Capricorn Brewing Log
This is a copy of my brewing logbook. On the left is the actual log
text, and on the right I have added whatever commentary I felt was appropriate.
There is a new logbook out there, and Capricorn Brewing has been doing some pretty
good work lately. We've been too busy brewing to bother posting it on the web
though, so if you want some of our delicious Left Coast Lager or Brendan's Special Spiced
Stout then you will have to invite us to your party.
|Batch #1 Light American
Batch #2 Dark Red Ale
Batch #3 Belgian Ale
Batch #4 American Pale Ale
Batch #5 American Brown Ale
Batch #6 Hefeweizen
Batch #7 Apple/pear cider
Batch #8 Light Peach Cream Ale
Batch #9 Left (Stage Right) Coast IPA
Batch #10 Spiced Christmas dark ale
Batch #11 Left Coast IPA (again)
Batch #12 Leftover Malt Weizen
|April 3, 1999
December 23, 2000
February 3, 2001
February 17, 2001
March 31, 2001
April 8, 2001
June 6, 2001
August 4, 2001
September 16, 2001
November 18, 2001
December 16, 2001
December 24, 2001
Batch #1 4-3-99
Kettle put on to boil at 5:11 PM
reached 150 degrees F at 5:41 PM
Steeped 1 lb Belgan Aromatic Malt for 25 mins, sparged as per instructions
Added 5.83 lbs Alexander Wheat & Barley Malt syrup
Rolling boil reached at 6:59 PM
added 1 oz German Spalt hops at start
added 1/2 oz German Spalt hops at 30 mins
added 1/2 oz German Spalt hops at 55 mins
added 1 tsp. Irish Moss at 30 mins
Stop boil at 65 mins
Wort cooling takes forever!
pitched yeast, siphoned and started cleanup at about 10:00 PM
4.5% Alpha German Spalt hops
1 oz 60 mins (1)(4.5)(4)
1/2 oz 30 mins (1/2)(4.5)(1.4) = 3.15
1/2 oz 10 mins (1/2)(4.5)(0.7) = 1.58
(using simple method in Brewing Quality Beers)
Bottling Batch #1 4-10-99
Today is Saturday. Fermentation stopped on Wednesday, but we let
it sit to precipitate more stuff out of the beer, and just wait for the
We have about 4 gallons after racking.
Sample tastes like, well, beer.
Primed with 1 cup corn sugar and enough water to make 5 gallons.
Water used here and in making wort is purified, deionized water from Ray's
in Chico. In retrospect, it might have been a good idea to add some
salts etc. to the purified water.
Yield: 53 bottles (and about a third)
A bottle tree would be nice but is not essential
I should figure out a way to use less sanitizer than filling the boiling
Capping takes a little more force than I expected, but there is nice
feedback when it's capped.
One milk crate holds 23 bottles. If there were a compartmental
insert, it would hold 16 loosely.
At this point it has a good basic taste, but there are rough edges and
so on. I presume this will improve over the next week+ as it carbonates
|This was before I had my 200,000 BTU/hr burner.
It took forever to heat.
The recipe was put together by the Chico Homebrew Shop, since we didn't
really know what we were doing yet.
I don't recall why I added the irish moss so early.
This was also before I had a wort chiller.
The physical feedback is more helpful than I thought when we bottled
this batch. In a later batch, we were using a different capper, and
Brendan nearly lacerated his hand breaking a bottle.
Batch #2 12-23-00
Kettle on fire @ 4:00 PM
There doesn't seem to be anywhere in Sunnyvale to get propane
from, we had to go to U-Haul in Mt. View.
Good rolling boil @ 4:12 pm. Damn, that burner's a cooker! will have
to cool water to steep malt.
Put 1 lb chocolate malt in to steep @ 150 degrees, 4:43 pm
Sparged at 5:11 pm (oops, we forgot to separate the sparge water)
Finish sparging & add 7 lbs "Tartan" Scottish Red malt extract.
