Saturday, October 25, 2014

Barrel Cider Brewday

It has been a couple of years since I brewed a cider, so I figured that it was time for another run at it. And since there is now a barrel at my house, I figured that I should combine the two projects to try and replicate some of the drier and funkier French and Spanish ciders that I enjoy. I am using the Lactobacillus, bruxellensis Trois, and custersianus blend that has been my house yeast standard for the last year and a half; once the beer comes out of the barrel, Ill bottle half and bulk-age the other half with a half pound of maltodextrin to see if that contributes any additional complexity via the Brettanomyces. I scored my cider at Peifer Orchards in Yellow Springs. 

185. Barrel Cider
11 gallons Peifer Farms cider

Split in two carboys; pitched LTC blend from mason jars

Carboy: 10/25/2014
Barrel: 11/15/2014 @ .998; bottled remaining half gallon 
Bottled:

OG: 1.058
FG:

Tasting Notes: 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rockit Cup India Pilsen Ale Brewday

One last hurrah for the Rockit Cup. But that last hurrah is a tasty one. Again, this recipe was provided by Jeffrey McElfresh, brewer extraordinaire at Yellow Spring Brewery and Rockit Cup co-founder. He also came over to hang out on brew day. How awesome is that? Long live the Rockit Cup!

184. Rockit Cup India Pilsen Ale
Mash:
10 lbs. Rahr Premium Pils
1 ½ lbs. Breiss White Wheat

Mash @ 150° F for 60 minutes w/ 4 ½ gallons RO water & 10 g. gypsum; collected 3 gallons
Batch sparge @ 168° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.028

Topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (60 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 2 oz. U.S. Magnum 13.5% AA 

w/15 to go: 2 oz. Amarillo leaf + 3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/0 to go: 2 oz. Amarillo leaf
1 oz. Centennial leaf
1 oz. Mosaic pellet

Let stand for 20 minutes; chilled, racked to carboy, & pitched WLP001

Brewed: 9/24/2014
Secondary: 10/7/2014 @ 1.008; pulled one gallon and bottled w/ .6 oz. table sugar; dry-hopped rest of beer on 11/4/2014 with 4 oz. Amarillo leaf
Bottled: 11/20/2014 w/ 2 oz. table sugar (yes, the beer sat on the hops too long)

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.008

Tasting Notes: I was the winner. I was also the only brewer, although Chris Baumann asserted he made one, but was unable to come to the meeting. So I win. Again. The initial gallon was good; light body with excellent hop flavor and aroma to balance the bitterness. All of the intended pieces of this—the light body via the pilsen malt and the big hop presence—came together wonderfully. That said, the four gallons that got dry-hopped with 4 oz. of Amarillo was even better, even with leaving the beer too long on the hops (yes, there was a fair amount of grassiness, but it went well with the beer). Certainly worth revisiting: light, bright, and drinkable. Hooray Rockit Cup!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bike Path Fresh Hop Brewday

Time again for my annual bike path fresh hop beer. There were a lot of hops on the bike path this yearsome of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen. That wet crappy summer gave way to a whole bunch of late heat, and those hops went to town. I picked all the hops for this beer within 400 yards of each other along the bike path. And I wasn’t picky either. I picked enough to cram my brew kettle full: almost four pounds of fresh hops total, and two pounds in the final twenty minutes. Damn. Big learning.

183. Bike Path Fresh Hop

Mash:
8 lbs. Rahr Premium Pils
3 lbs. Breiss White Wheat

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 6 g. gypsum + 3 g. CaCl; collected 2 ¾ gallons @ 1.078; FWH with 1 lb. of bike path fresh hops
Batch sparge @ 170° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 gallons @ 1.028

Topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
FWH: 1 lb. bike path fresh hops

w/60 to go: 12 oz. bike path fresh hops 

w/20 to go: 8 oz. bike path fresh hops + 7 g. gypsum

w/10 to go: 8 oz. bike path fresh hops + 3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/5 to go: 8 oz. bike path fresh hops

w/0 to go: 8 oz. bike path fresh hops

Let stand for 20 minutes; chilled & pitched packet of US-05

Brewed: 9/11/2014
Secondary: 9/22/2014 @ 1.004
Bottled: 10/7/2014 w/ 2.5 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.008

Tasting Notes: For the sake of science, I’ve combined my fresh hop tasting notes for the year. As the photos attest, I did try them all at the same time. The second picture is from the 2nd Annual Fresh Hop King of Ohio competition with Brent Osborne, where my beers came in 1st (183), 2nd (178), and 3rd (182). Yes, there were only seven beers, and four of them were mine. But I’m still the Fresh Hop King of Ohio for 2014, dammit. I would add (as I note below) that 178 is probably the best beer, but 183 is the best fresh hop beer.

178. Smith Hop: made with Cascades from my neighbors; last year, it was by far the best fresh hop beer I made, and it won me the Fresh Hop King of Ohio title. This year it is the best beer in terms of quality, but I am giving the nod to the Bike Path 
Fresh Hop as the best of this year’s fresh hop beers. Smith Hop is the lightest of the four in color, and the most effervescent; it pours a hazy straw with a rocky head, and has lemon zest, lemon, and grapefruit in the nose, along with hints of pepper and orange. Flavors open with lemon and lemon zest, moving into a mineral and pepper bite in the middle, and finish with grapefruit and a slight citrus pith. The malt flavors in the beer are mainly playing a supporting role, while the bitterness is medium and clean. I expected more grassiness from dry hopping this with 4.6 oz. of fresh hops for two weeks (I left a bunch on the vine, and then picked them fresh for dry hopping); as it warms, a slight phenol gaminess comes out, but it balances well with the citrus flavors. Those Smith Hops rock!

