This is my second lager, a Schwarzbier, and it came out really well. Though if I were to do it again I might pull back the blackprinz just a bit and add a touch of pale chocolate malt. For fun I entered this into the Brew Hut Annual Homebrew Competition. This was well received and took 2nd place with a score of 43.

Possibly even more exciting is that the more experienced judge gave the beer and Outstanding rating of 45! He even left as the final feedback “Delicious & Drinkable! Each element blends harmoniously!”.  Big thanks to Brew Hut for hosting the competition.

Here is a link to recipe


11/5:  After trying to change my webpage theme I broke things and had to revert to an older version of the website.  In doing that I lost the original post about this beer and re-typed it best I could remember.

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Just experienced my first corrupt database error. All repair attempts failed. Fortunately, I have the WP-DBManager plugin running with periodic full backups. With a previous backup I was able to use the import function in phpMyAdmin to recover my WordPress site back to my last post.

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In playing around with the Raspberry Pi and Craftbeerpi, I came across a project called Raspberry Pints. This project is intended to enable a single screen behind a bar show what is on tap.  It has fancy features to monitor the kegs if you add flowmeters and stuff.  Somewhere along the way I read that someone noticed that this can be ‘ported’ to work on a normal apache/php/mysql server.  So I thought, I have one of those (the website that you are reading) and decided to give it a whirl.

Turns out the project is kind of dead or at least stalled for a while, but I managed to learn that the 2.0.1 zip file was a good start.  I kicked off the install and ta-da it said everything was a success. So I went to the main page and immediately ran into several errors.  

Error 1:  I think the install script running on my server didn’t update config files for the username and passwords that I was asked for in the install script.  There are a few files this had to be updated.

Error 2: The main page didn’t recognize some variables setup in a few include files.  I’m pretty not php savy, but it seemed that if I setup a variable as a global things went fine.

Error 3:  Some of the includes were missing from the admin page to get into the mysql database.  Simple adding the inlcude files to the files that generated errors seemed to overcome this.

Once I was past that I was in and able to set things up.  Quickly I discovered that I need to learn how to use this better. It seemed like some pages were overwriting information about beers when I didn’t think they should and subsequently mixed up the data on the beers. After a bit of trial and error I was able to get my info added.

I then made a few updates.  I wanted a way to jump back to my wordpress site added to the display.  The logo on the top left normally takes you to the admin page, but I changed this to go back to my own page.  This took some effort as I didn’t realize how the project was converting the mysql data into php variables.  Several hours later I discovered an include file was doing this magic.  Simply adding my new variables to this and adding the data to the mysql database got this all going.  I tried to make an Admin link right below the logo, but my random attempts to update the php and css files failed.  So instead I setup and Admin link on the left header in a ugly way.

So there we go I have my digital taplist up and going.  Now I can get back to my brewstand controller design, but at some point I need to create my own logo.

5/10/2018 Update: I figured out how to add some PHP code that will convert a snapshot of my current raspberry pints webpage to an image using khtmltoimage and add it to this post and my homepage rather than using iframe. This allows the image to size correctly in my post.

Image of Raspberry Pints taplist

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Once I was able to get into my Rasberry Pi (RPi) I started to think about how I was going to use it.  I was pretty far along on my Ardunio controller and circuit schematics that I started to think that I would connect the serial cable to the Ardunio and build upon my existing design.

So I started to look at Craftbeerpi which seemed to have a pretty solid start on what I wanted. The more I looked it seemed to not have support to read from an Ardunio to the pre-made widgets.  So I started scheming ideas to make my own program.  For better or worse I was leaning towards a Python development.  My brief time using Python wasn’t too great and I hated the tabbing format for block commands (if statements, loops, etc).  However, after looking around it seems to be one of the more popular languages and something I should probably be more familiar with.  From what I could see Django was about my best option as it looked like I would be able to get something up and running quickly.  If I could follow instructions better I would have Django setup in about 20 mins, instead I spent a day fumbling with errors before I re-read the instructions.

With Django setup I started to wonder if I was making this too hard.  So tonight I re-visited my I/O needs from my Arduino controller vs what RPi offers.   Turns out RPi can fully support my needs and I don’t have to deal with interfacing with the Arduino a bit more.  With that simplifcation, Craftbeerpi is now back to being my quickest way to getting a Brewstand Controller working.  I think I’d still like to make my own program, but given that I tend not to have much free time (unless it is late at night) I seriously doubt that will ever happen once I get a controller working with Craftbeerpi.  So now I just need to tweak the circuits a bit to adjust for 3.3V outputs  and watching the currents.  


