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I've Got Your Copper Serpent (Honey Ale That Is......) by the Alewench

The day was made for brewing.  Nice and overcast morning. HLT ready for utilization.  What could possibly go wrong.... Just a little bit......

Our fine brew crew all arrived on time, smiles on their faces, ready to brew the Copper Serpent ESB that Steve and I had come up with a few years ago.  I had gone to Trader Joes and found a big sale on their mesquite honey.  We were planning on brewing and I suggested that we do a brew with honey involved.  Steve came up with the recipe and “Copper Serpent Mesquite Honey Ale” was born.

For this brew, we asked all the members of the brew crew to bring 2 pounds of whatever honey they fancied throwing in.  The only repeat I saw was 2 different Avocado honey jars on the table.  We even had a creamed honey.  This was going to be an unusual delicious beer.

We started the day with a delicious breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, and cracked open the infamous, now 4 years old, “Love to Grind Barleywine” that Steve and I had made.  This was the final bottle and it withstood the test of time. Many of our brewers brought their own homemade fabulous libations, and Kent stopped by in the afternoon and treated us to a 12-er of Firestone assortment!

Steve divided the crew into teams. One team went to get the grains, malts and hops.  The rest stayed out with Steve and got a fine lesson on what we would be doing for the day and how the system works.  Then we heard a shout from the grain team.  Alas, there was no Maris Otter to be found anywhere in the shop.  Not a small ingredient that could be overlooked.  The team, headed by Ryan, sat down and worked on a reconfiguration to achieve the beer we wanted and what would be a good substitution for the missing Otter... Next off, one of our key hops was missing, but these were easily substituted, thanks to the magic “what hops can we substitute with?” app on the phone.

We were then in business. Each crew member played an integral part in making sure that the brew went smoothly, from milling the grains to cleaning the pots. Everyone stepped up to the plate.   The finishing touch was the labels that we sent out to each crew member for their carboys.  One crew member has already responded that their batch has taken off like a rocket.  Must be lovin’ all that honey goodness.  This ale is indeed refreshing and light on the palate.  Can’t wait to have a share.

As most of you won’t be brewing 40 gallons, I have chosen to include the original recipe from way back when for the smaller batch for y’all.  Yay for Beersmith. We will get the shop brew super batch posted soon as well.

 Thanks to our mighty brew crew: Thomas Pape, James Meyer, Rory Mcgonigle, Tom Sisolak, Art Fitzsimmons, Michael Stavrakis, Ryan Merlin, Nicole (sorry, didn’t get your last name) and Nicolai Abramson.  It was a pleasure brewing with all of you and meeting those who we did not know before.  All the best for the holidays. ~ The Alewench and Steve.


Copper Serpent Mesquite Honey Ale (ORIGINAL RECIPE)



Type: All Grain

Date: 12/26/2011

Batch Size (fermenter): 6.50 gal

Brewer: Steve Cook

Boil Size: 8.73 gal

Asst Brewer: Cookie Kaplan

Boil Time: 90 min

Equipment: My Equipment

End of Boil Volume 6.76 gal

Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %

Final Bottling Volume: 6.25 gal

Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %

Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage

Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0

Taste Notes:








14.00 gal

Burbank Charcoal Filtered




1 lbs

Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM)



5.8 %

10 lbs 4.0 oz

Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)



59.4 %

1 lbs 8.0 oz

Caramel/Crystal Malt - 55 L (55.0 SRM)



8.7 %

1 lbs 8.0 oz

Victory Malt (28.0 SRM)



8.7 %

0.50 oz

Fuggles [5.20 %] - Boil 60.0 min



8.2 IBUs

0.50 oz

Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min



7.1 IBUs

1.25 oz

Fuggles [5.20 %] - Boil 20.0 min



12.5 IBUs

1.25 oz

Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min



10.8 IBUs

3.50 tsp

SuperFood (Boil 20.0 mins)




1.50 Items

Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)




1.25 oz

Fuggles [5.20 %] - Boil 2.0 min



1.7 IBUs

1.25 oz

Goldings, East Kent [4.50 %] - Boil 2.0 min



1.5 IBUs

2.0 pkg

SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [0.80 oz]




3 lbs

Mesquite Honey (1.0 SRM)



17.4 %

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.070 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.065 SG

Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG

Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG

Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.0 %

Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.2 %

Bitterness: 41.9 IBUs

Calories: 217.3 kcal/12oz

Est Color: 13.3 SRM


Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body

Total Grain Weight: 17 lbs 4.0 oz

Sparge Water: 6.35 gal

Grain Temperature: 75.0 F

Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F

Tun Temperature: 75.0 F

Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE

Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps



Step Temperature

Step Time

Mash In

Add 4.84 gal of water at 162.3 F

152.0 F

90 min

Mash Out

Heat to 168.0 F over 12 min

168.0 F

10 min

Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 6.35 gal water at 168.0 F

Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Keg

Volumes of CO2: 2.3

Pressure/Weight: 12.54 PSI

Carbonation Used: Keg with 12.54 PSI

Keg/Bottling Temperature: 45.0 F

Age for: 30.00 days

Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage

Storage Temperature: 65.0 F


3 lbs Mesquite honey added at end of boil.
Isomerization down to 150 degrees.

Created with BeerSmith

 Hope you enjoy it.  I think you will.

As an added note:

Here is the link to BeerSmith for those who want to get what we actually brewed after modification. - Tom Sisolak


11-9-2014 Copper Serpent Honey Ale - Batch #152 All Grain Recipe

Brewer: Steve Cook  
Batch Size: 40.00 gal Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale) ( 8C)
Boil Size: 48.00 gal Style Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 13.4 SRM Equipment: Mark II - Enhanced - Maltose Falcons Brew System
Bitterness: 41.7 IBUs Boil Time: 90 min
Est OG: 1.076 (18.3° P) Mash Profile: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Est FG: 1.010 SG (2.6° P) Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
ABV: 8.8% Taste Rating: 30.0



Amount Name Type #
86.15 gal Burbank Charcoal Filtered Water 1
4 lbs Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Grain 2
30 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 3
17 lbs Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM) Grain 4
10 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 5
10 lbs Victory Malt (28.0 SRM) Grain 6
7 lbs 8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 65L (65.0 SRM) Grain 7
3 lbs DME Pilsen/Light (Briess) (2.0 SRM) Grain 8
3.5 oz Fuggles [4.5%] - Boil 60 min Hops 9
2.2 oz Progress [6.6%] - Boil 60 min Hops 10
0.3 oz Fuggles [4.5%] - Boil 60 min Hops 11
8.5 oz Fuggles [5.2%] - Boil 20 min Hops 12
8.5 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.5%] - Boil 20 min Hops 13
0.45 cup SuperFood (Boil 20 min) Misc 14
9.00 Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15 min) Misc 15
8.5 oz Fuggles [5.2%] - Boil 2 min Hops 16
7.5 oz Goldings, East Kent [4.5%] - Boil 2 min Hops 17
18 pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) Yeast 18
22 lbs Mesquite Honey (1.0 SRM) Grain 19
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