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Topics - dean

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Yeast and Fermentation / OLD liquid yeasts!?
« on: December 15, 2009, 09:43:30 AM »
I've ordered liquid yeasts a few times and it really pisses me off when it arrives and its 3 months old according to the manufacturing date!  Anybody else run into that?  I just ordered WY1272 and if it comes more than a month and a half old I'm calling the store and complaining, they charge enough for it that they ought to keep better track of it... first in - first out method isn't all that difficult and yeast viability is a huge issue when making starters!   >:(

Yeast and Fermentation / BYO Pitching Rate Test
« on: December 10, 2009, 10:42:55 AM »
Anybody read the article in BYO about pitching rate tests that were done?  I was just about to try a batch where I deliberately underpitch to see if I can get more esters.  I guess the tasting results are on radio but I've got dial-up internet and its so damn slow it irritates me... so I just don't get online that much anymore.  The reason I'm doing it is I want to recreate a brew I made that was very Belgian Like... it was awesome and very estery... I've tried everything and the only thing I can think of that might have caused it was the yeast I used (US-05) might have been older, having less viable yeast... "underpitched".   :-\

Have any of you heard the broadcast on the tasting results... it was November 14th if I recall correctly.  I would sure like to know what their conclusions were, although the article does say ester production wasn't too much different.  I was blown away by the FG's though   :o

Homebrew Clubs / Any Michigan Homebrew Clubs?
« on: November 25, 2009, 08:00:25 PM »
I'm almost spot on 10 and 131... any clubs close by?  Should I TRY to start one? 

The Pub / Wildlife Houses
« on: November 13, 2009, 07:42:21 PM »
I've been wanting to build some bat houses for a while now.  Yesterday we tore the roof off an an old farmhouse and I missed a brown bat with a reciprocating saw by less than 1/4 inch.  I didn't know I had gotten so close to him until I had removed the top board along the peak of the roof.  It stayed there all day while we were working, and at the end of the day just before sundown when I put the tarp over the rafters I made sure to cover him yet leave him a way out and in (ha... like a bat needs much room right?)  Anyway today when I came back and took the tarp off I was glad to see he had relocated and was alright.

So I'm into building all sorts of wildlife habitat or houses etc.  We put in a bird feeder and we've got LOADS of birds, from an assortment of Finches to Pilated woodpeckers.  I'm planning on building a houses for butterflies, birds and bats.  Anybody got any good plans or sites of their own on such subjects?

One that we found tonight and we'll build this winter...

Ingredients / Interesting Ingredient
« on: November 07, 2009, 07:24:32 AM »
I was out helping a friend of mine fence in 40 acres the last couple of days so he could keep his cattle there until deer season is over and then put them back on open range.  While walking about I passed through some brush that I'd all but forgotten about until I was deep in the middle of it and thats when the aroma filled my sinus and I remembered how much I loved the smell.  Its a smell you will never completely forget even if you're away from it for a long time.  Sweet Fern!   :) 

So I decided to research it a bit online.  It turns out its been used for centuries as a medicinal herb and it makes a tea similar to black tea, originally drank by Algonquin Indians and rightly called Algonquin Tea.  Its mildly astringent, one of its medicinal values among others, so I'm not sure how it would affect the beer as a late addition or during cold conditioning but I tried adding about 15 or 20 of the now formed buds that look like they will turn to leaves next year or flowers perhaps, it definitely added a unique and even appealing aroma to my glass of homebrew.

I may try making a gruit or herbal beer this year using sweet fern and one or two other ingredients I find growing wild.  Anybody else tried sweet fern?  Any other wild herbs etc?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Founders
« on: November 07, 2009, 06:37:54 AM »
Well since I'm in Michigan now I figured I'd have to try some brews made here.  Wow!  Founders makes some decent beer and I don't normally buy beer that has screw tops!   :)   Yeh, I'm going to have to get over the screw top thingy I guess.   ::)  :D

So far I've tried their PA, IPA and Dirty Bastard a Scottish Ale.  Wow, all good but the PA and Centennial IPA are loaded with hop flavor and aroma, they must put in a LOT of late additons!   :)

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