Brewing The BJCP: Categories 10 & 6

It's been a long time since I have been here... Quite a long time... at least I am on the same focus as I was the last time I wrote. The BJCP.

One update about this whole thing, though. I take the Tasting Exam May 17th! That is just a few weeks away... I feel pretty confident about Categories 14 and under. I mean, I can still learn a thing or two about the styles and a lot about the history, but I feel pretty good. 15 through 23, however... I guess some of them are pretty straightforward. For 20-23, essentially you have to know how the ingredients within them affect the base beer. There are some styles within those categories that are all their own, but again, I said I need to study.

I am going to be getting into the categories again, shortly. But for now, I guess this is a good time to start a new goal for my brewing... or at least something I thought about doing. Maybe not a goal, per se. I want to brew at least one beer from every style of the BJCP guidelines. I guess I started with one that a lot of homebrewers do, but for no other reason than at a recent competition I won a 5lb bag of Belma hops from Hops Direct... 5 POUNDS! I can't imagine using it all in a reasonable amount of time, so I may end up giving some away. I went with a Single Hop Belma, American Pale Ale, (Category 10A: Check) to be my first beer... and since I had two empty carboys, I thought that an American Wheat with Belma might also work... only one way to find out, right?

A very clean hop, with a very orange, slight grapefruit, tropical pineapple, strawberry, and melon aroma.
 This batch is also the first time I had everything right in order to brew on my new system. What was funny about this brewday is that it was the day after "Stouterday". A few of us got together at Bryan's and... well, I think this photo says it better than anyway I could have.

Now imagine that photo with a game of Cards Against Humanity... and Judge Dread... and... well, yeah...

Now that we are past that... I drove home the next morning with a slight headache. It seemed to get worse though when I started brewing. It was never really bad, but it took some coercing of my liver to make it go away...

The brewday started out slow just because I wanted to be sure everything was perfect. I mean, this was my drool stands first major showing. It had to be perfect. I pulled it out a few days earlier to run water through it all. I figured out where I had issues and fixed what I could then. Obviously brewday would present with real life challenges.

Everything was going smooth up until the point when I decided I wanted to Mash In... typical, right? Nothing major happened I just realized that I FORGOT TO PUT IN THE CAMPDEN TABLET! I realized as soon as I finished mixing the mash and getting the pH. I sat down then shot up and went to crush the tablet. I typically put half of one in my strike water and the other half in my sparge water... Now that I am fly sparging instead of batch, I guess I have to remember to treat my whole volume. I just need to get my third Keggle back. I dropped it off at a shop to have some work done on it... anyway, I put the whole tablet into my mash tun and then crushed a second one into my sparge water... hopefully it worked out...

Everything else worked out perfectly until the very end. I got my pump all hooked up and I was ready to flow the wort through my plate chiller... for some reason, after I turned it on, nothing was flowing... I thought maybe there was an air pocket inside the motor, so I flushed it out. I thought maybe the elevation of the pump was not at an acceptable level, I thought maybe my false bottom was clogged because I typically use all leaf hops but today I was using pellets. This was also my first time using a false bottom. I typically use a Bazooka Screen in my brew kettle, and I know how pellets can gunk that up and mess up everything... the issue... I forgot to open the outlet valve on the pump... Yup...

So for this batch, I used the BeerSmith suggested profile for my system. I obviously made some edits to the profile but nothing I was not sure of... I ended up with about 7 gallons of wort... I hit my gravity dead on, 1.052... so there's something... I just had way too much volume. I ended up racking some off until there was room in my carboy and then pitching my yeast before bed. I spent a bit of time preparing for my American Wheat Ale, (Category 6D), brew the following day.

Honestly, there isn't much to talk about with the brew for the American Wheat. It was a very calm day, I ate the contents of my Easter Basket; Cascade hop candy, chocolates, a Brubar, and oh, I forgot to add the second half of campden tablet to my sparge water... I need to get my keggle! I never forgot before, but I used to do everything inside when I brewed... well, besides the brewing. I used to get all my water from inside, crush my grain, etc. etc.. etc... Now, I own a food grade hose, i.e. collect all water outside and other things. I guess I need to put it in a more obvious spot. I remembered initially, but oh well... I will get this worked out. Who knows, it may not be an issue. I should get one of those RV filters for my hose... yeah... that will work...

Again, the calculations in BeerSmith were a little bit off. My volume was a little high, but not like the brew before. I missed my gravity by a few points, Target: 1.050 Actual: 1.048 before adding the starter, 1.046-ish after. I'm not worried about it. I'm just looking forward to a nice, easy drinking, wheat beer... that I used 50% wheat in... so glad I had a ton of rice hulls just sitting around.

I guess my next brew is revisiting Category 6: Light Hybrids. On May 3rd, for the AHA's Big Brew Day, I will be brewing a Kölsch, (Category 6C)... or a Kölsch Style Beer... whatever. I'm brewing it! I'm using a Kölsch malt that is made in/around Köln and a yeast from one of the breweries there... Also, GUESS WHAT NOBLE HOPS I'M USING!!! Besides the water, everything is coming from an authentic source... Now lets hope this stands up to the great examples I have had...


I'll post back with updates on the beers and also information about the style guidelines for them. In the meantime..



  1. I had the same issues with BeerSmith2 and I am only now starting to figure it out. I think I need to buy the book so that I know I use the app properly. Anyway, here are the things that you might need to do:
    1) Open Beersmith and on the left go to profiles, equipment, and select the one that you use.
    2) check that the dead space, trub loss, etc are all set up for your new equipment, correct as required.
    3) Here is the one that I did not know: If the recipe was created with an old profile it will use that old profile. What you need to do is open the recipe and change the equipment (even if it is the same profile that you previously used). The app will then do calculations and magic will happen.

    One thing I do now is that I do a printout of the brew steps and I read everything. Make sure that temperatures are "normal" and that the final volumes make sense. Do all this BEFORE you start measuring out ingredients as you may need to make other adjustments to correct for the new data.

    1. LOL! "Magic will happen"!!! I love magic!

      I'll go back and take a look. My next brew day is May 3rd, as you probably read, so I hope I have it fixed up for the most part then. I'll have to make the edit in the recipe profile, too.

      These two batches are the only ones that I have ever printed out the brew sheets, and it seemed to be a lot less stressful. I use the mobile app as my timer, too. I just wish it was louder... oh well.

      Cheers! Thanks for the read!

  2. wow! I can't get past 5 pounds of hops. It would take me forever to use 5 pounds of hops.

    1. EXACTLY!!! Between these two beers I used 7 ounces.

      In the Pale Ale: 1oz FWH, 1oz at 15, 1oz at Flameout, and I will be dry hopping with 2 ounces.

      In the American Wheat: 1/2oz at 60, 1/2oz at 20, 1oz at 5 minutes... I'm going to have to either share or only use Belma for the next year lol

      Thanks for the read!