180. Brewer’s Gold Fresh Hop: I’ll start with this: I don’t like this beer. It has some off-putting flavors, starting with the phenol band-aid of stressed/unhealthy yeast (as opposed to infection) and ending with the blandness and wood-like flavors from the hops. Others did not have as strong of a negative reaction to this beer as me, but I’m going to chalk that up to them being nice. While the beer did sit too long on the yeast, I’m still not sure how it ended up here. I got these hops from Brent Osborn at Osborn Brewing; I’m not blaming him, however, as the Brewer’s Gold fresh hops I got from him last year were phenomenal. BGFH pours a hazy gold with a thin white head that leaves some lacing; at one point, there were hints of orange marmalade in the nose and body, but currently the nose is merely “hoppy.” Flavors include a light bitterness and scratchy green grass character, but not much else worth noting. Mouthfeel and body match, but off-flavors mar this beer. Haters gonna hate. 

182. Sour Fresh Hop: made with Nuggets from Heartland Hops. This beer is straw colored and crystal clear, with a thin white head that disappears quickly. The nose is herbal and earthy, followed by sour orange and candy pilsen; going into the carboy, there was a much more intense herbal hop aroma that I wish was still here. Flavors open with candy and a slight grain-y Cheerios flavor coupled with wood and herb; the middle features a spicy hop bite—albeit low—and more wood. The herbal flavors come out in the final third, lingering with a dry cracker malt flavor and a hint of sweetness. All in all, this beer is a hot mess—it is neither fresh hop nor sour, while showcasing components of both. While I do like it—it has some intangibles that make it eminently enjoyable—it is simultaneously a pedestrian beer that borders on insulting: I would be pissed off if this was served to me at a bar, but I am glad I made it. That clarify things enough for you?

183.Bike Path Fresh Hop: I’ve been lurking and picking hops off Dayton’s bike paths long enough to note that this year was an exceptionally good year. The hops for this particular beer came from a section of the bike path that I had not utilized before; these hops had none of the ephemeral pear and apple aromas found in previous years, but they did provide more actual bitterness to the beer. BPFH poured a hazy straw with a white head that had more retention and lacing than 180 and 182. The nose was all grimy green chlorophyll and game-y grass, and flavors followed. Unlike some previous iterations of bike path beers, the wild fresh hop character came through. Malt flavors played a back fiddle to the grassiness in the front; the middle was grassy and scratchy, while the finish featured a grimy medium bitterness that was not clean but was enjoyable. The medium to low body and medium carbonation suited the beer; as a whole, this beer was easy drinking. And this beer in particular taught me a lot about how to think about and implement a good fresh hop beer.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sour Fresh Hop Brewday

This beer was a last minute surprise; I found out from Jeffrey that Heartland Hops was holding a u-pick at YSB with their Nugget hops today, so I scrambled to make this beer happen. I will say that with the glory of hindsight, I should have used a different yeast, but the LTC blend was the best available in the brewing rotation. These hops were by far the best fresh hops I have ever gotten my hands on—the wort was actually bitter tasting prior transferring it onto the yeast, and not just a little. I hope I can score a couple more pounds again next year, and use a neutral yeast like US-05 or 1272 to let these hops shine. Don’t get me wrong—this was a fantastic beer, but the Brett started eating into the hop flavor and bitterness even before I got it bottled: the hop flavor and aroma when this went into the secondary was light years ahead of any other fresh hop beer I’ve ever made, and was still excellent when bottled. But via the Brett, it began to quickly fade. Another lesson on the fresh hop learning curve.

182. Sour Fresh Hop
Mash:
7 ¼ lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. Breiss White Wheat
1 lb. MFB Pale

Mash @ 152° F for 90 minutes w/ 3 ½ gallons RO water & 6 g. gypsum + 3 g. CaCl; collected 2 gallons @ 1.072
Batch sparge @ 166° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 ¼ gallons @ 1.026

Topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 6 oz. Nugget 

w/20 to go: 6 oz. Nugget + 7 g. gypsum

w/10 to go: 6 oz. Nugget + 3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/5 to go: 7 ¼ oz. Nugget 

w/0 to go: 8 ¼ oz. Nugget 

Let stand for 20 minutes; chilled & racked onto yeast cake from 176. Smoked Sour (custersianus, Trois, and Lactobacillus)

Brewed: 9/7/2014
Secondary: 9/23/2014 @ 1.004
Bottled: 11/4/2014 w/ 2.8 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.046
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes: For the sake of science, I’ve combined my fresh hop tasting notes for the year. As the photos attest, I did try them all at the same time. The second picture is from the 2nd Annual Fresh Hop King of Ohio competition with Brent Osborne, where my beers came in 1st (183), 2nd (178), and 3rd (182). Yes, there were only seven beers, and four of them were mine. But I’m still the Fresh Hop King of Ohio for 2014, dammit. I would add (as I note below) that 178 is probably the best beer, but 183 is the best fresh hop beer.

