A Great Night

It was a busy weekend at the brewery. No new beers were created but there was plenty of other work to be done. We bottled the Atomically Red Irish Ale, sampled the Hazelnut, Vanilla Bean, Espresso Porter, and tested the Milk Stout gravity. There was also some organizing of the brewery. We are always trying to improve efficiency. Having a nice orderly brewery certainly helps with this.

The bottling went faster than usual. A big part of that was the staff help. We had our head brewer in training sanitizing bottles while I got everything else ready to go. From beginning to end it was maybe 2 hours and everything was done. It’s always a nice feeling. The sample we pulled of this beer was very good. It is different than the previous 2 batches due to a slight increase in the amount of honey we used. We also switched yeast this go round. I’m beyond excited about this beer.

We opened one of the bottled porters that’s going to our friends at Zapow art gallery in Asheville NC. It’s been in bottles for 2 weeks and is almost completely carbed. It’s such a good beer. This may be the best thing that’s come out of the brewery in our 6 years or so of operation. We can’t wait to get this out to the masses. The coffee and hazelnut comes through perfectly. Not too strong. The vanilla is just enough as well. The 3 have come together well and the results are amazing.

The gravity of the Donkey Milk Stout sits at 1.022 and may come down a bit more. Right now the abv sits at 5.82%. Not far from where we were hoping to end up. It tastes better than we could have asked for.

Things are going so well right now. Times are very exciting. Our beers are consistent and screw ups are at a minimum. Not that they won’t occur again. We love what we are doing, proud of what we are creating, and excited to share it with as many people as possible. Hopefully that number will be growing by leaps and bounds in the next 1.5 to 2 years. Have a great week everyone. CHEERS!

U.S. Breweries Hit All Time High

(Washington, DC) – The Beer Institute announced new data today showing that the number of active permitted brewers rose to a historic high of 2,751, as reported by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). This high water mark is up from 2,309 active permitted brewers in 2011. This is the highest number of U.S. brewers ever recorded by the Beer Institute.


DFH in the News

It amazes me how much DogFish Head has grown since I moved to the area some 7 years ago. Sam's creativity and love for brewing is the driving force behind their major success. As you can see from this article, they are growing faster than ever but sticking to the ideals that made them a success in the first place.

Milton — Superstorm Sandy wrecked havoc along the East Coast, inflicting unprecedented damage on the New Jersey and New York shorelines. Delaware avoided major problems, but projects like Dogfish Head Brewery's expansion have been delayed by the storm.


Donkey Milk Stout Recipe

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: DCL US-05
Yeast Starter: No
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.064
Final Gravity: 1.022
IBU: 25
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 42
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 21 days at 68F

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.35 gal
Estimated OG: 1.065 SG
Estimated Color: 42 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (3.0 SRM) Grain 56.57 %
1 lbs Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 8.08 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 6.06 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 6.06 %
12.0 oz Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 6.06 %
10.0 oz Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 5.05 %
9.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 4.04 %
0.35 oz Magnum [12.10 %] (60 min) Hops 18.4 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (10 min) Hops 4.3 IBU
1 lbs Milk Sugar (Lactose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 8.08 %
1 Pkgs SafAle American Ale (DCL Yeast #S-05) Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 11.38 lb
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
90 min Mash In Add 14.20 qt of water at 168 F 151.0 F


Added lactose with 10 minutes left in the boil.

Donkey Milk Stout

We woke up Sunday morning with quite the pounding going on in our heads. Saturday night turned into one of those nights you don't have too often. There was fine tequila and bourbon involved as well as a good amount of Southern Tier. So we stumbled around for a while trying to get equipment cleaned and sanitized. Had to take about a 30 minute break to sit down and shoot some strong coffee into our brains. After this, we were ready brew Donkey Milk Stout part 2.

With the equipment ready to go and our brains firing on almost all cylinders, we began. Only issue we had was a bit lower mash temp than planned. So to counter this we increased our mash time from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. This apparently work as our gravity was dead on (1.064). I was expecting a bit of a drop off due to the low temp but it did not happen.

Things went very well. And I'm glad they did. I don't know that our brains would have been able to compensate very well had there been a big problem. Do not have one of those once a year nights before a brew day. Lesson learned. CHEERS!

