Sunday, May 31, 2015

Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion Root

Quite similar to the first batch, but with a few modifications. I just used dandelion root in this version, lessened the late hop additions, and cut the sugar addition. Hopefully, I will be able to discern the flavors contributed by the dandelion root. At least that is the intended goal. I’ll bottle a couple to try later before racking the rest into the barrel. Check back!

210. Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion Root
6 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. flaked maize

Mash @ 148° F for 80 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water and 6 g. gypsum; collected 1 ½ @ 1.072
Batch sparge @ 164° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 ½ gallons RO water; wort collected 5 @ 1.026

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: ½ oz. Azacca leaf 9.9% AA
1 oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
1 ½ oz. dandelion root, coarsely chopped

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding leaf 3.7% AA
3 ½ oz. table sugar

w/0 to go: ¾ oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
2 g. coriander
2 g. grains of paradise

Chilled, & pitched mason jar of saison yeast blend from 207. Dandelion Saison

Brewed: 5/31/2015
Barrel: 6/14//2015 @ 1.002

209/210a. 1/30/2016 @ 1.000; racked onto 2 lbs. wild plums
209/210b. 1/30/2016 @ 1.000; racked onto 4 lbs. 10 oz. tart cherries
209/210c. 1/30/2016 @ 1.000; bottled w/ 2.5 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.044

Tasting Notes: 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Brewvet Ride 8: Boulevard Radler

Time to finish out this year’s Brewvet. For today’s ride I started with a circuitous meander to the local Second Street Market—fresh summer produce is just starting to appear!—followed by a quick lunch, them a short jaunt up to the grocery store for a new six pack just for the occasion. I like treating myself right, after all, and nothing says indulgent like choosing a fresh new summer beer. Since I’ve run through most of the session IPAs on the market, I figured it was time for something new. And there it was: Boulevard’s Ginger Lemon Radler. Boulevard makes good beer, and it was hot as bejeezus outside, so I grabbed it and headed for home. Along with some cheese for dinner, might I add.

I managed to outrace the looming thunderstorm on the way home, ducking onto the porch as the first drops started to fall. Once inside, it was time to try the beer. Apparently, I’ve bad-mouthed Radlers in the past—no so much this specific one, but Radlers in general—as I got called out almost instantly on Instagram when I initially posted my Brewvet picture. Oh well. Like Mayor Quimby, I am officially flip-flopping. Because this beer was delicious. Boulevard describes the Ginger-Lemon Radler as a “zesty, refreshing take on the tradition of mixing beer with soda or lemonade to create a light, thirst-quenching beverage ideal for warm weather. Radler (literally ‘cyclist’) takes its name from active German sportsmen of a hundred years ago.” There was one more sentence they included, but it was annoying, so I deleted it. As to how the beer tastes, it is sweet and slightly lemony with a dry ginger bite that runs into the finish, all supported by a soft, delicate, pillowy malt body. And some bright carbonation. Quite a nice way to finish out this bike ride, and this Brewvet. Oh, and I covered 13.2 miles all told on today’s ride. Cheers!


Friday, May 29, 2015

Brewvet Ride 7: Black Slate Movin' On

Today seemed like a good day for a longer ride, one designed to push my bicycling limits, so I headed out early with Elli on her morning bike commute to Xenia, and then continued on to Jamestown before turning around and retracing my steps. Yes, I saw a lot of bike path today. All told, I covered 70.8 miles. 

For my reward, I stopped by the Barrel House on the way home to partake in the beer I had so justly earned. I choose Blank Slate’s Movin’ On, an American Session Ale that weighs in at 4.2% ABV, not only because I think Scott LaFollette is awesome, but because he brews interesting, well-made, and esoteric beers. And we share a love for interesting facial hair. But maybe I have revealed too much, my dear reader.

Blank Slate describes Movin’ On as an American interpretation of the “English ‘session ales’ used to keep the working man happy all day long. Lower in alcohol but still flavorful, this beer won’t keep you from being able to ‘move on’ with your day. Blank Slate’s take on the English Best Bitter style combines Maris Otter and Brown Malt with American 2-Row Malt. Classic American hops include Cluster and Cascade up the ante from its traditional namesake and round out the flavor profile of this American Session Ale.”

And not surprisingly, I had two.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brewvet Ride 6: Warped Wing Tres Carnales

Since I didn’t drink any actual Warped Wing beer during my most recent visit to their establishment, I figured that I owed it to them to at least partake in one of their beers at some point during my Brewvet antics. And, since there is no time like the present, I decided to fit this beer in while doing some other errands, between school and lunch and home and the likes. As you can tell by my repetitive route, I didn’t get far, but had fun going over the same streets again and again. Oh, and my afternoon pit stop was at Jimmy’s Ladder 11. 