178. Smith Hop: made with Cascades from my neighbors; last year, it was by far the best fresh hop beer I made, and it won me the Fresh Hop King of Ohio title. This year it is the best beer in terms of quality, but I am giving the nod to the Bike Path 
Fresh Hop as the best of this year’s fresh hop beers. Smith Hop is the lightest of the four in color, and the most effervescent; it pours a hazy straw with a rocky head, and has lemon zest, lemon, and grapefruit in the nose, along with hints of pepper and orange. Flavors open with lemon and lemon zest, moving into a mineral and pepper bite in the middle, and finish with grapefruit and a slight citrus pith. The malt flavors in the beer are mainly playing a supporting role, while the bitterness is medium and clean. I expected more grassiness from dry hopping this with 4.6 oz. of fresh hops for two weeks (I left a bunch on the vine, and then picked them fresh for dry hopping); as it warms, a slight phenol gaminess comes out, but it balances well with the citrus flavors. Those Smith Hops rock!

180. Brewer’s Gold Fresh Hop: I’ll start with this: I don’t like this beer. It has some off-putting flavors, starting with the phenol band-aid of stressed/unhealthy yeast (as opposed to infection) and ending with the blandness and wood-like flavors from the hops. Others did not have as strong of a negative reaction to this beer as me, but I’m going to chalk that up to them being nice. While the beer did sit too long on the yeast, I’m still not sure how it ended up here. I got these hops from Brent Osborn at Osborn Brewing; I’m not blaming him, however, as the Brewer’s Gold fresh hops I got from him last year were phenomenal. BGFH pours a hazy gold with a thin white head that leaves some lacing; at one point, there were hints of orange marmalade in the nose and body, but currently the nose is merely “hoppy.” Flavors include a light bitterness and scratchy green grass character, but not much else worth noting. Mouthfeel and body match, but off-flavors mar this beer. Haters gonna hate. 

182. Sour Fresh Hop: made with Nuggets from Heartland Hops. This beer is straw colored and crystal clear, with a thin white head that disappears quickly. The nose is herbal and earthy, followed by sour orange and candy pilsen; going into the carboy, there was a much more intense herbal hop aroma that I wish was still here. Flavors open with candy and a slight grain-y Cheerios flavor coupled with wood and herb; the middle features a spicy hop bite—albeit low—and more wood. The herbal flavors come out in the final third, lingering with a dry cracker malt flavor and a hint of sweetness. All in all, this beer is a hot mess—it is neither fresh hop nor sour, while showcasing components of both. While I do like it—it has some intangibles that make it eminently enjoyable—it is simultaneously a pedestrian beer that borders on insulting: I would be pissed off if this was served to me at a bar, but I am glad I made it. That clarify things enough for you?

183.Bike Path Fresh Hop: I’ve been lurking and picking hops off Dayton’s bike paths long enough to note that this year was an exceptionally good year. The hops for this particular beer came from a section of the bike path that I had not utilized before; these hops had none of the ephemeral pear and apple aromas found in previous years, but they did provide more actual bitterness to the beer. BPFH poured a hazy straw with a white head that had more retention and lacing than 180 and 182. The nose was all grimy green chlorophyll and game-y grass, and flavors followed. Unlike some previous iterations of bike path beers, the wild fresh hop character came through. Malt flavors played a back fiddle to the grassiness in the front; the middle was grassy and scratchy, while the finish featured a grimy medium bitterness that was not clean but was enjoyable. The medium to low body and medium carbonation suited the beer; as a whole, this beer was easy drinking. And this beer in particular taught me a lot about how to think about and implement a good fresh hop beer.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Saison/Gueuze Brewday

Today’s brewing was intended to put some of the yeast that is laying around to work; the saison was to grow up the yeast to use in subsequent experiments, and the ECY was to continue building up the gueuze varieties available for blending. Plus, when I roll this beer off the yeast in about a year, it will be ready for a five gallon batch. For those of you wondering how the picture relates: it doesn’t. But it is still awesome. 

181. Saison/Gueuze
Mash:
8 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. Breiss White Wheat
½ lb. rolled oats

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 3 ½ gallons RO water & 5 g. gypsum + 3 g. CaCl; collected 2 gallons @ 1.076
Batch sparge @ 165° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water; collected 4 ¼ gallons @ 1.028

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes) & added:
w/60 to go: 1 ¼ oz. Comet leaf 10.9% AA

w/15 to go: 8 oz. table sugar

w/10 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding pellet 2% AA
3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding pellet 2% AA

Chilled, split into two 3 gallon carboys & pitched

181a. White Labs 585 Belgian Saison III
Brewed: 9/5/2014
Secondary: 11/26/2014 @ 1.002; topped off w/186a. & .65 oz. dried lemongrass
Bottled: 1/6/2015 w/ 1.75 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.002

181b. ECY01 Bug Farm
Brewed: 9/5/2014
Secondary: 1/14/2016 @ .98; topped off w/ 203. One Last Lambic Hurrah
Bottled: 

OG: 1.054
FG:

Tasting Notes (5/1/2014): Lemongrass Saison pours a hazy but bright straw yellow; there is a white rocky head that has decent retention and leaves some lacing behind on the glass. In the nose, there is clove along with lower levels of pepper, lemongrass, slight amounts of bubblegum and some lingering banana cream pie; then first two months this was in the bottle, the banana cream pie was the dominant aroma, but it has mellowed out at this point. There are also hints of wheat malt underneath everything else, but not much else in the way of grain aromatics. The Pils and wheat do come through in the flavor—as does the oatmeal—there is a soft, doughy malt character that balances well with the bright carbonation, and some creaminess that seems to be a mix of yeast/glycerol and oatmeal. The lemongrass comes through clearest in the final third of the beer; the front is pepper/clove and banana along with the soft malt that runs into the middle; the carbonation bite in the final third cleans the palate and leaves lemongrass and citronella lingering pleasantly. This is a much better beer than it was three months ago; the flavors are better balanced, and the profile as a whole is cleaner with more nuance. This means I need to definitely push the botanical action with my run of summer saisons!  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dayton Brewvet: My Submission

And, as they say, the reporting. This is my tabulation for the Dayton Brewvet: 8 rides and 99.2 miles, all told. I had a lot of fun doing thisbeer and bikes makes for a delightful combination. Im looking forward to John Roches version next year, when I will actually be paying attention to biking in May. Until then, enjoy! 

