Earthbound Brewing – Belma Brown Hack

April 27, 2015 Earthbound Brewing on Cherokee Street in St. Louis is having an “Open Source Brewathon Contest”. They are releasing their recipe for Belma Brown as Open Source and inviting anyone to brew their own version. Kyle and Charles attended the kick off meeting to discuss Open Source, the recipe, tour the brewery, and naturally, drink a few Earthbound brews. We decided that we would try to get as close to the original recipe but use different hops (can not get Belma hops anyway). Kyle wanted to use Hallertau hops, Charles wanted something a bit odd for a Brown so he picked Chinook.The plan was to brew a 10 gallon beer, split the wort in half, and boil, hop and ferment the two beers independently of each other.That would give us two unique beers and two chances to impress. We also tossed in a little German Smoked Malt for fun. Also some miscellaneous twigs, leaf bits and dirt. But that is a story for another day.

Photos album is here…

May 3, 2015 – Brew Day

Grain Bill – 10 Gallons (for 2, 5 gallon beers)

  • 16 pounds – Pale 2 Row
  • 3 pounds 12 ounces – Biscuit
  • 2 pounds 8 ounces – Crystal 120
  • 8 ounces – Roasted
  • 6 ounces- Smoked German

AGU Brew Day Brown Hack - 08

Hop Bill – Hallertau (4.5%)

  • 2 ounce – 60 mins.
  • .5 ounce – 15 mins.
  • .5 ounce – 5 mins.

AGU Brew Day Brown Hack - 12

Hop Bill – Chinook (13%)

  • .5 ounce – 60 mins.
  • .5 ounce – 15 mins.
  • .5 ounce – 5 mins.

AGU Brew Day Brown Hack - 13


  • Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Brewers – Kyle, Charles, Rob, Astrid

10:15 Mash In  –  11:15 Mash out

Vorlauf approx. 10 minutes. Begin runoff.

Collected 14.5 gallons wort.

Pre Boil Gravity – 1.048 – Dead on.

Stirred and split into two boil pots. Lit burners. Poured a Amarillo American Wheat.  OK. We had a few before we got to this point. Might explain a few screw ups. Might have to reinstate the “NO DRINKING BEFORE THE BOIL” rule.

Followed hop schedule above. Kyle used hop sacks as his brew pot spigot does not have the bazooka screen and did not want the hassle of using a siphon.

First time using Chinook hops. Very different from anything we have used. Might have been a bad call.

After the boil, we ended up short on quantities. Will not end up with 2, 5 gallon beers.These two beers are going to be more bitter than we wanted.

Original gravities are off. Hallertau is at 1.058  –  Chinook is at 1.062  –  Both should have been 1.054

This brings up a question. The Hallertau sample was nice and clear. No gunk. The Chinook had the usual hop gunk floating in it. Is that gunk throwing off the gravities when we take the OG?

AGU Brew Day Brown Hack - 21

This will be a fast turnaround. Will rack to secondary the 7th or 8th. Probably keg the 16th or 17th. Contest is on the 27th. We plan on rolling in there with our beers in 2 brand spanking new kegs. We have to get some shirts made!

New 10 gallon mash tun seems to be working very well. Still need to figure out a good sparging method.

May 21 – Both transferred to keg. Samples taste very good. As expected, the Hallertau is more what you would think a Brown should taste like. The Chinook is odd. Earthy? Both will do good at the competition. Two very different tasting Browns.

Final Gravities

  • Hallertau – .019 — 5.1% abv
  • Chinook – .022 — 5.3% abv

1 thought on “Earthbound Brewing – Belma Brown Hack

  1. The beers sounds great. Great hop project and I look forward to tasting the results. Chinook is one of the crazy hops and it’ll be good to contrast that strong American hop with the Noble German.

    I’m also looking forward to seeing you new mash tun.

    Great job all around.

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