A Bit of Summer and Fall


Two weeks ago, Atomic Donkey Brewing and Crooked Oak Brewery decided to try something new. Something groundbreaking. Something unbelievable. We started brewing at 6:30am. I know I know, it sounds impossible. After all, the sun isn't even completely up. I had heard for years that such a time did exist. Now I know it does. The goal of the day was to get a 10 gallon batch of Pumpkin Ale and a 10 gallon batch of an all homegrown IPA brewed before the entire day had passed.

Mr. Crooked Oak and myself met at the Crooked Oak Brewery and had the water fired up around 6:15. Mashing of what would become the Pumpkin Ale started around 6:45. With several strong cups of coffee downed, we began the transferring of wort from the mash tun to the boil kettle. Due to the size of the batch the mash tun was topped off. We could not get another ounce of water in it. The 7 gallons we used to mash with plus the 30lbs of grain led to some soar backs. But no worries, its for a great cause, beer. The boil and addition of the adjuncts all went very well. The OG came out around 1.071. This is going to be a strong Pumpkin Ale. Perfect for those Halloween parties. You can see below that the fermentation started off very well. Blow off tube was added by Mr. Crooked Oak shortly after.

Since the first brew had gone so smoothly we decided that we would go ahead with the IPA as well. Another 10 gallon batch. This IPA consists of hops grown exclusively at Atomic Donkey Brewing. It should also be mentioned that the Pumpkin Ale used hops grown at Crooked Oak Brewery. You can see them below covering the outside wall of the brewery. For the IPA we used a total of 7 ounces of Cascade and 5 ounces of Willamette. Once we get our first sample (tonight) we will decide if dry hopping is needed. From the smell so far I am guessing it will not. We want this to be as much of a session beer as possible. The OG came out at 1.058 and the FG should be around 1.012. That will give us 6.1% abv. Not too high and not too low.

Crooked Oak and Atomic Donkey will be swapping 5 gallons as soon as it's ready. We will have to bottle one and keg the other. Haven't decided which will go where at this point. We also have the Imperial Pilsner laagering. It will need to be bottled sometime in November. We also got a nice brew toy in recently. Our Plate Chiller came in the mail last week and a pump will be on the way soon. Also wanted to mention some of the nice work that's gone on at Crooked Oak. Some nice work space has been added. Having things organized and easily accessible is more of a help than I can put into words. There is a lot happening right now at the brewery. So stay tuned. CHEERS to you all..