Dayton Brewvet Ride 1: Can Beer
Dayton Brewvet Ride 2: Local Bar
Dayton Brewvet Ride 3: Go Exploring
Dayton Brewvet Ride 4: Co-op Brew
Dayton Brewvet Ride 5: Local Brew
Dayton Brewvet Ride 6: Beer at Home
Dayton Brewvet Ride 7: Bike Path Brew
Dayton Brewvet Ride 8: Outdoor Beer

Update: Including myself, there were only four people that completed the Dayton Brewvet: Elli (not surprising) as well as Jake and Sarah. Looks like I might need to get to work on that certificate. Maybe I can just buy them all off with beer.

(8/15/2014)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fresh Hop w/ Brewer’s Gold Brewday

More in the way of my favorite seasonal beer style. I just can’t stop. And honestly, why would I even try? Exactly. Fresh hop ’til I die, yo. I mean, will you look at those beauties?

180. Fresh Hop w/ Brewer’s Gold
Mash
8 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. MFB Vienna

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 3 ½ g. RO water & 10 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ g. @ 1.072
Batch-sparge @ 171° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 g. RO water $ 10 g. gypsum; collected 4 g. @ 1.026

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 6 oz. Brewer’s Gold

w/20 to go: 6 oz. Brewer’s Gold

w/10 to go: 6 oz. Brewer’s Gold
3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/5 to go: 7 oz. Brewer’s Gold

w/0 to go: 7 oz. Brewer’s Gold

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled and racked onto US 05 cake from 178. Fresh Hop w/ Cascade

Brewed: 8/10/2014 @ 78° F
Bottled: 9/23/2014 w/ 2.5 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.054
FG: 1.008

Tasting Notes: For the sake of science, I’ve combined my fresh hop tasting notes for the year. As the photos attest, I did try them all at the same time. The second picture is from the 2nd Annual Fresh Hop King of Ohio competition with Brent Osborne, where my beers came in 1st (183), 2nd (178), and 3rd (182). Yes, there were only seven beers, and four of them were mine. But I’m still the Fresh Hop King of Ohio for 2014, dammit. I would add (as I note below) that 178 is probably the best beer, but 183 is the best fresh hop beer.

178. Smith Hop: made with Cascades from my neighbors; last year, it was by far the best fresh hop beer I made, and it won me the Fresh Hop King of Ohio title. This year it is the best beer in terms of quality, but I am giving the nod to the Bike Path 
Fresh Hop as the best of this year’s fresh hop beers. Smith Hop is the lightest of the four in color, and the most effervescent; it pours a hazy straw with a rocky head, and has lemon zest, lemon, and grapefruit in the nose, along with hints of pepper and orange. Flavors open with lemon and lemon zest, moving into a mineral and pepper bite in the middle, and finish with grapefruit and a slight citrus pith. The malt flavors in the beer are mainly playing a supporting role, while the bitterness is medium and clean. I expected more grassiness from dry hopping this with 4.6 oz. of fresh hops for two weeks (I left a bunch on the vine, and then picked them fresh for dry hopping); as it warms, a slight phenol gaminess comes out, but it balances well with the citrus flavors. Those Smith Hops rock!

180. Brewer’s Gold Fresh Hop: I’ll start with this: I don’t like this beer. It has some off-putting flavors, starting with the phenol band-aid of stressed/unhealthy yeast (as opposed to infection) and ending with the blandness and wood-like flavors from the hops. Others did not have as strong of a negative reaction to this beer as me, but I’m going to chalk that up to them being nice. While the beer did sit too long on the yeast, I’m still not sure how it ended up here. I got these hops from Brent Osborn at Osborn Brewing; I’m not blaming him, however, as the Brewer’s Gold fresh hops I got from him last year were phenomenal. BGFH pours a hazy gold with a thin white head that leaves some lacing; at one point, there were hints of orange marmalade in the nose and body, but currently the nose is merely “hoppy.” Flavors include a light bitterness and scratchy green grass character, but not much else worth noting. Mouthfeel and body match, but off-flavors mar this beer. Haters gonna hate. 

182. Sour Fresh Hop: made with Nuggets from Heartland Hops. This beer is straw colored and crystal clear, with a thin white head that disappears quickly. The nose is herbal and earthy, followed by sour orange and candy pilsen; going into the carboy, there was a much more intense herbal hop aroma that I wish was still here. Flavors open with candy and a slight grain-y Cheerios flavor coupled with wood and herb; the middle features a spicy hop bite—albeit low—and more wood. The herbal flavors come out in the final third, lingering with a dry cracker malt flavor and a hint of sweetness. All in all, this beer is a hot mess—it is neither fresh hop nor sour, while showcasing components of both. While I do like it—it has some intangibles that make it eminently enjoyable—it is simultaneously a pedestrian beer that borders on insulting: I would be pissed off if this was served to me at a bar, but I am glad I made it. That clarify things enough for you?

