Breaking News!!

A good friend of Atomic Donkey Brewing is graciously donating a 15cf chest freezer to the cause. This will now allow us to lager up to 6 brews at one time. Or during the summer we can use it for Ales as well. This will also allow for the conversion of the fridge to a kegerator. Things just keep getting better and better. CHEERS!!

Also, take a look at the labels for the upcoming wedding. They turned out amazing. All credit goes to James Ball (artist). The guy is amazing.

My Pils is bubbling.

Things are looking good.

I took this 20 minutes ago out in the brewery. I battled 100mph winds and a temperature of -45F. The things I do for brew. Love it. Anyways, things are going well. I've taken the temp down a bit more. its set on 51 and the temperature inside the fermentor was 55. Want to get it down to 50. The Atomic Donkey staff will keep you up to date on the latest. Stay tuned. CHEERS...


Take a look at my Pils....

Wipe that drool off your chin

Today was the day. The brew rig made its way to the brewery yesterday and all us here at Atomic Donkey couldn't wait to see this thing in action.Well it didn't disappoint. A big thank you to Mr. Pate for putting this baby together for us. We couldn't be happier. 

So we turned on the burner around 10 am this morning. These low pressure burners are very impressive. The water heated to 168 in 10 mins or so. We mashed in at around 148 and held it there for 30 mins before pulling the 1st decoction. The we heated it to about 158 for 10 mins. Then we poured it back in and pulled decoction number 2 immediately. Heated to a boil for the remaining 30 mins of the mash. Poured back in and drained the mash. Then batch sparged. 

Next was the boil. 90 mins long. Added hops at 60 mins, 30 mins, and 10 mins. Then added coriander and orange peel with 5 mins left in the boil. We hit an original gravity of 1.059. Within the style range for this Pilsner. We had help once again from our friend at Crooked Oak Brewery and would like to say thank you. We would also like to thank the family that came up and allowed this to happen. A big thanks to you all. Enjoyed some great beer while we whipped up this batch as well.

It was a great day here at Atomic Donkey. It took a lot of people helping us out to get us to this day. Thank you to everyone I named and the ones that I forgot. There is nothing more fun than brewing beer. Nothing we want to do more. And we want it to be the best it can be. Without the help of all these people, that wouldn't be possible. So here's to great friends and great beer. CHEERS!!

We have fire

Decoction 1

Check out my Pils. Gigidy

Hops are growing quickly!!

Rolling On..

My Wheels

The wheels are all we need and the Brew Rig is done. They are sitting in a UPS office 2 hours away. They will be here tomorrow and if we are lucky, the rig will be rolling its way to the brewery. We will be posting pictures as soon as it is done. More importantly, we will be brewing this weekend. The Donkey Pils will FINALLY show itself. :)  Sorry to keep you all waiting. Thanks for sticking around. CHEERS!!

Thank You from Atomic Donkey Brewing

We wanted to take a minute to thank all of our followers. Those that have been here from the beginning and those who have joined us more recently. It means more to us than you know. As always, if anyone has suggestions for improving this website or tips on brewing, please feel free to share. There will be no hurt feelings. You've got to hear whats bad about something in order to make it better. Again, thank you all and we look forward to continuing on this journey with all of you. CHEERS!!

Brew Rig Update!!

The Atomic Brew Rig is pretty much done. Still have found any scaffolding casters for a reasonable price. Once we have those, this baby will be mobile. I will grind and then paint it once its back at the brewery. Mr. Pate has done a fantastic job on this thing. The burners being set on a swivel was an ingenious idea. We foresee many joint brew sessions with our friends. We have the capacity to get 6 half kegs on this baby at once. Only thing left to do is cut the swivel and move the burners a few inches closer to the bottom of the kegs. After that it will be on its way back to the brewery for a few finishing touches. Hope everyone is doing great on this 74 degree winter day.. CHEERS!!

Room for expansion.

Adding wood sheet to the bottom with holes cut in it to hold the tanks.

The burners swivel from one side to the other on the metal sheet you see here. 3 holes are drilled into the metal and the burners legs rest in it.

Brew Day = Zoo Day

There has been a slight delay in the Brew Day. Saturday was a no go due to SWMBO getting called into work. Sunday turned into the perfect day to take a family trip to the Norfolk Zoo. So, this weekend will now be the big day. The Atomic Donkey Pils will come to fruition I promise you. Be patient my friends. CHEERS!!

Saturdays "Atomic Donkey Pils" Recipe

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: SafLager 2-23
Yeast Starter: no
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.056
Final Gravity: 1.013
IBU: 39.8
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 4.0
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 50F
Additional Fermentation: lager 4 weeks @ 32
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 62F

-11lbs german 2-row pilsner
-12 ounces cara-pils

                                                        Double decoction

-4.41 gal 148F for 60 minutes
-30 minutes left, pull decoction 1, heat decoction 1 to 158F, let it rest for 10 minutes, then heat to a boil for remaining 15 minutes of Mash rest.
-return slowly to main mash, until you get to 158F in main mash. Cool any remaining to 158 then add in.
-Immediately pull decoction 2 and bring it to boil during this 30 minute 158F mash rest.
return decoction 2. You want 168F or higher.

I am going to batch sparged.

90 minute boil,
.75 saaz 5.8% @ 60min
1.0 saaz 5.8% @ 30min
1.0 saaz 5.8% @ 10min

Siphon to carboy and aerate. Pitch dry yeast directly into fermenter once temp reaches 68F. Lager at 50F. for 2 weeks. Then drop temp to around 32. After 2 weeks begin raising the temperature 1 degree every 12 hours until you reach 62 and leave at temp for a week. Then bottle condition for at least 3 weeks. Longer is always better. I am going to hold off opening one until a nice warm day when I'm mowing the yard. :) 

Hope someone else tries this recipe and gives me some feedback CHEERS!!!

