An important part of WIB since its inception has been our homebrewing community. We never cease to be amazed by the creativity, talent and sometimes utterly bizarre creations they come up with, using the ingredients from our shelves. We've often said we wish we could share the brews that make it to our monthly homebrew club with the rest of the world, so now we are!
These recipes are from February and March 2023
In February Matt Meynell brought in what was meant to be a red IPA, but turned into a red DIPA. Perfect for the winter months…
I brought along what was intended to be a red IPA. However, on the brew day, for some reason I suddenly decided to up all the ingredients by a third. So instead of being around 6.5%, it would be closer to 7.5%-8%. I just fancied something a bit stronger. Then, I slightly overshot starting gravity and same for final gravity (1.080 SG, 1.012 FG) – so it comes in at a respectable 9%. It doesn't feel that boozy, though it's clearly there. Despite the FG being lower, it still has quite a lot of body and sweetness (maybe a reason to up the bittering hops a touch next time). I think the citra and (homegrown) centennial work really well together.
In terms of style, the closest one on Beersmith would be an American Strong Ale (not quite a barley wine, 'more balanced than a DIPA'). I'm right at the bottom end of bitterness for the strong ale, as I'm not into super bitter beers any more. I was delighted with the colour – it's a lovely red. Next time, I think I will chuck in 10% or so of rye instead of pale, just for a bit more spiciness. Also, I may push it back down to 8%. But overall, I'm very happy with it.
Dale brewed a brilliant Belgian IPA which he brought in to share in March. The hops had mellowed by the time we tried it but that had only developed it into an interesting and tasty beer.
The Belgian/UK Connection IPA - 7.4%
Combining my trappist side, with a plaid shirted and bearded Californian side and a sprinkle of British hops I landed on this slightly unique take on a Belgian IPA It was a bit older when it arrived at home brew club, so the hops have faded leaving the Belgian yeast flavours to step up and take the lead... And the clarity is really something... Punchy too.
This one also went to the National Home Brew Competition scoring a very respectable 32 (very good).
Type: All Grain
IBU : 71 (Tinseth). BU/GU : 1.09. Colour : 45 EBC
Carbonation : 2.4 CO2-vol
Pre-Boil Gravity : 1.052. Original Gravity : 1.066 Final Gravity : 1.010
Fermentables (5.63 kg)
5.2 kg - Pale Malt, Maris Otter 5.9 EBC (92.4%)
430 g - 10 min - Boil - Candi Sugar, Dark 540...
Hops (375 g)
60 min - 25 g - Hallertau Magnum - 14% (41 IBU)
10 min - 50 g - Loral - 11.5% (25 IBU)
1 min - 100 g - Harlequin - 10.4% (5 IBU)
3 days - 100 g - Harlequin - 10.4%, 20 g - Archer - 5%, 20 g - Godiva - 7%, 20 g - Jester - 7%, 20 g - Mystic - 5%, 20 g - Olicana - 8%
1 pkg - Wyeast 3522 - Belgian Ardennes
Using Grainfather G30
Batch Size : 20 L. Boil Size : 24.88 L. Post-Boil Vol : 21.88 L. Mash Water : 17.54 L. Sparge Water : 11.5 L. Boil Time : 60 min. Total Water : 29.04 L
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%
Mash Efficiency: 75.6%
65 °C - 75 min - Mash step
21 °C - 0 days - Primary
Dan Hewitt shared a brilliant Wild Beer Saison with the group in March, a beer many would have been sorry to miss. It’s definitely worth trying to recreate this!
Wild Beer Saison - Holy Saison III
I'm blessed to have a strain of Wild Beer yeast that two of wib's homebrew royalty helped me culture a few years ago. Let me know if you want a vial, but you'll get great results if you chuck the bottle dregs from a 750ml bottle of one of their saisons into a mixture of 500ml water and 50g dme a few days before brew day and then co-pitch with half a sachet of Belle Saison.
This recipe is all about making a blank canvas for the yeast flavours to come out, and is my go-to saison malt bill if I'm making something with a little funk.
All Grain, 21.5 l
OG 1.052, FG 1.013. Bitterness: 3 IBU. Color: 5 SRM. AVB: 5.1%
Water Profile: Brewers Friend calculator's Balanced II
2.35 kg Maris Otter Malt
1 kg Wheat (German)
1 kg Pilsener (Belgian)
300 g Flaked Oats
300 g CaraPils
250 g Acid Malt
10 g Hallertauer @ 30 min
20 g Hallertauer @ flameout
Yeast: see above
I ended up splitting this batch into 3 and putting oak chips in 1 and hibiscus in another so I could blend different ratios in the bottling bucket. Great fun, and only a mild infection risk since this beer has some acidity.
waterintobeer homebrew club takes place on the first Sunday of every month, starting at 2pm.