Tag Archives: IPA recipe

Brewed Slowly Catch-Up: #15 Dry Stout and #16 Maui Brewing Co. Big Swell Clone

Recently, I’ve made some beers I haven’t told you guys about, and since I’m sitting here with no power (there’s a thunderstorm going through), I figured I’d write about some beer while I drink a beer in the near dark—the laptop’s got about 4 hours left of battery. Earlier, around the middle of May, I made a dry Irish stout, and just last week, I made a clone of Maui Brewing Co.’s Big Swell IPA.

I made the stout because I had some dark specialty grains and various hops sitting around that I wanted to finally get rid of and a couple packs of dry yeast that needed to be used. So I ordered some grain and made it on the cheap. It’d been such a long time since I’d made a stout that I figured it was time to try it out again. The Big Swell IPA was a kind of request of a friend who’d just come back from Hawaii and had the beer there. We went in together to split the cost and then we’ll split the beer when it’s bottled.

I’m going to rework my standard recipe explanation and basically give you the ingredients and basic steps I used to make the beer—basically less talk and more specifics.

So, first the stout.


9 lbs Maris Otter 2 row pale malt

2 lbs flaked barley

4 oz roasted barley

18 oz chocolate malt

19 g Warrior hop pellets

1 tsp Irish Moss

(2) 11.5 g packs of Safbrew S-33 dry yeast


1. One-step mash of the grains at 152 F for 1 hour in 3.5 gallons of water.

2. Added the specialty grains during batch sparge.

3. Batch sparged with 4.5 gallons of water at 175 F. Vorlaufed and added to brewpot.

4. Added Warrior hops at boil.

5. Boiled for an hour.

6. Added Irish Moss with 15 minutes left in boil.

7. Cooled down the wort and pitched the yeast.

I rehydrated the dry yeast and before pitching, and I only actually say bubbling the very next day. After that, it seemed like nothing was happening. But I let it sit in the primary fermentor for 2 weeks. When I went to keg it, I took a reading, which was 1.020, and figured that I might have pitched the yeast with the wort a little too warm. In any case, the beer tasted alright and fermented most of the way down. So I kegged it up and will carbonate it this week. (I got lazy and have just let it ‘age’ in the keg for the last week or so.

Now, the Big Swell IPA.

big swell IPA after a couple of days


14.5 lbs Rahr 2 row pale malt

14 oz Munich malt

7 oz 40 L Caramel/crystal malt

16 oz 10 L Caramel/crystal malt

1 oz Columbus hop pellets

0.75 oz Centennial hop pellets

1 oz Chinook hop pellets

1 oz Citra hop pellets

1 oz Nugget hop pellets

1 tsp Irish Moss

Wyeast American Ale II starter


1. One-step mash of the grains at 150 F for 1 hour in 4.68 gallons of water.

2. Added the specialty grains during batch sparge.

3. Batch sparged with 2.5 gallons of water at 175 F. Vorlaufed and added to brewpot.

4. Added Columbus and Centennial hops at boil.

5. Boiled for an hour.

6. Added Irish Moss with 15 minutes left in boil.

7. Cooled down the wort overnight and pitched the yeast starter the next day.

This was actually my first time making a yeast starter. I basically boiled half a gallon of water with half a cup of dark dry malt extract (DME) for 15 minutes, cooled it down, then pitched a somewhat expanded smack pack of yeast into it. I let this set for just over 2 days before I pitched it into the wort. I was a little concerned about decanting off the weak wort, especially since it was made with dark DME, but ended up pitching it all in. The color still looks fine. And there’s not way I’m going to not make a starter again—the wort was bubbling heavily after about only 10 hours. It’s been fermenting for about 5 days, and it’s still pretty active.

Brewed Slowly: #11 Poacher Valhalla* IPA

Boy, have I been a slacker. The last beer I posted about brewing was the fall beer, but I’ve made two beers since then. So but let’s just skip ahead to the beer I made last weekend. I’ll call it #11 but it’s technically #13. Lucky #13. A little bit of background on this beer: Ben and Scooter (who are 2/3 of Poacher (the band I’m the other 1/3 of)) thought that we should have a Poacher beer. And I thought: C’mon guys, that’s just AWESOME. But what I said was: OK, I can do that. So we decided that an IPA would be most representative of the band. (Cue pretentious synesthetic music/(tastes?))

Will I ever get tired of IPAs? Probably not, especially when there are so many bad ones that I try that are talked up as good ones. But why talk about bad IPAs when I’m hoping to make a good one. Right? This IPA was modeled, to some extent, after the Dogfish Head IPAs in that the beer was hopped continually throughout the boil (every 10 minutes). But because I don’t have one of those awesome vibrating football board games, I just periodically dropped in more hops during the boil. If there’s an American standard of IPAs, I imagine Dogfish Head owns the proverbial copyright.

So isn’t this post supposed to be about a beer I made?


1 lb (0.45 g) Briess Rye grain

3.15 lbs. (1.42 kg) Gold extract

6 lbs. (2.72 kg) Organic light extract

3.25 oz. (92 g) Warrior* hop pellets

1/4 tsp Irish moss

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II

Here’s how it all went down.

1. Steeped the rye grain at 150F for 30 minutes. Sparged, removed, and brought the liquid to a boil.

2. Added 28g (1 oz.) of the hop pellets and the Gold extract to the boil

3. After 10 minutes, added 7g hops


4. After 20 minutes, added 14g hops

5. 30 minutes–7g hops

6. 40 minutes–14g hops

7. 45 minutes–added Irish moss and 6 lbs Light extract

8. 50 minutes–7g hops

9. 60 minutes–14g hops. Then put the pot into an icechest full of snow (it’d snowed here about 4/5 days earlier and we still had quite a bit in the yard).

10. Pitched the yeast when the wort was below 80F.

OG: 1.069

Just so you know that I’m being completely honest (and if you’re not familiar with brewing and measuring beer gravity, just ignore this), this original gravity is based purely on math rather than what I sampled from the wort. Because I made the mistake of not mixing up the wort with the 3 odd gallons of water that I topped it off with before I pitched the yeast and took a sample to measure. Basically, I pulled about 4 oz. worth of water heavy/wort light  liquid from the top of the fermentor and thought I’d take an accurate reading. Needless to say, I was surprised (but shouldn’t have been) when it read 1.010 OG. But when I put the figures into more than one beer calculators (I mean, why didn’t I hear about these in math class?), I came up with a gravity of 1.066, so that’s what I’m sticking to.

coolin' down

The Poacher beer is currently in the fermentor, and I’ll transfer it to the secondary probably this weekend–we’ll see.