Oh Happy Day!! Brew Rig Update!!

We are one Happy Atomic Donkey! 

            I have just spoken with brew rig designer extraordinaire Pate Matthews and he said everything is done. We will be taking our mash tun over to his shop this weekend to make sure the burners are at a good distance from the bottom of the tun and brew pot. I'm still in need of some 1 & 3/8 inch casters. We can bring it back to the brewery now and then put those on when I have acquired them. So if anyone knows of a place to find these at a good price please let us know.

           In other news, the wedding brews are sitting comfortably in the brewery at 68 degrees doing their thing. I can't believe there were 50 on the nose of each brew. That's great because it was our target, but it leaves none for us!! But thanks to the magic of BeerSmith, previous article plug, we can recreate this recipe for our own enjoyment. We plan to do so after the Pilsner that will be brewed this weekend. We are going to start posting recipes beginning with this batch. I can tell you now that this one involves coriander, lemon zest, and grains of paradise. This will be the summertime brew you have always wanted..

           The staff here at AD have been brainstorming on a way to get our brew out there. One idea that has been floated is having some kind of contest in which the winner will get a sample pack of Atomic Donkey Brew. Once the rig is back at the brewery we will be on a 10 gallon batch frenzy so there will be plenty to go around. Please vote in the poll and let us know if this is something you would be interested in. Thank you as always for reading and participating in this adventure that just keeps getting better every day. CHEERS!!

Blog Collaboration

As we mentioned in the previous post, we are doing a review of BeerSmith brewing software as part of a larger collaboration with other members. I've listed the other blog sites. Check them out. These are some really great sites and knowledgeable folks. I've learned plenty from these folks.

Beer Alchemy Review - reviewed by Devon Hamilton, Hollis Brewing Co.

iBrewMaster Review - reviewed by Billy Broas, HomeBrew Academy

Brewtarget Review - reviewed by Brett Shegogue, Shegogue Brew

BrewMate Review - reviewed by Aidan Curran, Beer And Garden __________________

    Thy Saviors Name is BeerSmith 1.4

    This is a review for BeerSmith 1.4. This review is in conjunction with other members. A post will be put up on the site with this and all other brewing software reviews. Check it out.

    I am a firm believer that people these days are too reliant on all that new fangled technology. What with there GPS, Facebooks, and intelligent phones. Normally I would shun any such thing. But then one day I stumbled across BeerSmith. To put it simply, it changed my brewing life

    BeerSmith is a brewing journal, recipe book, and every form of calculator you could ever need for brewing all wrapped into one. My biggest issue with home brewing had been consistency. I could never take enough detailed notes therefore leading to a completely different brew when revisiting an old favorite recipe. With BeerSmith everything is right there in front of you. As you see below, you save all your recipes into the “My Recipes” folder for easy access in the future. I find the notes section at the bottom of each recipe to be a godsend.
    Screen shot of recipe details (click for more detailed look)

    I have been using BeerSmith for roughly 2 years now and there are still many parts of the software I haven’t even visited yet. Honestly there are parts to it that I will most likely never use. When you are building your recipes you will find almost any ingredient out there and the stats to go with it. In the shot above you can see the add buttons on the right.  If you find something missing you can most likely go to and download it. Also take a look at the left hand side of the screen. Each one of those Unit Conversion, Tools, and My Recipe options comes loaded with information. The options are almost limitless.

    Once you have all your ingredients entered along with other pertinent information like batch size, beer style, etc, you can go click on “Print Preview Brewsheet” and the software will print out step by step directions for your brew day.
     Thank you wyzazz(click for more detailed look)

     Along with outstanding customer service, the software comes loaded with recipes. You can go to the website and find recipes for every style of beer you could want to brew. There are also user forums where you can post questions and get help from other more experienced home brewers. I have found these very useful in my brewing adventures.

    There is really no way to tell just how beneficial BeerSmith can be and will be to your home brewing unless you give it a try. Do yourself a favor and visit and give the 21 day free trial a try. For a mere $25 you can change the way you brew and improve the quality and consistency of each brew. You will be glad you purchased this amazing tool. I know I am.


    Now that was a looooooong night!

    So the bottling night started well enough. I had every cleaned and sanitized by 9pm. Mixed in the dextrose around 9:30 and we are ready to go. Wait, whats that sound? Oh, the baby is awake. no problem right? Just feed her a bit and put her back to bed. Not this time friends. Our little Atomic one was up till 3:30am. During this time I would bottle some and then have to stop, then bottle again, then stop. The bottles were filled and the clean up was done at 2am. But the night was still young. Another 1.5 hours of baby fun. But the bottling did go extremely well. Hit the 50 bottle mark on the nose with barely a half bottle left, which got drank around 2am. The taste of this beer is incredible. These two, stout and Belgian, may be the best things to come out of the Atomic Donkey Brewery to date. We cant wait to get the labels in so we can get these things done. The stout is going into bottle this Saturday after the chocolate festival. Yes, a chocolate festival. SWMBO would not miss it for the world.

    To summarize, bottling went well, the night, not so much. Bottles are sitting in a dark room at 68 degrees getting ready for the big day. I will have some pictures of both processes after the bottling on Saturday. Take care everyone. CHEERS!

    Before the bottling started, and after the baby finally went to sleep.