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  • Beer Name: Burnin’ Spades RIPA
  • Style:  Black, Rye, IPA
  • Alcohol: 7.1%
  • Color: unknown

My first venture into all grain brewing has literally blown up in front of me.  So who know how it tastes, but here is what happened.   After coming home from vacation I saw liquid coming from the fermentation chamber.  When I opened the doors about 6 bottle or so had exploded at the bottom.  So I took everything out and cleaned things up, exactly what you want to do after a long travel day.  Just as I was putting the beers back in the fridge, the bottom of a six pack broke open and the bottles dropped maybe a foot.  Well all 6 of those bottles exploded.  Sounded like a bomb went off.  I was lucky no glass hit my face, but my legs and feet were not so lucky and had blood streaming down.  Now I had another mess to clean up.  So while I was cleaning that up 2 more bottles exploded just sitting on the sidewalk.  Awesome, I have bottle bombs.  Not wanting to loose everything. I place the remaining beer bottles in a cooler and inside my fridge.  That night I heads several more explode…sounded like a gun shot.  Hoping to save the beers, I planned to pop the tops on the remaining bottles and then re-cap them.  I put on my bomb squad gear (an old paintball face mask, a thick long sleeve, and some gloves) and reached into the cooler to take the tops off.  The first one gushed everywhere, same with the second, third and so on.  After a bit there was so much foam I was just feeling through the cooler to find unopened bottles.  Well needless to say this was a total loss.  I did try about half a glass full just to see what it was like and it was sweet almost like the raw wort.

So here is what I think happened.  During my last batch of beer my fridge died, so I didn’t really have good fermentation control while this beer was fermenting.  We had really hot days and warm nights.  I think the yeast shutdown due to the high temperatures.  I should have noticed that my final gravity reading was high and done something, but just moved right into bottling.  After I bottled I also replaced the AC unit with a min-fridge coils and was able to set the temp.  I think when I did this the yeast woke up again and started chomping on all the unprocessed sugars, thus creating my bottle bombs.

On the fun side, I got some 3/4″ stickers to make cap labels for my beers.  I got lucky and made labels for my previous beers as I had to move my bottles all around while cleaning.  Making a label is now part of my beer making process.

My Brew Notes

Recipe Info

 Recipe Notes

Execution Notes

Tried making a 2L starter in a 2L flask.  Resulted in a boil over.  Separated into two flask for the boil then recombined when they cooled.  Ended up with 1.6L of the 2L.

First time making all grain batch.  MLT filter was too small and got a stuck sparge.  I knew what my number were supposed to be, but wasn’t prepared to be able to measure if I was hitting them or not (ie. depth to volume conversions). Messed around switching in a different filter which caused the temps to go wild.  Through all the hops directly in which wasn’t so bad.  What was bad way the bag I had to catch the gunk at the output end of the hose when transferring to the primary got clogged up and ended up not using it which passed a lot of material in the fermenter.  When transferring to bottling bucket the the filter around the tube also was causing problems so a lot of material ended up in bottles.  Need to do this better next time


  • Brew day: 6/13/2014
  • Cold Crash Start: N/A (Broken fermentation chamber)
  • Secondary Fermentation: 7/2/2014
  • Dry Hopping: 7/29/2014
  • Cold Crash 2: N/A
  • Gelatin: N/A
  • Bottling Prep: 8/4/2014
  • Bottling: 8/5/2014

Recommendations for next time

  • Get the filtering down much better
  • Make sure the fermentation chamber is working
  • Know numbers better and know how to take measurements

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Beer Name:  Falconer’s Success I2PA

Style:  Imperial IPA (Rouge XS Imperial IPA clone)

Alcohol: 7.78%

Color: 18

Recipe Source:  Austin Home Brew Supply, Extract

Well this is the first beer I’ve made that I’d say that I’m impressed with and say that it is a success.    My beers prior to this were okay, but not impressive and I always thought they were not just quite right.   This beer is clear, well carbonated, the hops aromas are amazing, and the taste is excellent.  It is the second beer since I made the fermentation chamber  and I’ve gotten better at the process in general, but either way I’ve happy with the outcome.  In fact I was so pleased with my beer that I had a stupid childish grin on my face that Lisa couldn’t help to notice when I had the first bottle.  At any rate this beer is my first true success!!!


My Brew Notes


I used the extract kit provided in the link above and added 1oz falconer’s flight hops added with the other dry hops.

Execution Notes

This was the first time ever and used my new flask.  I used 6.5oz DME to 1.8mL of water for the first step up.  I had a hard time pouring DME into flask and should pour water into measuring cup then back into flask.  I also had a major boil over and lost about 0.100mL.  For the second step up I used fermcap-S and have zero boil over!!  Water took longer to get to boiling since there was so much water stretching the time out more than it should in the future.

This batch went pretty well on brew day.  I didn’t do any of the pre-brew day tasks except for buy the ice and water and managed to do the rest while I was brewing without any delays between steps.  After about 10 mins into the boil I had to run to the restroom and somehow managed to have a boil over in that time.  I was concerned that I might have lost a lot of wort since I wasn’t there to witness the boil over, but after a few questions to the home brew forums I think I was able to determine what happened which caused me to miss my ABV by 0.66%.

The fermentation took off quite vigorously and foamed out of the bucket on the second day.    I noticed I had an issue when I saw a fruit fly buzz across the webcam.  I was afraid that when I opened the fermentation chamber that there were going to be flys and larva everywhere, but fortunately there was just the one fly.  This was a pretty sticky mess to clean up, but wasn’t too bad to wipe out of the chamber.  I cleaned out the airlock and let to do its thing

I used a secondary (cold crash prior to transfer) and gave it my first try at dry hopping.  I finished things off with gelatin and a cold crash prior to bottling.  I also tried something new this time when transferring to the bottleing bucket.  I placed the siphon in a fine nylon filter which I think helped keep out some of the muck.  I don’t know how affective this was, but it is simple to do and will add this to my normal routine.

Yeast: White Labs California Ale V WLP051


  • Brew day: 1/4/2014
    • Boilover
    • Vigous fermentation mess
  • Cold Crash Start: 1/13/2014
  • Secondary Fermentation: 1/23/2014
  • Dry Hopping: 2/25/2014
  • Cold Crash 2: 3/3/2014
  • Gelatin (32): 3/4/2014
  • Bottling Prep: 3/7/2014
  • Bottling: 3/8/2014
    • nylon filter around siphon


  • Target Starting Gravity: 1.80
  • Starting Gravity:  1.077
  • Target Final Gravity: 1.020
  • Final Gravity: 1.022
  • Alcohol %: 7.78

Color: 18

Recommendations for next time

Watch the boil over.  I lost about 0.15G affecting the OG.

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