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I’ve been toying around with an idea to make my own brewstand controller.  Over the past year or so I’ve been designing a front panel and circuits with plan to connect to an Ardunio for future semi-automation with an Android app.  The more I’ve been kicking around ideas it started to seem like a web interface would be nice rather an Android app so that I could control it from any device.  For my birthday I got a Raspberry Pi (thank mom and dad) to do just that.  Here is a quick post about getting setup.

Day 1

Took about 30 mins to find a microSD card and another 20 mins to find the adapter to fit into the normal SD card slot on my laptop.  Great start!  I followed the simple directions to format, download, and install the NOOBs file to the card.  Setup the RPi with an HDMI cable to my laptop and powered it on.  Nothing.  When trying to switch over the screen to the HDMI input it kept telling me not HDMI input detected.  After googling a bit I came across the idea to reinstall the Alienware On-Screen Display (OSD) program.  So I did that and didn’t notice that it was the Win 8 version instead of Win 7.  So that uninstall the version I had working.  I stopped the night with my function keys on the keyboard not working and still hadn’t turned on the RPi

Day 2

Found a Win 7 version of the Alienware OSD and got my keyboard working again.  Decided to try getting things going headless with help from this post. So I re-installed the RPi software with SSH on.  Then I plugged in a network cable from the RPi to my computer.  After many different attempts I couldn’t figure out what IP address the RPi was on and could never connect to it.

Day 3

Break.  Need to actually get things done around the house.

Day 4

Moved the RPi close the router and plugged it in to the LAN.  I was able to see the device on the router screen and then SSH into the device for the first time!  With this I was able to see the wireless cards MAC address and then configure the router to set the RPi to a fixed IP address.  From there I was able to remove the network cable and still connect to the RPi over the wlan.  Progress!  I updated programs, added personal user account, and took sudo privledges from the default ‘pi’ username.  Next, I set out to get X11 working so I could see program windows on my laptop rather than just a terminal window using Xming. I was able to get X11 working, but only for a program at a time (never the background desktop).  And that is where I left things

Day 5

Found another other ideas to get X11 sharing the desktop.  This was to create a shortcut with the following Target:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Xming\Xming.exe" :0 -clipboard -multiwindow

This worked and I can now see the full desktop!  Then found some more ideas why the HDMI wasn’t working and made some setting changes the the RPi.  

Add these two lines to /boot/config.txt and reboot Raspbmc:


hdmi_force_hotplug=1 sets the Raspbmc to use HDMI mode even if no HDMI monitor is detected. hdmi_drive=2 sets the Raspbmc to normal HDMI mode (Sound will be sent if supported and enabled). Without this line, the Raspbmc would switch to DVI (with no audio) mode by default.


Success, I can now see the RPi through the HDMI!  So there we go after 5 days I finally can see my RPi.  At this point I think I’m ready to start moving toward setting up things to start some coding.


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I’m diving in to sour beers headfirst. Since I don’t have a clue how any method will turn out I figure I might as well try 4 methods on the first attempt. I mean why not? 

Upfront is the plan for the beers (30a, b, c, and d). Below that are various questions or bits of information I ran across when trying to figure out what I’m getting myself into.  Along the way I discovered Milk the Funk and the Mad Fermentationist that have turned out to be invaluable. 


Base Recipe

The base recipe is based on the Rare Barrel golden recipe. I’ve upped the OG  to 1.060 so the pre-boil will be 1.051 for the raw beers (30a and 30b), will mash at 148, and will add first wort hops to 3 IBUs.  After 5.5G taken for the raw beers, I’ll will add water to drop actual OG to 1.052 and add ~25 IBUs.   The water profile will be Brewers Friend’s Water Calculator Balanced Profile water.  

I plan to sit on these for about a year before thinking about any blending ideas.  Any thoughts of adding fruit to anything will be determined after sampling and more research (which I’ll have time to do). 

30a & 30b

This will be a raw beer with lacto.  Then 1/2 will be 30a which will be clean fermented and then Brett added . The other 1/2 will be Brett only.

