Sunday, October 2, 2011

Westside California Common

This started out as a classic California Common, which is golden-to-amber in color, but I misread the recipe guide, and used 2 pounds of  chocolate malt instead of 2 ounces.  Luckily, the chocolate malt provided a nice roasty character that gave this beer a coffee-like back-end, without the burnt aftertaste.  Surprisingly balanced and smooth given the mistake.  Delightful!


  • 7 lbs. light LME
  • 1.1 lbs. Munich LME
  • 1 lb. Crystal 40L
  • ½ lb. Victory malt
  • 2 lbs. Chocolate malt
  • 1 oz. Northern Brewer 6.5% AAU (bittering)
  • 1.5 oz. NB (flavor)
  • 1.5 oz. NB (aroma)
  • Wyeast 2112 California Lager, fermented at 62° with diacetyl rest at 68°, then lagered at 36°

Homebrewing is often about experimentation, sometimes accidental.  Here, I accidentally brewed a German Schwarzbier, which is a dark, roasty lager.  Not usually as dark and roasty as this one, but close.  The color here is closer to a Russian Imperial Stout, including the slight sweetness and high alcohol.  This one just gets better with age.

Brewed August 2011 and bottled September 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dub Siren Saison

hipster_sirenThis is a Belgian/French Strong Ale done with the classic Saison Du Pont yeast.  With the acidulated malt, wheat and the bitter orange peel, it has the tart mouth of a classic Wit, but the wonderful phenolic nose of a Saison, plus a pepper bite.  Also, because I couldn’t get the DuPont strain to finish low enough, I brewed-up a Belgian Ardennes starter about three-quarters of the way through fermentation, and pitched that to get the beer to finish, so it also has a little bit of that Belgian funk present.  Think Avery White Rascal crossed with a Belgian Triple and you get close.  The recipe is the Saison Etè from the Woodland Hills HBWC Shop.

  • 4 oz. German acid malt
  • 12 oz. German wheat malt
  • 8 oz. German Vienna
  • 9 lbs. pale liquid malt extract
  • 1 lb. Belgian rock candy sugar
  • 1.65 oz. Styrian Goldings hops (bittering)
  • 2 oz. Czech Saaz (aroma)
  • 1 tsp. coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp. black peppercorn
  • 1/2 oz. bitter orange peel
  • Fermented with Wyeast 3724 Saison yeast at 68-80, then finished with Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes.

For the label, I started with a Mermaid theme, but found this wonderful Club-Princess mermaid and just cropped the top third of the photo, and “dubbed” her the Dub Siren.  It just felt right.  The QR code takes you here.

Brewed:  June 2011 from a birthday gift, and Bottled July 2011.  Excellent result, will definitely brew again.  Wife loves it.