Category Archives: Beers Brewed

Brewing Great Fermentation’s Brain Eater Pale Ale – modeled after Zombie Dust

Zombie Dust Clone

Great Fermentations “Brain Eater” Pale Ale (ExtractAll Grain) is modeled after 3 Floyds Zombie Dust.  It features Citra, Citra, Citra and more… Citra.  Most of those hops come at the end through hop-bursting and as dry hops.  In all Brain Eater uses nearly a half pound of Citra.

Brain Eater Pale Ale
A look at part of the grain bill.  I brewed the all grain version.  That grain bill features 2 row malt, Munich, Crystal 60, Melanoidin and Carapils.  In all it’s a 13.5 lb malt bill.Brain Eater Milled GrainHere’s a closer look at the milled grain.Brain Eater Pale Ale MashI brewed this BIAB style using The Brew Bag.  With that, I heat up the total volume of my strike and sparge water to nearly the mash temp I’m going for, add the grain bill and bring it up the last couple degrees with direct heat, while stirring.All Grain Brain EaterAfter thoroughly mixing the grainBrain Eater Zombie Dust Hop AdditionsHop additions measured out.  From top to bottom – Citra, Citra, Citra, Citra and CitraBoilerMaker G2 Brew KettleA took this kind of a hero-pose photo of the Blichmann G2 boil kettle while waiting for things to come to a boil.  The G2 is a great kettle – check out my review.  Grab one of these at GF when you pick up a Brain Eater kit.  Great Fermentations offers same day shipping (vs longer drop ship from most sources) on most sizes of BoilerMaker kettles.  They also have a full line of Blichmann replacement parts.Brain Eater Zombie Dust Homebrew BoilThe boil is up and going with the first of 5 Citra additions.  A 6th (3 oz) portion of Citra is used for dry hopping.  In all nearly a half lb (7.5 ounces) of Citra is used to make Brain Eater.Chilling Brain Eater Zombie Dust HomebrewNear the end of the boil.  I have my 24″ whisk sitting in the boil kettle to sanitize.  I use this to stir while chilling and to whirlpool after chilling is complete.Kegging HomebrewI fermented Brain Eater Pale Ale for about two weeks including 6 or 7 days of dry hopping.  Here it is getting kegged.Zombie Dust CloneFinished beer

Of Citra, Hop Union says “Strong citrus and tropical tones of grapefruit, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit and lychee”  I don’t know what gooseberry tastes like, but most of the rest of these flavors came through strongly.  After warming up a couple degrees out of my kegerator I get lots of tropical fruit, passion fruit and citrus flavors.  Mild bitterness, a firm malt backbone, but dry and drinkable.  The star of this beer is Citra.  If you like Citra, this recipe is for you.  If you haven’t tried Citra… I think you should.

I can’t get the commercial example, but if it’s close to Brain Eater, Zombie Dust is a delicious beer.

One great thing about Great Fermentations kits is that they offer a rundown of the recipe including step by step directions on the additional information tab of each recipe.

Brain Eater is available in both Extract and All Grain versions.  Both are eligible for GF’s $8.99 Flat Rate Shipping.

Brain Eater Pale Ale All-Grain Kit – $38.99

Brain Eater Pale Ale Extract Kit – $54.99

Related: Recipe Kits at Great Fermentations · Blichmann BoilerMaker Kettle

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Big Little Guy IPA, Inspired by Founder’s All Day IPA

Big Little Guy Session IPA

Big Little Guy Session IPA is available in both Extract and All Grain.  It is a session IPA inspired by Founder’s All Day IPA.

Session IPAs are generally lower gravity beers that are hopped to the same level as a typical IPA.  I’m particularly fond of All Day IPA and I thought it would be great to brew something similar as nicer weather has arrived in my area.  The extract version of this beer is on the docket!

Description: “Inspired by Founder’s All Day IPA, Big Little Guy has all the hop flavor of a big IPA, with the low alcohol and smoothness of a session beer. With a short 20 minute boil and loads of pine and citrus notes from Amarillo, Simcoe and Crystal hops, this beer is a breeze to make!”

Features – Pale Malt, Crystal 20L and 60L, Dark wheat malt, flaked oats along wit Amarillo, Simcoe and Crystal Hops.

