Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Paper Mill Aleworks
    Reputation: JFryauff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,483

    Beer Birthday Bonanza

    Turned the ripe young age of 34 this past week, and along with the usual family festivities, I indulged in a few brew related activities during my time off.

    My parents, and one of my younger brothers came up from Florida to celebrate our busy month (son, wifey, and my b-day...plus our anniversary). We had been talking about collaborating on a few all-grain batches together, and took this time to do just that.

    We brewed both a blood orange imperial Hefe, and Belgian dark-strong ale, consecutive days.

    The Hefe was done with large quantity of 2-row and wheat, with a tea of blood orange segments added to the primary. A bit of Munich and oat rounded out the grain bill, with Hallertau and Saaz hops providing a bit of bittering/flavor. Should be interesting, a starting gravity of 1.070 means we should finish up with a 6.5-7% Summer quencher.







    During and after the brewing process, we took the chance to taste test some IPA offerings from around the country. My brother is a big hop head, and these were right up his alley.



    The Belgian dark-strong was brewed in a fairly traditional manner, with nothing added for additional flavoring. 22 lbs of fermentables made up this behemoth, including: 2-row, Marris Otter, Cara Belg, Biscuit, and dark Belgian candi sugars. With a starting gravity of 1.110, this will make a wonderful Fall warmer later this year.

    Brewing was pretty involved, and I slacked on the photos.

    On the day of my birth, we opted for a family trip down to Philly, to take in some sights and intake some good eats/drinks.

    On the way out of the area, we first stopped at Bethlehem Brew-Works for a quick sampler, and to pick up some newly released Monkey Wrench (seasonal saison).



    Was very impressed with their "B9" Belgian style Tripel, very easy drinking.

    After some touristy sight seeing of "Old Towne" for my sister-in-law, whom had never been to Philly, we had lunch at the famous Belgian beer bar "Monk's Cafe". As usual the tap list was amazing, with the traditional Belgian rarities, and a variety of Lost Abbey goodies left over from a recent Tomme visit.





    Had a Monk's Flemish, and Angels Share along with my vegan cheese steak. Honestly could have spent the rest of the day there, between the tap list, and "beer bible" bottle menu it was a struggle to leave.









    While the ladies and children made their way to Reading Terminal Market; my dad, brother, and I wondered over to Nodding Head Brewery a few blocks away.



    If you've never been, or even heard of them, they produce some great small batch goodies. They run on a 7 bbl system, utilizing three fermenters, and once wine barrel for all special aged brews. Enjoyed a tasting of their saison, an true cask English mild called "GROG", and an amazing dry-hopped Belgian strong ale called "GUILLOTINE".



    Being as we were the only ones at the bar on this Thursday afternoon, we struck up a great conversation with the barkeep about brewing, whom in-turn brought over brew master Gordon Grubb for some additional input. He was a very gracious host, and even took the time to lead the three of us on a private tour of the brew-house, which turned into an hour of social drinking and brewing discussion. A big thanks to him!

    With that eating up the rest of our afternoon, we met up with the wives and kids, then headed home where my wonderful wife whipped up some very spur of the moment carrot cupcakes...complete with Storm Trooper garb



    Not being a big fan of cake, this was a pleasant final course to the evening.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Beer Me!
    Reputation: Guerdonian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,200
    Looks like a great way to spend a birthday! Happy b-day Josh!

  3. #3
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,865
    Happy birthday man! Looks like you had a great time making and enjoying some great beers.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Paper Mill Aleworks
    Reputation: JFryauff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,483
    Took my dad to the airport this morning, finishing up a great visit.
    The beers we brewed together are chugging away, and yesterday we visited one last brewery...Sly Fox.







    Great beers on tap as usual, and some great food to go along with it.
    I particularly enjoyed the Abduction Saison (brewed with thyme, ginger, and lemon peel), Saison Brune, and Fox Track Brown (last beer brewed on their outgoing system, before Norfolk's Side Tracks brewing took ownership).





    Prost!
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    ~~~
    Reputation: tburger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,873
    Very cool! And happy belated birthday!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    39
    Sounds like a winning birthday too me! Happy Bday!

  7. #7
    Paper Mill Aleworks
    Reputation: JFryauff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,483
    Home-brew update:

    The Blood-Orange Imp Hefe, and Belgian Strong Dark have been sitting for about two weeks now, so time for a gravity reading...and tasting



    Great color, citrus/hefe yeast nose, and a nice fruity dryness.
    Sitting at a solid 8% ABV



    A coppery-dark brown, sweet-roasty musk, warming biscuit flavors.
    Sitting at a solid 10.5% ABV

    Happy with both so far, hoping for a bit more attenuation from the Belgian over the next week.
    Plan on cold crashing both soon, then off to the bottles.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blumena84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    585
    that blood orange imp hefe sounds really good, i have a special place in my heart for fruity beers.
    A person who never made a mistake,
    never tried anything new..... Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: S/X Runner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    514
    Completely missed this.

    Happy belated B-Day bro.

    Those home brews look tasty.

    My wife still talks about your Berliner Weisse. She is determined to find something in the ballpark, hasn't happen yet.


    ~ Sean

  10. #10
    Paper Mill Aleworks
    Reputation: JFryauff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,483
    After a 48 hour cold crash, all the orange segments sunk onto the trub, and today we bottled.





    Had some orange caps laying around, and felt this was a good fit.



    Label we made up for fun...officially deemed as "Blood Lust"





    Still tasted really nice, heavy fruit flavors, balanced between the orange sweetness and yeast profile. Ended up priming with table sugar and honey, so we'll see how that works out. Only concern at this point was a slight hint of alcohol solvency in the gravity tasting (right at the end), it's sitting big for the style at 8%, but hopefully that hot mouth-feel will mellow as it carbs.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blumena84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    585
    cool labels,i'm jealous. gotta start brewing my own beer. do you have a special program for creating the labels???
    A person who never made a mistake,
    never tried anything new..... Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Paper Mill Aleworks
    Reputation: JFryauff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,483
    Quote Originally Posted by blumena84 View Post
    do you have a special program for creating the labels???
    Nothing special...I use the Avery (label company) template program for final lay-out/print, and programs like Gimp and Photoshop for the other stuff...neither of which I am proficient in

    it's really just for fun, and adds a little something extra when sending them home with friends.
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

  13. #13
    Paper Mill Aleworks
    Reputation: JFryauff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,483
    Belgian Dark-Strong Ale bottle this morning...





    Finished with a 1.028, which works for me.
    It's viscous, creamy, and warm! Heavy notes of caramel and dark vine fruits in the aroma, a well balanced sweetness, with a smooth warm (boozy) finish.
    At 10.5%, it's a evening sipper
    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •