Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays from Dayton Road Brewing

Since Dayton Road Brewing didn't send out Christmas cards this year, I wanted to take a moment to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dayton Road Brewing had a very successful year. Over 100 gallons of beer was brewed this year, and most of that you all assisted in drinking. Sure we had a couple odd batches, but for the most part, some decent drinking beer was made and enjoyed. I learned a lot (thanks to the Muskrat Mashers) and am ready for another year of brewing.

Some of my favorites this year included:
- Maibock (gone in less than 2 weeks)
- Bourbon Brown Ale
- Belgian Pale (another that didn't last long)
- Gumball Head Clone
- Blonde Ale
- 36th Anniv. IPA
- Hoppy Brown Ale
- Holiday Old Ale
- Hefe

I did learn a real obvious one this year; the more you do it, the better you get at it. Sure, it's an old saying, but it really holds true in this hobby. You learn from mistakes, drink them, and keep on forging forward correcting, learning, brewing and enjoying the results.

Thanks to all of my loyal DRB patrons and to those I've bugged this last year for advice. Special thanks to my wife for tasting every single batch I've ever made. The faces she makes on the hop bomb beers is priceless.

Again, happy holidays and happy brewing in 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weekend brewday - 2 batches

My goal today was to finish two batches of beer by Noon-1PM so my wife could go shopping. I didn't even set my alarm, but was up by 5AM. Some coffee and by 6AM I was out running a 12 miler in some glorius 15 degree weather. I finished up around 7:30AM, hung out with the kid for a while, and around 8:30AM got started. It was still pretty cold out, so I heated up the garage and got moving with the brewday.
I have a bunch of German Wheat grains left, and had some 2-Row, so I decided to make another Gumball Head clone. I only did a 5 gallon batch, so I split the recipe listed on this blog here (click here). The only difference this time was, I used US-05 Saf Ale dry yeast. I didn't feel like going shopping at all for these batches, so I just used what I had around.

The second batch, is kind of a hodge podge. I've been trying to use up some hops, as well as use a free pack of yeast Adventures in Homebrewing gave me on the Teach a Friend to Brew day. It's a year old Euro Ale Wyeast. I made a starter, and it was a bit slow to take off, but eventually it did and went nuts. Some of my brew friends have been making English Milds lately, so I've kind of been craving it. I liked the mild I made last year, but it was a pretty basic plain beer. I wondered what a mild would taste like, with a heavy IPA hop schedule to it. Well, I'm going to find out! Here's the recipe:

Mild Pale Ale
7lb. American 2-Row
3 lb. Maris Otter (had some to use up)
.41 lb. Crystal 80
.38 lb. Crystal 120
.25 lb. Chocolate
.10 lb. Black

60 min. 1.25 oz. Magnum 12.1%
10 min. 1 oz. Cascade 5.4%
10 min. 1 oz. Centennial 8.7%
0 min. .50 oz. Cascade 5.4%
0 min. .50 oz. Centennial - 8.7%

Yeast: Wyeast 1338 Euro Ale
OG: 1.064
FG: ??
Estimated ABV: 5.4%

I finished shortly after 1PM and am now officially whooped! I also racked the barley wine to a carboy and put it to bed for a year. I can see activity in both of the beers already. Am looking forward to both of them!

Brown Shugga Barley Wine

This has got to be one of my favorite beers. Beer Advocate calls this beer an American Strong Ale. I sat there sipping one a month or so ago, and decided I HAD to brew this one, or at least something similar.
I can't even remember now where I got the recipe, but I compared it to others, and it kind of fits into the barley wine category, even by BJCP style standards. Regardless, I decided to brew it - but gear mine more toward a huge barley wine. Here's the recipe:

16 lb. American 2-Row
3.80 lb. American Wheat
1 lb. Munich
1/2 lb. Crystal 80
.30 lb. Crystal 120
.32 lb. dark brown sugar

90 min - 1.55 oz. Willamette 4.8%
45 min - 1.40 oz. Willamette 4.8%
45 min - .40 oz. Magnum 12.1%
1 min. - .80 oz. Centennial 8.7%
1 min. - .40 oz. Cascade 5.4%
1 min. - .20 oz. Magnum 12.1%
DH - - .75 oz. Cascade 5.4%
DH - .75 oz. Centennial 8.7%
DH - .75 oz. Willamette 4.8%

Yeast: 1028 London Ale
OG: 1.107
FG: 1.018
ABV: 12.1%

The beer tastes pretty awesome. I had planned on throwing it on tap right away, but instead am going to age it for quite sometime. Maybe, if I can do it, until next holiday season. I'll keep you posted if I can last that long. :)

The tale of two Old Ales

I have been thinking about doing an old ale for quite some time. I finally had the opportunity when I offered to make a beer for a friend who will be serving it at his holiday party. He chose a spiced old ale.
Rather than making one huge batch, I decided to do two. I would make mine with molasses and his with spices. Here they are:

Old Ale (with molasses)

19 1/2 lb. Maris Otter
1 lb. Crystal 80
.20 lb. Black Patent
1/2 lb. molasses
Hops: 1.50 oz. Magnum - 12.1%
Yeast: 1028 London Ale
OG: 1.091
FG: 1.022
ABV: 9.3%

Holiday Spiced Old Ale

12 lb. Maris Otter
5 lb. American 2-Row
1 lb. Crystal 80
.20 lb. Black Patent
Hops: 1.00 oz. Magnum - 12.1%
Yeast: 1028 London Ale
OG: 1.076
FG: 1.010
ABV: 8.8%
Spices: Cinnamon 1 min. (boil) 1/2 tsp., Ginger 1 min. 1/4 tsp., Nutmeg 1 min. 1/8 tsp., Allspice 1 min. 1/8 tsp.

