27A - Lichtenhainer

BJCP Style: 27A (historical beer) - Lichtenhainer

From BJCP: "Smoke and sour is an unusual combination that is not for everyone."

Smoke and Sour? What is this wacky business? Let's do it!

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR

  • 2021-4-20: brew day
  • Malts: Weyermann Wheat, Pils, Munich, Rauch (beech smoked)
  • Hop: Magnum
  • Yeast: Lallemand Philly Sour
  • OG: 9°P
Weyermann Rauch malt made up 13% of the total. In the past I found that to contribute a good smoky flavor without being too overpowering.  

Grains: all Weyermann: Pils, Wheat, Munich, Rauch


Mash temp


I've been doing a "fast chill" on brews I can pitch yeast the next day. It's super fast and saves a ton of water. By morning it's chilled to where it needs to be and I can pitch yeast.

OG right on target at 9°P - although I ended up with 1L more wort than expected so looks like efficiency was higher than expected. 

2021-4-21 (+1): Yeast pitch time and Floor Manager Steve is here for it.

Philly Sour yeast has been producing some pretty tasty quick sours. A bit of a cheat but it's super easy and I like the sour level it produces. 

Yeast pitched and away we go


28B - Mixed Fermentation

BJCP Style: 28B - Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer

Here's the thing. There's no category specifically for "I harvested some wild yeast and wanted to make a beer with it" in the BJCP. So I'm making this a mixed fermentation with some wild yeast I harvested then hitting it with some bugs from the bottom of a bottle of a commercial American wild. Because I harvested some wild yeast and wanted to make a beer with it. 

I'm using my house saison for the base with a simple grain bill: some leftover CO Proximity base (500g), Maris Otter (the rest), 1kg of honey, and Sorachi Ace as the only hop. 

As for the primary yeast: this is a wild strain I harvested from a jug of Kirkland apple juice a few months ago. I noticed the half full container was building pressure in the fridge so I took it out, added an airlock, and let it do its thing. After a few days it slowed down, and after a couple of weeks the resulting cider had dropped clear. I took a sample (for science) and gravity reading. The gravity put it at around 7% which is what I would usually get from a batch of cider with store bought juice, my house cider yeast (Belle Saison), and nothing else. The taste was surprisingly clean. 

I saved the yeast from the container and a couple of weeks later put together a batch of cider and made a starter with the saved yeast and apple juice. It fermented up and looked to be healthy so into the cider it went. The result was a clean but slightly funky cider that dropped super clear after a few weeks in the keg. 

Knowing yeast behaves differently for cider than beer I wanted to give the "wild basement yeast" a go in a beer. And here we are. It's been almost 4 months since the cider batch so the starter was very slow to get going. It has now been 36hrs on the stir plate and is finally showing signs of activity. Tonight I hope to pitch into the wort I made last night. UPDATE: pitched after 48hrs on the stir plate at 30°C

I'm expecting funk. I'm hoping for funk. I just hope it's the pleasant wild fruity funk and not the baby diapers or vomit kind. This will be a "wait and see" project. I have a bottle of Russian River Beatification in the fridge which I will use for the sour bugs (after drinking the beer for science), and dedicated sour keg where this will sit for several months for its "mixed fermentation" phase.  

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR:

  • 2021-3-31: brewday
  • Fermentables: Maris Otter, CO Proximity base (leftovers), Honey
  • Hop: Sorachi Ace
  • Yeast: ^see above^ We'll call it the wild basement yeast
  • OG: 13.2°P
  • 2021-4-5: kegged with oak spiral and dregs from Beatification 
2021-3-30 (-1): Using some starter wort I had saved in the fridge 

It's been in there a while so I gave it a quick boil

Saved wild yeast from the cider

away we go on the stir plate

2021-3-31: all Sorachi Ace hops - first wort and flameout. This has been a favorite for the house saison. 

1kg honey

Floor Manager Steve

Used up 2 bins of grain and got 500g of CO Proximity and 3.5kg of Maris Otter. Time to restock.


Mash temp

Mashing in the electric kettle. I have a 2 vessel system but it's unnecessary for lighter beers when I can easily lift the bag. Single vessel is much more efficient and faster than having to mess with all the transfers. 

Boiling the things

Brew session beer. 

Late hops ready to go and set to chill. Since the yeast was still thinking about getting going I didn't need to chill to pitch temp. I probably spent all of 5 min getting the wort down to 40°C then sent it to the fermenter where it will hang out till time to pitch the yeast.

OG looking like 13.2°P. A bit higher than expected; fine crush and 1kg of honey resulted in 80% efficiency. 

And we're ready

2021-4-1 (+1): 36hrs in and the yeast is doing things. Hoping to pitch tonight. 

2021-4-2 (+2): Yeast pitched last night after about 48hrs on the stir plate and this morning it's bubbling away in the fermenter.

