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Messages - brewmichigan

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Infusion v. Step-mashing
« on: May 12, 2011, 02:41:40 PM »

I have typically used single temp mashes, but after listening to some of the commercial brewer interviews on Brewing Network, I have begun using a short beta rest in the upper 140's and then a quick ramp to a alpha rest temp.  My first brew with that mashing approach is in the fermenter now, so I don't have a feel for the effect yet.  I fully expect that the fermentability will be higher.

This is something that I would like to start doing. I feel the body of my beers is a little thin and one-dimensional lately. Not sure what it could be but I'm wondering if doing a small step mash might help.

I also think a 90 minute, at minimum, boil will help create some depth to the flavor of my beer. Let us know what you think of the step mashing you just did when the beer is done.

All Things Food / Re: Kitchen Knives
« on: April 12, 2011, 07:27:40 PM »
I like my henckels and just had them sharpened - wow, what a difference!

I have some Henckels, which I like, and they need to be sharpened. I hone them every time I use them now to help hold the edge but I can see some tiny dings in the blade. Where should I look to get them sharpened? I'm not even sure where to start.

The Pub / Re: Hop Sink
« on: November 26, 2010, 08:53:09 PM »
Now if the faucet pours beer, it'll be complete  :o

Nice sink, great idea.

All Things Food / Turkey Day recipes
« on: November 24, 2010, 04:30:33 PM »
So, tomorrow is Turkey Day! Anyone have any favorite recipes they'll be cooking up. I just picked up my bird from the local farmer and he's a beauty at 20.75 pounds. I'm going to brine him al-la Alton Brown and deep fry him.

I'm also making Altons green bean casserole and mac & cheese with a nice sharp cheddar.

I'm thinking of a cornbread stuffing recipe. Anyone have any good ones they'd like to share?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast Old Ale Blend
« on: November 24, 2010, 04:03:44 PM »
I made the old ale recipe from Northern Brewer last year and still have about 3 gallons aging in a keg. Changes a little everytime I try some.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First Stuck fermentation
« on: November 22, 2010, 05:47:45 PM »
Alright thanks guys. Was able to get home at lunch. Here's the grain bill just in case.

16.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 81.51 %
1.00 lb Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 5.09 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 5.09 %
1.00 lb Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 5.09 %
0.50 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 2.55 %
0.13 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 0.66 %

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First Stuck fermentation
« on: November 22, 2010, 04:38:14 PM »

get a Growler of a clean/neutral yeast from a local brewpub (frankenmuth?)
Pitch the entire growler and you should be set, that is unless you did what I once did,  mash based on a thermometer that was reading 10F low.



Thanks Fred, I might try that. I'll double check the thermometer but I believe it's reading accurate. I mashed at 152 btw, forgot to say that earlier.

All Things Food / Re: Leave Room For Dessert.
« on: November 22, 2010, 04:33:20 PM »
I made over 150 truffles for my wedding last year. Never again.

Making 20-25 truffles is not bad but working with 150 is a nightmare.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First Stuck fermentation
« on: November 22, 2010, 03:59:10 PM »
Don't have the recipe on me right now but I did have about 15% crystal malts. I've done higher percentages before and have gotten better attenuation.

I also thought about giving it a shake to introduce some more oxygen into the environment. That's the one thing I keep thinking back to is that I may not have shaken the carboy up enough. Would introducing oxygen into at this point be more detrimental than helpful do you think?

Yeast and Fermentation / First Stuck fermentation
« on: November 22, 2010, 03:00:51 PM »
Hello everyone, need some ideas here. I have been brewing for 4 years and this is the first real stuck fermentation I have had.

11 days ago I brewed a Winter Warmer. OG was 1.076 and I pitched a nice slurry of British ale II from a 3 liter starter. The yeast was a little older (6 months IIRC) but the starter looked good and smelled great. I pitched the yeast at 67 degrees and put it in the basement at 62. The next morning I had a nice krausen on top and it was moving along nicely. During the weekend I took a gravity sample and found it was down nearly 30 (to 1.046) points in only 3 days. Since then it has only moved to 1.036. I pitched a re-hydrated packet of nottingham 2 days ago to hopefully get it going again. I have never had a fermentation slow off like this so quickly and I followed my normal brewing procedure.

I wanted to know if anyone has experience with this yeast before, first time using it, and whether or not this could be a normal sign. Or am I just getting too worried? It's only been 11 days but most my beers finish within a week and this still has 15-20 points to go. Any info is helpful, thanks.

BTW, I think I might start doing the fast ferment test from now on.

All Things Food / Re: Try the new non dairy Almond Milk!
« on: October 29, 2010, 03:26:44 PM »
Tastes like almonds  :P

Too weird for me.

The Pub / Re: Keeping chickens
« on: October 28, 2010, 08:00:00 PM »
Sounds like a great idea - where would you buy something like that?

Around here, I get it at a farm supply place.

Yeah, farm supply. I know tractor supply carries it around here. Also, I believe Menards (home improvement) carries it.

The Pub / Re: Keeping chickens
« on: October 28, 2010, 06:45:43 PM »
You should try some deer fencing. Cheaper than chicken wire, plastic, and super tough. Slightly lighter as well, if you're using large amounts.

Ingredients / Re: hops and bitterness
« on: October 25, 2010, 02:48:38 PM »
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is water.  After all, water is the single most voluminous of the four primary ingredients of beer.  For the smoothest possible bitterness, definitely do not add any salts such as gypsum or calcium chloride, etc.  If you use anything more than the softest water, the minerals present could further impact bitterness.  You could consider splitting your normal water 50/50 with distilled water, or even use 100% distilled water for the softest bitterness.  Things to think about.

I second all of this. Part of the reason you may want to dilute your water with RO is if you have very high bi-carbonates. I find that my water ( which is around 100ppm bi-carb) will usually make a beer with a longer lasting bitterness on the back of your tongue. By diluting it with RO, I get a much smoother beer but still with a good bitterness to it. It's just not as harsh or lingering.

The Pub / Re: Finally arriving!
« on: October 21, 2010, 05:45:07 PM »
Oh man, I'm soooo jealous. I'm stuck behind a desk while you're brewing beer and selling it! Maybe I'll be there someday.

On the bright side you are making money where as I am working my ass off basically for free.  ;)

Full scale brew house is already in the plan. But it may be a year or two. We need equipment immediately. Just got the cold room up and running so I can instal my bright tanks. But this first few batches had to be force carbbed in the keg and I admit it wasn't completely dialed in, specifically on the White, which was a bit under carbonated. Still disappeared rather quickly though.

Oh yeah, I bet. I said hopefully I'll be there someday as in I have made tons of money at my desk job, now time to open a brewery.... Or hopefully my wife starts raking it in  ;D

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