Witches’ Brew

AGU Witches’ Brew
Halloween night our coven brews
A magic potion, unearthly stew;
To celebrate the Samhain night,
All witches in attendance might
Dose elixir with chosen part
And make the draught worth our start.
To finish with a cohesive potion,
Let us open the discussion…

15 gallons

Charles’ Brew Day Pics are Here

Grain Bill-

  • 21# Belgian Pilsner (Tom)
  • 8# Pale 2 Row (Dickie)
  • 4# German Munich (Tom)
  • 1# Carafa Special II (Charles)
  • 12 oz White Wheat (Charles)
  • 12 oz Pale Chocolate (Charles)
  • 8 oz 80 Crystal (Dickie)
  • 5 oz 120 Crystal (Tom)
  • 2 oz 60 Crystal (Charles)
  • 4 oz Peated (Tom)
  • 3 oz mystery black grain- likely Roasted Barley (Tom)
  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin (Andy via Emma)

Boil Adjuncts-

  • 2 lb Honey (Andy)
  • 1 lb Dark Belgian Candi Syrup (Tom)
  • 1 lb Dark Belgian Candi Sugar (Tom)
  • 3 lb Corn Sugar (Tom)

Hop Bill-

  • Armful of fresh Solis Thoor Goldings for 90′
  • Handful of fresh SKG for 60′
  • Handful of fresh SKG for 30′
  • Handful of fresh SKG for 10′


Calculated Stats-

  • Original Gravity = 1.086
  • Final Gravity = 1.022
  • ABV = 8%
  • SRM = 30 (stout dark)

Brew Plan-

  • 11 g for 120′ at 155-160F
    • Bump on occasion to increase temp w/ 7 g
    • Any bump liquor left use to mash out
  • Sparge with 8 g
  • Collect 20 g
  • Boil 90′

Halloween Night-

A fun evening of appropriate excess on many levels. We started late, not mashing in until 4:30 and went until the witching hour. We played with the recipe as we went, adjusting on the fly.

Emma suggested while carving jack-o-lanterns that we add pumpkin to the brew, so Andy offered some pumpkin from his garden. Andy also had an extra pound of honey so 3# went rather than the scheduled 2#. I cut the corn sugar accordingly 1# for a total of 2#. Charles had 14 oz of Special Roast (50L) that somehow found its way in the mash.

We heavily dosed the beginning boil with hops and sprinkled more in throughout the 90′. The hops smelled wonderful as did the mash.

A few bumps and slips as the evening went due to revelry. I started the vorlauf before adding the dark grains. We just stopped the run and add the grains and let them steep another 30′, bringing us to the projected 2 hour mash.

Sample was good. I must admit I was expecting a bit of a train wreck, but the sample was a sugary version of our familiar malt flavor profile. The hop aroma was nice, and while I could taste the hops, I didn’t find the beer to be overly bitter. I guess I was surprised at how balanced it was.

Original Gravity = 1.096

We overshot our mark by .010 but we ended up with 14g in the fermenter. There was a call to add water, but some declined and we went with strong instead.

Our potion came with sacrifice and we thank Gary for taking the bullet on this one. Someone had to step up and take one for the coven, and he gave it his all.

  • 4:30 pm Mash-in at 158F
  • Added a few gallons of 180F water during 90′
    • Realized somewhere in the 90′ that we hadn’t added pumpkin so that went in
    • Temp held well at 158F
  • Started vorlauf, forgot dark grains, stopped vorlauf and let steep another 30′
  • Really didn’t do a mash out and should have, I guess
  • Sparged with rest of liquor which was about 11g (total of 25g liquor)
  • 7:30 pm Begin Boil and add about half of the hops Mike sent
    • Add handfuls of hops throughout our boil
    • 15′ left add honey, corn sugar, Belgian candi sugar and syrup, cooling coil
  • 9:00 Flame out

Now to let the Abbey yeast do its thing. It has a strong heart beat less than 24 hours after pitching yeast.


On the new moon, 11 days after brewing, the draught was racked to secondary.

Gravity = 1.020

Sample is awful. It has a terrible funk in the flavor with an ass licorice thing going on. The alcohol just gets hot after the flavor dissipates, which can’t happen fast enough. My our ugly baby will mature into a proper potion. Maybe not.

The plan now is to let it sit in secondary until after I get back from Belgium, maybe longer.

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