Friday, July 18, 2014

Smoked Sour Brewday

Several years ago, I made a Smoked Saison that I always intended to revisit. While this is not quite the same thing, the dry body that accompanies beers using Brettanomyces as a primary fermenting yeast is intended to mirror the saison of old as a means to showcase the subtle smokiness provided by Breiss Cherrywood malt. Plus, I think the layered complexity and added mouthfeel provided by the smoked malt will be a nice match for the other flavors in the beer.

176. Smoked Sour
Mash:
6 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
4 lbs. White Wheat
1 lb. Weyermann Acidulated
1 lb. Breiss Cherrywood Smoked malt

Mash @ 155° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.082
Batch sparge @ 170° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. CaCl; collected 4 gallons @ 1.030

Collected 6 ½ gallons; added ¼ gallon and brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 2 oz. Willamette leaf 7.8% AA

w/10 to go: 3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

Chilled and racked onto yeast cake from 175. Barrel Beer Dark Saison

Brewed: 7/18/2014 @ 76° F; rose and crested at 82° F over first 24 hours of fermentation
Barrel:
Bottled:

OG: 1.060
FG:

Tasting Notes:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 3: Go Exploring

Since we were in Athens for Ohio Brew Week, we decided to take advantage of our options to fulfill the Go Exploring segment of the Dayton Brewvet. Is this cheating? Quite possibly. But since I am organizing it, isn’t that my prerogative? To pull out some classic Parenting 101, do what I say, not what I do. After all, if it works for parents, it should equally apply to bikes, beer, and brewvets. Stone cold logic.

Our destination was the West End Ciderhouse, which was right down the road from where we were staying. Yes, this ride was even shorter than the last one: two-tenths of a mile roundtrip. Barely a bike ride at all. But since we did have an earlier 58 mile Quilt Barn Cycling ride (we rode the Granny Gear ride, but made a couple tactical changes to avoid main roads), I figured it was acceptable to make this ride nice and short. While our location was quite close, I still made Elli ride her bike, for which there was much grumbling. Walking may be convenient, but there ain’t no walking in brewvet.

West End Ciderhouse had several of their own creations on tap, as well as several offering of both beer and cider for Ohio Brew Week. We ordered a sampler round of the in-house ciders and meads; cider, after all, is the new beer. Our sampling included:

Kelly’s House, which was a dry cider with just a hint of apple. It had an almost brut-like quality (ala champagne) from the dryness and the carbonation, with hints of tannic skin character and soft acidity to balance out the flavors. It was my favorite of the evening.
Them Apples, a semi-sweet cider that featured crisp, sweet apple flavors. It could have used a touch more carbonation to brighten it on the palate, as it was significantly less carbonated than the other three. Still, however, a delicious choice. This was Elli’s favorite, and I can see why.
Creekside Raspberry Mead, a sparkling small mead with raspberries. The balance between honey and raspberry was nice, while the carbonation brightened the mead on the tongue. It was still sweet, even with the carbonation
Zingiber, which was (I believe) a cider with ginger, lemon, and honey added. The ginger flavor was excellent; coupled with the dry body and carbonation, it was bright and delicious, with just a touch of alcohol and ginger candy spiciness to finish.

We also tried Griffin Cider Works Jolly Friar and Lemon Blues (from Cleveland), as well as Brothers Drake Hopped Mead (from Columbus).

I’ve always had a soft-spot for ciders—of the drier French and Spanish variety more than commercial American-made candy bombs—and West End Ciderhouse is certainly following the current craft cider revolution in regards to making ciders like their Old World predecessors. I do, however, wish they were closer to Dayton.

More on the Dayton Brewvet can be found here.

(7/14/2014)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ohio Brew Week Beer Judging 2014

Another year, another trip to Athens to loiter at Jackie O’s. Yes, I love Ohio Brew Week, but we always end up back at Jackie O’s for both the ambiance and the draft beer line-up. After all, if it ain’t broke...

The drive down Friday was good but not noteworthy. Checking into the hotel was another matter: Jody Grenert must hate Dayton judges, because over the last three years our hotel has gotten increasingly sketchy. This year, the Days Inn on Columbus. Next year, an abandoned hobo camp occupied by vultures. The following year—who knows? Maybe a bed in a tick farm blood donor room.