Check it out: Extract and All Grain

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Juno Choi’s Patagonia IPA + Two Brew Day Pictures

patagoniaipaMash on the left (BIAB) – Close up of the Grain Bill on the right

I recently brewed a Patagonia IPA/Amber that I had a chance to try at NHC this past summer.  The recipe is below with thanks to homebrewing legend Juno Choi  I got my first taste of the finished product last night.  Delicious.  The roastiness provided by the Patagonia Malts melds seamlessly with the hops.  The finished beer is a beautiful dark amber color.

One of the homebrews that stood out to me while attending the National Homebrewer’s Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan was an IPA that was served by Brewer’s Supply Group (BSG) at their booth at the Conference.  It was… delicious.  Roasty, great hop character and easy to drink.  I swung by for two samples and shortly returned… for a third and it was gone.  After the conference, I got a hold of BSG to ask about the beer.  I learned that it was formulated and brewed by Juno Choi.  Juno kindly shared the recipe with me and I’d like to share it with you.  Thank you Juno!

The recipe features 100% Patagonia Malts from Chile.  Those were new to me and I think relatively new to the homebrew market here in the US, because… I had a very difficult time sourcing the grain for this recipe.  After looking around a bit, I contacted Bryan at Great Fermentations.  They already carried Patagonia, just not not all three varieties that this recipe calls for.  Bryan kindly sourced the remaining grains and has stocked them at Great Fermentations.  Thank you so much Bryan!

On to the recipe…

All Grain:

10.8 lbs Patagonia Extra Pale Malt
.6 lb Patagonia Caramel 90L
.6 lb Patagonia Caramel 190L

60 Minutes – 2 OZ Motueka
10 Minutes – 2 OZ Pacifica
1 Minute – 2 OZ Nelson Sauvin

Mash for 60 Minutes at 152 deg F

Ferment with Safale US-05 at 68 deg F

About The Beer, Estimates:
OG: 1.061 at 70% Efficiency
FG: 1.017
ABV: 5.76%
IBU 73.31
SRM 17.78

The all grain recipe features Patagonia Malts from beginning to end.  Extract Patagonia Extra Pale Malt doesn’t exist.  You could still get the same idea by substituting 8 lbs of Liquid Malt Extract for the Extra Pale and steep the caramel malts.  That gets you the same gravity and pretty well everything else, although the SRM does go up to 18.74.  Again, not the exact same beer, but you will get a lot of the great roasty flavors from the Patagonia Caramel Malts and all of the hop character.

Bundles With: $8.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Pinned: Whiskey Barrels · $7:Spoon · Hops · VT DIPA Yeast · 16 Gallon Kettle

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First Looks: RiteBrew Partial Mash Oatmeal Stout


RiteBrew‘s Partial Mash Oatmeal Stout Kits have been out of stock.  They just became available again.  That combined with the fact that I’m planning to brew this tonight is occasion to give you a first look at the kit.

RiteBrew Oatmeal Stout HomebrewA look at the box.  The box pretty well details the recipe for this beer.  What I really, really like about RiteBrew’s Kits is their “Packed On” Date.  This one was packed on 9/18 and I received it on… 9/19.  I think RiteBrew is concerned about freshness.  You see that with their periodic Wyeast Preorders, the fact that they regularly rotate older yeast stock out to their Bargain Bin and with these packed on dates.

cln_img_5373A look at the complete recipe kit

Ritebrew Oatmeal Stout Partial MashA close up of the grain bill.  I love the layering here.

At $20.99, I think this kit is a bargain.  It’s back in stock and ready to order as of this posting.  I’m planning to split my batch in half.  I’ll keep half as the recipe suggests.  I haven’t decided what to add to the other half.  I picked up both Cocoa Nibs (a bargain at $6.79/lb) and Vanilla Beans (a bargain at $2.79/3) along with this kit and haven’t decided which to add.  I’m leaning toward vanilla beans.

