Hagal Stout

25 reed moon 2012

First brew at Solis Thoor, brewed with the water I stored for emergency as Hurricane Sandy approached. The owl did not show up, so the gravity is low, but as the wort hit the boil, hail fell from the sky. Does that make it an Ice beer?

Grain Bill

  • 10 lb 2-row pale malt
  • 1 lb roasted barley
  • 1 lb crystal malt 90L

Hop Bill

  • 1 oz UK Northdown ( 7.9% Alpha)- 120 minutes
  • Hedgerow hops grown on the south side of the Thoor. Unknown variety, unknown quantity, unknown alpha units – 60 minutes


  • White Labs Irish Ale yeast


  • 16 qts + Solis Thoor well water, mash seemed a bit thin
  • Mash in. 130F. 30 minute protein rest
  • Raised to 150 for a two hour + sach rest


  • Sparged with ~ 7 gallons well water
  • new sparge setup in the garage. Needs some fine tuning, but it worked much better than my old system at the cabin. The sparge went much quicker with a good flow from the higher bucket.



2.5 hour boil with Northdown hops added about 45 min after the wort broke a rolling boil. Hail started to fall, but since I wanted to reduce volume, I put no cover on the pot. I added the homegrown hedgerow hops an hour later.

Starting gravity: 1.060 with a full 6 gallons volume

Made a yeast started on brew day and pitched the next day (Mon.) morning. By the time I got home in the evening, the beer was in a vigorous fermentation. Recently, I have been using a 6.5 gallon carboy for the primary ferment, since it allowed enough space that I really didn’t need a blow off tube. But, I left the 6.5 full of water outside and it froze and cracked. A sad loss. Therefore, I had to use a 6 gal with a blow off tube for this one.

As night came on, the foam was pouring through the blow off tube. I fixed a new jug of water to it before retiring, and positioned the carboy at the base of the winding stair, but when I woke at 04:00, it seemed to be ominously quiet below. I went down to check, and found the jug full and foaming over, so I set up a new jug for it.

As of this morning (Tues), it has settled into a steady pulse. The rhythm of life.

Kegged 29.12.2012


sg. 1.020

I would like the gravity a little lower, but want to get it in kegs. it will either ferment out further or not. One adds sugar anyway (or malt anyway). I filled my new 2.5 gallon keg. It seems well constructed and I like the size. The little 1.3 gal minikegs I have been using don’t last long at a party.

On the other end of the stability spectrum, I also filled two Tap-A-Draft bottles, which I bought because I was having trouble finding the minikegs. These things are flimsy plastic, and do not inspire confidence at all. And if that were not enough, the bottoms (when standing up to fill it) are rounded. Who the fook thought of that? We’ll see how it goes. But I think I will pick up another 2.5 and some of the minikegs.

3 thoughts on “Hagal Stout

  1. So what’s the story with this beer? Did it make? How did those Tap-A-Draft bottles work out?
    The new sparge looks great! Damn, I’m wishing I was up there this weekend.

  2. The stout was tapped last night. It is outstanding, as I have come to expect. The wild hedgerow hops adds a new flavor, but it is subtle and not at all unpleasant. I am still not a fan of the plastic Tap-a-Draft bottles. But, I have to say they are easy to work with. Just unscrew the cap, screw on the tap, and you are off. Much easier and more secure than the setup I had when using the Tap-a-Draft tap with the mini-kegs, which required pushing in the bung first and then inserting the tap with an adapter on it. The Party Star taps work well for a short time, but the connection between the handle and the tap head sucks and wears out quickly. Then you have a nice $75 tap, with a worn out plastic handle that pops out when you try to press it down. When you have a few beers in you, that usually leads to throwing the handle out in the yard someplace. Or at least, that is what I do…

    I look forward to trying the new 2.5 gallon keg. I may take that to the bar for St. Padraig’s Day.

  3. Took the Tap-a-Draft bottle of stout to a poker game we had on Friday. I am not a fan of these flimsy plastic bottles. However, they do have one advantage, which is that it is easy to just remove the tap and poor the bottle like a growler when the flimsy Tap-a-Draft tap breaks on its first use and all the CO2 leaks out. So, maybe that is the design idea. Redundant flimsiness in the system.

    Can no one make a decent tap for mini-kegging? Best tap I ever had was one called the Air Tap, which used no Co2 but just had a pump action to draw the beer out. It broke eventually, and apparently they are no longer made. Is there no market for someone to make these things?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s