Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holy Crap

Holy Crap do i have a big fat update for everyone. we've got some new beer reviews, some batch updates, new equipment and another brand new batch.

i guess this weekend really started on saturday. in the mood for brewing, i trekked out to jungle jims in search of the key ingredient(s) for my newest batch of beer. first and foremost, agave syrup, and then some cactus and chiles as well. on my way through the store, i naturally stopped through the beer section to take a peak at the selection. i have had the breckenridge avalanche beer a number of times before - and actually had a pint later that night at the beer sellar - but only once have had the breckenridge vanilla porter, which was in stock, so i delightfully picked up a 6-pack and continued on. ah! much to my surprise, jungle jims was carrying goose island reserve matilda (as discussed previously by our chicago dave). so naturally, since i've been hearing only wonderful things about this batch and since i figured this beer doesn't come around the area too often, i picked up the last two 4-packs. right next to the matilda was another goose island reserve, the demoltion. there was only one 4-pack left, so i snagged that one as well. my apologies to anyone who may have made the special trip to pick up one of these two brews only to find them both out of stock! feeling pretty content and getting a little ancy to get home and try the new brews out, i also picked up a 4-pack of the sam adams hallertau imperial pilsner on a whim, on my way to find my agave. i picked up all the necessary ingredients for the newest batch and headed to listermanns to pick up the supplies for the batch. incredibly amped about the beers i had picked up, i was even more excited to find that listermanns was carrying a strain of mexican lagering yeast, which white labs doesn't typically put on the shelves until the february-march season. and on top of it, since god, nor bear batch were finished, i picked up another carboy and stopper just for the hell of it. and just like that, BOOM, davedave is a three batch brewery.

so if you didn't pick up on it already, the batch i brewed yesterday was a mexican lager. The batch included 5 lbs. agave, 4 lbs. dry amber malt, 1 lb. honey, 8-10 pcs. cactus, 1 large pcs. aloe vera, and a handful of chiles, as well as mt. hood and tettenang hops, plus the mexican lagering yeast. this was definitely my biggest experiment to date. it smelled light and malty with a rounded, but spicy citrus note to it. should be ready around christmas time, so i'll keep you posted. (here's a picture of the boil:)

oh yeah, and there's a lime thrown in for fun.

as far as the beers we currently have in the works, there's also quite the update.

we did the first official "man" test on friday, and it was nothing less than we'd expected. i'm not really great on official beer terminologies, but if you can imagine turning a cup of coffee into a cold refreshing beer, man is probably something what you would come up with. we even tried it side by side with the dogfish head chickory stout, and although the STD crew may be slightly biased towards their man, we all decided that man was the better of the two brews. the man taste has mellowed well since we bottled, and it should continue to age well. the initial pours had a very light head, but this was to be expected at this point. we should see good growth in the next few weeks.

next, the god brew was tested and believe you me, it's not ready yet. there is still so much unfermented sugar in this batch, it's really kind of ridiculous. during the mexican lager brew session yesterday, i aerated god again and fed it about a half pound of malt, to give the heavily stressed yeast some easy access nutrient to grow on. god has been bubbling about every 4 seconds for the last week and it's not seeming to slow any time soon. as soon as it reaches 30-40 seconds, i'm planning on dropping in a new vial of the high gravity yeast to give it another jump start. i don't see god being ready to bottle for at least another 2 weeks at the very least.

the gummi bear batch is doing well and should be ready to bottle mid-week. i've moved the bear batch, as well as the mexican batch to a cold room in my basement, which will aid in an efficient lagering session.

and finally, since yesterday, i've sampled all four of the beers mentioned above, and they are all pretty darn good. first, the vanilla porter. very rich and thick, with a wonderful full body and chocolatey, malty finish. this is a very good "cold day" beer, or would taste pretty good right next to smokey, molasses-like flavors aka a big open pit barbecue. next, the sam adams hallertau imperial pilsner. if you've ever brewed with me, whenever i open a bag of hops, i make you smell them. well if you could put that same intensity of smell into a beer, you would have yourself this one. apparently, the sam adams brewers use 12 lbs. of hops in each small batch. which is a shit ton. for reference, on the dry hopped beer that davedave made earlier this year (3.3), we used about 5 ounces of hops per 5 gallons of beer, and this came out very full and ripe of hops. so i'm not exactly sure their barrel size, but if it is normal "barrel," that would mean it would contain about 60-70 gallons of beer. which would just about more than double the amount of hops per beer we've tried. maybe on the remake of 3.3 we can try out a more intense amount of hops. but either way, with the imperial pilsner, i've really never had this much hop to a beer in my life (which is a good thing). next are the goose island reserves, which i sampled this afternoon during the bengals game *sigh*. first of all, the reserve matilda completely fills the standards that dave.1 has been giving it. it has a nice malty citrus hit, that mellows into a slightly sour belgian-style (both the matilda and demolition are belgian-style) finish. if you've ever had a belgian style abbey beer, you know about this sour, bitter, and more than anything, interesting finish. the matilda does a fantastic job of giving you all of the great parts of the aftertaste without that sometimes unappealing characteristic. very drinkable beer. wonderful toasted mellow orange color with a thick white head.

that all being said, and dave, i'm sorry to say this, but the demolition beats out them all.

something about this beer is just fantastic. the color, the body, the head, all extremely appealing on the first pour. the demolition has a great balance of citrus, malt and hops, while still rounding out at a rather impressive 8% abv. the aftertaste only left me wanting more. this beer does a great job of being a delicious all-around beer, but not actually tasting like it should be. it isn't too harsh, too bitter, too sweet, too anything. it too, as mentioned, is a belgian style beer. the demolition does a fantastic job of mellowing the sour notes even moreso than the matilda. i drank it with a bbq chicken pizza, which was a very nice compliment, although the label suggests to try it with a plate of oysters (don't really know about that one...) but regardless, it felt just right for pretty much any kind of mood or as a compliment to any kind of food. and it's certainly my absolute new favorite beer. (watch for updates as this will change in about a week i'm sure...) so dave, i expect you to bring quite a few of these back from chicago, or i'll be mad as hell.

so that just about does it from my end. it was definitely a productive weekend to say the least. looks like i'll be heading out to jungle jims later this week to pick up more demolition, and probably some more matilda as well. could be the right compliment to that thanksgiving turkey.

i'll keep you posted on all the batches, but as i said, we should be bottling gummi beer (lucy in the sky with diamonds), mid-week, and will more than likely doing the first davedave remake, that being of batch 3.3, the hop, around then. catch you crazy kids later.


Caspito said...

fuck yeah the demolition is awesome. can i say "fuck"? anyway, i have no sore feelings about goose island. they are definitely a brewery i underestimated. im glad you liked them both. were they expensive?

Dave v1.2 said...

$8.50 per 4 pack. not too bad of a price at all. the imperial pilsner was 10 per 4 pack, and considering the "hop drought" we're currently in, i can dig it.

Caspito said...

well dang, we got a 4pack for $12 up here. thats bull