183.Bike Path Fresh Hop: I’ve been lurking and picking hops off Dayton’s bike paths long enough to note that this year was an exceptionally good year. The hops for this particular beer came from a section of the bike path that I had not utilized before; these hops had none of the ephemeral pear and apple aromas found in previous years, but they did provide more actual bitterness to the beer. BPFH poured a hazy straw with a white head that had more retention and lacing than 180 and 182. The nose was all grimy green chlorophyll and game-y grass, and flavors followed. Unlike some previous iterations of bike path beers, the wild fresh hop character came through. Malt flavors played a back fiddle to the grassiness in the front; the middle was grassy and scratchy, while the finish featured a grimy medium bitterness that was not clean but was enjoyable. The medium to low body and medium carbonation suited the beer; as a whole, this beer was easy drinking. And this beer in particular taught me a lot about how to think about and implement a good fresh hop beer.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 8: Outdoor Beer

Sadly, it is time for the last of our Dayton Brewvet rides of the year, although that does mean that we have actually completed the brewvet! This ride was to the Yellow Cab Food Truck Rally, where they are also serving beer. We did end up getting there later than planned, so all of the Yellow Springs and Warped Wing beer was gone, but there was still Redhook Long Hammer IPA a-plenty to drink, which we did while wandering among all of the food truck offerings to be had. Which were plenty, mind you.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Redhook, mostly because I used to go to the Trollyman Pub back in the day when Redhook Brewery was located in Fremont, just past Queen Anne and right on the way to Ballard, back before the giant craft beer explosion and Redhook’s deal with the devil (i.e. A-B) for distribution. Back then, they’d fill our bike water bottles with beer on the way out the door for the ride home. Yes, my love affair with beer and bikes goes back to the early ’90s. And I will confess, that certainly makes me feel old. Thus, I think it a fitting conclusion to this year’s Dayton Brewvet that we close it out with one of the under-appreciated and oft-scorned founders of the craft beer movement. And before all you Boston Beer nay-sayers get started whining about Redhook, just remember that Jim Koch was himself a contract brewer until the mid-90s. So suck it.

Today’s ride was another short but sweet outing to wrap things up; all told, we covered 1.2 miles from start to finish. While today is the last day for completing Dayton Brewvet rides, you all have until August 22 to submit your control card and information. See here for more details! Remember, even if you didn’t cover everything, I’d love to hear what you did cover. And if nothing else, we’ll be back next year for more fun and hi-jinx with two wheels and some pints.

(8/8/2014)

Saison w/ Cascara Brewday

Another collaboration project with Press Coffee, this one a seasonal saison—or saisonal, as I like to call them—highlighting Cascara, which is the skin and pulp of the coffee bean. Brett gave me a pound, which I added to the wort at flame out; I let it steep for 20 minutes, then chilled the wort and racked it onto the yeast cake from the most recent iteration of the Great Saison Chain of Being. The Cascara imparted a plum and raisin element to the wort; it was much clearer and more pronounced in the actual beer when I racked it over to the secondary. With some carbonation, I think this will be some tasty, tasty beer.

179. Saison w/ Cascara
Mash
6 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
3 lbs. Best Malz Spelt
1 lb. Weyermann Acidulated

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 3 ½ g. RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ g. @ 1.052
Batch-sparge @ 168° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 g. RO water & 5 g. gypsum; collected 4 g. @ 1.024

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/80 to go: 1 ½ oz. Willamette leaf 7.8% AA
½ oz. Cluster leaf 7.6% AA

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

w/0 to go: 1 lb. Cascara

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled and racked onto Lallemand Belle Saison yeast cake from 177. Saison

Brewed: 8/8/2014 @ 76° F
Secondary: 8/19/2014 @ 1.004; racked two gallons to 3 g. carboy, and the rest into a corny keg to carbonate for Brett from Press for secret covert operations
Bottled:

OG: 1.042
FG:

Tasting Notes:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 7: Bike Path Brew

With the clock winding down on the Dayton Brewvet, it is time for our longer bike path ride to complete the fabled Bike Path Brew ride. Why fabled? Why not? This ride was intended to up everyone’s overall distance; in our case, however, this is only the second longest ride of our brewvet, following the initial Swallow Adventure Can Beer ride that opened our exploits. In fact, this ride is only half the distance of that ride. Basically what I’m saying is that sometimes we are foolish. In a good way.

Our jaunt to Star City Brewing in Miamisburg followed the Great Miami River Recreational Trail. Basically, we rode to the river, took a left, and followed the bike path to Miamisburg. It was that easy. And since it was only 13 miles one way, it was a nice leisurely ride (and remember the British pronunciation!) to our destination with plenty of delightful scenery: riverfront views, woods, some parks, and the occasional other trail denizen. I’m going to selectively ignore the section of the trail that parallels I-75 because, well, it is not scenic.

Once we arrived at Star City, we parked our bikes on the patio and grabbed beers to sit out in the sun. While we could have counted this for our Patio/Outdoor Beer ride, we’re saving that for the dramatic conclusion to our Dayton Brewvet tomorrow. Alright, so dramatic might be an overstatement. Anyway, I had the IPA while Elli had the Oatmeal Stout. The IPA was a bit too caramel-ly for my taste, but the bitterness in the finish was clean and sharp, so everything worked out in the end. Then it was time to head back to Dayton. A relaxing 26 miles on the bike with a beer fit into the middle? I can’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

(8/7/2104)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 6: Beer at Home

Time for another groovy Dayton Brevet ride! Since the time has come to tick off the last remaining rides, that means it is time for a quick jaunt to a local purveyor of craft beer, and then take it home to drink. We decided a late evening ride to Belmont Party Supply would be the best choice for us, especially considering that it was in the neighborhood of ten o’clock when we got started. Night time is for sleeping, yes, but also for biking and drinking. We did wear helmets and lots of lights so that we were clearly visible to motorists, but then again, we always do that. Ride smart, yo.

