Monday, November 17, 2008

What happens when you add Holy Water to your Wort?

All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment…

People! I am presently boiling a remake of our Ambermensch, an amber colored double fermented american strong ale. MMmm. It was a big hit at our homebrew party (coming in second in popularity to the Phenomagavely) so we decided to revamp the flavor profile, retain the heavy handedness of its inebriative qualities and make another batch.
This time we used almonds, rosewater and extra brown sugar to fit both the full bodied seasonal trends of winter and the strong, uber, conceptual content of its namesake. We also opted to use some roasted barley for our partial, not knowing exactly what it will do to the taste, but knowing that barley and almonds and rosewater traditionally go well together.
Half way through the boil and it looks like espresso. The color is dark dark brown and floating on top of the boil is a sandy to deep khaki colored froth that can only be described as crema. We shall see, we shall see.

And now a shameless plug:

Surly Brewery
in Brooklyn Center, MN, just outside of Minneapolis, is awesome. We serve their Bender at my restaraunt and they also hosted their second "Darkness Day" this past October. This festival, much like the "Dark Lord Day" at Three Floyds, is effectively their release party for a limited edition russian imerial stout, appropriately called darkness, a limited edition special batch. Its rare and coveted. Anyway, there was a really cool turnout for the day, lots of homebrewers and beer geeks congregating in the name of brew, swapping recipes and dishing out samples of esteric and hard to find labels, bombers and swing tops. Some of us chose to camp out the night before, so there was pretty much loud and excited conversation and samplage going on all night. The owner, Omar, even brought a keg of "Coffee Bender" out into the street for us all to wake up to. The beer is good, the vibe is great. Keep it up. A+


rock it/rocket

Friday, November 14, 2008

Got Some Dave On My Wall

Last night we bottled the DaveDave Dave and had a quick tasting. WOW. This is high quality shit. I would not have been able to foresee such a success (as things have gone so far), and you can simply taste the quality. all-grain really is better. Anyhow, we only used .25 lbs chocolate malt in the whole thing on top of 12 lbs 2-row and caramel 60... and the chocolate really really comes out strong on this one - VERY surprising. Now I know when I read other recipes for things that might be thicker and heavier and folks are only using just a half pound or maybe only a pound of specialty (read: roasted barley, black patent, chocolate malts, etc.) in their brew. Now I can see why. This stuff is really potent.

Anyhow, we bottles 12 12oz bottles, 14 22oz bombers, 4 500mL bottles and another 1L swing-top. It was about 3.75-4 gallons worth, so that equates to about 38-40 beers. Not too bad for coming up short on the grain runnings. Gonna have some good samples to have at around Christmas time or possibly a few weeks earlier. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beer Review: Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot English Barleywine


Went with the Blithering Idiot as an Election Night starter ;)

Really great color on this one. Very minimal to no haze at all, with a fantastic hues of orange, ruby and a touch of autumn brown. Heavy two finger head dissipates quickly into a seated half finger of light bronze "nitro-like" fuzz.

Smells like a barleywine. Big malt, grapes and figs, and a nice boozy hit on the nose. Nothing to write home about, but still very pleasant and expected for the style.

Thick caramel notes on the tongue, big bubbles sticking around for quite some time, and huge malt profile that flows nicely into the boozy aftertaste that jumps from the back of the tongue and sticks around even after a minute or two. Great sticky mouthfeel, but nothing too overpowering. The booze and the caramel malt lingers on for some time, which is a non-complaint coming from my end.

For being 11.1% ABV, this one goes down really well. I was lucky enough to get this as an extra in a trade a few months ago (can't remember from whom), but I'm really enjoying this one tonight. We get Weyerbacher here in Cincinnati but I don't too often see the Blithering Idiot out - I'll certainly keep my eyes open, as this is one of the more sessionable (if that is even possible for this style) barleywines I've ever had, and I look forward to enjoying this one again in the future.

Solid B Overall

Monday, November 10, 2008

Beer Review: Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale


For quite some time in my beer loving days I had searched high and low for this beer. I worked to set up a number of trades to pick just one up to try, each inevitably falling dead in their own tracks. Then one day, as if the gods themselves had been watching my search, it just showed up. And I'm not talking about a trip to Grand Rapids I took in search of the beer (to no avail), nor stops on the same trip a handful of local Michigan beer stores (again to no avail), and I'm not even talking about a happen-chance finding of a single bottle in the back room of a store no one would have ever thought to look. No. I mean it just showed up. Seriously - right now, it's all over Cincinnati. I mean everywhere. How about that for serendipitous notion? But hey, I'm not complaining! And either way, it showed up, and then it found its way into my cellar - from the looks of it by the truckload at that.

But I digress. I poured this beer almost 10 minutes ago and my taste buds are getting impatient. It is worthy to note that I have poured my Curmudgeon at cellar temperature into a deep stemless white wine glass - my glass of choice of lately for enjoying anything as particularly malty as this.

This beer pours a beautiful, deep red mahogany, and quickly gathers a finger and a half of light brown head. The head dissipates a little too quickly, but leaves an amoeba of lacing griping tight to the glass. There is a touch of standing sediment hanging out in the beer, but nothing to frown upon for this style.

The smell! This one knocks in with some thick, boozy notes that are backed up by caramel, molasses, deep grape, and, although I can't touch what this particular flavor is, I will describe the overall smell as "burnt sticky caramel corn." I am fighting the urge to find the correct words to describe this beer with my desire to toss this one down the hatch. And in that case... bottoms up!

Burnt Sticky Caramel Corn is pretty accurate if you ask me. The Old Curmudgeon hits the tongue with a quickly waning hit of fresh hops, grazes the tongue gracefully through its candy-like mid-body and rushes down the back of the throat almost like it wasn't even there. This one sits on the tongue after finish and simply bubbles for a while, asking for another sip. The sweetness sits with a light glaze through the mouth and reaffirms my newly coined burnt sticky caramel corn flavor profile. Plus some plum... yeah, a little bit of plum. Once it goes down, though, it's like I'm breathing fire here. Not like some crazy burn-down-the-house fire; more like a sitting by the campfire making s'mores (s'more what?) fire. The booze sits nicely and keeps the warming coming quite nicely. I could take this one out in 40 degree weather in shorts and a t-shirt and keep warm. I like that.

As much as I really like this beer, I'd love to have a little more variety in flavor aside from the aforementioned notes. For what is there, however, I can certainly appreciate the flavors, and there is nothing about this one that says, you can't have just one. On a good night with some good company, I could sip on these for quite some time. Well worth the wait to finally try these, and I am more than appreciative that I had quite a few more of these in my cellar.

Overall Rating: B+

Cheers!

God Is Still In Secondary Fermentation

Really? Yep.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Got Me Some Man on My Wall

Bottled up some Batch 9.1 last night. Didn't actually go through with the Man/God Remix, but what we did was still pretty interesting. Before I get into that, let me just say that with some of the changes to this beer (including the addition of a lb and a quarter of Special B Grain, among others), something magical has happened. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but I can tell you from previous "bottling tastings," that this batch will be, well, better. It just tastes like I've been brewing for longer. Even though it is an extract beer, I could just tell there was a level of improvement that I have yet to register in past brews. That being said, here's how the whole thing went down:

Since we made 4 gallons of Man, in preparation to blend with God, we didn't have a ton of beer to put into bottles, but still a sizable amount. First, in regular brewing fashion, the sugar was added (I would have loved to have put malt in at this step, but am fresh out :( ), and off the bat locked up 24 12-oz bottles. After that, I had two special yeast samples: Lacto B. and Brettamyoces, which I threw into the bottling bucket with the rest of Man - essentially creating some type of super version of Man... - did a bit of mild coaxing to get all the mini-bacteriums soaked in, and then bottled another 13 bombers of the stuff.

