B-Rabbit's Birthday Brew (aka 'B-Rabbit')
BJCP Style: 29B(Fruit and Spice Beer)
Originally brewed for my daughter-in-law (who's affectionately called 'B-Rabbit' by my youngest) for her birthday. Brewed with pilsner and wheat malts, hopped with Cascade and Citra, with a touch of grapefruit, ginger and real honey, it's a refreshing beer that can be enjoyed year-round. It's definitely a favorite of many who've tried it!
Brew Porch Belgian Blonde
BJCP Style: 25A (Belgian Blond Ale)
As a big fan of the Belgian styles, I always try and keep at least one on tap. This Belgian Blonde ale grew from a basic blonde ale recipe that I tried to keep on-hand for those who prefer a less aggressive beer, but with enough character to call it a "craft" beer. The grain bill consists primarily of Belgian Pilsner with a bit of Vienna malt, plus a touch of light crystal malts for body and complexity. Just enough Amarillo and Mosaic hops for balance, the characteristic "Belgian" flavors comes from the Belgian-strain of yeast.
HoYo Blonde Ale
BJCP Style: 18A (Blonde Ale)
Not everyone likes beers with lots of flavor. Americans have been conditioned to think beer should be pale in color and light in flavor. American Light Lagers dominated the US beer market for decades until the craft beer movement introduced us to "real" beer.
This is my compromise for those people that don't particularly care for craft beer. This simple recipe starts with a base of two-row barley, a touch of Vienna contributes malty flavor, while crystal malt contributes color and body. Flavor comes from the centennial and cascade hops added throughout the brewing process.
Even though it's not as assertive as other JakeDog beers, this easy-drinking beer has plenty of flavor and serves as a great introduction to all that craft beer has to offer. And since it's a favorite of one of my regular brew-day helpers, this one's named in his honor. Here's to you, Howard!
Blackberry Hop Tart (Blackberry Wit)
BJCP Style: 28C (Wild Specialty Beer)
I love blackberries. I remember exploring the fields around my grandparents' house in east Texas and eating fresh blackberries by the handful straight from the vines. Nothing says 'summer' like fresh blackberries.
My mother has several blackberry plants behind her house. While at her house picking (and eating) her blackberries, I had the idea of using them in a summer beer. I decided on a Belgian Wit as the base beer, as these are refreshing, easy drinking, summer beers. I thought the fruit would compliment the wheat and spice of the wit, while adding some depth and complexity.
The result is a tart, refreshing, hazy-purple beer that really refreshes on a hot summer day.
BJCP Style: 21A (American IPA)
Bitter flavors in beer is an acquired taste. Most people do not initially like bitterness in their beer. In fact, Keystone Light spends a lot of money trying to tell consumers that "bitter beer face" is a bad thing. Bitterness comes from hops, but so do a bunch of flavors and aromas. As you learn to appreciate the flavor contributions of the various hop varieties, you learn to appreciate the inevitable bitterness that comes with those flavors.
Like many JakeDog brews, this beer offers bold flavors (tropical fruit) and aromas (pine and grapefruit). This is an homage to the IPA style, but with an emphasis on the late-addition Mosaic and Citra hops. Brewed primarily with American two-row barley, with enough sweet crystal malt to offset some of the bitterness, and dry-hopped with Citra hops, the deep amber color and thick, long-lasting head make for a smooth, easy drinking-beer.
BJCP Style: 18C (Belgian Tripel)
Have I said that Belgians are my favorite style?
My take on this style starts out much like any other Belgian beer. Traditional Belgian malts, like pilsner, aromatic, and biscuit, with the addition of light Belgian candi sugar. However, it's called a "tripel" because it's turned up to "11". Literally, the name comes from the Trappist monks that originally brewed this beer with three times the amount of barley malt as their "regular" beer.
The result is a strong beer that has the added flavor of real pineapple and coconut. Think "trappist monk meets Capt. Jack Sparrow."
BJCP Style: 20A (American Porter)
A trip to the Cerveza Patito brewery in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico introduced me to a previously under-appreciated (by me) style of beer -- the Porter. Previous attempts to drink this beer had left me less-than-impressed, so I assumed it was a style I didn't particularly like. However, I enjoyed this beer so much, I wanted to brew it at The Porch.
I researched the brewery online, and considering that it was a Mexican brewery, I had to depend on Google Translate to be able to read the site. I found there was a CONTACT US page, so I reached out -- again using Google Translate to convert my English to Spanish -- asking about the beer, trying to get some information to help me duplicate it at home. A day later, I received an email from Gerardo, the brewmaster at Patito. I think it was obvious to him that I wasn't a native Spanish-speaker, so he responded in English, explaining that although he couldn't give me the exact recipe (due to company policy), he was able to give me enough information that I was able to create a close representation of the beer I enjoyed so much that afternoon in May 2017.
The recipe I came up with consists of a blend of two-row base malt, German Dark, UK Brown, and American Chocolate malts, along with dark crystal malts for color and sweetness. The addition of Tahitian vanilla beans during secondary fermentation provides the subtle flavor that evokes memories of that trip I'll never forget.
Wicked Honey (Hard Apple Cider)
Occasionally, I'm asked to make something other than beer for the non-beer drinkers, and Kelli G (aka 'Honey' to her grand-daughters) asked for a hard apple cider. She specifically wanted it to be 8% ABV (similar to a Redd's Wicked Apple), but "better."
I came up with the idea to take real apple juice, add a pound of real honey, and ferment it with a strain of English Ale yeast, which leaves a touch of residual sweetness. While it was fermenting, I created a cinnamon tincture/extract by soaking real cinnamon sticks in a bit of vodka to extract the flavors, which I added after fermentation was complete. The result -- a sparkling Apple cider that retains a strong, tart apple flavor, with a touch of sweetness, but with a 'kick!'
An apple cider for Honey -- made with honey. The name was obvious: Wicked Honey.