Monster Brew at Monkish on 6/6

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We are hosting a Monster Brew at Monkish on June 6.  The recipe for the wort is 1.051OG and 25 IBUs with a grain bill of 78% domestic 2row,  12% flaked oats,  5% Vienna, and  4% acid.

That’s great but many are asking what do I make with this beer?  Based on previous posts from Carl Townsend and Jim Wilson here is what we suggest (or maybe blatantly plagiarized):

The first step is to pick a style and an appropriate yeast.  After that modify the wort to make it appropriate for the style.  Some styles will require little modification.  This recipe works as is for any of the English or American pale ales. Add a hop tea to adjust bitterness and hop flavor.  If you want to make a Belgian, this could work as Pale or Saison with an appropriate yeast, and while the oats aren’t standard for a lager there is no reason not to make one.  If you want more color or a “darker” flavor profile add dark wort from either a mini mash or by boiling some extract.   Specialty grains like Cara Munich, Aromatic and Special B raise gravity and shift flavor in the Dubbel/Strong Dark direction.  Or add sugars or DME for an IPA or dilute for a more sessionable beer.

Finally don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside the box, maybe make your first sour, or split the wort and experiment with different hops or yeast.

We do expect to sell out prior to the event. Reserve your wort today here.  <——-

Here are Carl Townsend’s suggestions based on an earlier Big Brew that Gravity did:
1) Pick a yeast. This is probably the easiest. If you pitch with the White Labs Antwerp yeast, you’ll have a Belgian pale. Between White Labs, Wyeast and some of the dry yeast suppliers, there are over 100 different types. Once you have selected your yeast, make sure you can ferment the wort at the right temperature for the yeast. Also, for best results, make up a starter the day before brew day.

2) Make it stronger. Adding malt extract or Belgian candi sugar is fairly easy. Just boil up a small amount of water and extract and boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, to make sure it is sterile. Cool, and add to your fermenter.

3) Make it darker. Pick a dark grain like roast barley, Special B, chocolate malt or Carafa. Steep in hot water, then strain out the grains and boil the liquid. Voila, instant dark beer! Another variant is to add some melanoidin malt to make some of the malty German lagers.

4) Dry hop it. No effort up front. But, then you can select a wide variety of hops to put into secondary.

5) Boost the bitterness or hop flavor. Boil up a small amount of water and add hops to make a hop tea. Boil for at least half an hour with high alpha hops to raise the IBU level. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes with your favorite hop variety to boost the flavor. Note that this will boost the IBU level by a smaller amount.

6) Do combinations of the above. Suppose you want to make an American Barleywine out of the wort. Boil up some malt extract, add some hops to boost the bitterness and flavor during the boil. Cool and add to the fermentor. Then, dry hop in secondary.

The attached table has a list of some of the interesting combinations you can do.Carl came up with 20 variations without even breaking a sweat. You can probably come up with even more.

You’ll want to pitch your yeast as soon as you get your wort home. For most of the variations, you should plan of adjusting the wort at the same time, though you could wait a day or so. Make sure you get it going before primary fermentation is done, since the yeast will need to work on the additional materials.


Beer Style Yeast Grains/Sugars Hops Fermentation
Belgian Pale Ale Antwerp     Warm
Belgian Dubbel Abbey Dark Candi   Warm
Belgian Strong Dark Trappist Dark Candi   Warm
Tripel Golden Light Candi   Warm
Saison Saison     Warm
Altbier German Ale   Hellertauer Cool
American Amber Amer Ale Crystal Cascade Med
California Common CA Lager   Northern Brewer Cool
Oktoberfest Oktoberfest Melanoidin   Cold
Munich Dunkel Munich Lager Melanoidin   Cold
Schwarzbier Munich Lager Carafa   Cold
ESB English   Kent Golding Med
Scottish Export Edingurgh     Cool
Porter English Chocolate   Med
Export Stout Irish Roast Barley   Med
Sweet Stout Irish Roast Barley, Lactose   Med
IPA AM Ale or Eng   Tea/Dry Amarillo Med
Old Ale English LME Tea/Fuggles Med
Barleywine AM Ale or Eng LME Tea/Centenniela Med
Imperial Stout Irish LME, Roast barley Tea/Goldings Med