I kegged my old ale, and the other is still aging. Mine is really good, and probably could have (or should have) aged, but it is good. I noticed the temperature makes a huge difference. When cold, the alcohol really comes out. Warmer, the beer is really rich and complex - very, very good.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cherry Blonde

Took 5 gallons of the Blonde ale and put it on 5 lbs. of canned cherries in cherry syrup. Going to let it sit for 10 days and rack it to a keg. Should be a nice dessert beer to go with my turkey dinner. :)

M-Go-Blonde Ale!

I just realized I'm several batches behind on this blog. I'll try to catch up. :)
The latest beer to go on tap is my M-Go-Blonde Ale, that I brewed a couple of weeks ago. It's basically an American Blonde Ale. I decided to have a chili cook-off with a few friends for the UM vs. OSU game, and thought the Blonde would be go very nice with chili. I had a sample last night, and it came out fantastic. Very light, thin body, easy drinking.

Here's the recipe -

18.50 lb. 2-Row
1 lb. Crystal 10

2 oz. Willamette

Wyeast American ale 1056
OG: 1053
FG: ?? - My hydrometer broke! I am going to figure it out with my refractometer, but until then.. I actually brought the grains down on this to keep it right @ 5%. I'd say it turned out right around there. I'll post back when I get an actual reading.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's hoppy Charlie! - Brown Ale

This is my second brew for one of Aaron's parties and it came out wonderful. I racked it to a secondary tonight and dry hopped. I wondered how the chocolate-ness of a brown ale and the hops of an IPA would merge.. let me just say, it's fantastic. The aroma already is good, but the dry hopping will top it off. I'm going to dry hop it until next Tuesday or Wednesday, then keg it and have it ready for Aaron to take home on Friday, to settle before the party.

Here's the recipe:

7 lb. Maris Otter
1 lb. Crystal 40
1 lb. Wheat
1 lb. Belgian Biscuit
1/2 lb. Chocolate Malt
1/2 lb. Caramunich

2 oz. Kent Golding 4.5% AA - 60 min.
1 oz. Kent Golding 4.5% AA - 15 min.
1.5 oz. Cascade 5.4% AA - 10 min.
1 oz. Amarillo 7.5% AA - 10 min.
1.5 oz. Cascade 5.4% AA - Turn off
1 oz. Amarillo 7.5% AA - Turn off
1 oz. Amarillo 7.5% AA - Dry hop
.70 oz. Centennial 8.5% AA - Dry hop

Yeast: Wyeast London Ale (yeast cake - 3rd generation)

IBU: 60.2%
OG: 1.058
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.8%

Friday, October 2, 2009

15 gallons = Bottled!

I took the day off today with plans to bottle 3 beers: Belgian Dubble, Belgian Sour Brown and a Smoked Porter. I set up last night, and couldn't resist starting the project. Well, I'm not one to leave a project halfway through, so I ended up blasting through all 15 gallons of beer. I finsihed around 2:30 a.m. Oops.
I hate bottling, but I had a reason to bottle all of these. Both Belgians are pretty high in gravity. The Dubble is around 10%, and should age nicely.
The Sour, hasn't even "soured" yet. I'm hoping it will, but it came out to around 9%. It wasn't intended to be that high, but, I did make this in early spring, when I wasn't as knowledgeable about controlling my alcohol levels. Lessons learned, but, this beer is going to sit another year before I try one. I've read online, that White Labs Belgian Sour yeast can take some time to actually sour. It's still drinkable though, I'm just hoping it sours up more.
The Porter, came out awesome tasting. I read that it ages very well too, and to save a bunch for a year or so later. The flavors will blend even more and that subtle smokey flavor will really blend in nicely. I will crack some of these out around Halloween though, I'm anxious to try it. This one came out to 7.9%. Big, but I tasted the finish product and it's amazing. Can't wait for this fall sippin' beer. :)

I might add, the two big Belgians, I added dry yeast (thanks Nate!) to them both a few days ago, since they've been aging for 6 months or so. Got the tip from Beer Advocate folks that have bottled aged beer before. Hopefully it helps in the carbonation process.

Oh yeah, I also waxed the tops on the Belgians. I had only planned on doing the Dubble, but I had so much wax made, I did the Sours' too. That was fun. The wax took a while to heat up (I put it in a jar, then put the jar in a pot of medium high heat water. After it heated, I started dipping. I learned if I flipped the bottle up right away, it dripped down some, which gives it a cool looking effect. I don't think I'll wax tops too often, only on beers I plan on aging a long time - heck, for that matter, that's about the only time I'm going to bottle. Bottling sucks, but when it's all said and done, it's kind of nice having all that beer bottled.

