Friday, November 30, 2007
this might be old news for some of you, but i just stumbled this great website:
it has all kinds of information about beer, beer events, and a ton of beer reviews. seems like a great community of people from all over the place.
i've already discovered a beer that i need to try, can't get it outta my head
it's called founder's kentucky breakfast stout
go explore and be rewarded!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
man - has matured w/thicker head = even better
god - 8 sec. bubble, smells much more like alcohol, will feed, pitch and re-carboy this weekend, will bottle upon return from colorado (dec. 15)
mexican - give it 2 more weeks (bottle post dec. 15)
amber - can bottle by this weekend (fast acting ale, good yeast)
the hop - will be brewed mid-next week (wednesday night or thursday day). this beer is amazing but may be hard to put together right now with the hop shortage going around.
'merican - still sucks
mother of maxin - will tweak this recipe soon and do another batch by mid-january
thas bout it.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
the ingredient list for inspiration:
mexican lagering yeast
i've been conjuring up some kind of name involving illegal immigrants, hotel maids, interracial mexican-american families, etc. but nothing has stuck yet.
hit me with your ideas!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
First, god is going stronger and faster than before. We had thought that maybe the yeasts were giving up with so many sugars left, or that there had been some inefficient sugars in the carboy, which would have ended up ruining god, leaving it partially alcohol, partially ungodly sweetness (in a bad way). It seems this isn't the case at all, however, and things are running smooth. we're planning on feeding it more malt mid next week as well as pitching the new yeast then.
Next, Bear Batch is ready to bottle. that will more than likely happen tonight or tomorrow, so we'll give you a taste update when that occurs
Finally, what I have been worrying about for a few days now, that the yeast in the Mexican beer was just too old and wasn't going to work, is no longer a problem. my guess is that this strand of lagering yeast just needed a bit of time to get things going, and that since the yeast was born this past march, it took a few extra days to reproduce up to a fermenting ready amount. but no worries now, all is bubbling in the lager lock down in the basement.
on top of that, i realized that there were only 3 Mother of Maxin's left, so i pulled one out of the basement and gave it a taste. needless to say it has only gotten better with age. the only problem is that there is a wonderful upfront taste of a light, bitter orange, and a final finish of a rich malty coffee, but the middle flavors have just dissapeared! quite odd. either way, it's no good that there are now only 2 left, but no worries, we've got the recipe and will more than likely make another batch sometime in the near future. somehow i forsee the addition of another carboy happening pretty soon...
oh yeah, and i had another 'merican ale last night. it still sucks. big time.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
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.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Also hitting shelves is the Dogfish Head Seasonal, Chickory Stout, delicious coffee based brew with notes of chickory and licorice root. Also an obvious choice, this beer tastes eerily close to Man, which will get its official "first taste" this Saturday. very exciting stuff.
Monday, November 12, 2007
check it out and, well, i'm going either way. so who's coming with me?
this one is after a vigorous shaking. this releases some the built up co2, (of which there is a lot) aerating the fermenting beer and letting the yeast reactivate some. good news.
and below is the berry batch:
drink up yall
Sunday, November 11, 2007
god features 4 pounds of grains, 25 pounds of fermentable sugars with 5 ounces of high alpha acid hops, champagne and super ultra high gravity yeasts, plus a pink starburst and an apple. we had to separate the 75 minute boil into three pots because of boil over. and not to mention the end consistency was a syrup thicker than anything i've ever tried to ferment. either way, OG was pushing past 1.2, around 1.21 to 1.23. the readings were a little skewed because of the higher temperatures, but basically put, we can get a good 22-24% ABV out of this batch, which is exactly where we want to be. we're gonna let the yeast run through on this first round, and then step feed over the next few weeks to get the alcohol to its highest potential.
only 18 hours later and it's already got about an inch and a half of activity.
so we'll definitely keep you posted on this batch as it moves along.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
according to wikipedia:
"In most beer styles, Brettanomyces is viewed as a contaminant and the characteristics it imparts are considered unwelcome "off-flavours". However, in some styles -- particularly certain traditional Belgian ales -- it is appreciated and encouraged. Lambic and gueuze owe their unique flavour profiles to Brettanomyces, and it is also found in Oud Bruin and Flanders red ale. Commercial examples of these styles include Liefmans Brown Ale, Rodenbach Grand Cru, and Duchesse de Bourgogne. The Orval Trappist monastery is unique in crafting the only Trappist beer with Brettanomyces charateristics. In Orval;s case, the brewers add the yeast to the beer at bottling.
Several American craft breweries use Brettanomyces in their beers. This use began with a renewed interest in Belgian style ales and later formed new styles altogether (Brewers Association, 2007 Great American Beer Festival Style Guidelines, section 13a, 16). Some breweries use %100 Brettanomyces for the fermentation of some of their beers, and omit Saccharomyces from the recipe. It is common for American brewers that use Brettanomyces to also include lactic acid producing bacteria such as Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus in order to provide sourness to the beer. Examples of American breweries that use Brettanomyces in their beer include Russian River Brewing Co., Lost Abbey, New Belgium Brewing Co., and Allagash Brewery.
While most stouts achieve their sour tang through the use of acidulated malt, roasted barley, or -- in the case of "milk stouts -- lactose and incipient lactic acid, some use Brettanomyces for the same purpose. Prior to 1980s-era changes in its fermentation regimen, Guinness's Foreign Extra Stout is held to have been one such."
so there you have it. later
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Gold Medal winner 2005 Great American Beer Festival Silver Medal winner 2006 World Beer Cup Brewed with Pilsner, Munich and a touch of Crystal malt, this Belgian strong ale is a golden hoppy delight. What makes it special is the yeast strain used in this brew: it produces a mellow tartness to complement the complex malt character. Styrian Golding and an abundance of Saaz hops add to the crisp flavor. Served in a Reserve glass.
