March 2017 Meeting

Please note: you must be at least 21 years old to attend AABG meetings.

The March meeting will be hosted by Adventures in Homebrewing, starting at 7:30PM on Friday, March 10.

Read general information about the meeting, including an interactive map to the location.

The educational program will start at 7, and will feature Tessie Ives-Wilson ACS CCP (american cheese society certified cheese professional) of Zingerman’s Creamery talking about beer and cheese pairings.

Saury Barrel Exchange: Belgian Golden/Saison

On Sunday a dozen or so folks gathered at my place (Aron Butler) to drain the Belgian Golden from the Saury barrel there and replace it with a Saison. Like the Radoux barrel currently holding a Flanders Red at my place, this one was obtained from 2 Lads Winery of Traverse City. It was filled on February 27th with a Belgian Golden Strong (no blog post was made at that time), which slowly dried to 1.003 and developed some nice tartness and barrel character along the way. Investors got back about 4.5 gallons each of this beer.

Following a quick rinse-out of the dregs, the barrel was refilled with a collection of Saison batches brewed with 50% wheat malt and Saaz finishing hops, fermented with WLP-565. Given that the barrel is already inoculated and this Saison is relatively light in gravity, we hope to have something nice by the holidays. Linked here is a spreadsheet showing batch data for this barrel.

Excel 2003 file

PDF file

2011 Big Brew on May 7

BOULDER, CO. A celebration of National Homebrew Day, known as AHA Big Brew, is now in its 14th year. The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild will host a local site on May 7, 2011.

Organized by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), AHA Big Brew celebrates National Homebrew Day, honored on the first Saturday of May. AHA Big Brew brings together thousands of homebrewers from around the world, all brewing the same beers simultaneously. More than 5,000 homebrewers from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and Australia are expected to participate this year.

Ann Arbor Brewers Guild is happy to invite anyone interested in homebrewing to stop by the site from 9 am to 5pm on Saturday, May 7, 2011 to join the fun!

Original Gravity Brewing Co
440 County St.
Milan, MI 48198

The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild and Original Gravity are registered as site #113 with the American Homebrewers Associacion at On May 7, friends and family gather to brew one or both of the two AHA Big Brew recipes. At noon Central time, homebrewers raise their glasses of homebrewed ales and lagers for a simultaneous toast to homebrewing, a hobby that hundreds of thousands of people around the world enjoy.

For more information on AHA Big Brew, please visit the Events section of or

View a YouTube video from the 2010 Big Brew Celebration

View a YouTube video from the 2009 Big Brew Celebration

Download the flyer for the AABG Big Brew celebration (PDF).

See Google Map to the site

AABG Sour Wine Barrel – Flanders Red Fill

This post provides an update on the 2010 sour wine barrel project initially described here:

On 8/21 a group of AABG brewers emptied the saison from the barrel, distributing to the ten brewers who had originally contributed. Final gravity was measured at 1.007, and tasting showed a fairly tart and dry beverage with plenty of complexity including oak, floral, and sweaty characters– a nice example of a barrel-aged beer.

The barrel was rinsed with boiled water a few times to remove sediment, and then refilled with Flanders Red Grand Cru brewed according to the recipe below developed by Jeff Rankert:

42% Pale malt (2-row) 2L
25% Vienna malt 3L
17% Flaked maize
4% Aromatic malt 25L
4% Caramunich 60L
4% Wheat malt
4% Special B 120L

14 IBU Kent Goldings at 60 min
OG ~1.065
Wyeast 3278 Belgian Lambic Blend

Twelve 5-gallon batches were brought to my place (Aron Butler) after varying amounts of time in the secondary fermenter, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. Each beer was tasted, notes made, and then run into the barrel. Linked here is a PDF showing the names of the participants, gravities of the batches if available, and some tasting notes for each.

PDF of spreadsheet

Gravity measured after all beers were added was approximately 1.018. Airlock activity was fairly vigorous for the first couple of weeks, and has now (9/22) subsided into a rhythm of a bubble every few minutes. Aging period for this beer is tentatively a year before any significant withdrawals will be made.

Tasting notes from the 1 Wort 20 Yeasts experiment.

Tasting Notes from 1 Wort 20 Yeasts (1.2Mb PDF file)

Chris Frey writes:

Attached are the tasting notes from Saturdays’ Same Wort – Different Yeasts.

Two tables of 5-6 volunteers carefully discussed the nuances of each sample.

This will be further developed, but someone suggested getting this feedback scanned and out to the collective asap.

I am here to serve.

You have been served.

Chris Frey

2010 Big Brew

First, Crispy’s brief report:

Big Brew 2010 is in the bag. (Literally for Roger!)
I have posted our results to the AHA site.
I was given the number 185 for the number of gallons brewed.
I forgot to make an actual batch count and participant count, so I gave it my best guesstimation…
The weather cleared up in time and round two rain held off just long enough.
Lots of visitors and supporters were there to check out what was going on and of course, feast upon the mighty pig. Thanks to every one who came, brewed, assisted, brought food and beverages to share, and/or helped with the clean up.
A special shout out to Mike and Jack for making it all happen.

And now, a bunch of photos:

AABG Sour Wine Barrel – Initial Fill

The AABG purchased a used barrel from 2 Lads Winery of Traverse City, where it had previously held Cabernet Franc.  The barrel itself is the Bordeaux Export model made by Radoux Cooperage (French oak, M+ toast, 2007). 

It was delivered to Aron Butler’s house in Pittsfield Twp on April 18, 2010.  The basement there will be its home for the course of this experiment, which is expected to involve a few months of aging a Saison followed by transition to a Flanders Red style ale for the longer term.  Mark Zadvinskis is coordinating participants and recipes for the project, so those interested in schedule and participation should contact him.

Crispy, Alex, Justin, and Aron were present on April 19 for the initial setup and filling with Saison to approximately halfway.  Subsequent visits from others had it full by mid-week.  Ten brewers in all contributed beer to this initial phase:

Alex & Claudia Pettit
Aron Butler
Chris Frey
Jim Dusseau
Justin Scanlon
Randy deBeauclair
Mark Zadvinskis
Mike O’Brien
Chuck Warpehoski
Phil Wilcox

The recipe provided to the brewers is listed below (adjusted for 5 gals).  Specs are 1.052 OG and 24 IBUs.  Some hop substitutions took place, but all brewers were able to find the classic Saison yeast strain (I think… please comment if otherwise). 

8 lbs Pilsner malt
1 lb wheat malt
0.5 lb Munich malt
18 IBU EK Goldings (60 mins)
0.5 oz Styrian Goldings (15 mins)
0.5 oz Styrian Goldings (1 min)
0.5 oz Czech Saaz (1 min)
0.5 oz EK Goldings (1 min)
WLP-565 Saison Yeast

A measure of gravity thiefed from the barrel immediately after filling read 1.018.  As of this writing (a few days later), the airlock is showing near continuous activity, so it looks like we are getting some additional attenuation already.

Some photos of the fill event are located in the AABG galleries here:

Details on the beer in the barrel are here:

Excel spreadsheet
PDF of spreadsheet

Stay tuned for replies and posts with updates.