Our selections included Ommegang Hop House for me, Toøl Yeastus Christus for Elli (a brewery we’ve seen before), and Freigeist Geisterzug as a bonus beer, because it is almost physically impossible for me to resist the sweet siren-song of a Gose when one confronts me. Spoiler alert: needs more salt. Anyway. The rides there and back were smooth and uneventfulit was a cool evening. My phone had us covering 6.6 miles, while Elli’s phone recorded 7.7 miles for the same ride. And you can guess which one was the one not working right. I gotta get me a new phone. Our selection of beer for the evening was both solid and enjoyable, with the Ommegang Hop House being a particularly nice surprise—crisp and refreshing with a depth of flavor that made the beer a real treat. Yeastus Christus was good, but it did taste a bit aged, which is unsurprising for a beer from Denmark. And my remarks on Geisterzug have already been recorded: good, but not enough salt.

(8/5/2014)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Smith Hop Fresh Hop Brewday

Thus begins another year of Fresh Hop madness, in which I look to defend my Fresh Hop King of Ohio crown, and to brew any many Fresh Hop beers as possible. And straight out of the gate is this year’s version of Smith Hop, the beer made from the generously donated Cascade hops of my neighbors, the Smiths. In fact, this is the third year of Smith Hop; last year’s version won me the Fresh Hop King of Ohio crown. So a lot of history with these hops already. And like last year, I left enough hops on the vine to fresh dry hop the crud out of this beer.

178. Smith Hop Fresh Hop w/ Cascade
Mash
8 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
1 lb. Breiss White Wheat
1 lb. Weyermann Acidulated

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 3 ½ g. RO water & 10 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¼ g. @ 1.064
Batch-sparge @ 164° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 g. RO water & 10 g. gypsum; collected 4 g @ 1.022

Collected 6 ¼ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: 5 oz. Cascade/Smith fresh hops

w/20 to go: 6.25 oz. Cascade/Smith fresh hops

w/10 to go: 6.25 oz. Cascade/Smith fresh hops
3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/5 to go: 6.4 oz. Cascade/Smith fresh hops

w/0 to go: 6.5 oz. Cascade/Smith fresh hops

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled and racked to carboy; pitched 1 packet US 05

Brewed: 8/4/2014 @ 78° F; dropped to 73° F before fermentation took off
Secondary: 8/10/2014 @ 1.010; on 8/12/2014, dry hop w/ 4.6 oz. Cascade/Smith fresh hops
Bottled: 8/25/2014 w/ 2.5 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.044 @ 78° F
FG: 1.010

Tasting Notes: For the sake of science, I’ve combined my fresh hop tasting notes for the year. As the photos attest, I did try them all at the same time. The second picture is from the 2nd Annual Fresh Hop King of Ohio competition with Brent Osborne, where my beers came in 1st (183), 2nd (178), and 3rd (182). Yes, there were only seven beers, and four of them were mine. But I’m still the Fresh Hop King of Ohio for 2014, dammit. I would add (as I note below) that 178 is probably the best beer, but 183 is the best fresh hop beer.

178. Smith Hop: made with Cascades from my neighbors; last year, it was by far the best fresh hop beer I made, and it won me the Fresh Hop King of Ohio title. This year it is the best beer in terms of quality, but I am giving the nod to the Bike Path 
Fresh Hop as the best of this year’s fresh hop beers. Smith Hop is the lightest of the four in color, and the most effervescent; it pours a hazy straw with a rocky head, and has lemon zest, lemon, and grapefruit in the nose, along with hints of pepper and orange. Flavors open with lemon and lemon zest, moving into a mineral and pepper bite in the middle, and finish with grapefruit and a slight citrus pith. The malt flavors in the beer are mainly playing a supporting role, while the bitterness is medium and clean. I expected more grassiness from dry hopping this with 4.6 oz. of fresh hops for two weeks (I left a bunch on the vine, and then picked them fresh for dry hopping); as it warms, a slight phenol gaminess comes out, but it balances well with the citrus flavors. Those Smith Hops rock!

180. Brewer’s Gold Fresh Hop: I’ll start with this: I don’t like this beer. It has some off-putting flavors, starting with the phenol band-aid of stressed/unhealthy yeast (as opposed to infection) and ending with the blandness and wood-like flavors from the hops. Others did not have as strong of a negative reaction to this beer as me, but I’m going to chalk that up to them being nice. While the beer did sit too long on the yeast, I’m still not sure how it ended up here. I got these hops from Brent Osborn at Osborn Brewing; I’m not blaming him, however, as the Brewer’s Gold fresh hops I got from him last year were phenomenal. BGFH pours a hazy gold with a thin white head that leaves some lacing; at one point, there were hints of orange marmalade in the nose and body, but currently the nose is merely “hoppy.” Flavors include a light bitterness and scratchy green grass character, but not much else worth noting. Mouthfeel and body match, but off-flavors mar this beer. Haters gonna hate. 