So the good news is that this version of Man is going to be incredible. The bad news is that the soured bombers aren't going to be ready for uhh... a few years? Shit. Brewing sucks.

Pics From Our First All-Grain Brew Session





Success! We brewed a Dave. That's about it. Check out a few pics (too busy doing shit to take many), and be amazed!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thinking about All Grain

So in a conversation with Caspito yesterday, I mentioned that maybe we won't do all-grain next week. Well, I think I've changed my mind. And I think I'm going to buy the setup today. I've been doing some research and come across one that seems like it's in a reasonable price range, seems pretty sturdy, and allows for long-time use. Check it:

Its 35-quart capacity (which translates into roughly 8.75 gallons in math easyspeak) will be plenty big for brewing. The large top of the burner will help prevent boil-over, since it's not 10 gallons, this will be very very helpful to keep things clean. I'm waiting to hear back some info from some BA'ers, and then I'm going to go to Lowes in Pleasant Ridge tonight or tomorrow to check out the thickness and feel, and go from there to see if I should get it. If it feels good, I'm in. I'll have to keep you updated on that one.

Thoughts?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Celebratorale


So wondering what it would be like to throw a party for our friends and lovers wherein Wu and I provide our own homebrews to drink, for some time now, it has at long last transpired. My words are confounding at times today, even to myself. Drunk donkey right now.

anyway

we had this party last week: anyone who came was offered the chance to mix and match their own six pack of our brews for the low cost of eight dollars. in chicago you can't get six packs of craft or micro beer for under nine. ten and half percent sales tax and all. we didnt charge tax because we didnt profit, and even if we would have, it'd all have been bootleg cuz thats our style.

Everyone got way too drunk, especially the hosts. One of the foremost chefs at my work fell in love with our Phenomagavely, a chicago take on the DaveDave Border Jumper. We raked in almost enough to break even and immediately reinvested it all again here and here. who dey.

all in all a success. At this point we're not looking to make money, just trying to share the wealth. home made beer is the shit, point blank, and those who have not tried it wont understand. on top of that not many people realize just how creative and off the wall you can be with beer. a fucking pine nut beer? anything is possible yo. i'm sure we all just want the world to know its true. (and there is a certain satisfaction that comes with having people drink enjoy and get drunk on something you orchestrated (ie. the facilitation of yeast activity in an environment conducive to alcohol generation as well as pleasing to the human palate(ie. the brew)))

right now i am sipping off a bomber of the Ambermensch, double fermented brown sugar straddling strong amber ale. Mi piace molto.

and on and on he drones. remember kids: always have fun, even when it hurts, and never stop doing drugs. peace

(editors note: "drugs" denote all psychoactive ingredients, including the more mundane, socially sanction, more "responsible" drugs like caffeine, nicotine, tryptophan and aspirin. it is up to the individual to decide if the "harder" drugs (like alcohol, THC and cocaine) are things they want to put in their body, and even then only after careful deliberation and the weighing of benefits to detriments. in short: If it works for your life, it probably works. peace)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Incredible All-Grain Read


For us, for the Chicago Branch, and for many other home brewers around the world, making the step into brewing itself, is one thing. Making the leap into all-grain brewing is a much more daunting and oftentimes unattainable and simply out of scope based on the complex write ups that many books and websites have. After a few discussions with local home brewers, I had a small idea of what was going on, but not enough understanding to move forward. I have recently been shown a website that captures the idea of all-grain brewing in an incredibly accessible way.

You can find the link ::here

Some key things to consider is that the brewing world sometimes finds itself caught up in its process description (read, sparging, lautering, striking, pitching, primary, secondary, wort, etc.) and doesn't give the opportunity to allow outsiders to focus on the actual how and why of brewing. This link breaks a lot of those things down for you really well. For instance, Striking is based on Strike Water, which is the heated water that is mixed with the grains originally that lead to the breakdown of the sugar enzymes while in the mash tun. Striking is the action of "putting the water into the mash tun," essentially.

In other words, just read it. It's awesome and it will make you want to drive immediately to the brew store and start all-grain today.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Mad Fermentationist

Hey Guys, I found a sweet blog documenting one mans journey through brewing. He's got some really great ideas and full recipe posts. Definitely some information for thought.

::link_the mad fermentationist

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Passion For Brewing


Boys and Girls, look forward to plenty more updates, TONS more insane beers to be made and a huge new appetite for brewing.

Check the comments section for some brewing ideas I have and feel free to add your own!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Man God Remix

This afternoon we're brewing what will be the beginnings of the official blend of Man and God. We've modified the Man recipe ever so slightly to account for both a four gallon batch and a switch to a beer closer in resemblance to a Russian Imperial Stout. Don't worry, our Man is still there, but not for long! Once we rack to primary, Man will run its usual course accompanied by WYeast 1084 for a few weeks. After that, we will blend the 4 gallons of Man with 1 gallon of God in secondary, and pitch Brett and Lactobacillus yeasts to create what will hopefully become one of the greatest and maybe even the first ever (tentatively classified) Imperial Coffee Sour Russian Barley Wine. It doesn't make much sense... yet, but it will. Oh, how it will!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hop Harvest Season!!!!

is right about now. for a fine selection of north american hops, freshly picked from farms in the northers pacific region of the continental United States, check out this:

http://www.freshops.com/

peace

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

hot spice ale


So Wu and i have made the best smelling beer yet. Modeled after the Border Jumper Mexican Lager of DaveDave fame, this ale contains cactus, jalapeno peppers, sweet banana peppers, agave nector and rye malt, just to name a few. Dubbed the "Phenomagavely of Spirit", it should blossom and develop over time as the dialectic of fermentation and taste strain and mold each other into one hell of a good drink. peace for now

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Holy Fucking Hop Stick


Hop Production is up 27% in 2008. 9% in Oregon, 27% in Washington and a killer 57% in Idaho, amongst all the other hop growing states. This is FANTASTIC news for everyone, homebrewers to professionals, and will help level out prices of craft beers as well as lower the prices per ounce of hop for us homebrewers. Let's demand the supply and keep buying, and buying in bulk. The economy is hitting the dumps but the craft beer industry has never been stronger.

Here's a link to the PDF (the last paragraph pertains to hops): Hop Production Up For 2008

It's like they say, "beer will get you through times of no money much better than money will get you through times with no beer."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Chicago Branch

The Chicago Operations are now in full swing. We have six batches under our belts and more in the works. On the downside, our apartment is on the third floor and during the summer the temp stayed around 80 all the time. As a consequence our brews, all ales, suffered. They have that buttery cider yeast byproduct that has plagued me since i started making beer. Winter is coming up (its already fucking cold here in the city), so maybe ill stash a carboy in the stone walled basement and make some chicago lager?

And something elese: Unbelievably, in the entire city limits there is only one homebrew supply store, and their hop selection is real bad. Listermans is much much better. I thought this was Chicago, where everything is available? I guess the alcohol police have some sort of legacy here...

Any thoughts on websites that ship hops so i can get what i want instead of substituting my first choice for a second or sometimes third?

