. The aroma and hoppiness were very pleasant. Looks like I could have added more!
  • 12/30 – bottled – ready to drink in a week or two


Do you enjoy the Mosaic hop? Have you had any beers or brewed any beers with Mosaic in it? If so, please share in the comments below. Thanks.




Brew Day – Session IPA – 7/21/18

I’m a huge fan of Founder’s All-Day IPA. I call it my go-to golf beer. It’s a nice session IPA that is big on flavor. I can drink them during a round of golf and not get stupid. I came to the realization that I want more low to mid range ABV beers on tap, and I’ll make the bigger beers in small batches and bottle them. I don’t like a double digit ABV beer sitting in a 5 gallon keg. That takes a while to burn though. Conor’s Conference Championship Imperial Stout with Jim Beam Vanilla Bourbon was on tap for about 8 months. So, I’ll probably do small batches via BIAB method, and bottle them, and use the larger operation for my kegging beers. I’ve already identified about 60 different recipes that I want to experiment with in smaller batches. So, guess I’ll be busy for a bit!

I’ve also been taking a good hard look at my brewing operation, and really want to focus on creating more efficiency. This time around, I spent a little $$$ upgrading some fittings to cams and quick releases. This was TOTALLY worth the time and money. I’m going to keep doing this. Next upgrades in the coming months are:

  • Add whirlpool/recirculation port to the brew kettle
  • Add brew house pump to facilitate liquid transfer and whirlpooling
  • Purchase water test kit to manipulate water PH
  • Convert all hoses/fittings to cam/quick release
  • Buy a wort aeration tool to put on the end of a drill (in lieu of using oxygen from a tank)

I also made a very small but clever upgrade to my water supply. Usually I just run my garden hose and switch out between running through the water filter and the garden hose nozzle. This is very labor intensive as you need to go turn off the spigot each time. I decided to get a 3-port manifold for the end of the hose. Now I have a separate hose for each function, and I can turn off the water on the manifold instead of at the spigot. Saved a TON of time and water.

The Recipe (all grain):

  • 5 lbs Marris Otter
  • 1 lb Crystal 20
  • 1 lb Munich
  • 1 lb Vienna
  • 1 lb flaked oats (this was an oops – I was only supposed to do .5 lb, so we’ll see what happens)
  • 1 oz simcoe hops @ 60 min
  • 1 oz simcoe hops @ 5 min
  • 2 oz amarillo hops @ flameout
  • Whirlfloc @ 10 min
  • Yeast – Fermentis S-04, rehydrated


Brew notes (I’m not going to regurgitate all of the steps – just the ones that are important):

  • Single step mash – strike water @ 162 degrees F for 75 minutes
  • Had to sparge twice due to not hitting pre-boil gravity
    • Note – this is the 2nd batch where I’m not hitting my pre-boil gravity – I need to work on this.
      • Note – I’m going to start watching my water chemistry (PH) and also asking my local brew shop to double mill my grains.
  • Had to run through heat exchanger 3 times to get to pitching temp
    • Recirculated “ice” water via a sump pump – will need to have more ice on hand next time. Ideally only want to run through once


Target numbers:

  • 5 gallons
  • OG – 1.043, FG – 1.010
  • IBU – 50.6, ABV – 4.2%

This will be kegged once it reaches its final gravity.

Bought ingredients at my local homebrew store (Bacchus & Barleycorn).


Brew day notes:

  • Date: 7/21
  • Weather: Relatively clear, not too hot
  • Total time (including cleaning): 6.5 hours – sparging twice and 3 runs through the heat exchanger messed up my time
  • Brew day beer of choice:
    • Conor’s Conference Championship Imperial Stout with Jim Beam Vanilla
      • Been trying to kick this keg to make room for today’s home brew. SUCCESS – kicked!
    • Founder’s All-Day IPA
  • Brew day music of choice: Otherwise
    • Pretty decent rock band!
  • Actual OG: 1.036
    • Going to research more mashing/sparging techniques and clean up my act.
    • The ABV will be a slight miss, but hoping the taste of the beer is still decent. We’ll see.
  • Final OG: TBD
  • Final ABV: TBD
  • What went well:
    • New dip tube on boil kettle was great. New quick release fittings were great.
    • Finally got my plastic conical fermenter to stop leaking. The secret – use a crap load of teflon tape, leak test, re-apply more teflon tape, leak test, and you should be good.
    • New hop screen (to replace old hop spider) was a great investment. So much use beyond just filtering hops. I used it as a filter when I transferred my sweet wort to the brew kettle (from the mash tun). Will use it when I keg as well.
  • What went bad:
    • Ran out of ice water
    • Mash/sparge not efficient
    • Spilled grains all over garage floor when cleaning mash tun.
  • Hardware notes:
    • I WANT A PUMP!

If any readers have recommendations for brew pumps (I know that the Rip Tide is probably the best, but if you have positive feedback on the “Wort Hog,” “Chugger,” or the “March” pumps, please let me know. Also, if you have any feedback on improving mash efficiency, I’d love to hear it. I think my 10-gallon Igloo and false bottom are pretty decent hardware. So, I’m looking for more “technique” suggestions – not necessarily hardware. Stuff I’ll be doing for the next batch:

  1. Ask supply store to double mill the grains
  2. Measure water PH


Have you ever brewed this style beer before? Please let us know about your brewing experiences. If you enjoyed this post, please like and share. Thanks!