2021-4-5 (+5): Transferred to keg-secondary 

2021-4-5 (+5): gravity check - still has a bit to go. looking like 1.013/3.3°P. Tasting funky but should be a good starting point for things to come. 

Russian River Beatification will provide the extra wild yeast and bacteria for a long ferment 

Oak spiral and a some goodies from the bottom of the Beatification bottle added

Away we go (again). Currently just a pressure gauge but I'll switch this out for a spunding valve or airlock when it starts building up with some consistency.  

2021-4-18 (+18): Things are happening in there and it's producing some pressure. Spunding valve set to just under 15psi. 


27A - London Brown Ale

BJCP Style: 27A - London Brown Ale

BJCP: A luscious, sweet, malt-oriented dark brown ale, with caramel and toffee malt complexity and a sweet finish.

I approached this recipe as a lighter version of a sweet stout. This goes light on the hops and heavy with the dark and medium crystal malts. Chocolate malt is the main color contributor. I'm hoping for a creamy smooth stout-like nitro/cask pour with a hint of dark caramel sweetness. 

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR:

  • 2020-03-30: brew day
  • Malts: Maris Otter, C120, C60, Chocolate
  • Hop: Nugget (FWH)
  • Yeast: SafAle S-04
  • OG: 10°P
  • 2021-4-4 (+5): keg-secondary
  • 2021-4-6 (+7): to keezer

Milled. Dialing in the geared MM3 with credit card width and getting great efficiency. Guess I didn't need the feeler gauges. Save your $10. 

Heating up to mash temp. Starting with 28L at 70°C

Mash temp right on target

Bag out. Did a bit of sparge/rinse before cranking up for the boil.

Ready to chill

Floor Manager Steve came down to supervise but went back up to the kitty condo.

Chilled. Into the fermenter

OG came out higher than expected at 10°P. Depending on final gravity it could be a bit out of range for London Brown which tops out at 3.6% ABV

Post brew brew from the local spot

Going with the classic. House yeast is typically London III but I had some extra S-04 to use up. 

2021-4-4 (+5): transferred to keg for a couple of days of conditioning before keezer. This will give the yeast a chance to finish up and add a bit of carbonation. 

2021-4-7 (+8): I put this in the keezer before bed ~10pm. In the morning (pic) it had chilled, dropped a bit clearer, and I'm about to give it 2hrs of CO2 burst. 

2021-4-7 (+8): half pint pour after burst and settling a bit more. Has a characteristic brown ale flavor: bit of roasty malt with a smooth, slightly sweet nuttiness. Still needs to clear up but tasting nice as is. 



27A - Kentucky Common

BJCP Style: 27A - (Historical Beer) Kentucky Common

BJCP: "A darker-colored, light-flavored, malt-accented beer with a dry finish and interesting character malt flavors. Refreshing due to its high carbonation and mild flavors, and highly sessionable due to being served very fresh and with restrained alcohol levels."

Full Recipe is on BrewersFriend, but here's the TL;DR

  • 2021-2-20: brew day
  • Malts/Fermentables: CO Proximity base and Munich, Grits, Chocolate
  • Hops: [Magnum] (Sterling)
  • Yeast: SafAle US-05
  • OG: 11.2°P; FG: 2.8°P; ABV 4.5%
  • 2021-2-25: transferred to keg secondary
  • 2021-3-6: moved to keezer (gelatin added 3/7)
CO Proximity base malt, Munich, and a handful of Chocolate for color  


Hops: Magnum at FWH for bittering, Sterling at flameout for flavor. Not a traditional hop for the style (didn't have any Cluster), but a newer American Noble variety. 

1.4kg of Grits!


Floor Manager Steve wants to go outside in his cart.

Cooked Grits! This was more of a pain in the ass than expected. Box said to use 1:4 grits to water and I probably did 1:2 or something - I didn't think it would matter much since it's all going in the mash, but in retrospect this was a mistake. The clumped up grits were difficult to add to the mash and kept splashing up. A more liquid consistency I could have poured in with less hassle. 

Starting mash temp. This did not change after adding the warm cooked grits. 

Brew session beer: House Session Hazy IPA with Citra, Galaxy, and Motueka. Tasty!

Though I have a 2 kettle system, if the grain bill is small enough I'll just mash in the brew kettle then transfer the bag to the mash tun when finished. 

Mash complete - ready to pull the bag

Late in the boil, all set to chill

Ready to chill - outside view

OG came in at 11.2°P - just a couple of points lower than expected. Should end up at 4.5 - 5% ABV; right in line for the style. 

Wort sample: 

Away we go

2021-3-10 (+18): Pretty clear after keg secondary and a couple of days in the keezer. Tasting toasty and malt forward with a clean finish. Already good, but it will improve with another week or so. 

2021-3-15 (+23): I'm calling it. This is done - clear and tasting clean. Getting some breadcrust from the dark munich but it works for me. This is a tasty style but next time I would skip the grits and use flaked maize. Much easier.