Category Archives: HomeBrew

Crimson Corps Bulldog Ale – The botched version

IMG_5347   Here we are boys and girls, the recipe for the Crimson Corps Bulldog Ale that I botched on that fateful Brew Day.

As you can probably tell from the color, I don’t think it’s going to come our red, like it’s supposed to be.

You can find the original recipe here on Homebrew Talk. What happened to me was that when I transcribed it into Beersmith, I entered 5 Gallons. Beer smith showed it coming out black, so I adjusted the grain bill to make it red.

After I bought all the grain, I realized that the recipe was for a 10G batch. Once I adjusted that, it looks like it’ll come out yellow. I may brew the correct recipe at a later date, but for now, I’ve got 10 gallons of this. I’m sure it’ll be tasty.


12# Maris Otter (I used Colorado Malting Company’s 2 Row)

4# Vienna Malt

.75# Roasted Barley

.28 Crystal 120

2oz Fuggles at 60 Minutes

1oz Goldings at 15 Minutes

Wyeast 1272 American Ale Yeast (I used this for 5G and 1056 American Ale for 5G)


Mash at 150 Degrees F for 75 Minutes.

I’ll let you know how it comes out.

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Bad Brew Day! Go lay down.

IMG_5261 I managed to squeeze some more brewing in this last weekend, but it turned out to be a bit of a disaster though. Well, kind of.

A seasoned brewer will see pretty quickly that these are all rookie mistakes, so I’m kind of ashamed to admit them, but hey, you live and you learn. In the interest of furthering the knowledge of others, to help you, I’m going to commit these mistakes to the blog. That’s right, I’ll take one for the team.

For this brew day, I had kind of shuffled back and forth between what to brew. 10 gallons of this, or 10 gallons of that, 5 gallons of this, etc. I finally decided I would make it a regular brew day, and went with two recipes at 5 gallons each. The two recipes I planned on brewing were for the Marine Corps birthday on Nov 10th, and I wanted to get a head start. First up was "Crimson Corps Bulldog Ale", followed by "Semper-FI(PA)!" Not too ambitions right? I mean, I’ve brewed up to 15 gallons at a time before.

Part 1: The Brew store debacle OR Why you shouldn’t be in a rush

I get to the brew store, and I realize that I printed off the stuff I needed for both recipes on a single piece of paper. This isn’t good. I usually mill my grain together so that I only have one bag to dump into the mash tun. This time, I had 2 different grain bills, plus I was planning on roasting some of the barley, which should have been kept separate. So I called my wife, and asked her to list off the ingredients for the recipes. She was nice enough to help me out.

Only problem is, I messed them up on the list. Somehow I ended up with a bag of 20L when I should have had a bag of 120L, or at least I wrote 20L on it. Was it 20L, or was it 120L? If it is 20L, then where did the 120L go? Who knows? I sure didn’t.

Crimson Corps Bulldog Ale:

Started out with this Irish red recipe. When I was entering it into Brewsmith, I noticed that it was going to be almost black. Not exactly what I expected. So I adjusted the grain a little bit to make it more of a Red.

Then, after I got back from the brew store, I started calculating the water volumes and temperatures I would need for the mash and sparge. That’s when I started realizing something was wrong. I had an awful lot of grain for a 5 gallon recipe. Want to guess why? It’s simple really, it was a 10 gallon recipe.

When I was transcribing it into Brew Smith, I mistakenly entered 5 gallons for the batch size, when in fact it was a 10 gallon recipe. That also explains why my color was off.

I’m fermented 5 gallons of this with the American Ale II yeast that it called for, and 5 gallons on the American Ale (Wyeast 1056) yeast cake from my Sweet Mutt batch.


This was another minor debacle. I think I got all the correct stuff, of course there’s still the matter of the missing 120L, but it too had a ton of liquid. I didn’t see that it was a no sparge or super low efficiency on the recipe, so I just mashed and sparged like I normally would.

I ended up boiling it forever to get it down to 6 gallons, which is about where I start my 60 minutes. It was pretty think, and I think it’s going to end up being something like 8.5% alcohol.

I put this wort on top of the Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast cake from one of the Sweet Mutt batches.

As you can see, I had 2 Carboys of Sweet Mutt Honey Brown Ale that I needed to bottle. So all in all, I was brewing and bottling for about 13 hours that day. It was a productive day, but I had really hoped to go hiking or something else too, so it was kind of a bummer to use the whole day up brewing.

This was the second brew day in a row, and the second brew day in a 30 day window, where I brewed 15 Gallons at a time. I’m hoping to brew some lambics next, which is going to tie up my fermentation equipment for a little while, so I don’t want to run out of tasty beer to drink.