182. Sour Fresh Hop: made with Nuggets from Heartland Hops. This beer is straw colored and crystal clear, with a thin white head that disappears quickly. The nose is herbal and earthy, followed by sour orange and candy pilsen; going into the carboy, there was a much more intense herbal hop aroma that I wish was still here. Flavors open with candy and a slight grain-y Cheerios flavor coupled with wood and herb; the middle features a spicy hop bite—albeit low—and more wood. The herbal flavors come out in the final third, lingering with a dry cracker malt flavor and a hint of sweetness. All in all, this beer is a hot mess—it is neither fresh hop nor sour, while showcasing components of both. While I do like it—it has some intangibles that make it eminently enjoyable—it is simultaneously a pedestrian beer that borders on insulting: I would be pissed off if this was served to me at a bar, but I am glad I made it. That clarify things enough for you?

183.Bike Path Fresh Hop: I’ve been lurking and picking hops off Dayton’s bike paths long enough to note that this year was an exceptionally good year. The hops for this particular beer came from a section of the bike path that I had not utilized before; these hops had none of the ephemeral pear and apple aromas found in previous years, but they did provide more actual bitterness to the beer. BPFH poured a hazy straw with a white head that had more retention and lacing than 180 and 182. The nose was all grimy green chlorophyll and game-y grass, and flavors followed. Unlike some previous iterations of bike path beers, the wild fresh hop character came through. Malt flavors played a back fiddle to the grassiness in the front; the middle was grassy and scratchy, while the finish featured a grimy medium bitterness that was not clean but was enjoyable. The medium to low body and medium carbonation suited the beer; as a whole, this beer was easy drinking. And this beer in particular taught me a lot about how to think about and implement a good fresh hop beer. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 5: Local Brew

Thus begins the whirlwind final week of completing the last several Dayton Brewvet rides. Procrastination much? Indubitably! And since it is Sunday, and a supposed lazy Sunday at that, what would the aforementioned lazy Sunday be without beer, bike riding, and some half-ass gardening? Well, we managed to fit all three together in one wonderful outing: we rode out to our Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark garden plot to scavenge what ever beans and tomatillos had survived our summer-long neglect, then stopped by Warped Wing on the way home for a pint. We did not, sadly, make any friends.

Warped Wing is a nice addition to the other breweries in downtown Dayton: lots of open space in the brewery, lots of light, a good industrial vibe, and a huge-ass crane. The one thing, they are missing, however, is a bike rack. This lack of a bike rack has not quite reached the unforgivable stage yet, but a certain long-standing friend of the blog, Jeff Fortney, better mind his Ps and Qs if there isn’t an equitable solution to this problem soon. What good is knowing someone on the inside if you can’t use that pull for sweet, sweet bike rack action? Huh? I mean, seriously. As for beer selections, I had the Siam Thai Saison, while Elli opted for the Self Starter Session IPA. I like the spicy aggressive bite of Siam, although I can see how it might be a bit much for a less adventurous drinker. Still, delicious and quenching. The total distance for our ride was 10.3 miles, including the trip to the garden! More soon!

P.S. Warped Wing: get a bike rack!

(8/3/2014)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dayton Brewvet Ride 4: Co-op Brew

After a few days off, time to get back into the swing of all things Brewvet. Specifically https://www.facebook.com/FifthStreetBrewpubsince Fifth Street Brewpub now has their own beers on tap! And as per the Dayton Most Metro Dayton Brewvet Midterm Report, I wanted to fulfill my scheduled obligations to build all things Brewvet in the Dayton area. So I rolled into the brewpub right at six, and found a seat at the bar.

The only people foolish enough to meet me were Jake and Sarah, along with Darren Link, brewmaster at Fifth Street, although I am not sure if he rode his bike to work. Actually, maybe there were others there, but once they saw the cut of my jib opted to not introduce themselves. Always a distinct possibility. Anyway, I had the Cure-All Cream Ale, which was smooth easy sipping—clean and bright. After the Cure-All, I had a pint of Ithaca Brewing Company’s Flower Power IPA. The four of us chatted about all things beer-related, and took a quick tour of the brewing facilities before jumping on our bikes to pedal back home.

This ride clocked in at 2 miles round trip, pushing me to 55.1 total miles thus far. Go Dayton Brewvet!

(7/23/2014)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Saison Brewday

Thus begins the next installment in the Great Saison Chain of Being. I’m also choosing to include an awesome newspaper ad from the 1890s, because if your malt extract is “stronger than beef,” then people need to know. Still. As in right now. And if I could get me some of that malt extract, the first thing I’d do is put it in a saison. Damn straight.

177. Saison
Mash
4 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
4 lbs. Best Malz Spelt
2 lbs. Dingemann’s Pilsen
1 lb. Weyermann Acidulated

Mash @ 150° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 g. RO water & 4 g. CaCl
Batch-sparge @ 170° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 g. RO water

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 6 ¾ gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:
w/80 to go: 2 oz. Styrian Golding pellet 2.0% AA
1 oz. Willamette leaf 7.8% AA

w/10 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding pellet 2.0% AA
3 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/0 to go: oz. Styrian Golding pellet 2.0% AA

Chilled and pitched Lallemand Belle Saison

Brewed: 7/22/2014
Secondary: 8/8/2014 @ 1.002
Bottled: 8/14/2014 w/ 3.75 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.050 @ 78° F
FG: 1.002

Tasting Notes:

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 LTC 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 Lactobacillus, bruxellensis Trois, and custersianus slurry from 173. Barrel Beer

Brewed: 7/1/2014 @ 74° F
Barrel: 7/18/2014
Fruit: 11/15/2014 @ 1.000; split four ways in 3 gallon carboys; three on fruit and one aged as is
175a. straight  
175b. 6 ½ lbs. sour cherries
175c. 1 lb. 5 oz. elderberries
175d. 4 lbs. pureed paw paws
Bottled: 3/1/2015 w/ 1.75 oz. table sugar for each batch

