Adventures in Home Brewing: Chipotle Brown Ale


I’ve recently begun brewing beer and brewed my second batch on November 24th.  I couldn’t decide what to brew so I put it up for a vote across my social networks and brown ale just edged out IPA, so I decided to brew a Chipotle Brown Ale.

partial grain mini mash tun

Partial Grain Mini Mash Tun

I’m about to graduate to all-grain brewing but have started with partial grain recipes.  While my all grain mash tun is being outfitted with a custom-fit false bottom I created a mini-mash tun for this and future partial mash brewing.  To do this I used a 2-gallon cooler and built a custom spigot with a ball valve to control flow.



1 lb – Pale Two-Row

1 lb – Maris Otter

0.5 lbs – Chocolate

0.5 lbs – Crystal 60


7 lbs Light Ale LME


– Willamette (0.25 oz First Wort Hopped)

– Amarillo (0.25 oz First Wort Hopped)

Willamette Hops

Measuring Out the Willamette Hops

– Warrior (0.50 oz for 90 mins)

– Willamette (0.25 oz final minute)

– Amarillo (0.25 oz final minute)

– Amarillo (1.0 oz flame out)

Other Ingredients:

1 – Whirlfloc tablet (15 minutes)

4 – dried chipotle peppers, stems and seeds removed (1 minute)

1/2 tsp – Yeast Nutrient (1 minute)


Wyeast 1056 American Ale

Mash Schedule

Saccharification Rest 152ºF 60 minutes

First Wort Hopping

Hops added to the first wort, pre-boil


Immediately following the boil, I added a wort chiller to quickly lower the temperature of the wort about 65ºF or lower.  I had decided that I was not going to do a secondary fermentation so I had transferred the cooled wort into a glass carboy for primary fermentation because I wanted to watch the yeast do it’s thing.

My plans quickly changed when my rubber stopper, still wet with sanitizer, slipped completely through the carboy opening and into the wort.  The only thing I could do was transfer the wort to my plastic primary fermenter and try to fish out the stopper later.

The only problem was that I had already pitched the yeast and I have a feeling that transferring the wort after the yeast was already pitched may have impacted the fermentation since I had a lower than expected final gravity reading following a week of fermentation.

Fermentation in the primary took about 5 days and the following weekend I transferred the fermented wort into the glass carboy for secondary fermentation. In hindsight, this was probably a good thing since it will probably help the flavors to become more pronounced- especially the chipotle flavor.

The beer has now been in the secondary fermenter for about two weeks and I plan to transfer it into a 5-gallon cornelius keg in the next few days.  This will be my first time kegging, so I’m sure it will be an adventure unto itself.  Stay tuned to find out how that goes.







Why Job Descriptions and Titles Matter 4

I’m not gonna lie.  I enjoy having a name like Microsoft behind the jobs I recruit for.  That, in and of itself, is great for getting people’s attention and even driving passive candidates to our career website to apply.


However, not every recruiter out there hires people for Microsoft or Facebook or Apple.  I’m guessing a lot of you work for small companies and even startups who are just trying to make a name for themselves.  Which, the fastest way to do this is to hire super motivated, super smart people.  Notice I mentioned motivated above smart (that’s a whole other topic).


Before I get off-topic, I’ll try to finish this thought….


A lot of times I think recruiters and hiring managers think of job descriptions and titles as an after-thought or just something we have to do before we can start hunting for candidates.  However, if you take the time to formulate an attractive job description and title you can save yourself a TON of time on the back-end by actually attracting the targeted talent you are looking for versus the time-consuming task of sourcing through sources like job boards and LinkedIn.


Your job description is an ad.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Your title is the first thing that prospects see.  You NEED to get their attention.  As a recruiter, you need to look at this as your advertising, your hook that is going to peak the right person’s interest and then move them to apply.


The first paragraph of the job description should get to the point and tell the prospect why they should apply; why your company, this group and this job is a great opportunity for them to further their career.


If you don’t nail this first paragraph, they’ll probably move on.  Its like any other form of internet collateral.  You have 10 seconds or less to make your point and get them to either read more or move to the next desired step.


Another topic that I will discuss in more depth in another post is making sure that you can collect, analyze and measure the data around your postings.  You should have an analytics system of some kind built into the page/site that hosts your job descriptions.  It is important for you to know what is going on with that posting besides just how many applicants you receive.  You can make much better decisions about the effectiveness of your posting when you know how many times it has been viewed and measure that against applicants to begin to establish a benchmark for measuring the future success of your job postings.


Honestly, I’m tired of hearing people talk about all of the tricks to boolean searches and internet sourcing.  That’s time consuming.  Attract the right talent from the beginning and save yourself and your organization some time.  In this economy, individual recruiters are now handling the workload of 2-3 recruiters so it’s important that you work smarter, not harder.  Approach your recruiting strategy with a marketing strategy and it will pay off in the long run.