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Hoppy-Spicy Rye Golden Ale

Hoppy-Spicy Rye Golden Ale

Split Test Batch Rye
I have nothing against brewing to-style. You can make magnificent and delicious beers by using ingredients from a single region with the goal of a classic balance. That isn’t who I am as a brewer though. The recipe for Sapwood Cellars‘ False Dragon is the sort that I’m passionate about. We selected ingredients from all over the globe to create a flavors and aromas that aren’t authentic to any one tradition. What I wanted was an earthy-crisp malt flavor, a white-winey hop aroma (for less money than Nelson Sauvin), and a subtle spicy and fruity-boost from the yeast without getting in the way. That required malts from America and England, hops from America and Germany, and yeast from England and Belgium.

Scott adding Centennial hops to the whirlpool
I’d been experimenting with the hop bill for a few months to get the ratio right, and eventually settled on 2:1 in favor of Mosaic. After a few test batches, Scott and I have embraced adding less expensive hops on the hot-side (Cascade, Columbus, Chinook, Centennial etc.) with the more aromatic and expensive varieties saved for the fermentor. I wanted to split my homebrewed test batch to compare S-04 alone against S-04 with 8% T-58. As with Ziparillo, dry yeast is cost-effective especially if you can’t repitch thanks to early or mid-fermentation dry hopping. Belgian strains have shown heightened biotranformation abilities is some studies, so it seemed like a good candidate for double dry-hopping.

Dry yeast pitched into a 10 bbl batch
For the 10 bbl batch we decided to fill-in a gap in our range when the first batch of Rings of Light (our Citra dry-hopped hazy pale ale) came in under-alcohol at 4.8% thanks to lower-than-expected efficiency. In effect the two recipes switched places with False Dragon becoming the “bigger” pale ale at 5.3% rather than the 4.7% of the test batch. Our attenuation has been lower than expected across the board for our first five batches too. We’re still trying to figure out the cause given it has happened with multiple yeast strains – likely mash related. Luckily our hop flavor and aroma have both been wildly better than either Scott or I have been able to achieve at home, I’m sure surface-to-volume ratio plays a role.

Your first chance to try this beer is at the Sapwood Cellars grand opening, Noon-10 PM on Saturday 9/29. We’ll be open Thursday-Friday 4-10 PM and Saturdays Noon-10 PM from then on. Stop in, drink a beer, say hello!

The name False Dragon come from The Wheel of Time series of books by Robert Jordan. My commute has gone from 20 minutes on the subway to my desk job to ~40 minutes by car. Audio books are my new friend. While I’m sure brewing podcasts would be a more productive use of my time, after 12 hours brewing it is nice to have a little escapism.

Test batch False Dragon with S-04
False Dragon S-04

Smell – Had to go for a fresh pour after taking photos as it had gone a hint skunky after five minutes in the sun… Nose is a fresh “true” hop aroma to the Mosaic and Hallertau Blanc. White wine, but also some blueberry and green/herbaceous. Certainly Nelson-reminiscent, but a unique character as well.

Appearance – Pale yellow, pleasantly hazy. Good head and lacing, but the foam itself feels airy on the tongue. I guess I’ve gotten used (and miss) to the contribution of chit malt.

Taste – A firm amount of bitterness in the finish, but it doesn’t linger. Light and bright with the tropical-fruity hops starring. Rye doesn’t really make a strong showing, although I’ve always found it more subtle than some others taste.

Mouthfeel – The rye helps prevent it from being watery, but it is a summery pale ale. Glad we ended up a little higher OG/FG on the big batch. Medium carbonation, nice for a lighter beer.

Drinkability & Notes – A pleasant session IPA. The Mosaic and Hallertau Blanc work better together than apart.

Changes for Next Time – 10% chit in place of the base malt wouldn’t hurt. Could certainly up the rye too for a bigger contribution.

Test batch False Dragon with S-04 and T-58
S-04 and T-58

Smell – More rounded, less grassy-distinct hop aroma. Tropical, juicy, inviting. The green flavors are now more honeydew melon. Impossible to say how much of that is actual hop chemical reaction, or synergistic between the hops and esters. Lightly bready.

Appearance – Looks similar in terms of head, color, and clarity.

Taste – Lower perceived bitterness. A more saturated/integrated fruity hop flavor. Passionfruit especially. I think this is the more approachable and interesting beer, and distinct from the other English-only fermentation we are doing (using RVA Manchester). Slightly elevated phenols, but much lower than from the WB-06 in Ziparillo.

Mouthfeel – Slightly creamier (perhaps just the lower perceived bitterness?), identical carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – I was able to identify these pretty easily in a blind tasting. It is amazing how much impact such a small amount of yeast can make.

Changes for Next Time – We decided to back down the T-58 4.4% of the blend to allow a bit more of that fresh/distinct hop character through. Other than the higher gravity, the recipe was otherwise unchanged for the 315 gallon batch! We’ll probably up the rye for batch #2 now that we know we can handle higher percentages of high beta-glucan huskless grains.

