T ‘n’ T HXPA (Highly eXplosive Pale Ale) in a Braumeister


In your face IPAs…I’ve defined a new style: HXPA.  It’s sure to catch on, so just remember you heard it here first….you know me; any excuse to work up an eye-catching name for a brew.

I couldn’t help but buy a packet of  T ‘n’ T pellets from the Rob at the Malt Miller when I saw them (http://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=524) as they were different, interesting looking and very attractively priced at £3.80 for 100g

I’m sure the name T ‘n’ T has absolutely frig-all to do with explosives in any shape or form…so it’s still a bit of a mystery to me why these hops are so named.  I’ve searched about quite a bit and don’t seem to be able to unearth much about them – save for vague allusions to tastes of  “Intense red berry fruits”, “citrus”, etc.

The brew has been in the primary fermenter for about 9 days now, so today I’ll be dosing with the dry hops.  I may also sling in 30g of Nelson Sauvin that I kept in the freezer – or I may save them for my next brew which will crammed with boatloads of Citra.

Here’s the recipe for the HXPA brew, note that with this one is all about the late hop additions…that’s where I want the impact to be – not wasted on 30 minute additions.  I’ve kept the bitterness at a relatively low 41 IBU, so we’re staying in Pale Ale territory and not straying into IPA madness:


Plus there’s a dose of Munich and Vienna malt – just to further contribute to the body.

I managed to get 21.5L of 1059 wort into the fermenter and am using US-05 yeast as I trust it and love it in equal measures.  I followed my standard mashing schedule in the Braumeister (see previous post here: https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/11/12/homebrewed-thornbridge-kipling-clone-braumeister-version/) but pushed the sacchrification rest to 67C as I’d like to get a smidge more body in the finished beer.

I hope that the US-05 will rip through the wort and leave me with a finishing gravity somewhere around 1010, which should give 6.4% ABV of explosive hoppy goodness…

Tasting notes will follow…

Troublemaker CCDA in a Braumeister

Tuesday night was brew night again for me…I’ve been hankering after a dark, roasty IPA sort of thing for a while, blame Magic Rock’s Dark Arts; I still can’t stop thinking about the taste of that beer, even though it’s not a CDA or IPA, I can’t get it out of my head.  https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/11/07/magic-rock-dark-arts/

So with roasty hoppy thoughts to the fore I put this together…let’s face it, this is more of a CCDA, than a CDA – featuring as it does Chinook and Cascade.

Here’s the recipe:


I used US-05 again as I wanted the hops and malt to feature strongly and not have the yeast steal the show.  The final 25g of Cascade and 10g of Chinook will be for dry or keg-hopping.  I haven’t decided yet which.

I hit the target gravity of 1053 and got 22 or so litres of wort into the fermenter. It tastes good and is fairly hoppy…but the carafa II does seem to run quite strongly, so I’m hoping the tastes will even out during fermenting and conditioning.  Combining dark malts and powerful hops does seem to be a bit of a delicate balancing act.

The one thing I will say about this latest brew session is: BLOODY LEAF HOPS IN A BLOODY BRAUMEISTER…  If I get another hop blockage in the bloody teeny weeny Braumeister tap, I’ll bloody scream.  In future it has to be either pellets or a hop screen.

Speidel, this piddly little block-up-able tap really is a major shortcoming, please fit a hop strainer as standard to the Braumeister.

…And that’s why this brew is called “Troublemaker”, a hop blockage during the run-off meant that I had to unscrew the Braumeister tap to let the wort out into the fermenter through a sterilised sieve and funnel combination.

Unfortunately the pressure of a full volume of wort in the boiler meant it overshot the funnel and pissed a litre or so of wort all over the floor and into one of my shoes.


The Troublemaker is bubbling away at 18.5C, tasting notes will follow…

Chinook and Cascade – Indian Dark Pale Ale (IDPA) on a Braumeister/Brewmaster

Well now I’ve got me a Speidel Brewmaster, it’d be wasteful not to get a brew on, wouldn’t it?

This is the partner brew to the Chinarillo IPA (https://yeastismybitch.com/2013/06/20/home-brewed-chinarillo-ipa/) and as this one has got a bit of additional black malt in it -primarily to mark it apart from the Chinarillo IPA- and because it’s 28EBC or so in colour it can’t possibly just be an Indian Pale Ale, so it must be an Indian Dark Ale…

I tried to use Graham Wheeler’s Beer Engine software to work out the malt bill, but gave up for the time being – choosing to adopt the “suck it and see” approach.  Maybe at some point I’ll get the impetus and time to work out my effiiciences.

