Late to the Party Pumkin Porter




 The party is about to begin. And it won't be as late as initially thought. After several taste tests over the last few days I decided it was time to get the latest Atomic Donkey creation into bottles. From begining to end the entire operation took about 2 hours. Not bad. I had high hopes for this brew and it turned out even better than I was expecting. I ended up with 40 bottles. That may seem like less than than usual but I used several larger bottles. I plan on keeping a few of these around for a while. 

There is a definite classic Porter taste. A hint of smokiness and chocolate. But the pumpkin and spices come in soon after and add a lot of complexity to an already delicious brew. I can't wait to get a few out to my friends and Atomic Donkey customers to get their feedback. There will a one per person limit depending on how many orders I get. :)

Next up will be my first brew using the new 15.5 gallon keggle. Obviously the batch will be much bigger than anything to date. Therefore friends will be able to sample more than usual. Not sure yet exactly what I will be brewing. I know another round of Donkey Milk Stout is in the pipe line. But that won't be all. With this new capacity, I can brew up as many as 3 different brews at a time. Can't wait. Good things are on the horizon. I hope you will all join me for the trip. CHEERS!

The Goods

Looking for Design Input

This blog has been my first attempt at something like this. If any of my readers happen to be more experienced and have suggestions to help my site look more professional, user friendly, appealing, etc... I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. This started as just something fun for me to do, but my long term goal is to use this site for promotion of what will become a successful micro brewery. So I need it to look as good as possible. Thank you in advance. CHEERS!

Good News Good News!!

The Pumkin Porter is delicious. I will be bottling Sunday evening/night sometime and it should be ready to drink a week or so after. Who will the lucky few be to get a sample? Hmm, only time will tell. CHEERS

Sample Night!

Tonight the Atomic Donkey staff will be pulling a 4 oz sample from the Atomic Donkey Pumkin Porter and seeing how close we are to bottling time. This will be the last sample of beer from a 5 gallon batch we ever do. Because the next batch I do will be at least 10 gallons. I will have the keg cut and converted by this time next week. Also, another keg is on its way to the brewery increasing our brewing capacity to a whopping 30 gallons. I see great things on the horizon.

The next Atomic Donkey brewing session will consist of a Lager, Stout and one yet to be determined brew. The Stout will be the very popular Atomic Donkey Milk Stout. This is being brewed as a gift to a freind of Atomic Donkey and his expecting wife.

Things are moving quickly here at Atomic Donkey and I am loving every second of it. The goal is to be featured at the Good Beer Festival next year. In order to do this I need to be working with a distributor. So needless to say I and the Atomic Donkey staff have a long ways to go and a short time period in which to do it. But our passion for great beer will keep us going. We will update everyone tonight on the status of the Pumkin Porter. Things are exciting and the future is looking awfully bright.. Take care everyone and CHEERS from Atomic Donkey Brewing...

Good Beer Festival recap

I was lucky enough to get to spend the day with my wife and brother in law at the Good Beer Festival at Pemberton park yesterday. The weather was incredible and there was a good turn out for a Sunday and by all accounts it was a much better day to be there than the day before. From the sound of it there was a huge turn out on Saturday. Long lines for just about everything. While that is good for the future of the festival, I prefer the smaller crowds.

We got there an hour or so after the gates opened and we greeted with a nice souvenir pint glass. The first thing I noticed was there were fewer breweries than had been advertised. Two big ones missing were Southern Tier and the new local guys Burley Oak (http://burleyoak.com/). Both of which I really wanted to visit. But that's what happens when you go on the second day. Many of the breweries had run out of product. No worries though. For the price there were still more than enough brews to be drank.