Speaking of, I found two 12 packs of homebrew stashed away yesteday. Some of my old Weizenbock, which I was just wishing I had saved some for this Halloween, some IPA's I bottled last year, and a Christmas Ale that came out kind of off tasting, so I figured I would age it some. We'll see how that tastes this Christmas! I also found some other bottles that I have no clue what they are. I almost think they're a Kolsch that I did over a year ago, as well as some, potential Apricot Wheats. I'm saving those to test out on DRB customers.. :p

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pumpkin Ale 090409

I've never been a huge fan of pumpkin ales, but I was feeling festive this year, and thought I would try one. 5 gallons of pumpkin beer... what on earth have I done?! Honestly, it tastes pretty good. The way I did it, I spiced it very lightly in the boil, and added a bit more in the secondary. I plan to keg/carbonate in the next few days.

Dayton Road Brewing Pumpkin Ale

11 lb. Maris Otter
.50 lb. Aromatic
.50 lb. Crystal 40
.50 lb. Crystal 120
.50 lb. Special Roast

Kent Golding 4.5% - 1.65 oz. 60 min.

Wyeast 1968 London Ale (yeast cake from an IPA)

Cinnamon 1 min. 1/2 tsp.
Ginger 1 min. 1/4 tsp.
Nutmeg 1 min. 1/8 tsp.
Allspice 1 min. 1/8 tsp.
- Added these to the boil with 1 minute left.

Made another bag of the spices above, same amount, and added it to the secondary. The spices sit softly in the background and aren't over powering. It tastes pretty good, I'm looking forward to tasting it carbonated.

3.90 (4) gallons of strike water

DRB Smoked Porter 090409

I had originally planned on making this earlier in the year, but the store I went to didn't have any Rauch Malt at the time, so I waited until it came in stock. This is a pretty close example to Alaska Smoked Porter. A well balanced Porter, with a very mellow smoke flavor in the background.

Robust Smoked Porter (Got the recipe from Brewing Classic Styles, and tweaked it according to what I had available)

8.5 lb. Maris Otter
3 lb. Smoked Rauch Malt
1 lb. Crystal 40
1 lb. Crystal 80
.75 lb. Chocolate Malt
.50 lb. Black Malt

Kent Golding 4.5% - 1.30 oz. 60 min.
Willamette 4.8% - .75 oz. 30 min.
Willamette 4.8% - .75 oz. 15 min.
Kent Golding 4.5% - .5 oz. Turn off
Willamette 4.8% - .40 oz. Turn off

WLP001 - Cal Ale (yeast cake from the IPA)

Fermented for a few weeks - FG: 1.012 - 7.9%

The taste is wonderful. I had originally planned on kegging this batch, but instead I think I'm going to bottle the whole 5 gallons. I've heard these smoked porters are better a year later, so I'm going to put a bunch up for a year and crack them out next fall to see how good they age.

IPA / Wit update

I had a bit of an issue with the IPA. The cal ale yeast batch, came out around 8%, a little higher than expected. I kegged it and dry hopped right in the keg with about an ounce of hops. After a couple weeks, I removed the hop bag and tried the beer. It tasted like a good IPA base, but no big hop flavor to it. A caramel beer I was calling it. So, after several discussion on Beer Advocate forums, I decided to dry hop the hell out of it. I added 5 oz. more of Cascades and Amarillo. After just 3 days, the beer was tasting like a hop bomb. Amazing what dry hopping can do. After about 5 or 6 days, I removed the hop bag. The beer is pretty good right now, though I'm going to let it settle for about a week. Hopefully all the hops that escaped the bag will settle to the bottom and shoot out on the first pour. I'm pretty happy with the taste now though.
The second 5 gallon of this tasted pretty good, pre dry hopped. It was the London Ale yeast, and fermented out clean - the beer was pretty clear too, compared to the other. I ended up dry hopping with 6 oz. of hops on this one, and plan to keg it this week at some point. I have a feeling this one is going to be much better than the last, but should also be a hop bomb. Looking forward to it!

Belgian Wit: Not much on this one, it turned out perfect. Color, taste, everything. Very refreshing. This was a pretty simple recipe, I plan to keep it around and make a batch each summer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Autumn IPA & Belgian Wit

Well, I finally got off my arse after almost a month of not brewing and did a few batches. My 36th anniversary IPA turned out so good, I wanted to try another IPA. I researched for a couple of weeks, reading about various forums of base grains and hop schedules for IPA's. I finally settled on the grains and hops. Here's the recipe:

17 lb. 2-Row
3 lb. Marris Otter (did this just to use it up)
6 lb. Munich
2 lb. Caramel 20
1 lb. Wheat (head retention)


2 oz. Simcoe - 60 min.
1 oz. Amarillo - 30 min.
1 oz. Simcoe - 20 min.
1 oz. Amarillo - dry hop
1 oz. Simcoe - dry hop


Wyeast 1028 London Ale
WLP001 - California ale

OG: 1.070
Expected ABV: 7.5% (or higher, not above 8)

- I split this up into two 5 gallon batches. The Wyeast took off within hours. I did not make a starter on either of these. The WLP001, took almost two days to start fermenting. I started freaking out, but just as I did, it took off and is still going strong. They both smell fantastic. I'm going to secondary them both for a week or two and keg one of them just in time for University of Michigan football. :)

Belgian Wit

6 lb. 2-Row
6 lb. German Wheat

1 oz. Kent Goldings - 60 min.