After checking in at Sketch-Town, we caught a cab to Jackie O’s, driven by a terrible human being who described his Prius cab as a “vagina with four wheels” and who doesn’t drink beer because he is “really athletic” and doesn’t like to get dehydrated. To be fair, he had two (and yes, two, not one) open cans of Red Bull in the console next to him, so he must secretly be really awesome. For verbally offending us the entire ride, he did give us a “free passenger” coupon for our next ride. He even confided that he didn’t normally give them out. It made the entire ride that much more special.

The rest of the evening could only be uphill. And, thankfully, it was. Jackie O’s to the rescue! We did make one foray to the Cat’s Eye, but beat a hasty retreat to Jackie O’s to recover our newly found mojo. During the cab ride home, our new cabdriver confirmed that our initial cabdriver was as loathing-worthy as we initially suspected.

Beer judging on Saturday was smooth but busy: I got a morning full of Belgian and French, and an afternoon of Sour and Wood-Aged beer. Sure, the last two aren’t a perfect fit, but sometimes that happens. After we were finished, there was a brief round of Worst in Show before our triumphant return to Jackie O’s. We ducked out for some food and to try a few beers around town, but we ended up back where it all started not too much later. The Talking Heads cover band later was awesome, bringing with it the Vander-dancing of yesteryear. Ah, nostalgia!

And finally, no beer event is complete without hugs from Jason Brewer. What sweet nothings passed between us during our fond embrace? Shhhhhh! I’ll never tell.

(7/12/2014)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 2: Local Bar

Unlike our last ride, this one was sweet and simple: we rode down the street to Lucky’s for a beer. Not every ride has to be a major event. After all, this one certainly wasn’t—it clocked in at nine-tenths of a mile roundtrip, offering us a quick tour of the neighborhood. The golden retriever puppy on the corner (technically, no longer a puppy), however, was not out for pets—we checked. And just to be clear, we actually followed the roads and didn’t ride through yards and houses as the Strava map indicates. Although that might be a fun ride as well. But on second thought, no—too many fences.

I had a New Holland Oak Aged Hatter IPA. It was probably more oak aged than IPA, but that was fine with me. You know you are in trouble when you use the word “balanced” with an IPA, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing—the oak and hop bitterness played well together, making for a creamy, rounded, chewy body and mouthfeel, and the oak helped clean and brighten the finish, along with the hop bitterness. It went down smooth.

Afterwards, a slow ride home, and then dinner: a stir fry made from vegetables out of our own garden. Here’s to more lazy, slow-paced summer evenings.

(7/10/2014)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Rockit Cup October 2014: India Pilsen Ale

Something new for all of you out there in Rockit Cup land: I am going to solicit Rockit Cup recipes from people that will continue to push our collective brewing knowledge. Up first is Jeffrey McElfresh, lead brewer at Yellow Springs Brewery. His recipe is an IPA with pilsner for the base malt, giving the beer a lighter, cleaner body with an added emphasis on hop flavor and aroma. If you have questions regarding the water treatment, feel free to ask! And for those of you scoring at home, because of my lazy, gadabout ways, there will be no Rockit Cup in August. I do humbly apologize for that egregious lack of planning. If you’re really desperate for brewing entertainment, you can always just brew this beer twice, or select one of our many fine previous Rockit Cup recipes!

Rockit Cup October 2014: India Pilsen Ale
OG: 1.059
FG: 1.009
IBU: 60-65
SRM: 3-4
ABV: approx. 6.3%

90% Pilsen malt
10% Wheat malt

Mash at 150˚ F for 60 minutes with at least 1.5 quarts of water per pound; pH is critical and should be as close to 5.3 as possible, so acidify mash and sparge water with phosphoric acid, and use 10 g. of gypsum in the mash and 5 g. in the sparge water.

