Wow, I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting the blog lately. Two weeks without a post. There is so much happening right now, in the past few weeks, I just haven’t had time to update. The consequence is that I have six beer recipes that will go up in the next couple of weeks. I’ll get back to a more regular schedule by the end of the month.

It isn’t a rerun, it is a “side-by-side”…about a month ago (or a little more) I posted a recipe for a Belgo Rye Chinook IPA. This was suppose to be my redemption from the horribly abortive English IPA I did earlier. I received some criticism for even calling that beer and English IPA and I take that criticism seriously. It wasn’t an English IPA, it just tasted like an English IPA to me…I won’t do it again. This beer, that I’m talking about today, is almost the same as the Belgo Rye Chinook IPA except instead of 5% of the grist being rye, 20% of the grist is rye. I wanted to up the rye because, honestly, I love brewing with rye but I don’t do it.

The point of these two beers is to refamiliarize myself with working with rye. The two different levels of rye in the grist bill was to force me to push my grain bills into stranger territory, not just “90% pale 10% wheat” beers.

Batch # 2014.23

5 Gallon Batch
Brew date: September 15th, 2014
Kegging date:
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.010
ABV: 6.5 % (estimated)
SRM: 7  (estimated)
IBU:  50 (estimated)


60% 2-row
20% Rye
10% Wheat
10% Flaked Rice

Mash Conditions:

Beer was mashed for 60 minutes at 154 F with a pH stabilizer, about 4.5 gallons. Beer was vorlaufed for about a gallon, sparge was done by adding the sparge water at about 170 F about 1/4 of a gallon at a time, vorlaufed again for about a gallon (until the wort ran clean). About 8 gallons was collected total. In an effort to hit my final target, about 1 gallon of water was added to the wort for the boil.

Brewing Procedure:

Beer was boiled for 70 minutes, minor boil over in the beginning (turned my back at the wrong moment) but otherwise uneventful. Whirfloc was added at negative 10 minutes and the beer was chilled by immersion chiller immediately after flameout. Beer was transferred via side-port on the brew kettle into a fermenter.

Hop Schedule:

2 ounces of Chinook at 10 minute
2 ounces of Chinook at Flame-out
Dry hopped with 2 ounces of Chinook on October 25th, 2014

Fermentation Conditions:

Beer was fermented with a portion of the yeast cake from the previous 5% rye beer. Fermentation took off after about 16 hours and proceeded for 10 days, fermentation slowed considerably and I waited almost a month before dry hopping and kegging.


This beer sat in the keg carbonating for longer than I intended. There wasn’t space in the kegorator so it sat at room temperature but under pressure for at least a week. This was due to several factors, laziness being one of them. Ultimately, I didn’t treat this beer with the respect I try to treat my beers. I wanted to bottle this one but didn’t get around to it, thought about having this one canned but decided that I had delayed on this one long enough, a real shame since this beer is a good one. Onto the tasting notes.

Tasting Notes:

20% Rye
20% Rye Chinook IPA

Beer is amber and really hazy. Moderate carbonation (a little low), small white bubbles, nice lacing, good retention. Oddly super hazy, I guess the rye is doing that.

Aroma is really fruity, nice hops, rye is coming through, there is almost a tea-like aroma to this beer. Mild bananas, esters, a little of the bubblegum ester, nice strong aroma.

Beer is medium to light in body and a nice finish, not too dry. Beer is sweet and a little hoppy, nice bitterness on the backend. The hoppiness definitely has a tea-like taste to it, earthy, a little grassy but in a good way. The rye comes through nicely, the overall beer is quite good. Probably not a repeat but it is a nice experiment with rye. I’ll definitely do more beers with rye.

Possible improvements (for future batches):

Chinook is a fine hop but I like in an ensemble of hops, this beer needs another hop in there to round it out. Probably a cascade / amarillo or something like that. I’d like to brew more beers with rye but it is unlikely I’d do this one again.

Upcoming brews:

I have a lot of beers coming up. There is a Belgian Brown in bottles, ready to be written up whenever I feel like it. There is a Moteuka Abbey Ale, a saison made with Mandarina Bavarian hops, another saison made with Wakatu hops, another Galaxy saison, and several other test batches of beer. Lots of beers to write up, lots of other things to write up. I won’t abandon the blog for such a long time again, I promise.


“Beer is the best damn drink in the world.” –Jack Nicholson



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