P.S. Recipe post to follow within minutes.

Interesting Interview

Sam talking about everything from beer to music.

We've always been a big fan of Sam and DogFish Head. After all, it's their 120min IPA that got us interested in brewing.

One Nutty Ass

It's finally done! Our Vanilla Bean, Hazelnut, Espresso Porter is in bottles and carbing. The extract took some time to complete but it was worth the wait. We shall see how the brew comes out. We didn’t want to make the hazelnut flavor to overpowering. We were going for a nice mix of coffee and hazelnut with just a touch of vanilla to take the bitterness down a notch. We will open one in about 2 weeks to see where it stands.

This brew allowed us to educate ourselves on several different levels. It's been a fun experience. Can not wait to see how it came out. Smells delicious and looks even better. This weekend we will finally get the Donkey Milk Stout part two done. The holidays have not allowed us as much free time as we would like.

We are still working out the recipe for the AVLov3. This one will be like nothing we have every attempted before so we don’t want to rush into it. Also, research continues on our big project and will continue until it is done.. More news to come when the time is right.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and is gearing up for the next holiday. Take it easy and if you start to feel the urge to hit someone because they got to a $5 off sale before you did, relax and have a homebrew. CHEERS!!

Giving Thanks

We here at Atomic Donkey Brewing want to wish everyone out there a Happy Thanksgiving. We now have a Scotch Ale and a Chocolate Stout on tap here ready to go for the holidays. Irish Red will soon be kegged as well. Espresso Porter will be going into bottles over the holiday or early next week. One thing that will happen for sure is brewing the Donkey Milk Stout (part 2). We just about had this recipe where we wanted it the first time. A few things to tweak and it will be ready for mass production.

We are also waiting on the results of our water test. That should come back any minute now. Can't wait to get this. That way we can add what we need to for the perfect brewing water. We here at Atomic Donkey are always working to improve the quality of our beer. This is just another step in that direction.

Enjoy your family and friends over these next few days. CHEERS to all our fans and followers.

Atomically Red Irish Ale part 3

So we have just brewed the third coming of the Atomically Red Irish Ale. We are tweaking the recipe just a bit from last time. Bumped the alcohol up just a bit and used a little more honey. OG came in at 1.076. Markedly higher than the first two batches. Everything went very well. No hiccups to speak of. Added another 1.5lbs of 2 row (UK) and an extra .5lbs crystal 60. We are in the process of trying to perfect 4 different recipes for reasons which we will cover in a future posting. Exciting times here to be sure.

The brews we are working on are a Scotch Ale, Irish Red, Stout, and an IPA. The Milk Stout we will brew this weekend is a twist on our Donkey Milk Stout which proved to be very popular. Not sure which day we will be brewing. We will be sure to post updates on our facebook page. Please stop by and "like” us. Pictures from brew day and updates are posted as we brew.

Lots of reading and research going on these days. Stay tuned as this journey that started almost 5 years ago begins to transform. CHEERS!

UPDATE! 11/15/12: Gravity checked in at 1.010 last night. That puts the abv at 8.63%. We got that bump up we were hoping for. Tastes very smooth. Malty with a little hop bitterness. Can’t wait to get this thing kegged in a few weeks. CHEERS!

Scotch Ale Recipe

7.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 83.92 %
1.00 lb Victory Malt (biscuit) (Briess) (28.0 SRM) Grain 11.19 %
0.38 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 4.20 %
0.06 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 0.70 %
1.00 oz Fuggles [4.30 %] (90 min) Hops 17.3 IBU
1 Pkgs Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) Yeast-Ale (liquid)

133 degrees - 15 minutes (Protein Rest)
155 degrees - 45 minutes (Saccharification)
170 degrees - 10 minutes (Mash Out)
Collect 2 gallons from sparge and caramelize (1 hour)

Boil Time: 80minutes

Measured OG: 1.052
target fg: 1.015, measured 1.013. :) Love it

If you have any questions please email me. atomicdonkeybrewing@gmail.com


Alba Gu Brath

So as you might have guessed by the picture, this past weekend we ventured into the world of Scottish Brews. One of the few styles we here at Atomic Donkey have not brewed. A nice Scotch Ale. We went with a basic recipe which I will post later this evening. The entire process went off without a hitch. In fact, it went so well that we became worried that we had missed something. No worries, we didn’t.