50 IBU Magnum @ 60
10 IBU Amarillo @ 15
2 oz. Amarillo @ 0
1 oz. Centennial @ 0
1 oz. Mosaic @ 0

WLP001
Ferment at 70˚ F

Carbonate to 2.5 volumes

And while you’re all at it, go ride your bikes, dammit!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Barrel Beer Dark Saison Brewday

It is about time to swap out the current barrel beer for another; this one is a dark saison that I will most likely get aged on fruit. While my version is fermented with the same CTL slurry that has been used in previous barrel beers, Jake is using a saison yeast (I believe he finally settled on Lallemand after the Belgian Ardennes failed to take off) in his 5 gallon batch. The thought behind the yeast combination is that the saison yeast will contribute to the mouthfeel via glycerol production; this is also the intention behind  the spelt and the flaked oats in the mash, as, after all, the Brettanomyces should produce a beer with a very low final gravity, and it will need some body to bring this all together. As per usual, we’ll keep you posted!

175. Barrel Beer Dark Saison
Mash:
5 lbs. MFB Vienna
3 lbs. Best Malz Spelt
1 lb. Weyermann Dark Munich
1 lb. flaked oats
1 lb. D180 candi syrup
½ lb. Special B
½ lb. Weyermann Acidulated

Mash @ 150° F for 70 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 2 ½ gallons @ 1.060
Batch sparge @ 170° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 4 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.020

Collected 6 ½ gallons; added ½ gallon and brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ¼ oz. Willamette leaf 7.8% AA
¾ oz. Millenium leaf 16.6% AA

w/10 to go: 1 lb. D180 candi syrup
3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

Chilled and pitched 2 mason jars of Brettanomyces custersianus, Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois, and Lactobacillus slurry from 173. Barrel Beer

Brewed: 7/1/2014 74° F
Barrel:
Bottled:

OG: 1.048
FG:

Tasting Notes:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 1: Can Beer

Thus begins our Dayton Brewvet. For this ride, we rolled out to Jefferson County, Indiana to join Swallow Bicycle Works Adventure Ride, which covered 50 plus miles of gravel and paved roads. So there was lots of dusty fun to be had. Emphasis on the dusty.

We were on the road by 6:30 am to make it down to Indiana for the 9:00 am start. Nothing says dedication like intentionally getting up at 5:30 am on a Sunday. At least to this guy. Maybe you’re different. I doubt it, but I’m at least willing to pretend.

Anyway, once we met up with everyone at Camp Meeting Ground and got ready to go, we rolled out. Riding on gravel roads is fun, although it can be a bit dicey at times. The weird aspect of several of today’s roads were that they had not yet been packed down: you could see the imprint left in the gravel and dirt by the bike tires, which is not something you normally experience. This also meant that much of the gravel was extra-loose. Still, that’s the nature of the game.

The overall route was 52.5 miles; Strava said I did 53.2 miles. I’ll attribute the extra seven-tenths of a mile to the swerving back and forth across the road I did during a couple of the steeper climbs, and not to the fact that my phone sucks. You know, for a change of pace. Most of the 2800 feet of climbing was gradual, but there were two steep climbs that did include some suffering, although it was mostly of the kind that, as my father would describe it, builds character. Not that I was contemplating my father’s words of wisdom at the time: I was too busy sweating and grinding.

There was one actual creek crossing on the ride—you know, through the rocks and water—along with several creek crossings across cement levees. We saw a fair amount of wildlife, including two turtles (which were rescued from the road by one gallant rider), a toad, a deer running through the soybean field, and a turkey. Plus many, many dogs, some more barky than others. And a turkey. Undoubtedly there was more that I missed. We did not, however, get to meet Holly, one of the advertised highlights of the ride, but that was the one minor disappointment in a day full of fun.

Once we got back to the Camp Meeting Ground—and it was an actual old-school outdoors camp meeting ground with religious paraphernalia and the likes—everyone dug into snacks and beer. Elli and I partook in Founders All Day IPA. Light, bright, and easy-drinking. After a little under four hours of riding, it really hit the spot. After our long day of adventuring, we still made it back home to Dayton with enough time to longue and watch pre-recorded World Cup action. Thanks to Tom and Sarah at Swallow Bicycle Works for planning such awesome bicycling fun!

Oh, and just so everyone knows, I was the jackass who got the flat.

(6/29/2014)