Monday, December 31, 2012

Sausages: A new frontier.

Sausage. It's a glorious food delivery system. Meat and spices delivered in a thin casing that holds the flavor in while cooking yet can be bitten through without much trouble. It can be a variety of meat, spices from every continent, and even fruit and vegetables. I don't know anyone who makes sausage so this is a path I must blaze alone but I think having the freedom to make anything I can imagine will pay dividends in the future. This post will detail my first experience with sausage making. I will share what I can do better next time, and what I learned as I went along.

(please read more after the break.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

American Sour Double Red (Brown)

American Sour Red/Brown
I ordered a vial of the mother of funk. Al Buck must believe in Santa because he leaves vials of Bug County for all of the good little home brewers. This is his magnum opus of sour. The vial is described thusly on his facebook, "The mother bugger for sour ales. Contains ECY01, ECY02, ECY03, ECY04, and ECY05. Also includes: Brettanomyces lambicus, bruxellensis, anomulus, clausenii, custersianus, nanus, and naardenensis. Various Lactobacilli and Pediococci were added." For those keeping score this contains, Lambic Blend, Flemish Blend, Farm House Brett, Brett Blend #1, Brett Blend #9, and various additional bugs to drive the funk up. What to make from such a crazy blend? My first thoughts were to make a lambic style beer for my future gueuze blends. After making my second lambic of the season I decided on a sour double red (brown) with american funk instead.

(Please read more after the break.)

Thursday, December 27, 2012


One of the annual traditions of my friendships with Derek and Kyle includes a weekend where we predominantly eat pork. The picture at right is of our winter rib racks. These ribs were meaty, not the thin weak stuff you get at an applebees. These ribs had thick meat from end to tip. The ribs were from mature pigs and were very flavorful. Cooking Ribs is about three things: Dry Rub, Smoke Flavor, and BBQ sauce.

(Please read more about my ribs after the break.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Sour Tasting

I broke open the beer vault for Christmas. I had my friends surrounding me and we split some bottles that I had been holding for a while waiting for an opportunity to open them. We sampled a bottle of Bio Gueuze from Cantillon, LambicKX from Vanburg & Dewolf, and finished it off with Armand'4 Oude Geuze Lente. We mixed in a few other sour beers and some not so sour beets just to keep our palates interested.

(please read my experiences after the break.)

Monday, December 17, 2012

10,000 Page Views

The next page view will be number 10,000. Thanks for reading my blog. Please recommend it to your friends so that the next 10k page views happen even faster! Don't be afraid to jump in on the comments if you have any questions, comments, or critiques.


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Grind - MM3 - 2.0

The MM3 has three rollers. Two rollers are fixed in place and the third roller is adjustable. The roller sits in a cam that is firmly in place inside the housing. The cams have a slightly off center bushing approximately three one-hundredths off center. This gives the roller some adjustment within the given range. The cams can then be set with set screws.

(read more after the break.)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Flanders Red, The Sequel

It's that time of year again, around 14 months after my first Flanders Red went into primary it's time to go again. I'll be sampling my sours as soon as I can get a friend in spring lake to help. (hint: Derek or Kyle time to help), but before then I'll need to brew another Flanders Red before it get's really cold. Looking back at a blog post from a year ago I realize how naive I was. I honestly thought I would be drinking a Flanders Red aged on cherries by now....hahaha DOH!

To make superior sour beers blending is a must. It's not hard to see why, souring organisms are fickle and two batches pitched at the same time, from the same vial can have differing results. The following factors can have a varrying effects on your sour beer: dissolved oxygen, ambient temperature, wort PH, and Fermentor size/shape/type. A plastic bucket and a better bottle will turn out two different beers. A glass carboy with a wooden stopper could produce radically different results than with a rubber bung.

(read more after the break.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

American Lambic - Yeast Schedule.

These things make the beer!
My first lambic of the season was a turbid mash. In the spirit of discovery, and education I am going to attempt to use a more complicated inoculation schedule. The various microorganisms used to make lambics and other sour beers thrive under different conditions during the fermentation cycle. When you pitch all of the various microorganisms at once in the 'set it and forget it' method you're leaving things up to chemistry and chance. This isn't wrong; it's not a bad way of doing things.

I like experimenting and learning. My hopes are that by using a few different techniques I can begin to figure out what works for me. I am aware that the more scientific method for doing this would be to isolate one variable at a time: mash technique, yeast strain, or inoculation schedules; then to devise a series of experiments altering only one variable to discover what is best. I've decided that this isn't the best way of home brewing. One reason is that I can't replicate laboratory conditions at home; this may seem like a trivial point but each wort I produce is unique, the boil times are precise but not meticulous, my measurements are close but not exact, etc., etc.. If I could produce uniform wort, maintain exacting fermentation conditions, measure pH, dissolved oxygen, etc. it might be worth doing this a bit more carefully. I'm content making beer, and taking rough notes. Producing lambic style beers is about the art of it all, not laboratory precision.

(please read more after the break.)