Some of the highlights for me were Evolution Craft Brewery's Lot 6 IPA (http://www.evolutioncraftbrewing.com/). Evolution doesn't make bad beer period, but this IPA stood out among the rest to me. These guys are still relatively local but are growing quickly. A nicely run brewery and the owners couldn't be nicer. I wish them all the luck in the world. Also, a beer I have just gotten into recently, Oskar Blues Brewery (http://www.oskarblues.com/)had a delicious Russian Imperial Stout (Ten FIDY). This brew was incredible. And for a stout it didn't sit heavy at all. I could have drank a 6 pack of them easily. I plan to very soon. Like Southern Tier (http://southerntierbrewing.com/), these guys do not make a bad brew. Stone Brewing's Oak Aged Arrogant Bastard (http://www.stonebrew.com/) is something you will have to go out and buy if you can find it. I have been wanting to get into the oak aged beers and their take on it has convinced me that this is something I need to do. Along with the brews there was also some good live music. The local blue grass boys Chester River Runoff (http://chesterriverrunoff.com/) played a great afternoon set. Its not often that good blue grass pays a visit to our little area of the shore. This made me a very happy and buzzed camper. The whole band was good, but the standout to me was the fiddle player. Very impressed.

So that was a brief summary of what I and friends experienced at the 2nd annual Good Beer Festival. I see this festival sticking around and growing more every year. The one thing I felt was missing was a homebrew competition. I have already started the ball rolling on bringing one to the festival next year. its the perfect setting and this area has no shortage of talented homebrewers. One of the standouts is of course The Crooked Oak Brewery. I was lucky enough to hang out with head brewmaster Carl during the festivities. I saw many friends and made some more. So next year I want to see some more of my friends. This is an open invitation to next years festival. You have a place to stay and Atomic Donkey Brewery is located a mere 15 mins from the festival grounds.

On the Atomic Donkey front I will be testing the Late to the Party Pumkin Porter this evening. I should be approaching the end to fermentation but I have kept this brew at a lower than normal temperature (64 degrees) for most of the fermentation. Therefore the yeast may be a bit lethargic. I will let you all know how its coming along. Well, that's it for now from Atomic Donkey Brewing. Pass the word around about the blog if you can. It's much appreciated. Take care of yourselves and everyone else. CHEERS

Historic Pemberton Hall



 Chester River Runoff

That game where you throw a bean bag. Yeah, that one.








Late to the Party Pumkin Porter



So time is flying by and next thing you know, its fall. Perfect time of year for a nice seasonal brew. The Atomic Donkey staff decided that a nice Pumpkin Porter would be the perfect brew to ease the transition to the cold winter season. Due to our tardiness with this brew it has been appropriately named Late to the Party Pumkin Porter

For this brew I decided to go a bit malty. I don't want to drown out the Pumpkin taste completely but I was going for subtle. I ended up using close to 45 ozs of Pumpkin Puree. 15oz during the mash stage and then another 30oz during the boil. I also used a mix of nutmeg, ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, cloves, all spice, and ginger. Threw a little bit of something else in there but I'm going to keep that one to myself till I see how the brew turns out.

No major issues during the cooking. A bit more of a boil over than normal but it smelled great as it was burning off. Gravity came out at 1.06. Being as I created this recipe I'm not sure what the target was but this reading fits into the range of a porter. The fermentation started quickly with this one and has grown into a frothy delicious smelling foam. The temp got a bit high, as you can see in one of the pictures, so I had to move it this morning to the outside fridge. I don't think it was high for long. Shouldn't get any off flavors out of it.

On another note, the Donkey Milk Stouts and Jackass IPA's are just about gone. They both turned out great. Especially the stout. The Jackass was not quite hoppy enough for myself and some hophead friends of mine, but other folks find it much more drinkable than something I would prefer. Hope everyone is doing great as we approach the cold winter season. Or as I like to call it, the Brewing Season. Take care of yourselves and everyone else. CHEERS!!

Some of the ingredients

No time to cook down the pumpkin myself. Thank you Libby..

Right after I transferred to the carboy. Yeast had not started feasting yet.

This was taken about 8 hours after the previous picture. Yeast are going to town. Notice the high temp reading. Moved to the outside fridge to bring it down to around 68.