Wu and i are (quite cutely) naming all of our batches after famous thinkers and their works. So be prepared for some shamelessly bad beer puns. love you all. drink up slackers

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Trip to the Beer Store

So i scored a new job at a cool place and decided to celebrate by indulging in one of those ten dollar beers that we all love to drink so much. That is, ten dollars for one big bottle of beer. In short: dropping that hard earned cash on that damn fine beer.
Knowing that the Unibraue selection at my local beer grabbing shop in Rogers Park is pretty good, i thought i'd try the trois pistoles.
However, i was easily dissuaded by the 17th anniversary ale and a beer tasting going on in the corner of the shop. The Samuel Adams people had a lady in the shop offering us with a taste test: what is better?, sample A, the blackberry witbeer, or B, the coffee stout. The overall winner will be mass produced this January, the loser never to be brewed again. Hmm.
I never really like Sam Adams Beers. I don't really know why. I have tried more then ten of their brews and never really think its all that impressive. (Well, at Dark Lord Day at Three Floyds someone had a growler labelled "batch three" or something that was supposedly this rare Sam Adams brew and it was actually great, but that is thee exception.)
Anyway. the witbeer was drinkable in every way, but not mind blowing, not even pleasing. I thought it would be fruity and light, but it was bitter and bland.
The coffee stout was really tastey. Not heavy, it was smooth and delicious. It lacked that bitter, dry coffee finish that taint so many coffee stouts. And i am a severe coffee fiend and a total beer drunk, so i know what its like to blend the two, even if its not during the brewing process. know what i mean? speed ballin'.
anyway, the lady handing out the samples was super cute, bright blue eyes that pierce. She uses the proper beer geek lingo. she knows her shit. She tells me that out at bars the "girls" all "like" the blackberry, but at the craft-type-people locations its always, almost ALWAYS the coffee stout that is preferred. i agree. mark my vote on the ballot, buy my anniversary ale, and bike home with it in my left hand. Also, POP QUIZ: She told me that she was born the same year as Samual Adams was founded. How old is this cute beer lady?
The Anniversary Ale? Its so good, ya'll. Dark and 10%, smooth and drinkable as all hell. I'm completely warm and excedingly verbose. Thanks Unibraue. i just cheersed my computer screen.

peace

Friday, August 1, 2008

Well How About This...

A few months ago we posted on the possibility of using an ancient mesoamerican influence in our beers here, Our Ancestors were Carazyyyy

And look at the new Dogfish Head Theobroma (label below) coming out later this month:

http://beernews.org/2008/06/first-look-at-dogfish-head-theobroma-due-in-august/


now how about that for some coincidence.... ;)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Maybe

Do you think more people would visit the site if we put up pictures? What a hassle. Words kill.

And Finally

Bottled the Bleeding Hop Bucket about a week ago? I'm not sure- but with all the hops hanging in the batch, at least a quart or two of the brew sat, unusable in the buds of nearly 3 pounds of hops... *sigh,* but we have something like 40-42 bottles of this bad boy?? Not Bad. Should be ready in 2011. We'll keep you posted!


And, once Adam returns from his trip to Italia, we are brewing a Pepper Smoked RyePA, that is, an Imperial IPA brewed with Rye, Pepper and Smoke. This will be my first try with rye and smoke, and my second (or third?) attempt with pepper. Either way, should be a very interesting one to try.


Finally, once I re-pitch some champagne yeast into the Honey Champagne and let it hang for another week or so, we'll bottle that one and then rack the Belgian Apple Tripel on top of the champagne honey yeast residue. Should be delightful!


As for tonight, we'll be attending the Victory Brewery tasting at Jungle Jims, followed by an 11 pm showing of The Dark Knight... oh, the life!

Cheers, everyone

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Yeah

and someone mowed over my hop plants... *cough* Steve.

I'm Stupid...

...and lazy.



So in an attempt to cut two trips into one this evening just before I was planned on bottling the Bleeding Hop Bucket, I put the glass carboy into the bottling bucket. Seeing as though the bottling bucket has a draft on it, I created an air-lock and wasn't able to get the carboy with the fermenting deliciousness out. Smart guy I am, I decide to turn the spigot to let the air out... and break the spigot. Looks like the BHB will sit in secondary for 75 days instead of 70. Oh well. I really didn't feel like bottling tonight anyways.

But in other news, we're brewing again!

I'll post the recipes later, but three days, three brews:

Saturday (with caspito), we brewed a traditional Tripel, but added 4-5 lbs of granny smith apples carmelized in belgian candi sugars


Sunday brewed a pumpkin Saison with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cardamom, coriander, sweet gale and sweet orange peel


Monday brewed a Pale Ale with mint, cilantro, lime and almonds (catch the pesto influence?) - and plan on topping it off with a few cups of some premium tequila.


Phew, what an exhausting weekend. I'll be spending this coming Fourth O' Ju-lie weekend in Pittsburgh, and will get to some much needed bottling when I return, and will brew the Honey Champagne then as well.

Once I get un-lazy, I'll post the recipes. But for now...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Just a little bit of love

The Batch 11 is getting rave review all over the country. This one from a buddy we sent one to in Mississippi:

"the one with 11 hops.

dude, you could bottle and sell that. ken shared it with me. it was freaking awesome. probably the best beer we drank that day.

big ups.

cheers"


just a little DaveDave love comin' from you to us and back atcha.


by the way, look forward to more updates soon as we do 4 batches in 5 days between june 27-july 2... including a coriander, lavender and cinnamon saison, a davedave tripel, and a few others in the works.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Oh! The disappointment!

So i was thinking today: Jesus, i haven't had a Bell's Oberon in a while. I haven't even seen one. This is the beer that used to actually penetrate my dreams last summer. I imagined a fire hose blasting that sweet, citrusy wheat beer right into my mouth, caressing my taste buds, and flowing into my satisfied gullet.

But no, not this summer. It seems that Bell's had pulled out its Illinois distribution back in 06. This article outlines the reasons, but also reveals a world of shady beer exchanging. Do you know about the three tier system? Do you know how the big beer companies attempt to control the flow of craft beer? read on, my student, and you will know as i do.

http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/stories/bells/


edit: Dave.2 says, read this article; read this article.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicago Brewings

Hey all,
The inaugural Chicago-branch brew has been sitting on the shelves for two and a half weeks now and it tastes great. It is called "The Critique of Brew Reason" in honor of Immanuel Kant. A solid American Ale: not too bitter, not too sweet, but definitely both. This was the first time i worked with actual hops rather than pellets, and i can taste it. Nice work all.
And now its time to make some more. We traded a six pack with some friends and are looking to expand our markets (bartering), but we need some to drink for our self, no? Wu and i are thinking about doing a dry hop this time. So my questions are thus:

(1) What are the best beer types for dry hopping?
(2) What are the best hops to dry hop with?

any advice would be greatly appreciated.

peace

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Little Kingdom

OK so the last few months the updates have been few and far between. Well, that's because not too much has actually been going on! With school bearing down, and my recent pseudo-addiction (OK, full fledged...) to beer trading, I've been spending more of my cold hard cash on this. But, in my eyes, the more beer you try and sample as a home brewer, the more you learn and the more ideas you have to add to your next batch. One of the ideas for an upcoming batch would have to be the re-make of Man, but this time a 4gallon batch, with a 1gallon mix of God into the carboy, with a host of champagne, High Gravity, Scottish and Brett yeasts contributing to the final mess. It's going to be funky. And quite possibly one of those most interesting, complex beers you'll ever have. So once this all gets up and running, I'm sure we'll have a host of new batches to report on. The Bleeding Hop Bucket has yet to be bottled, but I am certain the time is almost near! Actually, it's been nearly 3 months since brewing, with around 45 days of dry-hopping taking place. Which means, yep, it's ready. We'll bottle that within a week.

Keep checkin back and the updates will roll, I promise!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Reprise

So looking through some old posts, I came across my "Top 5 beers" and got a slight chuckle. That is, not because the choices aren't great ones, it's simply interesting to see where I've gone as far as beer in the last number of months. For instance, last year around this time I was excited to hear about the new, upcoming "Miller Chill," gearing up to hit shelves, and was ecstatic to find it on vacation last June. Although I'll probably pick up a few bottles to have on the beach again this year, my taste buds have been on a roller coaster ride ever since my first Chill moment.

