Recipes

After much harassment, I've added the recipes back. I had clearly underestimated how many people use this site for the recipes, so I humbly beg your forgiveness. Obviously, this will be a work in progress, so check back often if you don't see the recipe you want, or just reach out and I'll dig through my files. Below are the recipes that I've tweaked over the years. Keep in mind that they're suited to Edmonton water and Edmonton elevation, which affects hop utilisation, boil-off rate and DMS conversion. I also make everything in 6 gallon batches.

To speed things up, lets go over a couple of mash profiles I use and why I use them.

Single infusion: This one is for well modified malt -that means Maris Otter, Golden Promise, etc. North American malt, despite widespread assumption that it is well-modified, rarely is. North American "Ale" malts are still coming in with 12% protein because they're using Copeland or Metcalfe barley. There are newer barley strains on the market, such as Lowe, that signal we might be turning a corner, but as of this writing, this mashing method is not suitable for the cheap 2-row you can buy at your local homebrew shop. Especially at higher elevations, you will end up with DMS, slower runoff and protein issues. (See here for more info) Single infusions are usually done for British Ales. For a light body, 148°F , medium at 154°F  and full at 156°F. A mash out at 168°F  for 10 minutes is always done at the end to fix the sugar profile. If one is not done, the beer ends up too dry.

Temperature Rest: I use this with North American 2 row or Pilsner malts when I don't want the extra melanoidens, such as a German Pilsner or Belgian ales. A protein rest at 122°F for 1 hour releases enough enzymes that the other rests at 148°F and 158°F are only 15 minutes each. This will give you a light body. For a fuller body, change the 148°F rest to 152°F instead for 20-30 minutes. 

Decoction: The same steps as the temperature rest, only a decoction is performed instead to elevate the temperature. This necessarily destroys many of the enzymes and so it will give you a fuller bodied beer as well as increased melanoidens. 

Decoction without protein rest: Use when you want extra melanoidens, but your malt is already well modified. 

For all mash profiles, I use a 1.2 quarts:lbs ratio. (2L:kg) This is on the thick side, but will allow greater efficiency on a homebrew scale. Unless you're pumping mash from one tun to another or stirring constantly, I always recommend thick. It will also protect your enzymes from pH and temperature shock. Decoctions are done at a 1.5 qt:lbs ratio.

For high elevations, add 20-30 minutes to your boil times. This will compensate for the lower temperature of your boil which affects protein coagulation and DMS conversion. BeerSmith will compensate for hops utilisation if you use it. 

For all beers, I whirlpool hot for 25 minutes, do a pass through a mesh filter to remove any extra hops and then run the plate chiller. This allows additional aroma hopping, avoids clogging your plate chiller with hops, and promotes more effective protein removal. 

Lagers

Oktoberfest

  • 70/30 split of RO to city water
  • 6 lbs Munich Malt 
  • 4.4 lbs Vienna Malt
  • 2 lbs German Pilsner Malt

Decoction mash

  • Boil 90 minutes
  • 20 IBUs Magnum at 60 minutes
  • 1 IBUs Hallertauer Mittelfreuh at 15 minutes


Czech Pilsner

  • 100% RO with 2g of gypsum and 4g of CaCl
  • 10.5 lbs Weyermann floor malted pilsner
  • 1.5 lbs Munich malt

Decoction mash

  • 90 minute boil
  • 6 IBUs first wort hop Saaz
  • 31 IBUs Magnum at 60
  • 3 IBUs Saaz whirlpool


German Pilsner

  • 100% RO with 3g gypsum and 4g CaCl
  • 11lbs Best Malz Pilsner

Temperature mash

  • 90 minute boil
  • 9 IBUs Tettanang first wort hop
  • 18 IBUs Magnum at 60
  • 4 IBUs Hallertauer at 15


Light Lager

  • 100% RO water with 3g gypsum and 4g CaCl
  • 5 lbs flaked rice, flaked corn or a combination thereof (Macro breweries are using syrups now)
  • 6.5 lbs 2 row

Temperature or decoction mash

  • 90 minute boil
  • 20 IBUs Hallertauer at 60


Festbier

  • 70/30 RO to city water split
  • 10.5 lbs Weyermann floor malted pilsner
  • 2 lbs Munich malt