Here are a few more plans for these beers

  • pasteurize in kettle:  155 @ 15 mins
  • transfer out 5.5G and cool to 90
  • pre-acidify drop to 4.5   (est 1mL 88% to drop 0.1 pH)
  • add lacto – goodbelly straightshot
    – Need starter: no need for starter
    – monitor for 2-3 days
  • Add hop tea (~22 IBUs) and wait 24 hours
  • Transfer 1/2 to 2.8G carboy and add Brett (30b)
    • Imperial Yeast W15 Suburban Brett
  • add sacc yeast (US-05) to 30a 
  • Xfer after high krausen to 2.8G carboy and add brett

beer 30c

The third beer will be ~5.5G and will be a Pedio/Brett fermentation 

  • Pedio:  Bootleg Biology Sour Weapon P BBX0089
  • Brett: Bootleg Biolofy Funk Weapon #3 BB0022
  • Create a Brett starter 1.5 weeks out
    • About 500ml starter per 25 liters of wort seems to be the current best practice.
    • Data from Thomas Hübbe supports that the initial pitching rate doesn’t have a great effect on the final cell count in pure Brettanomyces starters or beer, indicating that Brettanomyces is fairly forgiving in regards to small initial cell counts (MTF)
    • An alternative to the second approach is to use a stir plate on a very low setting so that only a very small “dimple” of a vortex is formed (with foil covering the top)
  • Transfer the chilled wort to 5G carboy
  • Expect 3/4″ rise from fermentation
    –need to worry about time on yeast cake?  No.

beer 30d

The fourth beer will be ~5.5G and will be primary fermented Sacc then Brett (I know this isn’t a sour, but should be fun anyhow) 

  • Transfer to 6.5g carboy
  • Add sacc
    — clean or belgain yeast? US-05
  • Just after high krausen tranfer to 5G to secondary
  • Add pedio and Brett

New gear

I’m a bit freaked out about all of these e\new bugs so here is a list of new gear that I think I’ll need.

  • Stoppers
  • Use old autosiphon
  • Bottle bucket And bottle filler
  • Wine thief

Use extra caution cleaning

  • pH meter
  • Hydrometer 
  • Cylindrical beer sampler (hydrometer testing) 
  • Glass carboys
  • Airlocks

Other random notes


Here are a few other random notes I captured while looking into this idea.  It isn’t cleaned up.

You can try:
a) PBW – to dissolve any particles. Clean before and after with soap and water and a dedicated sponge.
b) 1 gallon of water + 1 ounce bleach + 1 ounce of vinegar (added to the water, not the bleach directly). Let it sit 5 minutes then dump out and air dry. [this is the sanitize concentration, and may not kill all bacteria]
Follow up with 
c) Iodophor – 2 minute contact time, then air dry.

(You can use Hydrogen Peroxide or One Step in addition – it kills with Oxygen).

No need for new bottling equipment, use glass and just clean really good.


Raw Beer Notes

Raw beer watch out for DMS creation and pasturize before starting

DMS temp (Milk the Funk):
The primary source for DMS in beer (as well as cooked vegetables) is caused by the decomposition of SMM into DMS. This decomposition is caused by heat above ~80°C.(176°F)
Allow the beer to age longer, particularly if it contains Brettanomyces. Studies in lambic brewing have shown that DMS will volatilize over time if left in the fermenter.

DMS forming temp/time (Homebrew talk)
Conversion happens around 70C. Rapid conversion happens around 80C. I’ve seen information that says the conversion of SMM to DMSO occurs “above 60C.” Brewing: science and practice – Google Books

Anticipated issues to overcome, and how I resolved them (Experimental Brewing)
1) No-boil = DMS
Not necessarily. My understanding is that DMS is produced at 180 degrees, which explains why true no-boil berliner’s don’t have a DMS profile. As long as the mash and mashout stay below 180, it won’t be a problem.

2) No-boil = no sanitation
Again, not necessarily. Pasteurization occurs at 160 degrees in just a few seconds, so as long as the mashout is above 160, no problems.

If need more Beer 1a to blend in with  then this fastest beer to turn around

Raw beer watch out for DMS creation and pasturize before starting

Need new bottling equipment.   Glass just clean really good.


DMS temp (Milk the Funk):
The primary source for DMS in beer (as well as cooked vegetables) is caused by the decomposition of SMM into DMS. This decomposition is caused by heat above ~80°C.(176°F)
Allow the beer to age longer, particularly if it contains Brettanomyces. Studies in lambic brewing have shown that DMS will volatilize over time if left in the fermenter.