False Dragon – Test Batch

Batch Size: 11.00 gal
SRM: 4.1
IBU: 30.0
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.012/1.012
ABV: 4.7%
Final pH: 4.43/4.49
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72%
Boil Time: 60 mins

75.6% – 17 lbs Rahr 2-Row Brewer’s Malt
14.4% – 3.25 lbs Briess Rye Malt
10.0 % – 2.25 lbs Crisp Floor Malted Maris Otter

Mash In – 45 min @ 156F

8.00 oz Centennial (Pellet, 7.20%) @ 30 min Steep/Whirlpool
6.00 oz Mosaic (Pellet, 12.25%) @ Dry Hop Day 3
3.00 oz Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 10.50%) @ Dry Hop Day 3
6.00 oz Mosaic (Pellet, 12.25%) @ Dry Hop Day 7
3.00 oz Hallertau Blanc (Pellet, 10.50%) @ Dry Hop Day 7

1 Whirlfloc Tablet @ 5 mins

18 g Calcium Chloride
12 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)
6 tsp Phosphoric Acid 10%

11.5 g SafAle S-04 English Ale
11.5 g SafAle S-04 English Ale
1 g SafBrew T-58 Specialty Ale

Brewed 8/19/18

Mash pH = 5.44 (at mash temp) after acid additions.

Collected 14.5 gallons of 1.046 runnings.

Added heat to maintain a whirlpool temperature of 200F.

Chilled to 64F. Half with 1 g of T-58 and 11 g of S-04, and half with only 11 g of S-04. Left at 62F ambient to begin fermentation after shaking to aerate.

69F internal temperature during peak fermentation.

8/22 Dry hopped each with 3 oz of Mosaic and 1.5 oz of Hallertau Blanc.

8/27 Second dry hop for both.

9/1 Kegged both, 1.012, moved to fridge to chill.

9/2 Hooked up to gas and tapped to remove sludge. S-04 batch clogged poppet a few times.

I get a commission if you buy something after clicking the links to MoreBeer/Amazon/Adventures in Homebrewing/Great Fermentations!

Brite tank sample of False Dragon

Dog Raincoats from Bark and Go

Dog Raincoats from Bark and Go

Dog Raincoats from Bark and Go

Soggy greetings from the middle of what’s left of Hurricane Florence, a.k.a. three straight days of rain, a.k.a. Dottie’s worst nightmare. (Maybe we should take the bull by the horns and train her to use our bathroom?) We’re washing about 3 loads of dog towels a day, since every trip outside requires a 10-minute drying-and-paw-cleaning process. There are still over two months left in this year’s hurricane season, so I’m about ready to invest in some quality dog raincoats, and these serious dog raincoats from Bark and Go have my attention. What makes them serious: they’re waterproof (natch) but also machine-washable, and they’re made with breed-specific sizing, which means they’re cut and fit to better match your dog’s physique. They cinch at the chest and back, and they feature underside snaps for easy closure and removal. And, for dogs like Dottie who are basically allergic to water, there’s a full-body version that is really serious. Check them out at Bark and Go.

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© 2018 Dog Milk | Posted by Katherine in Clothing | Permalink | No comments

Homebrewing Fermenters with Chris Graham – BeerSmith Podcast #177

Homebrewing Fermenters with Chris Graham – BeerSmith Podcast #177

This week Chris Graham from MoreBeer joins me to discuss the wide variety of new fermenter options available to home brewers including everything from a simple bucket to a temperature controlled stainless conical. Subscribe on iTunes to Audio version or Video version or on Google Play

Download the MP3 File – Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file

Topics in This Week’s Episode (56:38)

  • Today my guest is Chris Graham. Chris is the President of MoreBeer and MoreFlavor Inc, one of the top online suppliers of homebrewing equipment and ingredients. Chris is also an instructor at the World renowned Seibel Brewing Institute.
  • We start with a discussion of beginning fermenter options including the plastic bucket and also the glass carboy.
  • We discuss additional options including the newer foodsafe plastic carboys and plastic bucket style fermenters.
  • Chris shares some of the advantages of a conical fermenter which lets you harvest and separate yeast as well as enhances fermentation activity.
  • We also discuss other shapes including the flat bottomed brew bucket style of fermenter.
  • Chris talks about materials used in homebrew fermenters including glass, plastics and stainless steel and advantages of each.
  • We discuss the new crop of high end fermenters that include conical stainless steel systems for both 5 gal (19 l) and 10 gal (38 l) batch sizes.
  • Some new fermenters also include temperature control options – so we discuss briefly how these systems work.
  • He explains pricing of fermenters which go all the way from a $10-15 bucket to potentially thousands of dollars for a glycol chilled stainless fermenter.
  • Chris shares his closing thoughts.