Decoction mash

  • Boil 90 minutes
  • 15 IBUs Magnum at 60
  • 5 IBUs Hallertauer at whirlpool


Kölsch

  • 80/20 RO to city water split
  • 10 lbs German pilsner malt
  • 0.5 lbs Munich malt

Temperature mash

  • Boil 90 minutes
  • 24 IBUs Magnum at 60


Munich Dunkel

  • City water 
  • 11 lbs Munich malt
  • 0.5 lbs Pale chocolate malt
  • 0.5 lbs Caramunich 60

Decoction mash

  • 60 minute boil
  • 16 IBUs Spalter at 60
  • 4 IBUs Spalter at 30


Wheat Ales

With all wheat ales, the high protein and bottle conditioning require you to consume them fresh. Pasturising can help, but it won't solve all problems. Simply put, wheat beers have a short shelf life. This also includes NEIPAs, which have morphed to include high levels of protein in order to keep haze. Because the yeast character is highly prized, you will get the best results pitching at the ale rate (see here for more details) and reserving 20% of your batch (1 gallon out of 5) to add back at bottling. For all wheat ales, bottle conditioning (or keg conditioning) is a must. You simply won't get the correct yeast profile otherwise. 

Hefeweizen

  • 70/30 RO city water split
  • 5 lbs German Pilsner
  • 6 lbs Belgian wheat malt (darker than North American wheat malt

Decoction mash

  • 90 minute boil
  • 8 IBUs Magnum at 60
  • 2 IBUs Hallertauer Mittelfreuh at 15

Witbier

  • 70/30 RO city water split
  • 6 lbs Belgian Pilsner
  • 5 lbs raw wheat or flaked wheat

Temperature Step Mash

  • 90 minute boil
  • 15 IBUs Magnum at 60
  • 40 g bitter orange peel
  • 15g coriander (crushed)
  • 15g chamomile

There are a couple of things to note about Witbiers. 1, they are always either spiced (as in this one here) or fruited. In Belgium, ordering a witbier (or white beer, if you end up with an English speaking bartender) comes with the assumption that the beer will likely not be white, but often pink due to some fruit addition. For competitions, however, the BJCP expects witbiers to be modelled more after Hoegaarden than what is actually the majority of witbiers in Belgium (those ones go in the "fruit beer" category). Also, note that the coriander seed must be the football-shaped variety. It has an orange aroma and flavour, rather than the round shaped variety, which will make your beer taste like a seasoned ham. 

Saison

  • 70/30 RO city water split
  • 7lbs 2 row
  • 2 lbs Munich Malt
  • 3 lbs raw wheat or flaked wheat

Temperature Step Mash

Boil 90 minutes

  • 15 IBUs Magnum 60
  • 11 IBUs Nelson Sauvin 30
  • 3 IBUs Nelson Sauvin 15
  • 15g Coriander seed (crushed) 5
  • 30g Peppercorn (crushed) 5
  • 15g bitter orange peel 5

The saison strains we have in North America are pretty limited compared to the variety of flavours you'll find in Belgium. Dupont being the source of the French strain and "Wallonian Farmhouse" being the source of the Belgian. Many brewers mix them, one for the primary and the other to bottle to get a wider range of flavours.


British Ales

Most British Ales benefit from an estery fermentation profile, with the exception of the British IPA (which has it's own fermentation rules). Diacetyl is a common note, but should never be "slick". Wychwood purposefully adds oxygen during secondary fermentation to increase diacetyl production. All British Ales are done with my house strain, which at one point in time, was the Whitbread strain. It produces a fruity, pear-drop ester profile, attenuates to about 77% and flocculates well when finished.

Brown

  • City water
  • 5 lbs Maris Otter
  • 2 lbs Munich Malt
  • 1.5 lbs Brown Malt
  • 1 lbs Kiln Amber
  • 8 oz Crystal II
  • 8 oz Crystal 40
  • 4 oz Pale Chocolate

Single Infusion , medium body

  • 60 minute boil
  • 14 IBUs Fuggle FWH 
  • 8 IBUs EKG 15 minutes
  • 4 IBUs EKG Whirlpool

The only beers I've won more medals with than this brown are the Kreik and the Eisbock. Unlike a lot of other beers, it's ridiculously complex, but is exceptionally drinkable. The key ingredient to this style is the Crystal II, which is produced by Thomas Fawcett. It's a very different product than North American Crystal malts or European Cara malts. If you can't find it, Crystal 120 can be substituted. I should also add that Munich malt + Crystal malts will produce a distinctly toffee note that can be confused for diacetyl by some judges. 