DMS forming temp/time (Homebrew talk)
Conversion happens around 70C. Rapid conversion happens around 80C. I’ve seen information that says the conversion of SMM to DMSO occurs “above 60C.” Brewing: science and practice – Google Books

Anticipated issues to overcome, and how I resolved them (Experimental Brewing)
1) No-boil = DMS
Not necessarily. My understanding is that DMS is produced at 180 degrees, which explains why true no-boil berliner’s don’t have a DMS profile. As long as the mash and mashout stay below 180, it won’t be a problem.

2) No-boil = no sanitation
Again, not necessarily. Pasteurization occurs at 160 degrees in just a few seconds, so as long as the mashout is above 160, no problems.  

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2016 Beers

I’m finding that I don’t have the time to write about each beer. So I think I’ll just start doing an annual post of the beers that year.  If anyone reads this besides me let me know what you think of the format.  

In 2016 I made 933 12 ounce beers though most of it went into kegs.  This is about double from the previous year.  The majority of it was made on a 3 day brewing bender when Lisa took the boys to California.  It was exhausting brewing that much, but well worth it.

Companies such as Booze Up in London, UK offer same day alcohol delivery and can take them to your home.

Beer Name Brew Day
#16 – Dapale 4/10/2016
#17 – The Axe v3 5/13/2016
#18 – Kate The Great 5/14/2016
#19- Daddy’s Milk 5/14/2016
#20 – DreWster 5/15/2016
#21 -Persuasion Saison 8/6/2016
#23 – The Backcountry Homebrew Club Whisky Barrel Aged Imperial Brown Ale 9/5/2016
#22 – Change Up 11/19/2016



#16 – Dapale  (4/10/2016)

  • Style: American Pale Ale
  • OG/FG:  1.056  / 1.012
  • ABV:6.1%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: 16G / 12G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $0.60  

This was a Dale’s Pale Ale clone.  It wasn’t exactly like DPA, but pretty darn good none-the-less.  One of the main thrust for this beer was that I wanted just an easy drinking hoppy-ish beer, but didn’t want to make an IPA where the hops would fade so fast.  The previous summer DPA was by go to beer so this seemed like a good choice to clone and possible become a regular rotation in my beers.  Also, this was the yeast starter for the next three beers.  

#17 -The Axe v3 (5/13/2016)

  • Style: Cross between an American Red and Irish Red Ale
  • OG/FG:  1.070  / 1.012
  • ABV: 8.2%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: 11G / 10G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $0.59  

This was the first of 4 beers made in the 3 day brewing spree.  It is also the third variant of this recipe, which is an original recipe by me.  This was pretty close to what I’ve been aiming for.  I don’t think I ever wrote any tasting notes, but I tend to recall that I want to make the next version slightly less bitter.  

#18 – The Empress

  • Style: Russian Imperial Stout
  • OG/FG:  1.099  / 1.022
  • ABV: 11.2%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: 11G / 11G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $1.06  

This is a Kate the Great (KtG) clone beer and the first big beer that I’ve made.  With living in CO, I finally had space to store this beer for ~6 months to let it age out.  I bottled 5G and kegged 5G of this beer.  I tapped the keg on 11/30/2016 and today, 10/17/2017, I still have the same keg going.  You don’t drink a whole lot of an 11% beer at one time.    The real KtG is placed in port barrels so I soaked oak spirals in port.  At one time I looked in the bag and it had spilled so I placed more port on the spirals.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t get any oak out of the spirals. Finally, I poured the port all into the beer.   I think the port is over powering, but the beer is still well received and I like too.

#19 – Daddy’s Milk

  • Style: Sweet/Milk Stout
  • OG/FG:  1.061  / 1.015
  • ABV: 6.3%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: 8.25G / 8.3G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $0.05

This is my first partygyle beer to make.  It was made from the second runnings from #18 – The Empress.  This beer was practically free; the grain came from batch #18 – The Empress, the yeast came from #16 – Dapale, and the water was basic tap water.  The only thing I paid for was the propane and the minuscule 2.6oz of hops. The basis of the beer was to be a Left Hand Milk Stout clone.  With the grain already set from #18, I mimiced the lactose and hops profile to end up with my beer.  I was able to fit the wort in what is normally my HLT and boil this the same time I was chilling down #18.  In the end it only extended my brew day a couple of hours to get a second beer. Ignoring the cost this was a really good beer and definitely made me want to try this again.   

