I brewed this as a Christmas beer for 2016 using a Vanilla Bourbon Stout recipe from the Greg Hughes book as inspiration. It was pretty experimental with my first use of oak chips and an addition of rum at bottling but I am pleased to say it came out great and I have been enjoying it as it has gradually matured. It definitely a strong one and the rum addition puts it into 7% territory so one for the small bottles!

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So Brewdog have updated their DIY dog recipes for 2017 including beers not yet released, whatever you think of them as a company this is pretty cool (although watch out for the recipes which seem to be riddled with errors!). One of their beers I had last year and enjoyed was ‘Casino Rye Ale’ so I was happy to see this in the new book, I won’t be brewing it as its written because a) its wrong (stated grist does not give the correct OG) & b) the amount of hops is exorbitant IMO and the original did not taste like it had that much in it anyway. So here is my interpretation of what will give a similar beer with out having to spend the best part of £20 on hops alone!

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Falconers Flight is a blend of NW Pacific Hops including Simcoe, Citra and Sorachi Ace. This recipe should give a very hop forward APA with all the characteristic flavours you would expect, citrus, pine and tropical fruits. It is currently fermenting so I will have to report back on how it turns out in a few weeks….

When I brewed it I actually forgot to add the flame out addition (doh!) so I will be experimenting with using that for a hop tea that will be added prior to bottling.

Batch size: 19 Litres

Brewhouse efficiency: 80%
OG: 1.044
FG: 1.009
IBUs: 35.8
ABV: 4.6%
EBC: 11.8

MALT/GRAIN BILL

3.1 kg Pale Ale Malt
0.16 kg Crystal Malt 40L
0.06 kg CaraMunich II

HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE

10g Magnum at 60 minutes FWH (or use any clean bittering hop)
20g Falconers Flight at 10 minutes
20g Falconers Flight at 5 minutes
40g Falconers Flight at 0 minutes
50g Falconers Flight dry hop 5 days

YEAST

US05

Mash at 66c

Ferment at 20c

Chris has mentioned his fondness for the Amber Adder beer from Lidl so I thought I would post this one up, its not going to be the same as that but its in the general vicinity style wise and in my opinion is an excellent beer in its own right, nice maltiness with a touch of residual sweetness, fruity but balanced hops and a touch of spice from the rye on the finish.

The recipe is a shameless rip off of an amber recipe from the Bertus Brewery site but adapted to feature one of my favourite ingredients rye. If I did this again I think I would sub in some Simcoe, probably for the Cascade and some or all of the dry hops. Simcoe is king in this style of beer as far as I am concerned, I love the combination of big tropical fruit aroma and in your face pineyness that it brings especially when balanced by a rich malt bill as you see here.

Batch size: 23 Litres
Brewhouse efficiency: 78%
OG: 1.053
FG: 1.012
IBUs: 47.3
ABV: 5.5%
EBC: 25.4

MALT/GRAIN BILL

4 kg Pale Ale Malt
0.35 kg Crystal Rye
0.3 kg CaraMalt
0.3 kg Rye Malt
0.3 kg Munich Malt
0.08 kg Chocolate Rye (or normal Choc Malt)

HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE

20g Nugget at 60 minutes (or use any clean bittering hop)
30g Cascade at 15 minutes
30g Amarillo at 0 minutes
30g Centennial at 0 minutes
30g Citra dry hop for 5 days
15g Columbus dry hop for 5 days

YEAST

US05

Mash at 67c

Ferment at 20c

Here is a video of my attempt at a DIY mash tun based on the instructable project here, my version has a few tweaks to the design. It didn’t go entirely smoothly and my first mash in it got stuck big time but I think I have solved that issue and will report back once I have done the second test. If you fancy a go here is what I used:

3 Old FVs/Boiler Bucket (Need to be same size so they fit together)
Tank Connector
90deg Brass Elbow
Hex Nipple
Ball Valve
Hosetail
Expanding Foam
Thermawrap Insulation
Gaffa
PTFE Tape

A drill with 2-3mm bit and a 20mm spade

There will be loads of the insulation and foam left over, I used it to add insulation to my shed roof.

Continuing the Golden Ale theme here is one that uses one of the less well know NZ hops, Wakatu, to deliver a really light and refreshing Blonde/Golden Ale, looking at the hopping schedule you would expect this to be more in the American Pale category but the Wakatu hops are very subtle and the end result was not the sort of hop bomb you might expect with that quantity of late additions. This is probably down to the noble heritage (hallertau) of this strain and the modest levels of oils they contain. My tasting notes for this brew ‘Smooth fruity taste with a zesty but mellow lime finish, clean malt profile and a light frothy mouthfeel’. The grist here is a good base for golden/pale ales generally, use different caramel/crystal malts to adjust the colour.

Batch size: 23 Litres
Brewhouse efficiency: 70%
OG: 1.041
FG: 1.008
IBUs: 37
ABV: 4.4%

MALT/GRAIN BILL

4 kg Pale Ale Malt
0.35 kg Munich Malt
0.2 kg CaraGold (Or Caramalt or Light Crystal etc etc)

HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE

22g Topaz at 60 minutes (or use any clean bittering hop)
20g Wakatu at 10 minutes
50g Wakatu at 0 minutes
30g Wakatu dry hop for 5 days

YEAST

US05 or consider an English strain for a more estery character

Mash at 65c

Ferment at 20c