White Labs Belgian Wit


1 oz. Orange peel
1 oz. Coriander

OG: 1.050

Not much to this one. My sister had an extract version I did last year and flipped over it. This batch is basically for her. It better turn out good! So far it smells excellent. Might take this one right to the keg, and let it settle there for a week or two before tapping. Oh yeah, I had a bit of a boil over or two, because I had to use my turkey fryer to boil this one. I ended up adding some water to top off the 5 gal. mark. I wasn't too concerned about it dropping the ABV some, it was looking to be around 5-6%.. this should be a pretty low gravity, easy drinking beer anyhow.

I'll post some comments on how these turn out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

El Hefe & Inventory time

Well, I'm kicking back in the DRB enjoying the newest beer on tap I'm calling "El Hefe" in honor of the guitarist in one of my favorite bands NOFX. The beer came out to a pleasant 6.4% ABV. The smell is very faint, but I'm picking up slight citrus, banana and spice from the hops. The taste is pretty light. A faint hop taste, but a very refreshing and light citrus spice. I was expecting more out of this, I've read hefes can have a stronger citrus, or banana presence, and I've actually had some that tasted like this, but, everything is pretty faint in this beer. Don't get me wrong though, this beer tastes great. The german hops are definitely present in the background, and the malts from the two-row really come out. I can see this as a nice refreshing session beer as we play cornhole in the back yard. I've never been much of a fruit person in my beer, but for kicks I'm going to set out some oranges or lemons for this beer when I have friends over. It might give it that extra citrus perk that I'm looking for.

I've been mulling through recipes the past week, trying to decide what to make next. Well, let me correct that - what to make after this Belgian Wit I'm making for my sister. Basic Belgian Wit - I compared most of the all grain recipes, all are pretty much the same - half 2-row, half wheat, oz. of hops, coriander, orange peel, wit yeast.. BUT, after that beer, I need to find something to make. Here's what I have left:

I'll probably still have a lot of Wheat and 2-Row left after this Wit, as base grains.

12 lb. of German Pilsner
7 1/2 lb. Cara Munich
1 1/2 lb. Special B
1 lb. Rye
3 lb. Crystal 40
9 lb. Munich
2 1/2 lb. Aromatic
2 lb. Crystal 10
1/4 lb. Crystal 20
2 1/2 lb. Maris Otter
1 1/2 lb. Caravienna
1/2 lb. Biscuit

If I only had a ton of hops laying around! Any ideas on what to make with any of this? Nice to just have them on hand. I haven't had to buy specialty grains in quite a while, I just dip into my stash. I'll come up with something I'm sure. It's not too late to make another summertime session beer before I make a couple biggies for winter!
*Thought I would also add, the 36th Anniversary IPA turned out awesome and was a big hit. Everyone drank it up, and I came home that night with an empty keg. Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hefeweizen and other brew work

I decided at the last minute this week, to do a week night brew session. I've been leery of doing one, since I assumed it would take me all night. I set up some things last night and was pretty prepared. I managed to get everything done in just about 4 hours. I was sweating and the bugs were driving me nuts, but I got done before dark, so that's a good thing.

Hefeweizen (Rye)
- Still haven't decided what to call this beer. It's semi in BJCP range for the style, a tad bit over on the IBU's, perfect on the SRM's and, we'll see on the ABV's.. I got the recipe from Jamil's book, but changed it up a bit with the hops.


6 lb. American 2-row
3 lb. German Wheat
3.75 lb. Rye


1 oz. Hallertau (60 min.)
.70 oz. (0 min.)

WLP 320 (reusing yeast from my American Wheat - raspberry)

Brew went well, target OG was 1.068, I ended at 1.059 - so I think this kind of puts it back into style range - 1.068 is a bit too high for this style. Regardless, it went smooth and I'm using a blow-off tube for this one - just to be on the safe side!

Other brew work tonight: I racked my wheat onto 5 lbs. of raspberry puree. The wheat by itself came out to 5.5% ABV. I'm going to do another reading after about 10 days when I keg it, but this is about what I was shooting for. The wheat before the raspberry tasted pretty good. Very clean and a nice clear looking beer.
I also racked the 36th anniversary IPA tonight. This beer came to a 6.3% ABV and looks and tastes excellent. This is going to be a nice light IPA, perfect for a party. I'm pretty excited this turned out so well, I've never made a batch of beer specifically for a party, so I'm happy this tastes and looks so great.

All that in 4 hours! I'm getting pretty good at staying one step ahead of everything while I brew. I guess tonight proves I can brew during a week night! Honestly, it helps when I don't turn brewing into a party (which is fun sometimes!) and only have a beer or two while I brew. Makes things go much faster/smoother when I keep focused.

Last week I also kegged the second batch of the Gumball Head clone. I'm going to take it easy on this keg and try to enjoy it for another month. I'd like to have it on tap at the same time I have the Raspberry Wheat, and maybe even the hefe. Be a nice line up of beers to choose from @ The DRB. :)

The rest of my week is booked up solid, but I realized I do have some time Saturday morning. If I can get my wife to stop at Adventures in Homebrewing for me, I'm going to make a Belgian Wit for my sister. She's been bugging me to make another one since last year, so, this one will be dedicated to her. I'll post the recipe if nothing else comes up and I can squeeze in a brew session.

