Kölsch – 2015

After a long, cold winter, we finally had a day of normal temps at around 50 F with sunshine, a great day to brew.

Charles’ Brew Day Pics are here.

Brewers- Nick W., Tom, Charlie, Rob, Kyle

Grain Bill-

  • 34# Pilsner malt
  • 2# Munich malt
  • 1# Vienna

Hops- 6 ounces Hallertau, 60 minutes

Yeast- Wyeast 2565 Kölsch

Mash Schedule-

  • 11 gallons strike water to 173F
  • Mash in at 10:20 AM at 155F, perfect!
  • Hold for 2 hours
  • Add 6 gallons180F+ water for mash out, but never can get to 170F.


Everything was going great…There was a bit of a delay while we warmed sparge water, but we got the flow going wonderfully. The beer cleared with a few chunks still coming through, and then we went to the kettle and the mash stuck. We tried pulling wort through by filling the hose with water and starting a siphon, multiple times. We added sparge water to put more pressure on the wort to go through the grains. Kyle both blew into and suck on the hose to unclog the problem. Finally Tom just dug into the grain bed which started the flow again. There was a lot of frustration and a long delay but we got it going and it appears everything worked out.

We lost track of how much total sparge water we added, but we ended up with about 26 gallons of wort in the kettle and shut off the flow.


We reached a boil around 3 PM. We boiled a bit and added the hops. Irish moss and a coil went in with about 15 minutes left.


Coldbreak went really well. We used the immersion coil to drop the temp to 120 F or so, which didn’t take but 15 minutes or less. We then ran the wort through the heat exchanger and dropped the temp to around 60 F going into the fermenter. We pitched yeast immediately


Kyle claimed at one point that the whole batch was spoiled and that we were never brewing at his infected home again. A week later he was ready to do heads-up taste test against Schlafly’s Kolsch, which was named best craft beer in America in some national ranking. He’s bottled and kegged it. I (Tom) expect it to be better than last year’s batch because of the hops, but we’ll see.


First Taste-

Kölsch 2015May 16- An awesome beer that, in my (Tom’s) opinion beats last year’s Kölsch all to hell. We had the huge concerns during the lauter and then Kyle thought it was jacked up in fermentation, but this beer is really good. A beautiful yellow glow, a well-carbonated beer with good head retention, the Hallertau hops is well balanced with the malt. Nomination for beer of the year.

Oktoberfest Lager Brew Day

We have extra Munich malt available, so the plan is to use more Munich and less Vienna this year.

And instead of Hallertau, we’ll bitter with Magnum or some other high alpha hop; based on the literature, this hop change won’t change the flavor of the beer.

Grain Bill-

  • 20# Pils malt
  • 15# Munich malt
  • 5# Vienna malt
  • 2# 60L Crystal malt

Hop Bill- 2oz Magnum 15.5% AAU for 60′

Yeast- Wyeast 2633 Oktoberfest started a week before brew day, propagated twice more

Calculated Stats-

  • 20 gallons
  • OG 1.058
  • IBU 23
  • FG 1.018
  • ABV 5.3%

February 21, 2014- brew day

Charles’ Brew Day Pics are here.

Ice storm. We’ll mash in the basement, as we did with the Dopplebock and follow the brew schedule from last year. For brew water I filled 30+ gallons of water into the fermenter 3 days ago to let it dechlorinate.

We did our best to follow last year’s brew mash schedule. Ran a little hot to start, but over all a good brew day.

Mash Schedule-

  • Strike temp = 144F
  • Mash in 10:38 AM, temp in the 130’s, too hot, 30′
  • 11:10 AM – decoct thick 7 g, raise to 158F, hold 20′, boil 15′
  • Recombine at 154F, 20′
  • Decoct 5 g raise to boil 15′
  • 1:30 PM- recombine at 159F hold 1 hour
  • 2:39 PM- add 7 g hot water, 163 F 10′ min


  • 2:50 PM- vorlauf 10′
  • 3 PM- runoff
  • 3:10- sparge
  • Collect 24g of wort


  • 4:30- achieve boil add 2 oz Magnum hops
  • 5:15- Irish moss
  • 5:30- flame out


First time using the Blichmann Thermonator. Forgot to add hop screen to new kettle valvle, so racked 21 gallons of wort through chiller. Brought temp down to 80F, which is great,  but still too warm for lager yeast working in the upper 50’s.

