Author Topic: MicroBrew's Introduction  (Read 378 times)

Offline MicroBrew

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MicroBrew's Introduction
« on: July 06, 2015, 08:18:53 PM »
Cheers!

I'm Steve from Bowling Green, Ohio. I have been brewing for about 11 years, with the past 5 or 6 as an obsessive homebrewer. I am a microbiologist by training, and am pursuing a phd in the same field. I am introducing beer making into a lab I teach, and am hoping to generate enough interest to start a local homebrew club with students, friends and faculty.

There really isn't much that goes on in Bowling Green, and my work keeps me in the lab most of the day and tied to the area, so I have been brewing more now then I ever have before. I find brewing to be a fundamental part of my life; it's how I relieve stress, break the ice with girls ( if a 11 hour, triple decoction mash partigyle brew session isn't a hell of a first date, I don't know what is), and regain my sanity when my research just doesn't make sense. I have literally converted my small apartment into a brewery with a bed, and often daydream about recipes and the ingredients I plan to buy with my next crappy paycheck!

In my academic career, I am responsible for designing and carrying out valid scientific experiments, and often use a scientific approach to my brewing process. I like to use a purposeful approach to designing beers, especially sour ales. Having worked with bacteria for about 7 years, I don't find that they are difficult to work with or as unpredictable as many other brewers have experienced, at least with the 5-10 gallon brews I make. I have had poor luck with wild fermentation in this area (I may be crazy, but there is very little pollution here, which makes for too 'clean' wild beers in my experience), but have had good results using Brett and prokaryotes to sour beer. I am just getting into lagers and hope to use some cold-tolerant Lactobacillus  to make some interesting beer in the near future.

In addition to the sour beers, I brew a few styles of lager and many styles of ale. I make a great chocolate milk imperial stout (fortified with the 200 proof ethanol I use to extract cacao nibs) that I keep on tap all year round along along with a Sierra Nevada PA clone that is not quite right but well loved by myself and friends. I have a weird yet nerdy standard operating procedure I follow that I would like to share:  Twice a year, at approximately 6 month intervals, I brew a lightly hopped American ale. This isn't just to appease my bud-drinking friends, but is to ensure I am able to reproduce the same beer consistently on my system. This style doesn't hide flaws well, and I am able to either verify my system is all good, or identify potential problems. I was even able to detect a plastic-y flavor that was leaching from a supposedly high-temp hose connecting the false bottom to the ball valve in my mash tun. I absolutely recommend validating your equipment at regular intervals!

I typically brew alone and have never entered a beer into competition. I want to become more active in the homebrewing community as I am able, and plan on writing up some of my past experiments with sour beers and submitting them to the AHA for others to enjoy.

Thanks for reading!

Steve

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 09:40:05 PM »
What club wouldn't love to have a resident microbiologist? Your popularity will be second only to the sanitary stainless welder guy. ;) You sound suitably obsessed to hangout on this forum. Welcome to the world of wort dreams. I'll look forward to hearing about more of your brew musings and experiments. Cheers!
Diane
Roseburg, Oregon
Member: Umpqua Valley Brewers Guild
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"Have no fear of perfection...you'll never reach it" ~Salvador Dali

"Growing old is mandatory. Growing up? Definitely optional!"

Offline JT

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2015, 03:19:58 AM »
Cheers Steve!  Thanks for sharing! 

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2015, 04:52:07 AM »
Welcome to the forum. You can get good advice here, and with your background give some too.

It looks like you are well on your way to having home brewing as part of your life. See my tag line.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2015, 04:59:21 AM »
Welcome, Steve. Lots of good brewers with good advice here, and I'm sure you'll be an asset with your background and experience. Cheers!
Jon H.

Offline dak0415

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 06:14:52 AM »
What club wouldn't love to have a resident microbiologist? Your popularity will be second only to the sanitary stainless welder guy. ;) You sound suitably obsessed to hangout on this forum. Welcome to the world of wort dreams. I'll look forward to hearing about more of your brew musings and experiments. Cheers!
Wort dreams - that's funny - good one Amanda!
Dave Koenig
Anything worth doing - is worth overdoing!

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2015, 06:29:44 AM »
What club wouldn't love to have a resident microbiologist? Your popularity will be second only to the sanitary stainless welder guy. ;) You sound suitably obsessed to hangout on this forum. Welcome to the world of wort dreams. I'll look forward to hearing about more of your brew musings and experiments. Cheers!
Wort dreams - that's funny - good one Amanda!
Pssst - that was Diane.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 01:32:10 PM by hopfenundmalz »
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline dannyjed

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2015, 11:47:55 AM »
Welcome Steve. I'm a neighbor to the north in T-town. There is a club called the Glass City Mashers in Toledo and another group called the Frogtown Hoppers in Swanton. Or maybe you just want to start your own club in BG. It great to see someone else into making sours around here! I've been brewing around 10 years, but have just got into making sours the last 2 years. There is a lot of great information on this forum and it kind of feels like a big club here.
Dan Chisholm

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 05:11:08 PM »
Welcome MicroBrew! I am married, but I love your dating philosophy.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline MicroBrew

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2015, 08:07:53 AM »
Cheers everyone!

Thank you for taking the time to read my intro and say hello!

Offline 69franx

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Re: MicroBrew's Introduction
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2015, 07:22:45 AM »
Welcome aboard. I love the system check scenario,  my system could use a check now that I'm 2 years into the hobby. Will be great to read your experimentation stories
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting: Saison (w Belle Saison) on raspberries, Saison with 3724&3711
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW
In Bottles: House IPA, German Themed IPA,  Ringler Pilsner,
In the works: You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown