It's Back!! Donkey Milk!

After a long absence from the brewery the famous Atomic Donkey Milk Stout has returned. Just a week or so after brewing our Atomically Red Irish Ale we once again revisited an old classic recipe. The Milk Stout was easily one of our most requested brews and also a house favorite. We went with the exact recipe as the first time (see new recipe tab). Only thing we did differently was use 2 yeast strains. Not expecting a big difference in taste. But we love to experiment here at AD Brewing so we said why the hell not. We went with 1 US-05 dry and then we used the us-04 that we harvested from out porter a few weeks back. The liquid yeast was added 2 days after the dry pack. The fermentation was slow and steady at first. Once we added the harvested yeast the bubbling really took off. Within 2 hours of pitching it, there was very steady action. We almost added a blow off tube but we were able to burp the fermenter enough that it wasn't necessary.

Our SG came in right on the nose at 1.064. Just like the original. We were very excited to see that. The next gravity check will be sometime Saturday. We will update the blog asap. Also, we will be doing perhaps our final gravity check on the Irish Red tonight. If all goes well, we will be kegging later this evening. The ZaPorter has been in bottles for about a week now. Another week and they should be ready to go as well. Lots of beer related fun going on at the brewery right now. Good times are being had by all. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and has an even better New Years in store. CHEERS!!

All Bottled Up

Every time we sit down and fill bottles for an hour, and then cap, and then clean, and then move to storage, we are reminded why we love kegging so much. But this was a special situation. This is the second round of Atomic Donkey Brewing's ZaPorter. Only difference this time was that we went with coffee from a local shop in downtown Salisbury. Main Roots coffee is still pretty new in the area and they make the finest coffee hands down. Great owners and great clientele.

One other minor difference was the amount of hazelnut we added to this batch. It was the only thing we would have changed about the last batch. Wanted the hazelnut to come through a bit more. I'm very confident that we achieved it this go round. Ended up with 60 bottles this time. Only a few spills while bottling. That's a hell of a victory for this brewer. Of course the trigger on the bottling wand got stuck once. Looked like someone had been stabbed and bled porter all over the brewery floor. Perhaps we lost a brew or two. Again, it happens.

The entire operation took maybe 2 hours from sanitizing to clean up. Not bad, but kegging is so much better. That or we need to go automated. CHEERS!!

111 W Main St, Salisbury, MD
(443) 944-9789

Seeing Red

Wet, cold, and windy. That was the scene this weekend. Not in Ireland, but in Allen. Seemed only fitting that we were brewing our Irish Red. This was the same recipe we used several years ago. We tweaked it a bit last time, but we were not as happy with the results. So it was back to the original that we loved so much. No real issues, although we did have one incident. This time we were brewing back at Atomic Donkey. All our equipment is over at Crooked Oak so we went old school and used a single burner. Only thing was, this burner had a timer on it and only went up to 20 mins. So we had to keep turning the timer. We'll, we forgot to do this one time so the flame was out for about 5 mins. No problem though. Turned it back on and we were up and boiling in no time. This was just a quick 5 gallon batch. I had a 1pm appointment with my boy and the Eagles game. Thank god the brewing went well because the game did not.

The one big change from the last recipe was the amount of honey we added. The last version of this brew was far too sweet in my opinion. I will have the recipe posted tonight or tomorrow along with pictures. We are also adding our vanilla and hazelnut to the ZaPorter tonight and will be bottling tonight or tomorrow night. Just depends on what the kids sleeping patterns will allow us to do. Whatever happens, there will be pictures. :) CHEERS!

Extract Intact

We completed our coffee extraction last night. For this brew we used some Brazilian coffee from a local shop here in town (Main Roots Coffee). The owner, Nate, is a young up and coming business owner here in town. We used this bean and his suggestion. It has a chocolate taste to it but is mild in its bitterness. Its not a dark roast like we used in our last version of ZaPorter. We added the extract last night.

For the cold extraction we used 2 cups or water and approx. 6 ounces of beans ground. The water was boiled and once it was cooled we poured it over the coffee, covered it, and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. We then filtered out all the ground through typical coffee filter paper and poured it directly into the secondary. We will add the vanilla and hazelnut the day of the bottling. That's looking to be this Sunday night. We are very excited to have this brew around again. It went over very well last time. That's the reason we bottled. We love giving brew away as gifts. So if you were good this year, you might find a few brews under the tree. CHEERS!

New Blog and Yeast Update

I was recently lucky enough to be one of the first guests on a new podcast called Beer With Strangers. You can find a link to the interview on Tonys homepage, The State of the Beer. Give it a listen then follow Tonys Blog and leave some comments. There is nothing more rewarding than getting feedback via comments on your blog.

The interview was a lot of fun. Doug(Xtreme Brewing) and I had a good time and even had a bit of my homebrew. I look forward to seeing and hearing what Tony does in the future. He has a knack for this interviewing thing and social media. Keep checking back my friends. It's going to be good.

I included some pictures below of the yeast we gathered from our Porter last week. We have 3 large jars and one smaller one full of these little miracles. Also, there is a picture of our Imperial Pilsner. The 9.4% nectar has really cleared up and is tasting more and more delicious. Wish everyone could try it. Soon my friends, soon. CHEERS!

Keeping Those Yeast Clean

Last night we moved our ZaPorter Part Deux to its secondary resting spot. It will remain there with some hazelnut, vanilla, and espresso added, for another week before going into bottles. This time around we decided that instead of dumping all our trub and yeast, we would capture those yeast and store them away for future batches. It really is a simple process. I took some photos showing the steps.

1. Boil all your mason jars and lids for approx. 20 minutes.
2. Using tongs, remove the jars with the water still inside.
3. Store the water with lids on in the fridge overnight.
4. Transfer the beer into your secondary, bottles, kegs, etc..
5. Dump the water from the mason jars into the bucket and give it a good swirl or two.
6. Let it sit for 20 mins to allow the yeast to become suspended and the trub to fall out of suspension. You should see an obvious line of separation. See pictures below.
7. Carefully dump the watery part from the ferementor into the biggest jar leaving the solids behind in the ferementor.
8. Let it settle again for approx. 20 mins.
9. Then dump into smaller jars. Again, leaving solids behind.
10. Label and store away in a fridge. When ready to use just create a starter and dump the jar into it. Give it 24-36 hours and then pitch into your wort.

I'm not sure why we have not done this up until now. It is a very simple money saving technique to use. It also opens up the creative doors a bit more. The one thing I would change is I would have a large jar to dump the initial liquid into from the ferementor. We didn't have a jar large enough so we had to use 3.5. Everything worked out fine. Just a bit more of a pain. Here is a link to a longer more detailed write up.