In the spirit of great beer, here is a newly fashioned list of one mans palatial favorites:
And although I have them numbered, that really means nothing. A good beer in the right context can potentially beat out any of these for top-runners.

5. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery Masala Mama IPA: Had the pleasure of tasting this delicious IPA at both Dark Lord Day as well as the Cincinnati BA get together at the Catskellar a week and change ago. Just a great overall brew, with nice spice and citrus notes, great session brew to enjoy.


4. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout: What can I say? It took WAY too damn long to get my hands on this brew. WAY too long. But it was worth the wait - thanks to Adam and a fellow BA trader, I got my hands on 5 of these. I'm a sucker for a Coffee Stout/Porter these days. This one is top notch; each wave is complementary to each other and is incredibly drinkable for the 10% ABV.

3. Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel: Another lucky pickup. These came around in Cincinnati just this past week, and with a little heads up, I was able to get more than my fair share. I enjoyed my first whole Peche Mortel after having just a sip at Dark Lord Day this past Thursday while watching Lost. As I noted then, this brew seems like it may have some amazing cellaring power. Rich coffee, toffee, chocolate and sour notes over what could be considered a bed of Motor Oil. Pick this up if you see it out. Now.


2. Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron: Incredibly complex and fulfilling, the Palo Santo Marron was my #1 until last night (see below...). Another thick pourer, the PSM delivers waves of rich, spicy chocolate, vanilla, palo santo wood, and alcohol. A sipper at 12%, and well worth the $15/4pk price tag. It's got a bite though, and should age incredibly well... I'll be saving quite a number of these to try in a few years.

1. Midnight Sun Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter: Thanks to our pal Frank in Anchorage, I was able to get a couple of these (have yet to try the Oak Aged version...) sent 4000 miles onto my porch. Shared this with Emma, Tim and Jenny, and each taster found this to be a fantastic beer. Incredibly well-balanced, full of rich rich chocolate, with a great complementary pumpkin "tart" that finishes off the end of the taste. I can't wait to drink the next one, and really wish these came around the Cincinnati region more. Top Notch brew. If you see this, get it. No matter what level of beer drinker you are, there is no way you will be dissapointed in this one. And if you are, for some reason... I'll finish that glass for you ;)


This list is pretty reflective of my current appetite, but with summer around the corner, I am on a hunt to track down more and more IPA's and Belgians. It will be interesting to revisit this category in a few months and see how my tastes have changed, or "matured"


Honorable mentions go to: Three Floyds Alpha King Pale Ale, Stone IPA, DaveDave Spiced Chai Milk Stout, Fullers Vintage 2006, Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA, and Christian Moerlein OTR. I guess I am getting back into those IPA's after all....

Friday, May 2, 2008

On The Map!

After a few exhausting last few days, we have recovered (almost...) from Dark Lord Day (amazing), and just received a BA beermail from Warren, a fellow BA we met and shared a few homebrews with at DLD, who told us that the Brickstone Brewery in Bourbonaise, IL is interested in brewing some DaveDave! I don't really know what this entails, but big congrats to Batch 11, which is apparently the *chosen* brew. Once I can dig up the recipe and hop-schedule, hopefully they'll go through with it and we'll have our very first professionally brewed DaveDave on the map! We'll keep everyone posted as to the status of this... very cool stuff indeed!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spiced Chai Milk Stout

The official tasting has yet to take place, but a few bottles have been opened in the last few weeks and the response is pretty outstanding - this is a hell of a brew. in the earlier tests, the lactose was nigh unrecognizable and i was begining to wonder if this thing would actually come out like a milk stout at all. however, as the carbonation began to bubble, the head showed just what this milk stout is all about. I have honestly never had a creamier, thicker head in my life on a beer. This is a definite re-make batch for sure.

hell yeah baby, the davedave is back.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Our Ancestors Were Carazyyyy

Hit this link: Ancient Fermented Chocolate Drink.

So apparently some old timers (very old...) were making some fermented drink using the pulp from the root of the cacao plant quite some time ago. Ahead of the curve, huh?

So then with all the talk of brewing some spring ales, perhaps there is a way to create a full, rich, earthy (and i do stress the earthy) chocolate spring/summer brew? I'll do some research, but in memory of those pioneers before us, I'd like to go completely sans-hop and use some regional MesoAmerican plants/roots as bittering units. Could be interesting...

Also: What about the possibility of fermenting in a large pottery jar? Or, boiling broken pieces of an authentic clay pot and dropping them in the primary for that extra authentic hit of style... Juices flowing... ;)

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Samuel Adams Recall

Just got this message in the ol'd email:

"As a loyal supporter and fan of our beer, we wanted to get in touch with you about an announcement that we made yesterday. We have announced a cautious, voluntary product recall of some bottles of Samuel Adams. While there is no problem with our beer, we believe a small proportion of bottles from our outside glass supplier could contain some small bits of glass.

The bottles we've identified as being possibly affected are from one glass plant of the five that we get our bottles from. The issue affects less than 25% of our bottled beer and of that amount, we believe far less than 1% of the bottles we're recalling are actually affected. We have no reports of any injury from our drinkers related to this issue. But because the safety of our drinkers is of paramount concern to us, we are being cautious and issuing the recall for all bottles from this glass plant.

But not to worry, this doesn't mean that you have to stop drinking Samuel Adams! All draft beer is perfectly fine and most of our bottled beer is not in these possibly affected bottles. It's easy to spot the bottles we're recalling: they are all embossed to say "N35" at the base of the bottle below the label (see photo on web site). We are working with our wholesalers and retailers to ensure that the affected bottles are removed from stores quickly.

We wanted to be sure that our loyal Sam fans are aware of the problem and know that we are doing everything we can to address this situation quickly. We are disappointed that because of these bottles supplied to us, we didn't live up to your expectations as a loyal Sam Adams drinker. We believe that we are taking all the right steps to ensure that the bottled Samuel Adams beer out there meets our quality standards and your expectations. If you have any questions about the recall, we created a special web site and a toll-free number 1-888-674-5159 to answer your questions.

As always, we appreciate your support.

Cheers,
Andrew & Bert"


You know what I say? Man Up and drink your damn beer. The glass will probably make you stronger. Wuss.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Calories Per Beer, Lager's List

I find it some kind of funny when I look at the websites that the DaveDave visitors are referred from (hit the Counter Statistics at the bottom right of the mini-buzz column). The two that we get the most are, "Lagers List," which takes you here or, "Calories Per Beer," which takes you here. Click on those. Anything interesting? Well, the Lagers List is actually a pretty decent post... It points you in the direction of Beer Advocate and gives you pretty much all of the necessary list of lagers around the US - not bad overall.

But the Calories Per Beer one, is quite comical. Especially when you consider that we claim to have made a brew with 859 calories per beer (Beer Tools software said so...), and I'm 100% sure that folks just want to know how many calories is in their beer. Not their DaveDave (although they have been flying off the shelf lately), but just their regular ol' drinkin beer. Do you want my opinion? Don't worry about the calories, jerkwads. It's beer. Enjoy it or go home.

Also - funny that our Bells 8000 Review was at one point listed higher on the Google search than the link to the actual Bells 8000 website on the official Bells Brewery website as well as on top of Beer Advocates link. Weird. I'm sure it's not like that now, but odd that that would happen anyhow.

Peace ya'll - gone skiing for a long weekend. Catch you back here on Sunday.

The Bleeding Hop Bucket Will Probably Kill You

I'm one big stupid idiot. Just completely irresponsible in every way possible.