Pitched the yeast starter Sunday evening and by the next morning it was going strong. By Monday afternoon we were close to a blow out. Managed to keep it under control though with just a little spill over. We have had far worse.

OG checked in at a somewhat higher than expected 1.054. We are perfectly fine with this. We will check it tonight to see how everything is going. All in all it was a great brew day and a fun recipe to take on.

The Hazelnut, vanilla bean, espresso porter is coming along very nicely. We will be adding the hazelnut/vanilla bean extract in the coming days. After that, it’s all a matter of time. We are also waiting on our shipment of Yohimbe. It should be here very soon. Then we will work out the recipe and start the process of creating this very unique brew. Can not wait for this one.

Hope you are all well. CHEERS!

Good Beer Festival and Home Brew Competition

Beautiful weather, great beer, and an even better crowd. That sums up the 3rd annual Good Beer Festival. October 13th and 14th could not have gone any better. The attendance just on Saturday almost beat out last year’s weekend total. This festival is growing in popularity very quickly and according to a number of breweries, its one of the best around.

I would list all the breweries but that would take too long. Take a look at the website for a full list. I've included some photos of the ones I thought stood out. I can’t wait to see what next year is like. I’m thinking they will need to expand the festival grounds in order to fit all the attendees. Great problem to have.

Sunday was the first annual Good Beer Home Brew Competition. There were some last minute cancelations from judges that kind of had us on our toes. But thanks to the miracle worker know as Doug and some of his friends, we found all the judges we need. Quickly, big thanks goes out to everyone of you judges. Thank you so much for your hard work and answering the call. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did. We made some great friends and had a blast.

The day started for the judges around 12:30. The judging lasted until around 4 with the results being announced at 4:30. There were a few hiccups early on. These will be worked out before next year’s competition. The top 3 are shown below. There were only 38 entries this year due to the very short notice. We will be holding this competition again next year and expect many more entries. So if you’re a bjcp certified judge let us know. We would love to have you.

Good Beer Home Brew – Best in Show

1) Mike Piorunski – Saison

2) Doug Dixon – Special Premium Bitter

3) Matthew Shockley – Fruit Beer

It was a great weekend to say the least. Thank you to Andy Kitzrow and the Wicomico County Parks and Rec Department as well as all the volunteers that made this event possible. Things went as smoothly as possible and it wouldn't have been possible without you all. Looking forward to doing it all again next year. And for those of you that didn’t make it this year, we expect to see you there. CHEERS!!

P.S. A big thank you to Dan Woodall. The home brew competition would not have been possible without your help.

Good Beer Festival 2012

That’s right people. Its time for the 3rd annual Good Beer Festival. As some of you know already, this year we will be holding the first annual Good Beer Home Brew Competition on Sunday. Due to the short notice there were approx 40 entries. Not bad for 2 months heads up. Next year that number will surely increase. Judging is set to begin around noon on Sunday with results being announced around 5 to 5:30. Everything is very fluid being as this is the first stab at this. Atomic Donkey will not be competing in the contest due to no brew being ready. This will also change next year.

Keep your fingers crossed for a smooth competition. If you are looking for a lot of fun this weekend come on out to the festival. Saturday is a lot busier than Sunday but there are also more breweries present. Both days are a blast. Hope to see you all there. CHEERS!

Is That A Keg In Your Fridge Or Are You Just Happy

The answer is, both!! No more bottling brew that’s meant for staff. Only bottles now are for orders. We are so excited. We will be taking our first pull off of it tonight. A nice Chocolate Stout. Its going to be a great night.. CHEERS!

1 Brew, 2 Brew, 3 Brew, New Brew

Atomic Donkey Brewing currently has 3 brews in different stages of fermentation. A Chocolate Stout that will not leave the brewery. Finally one for the staff. The Porter that did not go so well and turned into a fun experiment that will hopefully turn out nicely. And now the Hazelnut/Vanilla Espresso Porter which we nailed this time around. Yes, we've decided to throw in some vanilla bean as well.