Start adding heat at 5:33 pm
Boil at 5:42, add 1 1/3 oz Centennial hops (10.6% Alpha)
Add 2/3 oz Centennial & 2/3 oz Cascade (6.5% Alpha) @ 30 min
We seem to have lost boil at some point, but it came right
back when we turned the gas up. We are probably fine.
Add 1 1/3 oz Cascade @ 50 mins
Stop boil @6:45. Start chill.
Pitched yeast at about 7:45
Specific gravity 1052 at 64 degrees F
The airlock is bubbling away nicely, and the fermenting
wort has a good head on it, about 2 1/2". The gas eminating from
the airlock has a nice red ale sort of character to it.
fermentation must have stopped some time today.
Batch #2 - bottling day 12-30-2000
Prime w/ 7/8 cup corn sugar & 1 1/2 cups water
Final gravity (w/o priming sugar) 1020 @ 65 degrees F
Yield: 51 bottles
Alcohol content: 1052 - 1020 = 32
32 / 8 = 4%
Wed, Jan 10
developing definate red characteristics
Sun, Jan 21
needs more body, has more of an ale body
I don't think the yeast is typical of a red
has a slightly acrid taste, was the choc. malt oversparged?
could use better head retentioin for a dark
Red. it's definately a red, but the dark malt throws me.
pretty good alcohol for a red :-)
Flavors have mellowed much better after three weeks.
The red and chocolate malts are getting along much better now. Much
of the acrid-ness has lessened, leaving a slightly citrus flavor.
I imagine that at six weeks it should be a good red, but with some neat
burnt characteristics to back it up. It still has no head retention,
either our wateris rather poor (Sunnyvale "Pure Water" store) or we managed
to contaminate it with a cleaning agent (?) at some point. Oh, it
has a certain bitter aftertaste the origin of which I am unsure.
Maybe the chocolate malt? I still think our grain handling is pretty
|Yes, there was a long time between batches 1 and
2. The astute reader will notice that I moved from Chico to Sunnyvale.
Wendy gave me 'the rocket' (as Bob calls it) for my birthday.
It is a 200,000 BTU/hr propane burner.
Later, I found out that the 76 station at Fair Oaks and Hwy. 101 has
This recipe was one that Wendy concocted.
Remembering how long it took wort to cool last time, I bought a wort
chiller before this batch. I could easily have made one, but it wasn't
If I remember correctly, we used a dry yeast for this batch.
I made this comment because I got a bit tipsy on one bottle. I
was probably dehydrated.
The citrus was probably from the Cascade hops.
Batch #3 2/3/2001
-- Belgian ale (Dubbel)
Steep 1/4 lb Cara Munich & 1/4 lb Special "B" @ 165 degrees F 45 min
60 min boil w/6.6 lbs Gold Malt syrup & 1 lb Light DME
(Muntons spraymalt extract "PLAIN LIGHT")
& 1 lb Brewers Garden Belgian candi sugar (sucrose from beets)
added 1 oz Styrian Goldings (pellet - 4.3% Alpha) for 60 min.
added 1 oz Saaz (pellet - 3.7% Alpha) for ~1 min
"Product of Czech Republic" :-)
Starting gravity 1.063
Total boil was 1 hour
yeast does not seem to be fermenting yet. I'm a little worried
about it. White labs stuff is supposed to be pretty good.
2/5/2000, 1am (Monday morning)
Just got back from Lee's place, and fermentation is progressing nicely
2/9/2000, 11pm (Friday)
Fermentation has slowed almost to a stop. There is still a little
foam, but there is no visible yeast activity and bubbles in the airlock
are few and far between. Tomorrow it should be ready for the secondary,
which is convenient since it will be the weekend.
Final gravity 1.013 @ 66 degrees F (1.014 corrected) -->
This kit recipe came out rather well. I feel there is a little
rubbery flavor to it, but Lee describes that as representative of the style.
|This was a kit from either Williams or Northern.