I moved the Bleeding Hop Bucket to secondary today, and pitched a WYeast 1084 Irish Ale I had chilling out, just for the hell of it (OK, not really for the hell of it...), and dry hopped with 11 oz of mixed leaf hops that have been hanging out in the fridge for a while.

So here's the deal. This beer has FORTY-FIVE OUNCES of hops in it. That's it. I'm going to OD on hops. Who's with me??

I am officially making a new qualification for brews; that being, the Triple IPA. Why the hell not? Sure, we could go with Imperial, but nah.

Fuck it, dude, let's go for the Triple.


(Pics up soon)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Guinness Stout Brownies

Our friend Jeff at Wort's Going On Here just added a post about Guinness cupcakes, and I thought I would share with you a Guinness-based desert that I recently had the pleasure of making and of course, enjoying:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup superfine or granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) Guinness Extra Stout beer (see Note below) - I used a DaveDave Chocolate Raspberry Porter instead
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup (about) confectioners' sugar for dusting


PREPARATION:

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt until evenly combined. Set aside.
- Melt butter, bittersweet chocolate, and white chocolate chips in a double-boiler over very low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined.
- Beat reserved flour mixture into melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in Guinness stout beer. The batter will seem a bit thin. Drop semisweet chocolate chips evenly on top of batter (some will sink in).
- Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes on center rack in the oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
- Let brownies cool, uncovered, to room temperature. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
- Note: The beer should be at room temperature. This recipe uses a little less than a standard 12-ounce bottle of beer. Do not include foam in the measurement. Either spoon off the foam or let it rest until the foam subsides.



I made these for a party later in the week, so I froze them for a few days and let them thaw in the fridge the day of - they were awesome. INcredibly rich, though - you'll need a fresh brew to help finish them off, of course. The DaveDave Chocolate Raspberry Porter went great with the recipe. The raspberry flavor just squeaked through in the end, but added a very nice touch to the brownies. Also - be liberal with the chocolate; what's just a bit more going to hurt??


Check out the original recipe page here

Monday, March 10, 2008

Best Place On The Web In 2007

Hey guys, the crew over at DaveDave Breweries voted our blog the "Best Place On The Web In 2007"! Congrats to everyone for a great year! Here's to an even better 2008!

Here's a link to the article.

Bottle Bottle Bottle

54 Spiced Orange Witbiers bottled as of last Wednesday, March5. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 7, 2008

UPDATE: Bockfest Parade (NOT) CANCELLED

I just received this email:

"The Bockfest parade for Friday Afternoon has been CANCELLED. All other Bockfest activities are still going on as scheduled, so you can still get your Bock beer if you need it. The Bockfest
organizers are working with the city of Cincinnati to reschedule the parade for Sunday. I will send out more information when it becomes available.

We will be making a decision regarding the Bockfest Homebrew competition tomorrow morning based on road conditions and advisories."

Look for updates on the Bockfest website or check back here for the latest info throughout the weekend with the timely weather upon us, folks.


EDIT: the parade is NOT cancelled, just the float portion of it. An updated email as follows:

"I misunderstood the scope of the Bockfest Parade cancellation that I sent out earlier. The official information can be found here. Due to the snow emergency, the City of Cincinnati cancelled the float portion of the parade where we walk down the streets. Everything else is still on. We will kick off the weekend at Arnold's at 6PM, and walk up to Bockfest Hall for the blessing of the beer. All the bars are still open and ready to keep you warm with some delicious bock beer and sausage.

If you are an adventurous Monk or Wench, then let's meet down at Arnolds. Bring your coconuts if you've got them, and I'll bring the head beating boards."


So there you have it. See everyone out and about this weekend ;)

Craft Beer Sales Up... Again!

In the previous post, I briefly mentioned the idea of Cincinnatians getting more and more into craft beers. Maybe it's just a hunch, maybe it's because I'm noticing it more and more as I get older, maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe it's because I've been making my friends only drink good beer. Whatever the case, the rest of the nation seems to be following the trend, and it looks like the trend is on the rise.

According to an article in the St. Louis business journal, craft beer sale were up 16% in 2007! An interesting fact to note is that although craft brewing sales only make up for about 4% production and 6% sales in the US, out of 1,449 breweries in the United States, 1,406 of them are considered craft breweries! Incredible. That means that only around 3% of the breweries in the US control over 94% of the sales! Can you believe it!?

However, although it doesn't seem like much, the craft beer market did grow 12% in 2006, and with the 16% increase in 2007, we also saw an increase from 7.1 million barrels to 8 million barrels sold, which means a 900,000 barrel increase at 31 gallons a barrel - roughly 279,000,000 beers (figuring a modest 10 beers per gallon). Yes you read that right, Two Hundred Seventy Nine MILLION more beers in 2007! That's a hell of a lot of beer. Here's a link to the article:

Craft Beer Sales Up 16% in 2007

Keep up the good work, folks ;)

Cincinnati's Bockfest 2008!

From the Bockfest website:

"Bockfest 2008 is here! Cincinnati is the home to the world's oldest Bock festival, but many Cincinnatians are unaware of this tradition. If you are one of the unfortunate who have never attended a Bockfest (or who have but can't really remember that weekend) here's a quick primer. In the 1800s, Cincinnati was one of America's most prolific brewing cities. Cincinnatians drank more beer per capita than any city in the country, and Over-the-Rhine was at one point home to more than 50 breweries. A tradition developed among the breweries to release all of their bock beer on the same day. Bock beer is a rich, complex, robust lager that marks the end of the Winter brewing season and the beginning of Spring."


Our friend Bryon of the Cincinnati Beer Company (http://www.cincybeerco.com) is very involved in this years event, and also sent us this information about this years Prohibition Resistance Tour:

"Prohibition Resistance Tour 2008
This is a great opportunity to learn about such an integral part of Cincinnati history, and it is truly one of the most fun weekends of the year. What better way to support your city and Over-the-Rhine, while experiencing some of the untapped potential that could be unlocked by the streetcar?

On March 8-9, 2008, during the 16th annual Bockfest, you are invited to travel back to Nineteenth Century Cincinnati and explore the city's rich brewing heritage, both above and below ground. The Brewery District, in conjunction with Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal and the John Hauck House Museum, will be presenting the Prohibition Resistance Tour.
Each tour will start at Museum Center, where the tour will include an admission voucher to the Cincinnati History Museum's Beer, Breweries and Barons: A History of Cincinnati's Brewing Industry exhibit. Greg Hardman, the CEO of Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, will give a presentation on the amazing story of how Christian Moerlein left his native Germany and started one of the biggest breweries in the country, a story that mirrors the history of Cincinnati. The bus tour will include many of the remaining historic brewery buildings in Cincinnati, including the John Hauck Dayton Street Brewery, the Clyffside Brewery, the Jackson Brewery, and the Christian Moerlein Brewery. We will explore the life of another of Cincinnati's great brewers at the John Hauck House Museum, where this restored mansion on Cincinnati's original "Millionaire's Row" contains original antiques, furnishings and brewing memorabilia. Our final stop is at the Kauffmann Brewery on Vine Street, where we will journey through the sub-basements and tunnels of the brewery, spaces unused since Prohibition and never before opened to the public.

Go to www.bockfest.com for more details and to purchase tickets."


With what seems like a great weekend of beer history, beer discussions, Cincinnati brewing history and of course, beer drinking ;) , Bockfest has been generating a whole lot more publicity this year. It's hard to tell exactly why, but my gut instinct (and optimistic nature) would hopefully point to the fact that folks around the area are slowly, but surely getting back into the world of craft beers, and moving away from the stray-alley-cat-beat-up-a-skunk beers. Only time will tell, but I can definitely smell something great on the horizon for Cincinnati (and it's not the skunk).

