Apr 11

Tasting Notes for 1933 Barclay Perkins Sweet Stout

1933 Barclay Perkins Sweet Stout

Tasting Notes

for International Homebrew Project ’11 – Sweet Stout.

For those of you who have dodgy memories, discount this was a collaborative brew-n-blog initiated by the fine gentleman over at Fuggled. This is a report on the final beer – tasting and wrap up thoughts.

A few notes on how my batch turned out:

I “overshot” the OG by 12 pts, for sale mostly due to extra mash efficiency. I hit the pre-boil gravity via raw wort, so the 12 pts of Lactose put me over the top. I’ve had less than wonderful success retaining body and mouthfeel when diluting other beers, so Rick and I left this one as is. Also, it only fermented out to 1.033, so I didn’t need to dose it again with lactose in the secondary/keg.

Stats: OG 1.065, 40 BU, ABV 4.3%, kegged to 2.1 Volumes CO2

  • Appearance – Inky black death. Creamy tan head, low in height, fades to persistent ring of bubbles. Great lacing, and the legs – holy cow. Picture black chocolate milk. Low levels of carbonation.
  • Smell – Dense chocolate with hint of roast – almost coffee like in background. Faint levels of dark fruit and molasses. Quite pungent, lovely.
  • Taste – Roast coffee and chocolate right on, sweet then roasty and bitter transition nicely to a lingering aftertaste. No real fruits or yeast esters. Finish is bitter roasty chocolate — but with a sweet taste. Odd sensation for a beer, but lovely.
  • Mouthfeel – Quite full bodied, nice creaminess up front then moves to interesting bitter/sweet middle. Finish is drying – roasty and slightly bitter.
  • Drinkability & Notes – Aye, she’s a winner. This one is MUCH better warmer – pour two pints and let the 2nd sit and warm up. Super lovely dense flavors with great aroma. Quite drinkable considering the high terminal gravity – it drinks like a much bigger beer than the 4.3% ABV would suggest.

Read the other reviews over at Fuggled.

Mar 13


Still have a couple of brews to update here, viagra dosage but for now quickies:

  • Belgian Pale Ale with Wyeast 3522 – Belgian Ardennes. Interesting malt character with some fruitiness. Spiciness is clove heavy – reminds me a bit of a Hefe. Hrm. Carbing up now, prescription shall see.
  • 1923 Barclay Perkins XLK – corny, creamy mouth feel. Interesting, probably going to enter this as Cream Ale into comps. Not sure if yeast esters will get it nailed.
  • Mild heading down to 30F after 1 week secondary, kegging in 3 days. So far a nice grainy & chocolate drinker.
  • IHBP 2011 Sweet Stout – hit 1.033 in primary. 45% attenuation. Sucker reeeeeks of roast, coffee and chocolate. Tastes just as good. Silky smooth, interesting to see how just a bit of carbonation will affect this. Into secondary, kegging in 5-6 days.

I’m hoping to put each of these into Nationals, but we’ll see how they go.

Oh, working on a project… Installing Xcode now…

Mar 07

2011 International Homebrew Project – Brewday

This is the International Homebrew Project brewday notes, shop the no pictures version. Rick of CandianBrewer fame came over for a big batch brewday. We did a bit more drinking and bullshitting than photo taking. Rick brought over a growler of his Lees Stout for some proper motivation. That is one tasty session stout…

All in all, a pretty decent brewday save for a couple stuck mashes. I’ve had this problem off and on over the last few batches and don’t quite have a handle on it. Thankfully I’ve learned that stirring and letting it settle for 5 min usually gets the grain bed reset. Recirculate a bit to ensure clarity and then off and running (ha!) again.

I was able to get all the proper ingredients at Northern Brewer. Simpson’s Medium Crystal, Crisp Amber and Brown malts. I had some Fawcett Roast Barley from a group buy earlier in the year. I didn’t get the Mild Malt, but did use Fawcett Optic to ensure we get that solid malty base.

The Invert No 3 was part of a big batch I made a while back. It took a half hour of soaking the container in hot tap water to get it loose enough to pour. Stuff is awesome – sticky-icky goodness of toffee and medium fruits.

The only missed number was the extra 10pts of gravity heading into the kettle. Somehow these 10 gallon batches actually boost my efficiency up from 75-80% to 95%. Cute! We decided to stay the course and avoid any course deviations to make sure the balance and mouthfeel weren’t compromised. The unfermentable lactose and Wyeast 1318 should keep the attenuation down – looking to finish around 1.025 or so for 5.16% ABV.