#20 – DreWster

  • Style: Belgian Golden Strong Ale
  • OG/FG:  1.086  / 1.007
  • ABV: 11.1%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: 11G / 11G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $0.73 

This beer has 4 fun stories to it.  The first is that the yeast from this beer comes from the dregs of four North Coast’s PranQster Belgian Golden Strong beer.  I kept the dregs and slowly built up the yeast to get a pitching rate that would support this beer.  The beer fermented down as far as I was hoping making for a really dry beer.  Second part to this beer, it that I transferred this beer to two 5G carboys nearly to the top.  After aging this for a while I transferred 5G to a keg.  The beer tended to pour foamy, but I was trying to get the CO2 volumes high so that it could fit the style.  The beer had a great golden color and tasted pretty nice.  The second 5G I bottled about 3 weeks after I kegged the first 5G.  For some reason the beer had a purple haze to it.  Since this beer was from the same wort and yeast as the other 5G I ruled out many flaws.  With some help from the guys a Brew Hut we concluded that this was likely due to oxygen exposure.  I’m not sure how this would have had more oxygen than the other 5G, but I hesitantly tasted it and it tasted fine.  ).  So I went ahead to bottle it.  Since the CO2 volume on this beer is supposed to be so high I had to use the Belgian corked beers.  I borrowed a corker from a friend in the home brew club and bought several cases of bottles from Craigslist.  Turns out the bottles were really really dirty so I spent a night cleaning them.  In the process of cleaning one bottle I notice a huge amount of mold or something in the bottle as I got the crud out I looked at it a bit closer and almost vomited.  The crud as a decayed mouse.  There was a spinal cord and a fit of fuzz that separated when I poured it into my cleaning water.  Needless to say I threw that bottle out.  I also dumped all my cleaning water, cleaned the container, and finished cleaning the last few beer bottles.  Ugg, what a night of cleaning bottles.  I’ve since called this the Royal DreWster and shared it at a home brew crawl.  I don’t think it is as good as the golden version, but most seem to still like it. Finally, the last story to this is the name.  Most Belgian beers have a demonic name. With all the hard times we had had with Drew (mind you I was waking up for the day a 4:30 everyday with him and hiding in the basement until Lisa and Chase woke up too) I thought DreWster was quite fitting with capitalization having a nod towards the PranQster of which the yeast came from.  Oh, one last thing.  Since I went through so much effort to cultivate this yeast I looked into storing it for a long duration.  I read about freezing yeast in glycol and have done that.  I haven’t yet used the yeast again to see if it worked, but someday I’ll find out.

#21 – Persuasion Saison

  • Style: Saison
  • OG/FG:  1.064  / 1.004
  • ABV: 8.2%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: 13.4G / 14G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $0.71 

I managed to actually do a separate post on this beer so go there for more info.

#22 – Change Up

  • Style: Kolsch
  • OG/FG:  1.048  / 1.013
  • ABV: 4.7%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: 16.65G / 16G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $0.49 

This was the 3rd instantiation of this beer.  The I wrote up the first two in #9 – Kolsch and #13 –  Change Kolsch (16G).    I called this one Change Up as I had changed the hops around a bit to use some of things I had laying around in the 60 minute addition.  Therorically this shouldn’t have really changed the flavor.  It seemed like what I did the previous times, but I doubt if I made the same beer back to back it would taste the same anyways.  This started something that I’ve done for a few beer since in that I only wanted 10G for myself so I invited a friend over for the brewday and he took home 5G when it was all fermented out and bottled.  This is certainly  a beer to keep in rotation.

#23 -The Backcountry Homebrew Club Whisky Barrel Aged Imperial Brown Ale

  • Style: Imperial Brown Ale, aged in a second use Whisky Barrel
  • OG/FG:  1.077  / 1.016
  • ABV: 8.5%
  • Batch Size / Beer Made: ~60G / 55G
  • Batch cost per 12oz:  $0.89

As the name suggests this beer was made by my homebrew club.  We bought a used Whisky barrel from the Brew Hut / Dry Dock.  After getting the barrel we spun a few ideas around for a style and then iterated on a recipe until we called it good enough.  All the wort was brewed in one day on 3 systems to fill the barrel.  I didn’t get to help this day any only briefly swung by to drop off my carboy and to say thanks.  I think Kyle, Kirk, Jeff, and Dave did all the work.  After the beer fermented out it was transferred to the barrel and kept in Kirk’s basement where he would tease us with tasting notes and photos occasionally.  We kept the beer in the barrel for ~2 months and this split it out 11 ways.  I bottled my 5Gs.  A brown ale was the way to go on the beer as the barrel only contributed a slight whisky note.  Anything stronger that we had been considering like a RIS probably would have over powered the barrel flavors.  Kirk entered this in a competition once,but I forget what they said about it.   