I thought the origin was interesting
They were out of the Wyeast that they normally use for this kit, so
they sent us a White Labs Trappist Ale yeast instead.
I obviously hadn't adjusted to the new year yet, I wrote the wrong year
on these notes
It also benefitted from a couple months of aging. It was quite
nice in June.
Batch #4 2/17/01
-- American Pale Ale
7 lbs Alexander light extract
3/4 lb crystal malt @ 40L
1/4 lb cara-pils
1 oz Perle bittering (5.1% Alpha)
1/2 Cascade flavor (7% Alpha)
1/2 oz Casc. & 1/4 oz Perle aroma
3/4 oz Cascade dry
Steep grains @ 155 degrees F for 45 mins.
toal boil time will be 90 minutes, start adding hops after 30
bitter 60 mins
flavor 30 mins
aroma 10 mins
would have measured O.G. but Lee broke hydrometer.
I like the finished product, Lee is decidedly not a fan. The flavor/aroma
times probably should have been shorter, it doesn't have quite the character
it was supposed to. The recipe was created by averaging 5 Sierra
Lee complains of a 'plastic' or 'metallic' taste. I don't percieve
what he does in it.
|I created this recipe by averaging 5 Sierra Nevada
clones. I had planned to use 1/4 oz Perle flavoring, but on a whim
I moved it later. I also reduced the Cascade aroma by 1/4 oz. to
leave more for dry hopping.
Batch #5: American Brown Ale
("Cedar Mountain Brown Ale" from Homebrewing for Dummies p. 149)
6.6 lbs Northwestern light (substituted 5 1/2 lbs. light DME)
1 lb Williams Austrailian darm DME (sub. generic)
6 oz chocolate malt
6 oz roasted barly
6 oz 80L crystal malt (sub. 60L)
All hops pellet
Bittering: 60 min.
1 oz Fuggles @ 4.3% Alpha
1 oz Northern Brewer @ 6.6% Alpha
Flavoring: 10 min
1/2 oz Fuggles
1/2 oz Cascade @ 5.7% Alpha
Finishing: 2 min.
1/2 oz Cascade
Yeast: Wyeast 1007 (substituted White Labs WLP029 German Ale /
Steep grains @ 153 degrees F for 35 min
raise to 170 degrees F, sparge with about a gallon of 175 degree F
at 10 min remaining added:
8 1/3 oz corn sugar
9 oz confectioners (cane) sugar
Total boil was 1 hour
O.G. 1.060 @ 72 degrees F (1.061 adjusted)
Fermentation temp. is 70 degrees, above spec but the best we can do.
Siphon to secondary. Gravity 1.020 @ 66 degrees
F (1.0205 corrected)
Bottle. FG 1.018 corrected. Primed w/ 1 cup
The recipe here is the one from the book, with my substitutions noted.
Even though mash and sparge temperatures aren't so important for an
extract brew, I am trying to be more particular about it in preparation
for all grain brewing.
On a whim, we added all that sugar to boost the alcohol content.
This batch was brewed for Wendy's graduation party. :-)
Final ABW was a little over 5 percent.
Batch #6: Hefeweizen (European style)
6.1 lbs 60/40 wheat extract
1/4 lb 40L crystal malt
3/4 lb 8L cara-pils
1/2 oz Perle + 1/4 oz Hallertauer 60 mins
5/8 oz Hallertauer 30 mins
5/8 oz Hallertauer 5 mins
Wyeast 3068 or Yeast Labs Bavarian weizen
irish moss 8 mins
90 minute boil
Mashed grain for 60 mins @ 155 degrees F
raised to 170, held for 5 mins
sparged w/ 170 degree water
O.G. 1.040 @ 78 degrees F (1.042 corrected)
We came up shy on water. A 90-minute boil uses a hair over 8 gallons
Siphon to secondary. Gravity is 1.010. There
is still some foam in the fermenter, but no airlock activity.