Today’s Brewvet selection is TresCarnales, a Pan American IPA. I can already here you asking: “Pan American IPA? What pray tell is that?” Lucky for you, I can cut and paste like a pro: “Once upon a time in Mexico 3 brewers met. They shared a common passion. Their love for exceptional craft beer. Over time the brewers became good friends. One day they decided to put their collective beer knowledge together. Their quest was to create 1 truly outstanding beer. Introducing Tres Carnales. 3 minds. 3 friends. 1 beautifully crafted beer.” Everyone loves a backstory, right? But wait, there is more: “With the perfect blend of American and Mexican brewing influence this Pan American IPA is pale orange with copper highlights. The hop character explodes with Mandarin orange aromatics and resinous pine undertones. All from copious amounts of Mandarina Bavaria and Centennial hops. The malt character is slightly bready. You’ll find mild hints of sweet and tart from the addition of select Blue Agave and Hibiscus flowers. The finish is dry with an assertive yet elegantly refined bitterness from German Magnum hops.” The hibiscus and blue agave flower elements are more subdued than I would like—they get lost a bit in the malt and hop components—and the resin hops flavors and aromas out compete the softer, subtler orange ones, but this is a tasty and drinkable beer.

Today’s ride was all of 6.2 miles. Bit longer than some, bit shorter than others. But same final result: beer. I win.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion

This batch (along with 210.) will replace the cider that currently calls the ten gallon barrel on my dining room table home; I’ll fill and soak the barrel with boiling water after I empty it to give the claussenii that is getting added in the secondary a head start over previous bugs and wild yeast that are already in the barrel. As with American Saison w/ Dandelion Flowers, this is another Jeff Alworth-inspired beer intended to experiment with the rustic elements of corn in American craft beer.

209. Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion
6 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. flaked maize

Mash @ 150° F for 80 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water, 4 g. gypsum, & 2 g. CaCl; collected 1 ¾ @ 1.072
Batch sparge @ 163° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 ½ gallons RO water; wort collected 4 ¾ @ 1.032

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: ¾ oz. Azacca leaf 9.9% AA
¾ oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
1.95 oz. dandelion root, coarsely chopped
1.8 oz. dandelion leaves

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient
8 oz. table sugar

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding leaf 3.7% AA
3 ½ oz. table sugar

w/0 to go: ¾ oz. Azacca leaf 9.9% AA
¾ oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
4.4 oz. dandelion leaves

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled, & pitched mason jar of saison yeast from 208. American Saison w/ Dandelion Flowers

Brewed: 5/26/2015
Secondary: 5/31/2015 @ 1.002; added a vial of WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii
Barrel: 6/14/2015 @ 1.002

209/210a. 1/30/2016 @ 1.000; racked onto 2 lbs. wild plums
209/210b. 1/30/2016 @ 1.000; racked onto 4 lbs. 10 oz. tart cherries
209/210c. 1/30/2016 @ 1.000; bottled w/ 2.5 oz. table sugar

OG: 1.048

Tasting Notes: 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Brewvet Ride 5: DRAFT Homebrew Meeting

Another short Brewvet ride—1.1 miles total—but this trip combines a visit to local brewery Warped Wing with my monthly DRAFT Homebrew Club meeting (yes, the website is really outdated), as the brewery is kind enough to let our homebrew club meet in the tasting room every month, something that John Haggerty carries over from his New Holland days. It does help that former DRAFT member Jeff Fortney is now the head brewer, too. If you’ve never been to a homebrew club meeting, it is precisely what you’d expect: dudes drinking and discussing beer. Sometimes, an educational segment gets included—today there was a brief overview of the new BJCP 2015 guidelines—but that doesn’t always happen. It can be a bit more esoteric than your average craft beer nerd discussion—homebrewers tend to know how to make as well as analyze beer—but the lingo and the attitude are often the same.

For drinking purposes, I brought along a couple of my recent saisons. In addition to the Dandelion Saison you heard about yesterday, I brought a bottle of Saison w/ Azacca and Styrian Golding. I hopped it a bit more aggressively than normal for a saison, but I wanted to be able to get a sense of the influence of Azacca hops in a beer: they have nice flavor and aroma, but the bitterness is a slightly unpleasant and a bit harsh in the back of the throat in the finish. Still, the beer as a whole is dry and very drinkable, and the floral fruitiness from both yeast and hop in the aroma and flavor makes this beer go down easy. And best of all, after an evening discussing the intricacies of brewing, home was just a short bike ride away.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Brewvet Ride 4: Fifth Street Herbivore No. 2

Plans for today involve helping judge beers for the Fifth StreetBrewpub Member Homebrew Competition. Yes, my life is generally enviable. So, in the spirit of all things Brewvet and beer-related, I rode my bike to the event. After all, since it is barely over a mile away (it was a 2.1 mile roundtrip), it’s not like it was s strenuous trek. 

