Given I’m still waiting for my order from THBC to be shipped across from Ireland, I’m having to look at alternatives for tonights brewvening and have come up with this. Any opinions before I mash in??

Title: Dunkel
Author: Chem

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Dunkles Weissbier
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 10 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 13 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.035
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.045
Final Gravity: 1.011
ABV (standard): 4.45%
IBU (tinseth): 14.03
SRM (morey): 16.32

1 kg – United Kingdom – Wheat (50%)
0.2 kg – German – CaraMunich II (10%)
0.3 kg – Belgian – Pilsner (15%)
0.5 kg – American – CaraCrystal Wheat Malt (25%)

10 g – Tettnanger, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 11.92
10 g – Hallertau Hersbrucker, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 2.2, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 2.11

1) Sparge, Temp: 65.5 C, Time: 60 min

Mangrove Jack – Bavarian Wheat Yeast M20
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (avg): 73%
Flocculation: Low
Optimum Temp: 15 – 30 C
Fermentation Temp: 20 C

I’m looking for a normal, standard weissbier with a good flavour from the yeast, so I might ditch the Hallertau and go purely with the Tettnanger, or ditch the tettnanger and go purely with a Hallertau 15g for bittering and thats it.

Its a fairly standard recipe, but am gonna mash at 65.5 for maximum fermentables to avoid a malty mouth…

So, after reading the book on mead from the geezer at work, I decided to take the plunge and get straight in to a very basic apricot melomel.

For those who don’t know, a melomel is a mead flavoured with fruit. I wanted something sweet as dry drinks generally don’t do it for me, so I did this…

  • 1.5kg Honey
  • handful of Raisins
  • top off to 4.5L with water (My tap water is really good)
  • shake like hell to get it all dissolved
  • Add MJ05 mead yeast
  • Wait a day for fermentation to start
  • chop up a load of dried apricots (Approx 200g for me) and add to the DJ.
  • Wait.

Seems to have done the job as its bubbling away and doing its thing happily in the kitchen. I’m gonna leave it for 3 weeks then decant off the must into another DJ, then top up with water and repeat the decanting every month or so until its crystal clear (Approx 7-9 months). Cheeky Snifters can be had after approx 1 month, but like all wines, time is your friend… apparently.

So, I’m looking at hopefully getting a couple of brews on this week, with maybe one more this weekend. I’m gonna be hitting up the recipes on here for inspriation, but I’m lacking some of the yeasts.

From the yeasts above, and bearing in mind I dont have a slants library floating around like some do, which yeasts would you recommend to work well with the Rye Amber? Maybe a yeast for a Dunkelweissen? (Confused between MJ20 and MJ21 for that one). I only have 1 pack of US-05 and a wife who is reaching the end of her tether with my brewing kit being all over the house, hence looking for alternatives rather than just buying loads more.

Also, does anyone have a recipe for a good Saison? Mine was a bit dark and clovey now I’ve had the last bottle, looking for something a little lighter…

Has anyone used BRY-97 before? What sort of profile does it have? Clean? Estery? That one was bought for experimentation, but I’m looking to get a stock of good quality tried and tested brews on…

Thanks in advance


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


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)


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



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
Expanding Foam
Thermawrap Insulation

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.

So, I threw my mead on and was stuck for an airlock. Couldn’t find a bung anywhere. was closed and me the missus and the little monster were due out for dinner with the outlaws…

Quick Google showed this method and it seems to work really well…

Positive pressure inside the balloon and a couple of tiny pinprick holes means instant airlock. Brilliant. I think I’ll be using this method with my DJs from now on. So bloody simple…

So, was chatting to a bloke at work and got a book off him. I read it for a little while and then this happened. 

Yeah. Apparently I’m making mead as well as beer and wine now. Basic recipe to follow, probably while I’m out having dinner with the outlaws.

Smells nice and yes that is a balloon. Yes it works. Yes it has a couple of nicks in it to stop it blowing off. 

I’ll let y’all know how it turns out in about 9 months when I get to drink it…

So, after the cock up that was my last brew, I decided to stock up on dried yeasts so that it didn’t happen again. I decided to go for a range of yeasts with some specific to brews I’m planning on doing soon and some for the future…

This is what I ended up with. Any suggestions for brews involving these yeasties welcomed. Help me choose the right beers for the yeast!


You may have read my post a couple days ago about my potentially failed brew, well, it seems its not as failed as I thought, and is in fact chugging along quite nicely now after the introduction of a non dead yeast…

Yep, you guessed it, the wonderful Wyeast Ringwood liquid yeast I inoculated with initially was dead. It’d been in the fridge for 8 weeks, and I honestly didn’t give it any thought at all before smacking it, and pitching it. Guess I really should have done.

Lesson Learned. Buy fresh yeast for brews you know you’ll have time to do VERY SOON, and keep a damned good stock of dried JIC.

Seems a few of the liquid yeasties were alive, and have begun making babies as I am getting a very interesting nose from the bucket which isn’t Weiss (From the MJ20 I pitched) but an estery almost floral mix…

Guess we’ll see how this one ends up, but it’s not the failure I first thought…