The Method Brewing Blog

Homebrewing in the Dirty Dirty

October 18th, 2013 by ryan 2 Comments

On my last trip home I was thrilled to find that the New Orleans homebrewing and craft brewery scenes are absolutely exploding. Our friend Matt H., whose blackberry red ale, fresh hop IPA, and cream stout are pictured here, is living the dream down there, brewing great beers and using unique local ingredients. Maybe a praline ale some time soon?

Brewer’s notebook, September 30, 2013: Brewing through the shutdown

September 30th, 2013 by ryan No Comments

After yesterday’s equipment mishaps, we had to reschedule our Jalapeno IIPA brew for today. The last batch has already been tapped into, delicious as it was. We’ve brewed the JIIPA a number of times now, but this one will remain special, having hit a boil just as the government shut down.

Brewer’s notebook, September 29, 2013: Brewtastrophe

September 29th, 2013 by ryan 1 Comment

This Sunday’s brew was marred by equipment failure- Kenton and my beloved mash tun sprung a leak that stubbornly refused to let the brew go on. Kenton, Paul, and Robert pushed through and produced an end-of-days beer, a Black Butte XXIV-inspired stout with a monstrous OG of 1112. Paul is planning to throw essentially everything into this beer- figs, cocoa nibs, perhaps smaller beers for it to eat. It will need tons of time to age, so we expect to try it some time next year.

Data-driven fermentation

September 25th, 2013 by ryan 2 Comments

Courtesy of Rob and Paul, we are now monitoring and controlling our fermentation temperature. This means cleaner, clearer, and more consistently delectable beer. To do this, we’ve inserted stainless steel coils and a temperature probe into the fermenting beer. Through the coil is run cold water from a reservoir in a fridge. Water flow is controlled by an external pump which is automatically activated when the beer temperature rises above a set point. I’ve included a parts list and a photo below. We’ll try to get the code up too.

2013-09-22 22.31.52

Raspberry Pi
Breakout shield
1 x waterproofed DS18B20
Reservoir for coolant

Per Fermenter
~8 feet of stainless tubing
3 x bucket stoppers
1 x
1 x DS18B20
2 x
2 x
1 x
0.5 – 1 x


September 16th, 2013 by ryan No Comments

I surprised myself by getting up at 7am and doughing in by 8. On a Sunday. Anyway, it helped that there is a single, presumably well-fed mosquito in my room. The brew was one of our classics, the jalapeno IIPA. This will be our house beer and may draw some visitors, especially JIIPA’s biggest fans Zoe and Johnny. Here’s the recipe for 11g:

14# domestic 2-row
6# maris otter
4# light munich
2# crystal 20
4# dextrose

Single step mash @ 152F, 90′ boil.

3oz centennial & 1.5oz columbus at 60′; 3oz cascade at 1′. At the beginning of the boil, we add 2 jalapenos/gallon (post-boil volume), and include them in the fermenters, though this has resulted in a pretty wide range of spiciness. Scoville testing is planned for future JIIPA brews.

Experimenting with toasted things

September 2nd, 2013 by ryan 4 Comments

I know this is a mega-post, but I’m trying to get in the habit of posting full recipes.

We brewed 7 beers this weekend, 5 with oats. Most of these beers were dreamt up by Robert and I on a road trip to San Diego, where we tried exactly 100 craft beers on 7 brewery visits. These were all fermented with San Diego superyeast at 66F:

1. Oatmeal brown ale, loosely modeled off of Surly’s Bender.

8 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 64.0 %
2 lbs Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 2 16.0 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 6.0 %
12.0 oz Oats, Golden Naked (20.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.0 %
12.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 5 6.0 %
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.0 %
0.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] – First Wort 60.0 mi Hop 7 10.2 IBUs
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 9.2 IBUs
1.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] – Boil 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs

2. As above, but with an astounding 2 pounds of toasted coconut.

3. India red ale with toasted and flaked oats- this is a personal quest of mine. It seems impossible to find an IRA that isn’t overly grainy. The toasted and flaked oats should give this one a nice smooth and roasty feel.