This is taken verbatim from the Goose Island website. This beer is amazing. I went to a cigarette/beer tasting event a month ago (for free) and tried this gem, as well as many others from the Goose Island line. Picked up a four pack of the stuff last night ($12, but worth it) and enjoyed the shit out of it.
So delicious. Very Belgian actually. The most interesting part is that the yeast they use continues to stay alive and rigorously "works over" the wort. Open the bottle, it pours like champagne. The head is ridiculously creamy and the liquid fizzles on the tongue. I wish i could remember what the name of the special yeast they use. It is something rare and difficult to pronounce/remember. Something like "britanimesium", who knows.
This beer continues to taste better and better for five years, apparently. I talked with one of the master brewers at Goose Island and he told me he has tried one at four years and it was amazing. I believe him. Its not easy to find, I'm sure, but if you are in Chicago you can probably find an four pack at Binny's, and I hear that it is on tap somewhere, probably near the brewery. Again, who know?
Thats all for now. Drink up yall.
5. Alaskan Amber Ale: The original Daves had this one on a cross-country trip summer 2006. Great everyday, anytime beer. Very refreshing with great flavor, but not too bold that it would scare away those of the lighter palates. Too bad it's only available on the west coast. (hint to those left-american readers out there... *cough* baker)
4. Fullers ESB (Extra Special Bitter): Great dinner beer. Enjoy this fresh on draft down at Nicholsons Pub, downtown Cincinnati. Great different style of beer to break out of your usual habits.
3. Stone Double Bastard Ale: Only available at certain times during the year, the double bastard boasts a 10% abv, and more hops than at least... 4 kangaroos. like the alaskan amber, i've only had one experience with the double bastard. it involved a lengthy search which ended at jungle jims and me, dave1 and emma all splitting a 3L bottle. this beer is one of the burliest beers i've ever tasted, with a comparable hangover to prove it.
2. Bells Consecrator Doppelbock: Delicious and rich seasonal Bell's brew. Full chocolate taste with a mild hop finish and notes of caramel. Definitely a snowy day kind of beer. It's a single batch release only available in February, so mark those calendars and buy in bulk!
and 1. it's a tie! (what a cop out) Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Rogue Mocha Porter: Rogue definitely has some fantastic beers in their lineup, no doubt about it. Both of these brews are full in flavor and just downright delicious. I'll have to give them both a side by side comparison to determine the true winner. At least three times each. For double-checking of course...
1. Bell's Two Hearted Ale
2. Christian Morelein OTR
3. Watch City Brewery Titan Ale (If you're in Boston, go to the brewery/restaurant and get It with their Blackened Bleu burger. You will leave happy)
4. Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
5. St. Peter's English Ale
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
in a surprise move, the davedave brew crew, featuring ms. emma sartini, took a pit stop today at listermann's. there we painstakingly picked up all the necessary supplies to put together the infamous gummi bear batch. the batch includes 2 lbs. bear, 2 lbs. honey, 7 lbs. mixed berries, 1 lb. brown sugar, cascade as well as hallertau hops, and is currently put to rest in the cellar of the brewery accompanied by a vile of san francisco lagering yeast. should be a good one, folks. nice and sweet for those who have been looking to davedave to create something a little on the lighter side. being the eighth brew, this is interestingly the first lager attempted. the temperatures are optimal and this batch will also come out earlier than expected. possibly ready for bottling by this coming weekend.
in other news, man is good and fermented and ready for bottling. the initial taste tests are in and can we say, all signs point to yes. if this was the man that god created, god would have been a drunk. and more than likely an insomniac.
speaking of god, upon visit to the brew store today, the super ultra yeasts were *surprisingly* in stock. unfortunately, the brewery wasn't properly set up to brew this monster of a batch. and now in need of a carboy to settle, the brew will be created once man is bottled. wednesday or thursday look to be the day, although there is a good chance we might get a little ancy and bottle it sooner. be on the lookout for those updates.
also, this just in: "dave dave brew is now the perfect companion to a bengals game"
wouldn't you know...
Thursday, November 1, 2007
*read previous posts for description*
initial brew date saturday, november 3, 2007
bottling november 17 -24, 2007
2. gummi bear batch:
this batch was inspired by shea's joking suggestion to put gummi bears in the beer. got the wheels rolling, and now this batch is going to be a berry lager, taking high amounts of extra light malt, pounds and pounds of fresh berries (straw, black, blue, rasp), as well as candi sugar and a few pounds of, that's right, gummi bears. each bottle will come with a few bears in them as well. BOOM. deal with it, jerk.
initial brew date tentative sometime between sunday, november 4 and saturday the 10th.
the lagering will take longer than normal and should be ready for bottling after about 3 weeks. second ferment and conditioning should have this brew ready when i return from the ski trip, december 18th.
3. fall batch:
an irish red ale brewed with pinecones, bark, leaves, acorns, and any other element of the fall season. the batch will be brewed the day we bottle god. we'll keep you posted on this one.
so that's the lineup for now. they'll all be ready for the 1st of the year and the one year anniversary of davedave brew (dec. 31).
god is brewed in two days. we'll keep you updated on the status as we progress. see ya.