Starting gravity = 1.060

Sample was perfect. Could not perceive any off flavor from Magnum hops.


March 7. Racked about 21 gallons of Oktoberfest to secondary in carboys. 15 gallons went straight into fridge, but no room for the last carboy, which is still in the basement. Primary temps have been ideal in the low 50’s, but the weather is finally warming up. However, prior to this year, I’ve never been afforded a refrigerated secondary, so I will hope for the best.

Gravity = 1.019 a little high but it will have a long lager period this summer. Current ABV is 5.4%.

Sample was naturally a little sweet, no problem there, and it will be darker than last year, which is no surprise because of the additional Munich malt. However, I think I’m tasting something a little off, perhaps from the hops? We’ll see how it develops, but I don’t think this will be as good as last year.


April 10- Lagered for 5 weeks. Kegged and back into fride. Added the 4th carboy of O’fest to the fridge. I will bottle this after it gets a chance to lager.

Irish Red – 2015

January 31, 2015 Brewers- Charles, Alan, Rob, Kyle, Dickie, Tom, Sam Grain Bill

  • 29 lbs. Maris Otter
  • 4 lbs. Pale Malt
  • 2 lbs. 11oz. Rye Malt
  • 2 lbs. 8 oz. Crystal 60
  • 14 oz. Roasted Barley

Hop Bill

  • 2 oz. Magnum 15.5% (Boil 40 min.)


  • Wyeast Irish Ale (reconstituted from the Stout)

IMG_4692 Mash Schedule

  • 13 gallons – strike Temp 170˚
  • Mash-in 9:45, mash temp 152, hold for 90 mins.
  • No mash out
  • Sparge with 17+ gallons 168˚
  • Collected 28 gallons wort


  • 10 min boil – add 2 oz. Magnum Hops.
  • Boil 50 mins.
  • Post boil volume approx. 24.5 gallons.


Cold Break was unusually short for this much wort. Dickie gently stirred the wort creating a whirlpool which moved the hot wort over the copper immersion chiller coil. I believe this made a HUGE difference. Starting Gravity – 1.047 We were estimating 1.049 Color is little darker than expected. We should have backed off on the Roasted (yes Tom, you told me). Flavor was good. I have a good feeling about this one. Pitch yeast 3:30.

Intermittent bubble by 6 pm. Very strong steady bubble the next morning. Room was holding around 62˚. Turned heat up slightly Saturday night at bedtime. Sunday afternoon temp rose to almost 70˚. Turned heat down a little. Trying to hold around 64˚.

Tuesday, February 3. Room is holding at a steady 64˚. Yeast is happy. Turned out to be a very smooth, successful brew day. I think we are getting the hang of this. The weather turned out to be nicer than predicted so we hung out in the garage and driveway most of the time. Sam even got to chase a tennis ball. IMG_4717

Feb. 8 – Racked to secondary using 5 glass carboy. Gravity = 1.010, almost dead on to where it should be after secondary (according to BeerSmith).

Feb. 26 – Keg 15 gallons. Final Gravity 1.010 – ABV 4.8

March 1 – Bottled with Bopp.


Punctuator Dopplebock


Punctuator Dopplebock – January 10, 2015

15 Gallons

I considered an all Munich malt grain bill, but Charles convinced me that it needed more. I thought about adding the wheat anyway since it was part of the original Einbeck grain bill. The 80 L crystal will give it the color to stay within BJCP style guidelines.

The yeast may sound like a stretch, but the Mexican breweries were built by Austrians immigrants. They do “dark” lagers well, and this yeast is supposed to be pretty forgiving.

The hops is a bit of an experiment to prove that it doesn’t matter (to some extent) what hops are used to bitter. They’ll go for a full 60 minutes and should contribute no flavor or aroma.

This beer started out as a Bock, but the final gravity bumped it to Dopplebock status.