Thanks to Chris Graham for appearing on the show and also to you for listening! iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our discussion forum to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our BeerSmith Radio online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and my newsletter (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Natural Wool Dog Toys from East Coast Pets

Natural Wool Dog Toys from East Coast Pets

Natural Wool Dog Toys from East Coast Pets

Know what’s better (for your dog, anyway) than an actual salt-covered pretzel? One made from 100% New Zealand wool, obvs! Keep the real pretzels for yourself and share these with your pupper instead. Along with colorful star fish, branches, rings, and balls, these quirky toys from East Coast Pets are as fun as they are natural. Each toy is made from naturally-dyed, ethically-sourced wool with zero waste, meaning it’s free from toxins and plastics and good for the planet! Shop the complete collection at

Natural Wool Dog Toys from East Coast Pets

Natural Wool Dog Toys from East Coast Pets

Natural Wool Dog Toys from East Coast Pets

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© 2018 Dog Milk | Posted by capree in Green, Toys | Permalink | No comments

How to Back Up and Recover Data in BeerSmith 3

How to Back Up and Recover Data in BeerSmith 3

This week I cover how to back up your data in BeerSmith 3 as well as automatic data storage and archive options. I’ll show you how to recover a large amount of data or even just an older recipe if needed.

Data Storage and Backup in BeerSmith 3

BeerSmith stores most of its data locally on your hard drive in the Documents/BeerSmith3 folder (or ~/.beersmith3 on Linux). All of the recipe data in My Recipes as well as any changes you’ve made to ingredients or profiles as well as your program settings are stored in this folder. The only exception to this is recipes in your cloud folder which are stored on the recipe server at

Since the bulk of your brewing data is locally stored, it could be lost if you have a hard drive crash, stolen computer, hardware failure, fire, or other disaster. This is why I strongly recommend periodically making a backup of your Documents/BeerSmith3 folder. An even better idea is to use backup software that either backs your data up offsite or to a network archive.

If you have a complete copy of your BeerSmith3 data directory it is very easy to copy the entire directory to a new computer or alternately open the BSMX data files within BeerSmith to recover selective data. For example your recipes are stored in a file called Recipe.bsmx which you can easily open using the File->Open command within BeerSmith, and then copy/paste data back to My Recipes to restore recipes. You can do the same for other data like the Equipment.bsmx or Hops.bsmx files.

I do not recommend moving/storing your BeerSmith 3 data on an external or network drive or service like Google Drive or Dropbox for daily use. While a number of users have tried this to share data between machines, there is nothing in BeerSmith that will prevent one copy from overwriting another on the shared drive if you run two copies on two computer. The result in this case will most likely be data loss. Instead, it is best to periocally back up your local BeerSmith3 directory to your backup or network drive for archive purposes.

Automatic Backup Features in BeerSmith 3

In addition to the basic data storage there are a number of automatic backup features in BeerSmith 3 which can help you recover data if needed. For example BeerSmith makes a copy of your recipes after major operations like edits and deletes in the “Recipe Archive” and also has an automatic bulk backup of your recipes and ingredients stored separately for easy recovery if you have significant data issues.

The Recipe Archive

For recovering individual recipes such as one you changed or accidentally deleted you can use the Recipe Archive feature. Go to View->Recipe Archive to view the archive. It stores copies of every major change you make to your recipes for a period of time, so you can easily search by recipe name and see all of the changes you made to a recipe. It also saves recipes before deleting them so you can recover deleted recipes from here.

Within the recipe archive, the recipes are shown by date and folder. To view a recipe just double click on it, and on any viewed recipe you can use the Save a Copy button on the ribbon to recover it. You can control how long recipes are retained in the archive by going to Options->Advanced Options and setting the Keep Archived Recipes for option near the bottom of that dialog.

Bulk Data Recovery

In addition to the recipe archive, BeerSmith also stores bulk backups of your recipes, ingredients and profiles. You can access these complete backup files from the File->Recover from Backup dialog. Five copies of each major file are stored and the older files are rotated more slowly so you can access older data. Also in BeerSmith 3 these files are stored separately from your Documents/BeerSmith3 data so you have some additional insurance if you accidentally delete your Documents/BeerSmith3 directory.

From the recovery dialog you can select the data type as well as any of the data files by selecting them. I recommend using the button to Open File in a New Tab to view the data before doing a full recovery to make sure you are recovering the data you want. You can also use the view in a tab option to view older files where you may want to recover just a few items.

The Recover from Backup Selected button will do a full replacement of your data with the selected file, wiping any data you already have in place so it should only be used after you have verified you have the correct bulk backup file.

Those are some of the new backup and recovery features in BeerSmith 3 as well as the important data to back up to avoid data loss. You can learn more about the features in BeerSmith 3 here or purchase a copy from the main order page here. Thanks for joining me on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter or my podcast (also on itunes…and youtube…and streaming radio station) for more great tips on homebrewing.