Bottled. Primed 1 1/4 c DME, which might have been
too much as there was already some carbonation. Taste is pretty light,
it should be good.
F.G. 1.011, 3.9% ABW, Yield was 52 bottles.
|This one was also brewed for Wendy's party.
The recipe was easy: Some wheat & barly extract, some Hallertauer,
and whatever else I had left over.
I think we went with the Wyeast strain for this brew.
There was a huge head in the fermenter with this one. The finished
product had great head retention.
As it turned out, although it was certainly drinkable by the party (May
19-20), the clove-like character of the style didn't really develop until
Batch #7: Apple/pear cider
1 gallon (4 bottles) Santa Cruz organic pear nectar
5 gallons Wild Oats organic apple juice (pasteurized) (not all used)
24 oz Honey Run clover honey
1 pkt Pasteur champagne yeast (dry)
Siphon 4 gallons apple juice into carboy, leaving sediment behind.
Boil pear juice 10 mins, dissolve honey, add to carboy.
Add enough of 5th gallon of apple juice to make 5-gallon batch.
Rehydrate yeast as per directions and pitch.
Starting gravity 1.064
(gravity of the juice by itself was 1.059)
Used ice water bath to cool carboy to 78 degrees F. Weather
is very hot. Fermentation is progressing nicely.
|I thought it would be fun to make some cider.
There doesn't seem to be nearly as much agreement over what makes good
cider as there is over what makes good beer, so we are basically winging
About 3 ozs of honey remained stuck to the sides of the jar. If
I had realized it was that much, I would have scraped it out.
Oh well. We still got a pretty good gravity.
Batch #8: Light Peach Cream Ale
Based partially on California Creamer, Secrets From The Master Brewers,
1/2 lb Cara-Pils, steep @ 150 degrees for 45 mins.
5 lbs liquid pale extract
2 lbs 60/40 wheat extract
1/4 oz Mt. Hood @ 4.7% Alpha 90 min.
1/2 oz Mt. Hood @ 4.7% Alpha 60 min.
1/4 oz Cascade @ 5.8% Alpha 30 min.
Wyeast 2112 (CA Common)
we used 7 gallons and we were a tiny bit short
Siphoned to secondary with puree of 6 large peaches and one 16 oz can, drained.
Probably 3 1/2 or 4 lbs. Should have been done earlier, but we were all
Gravity is 1.015, so it's a hair over 4% ABW.
Prime w/1 cup DME & bottle. F.G. 1.014
took a very long time for bubbles to stop rising in secondary.
52 - 14 = 38 / 8 = 4.75% ABW
This beer turned out to be a disaster, probably due to mishandling of the
peaches. Perhaps they should be pasteurized to prevent contamination?
It was obvious when we went to bottle this batch that it had gone horribly
wrong. If I recall, we just tossed it down the drain.
Batch #9: Left (Stage Right) Coast IPA
Based on "Bombay Grab IPA" (Secrets From The Master Brewers
3 tsp Gypsum
1/2 tsp Epsom Salt
7 1/2 lbs pale malt extract
1 lb. 60/40 wheat malt extract
1/2 lb. crushed cara-pils
1/3 lb. cryshed crystal @ 50L
1/2 oz Cascade @ 4.8% Alpha 90 min
3 1/2 oz " "
2 oz " "
1/2 oz fresh, homegrown Cascade 30 min
1/2 oz Mt. Hood @ 4.7% Alpha at end of boil
1 3/4 oz Cascade @ 4.8% Alpha dry hop
Homebrew shop was out of cara-pils, so we had to sub basic light malt.
O.G. 1.056 (approx, was 1.061 but added H2O)
Siphon to secondary, gravity 1.022
Prime w/1 cup DME & bottle. F.G. 1.016
56 - 16 = 40 / 8 = 5% ABW
Excellent! If we can make more like this then we know what we are doing. Could
use a tad more aroma hops.