Also, there will be shuttles running not only for the tour, but all around the area all weekend long to make sure folks stay safe, as well - check out bockfest.com for more details.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spiced Chai Rice Extract Milk Stout

To Honor a Fool, when Caspito comes to town this coming week/end, we are making a brew unlike any seen before! The next addition to the Davedave lineup will be a Spiced Chai Rice Extract Tea Beer, currently unnamed. I have done some researching and a small bit of looking around the internet and have decided on the following as a starting batch:


1/4 lb. chocolate extract
4 lbs. rice extract syrup
2 lbs. honey
2 lb. dry wheat malt extract
1 lb. dry x-lite malt extract
1 c dark brown sugar
1.5 oz. summit (60 min)
1 oz. golding (15 min)
1 oz. cascade (3 min)
1 package star anise
1 package cardamom seed
2 T freshly chopped ginger
5-6 cinnamon sticks
a good handshakes worth of peppercorn twists
15-20 cloves
darjeeling tea base
1 or 2 packages lactose


most of the spices will be brewed with the tea up front and then the rest of the boiling process will go as usual for a brew of this kind. the question is, when do we put everything in the brew, what do we add at primary, what kinds of yeast should we use (WYeast Labs Yeast List) should we substitute in any other hops? I have heard that adding a few bay leaves to the beginning of the tea brewing adds a nice flavor.

thoughts?

Friday, February 29, 2008

beer brewview

i know i havent rapped at ya'll in a bit o' time, but here it comes, albeit brief and off topic:

just found this new beaut:
"hopnotic illusion" by the Blue Point Brewing Company out of Long Island. (Notice the smooth creamy head lifting itself up about an inch from the top of the glass. mmm.) this is one IPA that i can definitely get behind. My first thought was "HOP, HOPS!" and my final was "oh, yeah, this feels great."

tasty, running at about %6.2 per volume and not all that expensive.

in other news, my not far off visit to the homeland of davedave shall render quite the project as ve and i attempt our first tea inspired brewsky. keep notice, loves.

Monday, February 18, 2008

sex coffee beer

just in case you didn't feel like reading the entire previous blog, we set a new davedave record - and quite possibly a world record - this weekend by bottling 62 man.2.

more beer than your mom can handle

a couple of quick updates on some brews that have been created in the past few weeks here at davedave. first, we had a double brew day in the end of january - man.2 and the spicy orange witbier. after three weeks of hard work, man.2 was bottled and set aside for conditioning this past sunday, the 17th with a record setting 62 bottles capped. we also took an immediate post-primary taste of man, and it is to the best knowledge of this brewery that the finished brew will be even better than the original - which was pretty damn good in itself. man.2 will be ready to drink around the first week of march, and will continue to age well long after that.

the spicy orange witbier is currently still in the primary stage, and may be moved to secondary this week with more spices added and then let sit for a few more weeks.

surprisingly, god is NOT FINISHED. can you believe it? after around two months of aging with whiskey soaked oak chips, the gravity readings on god were not low enough. in fact, they were still higher than most original gravities of beers that i've brewed. over a month ago we did a partial reboil of god, added more and more malt and hops, created a "starter" carboy (approx 1 gallon) into which we pitched another round of the super high gravity yeast, and then after 4-5 days, added the rest of the remaining batch. that was 3 weeks ago, and it's still going strong. the carboy has been bubbling at around 8 sec. apart consistently for the past week and hasn't slowed. so maybe we'll see god sometime by 2009...

the chocolate raspberry porter has been bottled for around 16 days now and is getting pretty good. i realize now that it was a mistake to add the additional semi and bittersweet chocolate to the boil, and should have relied on the chocolate malts to bring in the chocolate flavor. this is definitely a correction necessary for the future. the raspberry flavor has rounded out and is lost a little in the beer - hopefully a few more weeks and the flavors may re-emerge

also, emma and i attended the stone brewery beer tasting at jungle jims last friday and were able to come away with 6 boxes of the bottles used at the event. since we've only got around 30 left on the shelf, this couldn't have come at a better time. now the capacity is back up, to around 150 beers worth, which works well considering the three brews that are currently in primary: as mentioned, the spicy orange witbier, god, and BLEEDING HOP BUCKET.


THAT'S RIGHT - WE NAMED A BEER, 'BLEEDING HOP BUCKET.'
As i've mentioned in the past, we've been looking for an IPA to knock us on our asses for some time. we want something that will make us bleed hops when we drink it. we've attempted before, with The Hop, and Batch 11, but neither of those will compete with what we've done over the weekend. Bleeding Hop Bucket (what i would like to call a TRIPLE, or rather - imperial...) IPA was brewed with not 5, not 10, not 15, not even 20, 25 or 30 ounces of hops. we used 33, that's right THIRTY THREE OUNCES of hops in one 5-gallon batch. on top of that, there are 7 ounces of fresh hop leaves on reserve waiting to be dry-hopped in secondary come a few weeks from now. this was one of the most intense brews ever attempted by davedave, and it was a valiant success. look for more updates on this brew in the future.


dave

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bottle Bottle Bottle

52 Walnut Irish Reds on the wall...!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Oh My

44 Chocolate Raspberry Porters on the wall

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Creating History One Dave At A Time

yesterday not only did i make history completely rocking guitar hero, but davedave brew saw its very first simultaneous double batch brew with the help of Mr. Josh Wiseman and of course, some good deep conversation. the two brews that made it to the double batch saturday were Man.2 and a Spicy Orange Witbier.

The Man re-make retained many elements of the original but with a few notable changes. there was no brewed coffee used in the boiling water. the bitterness of the coffee in the first batch was more than likely due to using this technique. next, we used a few more pounds (total) of coffee, black patent, caramel 120 and caramalt grains. hopefully this will give the beer a more rich and full element that Man.1 could have used. Another significant change is in switching from White Labs Irish Ale Yeast to WYeast 1084 Irish Ale Yeast. I've had some great results using the WYeast, so we'll see just how this all rounds out. The batch smelled amazing and should be a fantastic one when it's finished. Should be ready to drink around the 20th of Feb., along with the Chocolate Raspberry Porter, Batch 11, God, the Walnut Irish Red and of course, the Spicy Orange Witbier:

I won't lie I've never been a fan of the witbier. not at all. Bells Batch 8000 has somehow pulled me into the style and given me a new perspective on the style. So what the hell, we've never done a wheat beer, why not give it a shot. We added loads of honey, wheat malt, orange peel, coriander, grains of paradise and toasted oats to the batch, and topped it off with a WYeast Belgian Wit Yeast. Also added was a very very minimal amount of chocolate malt, which added a bit of color to the batch and should give a very nice chocolate note to the taste. we'll see how this batch goes and keep the updates going as things progress.

also: Batch 11 was sampled yet again. It's not there yet, but this brew is going to be unreal. absolutely fucking phenomenal. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Behind The Scenes

Yes, the posts have been few and far between as of late. but just because the updates aren't piling up doesn't mean that the davedave brewery isn't working full capacity. in fact, this evening we are planning on expanding to a five, possibly six fermenter operation, with the hopeful addition of another brew pot to expand our brewing capabilities to two at a time. this of course means more efficiency, which then translates into more and more brews for everyone to enjoy. this weekend we may see two, possibly 3-4 more brews, depending on if we can locate funds for our increased capacity. at least one brew session will take place, and that will be the man.2. obviously not a forerunner in the vote category, but it may be necessary if we plan on having a few ready by feb. 14, the extreme beer festival. after man would be the spicy witbier, which has been changed to an orange spice, with notes of clove, jasmine, vanilla, corriander and grains of paradise. should be an excellent batch in itself. after that, the ruling is still up in the air, but we'll keep you posted as to what's chosen next.