The mash-out was a bit different than the usual infusion… Promash was telling me it was going to need 10.9 gallons in my 10 gallon mash tun. So, decoction mash out it was. Not the first time for that – I tend to do this for the amber and dark lagers for extra flavor. So enough poetic waxing and onto the notes…


2011-03-05  International Hombrew Project 2011
Brewing Date: Saturday March 05, 2011
Head Brewer:  Nicholas Henke
Asst Brewer:  Rick Preston
Recipe:       International Hombrew Project 2011

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal):        11.50    Wort Size (Gal):  11.50
Total Grain (Lbs):       22.24
Anticipated OG:         1.0530    Plato:           13.091
Anticipated SRM:          41.7
Anticipated IBU:          40.0
Brewhouse Efficiency:       75 %
Wort Boil Time:            150    Minutes


%     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
51.2    11.39 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)              Great Britain  1.0380      3
12.7     2.84 lbs. Milk Sugar                    Generic        1.0300      0
10.8     2.41 lbs. Amber Malt                    Great Britain  1.0320     35
8.6     1.91 lbs. Roasted Barley                Great Britain  1.0290    575
5.9     1.32 lbs. Brown Malt                    Great Britain  1.0320     70
5.9     1.32 lbs. Crystal 75L                   Great Britian  1.0340     75
4.7     1.05 lbs. Invert No. 3                  Britain        1.0330     65


Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
111.17 g.     Fuggle                            Pellet   3.67  27.5  150 min.
48.04 g.     Goldings - E.K.                   Pellet   4.22  12.5  60 min.


Amount      Name                           Type      Time
2.00 Unit(s)Whirfloc Tablet                Fining    15 Min.(boil)
1.25 Tsp    Yeast Nutrient                 Other     15 Min.(boil)

WYeast 1318 London Ale III

Mash Schedule
Step   Rest   Start   Stop  Heat     Infuse   Infuse  Infuse
Step Name            Time   Time   Temp    Temp  Type     Temp     Amount  Ratio
Sacchrification        5     90    151     151   Infuse   179       18.35   1.00
Mash Out              15     15    170     170   Decoc    192       11.25   1.00 (Decoc Thickness)

Brew Day Notes

  • Brewed 2011-03-06
  • Fawcett Optic as base malt
  • Simpson’s Medium Crystal, Crisp Amber and Brown malts, Fawcett Roast Barley
  • hops derated for 1yr old @ 5F in vacuum packaging
  • Wyeast yeast nutrient


  • 1020 Mash in to 152F. HLT at usual Promash +5 of 184F. Needed 3pts of 60F tap to get down to 152F.
  • 1022 hit pH 5.5 (sample chilled to room temp) after adding 1 tsp (~4.4 g) NaHCO3
  • 1206 mash out decoc pulled – about 3.5 gal or 50%. Main at 149F.
  • 1210 Mash out hit at 170F
  • 1226 vorlauf started
  • 1228 sparge adjusted to pH 5.3 (@ room temp)
  • we sparged around 11 gallons, kept eye on pH and spiked again in last half to keep pH under 6.0.
  • 1238 Runnings started – 23.5B
  • 1240 stuck hard. tried a few things to kick it loose. Resorted to a full out restir and 5 minute “time out”
  • 1315 runnings again going well, ran fine until the end.
  • 1344 sparge done, final runnings at 1.5B. Total in kettle was 14.03gal at 11B.
  • 1402 Boiling on!
  • 1635 Boil done, 15min whirlpool started
  • boil off was fine – slightly less than 1gal/hr due to partial lid on kettle.
  • 1650 start chilling – hit 66F from 61F tap water.
  • 1715 done – final gravity 1.066/16.3B

Fermentation Notes

  • 2011-03-06 @1715: Pitched 200 mL of harvested thick slurry from Mild (post/link shortly).
  • pitched at 64F, hit with 120s O2
  • 2011-03-06 @2232: fermenter bubbling away, yeast sludge forming at the top. 5hr lag, gotta love repitched yeast!
  • fermenting at 69F – 1318 seemed very sluggish below 67F in the Mild. Some small krausen, but nothing huge
  • 2011-03-08 @ 1930 – slowing down, temp down to 68F
  • 2011-03-10 @ 1730 – no more bubbles, still a thick goopy krausen
  • 11.4B – stirred up yeast
  • 2011-03-11 @ 0800 – 11.3B, she’s done
  • 2011-03-13 – into secondary for 3 days, 4 days dropped to 32F
  • 2011-03-19 – kegged, 11.3B

Finished at 11.3B (1.0328) for 4.26% ABV and 48% ADF.

Tasting Notes

Mar 02

Rant: Hating on the BJCP

Ok, clinic so channeling my inner Fletty here… time for a good ol’ rant. So what has me so fired up ?

