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
Walnut Irish Red
Lemon Spice

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.



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

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...


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...


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?


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"


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-


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.