There were no screw ups with the Porter this time. No stuck sparges. Just a delicious smelling porter with an OG of 1.063. Exactly what we were shooting for. I even had some help from my future brew master who is currently 4 years old. He pitched the little yeasties and swears he saw them swimming around and eating. Who was I to argue. I have terrible eyes. We put a blow off tube on this brew. Pitched a fair amount of yeast and I am fully expecting very vigorous fermentation.

So there are now 3 brews in our fermentation chamber. I know there have not been a lot of posts but things have been moving right along. A lot of research is going into this next brew. We mentioned it in the last post. The Yohimbe Brew. We want to get this one right. And being as its something completely new to us, we want to make sure we handle it correctly.

We hope everyone is well out there. Fall is here which for us at Atomic Donkey means more brewing. Can't wait to see what the season brings. CHEERS!

Brewing Updates and Bold Recipe Idea

Good morning friends and beer lovers. Things have been relly exciting around the brewery lately. After what seemed like way too much time off from brewing we jumoed back in big time.

Two weeks ago we brewed a basic chocolate stout which will be kept in house for Atomic Donkey employees enjoyment. Lately, everything we have made has been for someone else. Don’t get me wrong, this is why we do it. But its nice to brew for us every once in a while. No trouble with the brew. Every thing went off without a hitch.

OG = 1.056
Gravity as of 8/30/12 = 1.016

This past Saturday we set out to brew the Hazelnut Espresso Porter. This was to be the maiden voyage of our new false bottom. We were very excited about this. Well, let’s just say it did not go as planned. In brewing you don’t learn till you screw something up. That being said, we learned a lot. We used a piece of hose that we use to drain and bottle. Well apparently the heat within the mash tun is too much for this little piece of hose. The temperature caused the hose to collapse on itself therefore creating the stuck sparge from hell! So we had to dump all the grain and wort into another sterilized pot. Then we had to take the false bottom out and put our mesh hose back in. This process added a good 2 hours to the day. Through all this the gravity ended up coming is way too low. It was around 1.042 and we were shooting for 1.062. Needless to say I will not be giving this brew to anyone. I decided to have some fun with it since it was so off. Added a few things here and there. Even took a gallon out and got really crazy with it. We will see how it all comes out.

We will now be brewing a new Hazelnut Espresso Porter once Brew Master Jimmy Sharp returns from a long weekend in beautiful Ocracoke, NC. We will have all the proper hoses for our false bottom and we will do this thing right. Mistakes happen, and we have learned some valuable lessons which we will carry forward with us. We will use this new knowledge on this next batch. It’s going to be great! We guarantee it.

This is some exciting news. We have been approached about creating a brew using Yohimbe Bark. Yohimbe Bark is found in the bark of the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree in western Africa. It is both a stimulant and aphrodisiac. We are currently researching it some more to make sure it will taste good. Most importantly we need to learn about its interaction with alcohol. Along with the Yohimbe, we will be using numerous spices and herbs. This will be Atomic Donkeys boldest creation to date. You have to take chances in life. It could be the worst thing you’ve ever tasted or it could be a life changing experience. We are betting on the later. Stay tuned for this one people. It's going to be a lot of fun. CHEERS!

New Email Address

I wanted to pass along some new contact information. You can now reach us with any questions or comments at Atomicdonkeybrewing@gmail.com.


Our new false bottom should be arriving at the brewery today. We have put off the brewing of the hazelnut espresso porter till it arrives. We will be getting it brewed this weekend for sure.

Also, if you look at our upcoming brews section you see mention of a really exciting creation. I don’t want to give away any details just yet. I will just say that this beer will be very EXCITING! Hope everyone is well. Look forward to sharing these next two experiences with you. CHEERS!

The Doc Party

You may recognize the lovely Mrs. Roberts from a previous wedding post

The One and Only Doc Weatherly

The lovely Mrs. Weatherly on the left and a lovely mystery woman on the right

Mr. Hall and Family

The Legend

Looks like it was a great time. I wish I could have been there. Congratulations Mike. Proud to know you my friend.