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.