All Things Beer

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hoo boy. We've got a lot of gro und to cover, so let's get started.

First, brewing. Time to re-focus on brewing and up the sophistication of my process. I have relied on some brewing buddies for eauipment for my all-grain batches and for ease and laziness, I have done a lot of extract-plus-specialty grain brews. In the dead of Michigan's winters, I have gone that way because my garage, where I brew big batches, is often well below freezing.

Well, no more excuses. I am scrapping my hodge-podge of equipment and going with a brand new All Grain System along with a brand new brew kettle with a focus on stepping-up the quality of my beers.

Speaking of brewing, my World- Lansing-famous maple syrup porter is in the fermenter. I tried to move it to the secondary this weekend, a week after I initially put it in the primary fermenter, but the fermentation was still way too active for me to be comfortable with that move. In about 2-3 more weeks, though, I'll keg that badboy up in just enough time for maple syrup fests around the Mitten State.

And finally, I have been asked to be a Guest Blogger over at Drink Michigan! It's the destination on the web to celebrate all of Michigan's fermented products and is quickly carving its niche as the one single place to stop for anything you want to know about Michigan beer, wine and liquor. THey want me to start doing Michigan Beer reviews for them! I am thrilled and excited!


Streak 2:21 PM  

Sweet setup, especially that nice shiny new kettle. You think this will allow you to keep the mash temp going regardless of the temp in your garage?

I picked up a plastic conical the other day. The dude at the brew store did a pretty good sales job, but I am still pretty happy with it. Here in a day or two, will remove the yeast from the bottom and call that "racking to a secondary." :)

steves 7:06 AM  

I hope to be able to try the Maple stuff.

Smitty 8:04 AM  

Yeah, I think I'll bottle half and keg half, Steve, so I'll hold a couple bottles in reserve for you.

Smitty 8:08 AM  

You think this will allow you to keep the mash temp going regardless of the temp in your garage?

My neighbor insists that he only loses 5 degrees and hour with these coolers, and he corrects that by adding a tad of hot water part way through the saccarification rest and the sparge. Alternatively, since I have like a hundred propane tanks, I have a propane heater that hooks to the top of a tank. Keeps my garage at a balmy 35-40 degrees, but I lose way less heat that way in my garage.

Monk-in-Training 6:01 AM  

Congratulations Smitty!

May you be diligent in your brewing, and as you seek "to bring everything to perfection for the glory of God" as the Rule of Saint Benedict instructs us.

Perhaps in time you will be our own Prelate of Porter, as you share God's gift of beer that He has so graciously brought forth from the sweetness of grain.

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