In order to see the comedic goings on that occurred during this brew day, read here:


For the recipe and some further information, refer to the following:


Speidel Brewmaster: First Brew (mishaps, gotchas and some solutions)

When my BM arrived on Friday, I couldn’t wait to get brewing.  Unfortunately what with everything going I did have to wait until Sunday evening…

Saturday evening did allow me a little play-time, where I tested the pumps and set up the mashing schedule program for the following evening.  After reading loads of conflicting suggestions I decided to go with the following (bear in mind that this is an American IPA style beer and I’m still getting my head around more than one available mash temperature!)

Dough-in at 38C
5 minutes protein rest at 53C
70 minutes Maltose rest at 66C
5 minutes Alpha Amylase rest at 73C
5 minutes Mash-out rest at 78C


I filled up the BM with 25 litres of filtered water, set the pre-programmed program going and waited.  I got some beeps after about ten minutes – meaning that the dough-in temperature of 38C had been reached.  So I stirred in my malt bill, locked down the malt pipe and screens with the retaining bar, put the lid on and left it to it.

(yeah, right…I actually spent a good half-an-hour watching the recirculating mash.  My wife got tired of it waaaaay before I did.)

Everything went swimmingly, the mash recirculated and I did some clearing up, and some other things that needed doing.  I remembered to weigh out the hops too.

20130901_212605Smashingly clear wort.  You can even see the filters through it

After the cycle was complete, more peeping alerted me to the fact that the BM wanted me to do something…and that something was remove the malt-pipe for the “sparge” (yes, I even remembered to separately get 8 litres of water up to 78C in the meantime…)

I undid the retaining bar, put the angled rod across the rim of the BM and lifted the pipe.  Hell, it was heavy – especially as, even though I’m a good 6’2″, it was quite a challenge to lift it up when it was on already on a kitchen worktop.

BM Error No. 1:  Have the BM on a lower surface.  It will make things easier to lift in future…but make sure that it’s still high enough to drain into a fermenter

Then, for some reason unknown to me, I decided to try and work out how much sparge water was required by lifting the malt-pipe and screens clear of the BM to see how much wort was in there.  BIG MISTAKE.  Holding a full malt-pipe (5Kg grain and probably 5 or 6 Kg of water) at the almost full extent to my arm’s reach while trying to relocate it (unsighted) back onto the central spindle of the BM is a fools game.

I had to call my wife away from whatever it was she was doing to put some lengths of wood across the BM rim to take the malt-pipe while I sparged – whilst watching some of the delightfully clear wort piss all over the kitchen floor and worktops

BM Error No. 2: Don’t lift the malt-pipe off of the central spindle until you want to remove it completely when you’ve finished sparging.  If you want to work out how much to sparge, think about the volume of water you put in and what you want your pre-boil volume to be, and then work it out based on that – bearing in mind that the volume loss to grain absorbtion is usually about 1 litre of water per kilo of grain.

So after that comedy caper, and lots of swearing, topping up with some filtered water, etc. I got a pre-boil volume of around 26 litres.  Once it got going, the boil went like a steam-train, I’m glad that I got the insulating jacket as that must have helped it crank along so well.

20130901_222457Lovely boil.  Note the central spindle that I had trouble with

I added a total of 125grams of hops in stages throughout the boil and they all surged about nicely and everything smelt lovely.

My wort chiller fitted perfectly into the BM and I even managed to remember the Irish Moss ten minutes before the end.  At boil end I took the thermal jacket off and set the chiller to work…

After a fair while (I wasn’t running the pump with that many hops in there – no chance – that would have been asking for a blockage) it was time for the run-off.

BM Error No. 3:  Don’t use the supplied tap.  It’s just too weeny to be any bloody use to anyone.  After standing there for bloody ages while it blocked up with hops and tiddled wort about like a potty-training toddler, I ended up spraying the tap with star san and physically unscrewing it and letting the wort run off through a sanitized sieve and funnel combination.

So far as I understand it’s a 3/4″ BSP female socket where the tap screws into on the BM, so I’ve just been onto the BES website and am ordering:

16830: 3/4″ Stainless Steel one-piece ball valve £8.70
14409: 3/4″ Stainless Steel Hexagon Nipple £1.91
14559: 3/4″ Stainless Steel Hose Tail Adapter £3.13


That should be a much better tap solution than the current BM standard item.  I will also fashion a hop filter of some sort too.

I did have to do a little careful tipping of the BM to get the last of the wort out, but in the end I got a fairly healthy 20 Litres of 1059 IPA into the fermenter.  I would have liked more – and the BM is certainly capable of providing more, but for a first shot I’m fairly happy.

Given the amount of wort I spilt/didn’t sparge properly/lost to hops and trub and the fact that it was only a 5Kg grain bill I could have done 23 litres at 1059 or higher with no problems…the efficiency on the BM is that magnificent and there’s still plenty of room in that malt-pipe!

Recipe details to follow in a separate post…

BES (Pipe Fittings): http://www.bes.co.uk

BM Suppliers Extraordinaire: http://www.vigoltd.com