Hello friends! As usual it's been way too long. We have missed each and everyone of you. We have also been missing our brew days. Outside forces had forced a temporary slow down on our brewing. A Priest, Shaman, Rabbi, Ayatollah, and many other religious figures later and we are ok to go(Atomic Donkey Brewing apologizes if any religious figures were excluded from this post).
The beer of choice this go round was an American Pale Ale. "American pale ales come from British origins and its cousin, the English Pale Ale. In general, this style is going to be a very balanced style, resulting in a not too hoppy, not too malty taste. This equilibrium is in large part a function of the ingredients. When craft brewing started to gain some ground on the West Coast, brewers wanted to give the public something that they enjoyed. They decided to turn to British Ales, but could not afford to ship the ingredients from Britain. Thus American ingredients are used to replicate the classic English Pale Ale." Thank you Homebrewtalk.com
With the help of Crooked Oak Brewing we doubled our normal batch size and split between breweries. Each brewery will choose a different hop to use for the dry hopping process. We will get together sometime after and decide which one we like best and stick with it for future APA's. If anyone would like to chime in with some suggestions, please do. Lets make this a true community beer. We used 3 ounces of our homegrown cascades for the first hop addition. After that we went with the pellet form. in the past we have had many stopped up kettles. So this time we stuffed those bad boys in a hop sock as you can see below in the photo.
So far the brew is looking good. Its resting at a comfy 70 degrees in the fermentation chamber at Atomic Donkey Brewing. We will take a look at the activity when we return to the brewery this evening around 6.
In other exciting brewing news. Atomic Donkey Brewing's ZaPorter was featured in 2 separate pod casts for Zapow Art Gallery in Asheville, NC. We cannot thank the management of Zapow enough for the great opportunity. I believe the podcasts are available on the website. We would be under the most recent addition of Illustrations and a Beer as well as Figures Sold Separately. Give it a listen when you get a chance. Very interesting interview and content. We know you will enjoy it. And to the owners and management of Zapow, more beer coming your way very soon.
Keep up with every little detail of Atomic Donkey Brewing through our Facebook page and @needsit on Twitter. CHEERS!
Just a quick rant about our friend popillia japonica otherwise known as the japanese beetle! It was introduced into the United States around 1916, on plants from Asia. It spread over 2,500 square miles in its first eight years in the U.S. Eggs are laid in the soil. The larvae that hatch, sometimes up to 1,500 grubs in one square yard of lawn, feed on the roots of grasses and plants. Using chewing mouth parts, adults typically feed on the leaves and flowers of a variety of plants, especially roses, but also grapes, berries, apples, hops, clover, soybeans, hollyhocks, elm and birch trees. They eat leaf tissues, between the veins, so a leaf that has been eaten by a Japanese beetle looks like lace.
We have tried just about everything at this point to rid our hops of these pests. Nothing seems to keep them away. The heavy rains of the last week kept them at bay for a while. This morning it's sunny and sure enough, they have returned. A quick shake of the vines and it started raining beetles. All were disposed of harshly. But I have no doubt that when I return this afternoon the reinforcements will have arrived. If anyone has a sure fire way to help get rid of these guys I would greatly appreciate it.
You can see the lace like leaves of our Willamette below. They do not bother the Cascades, Chinook, or N. Brewer nearly as much as the Willamette. We may end up sacrificing them in order to protect the other varieties.
Some pictures I took a few hours ago of our hops. This is what happens when you have several inches of rain a day, every day, for a week. Throw in winds strong enough to uproot trees and this is what you get. Luckily the vines themselves are undamaged and the hops are twice as big as last year. But we need the water to drain and drain quickly or else this may be a short season. The forecast is calling for several more inches of rain. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't come to fruition.