For those of you not in the know, Fifth Street Brewpub is a Co-op with something in the neighborhood of 2000 members. Thus, the competition is a chance for all of the members who are also homebrewers to enter beers, with the winner getting her or his beer brewed on the Brewpub’s 7 BBL system and served in the taproom. There were 60 entries for the competition, which is pretty impressive considering that there was a limit of two entries per person (and most people only entered one beer)—I’ve been to smaller competitions that were open to the public. Darren Link, the Fifth Street brewmaster, had sorted beers into seven different flights; judges pushed the top one or two beers from each flight into a Best of Show round that was judged by Darren and Sarah Browning. Niall Fosters and Jim Witmers Thin Mint Stout won overall, while my Dandelion Saison ended up getting second place. However, my beer is going to get brewed this summer, as Darren wanted to save the Thin Mint Stout for non-summer time enjoyment and brew it as the Winter Seasonal. So I win, too. 

After the competition was over, I had a Herbivore No. 2, 
which is an American wheat beer with ginger and lemongrass. It is a clean and bright beer; the ginger and lemongrass flavors come across in the nose and the flavor, imparting a crisp finish. Went down easy. Then a leisurely bike ride home for this gentleman gadabout (remember the pronunciation!).


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Brewvet Ride 3: Hoppy Brett Beer

Today was a small group ride with some of Elli’s Team Dayton teammates. Yes, they let sluggish slowpokes like myself tag along on occasion, mostly because they are all nicer people than me, and/or because Elli just drags me along. I should probably stick with the nicer people theory—it has a better ring to it, and it doesn’t make either Elli or myself look like the surly curmudgeons that we undoubtedly are.

Our route started out as a road ride, but the strong winds required some strategic re-planning along the way—we made use of some bike path sections to cut down on the wind we faced, although we still ended up covering the same basic distance that was part of the initial plan. I managed to hang until about the last five miles or so, when the wheels started coming off the wagon. Or, to use the parlance of the sport, I started going backwards. Very backwards. 

I spent the first ten minutes after the ride lying on the ground to catch my breath. I did mention that they all are on a bicycling team, right? But after a nice cool shower with the garden hose, I felt recovered enough to pull out the homebrew I brought for today’s Brewvet action, 202. Hoppy LTC, which is a hoppy pilsner fermented with Brettanomyces and some other things. Lots of dry cracker malt accompanied by straw and earthy Brett characteristics with bright, effervescent carbonation and pleasant lingering bitterness. It certainly perked me right back up, as did the sandwiches and pizza we also had. Beer and food save the day again. All told, we covered 59.3 miles on today’s ride. Proper.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Brewvet Ride 2: Founders All Day IPA

More Brewvet hijinx to be had! Today’s ride featured a short jaunt down to Miamisburg and back. Ride selection was determined by wind direction: this route got me a tailwind all the way home, which is much preferred over a headwind all the way home. Well, at least for me! Plus, riding along the river is always enjoyable, which you are for most of the way. And if you block out that one stretch that runs next to I-75, it is certainly an enjoyable section of one of the many bike trails found in the Miami Valley. 

After my return, I grabbed a smooth, easy drinking Founders All Day IPA as my recovery drink. It was one of the first session IPAs that are now flooding the market—session IPAs are apparently the hip beer of spring and summer 2015 since every single brewery is putting one out—but this one still holds its own in comparison. And it comes in a fifteen pack of cans. So I’d call that a win win, honestly. While it is a little bit watery on occasion, there is plenty of hop flavor and aroma to cover that over, along with just a touch of bitterness. In regards to today’s post-ride drinking experience, it served its purpose perfectly: down the hatch in nothing flat! I probably could have easily taken down a few more, but a shower and getting dinner started were more pressing concerns. Oh, and today’s ride covered 30.6 miles. I did it all for the beer. 


Friday, May 1, 2015

Brewvet Ride 1: Yellow Springs Brewery

Brewvet is back! As you all undoubtedly recall, I ran a Dayton Brewvet last year. Well, that idea was unceremoniously stolen from John Roche at portajohn. Actually, I did ask, but you don’t need all that dirty sordid history, do you? Because that was 2014 and this in 2015. In other words, time to move on. And by moving on, I mean getting on that bike and riding! 

For my first Brewvet 2015 ride, I decided to saunter on up to Yellow Springs Brewery. I’m out of school for the summer, so nothing says lazy summer days like a 50.5 mile round trip on a bike. Although, technically, it was probably slightly longer—my phone still sucks, although that will be changing shortly. And since it was a lazy summer day, there was a couple hours of hanging out in the brewery to be had, listening to all-female hip hop, before the return trip home. Oh, and some beers. I had, among other things, Goat’s Eye IPA, a Belgian IPA that is easy-drinkin’ magic. There may have also been some grilling for lunch after a couple hours of cleaning. Honestly, I’ll never tell.

And for those of you out there in blogland, it is not too late for you to participate in this year’s Brewvet: information about the 2015 Brewvet Challenge can be found here. So go jump on your bike, go for a ride, and drink some beer. Just not all at the same time.