MLive reports that the People’s Food Co-op is in financial trouble, having lost money since 2012. I joined PFC shortly after moving to Ann Arbor in 2009 and have been a supporter and shopper since. Here are my thoughts.
Batch 76: All-Malt Lager
My batch numbers might be mixed up, I may or may not sort that out.
Brewing: brewed March 15th. OG 1.050. Big boilover, long cleanup, but everything went fine on the beer side.
It was an 18 gallon batch, two vessels of pale lager and a third that got an addition to make it a Dark American Lager. To make the dark share, I put a half-pound of crushed Carafa II (or III? See recipe/BCS book) in 2 quarts of hot water, steeped it like a big tea bag til it cooled, then added to fermenter.
Fermentation: fermented in 50F ambient cellar space. Pulled up to 64F for a diacetyl rest around 1.020 gravity, which was 5 days (CCYL lager yeast) and 7 days (single pack pitch of 34/70). Let sit around in 64F for a couple more weeks.
Packaging: kegged the CCYL batch on April 11th, it finished around 1.000 FG for a bit over 6% ABV.
Recipe and batch notes: https://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/light-and-dark-lager-partigyle/brew-logs/153459.
Having my brother in town as a helper, we decided to brew a partigyle beer: 11 gallons of Imperial Stout and a 2nd-runnings Mild. I used the same recipe I came up with for the first beer in the Knob Creek barrel. That beer was outstanding after blending with 10 other people’s beer and barrel-aging; as I recall, mine was pretty good going into the barrel, too.
The recipe was a mix of a few credible recipes.
Over the 4th of July, I smoked about 3 lbs of Pils malt on an old potbelly stove. It smoked with mesquite chips for a few hours in two batches, then was left to condition for ~7 weeks in an open paper grocery bag.
I first brewed a smoked porter with home-smoked malt in 2011. I used alder chips then, in an homage to Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Smoked Porter. It turned out well and the bottle I opened yesterday as I brewed the 2015 version has aged nicely. The biggest flaw is that the smoke flavor is too phenolic. I tried to avoid chlorinated water throughout the process but may not have succeeded.
I brewed this year’s smoked porter on the same potbelly stove I used to smoke the malt. I’ve already written about the process of brewing on the potbelly stove, so I’ll stick to the recipe and batch notes here.
Why a blog? I have two main purposes in mind:
- Opinions & ideas that are too long for my Twitter. I’ll probably tweet links to these posts.
- Knowledge management: I often make things after reading on the web about how to make them. Sometimes I think, “the internet was wrong” or “I could explain it better than that.” Now I have a space to see whether I can make some small contributions to human knowledge that others might stumble upon and benefit from. I benefit tremendously from internet knowledge so I ought to give back what I can.
- (Can I not make this sub-bullet A? This blog is off to a poor start) I will also benefit from my own notes on past projects. In particular, I use Brewtoad to design homebrew recipes, but lack a good system for storing notes on the process & results. I like how the Mad Fermentationist logs his brews on a WordPress blog.
Given that this may be a jumble of posts on DIY, beer, electoral politics, data analysis, etc. I expect that very few people will read through the blog continuously or follow it. But if a few of the right readers find each post via other means, that’ll do. And if no one reads it, at least I have a place to take notes.