851532 – Oatmeal Stout (Partial-Mash) – Dry Yeast – $20.99

827583 – Madagascar Vanilla Beans – 3 pack – $2.79

827511 – Cocoa Nibs – 1lb. – $6.79

Also Consider: RiteBrew’s Bargain Bin

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Brewing “1 Hour” IPA – from grain to glass


Great Fermentations has a number of great Recipe Kit Offerings.  Included in the bunch is their continuously hopped “1 Hour IPA”.  I was excited to see that as I am a huge fan of Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA and generally cannot get that beer where I live.  The recipe features Simpsons Crystal Malt, Carapils, Amber Malt and Warrior, Amarillo and Simcoe Hops.  It’s available in both all grain and extract versions.  Here’s a overview of the beer from grain to glass.

cln_img_2660Taking the temperature of the recently crushed malt bill.

cln_img_2770I brewed this beer BIAB style.  Here’s a look at the mash.

cln_img_2778Stirring to get everything mixed up well.

cln_img_2785The mash is settling in at around 152 deg F.

cln_img_2827Here we are at the end of the mash.  If you take a look at the thermometer on my BoilerMaker G1 kettle (GF has a great deal on some slight cosmetic damage G1s right now) you’ll notice I’m up in the 170 deg F range doing a direct fired mash out.  That’s one of the dandy parts about BIAB.  Easy step mashes and mash outs.

cln_img_3050Hey that’s wort!!

cln_img_3061This recipe features 5 total kettle hop editions.  A 60 minute Warrior bittering addition starts it off followed by 4 Amarillo/Simcoe blend additions.  Those start at 15 minutes and happen every 5 minutes up until and including knock out.  There is one dry hop addition of the hop blend.

cln_img_3102After an early hop addition

cln_img_3143After a late hop addition

cln_img_4323It’s kegging time.  Beautiful clear beer going into one of my kegs.

cln_img_5312The finished product.  Of course, in a Spiegelau IPA Glass.

I wish that I could have done a side by side comparison of 60 minute vs 1 hour.  I did some searching, even out of state, and didn’t come up with any.

This beer, much like 60 minute, is a tasty and drinkable IPA.  IBU and alcohol-wise it’s on the lighter end of the scale for current push-the-limit American IPAs (that I also enjoy).  The keg went quickly, I almost did not get the finished in-the-glass picture at the end.  I think this was the second to last pint.  I enjoyed it very much and the speed at which the keg was depleted is a testament to that.

The taste that I walk away with, from 60 minute, more than hops is the great nutty, roasty flavor of the British Amber Malts.  I do get that in 1 Hr IPA.  As I said, I like that flavor, so, next time I would add another quarter lb or so.  Not that this beer needs it to be more like 60 minute.  It’s been a while since I’ve had one of those, so I can’t tell you that for certain.  I just like the flavors that that malt adds.

Check it out – All Grain and Extract

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A First Look at M-80 IPA


I received a recent More Beer order yesterday afternoon.  That order included the all grain version of More Beer’s newer M-80 IPA.  That recipe features American Pale Malt, Crystal 15, Columbus for bittering, followed by Simcoe, more Columbus, more Simcoe and a generous dose of Centennial for dry hopping.  I’m using WLP-001.  More Beer’s recipes also come with Priming Sugar, and a Whirlfloc tablet.

The directions call for three medium sizes oranges to be added a couple of days into fermentation.  That’s both the zest and the fruit (discarding as much of the pith as possible).  Sounds delicious to me.

From the beer description: “… Because of the similarity of hops, one MoreBeer! staffer dubbed it a mini “Pliny The Elder... but with orange”. High praise indeed.”

M-80 was designed by fellow homebrewer Carlos Musquez.  Carlos is also a graphic designer and designed matching labels to go along with M-80.

M-80 is available in both All Grain and Extract Versions

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1 Hour IPA Kit – All Grain and Extract

Looking through Great Fermentations Recipe Kit Offerings last week, I was happy to see their continuously hopped “1 Hour IPA” as I am a huge fan of Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA.  The recipe features Simpsons Crystal Malt, Carapils, Crisp Amber Malt and Warrior, Amarillo and Simcoe Hops.  It’s available in both all grain and extract versions.  I placed an order via GF’s Flat Rate Shipping last Friday and it was at my door on Saturday.  It’s on the schedule to be brewed this coming weekend.

Check it out – All Grain and Extract

PinnedBoilerMaker Kettles *Patagonia IPA *Dual Scale Refractometer *Maris Otter Extract