also, in celbration of lost's 9 month hiatus from the air, thursday will be the official birth date of batch 11, which should be just about ready for its actual initial tasting.

last night we added a bottle of port to the raspberry chocolate porter and are letting it mix in for a day or so, which means there will be a bottling session more that likely before sunday. when that happens, we'll put the pieces of god that we've viciously torn apart and recombine them in what can essentially be called its fourth fermentation period, which shouldn't last more than a few days before bottling takes place.

the walnut irish red is coming along very well, and should be ready to bottle within 10 days.

so in theory, by next weekend, we could have SIX new brews in the primary. yes, SIX brand spanking new davedaves for all to enjoy. dear god this is getting exciting. oh yes, davedave is on the climb.

we'll see you at the top

Sunday, January 20, 2008

another week, another brew

all brewed and carboyed is the DaveDave Walnut Irish Red Ale, which featured a brewing session by myself, william, and our own irish red, mr. patrick meier. this is one that will more than likely go down in the books of davedave as yet another batch of fantastic brew. we used a basic amber ale foundation, but added caramel and toasted malts, cinnamon, and our own baked vanilla soaked walnuts to the secondary. naturally we also used an irish ale yeast, wyeast 1084. as for the usual progression, 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks bottling, looks like we'll be enjoying our reds about a month shy of st. pattys, although the added month wait will help them age nicely and should bring these guys closer to full maturation. look for some to turn up at a small gathering around here in the near future.

in other news, we've bottled 53 Batch Elevens, which when sampled straight from the carboy, were absolutely fantastic. initial tastes were quite hoppy, but not as bleed-for-weeks blinding as we had hoped. fear not; a bit of patience and bottle conditioning (plus coldness and carbonation) will allow more of the bitter hop flavors to pull out. regardless, the brew will be pretty damn fabulous - they will be ready for drinking around valentines day.

and FINALLY, God will be ready to bottle in about a week. that's right. you'll all be able to try the infamous 22% beer that we've been talking about for the last 3 months. but while we were talking, god was in its secondary fermentation, aging with whiskey soaked oak chips, which have had quite an impact on the brew. yesterday, we pulled about a half gallon of god, added 3 lbs more dark malt and reboiled. essentially - if you were worried - we boiled off the alcohol in that half gallon but, considering 3 lbs per 1/2 gallon makes 30 lbs per 5 gal, which is more concentrated than when we initially brewed, we're actually upping the ABV in the long run. what we've done here is taken the reboil, carboyed it, and then added another unit of the super high gravity yeast, which will create a "starter" of yeast which we will then add to God, which should help ferment those fussy, remaining sugars that have evaded the grips of the previous, normal, "lazy man" yeast that we are now substituting with steroid HGH superhero yeast. the stater pitch will take place on or around wednesday, with bottling more than likely happening next monday or tuesday.


finally, we've fruited the beer. the Border Jumper beer, it has been found, goes perfect with a slice of lemon. lime would more than likely suffice as well, but initial taste tests have found that a lemon rimmed and squeezed BJ is just fantastic. adding some lemon flavors to the brew could be a good idea for a remake session.



so now we've realized two questions:

1) what name shall we give the Walnut Irish Red Ale?
2) what are some of your favorite combinations of beer + (something that goes into your beer: ie. lime, salt, lsd, etc.)?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Help Us Choose Our Next Brew

Hey guys - check out the poll to the right. We've got some really great ideas flowing for what seem to be some pretty fantastic brews, and we don't very much feel like deciding. So do us folks a solid and give us a vote on what type of beer you think would be the next best DaveDave. The entries include:

Tea Beer
Mint Wheat
Mojito Styled Lager
Man Re-Make
ESB
Walnut Irish Red
Lemon Spice
Belgian

Or, Other, and let us know in this comment section what you would love to drink next. If you choose more than one, go ahead and get in this post and comment on why and which would be your top choice as well. If not, we're going to have to kill you.


I'll probably keep to a once a week brewing schedule for now, so whichever has the most votes by Saturday will get the brew spot and then be taken off the poll. Then the next highest each week after that. Sweet.


dave

interesting?

http://www.ratebeer.com/

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DaveDave Chocolate Raspberry

The brew yesterday was a massive success. The session was led by Mr. Schamer and myself, and joined by Josh and Emma a bit later. After considering all of the brew styles suggested, we decided on - as stated in the post previous to this one - a chocolate raspberry porter. a fine selection indeed.

For the brew, we started off with 1 lb each chocolate, black patent and caramel 90 malts, as well as an extra 1/2 lb of caramel 120. once steeped and washed, we then added 6 lbs. extra dark dry malt, 3 lbs. honey, 2 lbs. brown sugar, 2 T vanilla, 2 packages bitter-sweet chocolate chips and 1 1/2 oz Mt. Hood leaf hops. we added 1 oz kent goldings at 15 minutes (60 minute total boil) and finally, added the cooled wort, 50 oz. frozen organic raspberries (just raspberries, no sugar or preservative additives) and Wyeast German Ale Yeast.

So far, just 24 hours later, the brew is working well and working fast. looks to be about a 14 day primary and about the same for bottling.



in other news, we purchased Goose Island Reserve Bouron County Stout and tried a few of those bad boys. wouldn't you know, chilled temperature of the beer and carbonation aside, it was as if we had created a carbon copy of their brew when we made DaveDave God. uncanny. as far as god goes, it looks like we're in the final stages. later this week, once batch 11 is bottled, god is getting a partial re-boil, being recarboyed for it's third fermentation stage and with another round of super high gravity yeast being pitched to the mix. it looks as though god and the chocolate raspberry brews will both be ready for bottling around the 26th-27th.

we'll keep you posted

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Votes Are In

and the Saturday Brew Winner is...

Chocolate Raspberry Porter.


We'll keep you posted

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lagers List

Here's links to every single "Top 10" Lager list on Beer Advocate worth looking at:

American All-Malt Lager
American Amber / Red Lager
American Double / Imperial Pilsner
California Common / Steam Beer
Light Lager

Czech Pilsner

Bock
Doppelbock
Dortmunder / Export Lager
German Pilsener
Marzen / Oktoberfest
Vienna Lager


Although not the end all be all when it comes to the best in each category, I'm sure the average beer drinker will find a number of brews from each list that they've tried and possibly enjoyed.

Part forgetfulness, part naivety, and I realized in my search - Oh, I hate to admit this - that Bock and Doppelbock styled beers are in fact, lagers. I want to say that somewhere in the back of my brain I knew this, but whatever.


As for this lists, there are a number of good brews that I'm sure even the most insatiable of palates (cough, dave) may become satisfied. for instance:

Great Lakes Eliot Ness
Great Lakes Oktoberfest
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
St. Victorious Doppelbock
Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner (a personal favorite of mine)

etc., I'm sure there are more.


I suppose that you, my friend, are more ill towards the thought of the American Light Lagers; those that have become the staple of the overweight majority. The question then persists:

Can we find a palatable American Light Lager or Pilsner? the search continues...

Lagers

Once again, my friends, my palatial comforts have been uprooted in an attempt towards broadening my tastes. (Excuse my verbosity, a lack of sleep and diet has rendered my mind in twain, each side wrestling and manipulating the other in a strggule for dominance. On one side we have absurdity and on the other perfectionism.( these loose scribblings are the brainchild of both.))

anyway -
I went to canada last summer and was surprised and slightly disappointed to find nothing but lagers on tap. i mean everywhere, lagers only. While i am slightly impartial to the type of beer i chug, lagers, for whatever reason, fall towards the bottom of my list. Perhaps i find them too weak in robustness or merely bitter in a negative way. whatever.
so today, i found a new type of beer! its a lager by the brewery HALF ACRE . they come out of chicago from an abandoned factory building. sounds pretty sweet, so i dropped the ten dollars required for a big city convenient store microbrew six pack and went back to work to try it out.