Grain Bill-

  • 33# Munich malt
  • 3# Wheat malt
  • 3# 80L crystal

Hop Bill- 2 oz Nugget hops at 13.8% alpha for 60′

Yeast- White Labs 940 Mexican Lager (50-55F)

Calculated Stats-

  • Original Gravity = 1.072
  • Final Gravity = 1.019
  • IBU = 25
  • ABV = 6.9%

Mash Schedule-

  • Strike 12 gallons liquor at 145 F
  • Mash in at 128 F for 30′
  • Decoct 6 gallons and raise to 158 F for 20′
    • Hold rest mash above 120 F (8 gallons liquor)
    • Bring decoction to boil and boil for 20′
  • Recombine with rest mash to raise temp to 150 F +/- 3 F, hold for 20′
  • Remove 4 gallons and slowly raise to boil for 15′
  • Recombine and raise temp to 160 F +/- 2 F for 1 hour

Brew Day- January 10, 2015

Brewers- Kyle, Dickie, Charles, Rob & Tom

Charles’ Brew Day Pics are here.

  • Mash-in at 10:00 AM, strike temp 145 or so, mashed in the basement, outside temps were around 10 F.
  • 10:30 decoct 6 gallons, raise to 160 F and held for 20′
  • raise to boil and hold for 20′
  • Noon- recombine, 155 F, hold for 20′
  • 12:15 second decoction, bring 5 gallons slowly to boil, hold 15′
  • 1:00 recombine 160 F and hold for 1 hour
  • 2:10 recirculation 15′
  • 2:25 lauter
  • 3:25 end lauter
  • 4:25 boil
  • 5:00 add hops
  • 6:05 flame out

Cold break took a while despite the cold temp outside. Collected 15 gallons of wort in fermenter. I was expecting a few gallons more since we started with gloss to 24 gallons of wort preboil, but the dry winter conditions and hard boil must have taken much of the water out. Gravity was 1.080 on both Charles’ refractometer and my hydrometer.


A decent bubble in the airlock the following morning. Temps in the basement fermentation room are 55F.


January 26, 2015, racked to secondary. Gravity =1.030. Sample tasted pretty good. It needs to age, of course. Sweet, kind of ordinary, nothing remarkable, nothing wrong. Some of the flavors were a little unique; I’m not sure if it’s coming from the beer style, the yeast or the nugget hops.

Fermentation temps have been perfect, never leaving the 50’s, most of which has been below 55F.


March 6, Racked 10 g into kegs and bottled the other 5. Gravity = 1.025, just on the edge of being too much. I would like it a little drier and perhaps it will continue to dry over the summer. Sample was good, but not great, too sweet but not syrupy. I look forward to improvement with age, but I’m not expecting the best beer ever at this point. Both kegs went to the farm and into the fridge.

The Result-

It’s pretty good, a very drinkable Dopplebock. Color is a pretty golden amber haze. It’s got good body and mouthfeel. My only criticism is I think I can taste the high alpha American bittering hop; however, I didn’t find it to be all that unpleasant. It gives the beer a unique character that works; it just lacks a certain traditional, classic bock hop. Charles really liked and I have to admit, though it tastes like an Americanized Dopplebock, I think it’s a winner.

Submitted (2) bottles to the Microfest competition.



AGU Oktoberfest 2014

Saturday September 27th  from 10AM – 10PM is All Grain Underground’s annual Oktoberfest!

We’re celebrating the end of summer and beginning of autumn in the best way possible, by drinking gallons and gallons of beer!

In anticipation of this event, our cabal of alchemists have been brewing all year to guarantee a wide variety of German beers in quantities sufficient to flood a small town. All we need is your mouth to pour it all in.

We will feature six different German styles on draft; tap times listed:

  • Weizen- 10 AM
  • Oktoberfest- 11 AM
  • Altbier- Noon
  • Roggenbier- Noon
  • Kirsch Weizen- 1 PM
  • Kölsch- 2 PM

This is an all day event lasting from 10AM to 10PM. You can show up for a little while or show up for the whole while. Don’t show up too late in case it’s anything like last year, where the crowd cleaned us out of beer and brats in record time.

Got friends? Good for you. Bring them.

Got kids? Whatever. Kids like beer. Bring them. We might have a bounce house to toss them into.

Got a dog? Dogs like beer more than kids like beer, so that works too.

Got an angry husband or wife who sucks the joy out of your life? Leave them. Pack a small bag, come to Oktoberfest, and then hit the open road to live life free.

Got a musical instrument?  Bring that.  Drink people love music.

We’re supplying beer, pretzels and brats. If you want to bring a side dish or some raw flesh to throw on the grill, we won’t turn either down.

Your only requirements are to bring something comfortable to sit on and something relatively safe to drink beer out of.

Where’s it at? Just ask your AGU brewer for the location.

Prosit! And we hope to see you there!


Think Globally; Brew Locally