Monday, June 22, 2009

36th Anniversary IPA

This year, our good friend Aaron turns 36 years old. His favorite beer is a hoppy beer. He has a summer party every year around his birthday, so we chatted and decided Dayton Road Brewing would supply 5 gallons of a hop bomb for the festivities.

Here's the recipe:

12.75 lb. American 2-row
1 lb. Crystal 10
1/2 lb. German Wheat (head retention)
.25 lb. Crystal 40

1. Magnum 14% - 60 min.
2. Centenial 7% - 10 min.
3. Simcoe - 12% - 5 min.
4. Amarillo - 9% - flame out

Yeast: Reusing the yeast cake from the Gumball Head - California Ale White Labs

OG: 1.057 - this should work out to my advantage. The expected OG for this beer was around 1.073, which was guessing this beer would turn out around a 7%. I wanted a lower ABV than that, so I'm hoping we get around the low 6 range.

The brew session went well. I did this the same time as I did the wheat. I really don't like doing two beers at once. It reminds me of having to watch two kids at once who are running around getting into things. I was sparging the grains, and forgot to close the faucet on the keg.. so I look over and wort is leaking all over my driveway. I fixed that, then I realized, I forgot to put my bazooka screen tube in, to keep the hops from siphoning into the carboy. A few other things went wrong this brew session, but overall, it went OK. The best part - the beer is fermenting like crazy and smells awesome. I plan to rack this beer to a secondary, where it will sit until I keg it - probably a week before the party. If you know me, and are reading this.. and you ask nicely, you may get to sample this prior to the party. Just, whatever you do, do NOT tell Aaron. Luckily, he doesn't read this blog. :) We'll be sure to save enough for his party.. but come on, we've gotta sample it!!

So, happy birthday in advance AJ. In celebration of your 36th year on this planet, this beers for you!

Blowin' Raspberries Wheat

My daughter Madalyn, started this thing we call "blowin' raspberries" a few weeks ago. She sticks her tongue out, clenches her lips tight and blows as hard as she can, spraying spit all over anyone close to her. I don't think there's any harm in it, and at 5 months old, I guess it can be considered cute. Anyhow, we've been saying it so much, it inspired the name for my next beer.

Now, a lot of guys say "Oh, fruit beers are ok, but I can't drink a lot of them." I used to say that myself, not wanting to sound like a sissy. Last week, I went to Andersons and picked out a few Raspberry Wheat beers to try. I chilled them all, only planning on tasting one. I admit, I loved them so much, I drank all of them that night. They are a perfect beer for a hot summers day.

I bought a 55 lb. bag of wheat in spring proclaiming this to be the "Summer of Wheats." I've done a few recipes using wheat now, and there's still a huge bag left, so I need to get brewing and do more of them! I took the base of this recipe from Jamil/Palmers Brewing Classic Styles book. Here's the quick run down:

5.6 lb. German Wheat
5.6 lb. American 2-Row
1/2 lb. Crystal 10

Hops: 1 oz. Willamette 5% AA
Yeast: White Labs WLP 320 - American Hefeweizen Ale
Expected ABV 5.8%

I've done wheat type beers before, and I know they ferment like crazy. Like an idiot, I didn't use a blowoff tube, and came home to a mess. Luckily, the airlock stayed somewhat intact and I think the beer is salvageable. It's still fermenting like mad and smells great.

Post fermentation, I'm going to rack it to a secondary, where I'll be adding 5 lbs. of Oregon Raspberry Puree. I'll let that sit for 7-10 days. I'll probably strain that to a keg and let it carbonate from there.

When we tap this beer, I'm have Madalyn lead the DRB in a chorus of "Blowin' Raspberries" the entire evening.. or, at least until bed time. :)

Gumball Head Clone

If you ever get a chance to pick one of these beers up, I'd strongly suggest it. Gumball Head is an American Wheat recipe, loaded with hops and fermented with California Ale yeast. It has a smooth crisp hop bite to it, but it goes down like a summer wheat beer. A fantastic summer beer for the hop head. I made this beer a few weeks back. I kegged the first 5 gallons and dry hopped right in the keg, by tying a string onto a hop bag and letting it sit for a week. The beer smells and tastes fantastic. As I write this, I'm drooling for a pint. :)

Anyhow, here's the recipe. This is a 10 gallon batch, which I'd suggest making because the first 5 gallons is going to be gone before you know it. The next 5, I plan on keeping to myself!