OG: 1.048
FG: 175a. 1.000
175b. 1.002
175c. 1.000
175d. 1.002

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)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dayton Brewvet

This post was originally supposed to be published in Telephone Weekly, where I write a craft beer column, but issues have temporarily sidelined them. Boo! Since letting the idea of a Dayton Brewvet to go to waste this summer seemed criminal, we’re getting it started here:

         The summer months are upon us, so it is time to jump on your bike and enjoy the outdoors. Dayton is a great town for cycling; there are more than 250 miles of bike trails in the greater Dayton metro area, which is a fair share more than many lauded bike-friendly cities. With that in mind, I am here today to offer you the Dayton Brewvet. My inspiration is John Roche of DrinkCraftBeer.com, who pioneered the concept of the Brewvet last summer; 
From here
I would have participated this year, but he started it mad early and it was over almost before I thought to look it up! So rather than admitting defeat, I decided a local Dayton version was in order. The idea behind the Brewvet is drawn from randonneuring, a long-distance, non-competitive endurance cycling event; the Randonneur USA website notes that “friendly camaraderie, not competition, is the hallmark of randonneuring.” The idea of taking pleasure in the event itself rather than focusing on competition is something I can get behind. As Roche explains further, “since a randonneuring event is called a brevet, it only made sense to call our take on this concept the Brewvet.” While we’re leaving behind the long-distance part of randonneuring—with the exception of ride number eight—combining cycling and local craft beer seems a perfect recipe for summer fun. 
          The Dayton Brewvet will run from June 27, 2014 to August 8, 2014, so there will be plenty of time to get out and explore Dayton by bike. The eight rides—and they can be completed in any order you would like—are:

1. Local Brew: During your ride, stop at a local brewery and enjoy a beer.
2. Local Bar: Ride to your favorite local bar and enjoy a craft beer. 
3. Co-op Brew: Ride to the Fifth Street Brewpub Co-op and enjoy a craft beer. Sorry to be self-serving, but I’m a co-op member, and you should be, too.
4. Patio/Outdoor Beer: Ride to a local bar with a patio, or to an outdoor event, and enjoy a craft beer outdoors. 
5. Beer at Home: Take a spin to the store, and bring home a craft beer to drink. 
6. Go Exploring: Ride someplace new, stop in at a new bar or restaurant, and try a new craft beer. 
7. Can Beer: Canned craft beer is all the rage, in part because it packs in and out with ease. Find yourself a bike ride that incorporates beer in a can. Remember, though: you’re adults. Don’t get either of us in trouble. 
8. Bike Path Brew: Plan a longer ride to explore some of Dayton’s bike paths, and use this as an excuse to visit one of the breweries close to the bike path: Yellow Springs Brewery in Yellow Springs (via the Creekside Trail and the Little Miami Trail), Star City Brewing Company in Miamisburg (via the Great Miami River Recreational Trail), or, for the truly brave of heart, Fifty West in Cincinnati. If you’re willing to ride to Cincinnati, I’m pretty sure you can figure out a route on your own.

Your eight rides should ideally combine for a total distance of at least 40 miles; as Roche also notes, “A ride qualifies if you either stop to drink a beer during your bike ride, or purchase a beer on your bike ride that you drink shortly after you get back home. Just like in a brevet, you must provide documentation of each stop on your adventures.”
          More on the documentation part in a minute. First, some basic ground rules. Apparently, randonneuring is rule crazy. While I’m less fussy, I’m still going to implement some of the basic guidelines Roche uses for his Brewvet:

1. Limit of one ride per day. Any ride in which you drink more than one beer still only counts as one ride. Be responsible and make adult decisions.
2. Each ride should be to a different location. No doubling up on bars or breweries.
3. Each ride should feature a different beer, with preference towards craft beer. Local beer is even better.
4. The eight rides are to be completed between June 27, 2014 and August 8, 2014.
5. While there is no minimum distance for each ride, aim to cover at least 40 miles over the course of your eight rides. The Bike Path Brew ride is intended to bulk up everyone’s overall numbers. Yes, long rides are hard. But also fun.
6. For each ride, fill out the Dayton Brewvet rider information card (the Dayton Brewvet rider information card can be found here). Please document the following: Destination: from where to where did you ride? Beer: what did you drink? Miles: how long was the round trip? Date: when did you do it? Ride Completed: which of the eight rides was this?

Take plenty of pictures along the way, and use the #daytonbrewvet hashtag when posting them online. As well, Strava, an online app for phones, is helpful for mapping rides and keeping track of miles.
          Once you’ve completed your eight rides, submit your Dayton Brewvet control card and eight pictures (you can also submit links to pictures posted on your blog or other online sites) to tlmorgan3 at gmail.com. The deadline for Dayton Brewvet submissions is August 22, 2014. A few final notes: arranging group rides is encouraged. Use the #daytonbrewvet hashtag to let others know what you’ll be doing. I’ll post a couple of my destinations a few days prior to riding if you’re looking for an excuse to be social. And as an added incentive—although, to be honest, isn’t the delightful allure of beer and bike riding already more than enough incentive?—everyone who completes the Dayton Brewvet will get an official certificate of completion, suitable for framing. Suitable for framing. I’ve always wanted to say that. Awesome. Plus, I’ll buy you a beer when this is all over. So get out and start riding with beer as your destination.