I’m just sitting here drinking my morning coffee, prostate minding my own business shuffling through the Let’s Brew looking for recipes. I’m in the market for some clean beers that really show off Invert No2 and No3 – for some experiments comparing various blackstrap molasses and the dilution method – when I come across this recipe. Quoting the last two comments:

Anonymous said… Ron, pregnancy I burned my bjcp membership card after becoming hooked on this blog. 5 August 2009 22:36


Goethean said… Anonymous, I considered doing the same. I feel so stupid for believing all that bjcp crap for so long. Scott Zimmerle.

Seriously? Do folks still not understand the purpose of the BJCP? I didn’t think so. Bunch of goddamn mouthbreathing mental midgets… So listen up, you might learn something.

The first effing sentence on their site spells is out folks:

The purpose of the Beer Judge Certification Program is to promote beer literacy and the appreciation of real beer, and to recognize beer tasting and evaluation skills.

Nothing in there about cataloging every known beer style since the Great Hop Kerfluffle of 1545 or anything so blatantly arrogant. We are talking about a beer JUDGING organization, specifically one for homebrewers. That last word is key in the whole damn thing. The entire structure is there to provide neophytes with a way to learn how to use ingredients, improve their processes and arrive at a target beer.

So why such narrow style definitions? Why such pedantic evaluation methods ? Because the entire body of peoples involved with this hobby are anything but standard.

Come on folks, we are talking a group of homebrewers. Roughly 85% of homebrewers are extract or kit based folks who, to varying degrees, are really just interested in a fun way to make decent beer. Think Racheal Ray & 30 minute meals. You spend a couple of hours one weekend day following instructions to the letter (at least to the best of your abilities), dump the sucker in a bucket, yeast in, lid on, airlock in, chuck it in the basement. 2 weeks later, you bottle; 2 more weeks you drink.

What does that mean for the end product? A beer that is made somewhat ignorant of the ingredients (and yes I know that you the magical homebrewer that you are, are different. no really) and that is being tasted by someone who is somewhat ignorant of how to taste or judge beers.

This is where the BJCP comes in. It gives the brewer a standardized target in the beer styles themselves and a standardized method of evaluating them. Does it encompass everything on the planet? No. Are the styles themselves or the commercial examples necessarily the best possible beers ? No. Are the styles necessarily an 100% accurate representation of the actual beers in those recipes ? No.

So what does it give us ? It allows for the training of brewers and beer judges. Period. The styles are defined narrowly so that brewers have to work hard and learn about brewing to hit them. It also gives the judges something to work with. Given a large body of judges, the average palette sophistication and exposure is quite low. The judges and brewers need the guidelines and commercial examples that best exemplify that style to provide common reference points. The entire process is about accuracy and taking most of the objective nature out of the process.

What does it mean to score well at a BJCP competition? It means you understand how to use ingredients and processes to hit a desired target. Or, in other words – how to make a beer on purpose. Once these skills are mastered, it is then that you can start pushing recipes. Think of it as a set of skills required to produce well-made beer. This is a largely objective and technical target. Given that ability, it is then up to the individual creativity of the brewer to push towards making excellent beer, something that is completely subjective.

This whole ‘burn my BJCP card’ crap because some professional replication recipes fall outside the styles that the BJCP uses to train brewers? Shut. up. You are missing the goddamn point.

Feb 08

invert dilution calculator

Liquid Brewers Invert Sugars, physician the stuff legends and authentic British beers are made out of.

Why should you take the time to do this the Right Way ™?

  • No, ask cane sugar isn’t the same. Shup.
  • No, and that rock @#$@# and candi (seriously with an “i”… you mean like strippers?) isn’t the same.
  • Jesus… I quote multiple homebrewing forum experts here: “You aren’t going to see any difference in taste.” and then “it adds nothing to a beer that plain cane sugar doesn’t.”
  • HORSE SHIT. There just happens to be an entire industry and 100+ years of brewing history because it is a fancy way to get sugar into a beer? Again, HORSE. SHIT.
  • If you need more convincing, read the great articles on Barclay Perkins


  • Sugar in the Raw or other demerara cane suger
  • 1lb sugar to 1pt of h20
  • 1 tsp (5ml) liquid Lactic Acid @ 88% per 2.5lbs of sugar.
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) light corn sugar per 2.5lbs. (helps prevent crystals)


  • Heat h20 to boiling
  • Heat off, slowly add sugar & dissolve – goes quicker than dumping and stirring
  • Add Lactic
  • Put on Medium-high heat, set candy thermometer alarm for 230F
  • reduce for your stove if you are heating more than 3F/minute
  • Stir occasionally until simmering starts.
  • Once @ 230F, set alarm for 240F, slowly reduce heat to keep temp stable
  • easiest is to slowly ramp temp up to 240F. There is so much thermal mass, that once you go over it is very tough to get the temp down.
  • As alarm goes off @ 240F, reduce heat to keep 240F. It is ok to hit 245F, but keep under 250F.
  • low & slow will prevent any burning and associated flavors

When Am I Done?