Three Floyds Gumball Head Clone (Hopped up Wheat Ale)

US White Wheat Malt - 13.50 lb
US 2-Row Malt - 8.50 lb
US Caramel Vienne 20L Malt - 1.50 lb

US Amarillo 9.4 % 1.50 oz - First Wort Hopped
US Amarillo 9.4 % 1.50 oz - 30 Min From End
US Amarillo 9.4 % 1.50 oz - 15 Min From End
US Amarillo 9.4 % 1.50 oz - 5 Min From End
US Amarillo 9.4 % 2.00 oz - Dry-Hopped

Yeast: White Labs WLP051-California Ale V

OG: 1.062 - 6.6% ABV.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Belgian Dubbel

Brewed this last Saturday May 2nd. I started with the recipe from Jamil/Palmers book and just kind of built on that. The recent edition of Zymurgy has a really nice write up on Belgian dubbels, so I picked up some tips from that. I changed things up a bit, but kept it pretty basic. Most dubbel recipes that I found were all fairly similar. The yeast differs, but ranges between a few of them. After brewing this, I racked it right on top of the yeast cake from my Belgian Pale. I love doing that, fermentation started in 3 hours. :)

Here's the recipe:

10.60 lbs. German Pilsnger
1 lb. Belgian Munich
.50 lb. Belgian Aromatic
.50 lb. Belgian Cara 60
.50 lb. Crystal 120
.50 lb. Wheat malt (head retention)
1 lb. Dark rock candy (last 10 mins. of boil)
.50 lb corn sugar (drying) - end of boil

1.5 oz. Tettnang 4.5% - 60 min.

WLP500 Trappist Ale (from Belgian Pale)

OG/FG - OG was: 1.080, final is expected to be around 1.013, bringing this to a whopping 9.3% abv's.

90 min. boil (Pilsner). Everything else went great with this brew. I just checked it, and it looks like there is still some airlock activity. I'm going to let this one age in a secondary, maybe until fall or winter.

Belgian Pale Ale

I often hear Jamil talk about some of the best beers he's made, comes from re-using yeast. Often in Belgian beers, he mentions what yeast to use, and suggests building off the yeast used from another batch. I decided to do just that with this batch. I did a regular Belgain Pale and used WLP500 - Belgian Trappist blend. This is one of the few people use in Belgian Pales, probably not as popular as others, but my goal was to reuse the yeast in a Dubble recipe.
I actually brewed this on April 17th (yeah I'm getting lazy about blogging). The brew went well. I racked this to a secondary last week when I did the Dubble and had a taste.. it tastes fantastic. It has that "Belgian" taste to it from the yeast, and I can tell it's going to be very drinkable. I'm a bit unsure of the gravity reading, I'll take another when I keg it this weekend. My reading I logged said 1.008, with a OG of 1.066. I'm thinking I typed this in wrong, it probably should be 1.018 - which would bring it to the 6-7% abv range, which is what I was shooting for. Gravity readings and a few beers never mix!

Anyhow, here's the recipe - it's out of Jamils book, but I changed some things up a bit and used a different yeast. I think his is called something Antwerp Ale..

10lb. German Pilsner
.75lb. Belgian Cara 60
.25lb. Biscuit
.50 lb. Corn sugar (drying) - end of boil

1 oz. Golding 4.5% - 60 min.
1oz. Golding 4.5% - 20 min.
1 oz. Tettnang 3.0% - 15 min.
1 oz. Tettnang 3.0% - 0 min.

WLP500 - Trappist Ale

90 minute boil (reduce DMS from Pilsner grains). Fermented good for about a week, then I let it sit another week. I was fairly close to a BJCP style on this one, my IBU's are a couple points higher as is the ABV. SRM's are right in line. Can't wait to try this one!!

The picture? I have no idea. I just googled Belgium and she came up.. I figured what the hell. I'll toast to her when I tap this beer. :)

Beer report - Maibock gone!

Well, my very first lager was a huge success. It was very drinkable and had a very nice kick to it. Maibocks are generally high in alcohol, up to 8% for the style.. mine came in between 8 and 10. I say that because I really didn't taste a strong "alcohol-ness" to it. My readings had it coming in at 10.2%. I question it, because it was so drinkable. So much so, that it lasted 6 days. Drinkable yes, kicked me in the arse = FOR SURE. So, it very well could of been that high, it had a powerful kick to it after just a few of them. I didn't secondary this one, I just threw it in the keg and let it sit for a week. Upon first tasting it had a bit of a yeast taste to it. After the week of sitting, it was pretty awesome. We finished it off last night. I sure had my share of it! I will probably repeat this same recipe for next year. The lagering went very well in my garage, the temp of the carboy stayed in the high 30's to 40's.

The photo shown is the Maibock tapping day, which happened to be a Sunday Redwing playoff party. I enjoyed so many Maibocks, it took me until Wednesday until I was feeling better. :p

Monday, April 20, 2009

#27 and counting...

Someone recently asked me how many batches of beers I've brewed. I never actually counted. So I went through all of my blog posts and tallied them up. 27 I just did last week, and have yet to blog on it. It seems like more. Probably because some of those batches lasted a lot longer than normal, because they were 10 gallon batches. Anyhow, I thought that was interesting. Here's the list with a note by each:

Porter - first batch. Brewers Best kit. Yuck.
ESB - Awesome. We drank this fast.
Christmas Ale - Excellent. Two bottles left.
Wheat - Good. Gone quick.
Cherry Wheat - Even better. Very cherry.
Oatmeal Stout - Good. Few bottles left.
IPA - Two Hearted clone. Gone quick.
80 Shilling Scottish Ale - For St. Pats last year. Was very good.
PBR Clone - Crap. What the hell was I thinking?!
Cream Ale - First all grain. Very good. 10 gallon batch went very fast.
Saison - Excellent. Still have some bottles I'm aging.
Weizenbock - Good. Too strong, but good.
Cherry Dunkel - Crap. Though people drank it. Dumped 1 gallon.
Apricot Wheat - Awesome. Bottled half, kegged half, everyone gobbled this up.
IPA - Awesome on tap, bottles had something funk happen to them. Still good both ways.
Pale Ale - Experiment using fresh hops. Didn't work, but beer was good.
Blonde Ale - Awesome.
Porter - Awesome.
Christmas Ale 2008 - Blah. Bottles seem to be tasting better over time.
Mild - Awesome. Went really fast over the winter.
Bourbon Brown Oak Aged - Awesome. Best beer so far. Lots of bottles left - saving for a competition or two.
Sweet Stout - Excellent, still on tap.
Irish Red - Very good, very malty - best Irish Red I've ever had I'd have to say.
Sour Beer - Aging for a long time.
ESB - A little less on the "B" but pretty good. My favorite on tap now.
Maibock - Be done by May 1st-ish.
Belgian Pale Ale - Freshly brewed and bubbling! More to come on this batch.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We got the funk - DRB experimental batch #1: Sour Beer

Almost two weeks ago now, I brewed my first experimentation beer. Sure, I've done partial experimental batches in the past, where I've upped a recipes grains or hops, but this batch, I made up completely. Here's the recipe and following are my thoughts on it:

OG: 1.076
31.5 IBU
16.0 SRM

German Pilsner Malt 10.00 lb
UK Pale Ale Malt 2.00 lb
Belgian Caramel Munich Malt 120 0.69 lb
German Munich Malt 0.62 lb
UK Black Malt 0.13 lb

My grain bill started off as an altbier type recipe, but I didn't have enough Munich to balance things out. To replace the Munich, I added a couple pounds of maris otter. The crystal 120 will give the beer a thicker caramel like character and the black I just added for color.

1/2 oz. Magnum 13% hops - I had this leftover from the Maibock batch. I didn't want a huge hop characteristic coming through on this beer, just something subtle in the background.

Yeast: recycled London Ale yeast (from the bitter) - made a starter with 4 oz. of DME - added the yeast cake from the bitter.

Also added Irish moss with 15 mins. left in the boil - as well as Yeast nutrient.

Now, the crazy part. After primary (it's been 10 days and there is still airlock activity), when I transfer to the secondary, I'm going to add a vile of White Labs Belgian Sour yeast (WLP655). This yeast includes Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, and the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. All bugs that will add some "funk" to my beer. The taste should be a slight acidic sour taste, and potentially over time, will add a stronger sourness to the beer. I'm not sure how long I'm going to let it age, I'll probably let it sit over the summer and check on it once a month to see how the taste is developing. My plan then will probably be to bottle the whole batch, drink a few here and there, but mainly sit on them even longer, to see what happens in the bottle after a year or so.

So that's that! One thing I heard about using these type of yeasts is, to keep equipment separate, otherwise all of my future beers will come out tasting like it. Glass shouldn't be an issue, but anything plastic could pick up the bugs. Luckily, i just scored a bunch of extra equipment from my neighbor, so I'll be able to mark these off and use them just for funk beers.

I'll post back on how this turns out. I'm pretty excited to see what will happen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maibock - my first lager

DRB Maibock
10.5 lbs. German Pilsner
5.5 lbs. Munich
Hops: 1/2 oz. Magnum 14.4% AA
Yeast: Yyeast 2206 - Bavarian Lager

Got this recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. This is my first lager beer. The difference between lager and ales are, lagers need to be cold fermented. They ferment anywhere from 40-50 degrees. And they ferment for at least a month. This Maibock (May Bock) should be ready by May 2009. It's already started fermenting, I'm pretty excited about that. The brewday went pretty well, besides i came out a little high on my mash temps and my OG was off at the end (which I don't quite get, because my pre-boil gravity was perfect. I did lose a lot of wort on the boil, so a day later after much contemplating, I added about a 1/2 gallon of water (per BA's suggestions).
So, I guess we'll see how this turns out. I wanted to do a lager, since this is the perfect time of year to do one. My garage has been holding a steady 40ish degree temp and with the carboy blanket around the carboy, the wort is chilling at a pleasant 45 degrees. I'm not super concerned about holding 45 the whole time, I think I'll have a good couple of weeks to keep it at that temp, and if it warms up a bit, it shouldn't affect it too much.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Updates on St. Pats beer & Imperial Bitter

Been a bit since I posted and I have a few notes to add:

Dry Stout & Irish Red were a hit on St. Pats. Both sat for around a month and carbonated on their own with a small amount of co2 pumped into them. The bit of aging was good for both of them. The color came out awesome on the red - probably a tad on the darker side, but when held up to the sun, it was a deep copper color (I'll try and take a pic and add it to this post later today). The stout turned out a creamy chocolaty flavor with a nice balanced sweet end to it. Very good and at just less than 5%, very drinkable. The head is the most impressive thing - it pours a deep tan caramel looking color that just makes you want to eat the foam off the top. Very good, once again I impressed myself.

Imperial Bitter (or a jacked up English Special Bitter) came out to a 7.2% beer and tastes great. I'm racking it to a secondary now after sitting on the yeast for over 2 weeks. I took a reading early last week and wanted to wait to see if it was going to drop anymore. Same reading today - FG: 1.0260, so it's getting racked and going out to the garage where I'm hoping to cold condition it for a week or two before I keg it.

