Labels getting printed..

Labels getting printed..

Dilloweisen is bottled!

Dilloweisen is bottled!

Took a sample of the Dillo Weizen tonight for a gravity reading.  Looks like it’s ready to go into bottles this weekend, and even in its un-carbonated state, it’s already pretty good tasting!  Strong clove flavor up front, gives way to a little wheat-y goodness, then a sweet, dry banana finish- can’t wait til it’s carbed up!

Took a sample of the Dillo Weizen tonight for a gravity reading.  Looks like it’s ready to go into bottles this weekend, and even in its un-carbonated state, it’s already pretty good tasting!  Strong clove flavor up front, gives way to a little wheat-y goodness, then a sweet, dry banana finish- can’t wait til it’s carbed up!

Anatomy of the Dilloweizen

So you may have seen the recipe for the wheat beer I’m currently (!) brewing that I posted earlier this week, but if you don’t speak beer-ese it probably doesn’t mean anything to you.  So, in layman’s terms, what’s cool about this beer?

This beer is inspired by Dillo Day, Northwestern’s spring music festival/day of general debauchery.  In particular, I wanted to make a recipe for a beer that shared a few characteristics with Dillo Day:

  1. It should be summer-y.
  2. It should be enjoyable by a wide variety of people.
  3. It should get you drunk.

The Dilloweizen was the result.  Most students I know generally like wheat beers (Goose Island’s 312 is a popular ‘not shitty’ beer here), and they’re perfect for warm spring and summer days.  But a normal wheat beer doesn’t satisfy characteristic 3…

So I based my recipe off the idea of a “honey weizen”, which has a honey sweetness to it, and allows for a higher ABV because of the extra sugar in the honey- it should end up at around 6-6.2% ABV, which equals out to be about 1.5 Busch Lights worth per bottle.  So, a 3-beer buzz is now a 2-beer buzz.  Science!  

This batch will have 2 pounds of California Orange Blossom honey in it, along with some steeped honey malt (which smells heavenly) for additional honey flavor.  The fact that it’s Orange Blossom honey should also give it a little citrus twang.  To balance out the sweetness will be an ounce of German Hallertau hops, like you might see in a normal hefeweizen.

Ultimately, though, in a German-style wheat beer, the grains and the hops aren’t really the exciting part.  What gives beer like this character is actually the yeast.  Remember that Weihanstephan hefeweizen I raved about in Philly?  Well, for the Dilloweizen I’m actually using the same yeast strain that they use in that beer.  Should impart those smooth banana-and-clove ester flavors into the final product.  It’s also known to be ferocious (ie, overflowing peoples fermentors and stuff) in fermentation, so that will be fun.

Anyway, look for more on this in 5 or so weeks, and if you’re in Evanston, hit me up if you want some of that Whitecap Pale Ale.

Whitecap is carbed! Barely, but that’s ok for a pale ale. And it’s pretty good! A little less clear than I would like and a little grassier than I was hoping for the hop character, but totally drinkable and an improvement on my first batch.

Brewing my amped up Dilloweizen this weekend, so stay tuned for that.

Whitecap is carbed! Barely, but that’s ok for a pale ale. And it’s pretty good! A little less clear than I would like and a little grassier than I was hoping for the hop character, but totally drinkable and an improvement on my first batch.

Brewing my amped up Dilloweizen this weekend, so stay tuned for that.

While we wait for Whitecap to carbonate, I’ve been tooling around with the recipe for my Dillo Day wheat beer, with some assistance from my friends at /r/homebrewing on Reddit.  Check it.

Batch 02: WHITECAP Pale Ale is bottled! Now, we wait for carbonation.. Stay tuned for the spring quarter release party!

Batch 02: WHITECAP Pale Ale is bottled! Now, we wait for carbonation.. Stay tuned for the spring quarter release party!

Cleaning and sanitizing for batch 02!

Cleaning and sanitizing for batch 02!

Brew day photos from Batch 02..

Quick notes on a couple exceptional beers..

So, I spent a week in Philly earlier this quarter and had a few exceptional beers there that I thought I would relay to you guys, lest you ever see them on a draft list somewhere. 

image by Bernt Rostad

First was the Weihanstephan Hefeweissbier, on draft at McCrossen’s Tavern.  I was doing some research on the Hefeweissen style because I’m considering doing one for Dillo Day, and lo and behold, this one was delicious- refreshing but interesting with it’s balance of the characteristic “banana” and “clove” tastes and clean malty yeasty goodness.  I came away thinking “hell yeah, I wanna make THAT next quarter”, to discover that it scored a 98 from Beer Advocate, making it the highest-rated Hefeweissen in the world.  So, probably not gonna top that.  Oh well.

The second was a less conventional one, Dark Horse Brewing’s Double Crooked Tree IPA.  Weighing in at 13.6% (!!!!) ABV and 98 IBU (International Bittering Units- for reference, 312 is 20 IBUs and Sierra Nevada Pale is 38), it doesn’t seem like an approachable beer- but it was.  For being so hopped-up, it was very well balanced- enough bite to satisfy, and an awesome bouquet of aromatic hops and toffee-like caramel malt.  Even the lacing on this beer (the patterns the head leaves on the glass as you drink it down) was beautiful.  Again, seems some people agree with me: it scored  92 from Beer Advocate.  I’ll be on the lookout for it in the Chicago area.

Side note: I had the Double Crooked Tree at Prohibition Tap Room.  Cool place if you’re ever in Philly- it’s an actual speakeasy from back in the day, now a hipster-y bar with a beer list that manages to have representatives from every major style- impressive.

So, if you like beer in any capacity and get the chance to try either of these, I’d say DO IT.  Both are inviting, flavorful, and easy to drink.  

More details to come on Batch 02 as they develop.