  • No1: 12-16 SRM, 25-35 EBC
  • minimum 20min @ 240F, but not much longer and don’t want color to darken much. Time is merely to let inversion complete.
  • No2: 30-35 SRM, 60-70 EBC
  • total of 90-120 min @ 240F
  • No3: 60-70 SRM, 120-140 EBC
  • total of 150-210 min @ 240F.

Times for No2/No3 are approximate!! – you want to take periodic color samples @ 10min intervals. Place samples on white porcelain, compare to EBC or SRM charts. Stop 2-3 SRM low, as it will darken a bit as it cools.

OR… The Dilution Method:

There are two ways you can go about this:

  • blending an invert syrup of white sugar and blackstrap. Take the X g of “White Sugar Invert”, make a syrup, then add the Y g of Blackstrap.
  • blending golden syrup and black strap.

All amounts are in grams, with the total made from each line of 500g.

SyrupEBCWhite Sugar Invert (g)+Blackstrap (g)- OR -Golden Syrup (g)+Blackstrap (g)
Invert No 130495.005.00500.000.00
Invert No 265489.1710.83494.175.83
Invert No 3130478.3321.67483.3316.67
Black Invert350441.6758.33446.6753.33
Invert No 4600400.00100.00405.0095.00


  • Once you hit appropriate color, pour into color safe container and chill.
  • Pyrex + lids work well. Store in sanitized airtight container at room temp.
  • It helps to use a container that will sit well in hot water & pour from when it comes time to use it. Bonus points for resealable.
  • If it crystallizes, it didn’t fully invert.

Links & Data:

The interface is a bit rough, but it should be 100% functional. More to come soon…

Feb 07

Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild v0.1

Sarah Hughes Brewery

This recipe was passed over to me to help show me exactly what crystal malt can do… that and brew a really cool Mild… big, traumatologist even for the Brits. This one is still aging in the keg, but so far this is a really tasty mo’fo. I’ll be really curious to see how this ages – I just cracked one of the last 3 bottles of Squeaky’s v0.3 and after 6 months it has wonderful vinous fruits melding with dark malts. That one needs a follow-on brew too, but that is another show.

So, Ms. Hughes, shall we get on with it ?


Sarah Huges Ruby Dark Mild

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal):         6.00    Wort Size (Gal):    6.00
Total Grain (Lbs):       11.58
Anticipated OG:         1.0592    Plato:            14.545
Anticipated SRM:          19.6
Anticipated IBU:          20.9
Brewhouse Efficiency:       83 %
Wort Boil Time:             60    Minutes


%     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
73.4     8.50 lbs. Pale malt - Maris Otter       Great Britain  1.0380      3
26.6     3.08 lbs. Crystal 75L                   Great Britian  1.0340     75


Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
56.00 g.     Fuggle                            Pellet   3.79  17.5  First WH
18.00 g.     Fuggle                            Pellet   3.67   3.4  15 min.

WYeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Mash Schedule
Step   Rest   Start   Stop  Heat     Infuse   Infuse  Infuse
Step Name            Time   Time   Temp    Temp  Type     Temp     Amount  Ratio
Single Infusion        1     60    153     153   Infuse   179       12.16   1.05

Brew Day Notes

  • Brewed 2010-11-13
  • Crappy notes for this one, for shame.
  • For instance, recipe calls for Wyeast 1332, but I am pretty sure I used Neobrittania.
  • Used Optic for Pale Malt
  • Older hops – derated for 24mo @ 5F.
  • Simpsons Dark Crystal
  • Now that I read NB page, they nailed the description. There is definitely a chocolate note to this beer that was unexpected.
  • Probably want to switch to Bairds or other English C75 next time.


  • 1503 Mash in to 153F, +2g gypsum to print up pH
  • 1630 sparge start
  • 1713 sparge done – 12.8B @7.1gal for 83.6% eff
  • 1734 Boil start
  • 1834 Boil done
  • 1855 Chill start
  • 1905 Chill done – hit 75F with warmer tap water
  • 1.060 @ 76F – 15.2B
  • 1912 Cooling to 67F in fridge
  • 2207 – pitched @ 68F, 120s O2

Fermentation Notes

  • Fermented at 67F
  • 2010-11-14 0822 – fermenting away
  • 2010-11-20 1.022 / 10B
  • Into keg secondary @ room temp (66F)
  • 2010-12-06 – moved to clean keg, into kegerator @ 38F
  • 9B, 1.020 @ 64F

Tasting Notes

  • To Follow
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