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Humdinger of a Hootenanny

Brewed: 10/29/2023   Kegged: 11/11/2023

After pretending to Roll-a-Style 9 ... Hazy IPA ... I actually did roll the Online 20 sided die 

I rolled: 

On my Roll-a-Style list, 18 corresponded to Style 27A. Historical Beer: Kentucky Common.

Kentucky Common is:

An American original, Kentucky Common was almost exclusively produced and sold around Louisville, Kentucky from some time after the Civil War until Prohibition. It was inexpensive and quickly produced, racked into barrels while actively fermenting, and tightly bunged to allow carbonation in the saloon cellar. Before the style died, it accounted for about 75% of sales around Louisville.

Some have speculated it was a dark variant of Cream Ale, created by immigrant Germanic brewers who added darker grains to help acidity the local carbonate water.

According to untappd, I've had a few Kentucky Commons, ranging from "meh" to something I really enjoyed.


I don't really remember ... I'm getting that from my ratings / comments in untappd.

I vaguely remember listening to one of my homebrewing podcasts that discussed Kentucky Common, and thinking that corn grits and rye would be good ingredients in it.

I don't remember why exactly, but it seems reasonable.

Here is the recipe I came up with ...

On untappd: Humdinger of A Hootenanny

If you want to read more about this beer, see Sheppy's Blog: Humdinger

Humdinger of a Hootenanny --- Batch 1 (345)

Style Kentucky Common Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.59 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   68.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.051 SG Estimated FG 1.015 SG
Recipe Bitterness 21.9 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 4.7 %
BU : GU   0.433        
Recipe Color 13.5 SRM
Measured OG:   1.052    Measured FG:   1.008 
ADF:   84    Measured ABV:   5.8 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.93 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
2.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
5.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
1.00 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
1 lbs 8.0 oz Grits (1.0 SRM) Adjunct 5 12.9 % 0.13 gal
8 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 6 68.8 % 0.63 gal
1 lbs 8.0 oz Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 7 12.9 % 0.12 gal
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 8 2.2 % 0.02 gal
6.0 oz Chocolate Rye Malt (250.0 SRM) Grain 9 3.2 % 0.03 gal
1.000 oz Cascade [8.90 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 10 18.6 IBUs -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 11 - -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 12 - -
1.000 oz Tettnang [4.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 3.3 IBUs -
1.0 pkg Dusseldorf Alt Yeast (White Labs #WLP036) [35.49 ml] Yeast 14 - -
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Bottling 1.0 days) Fining 15 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 31.77 qt of water at 158.6 F 152.0 F 45 min
Heat Heat to 158.0 F over 10 min 158.0 F 15 min
Mash Out Heat to 170.0 F over 7 min 170.0 F 10 min

If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

Recipe Notes
Roll-a-Style "18"
Make small yeast starter a day or two before brew day.
Water salts bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Ca: 92.4 ppm, Mg:8.5 ppm, Na: 21.4 ppm, SO4: 88.0 ppm, Cl: 103.8 ppm, HCO3: 104.0 ppm
Acid to bring water pH to around 5.3
Mash as directed.
Boil as directed.
Cool wort to as close to 60F as possible.
Ferment in low 60's for a day or two then let the fermentation rise to ambient temp.
Keg after one to two weeks in fermentor.
Add gelatin to keg after the beer has chilled one or two days.
Force carbonate to taste.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.046 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.59 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Brewing Notes:
10/23/2023 esheppy
Bought grains at the Brew Hut yesterday. Not sure when I'll brew this.
10/29/2023 esheppy
Brew day today. Probably the worst brew day I've had in quite awhile, although not really too bad. Forgot to add the grits until my mash was up around 170. Compensated with table sugar. I'll have to use grits in something else. My biggest issues were with the chilling. Frozen hoses. I thought I could use the pond pump, but the coupling broke. Ended up racking into Anvil stainless bucket fermenter and using the cooling system along with freezing ambient temperature in my garage. Took a long time to cool (actually as I'm typing this, the wort is still at 90ish). OG right at 1.052, though.
10/30/2023 esheppy
Fermentation started up before end of the day and was going at 64 all night. Bumped the temp control to 66.
10/31/2023 esheppy
Bubbling away, but seems to be slowing down some. I turned up the controller to 68. I'll probably turn off temp control in a day or two.
11/01/2023 esheppy
Bubbling once every several seconds. Unplugged the pump. Temp at 68.
11/03/2023 esheppy
Bubbling seems to have stopped. Temp still at 68. The plan is to keg next Saturday, but I might keg sooner.
11/11/2023 esheppy
Kegged. 1.008 FG puts this at 5.5% ABV, which is higher than I was planning, but oh well. Beautiful red / brown color. Nice malty flavor. Not very hoppy. Will enjoy drinking.
11/13/2023 esheppy
Even though the carbonation wasn't close, I had a few last night (Sunday). Delicious. Darker than I was expecting. Pretty clear already.
11/23/2023 esheppy
Had this with Thanksgiving dinner. Tastes a lot like Breck Autumn Ale. Yummy 😋
12/07/2023 esheppy
Refreshing beer for as dark as it is. Light bodied. Touch of caramel and chocolate. Almost no hop flavor. Actually might be a gateway dark beer.
12/16/2023 esheppy
Wonderful beer. Crystal clear. Won't last too much longer.
12/23/2023 esheppy
Keg blew. I was trying to finish this up tonight so I could put Decemberfest in. This beer lasted about a month and a half. Yummy. 😋
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