Batch #10: Spiced Christmas dark ale
3.2 lbs amber malt syrup
3.2 lbs dark malt syrup
3 lbs amber DME
1 oz Fuggles 60 min
1/2 oz Williamette 10 min
1/2 oz Hallertauer 55 min
1/2 oz Hallertauer 5 min
1/2 tsp irish moss 5 min
3/4 lb honey
5 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
6 oz grated ginger root
zest of 6 oranges
Simmered spices with honey for 45 min.
added honey (strained) at 60 min.
total boil one hour, 20 min.
S.G. = 1.061
target primary fermentation temperature: 60 degrees F
transferred to to secondary 12/01, gravity 1.022
Have been waiting for flavors to develop, and holding temp. at
about 62 degrees F. Am suspicious that it may have been left in the primary
for too long.
Bottled. Tastes okay. Gravity very high at 1.020, works out to
5.1% abw. It seemed pretty fizzy at bottling, so we only used 3/4 cup DME
Wendy put this recipe together.
If I recall, it came out pretty well. I thought it could have used
more of all of
Batch #11: Left Coast IPA (again)
1/2 tsp epsom salt
3 tsp gypsum
1/2 lb cara-pils
1/3 lb crystal @ 50 degrees L
steep @ 152 degrees F for 30 m
Mash grains for 30 min, raise to 165 degrees F, hold 5 min, then remove grain.
7 1/2 lbs pale malt extract
1 lb 60/40 wheat malt extract
1/2 oz Cascade @ 4.7% Alpha 90 min (pellet)
3 1/2 oz Cascade @ 4.7% Alpha 45 min (pellet)
2 1/2 oz Cascade @ 4.7% Alpha 30 min (pellet)
1 oz Mt. Hood @ 4.7% Alpha end of boil (whole)
2 oz Cascade @ 4.7% Alpha dry hop (pellet)
Starting gravity unknown, I still have not replaced my broken cylinder. (oops)
White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast
target fermentation temp. 68 degrees F
Oops, forgot irish moss in this batch.
Siphon to secondary, add 2 oz Cascade dry hops (pellets).
S.G. 1.022 (seens a bit high) Beer is very cloudy. Should do a tertiary
Siphon to tertiary. 1.020. Tastes sort of odd, a little like
pineapple. A bit too malty for the style. I think a little aging will
improve it. Dissolved CO2 is low.
Bottle. S.G. 1.016
We started going through all sorts of shenanigans this time regarding grain
handling. This isn't really necessary since the grains aren't providing
most of the fermentable sugars, but we started doing it because I was
thinking about going to all grain brewing and wanted to add some appropriate
steps to the process for the experience.
Batch #12: Leftover Malt Weizen
Inspired by the 5 lbs of 60/40 wheat malt left over from the last batch, because
Fermentation Frenzy wouldn't sell us any less than 6 lbs.
5 lbs 60/40 wheat malt extract
1 lb light malt extract
3/4 lbs cara-pils
1/2 lb rolled oats
steep everything for 45 min @ 155 degrees F. Remove 1/4 lb cara-pils 15 mins.
through, boil for 5 mins, then return to kettle. Mash out at 170 degrees F.
boil 90 mins.
1 oz Williamette 90 min 5% Alpha
1/2 oz Mt. Hood 30 min 4.7% Alpha
1/2 oz Mt. Hood 10 min 4.7% Alpha
1/2 tsp Irish Moss 10 min mmmm...seaweed...
Wyeast 3068 (made starter on 12/23)
S.G. 1.035 We were short 3/4 gal and had to add
Siphon to Secondary on 1/2/02, S.G. 1.012
Bottled, S.G. 1.012
The astute reader will notice that there are no tasting notes for most of the
beers we brewed in the winter of 2001. In January of 2002 we abruptly moved
out of the Sunnyvale house, and much of the beer wound up getting tossed. I
tried some, but the brew log was buried in a box somewhere and nothing was
Lee, Wendy and I all went our separate ways, and brewing activities stopped
for the next three years.
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