11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 72.7 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.0 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.3 %
8.0 oz Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.3 %
8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.3 %
8.0 oz Oats, Toasted (10.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.3 %
8.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 8 3.3 %
6.0 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 9 2.5 %
6.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 10 2.5 %
2.0 oz Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM) Grain 11 0.8 %

4. 51% oat stout. Can you make a beer that’s mostly oats? This one was hilarious to make- the mash was essentially colored oatmeal.

2 lbs Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 1 11.4 %
7 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 2 40.0 %
5 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 28.6 %
1 lbs Oats, Toasted (10.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.7 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.3 %
12.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.3 %
8.0 oz Black Barley (Briess) (500.0 SRM) Grain 7 2.9 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 8 2.9 %
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] – Boil 60.0 Hop 9 34.3 IBUs
4.6 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35 Yeast 10

5. 51% oat stout with trung nguyen # 5 vietnamese coffee.

6. Mai Tai Porter. Just cuz.

8 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 58.2 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.3 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt – 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.3 %
1 lbs Munich Malt – 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 4 7.3 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.5 %
8.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.6 %
8.0 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.6 %
1 lbs Molasses (80.0 SRM) Sugar 8 7.3 %
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Boil 60. Hop 9 23.0 IBUs
30.00 Items Key Limes (Boil 5.0 mins) Flavor 10 –
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 11 –
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 12 –
1.00 oz Willamette [5.50 %] – Boil 1.0 min Hop 13 0.8 IBUs
4.6 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35 Yeast 14 –

7. Cream Ale. This is a base beer to use for mixing with carbonated lemonade or carbonated grapefruit juice, hopefully a new brunch beer.

4 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 36.4 %
4 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) UK (1.0 SRM) Grain 2 36.4 %
1 lbs Corn – Yellow, Flaked (Briess) (1.3 SRM) Grain 3 9.1 %
1 lbs Pale Malt (6 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 9.1 %
1 lbs Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 5 9.1 %

We’re incorporated, y’all.

August 22nd, 2013 by ryan No Comments

Brewer’s Notebook, 8/10/13: Mead lite

August 12th, 2013 by ryan 1 Comment

Is mead lager a thing? Should it be? I made a series of extra light meads to test this. They were each held at 186F for 1.5hours, then cooled and pitched with german lager yeast. Here are the details:

-Mead lager, 20IBU (Czech saaz hops), OG 1028. To be fermented at 55F. Honey ferments nearly completely, so this should end up around 3.9% ABV.
-Mead steam beer, same as above but to be fermented at 68F
-Pu’er tea & apricot lager mead, 0IBU. Each running of pu’er tea, from China’s Yunnan Province, tastes different. The third running is fragrant and herbal, and lacks the bite of the first running. We spiked some into our Prussian Blue IPA last summer and it blew all our socks off. Today I pitched this third running plus fresh apricots into an unhopped mead with OG = 1023, then pitched with the same yeast as above to be fermented at 55F.
-Pu’er tea & apricot kombucha lager mead. As above, but at two weeks we’ll throw in a SCOBY just because.

Brewer’s Notebook, July 29, 2013: Style fusions

July 30th, 2013 by ryan No Comments

Coming on the heels of our first batch of Imperial India Pale Mead, an 11% ABV, 100 IBU monster, Paul and I decided to try a few style fusions. We made two small batches: an India Session Cider, made with apple juice and Chinook and Cascade hops to an anticipated 4.9% ABV and 76 IBU; and an India Session Sour Cider, anticipated 4.9% ABV and 38 IBU, pH TBD. The latter was brewed sans hops and will be fermented with Cal Ale yeast and ginger (a natural reservoir of lactobacillus), then spiked with 50% India Session Cider by volume.

The Great Beer Pilgrimage

July 10th, 2013 by ryan No Comments

We often refer to Oregon as ‘Beer Mecca’, owing to the seemingly unparalleled density of good breweries there. Given the semi-sacred status we give good beer, it seemed fitting to make a pilgrimage to some of Oregon’s greatest beer cities. For seven days in late June and early July, we biked from city to city, uncovering innumerable beer treasures and generating an avalanche of beer ideas. Expect to see some weird beers in the next couple months. Pictured is a typical scene from the pilgrimage: a fine ale chilling in snowmelt, an arm length from the riverbank.


Sadly, our brews can only be enjoyed if you're at least 21 years old.