Tag Archives: Dead Guy Dark Ale

Dead Guy Dark Ale – Review

As the first darker beer that wasn’t a BrewSmith kit and the first 23 litre batch that wasn’t a lager, there was a lot riding on this being a success. I think we can say the Dead Guy Dark Ale met the challenge.

Dead Guy Dark Ale

Dead Guy Dark Ale in glasses

This is a dark ale. Not a brown and not a porter. It’s important to make the distinction because they are trying to do different things. Dark ales are generally the area between Brown Ales and Porters. Not as sweet/nutty/spicy as brown and lighter than a porter.

Up front there’s a dark sweetness aroma. Sort of like a caramelised sugar smell. It’s saying “hey, I’m pretty tasty so come and try”.
Lots of dark malt flavours. Not a huge body or overwhelming. There’s a slight sweetness across the beer which works well. Bit of smoke and darkness up front. The dark malt builds in the middle and then lasts quite a bit. Really enjoy this.

Would be matched with any meal that would be defined as “hearty”. Meat pie, beef casserole, thick spaghetti Bolognese, lamb roast, jacket potato, …you get the idea.

Because this is lighter than a porter it’s easy to drink. Works well as a food beer or to knock back at a party.


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Bottling the dark ale and other updates


We had a busy day today.  Mikey came by and we bottled the Dead Guy Dark Ale I made two weeks ago.  We got 61 bottles in total and a final specific gravity of 1.012.  This should give us an alcohol content of about 4.4% once bottle conditioning is finished.  Since it’s a dark beer, I want to give it at least three to four weeks before trying it.  Home brewing is a waiting game…

My 61 new friends!

My 61 new friends!

The hops profile calmed down a little bit, which was good because I wasn’t crazy about it when it was just wort.  I think once the beer is given some time to condition in the bottle, it should turn out pretty well.  Hopefully things will all settle together and add some complexities and body to the brew.

After bottling, we also brewed up a porter, but I’ll do a separate post on that later.

In other news, we’ve also created two new sections.  The first one is Wildly Inaccurate Facts About Beer.  To counter this, we’ve also added a section called Wildly Accurate Facts About Beer.  The topics of these sections are pretty self explanatory.

That’s about it for now!


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Dark Dead Guy Ale


It has been an exciting week!  It was Good Beer Week, which meant lots of great stuff to try around Melbourne.  I’m not quite as hard core as Mikey, but I still managed to get more than a few brews under my belt.  Although this site is technically home brew related, if we get lucky Mikey may talk about Good Beer Week.  We’ll see!

However, I still managed to make some home brew: Dark Dead Guy Ale from Australian Home Brewing.

This kit was pretty cruisy, but quite fun.  It called for a 30 minute boil of some hops and then just mixing that in with a kit can and some malt into a 30 litre fermenter.

The Hops

The kit included two hop varieties: Perle hops (alpha 6%-10%) and Saaz Hops (3%-4.5%).

Now, I’ve still got A LOT to learn about hops, but it was great to be able to smell the difference.  I’ve included the alpha acid levels above mostly so that when I do learn more about hops, I’ll have a reference!

The Perle was the taste hops, and about 14 grams of that was thrown in for the 30 minutes.  Much to my housemate’s displeasure, this filled the house with the lovely smell of hops.  Perle has a great spiciness about it, and it was a pleasure to stand over the stove breathing in it.

At the 25 minute mark, I threw in anotheLast five minutes of the boil - all hops added!r 14 grams of the Perle as well as 10 grams of the Saaz.  These late additions were for aroma.

Last five minutes of the boil – all hops added!

It was amazing how the Saaz changed up the smell entirely.  I found that although I found the Perle a bit spicy, it had a lot more bitter to it in smell.  The Saaz, on the other hand, was much spicier, and less bitter than the Perle.

They had their own complexities too, and now, upon writing this, I realise I should have taken some notes… Anyway, it was very interesting how the aroma changed quite abruptly upon adding the Saaz.

Following that was steeping for 20 minutes.

The Rest of It

While all that was going on, the contents of the two cans went into my (sanitised) fermenter and were stirred together with some water.

The rest of this is child’s play.  Pour the hops through a strainer, top up to 21 litres, getting the temperature into the 18-24 degrees C range, take a gravity reading, then pitch your yeast.

For those who are curious, the yeast that was supplied with the kit was a BRY97 American Westcoast Ale Yeast.  No surprises that I used an ale yeast to make an ale…

20130526_155852The original specific gravity was 1.040, so, as with the last big batch, we should get something between 4.5%-5% after bottling.  Maybe something a bit higher.  Although the OSG is a little higher than the lager, I don’t expect to get as low an FSG as I did with the lager since this one is generally just a thicker beer… we’ll see.

The wort was a little interesting in taste.  The hops was quite bold, and, I have to say, a little confronting.  Not confronting in “oh wow, that just opened my eyes to a new world,” no, it was confronting in a “oh wow, that hobo isn’t wearing any pants” kind of way.  Maybe not that bad…  I think it will settle down in the fermenter.  Then I want to give it at least a month in the bottle.

Finally, I was a bit worried at first because things didn’t start bubbling for quite a while.  I gave the fermenter a squeeze and things were definitely sealed up, so I was a bit concerned.  To my pleasure when I got home from work today, it was going nuts!  Probably the most energy I’ve seen in an airlock since I’ve started.

This is an excitable brew…


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