I’ve been trying to sort out why my Plex media server hangs occasionally or takes a while to load content. One of my suspicions was the access time to the hard drive with the media. It was an external hard drive on a shared USB bus. I just recently moved it off of that to a dedicated USB 3.0 input and ran the CrystalDiskMark program recommended by several sites including this one.

WD Speed Test

CrystalDiskMark 5.2.2 Shizuku Edition x64 (C) 2007-2017 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World :
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 139.284 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 124.293 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.530 MB/s [ 129.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 1.327 MB/s [ 324.0 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 134.639 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 118.700 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.354 MB/s [ 86.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 1.303 MB/s [ 318.1 IOPS]

Test : 1024 MiB [G: 29.9% (836.9/2794.5 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2017/10/08 21:29:44
OS : Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

The sequential Read and Writes look pretty good, but the randoms are horrible.  I know sequential is the most important in my case, but still thats bad.

To compare I ran the speed test on a Seagate Drive still on the USB bus and on my C drive which is a RAID 0 2 drive system.

Seagate Speed Test

CrystalDiskMark 5.2.2 Shizuku Edition x64 (C) 2007-2017 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World :
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.838 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.812 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.275 MB/s [ 67.1 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.387 MB/s [ 94.5 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 0.838 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 0.629 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.211 MB/s [ 51.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.382 MB/s [ 93.3 IOPS]

Test : 1024 MiB [F: 29.2% (816.9/2794.5 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2017/10/08 21:58:01
OS : Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)

C Drive Speed Test

CrystalDiskMark 5.2.2 Shizuku Edition (C) 2007-2017 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World :
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 87.041 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 61.630 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 1.862 MB/s [ 454.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 2.187 MB/s [ 533.9 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 60.815 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 61.664 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.856 MB/s [ 209.0 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 2.107 MB/s [ 514.4 IOPS]

Test : 1024 MiB [C: 66.0% (393.4/596.1 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2017/10/10 21:30:17
OS : Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)


Both of these drives are showing a really poor performance which makes me start to wonder if there is something wrong with Windows 7 and/or the hard drive drivers.   Any suggestions where to go from here?

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Beer Name: Kolm Knights – Dusk (first barrel), Twilight (second barrel), Dawn (no barrel)

Style:  Imperal Baltic Porter (Pohjala OO Clone)

Brew Day: 4/21/2104

Alcohol: 9.7% (not including barrel changes)

Color: 81

This beer was a struggle.  Chris from Pohjala Brewing set me up with an amazing recipe.  Since this beer was so big I figured I could get a partygyle off of the second running like I did with my Kate the Great Clone, the Empress.  The plan was for 11G batch, the mash in was packed full, and the boil started as planned.  About 15 mins left in the boil I did a measurement and discovered I had way too much wort.  I did some quick calculations and determined I needed to boil for another 2 hours on top of the planned 1 hour boil.  So 3+ hours later I called the boil complete and did all the normal cold crash, oxygen, and yeast pitch.  The fermentation kicked off like a machine and twice I had to clean the bottom of the fermentation chamber.  Well after about 7 days I measured the FG and it was 1.044 rather than a planned 1.026.  I gave it a few more shots of oxygen, roused the yeast up, left it for a few days… and no changes.  So I assumed that my yeast tuckered out.  Using the yeast from one of the partygyle beers, I did a starter to get things going and re-pitched.  I got a few small bubbles over the next too days, but no real changes.  I think what I saw was the starter fermenting out, but that made me think that the yeast wasn’t the issue.  I started tinkering with the recipe in beersmith to see if I could find any errors. Randomly I selected the muscovado sugar to be non-fermentable (like lactose) and what do you know it predicted the FG to be right where I was at.  So either something was off with the muscovado sugar, I added it to fast and caramelized it, or the 3+ hour boil caramelized it.  Either way this at least eased my mind about what was happening.  To correct for this I make a simple extract porter beer and blended it in at about a 10/4 ratio.  This got the FG down to 1.032 which seemed okay for this large of a beer and kept the ABV in the range that I was aiming for.  So instead of 10G I ended up with about 14G.  I’ve placed 5G in a whisky barrel that my brother had and let that sit for about 2 months.  The taste sample was amazing and I’ve now bottled 5G of the barrel beer (Dusk) and 5 G of the non-barrel beer (Dawn). The other 4G are now sitting in the barrel and will be Twilight whenever I bottle it.  All the bottles were bottled with cask ale yeast and priming sugar.  I haven’t yet cracked a beer yet as I’m waiting until Thanksgiving or so. Updates to come