Another post to come at some point today, it's another brewday, so I've got a recipe to post and maybe even a brewcast.. if I can clean my garage - it's literally trashed!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Brewday Saturday, March 7th @ 9 a.m. - Watch Live!

Live Saturday March 7th @ 9 a.m.
Brewing: English Special Bitter
Web Link: http://www.justin.tv/daytonroadbrewing

Recipe: Imperial English Special Bitter (still tweaking, but so far this is the basis)

15 lbs. Maris Otter
.63 lb. Crystal 20
.30 lb. Crystal 120
Hops: Kent Goldings - 2 oz. 60 min / 1 oz. 0 min. (may dry hop too)
Yeast: WL London Ale (made a starter last night)
OG: 1.083 (should turn out to be right around 8% abv.)

See you on brewday!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eggs for homebrew

There it is folks. The first payment of any kind I've received for my homebrew. 2 dozen freshly laid local farm eggs will get you a bomber of Bourbon oaked Brown Ale and a bomber of DRB Summer Saison. The eggs are awesome by the way.. I think I could even feed my family on them.. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Beers - Sweet Stout & Irish Red

I'm a nut for St. Patrick's day. Every year I begin anticipating it as soon as Christmas is over. I think about it even more now that I'm a homebrewer. Last year, I was new to brewing, but whipped up a couple of nice styles. I made an Oatmeal Stout and a 80 Shilling Scottish Ale. Both were awesome and went quick.
This year, I figured I would go for similar styles. For the stout, I decided on a sweet stout. I dug around through recipes and the sweet stout sounded like a really good one. Sweet stouts are fairly basic stout recipes. There's some crystal 80 for that nutty taste, chocolate malt, black patent and the most important ingredient - 1 lb. of lactose sugar. Lactose sugar is unfermentable sugar, which adds a bit of a sweetness to the beer as well as a nice creamier mouth feel. Here's the recipe:

10 lb. Maris Oter
1 lb. Black Patent
3/4 lb. Crystal 80
1/2 lb. Chocolate
1 lb. Lactose Sugar (added on knock out)
1 1/2 oz. Kent Golding 5% AA's
Yeast: Safale 04 (dry)

I mashed in at 152 degrees for 1 hour. I had some issues with my mash tun - a stuck sparge. I did probably what I shouldn't have done, and blew through the opening to unstick the sparge. I think when I mashed in, I was sloppy about stirring in the grains. Gotta be more careful next time! The other thing that happened with this was a hose busted off my wort chiller squirting hose water all over. I don't think any got in the beer, but it got all over me and the garage. Fun, fun. OG: 1.068 - FG: 1.038 = 4% ABV. A bit lower than I planned, but it tastes fantastic.

Irish Red: This is pretty similar to the scottish ale I made last year, both are pretty close in style. This one went surprisingly good, mashed in at 152 for 1 hour. Sparge went good, boil good - fermentation is still going! Here's the recipe:

11 lb. Maris Oter
.38 lb. Crystal 40
.38 lb. Crystal 120
.38 lb. Roasted Barley
1 1/4 oz. Kent Golding
Yeast: SafeAle 05 (dry)

I don't know why the stout went nuts right away and fermented out so quick.. but this red just keeps on going! I'm going to check it out in the next day or so and report the gravity.
OG: 1.068 - this one should turn out a bit higher than the stout. We'll see.

I plan to take both of these and rack them to secondaries to sit until the week before St. Patty's. From what I heard, the red will age nicely and be tastier letting it sit for a while. Most stouts I've had mellow out a bit too after a month or so.

That's that! I'll report back when these finish up. Off to the kitchen to finish the sample of stout I pulled for gravity reading.. I always know the beers going to be good when I end up drinking the whole gravity reading sample. :)

*Note: Both recipes came from Jamil's "Brewing Classic Styles" book.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Update - Bourbon Oaked Brown Ale

This beer turned out fantastic. I had one a week ago, and it wasn't carbonated enough. It had been about 4 weeks, I assumed it would be done.. but it wasn't. Tonight I cracked one open and poured it into a glass sample glass. A nice creamy vanilla ice cream looking head on top. I smell caramel and bourbon right up front. The mouth feel is smooth and light, with moderate carbonation. The taste is awesome. A great blend of bourbon and chocolate with a wonderful nutty finish.

I started sipping on this and had a great idea. Earlier when I was on a shopping trip, I picked up a couple of those chocolate cadbury eggs. I cracked one open while I was drinking this and sure enough, they go perfect together. I don't often eat chocolate while I drink beer, but the two of these go so well together, I might actually tape up a cadbury egg to each bottle I give out it's so darn good of a combo. I bottled up a ton of these and plan to enter a few into contests this summer.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cow Tongue Taco's - Part 2

It's not every day a friend lets you know he has a big cow tongue sitting in his refrigerator. But when it happens, it's a party waiting to happen.
Chef Nick (his mom) will be serving up fresh cow tongue taco's this Friday night @ the DRB. Since we're all on vacation, we're starting the party early - 6 p.m. If you've never had cow tongue taco's, you're missing out! Come out, try one and hang out with us. If you can't make it, keep an eye on the DRB-Cam, we might just have it on. Taco's will go quick, show up early!