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Still on Schedule

I was able to IMG00075 keep on schedule by sneaking in a brew day just before May said Adios. I did a double brew day again, which is still just working out terrifically. Batch #1 was a 5.5G batch of a Light Rye beer, and batch #2 was a 10G batch of my “Sweet Mutt Honey Brown”.

One thing that helped my out immensely was my brand new immersion chiller. It cooled the wort down to pitching temperatures in no time flat. I’m running the water off into a 50G drum I have, and after I get a water pump set up, I’m going to be pumping that water onto my lawn through my sprinkler.

My Vienna Lager is really tasty now. I’ve been having some carbonation problems with it, but I haven’t minded sampling it repeatedly 🙂

I tried my Hefeweizen for the first time the other day, and it’s still pretty young. Tastes more like a wit bier right now, but I’m sure it’ll come around.

In June I’m scheduled to do my two Marine Corps Birthday brews, and I’m hoping to get those done pretty quickly so that I can maybe get a couple of unscheduled brews in as well. Although I have a decent quantity of beer laying around the house, there’s still very little that’s ready to drink. I’m hoping to rectify that 🙂

Until next time, keep brewing!

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Double Brew Day

IMG_4865If you’ve been keeping up with my homebrewing posts, you saw that I was running behind, and had to change my schedule a little bit.

I scheduled 2 brews for yesterday, figuring it would take less time than doing it individually. Boy was I right!

Not only did it save time, but having all the equipment already out made the second brew just fly by. I was even considering trying to do three in a row. 🙂

I did all of the mashing in the kitchen, heating that water on the stove in a couple of pots, with my mash tun on the kitchen table. Then I would carry the wort out into the garage with a bucket where my brew kettle was sitting on the propane burner.

After finishing Sparging, I didn’t have to sit around waiting for my kettle to come to a boil, I was busy in the kitchen getting ready for the next batch. I did have a hour and a half delay in between batches though, I had to roast some malt and I didn’t realize it was going to take as long as it did.

While the first batch finished boiling and was cooling, I was getting the second batch ready. While it was coming to a boil, I was racking the first batch.

All in all, it went really well. The delay worked in my favor, because there wasn’t a point where I could have used a second burner. I did however just pick up another burner, and as soon as I get a high pressure regulator for it, I’ll be good to go.

I’ll also be taking part in a group buy in Denver later on in the month, and I’ll have 100 lbs of malt on hand, I may have to throw even more extra brews in the schedule. We’ll see.

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Adjusted Brew Schedule Revision 2 and some updates

5WeekApfelwein If you didn’t find it on your own, I posted my 2010 Brew Schedule. I never mentioned it on the blog, so you would have had to notice the link at the top of the site.

If you didn’t check it out, don’t worry, because I had to make some changes to it. Here’s what I did:

1. Re-scheduled missed brews – I was late on both my 90 Shilling clone, and my Octoberfest. Those were supposed to be brewed in February and early March, but I skipped right over them, just too busy. I moved them to the first weekend in April.

2. Moved the Lambics – Since I’m going to need a big pile of fruit for those, I thought it made good sense to make them when that fruit was actually in season. It’s going to be like 6 to 18 months before I drink them anyway, so it’s not like I’m in a hurry.

3. Added a Hefeweizen in April, and a Rye beer in May – I don’t know why I didn’t have these on the schedule anyway, Hefeweizen is one of my favorites, and I’ve always wanted to make some rye beer. Not to mention it will give me something a little lighter to drink in the summer.

If you look at the schedule, April is going to be a busy month, I’m making 2 brews on one weekend, and a third the next weekend. July is pretty busy too, with 3 brews that month too. We have some relatives visiting us over the summer, so I wanted to have a good selection of beer available.

Believe it or not, I’m actually hoping to squeeze in some more brewdays, but we’ll see about that. I’m hoping to start on making a electric Hot Liquor Tun (HLT), which basically just heats and holds hot water, which would save me a  lot of time and propane. I hope that I’ll also be getting a wort chiller for father’s day. Both of these should cut some time off of my 8 hour brew days.

Next month I’ll be picking up a 50 pound sack or two of malt from a group buy I’m taking part of in Denver. Near the end of the year, I may have to start brewing a little extra in order to use that all up.

I’ve been having some trouble with my kegging setup, nothing real bad, but I still need to do some work on it. Of course, Pinewood Derby is coming up pretty quick, so I may be doing more of that over the weekends rather than hobby projects. I’ll find out tonight if the Vienna Lager I made is carbonated well enough.

Hope everyone has a good weekend, and thanks for reading!

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