I spent way too much time coming up with a beer name for this.  The beer name for the original recipe is OO which means night in Estonian.  In trying to be clever I wanted to do a play on words and call this Knight or tie this back to Estonia.  I researched Estonian knights and learned about several famous clans(?) including Order of the Cross which most everyone knows by the cross on the shield.  Since I knew I was ending up with 3 variants of this beer I was looking for a succession class or something that would work nice, but I struck out here. Instead I landed on Kolm which is Estonian for three. I like the way Kolm Knights looks, even if I am probably mispronouncing Kolm, and it translates to 3 Knights, very fitting.  Since OO means night, I’ve named each of the variants a phase of the night.  And there you have it clever beer name that nobody will probably ever get if I didn’t write this down.  I’ve worked the estonian knights onto the beer cap which depicts the Order of the Cross shield on it.  Yes, I spent too much time thinking about this.

PHOTO GALLERY TO COME (after I open the first beer)

My Brew Notes

Execution Notes

  1. Had to boil for 3+ hours.  Later discovered that this was the first beer where I had lids on the kettles when warming the water.  I used to loose about 1G and with 2 kettles I calculated needing 2G more.  With lids I don’t loose any water and have adjusted the spreadsheet for next time
  2. I’m weary of muscovado sugar since it didn’t ferment out.  It was probably me, but I’m still recovering PTSD over this beer
  3. Large beers need a blow off tube.  I had to clean off 2 huge messes. Drew helped me clean (ha)
  4. The blender beer saved this batch.  I think I got this idea from a Session podcast on the Brewing Network

Recipe Info

Recommendations for next time

  • Get the sugar to ferment and try the recipe exactly the same way!


Pohjala OO Info

  • ABV=10.5%
  • FG=1.104
  • OG = 1.026

Pohjala OO website

Pohjala Head Brewer Email

Hey Brian,

This is Chris, Head Brewer at Põhjala. Apologies for the late reply, it’s been a busy week here.

Awesome to hear you’d like to try brewing Öö, it started on the homebrew scale so it’s quite an honour to hear that 🙂

We use:

36% pale malt

39% munich malt (light)

9.75% carafa type 2 special

4.9% dark roasted crystal (Simpsons)

4.9% chocolate malt

4.9% cara 300

And about 10% of the fermentables will come from a dark muscavado sugar – currently we add that at T-60.

We use Viking malt from Finland for the majority of our malts, and they have a  very British style, so 2 row probably wouldn’t be the best substitute for the pale malt, I’d rather try Maris otter if you can get it.

Gravity starts at 24.5° and finishes at 6.5°, and we bitter to approx 65-70 IBU using magnum, with a finishing dose of Northern Brewer at T-00.

In terms of yeast, we ferment this one at cool temps of around 16°c with WLP090, San Diego Super yeast, which we use as our house strain. A cool fermentation helps as you really can’t feel the alcohol.

Water profile helps a lot as well, but that would be harder to give some tips on for me.

Otherwise, that’s about it – hope it helps, and good brewing!



Chris Pilkington

Head Brewer

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Beer Name: Change Kolsch

Style:  Kosch

Brew Day: 10/10/2015

Alcohol: 5.5%

Color: 4

My idea of a Kolsch.

My Brew Notes

Execution Notes

Second time doing this, but instead of 5G this is scaled up to 15G  (10G for me, 5G for my brother Mark).  My 10G came out crystal clear and tasting great.  Mark’s 5G was cloudy and had a weird flavor.  This difference was odd since the mash and boil was all 5G, they pitched equal amounts of yeast, fermented at the same temp in the fermentation chamber, cold crashed and gelatin at the same time.  The only difference is that Mark’s was kegged about 1 week before mine,  but still had 3 weeks from the brew day. Weird.  Oh well.  This is a pretty good recipe and will likely do it again.

Recipe Info

Recommendations for next time

  • No real notes to recall.
  • First time kegging!


This is just a scaled up version of #9 Change Kolsch

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