Its official: i dont like lagers. i dont like pilsners either. what is wrong with these north american beers? maybe i just havent found a lager or pilsner i reall like. or maybe i AM categorically opposed to these beer types. oh well.

im still going to drink the six pack, though my mouth feels like sandpaper after just one. maybe that is on account of not sleeping for three days...

love

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Food, Music + Beer

In my opinion, food, beer and music are all one in the same. Each consumable and particular to an individuals' tastes, it brings to mind one question:

What are your favorite combinations - in any order or amount - of food, beer and/or music?

Hop.2

Quick Update on Hop.2:

- 45 bottles (12 22 oz., 33 12 oz.)

Upon initial taste test, the Dave's found the overall hoppy characteristic to be quite powerful and overall incredibly palatable. Unfortunately, the bitter hop contributed in masking more than some of the malt essence, resulting in a brew that when finished, felt slightly watered down and very empty.

The secondary tests, 2 weeks later, were much more successful. The hop and malt are beginning to blend further and the mouth-puckering bitterness of the hops has not faded, but has become much smoother than before.

The results are incredibly close to the previous batch of DaveDave Hop, and will continue to age beautifully over the next weeks and months until it finally reaches its full potential.




Also, a congratulations is in order for The Hop, as it has become the first official inductee into what will eventually be known as the DaveDave Brew Lineup when the Brewery and Pub finally reach their respective Grand Openings.

Thoughts on Hops

From our most recent brew, DaveDave Batch Eleven, comes a few thoughts on hops used in the batch (all descriptions are solely based on each hops particular aromas):

Amarillo: Great "hoppy" characteristic. Would be great in IPAs, Barley Wines, any more bitter brews
Cascade: Fresh & light; slight lemony character with mild spiciness
Centennial: Light buttery spice, good for use in stouts, porters, more "rounded" ales
Mt. Hood: Mild sweetness, very light floral spiciness
Perle (9.5 AAU): Very very mild hop, especially for its higher Alpha Acid. Would be a good bittering hop without adding too much flavor to a brew
Fuggle: "Down the Middle" kind of hop; used in milder-IPA's, or more bitter lagers
Wiliamette: Incredibly floral characteristic; bold, but mellow in overall bitterness
Summit (16.5 AAU): Intense Spiciness. However, is surprisingly not too floral, nor bitter. Immediate thoughts were a perfect hop for the Spicy Melon Milk Stout.


Fill up the comment section if you've got some of your own "hop thoughts"

D

Here we are, there it is

Friends, comrades and citizens! After a series of unnecessary distractions and their subsequent bouts of negligence, i graciously return to the davedave blogspot. I must say the holiday season has brought with it an over abundance of nights spent drinking esoteric beer. From Dogfish Head's 120 mintue IPA to the Polish label ┼╗ywiec, my nights and thoughts have been adrift in a bubble of CO2, floating capriciously between hop flavored clouds and a whirlwind of feathers and mashed grains, relentless driven towards the next goblet/glass/bottle/can.

A list of beer:
(1)New Belgium's Mothership Wit (organic wheat beer)
(2)Red Stripe (crowd pleaser)
(3)Bell's Two Hearted Ale (a must try)

A list of reasons:
(1)Why is it that beer that claims to be "organic" always tastes so good? Stonemill to New Belgium. What parts of "normal" beer are not "organic"?'
(2)Its the best lager you can buy almost anywhere and it comes from Jamaica. Bing!
(3)A friend left a mini keg of this stuff in my fridge after new years. It is a great beer. I used to drink it out of bottles about a year ago and always liked it a lot. However, the mini kegged version - and this leads into the next section-->

Beer tastes differently when drawn from disparate vessels. Glass, cans, kegs, plastic or whatever, the container the beer is stored in between manufacture and consumption has a specific role in the development of the beers taste. At leasts it seems that way. For instance, PBR out of a can tastes much much better to me than PBR on tap. And I'm not really sure why. Perhaps it is the metallic walls upon which the pressure trapped beer sloshes during its travels that provides this distinct flavor, perhaps it is touching the lips of the tin can to my very own. My questions are this:

What causes the different materials to produce different tastes? Im interested in this on the molecular level, even.
Can we list our favorite ways to drink our favorite beers? Ok, ill start-

~dave

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Saturday Brew As Usual

As I predicted, a brew has just been scheduled for this coming Saturday. Mikey Schamer, Emma and I, also known as Club MED (GET IT?!?), will be putting together a batch - so far undecided - sometime in the afternoon. Starting at 12:30-1ish, we'll be heading to the party source for brewin beers, then listermann's, back to brew and then out for the evening.

open up the comment section for this weeks batch discussion and join in.



In other news, I neglected to mention that we are conjuring up a tea batch of beer for the springtime. Definitely keep you posted there. Later

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy (Belated) DaveDave Anniversay

As of December 31, 2007, DaveDave officially turned 1 year old. Boy what a fine year it's been. We've crafted over a dozen brews, expanded brewing capacity to four carboys, experimented with many different ingredients and methods, bottled over 600 beers, sold a few 6-packs, and oh so much more. Yes, maybe we drank a few more beers than we should have. But after this first year, the excitement surrounding the brewery is really taking off.

After a trip to the Hop Leaf and Map Room in Chicago, some limited edition brew sampling, and a brewery tour at the Three Floyd's Brewery, DaveDave has some huge plans for the future. We're talking unheard of huge. This year the lineup is bigger, bolder and more furious than ever.

Already planned for brew are:
- Spicy Melon Milk Stout
- Man.2
- MotherOfMaxin.2
- Mandarin-Berry Champagne Lager
- The One Gallon "Merry" Growler Howler Batch
- Almond Irish Red (w/Nitrous Kegging)

This is just the list of the top of my head. There will be many many more to come: some new, some re-makes, some tweaks, some experiments, some genius breakthroughs, some idiotic mistakes, blunderous batches and of course, the unprecedented DaveDave inaugural Belgian brew (for real this time).

Speaking of re-makes and tweaks, Batch 11 is brewed, carboyed and has been dry-hopped. 9 lbs. of malt, 2 lbs. honey, ELEVEN different kinds of hops totaling 12 oz. in the batch. According to our BeerTools software, the IBU (International Bittering Unit) of this batch pushes past 350 units. To give you a measure of reference, the typical IPA, double IPA or Imperial IPA will have anywhere from 75-150 IBU's depending on the style and taste desired. In our search of the land for the hoppiest beer to date, we have not found a single style that would cause our mouths to clamp shut or make our gums bleed hops. So instead of searching further, we decided to make our own. Mind you, the IBU rating is pre-dry hop. which means that this beer will be much, much hoppier than the 350 as noted. Be prepared. This batch will be more than likely bottled next Wednesday, the 16th.



So we've told you our upcoming batches, all looking to be brewed before the end of March. Now, in light of the New Year, I'd like to note some DaveDave Resolutions for 2008:

- Beer Entry into the Sam Adams Longshot Contest
- At least 1 beer kegged
- At least 1 beer mashed
- Upgraded Equipment, including a Butane burner, a larger boiling pot for larger volume boil, a cooling tube for more efficient boil to carboy transfer, Kegging equipment, and quite possibly equipment fit for mashing.
- At least Bi-Weekly posting from the crew on the DaveDave blog
- Brief outlining and planning for the DaveDave Brewery/Brew Pub


That should be about right. No brews are currently planned as of this moment, but I can nearly guarantee that there will be a brewing session this weekend. Give me a call if you would like to join. If certain funds come through, as they should, then this could possibly be the kegging weekend. We'll keep you posted.