Porter

  • City water
  • 7.5 lbs Maris Otter
  • 1.5 lbs Amber Malt
  • 8 oz Crystal 40
  • 8 oz Crystal II
  • 8 oz Chocolate Malt

Single Infusion, Full Body

  • Boil 60 minutes
  • 20 IBUs Northern Brewer FWH
  • 2 IBUs EKG whirlpool

As an English Porter, this follows the traditional distinction between Porters and Stouts. Porters did not use roast malts (Black Patent or Roast Barley) although that distinction has now largely gone by the wayside, as has the distinction between Porters and Stouts altogether. This one aims to fall solidly in the "working man's drink" and is, as such, a standard strength ale with plenty of flavour that can be consumed pints at a time. 

Dry stout

  • City water
  • 7 lbs Maris Otter
  • 1 lbs Flaked Wheat
  • 1.25 oz Roast Barley

Single infusion, medium body

  • 60 minute boil
  • 35 IBUs Northern Brewer FWH

Exceptionally simple, this is an almost clone of Guinness. Although I used to submit this to competitions, I don't any longer because it goes directly into the cask and drawn from a beer engine from fall until spring. There's simply no comparison. 

Irish Red

  • 50/50 RO City water
  • 7 lbs Maris Otter
  • 1 lbs Munich malt
  • 8 oz Amber Malt
  • 8 oz Crystal 40
  • 8 oz Crystal II
  • 1.6 oz Roast Barley

Single infusion, medium body

  • 60 minute boil
  • 25 IBUs Fuggle FWH

As with the brown, the mix of Munich and Crystal will give you a toffee note that some tasters can confuse for diacetyl. This is, however, one of my most popular beers and regularly makes appearances in cask form at parties. It's on the sweeter side, but can be dried out by mashing light for 75 minutes and increasing the hopping rate.

English IPA

  • 60/40 split RO City water (to accomodate Burtonising salts)
  • 12 lbs Maris Otter
  • 1 lbs Dextrose

Single infusion, light body

  • Boil 60 minutes
  • 50 IBUs Northern Brewer 60
  • 15 IBUs EKG 30
  • (optional EKG dry hop)

Traditionally, IPAs were done on a Burton Union system for 2 weeks before being casked. Fresh yeast blow-off from later casks was allowed to drain in to older casks, which made for a drier beer. It was generally brewed in the winter, casked and allowed to sit until summer, where the heat ramped up fermentation again before it was served. Dry hops aren't particularly traditional, especially considering the added tannin of whole hops in a cask for 4-6 months. However, if the beer is starting to turn a few days after tapping, it's not uncommon for the cellarman to use discretion with added hops. 

American Ales

IPA

  • 50/50 City/RO water
  • 12 lbs 2-row
  • 1 lbs Honey/BruMalt
  • 1 lbs dextrose

90 minute boil (to accomodate the extra DMS in the 2 row)

  • 26 IBUs Magnum 90 min
  • 1 oz Cryo Hops 15 minutes
  • 1 oz Cryo Hops whirlpool

This is a classic, West Coast IPA, though there are a couple of things to consider. First, use a generic tasting high alpha hop to bitter. I prefer Magnum because it goes with everything. Second, Cryo Hops are so much better for the flavour and aroma additions. I find you hit a wall when adding more and more hops to your IPA where no more oil gets extracted and the extra hop matter sucks up IBUs. You'll also notice that there is no dry hop addition. That's because with Cryo Hops, you don't need it. The flavour is so bright and smooth that adding more in the fermenter would only give you hop burn. (No, Cryo Hops doesn't pay me). You'll also notice that I didn't specify which Cryo Hop variety to use. That's because there's a limited selection and this recipe is meant to be played with. I've tried everything from all "C" hops to the newest varieties you can find. They all work fantastically well with this recipe. If you prefer a bit more malt backbone, switch out the 2-row for Marris Otter. Also, pay attention to your pitch rate because rather than cover them up, yeast-derived off flavours will really mess with your hops. More and more evidence is coming out that hop essential oils work in a synergistic way with the other chemicals in your wort, rather than having a direct "oil x = y flavour" relationship.