Saturday, December 27, 2008

The DRB is Open!

Whenever the DRB opens for an evening, quite a few of my friends receive the text message "the drb is open!".. This usually leads to people coming by throughout the evening sampling whatever beer is on tap that night. Thanks to my neighbor, the DRB now has an open sign. It's almost like my garage is an official bar now.. haha. I'm really anxious for it to get dark. I'm kind of hoping you can't see the sign from the street..that's all I need is for strangers to start showing up!

For the record, tonight is the first ever UFC pay-per-view event in the DRB. The English Mild is now on tap, which turned out pretty good. It's a low 4% with a mellow nutty flavor to it. Turned out pretty perfect, and right close to the style guidelines for this beer. I think it's time for another! I made venison sliders for tonight and breaded venison steak bites. We have a handful of people coming over, so it should be a good time. It's an awesome 63 degrees out right now, I'm not even sure we'll need heat out there tonight! See you @ the DRB!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Winter Classic 2009 @ The DRB

Yes folks, the first ever, outdoor Detroit Redwings hockey game in Chicago will be live (on t.v.) @ Dayton Road Brewing. There should be a couple good beers on tap and some snacks. This is the first and probably last in our lifetime Wing fans get to enjoy this unique hockey event. Be there!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weather report: A mild day

I thought it was funny the weather reporter kept saying Sunday, December 14th is going to be a "Mild" day. Funny because I brewed my first English Mild yesterday, along with the brown. I always figure, if I'm going to brew a batch of beer, I may as well do two - since I'm dirtying everything up and going through all the work. I actually planned to do 10 gallons of the brown ale, and use 5 for the bourbon oak batch, but I kind of f'd up the recipe and only bought enough for a 5 gallon. doh!

So, here's the recipe for this one:

7 lb. Maris Otter
2 lb. 2-row (toasted in oven)
1/4 lb. chocolate
1/4 lb. crystal 120
.10 lb. black patent (darken the color up some)
hops: 1.2 oz of Kent Golding 5% AA - this actually brings it just out of the BJCP style of this beer, being it's over the alpha acid range for this style, but, I figured I was already over in the gravity - so I tossed them in. :)
OG: 1.051

I also used dry yeast on this one, the DCL S-04 Safeale. I thought I'd give it a try, it's amazingly cheap @ 1.99 a pack. I just checked on both beers and they're starting to ferment - no bubbles yet, but the brown ale has a foam formed on top of it, which is always the start of fermentation. Had I done the starter with liquid yeast, this sucker would be rolling fermenting by now.

I also kegged the christmas ale yesterday. I had like 2 1/2 gallons left in a carboy sitting there chilling out waiting for the holidays to come. And, with my new 3rd keg, I kegged the remaining 5 gallons of the Blonde ale. We have a work party on the 19th, which every year usually spills over to the DRB - I plan to give out samples of the Christmas ale, and pints of the blonde. :) Thankfully, no one reads this blog from work, so I'm sure people won't come specifically to get their pint of blonde ale. haha.

Anyhow, it was a good day for brewing. It was surprisingly warm, which made it much easier running back and forth to the house for water or whatever. Oh yeah, and in case you're wondering - English milds are typically a very low ABV beer, they range from 2.5 to 3.5 abv. Here's a brief history on the style:

--Mild Ales originated in coal mining regions of England and Wales. Mild Ale was intended as a low alcohol beer for heavy consumption by miners and as a harvest time drink for farm workers. They are often the least expensive beers available. Mild Ale is sweeter and lighter colored than Porter. It is as malty as possible in a low gravity beer. This style is most common in the West Midlands of Great Britain. It had been declining as a style due to a perception as old-fashioned. It now seems to be making a comeback. Mild refers to bitterness not flavor. They can be full of flavor whether light or dark. English Light Mild Ales range from light amber to light brown in color. Malty sweet tones dominate the flavor profile with a little hop bitterness or flavor. Hop aroma can be light. Very low diacetyl flavors may be appropriate in this low-alcohol beer. Fruity ester level is very low. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. --

So I decided to bump the gravity a bit. The extra base grain brings this mild up to a 4.9 to 5%. The final gravity actually is in the range of this beer style. I was right on with the color, as far as the style goes.. so, it'll be a good close example to what the miner folks drank.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bourbon oak english brown

I'm doing a crazy one here folks. This is a southern english brown ale style. My original plan was to do 10 gallons of brown, and split it up. Keg one as a brown ale, and rack the second to sit with some bourbon soaked oak chips. Only, my brain wasn't working right this morning, and I planned out the perfect 5 gallon recipe - but was thinking it was a 10! Oops. So, life goes on - I'll just have to whip up another batch soon, to keep the beer flowing in the D.R.B. :)

8lb maris
4 lb victory
.50 crystal 40
.50 crystal 120
.50 biscuit
.50 chocolate

.87 oz. kent goldings - 5% (20 IBU's)

OG: 1.062 (a bit high for this style, but I want it up there a bit more since I'm adding the oak/bourbon).

Yeast: This'll be my first time trying dry yeast. I'm going to use Safeale S-04. Also soaking oak chips in bourbon for a bit to add to the secondary. Can't wait to see how this one comes out. I'll report back in the comment section on how this went. I think I'm going to brew on Sunday (tomorrow).