Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brew Day, Batch 378: Mild Ale

Mrs. C noted that granddaughter Mia's 1st birthday celebration is coming up next month, and that there would be time to come up with a nice firkin-able beer to wash down that cake with. The assembled guests will be of all stripes, and I have found that pretty much everybody likes a nice dark mild. The beer is malty but not sweet, with crystal malt and chocolate malt flavors, balanced as much by a dry roast edge from some black patent as by the minimal hop bitterness. It's visually appealing, as well, with a clear deep brown color with a ruby cast to it. Here's what went in to it:

Mild Ale - 11 gallons

11   lbs. Muntons Maris Otter Pale Ale malt
3/4  lbs. Muntons Crystal 60L
1/4  lbs. Briess Crystal 80L
1/4  lbs. Fawcett Pale Chocolate
1/4  lbs. Black Patent malt

Single infusion mash, 1 qt./lb., mid 150s F. I used 1 tsp. chalk in the mash. At completion, I lautered and sparged until runoff gravity dropped below 1.010, then topped up the kettle to 12 gallons.

Total boil time was 90 minutes; one kettle addition 2.2 oz. Fuggle at 4% alpha for 60 minutes, for a target 18 BUs. Yield was approx. 11 gallons of wort at 1.036, perfect. Wyeast 1084, a decent flocculator, is doing the honors. Looking forward to a few pints of this in a few weeks....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Not Exactly Beer Related

I should oughta have my head examined. About a month ago, my buddy Joe at Liberty Street Brewing Co asked me if I would be willing to participate at a storytelling event planned for November at the brewery. Given the many (0) times I've got up on a stage and told a 10 minute story to a crowd of pubgoers, I of course said yes. I now am envisioning a version of this famous movie scene. More info about the event is at the Midwestern Gentleman website....

So many tomatoes, but no more time.

For them to ripen, that is.

Hmmm, fried green tomatoes maybe? Never made them, not even sure if you use unripe tomatoes or a specific variety. Well, there's only one way to find out.

Presto! Fried green tomatoes, topped with shredded crab and a sauce made from whole grain mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, heavy cream and cayenne. With two saisons- Weyerbacher 17, and New Glarus saison. Both delicious, and great with the tomatoes. The New Glarus was drier and more effervescent, and absolutely delicious. The Weyerbacher was maltier, a bit fruitier, and good too, though the New Glarus got my vote.

(Guess we'll give the rest to Skip for picklin'.)

I was going to make pasta anyway.....

So, why not these?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On Recipes

I've written about this before, but since I've been posting a lot of (half-arse) recipes, (you're welcome, Kenny!) I wanted to give a few words of general explanation about what makes it into the posted recipe, and what gets left out. I think it's clear to most moderately experienced brewers that these are not complete paint-by-numbers type procedures. I don't have the time or patience for that, and more importantly, every brewer and brewery has their own way of accomplishing certain things. There are, for example, three or four popular ways of chilling wort in a home brewery. Different ways of mashing, i.e. brew-in-a-bag, no-sparge, etc; different ways of sparging, i. e. fly vs. batch. I don't address water, which is a local source issue that each brewer must sort out. Fortunately for me living here in metro Detroit, I have a great water source that requires only carbon filtration to remove chlorine, and basic mineral tweaking as the grist might dictate. More about that one anon.

Some things that I do pretty much every time, that may not be noted:

...Full post

Friday, October 19, 2012

Coming Out of the Closet

Photo credit: Big Gay Uncle Dave
Not the 'can't tell anyone I'm gay' closet. (Still can't tell anyone that, 'cause I'm not.)  No, it's the 'homebrewer harboring fantasies of going pro' closet. I haven't been posting about this, (or much else, to be honest,) as I really think it's outside the scope of our blog, but I've been working on a business plan, and hope to open a small microbrewery in Detroit, hopefully in Eastern Market. To this end, I've been taking advantage of various friends in the pro brewing community and helping out (read: getting in the way and asking a lot of nosey questions) in their breweries. Much thanks to my buds at Corner Brewery and Liberty Street in particular. And recently I got accepted at U of D. Not University of Detroit, but University of Duncan. Grizzly Peak's Brewmaster Duncan Williams has served as the mentor for a number of the area's brewers. I am his newest lackey in the downtown Ann Arbor brewpub, helping to keep the beer flowing from their sprawling cellar to the throngs of thirsty pub patrons upstairs. I must say, that's no mean feat, either; this pub pours more beer than any other brewpub (and a fair number of production breweries,) in the state. So come on down for a pint at the Grizz, and don't be surprised if you see a short, stout, hairy sort scuttling about muttering about dry hops....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Beer Brunch 2012

THE MENU......
A plethora of olives, pickled quail eggs with Jolly Pumpkin La Roja
Skip's pickled green tomatoes with Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam*
Kiss Yo' Mama Soup (corn & crab) with Mr Cicerone's Robust Porter
Garlic shrimp and grits with Mr Cicerone's (famous) Rye Peppercorn Pale Ale
Bitter greens, tangerine, blood orange, walnuts, lemon-ginger vinaigrette, hop candy crunch with Mr Cicerone's Dynamomium IPA
Duck, pork, veal & pistachio terrine, La Roja pickled cherries with Mr Cicerone's Buster 2010
Spooky Trail Farm wildflower honey with Mr Cicerone's Atmospherium Saison

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