Dry Hop Experiment

Spencer was inspired by this experiment to try to reproduce it for the club. He got a couple cases of Wolverine Premium Lager (a huge step up from Bud Light!) For each of 11 different hops, he added 2 grams to each of 4 bottles, leaving 4 bottles unhopped. They then sat in an unheated cellar room for about 9 days. How did it work out?


Sourdough Starter Instructions

©1995, 1999, 2003 Jeff Renner    jsrenner@umich.edu

Sour dough bread has its origins in the times before reliable commercial yeast was available for leavening. A baker had several options available to leaven bread. The local brewer was a source of yeast that, while rather slow and often bitter, was usually reliable. People away from a brewery could make a starter by capturing wild yeast from the environment, a chancy proposition at best. Because of the ubiquitous presence of Lactobacillus spp., this starter would inevitably become sour. In a true starter, wild yeast and bacteria establish a relatively stable equilibrium. When a particularly good starter was found, it would be prized, and the baker would save a portion of the previous dough or sponge in a covered container to use for the next batch. This starter is a very vigorous one that a friend brought me several years ago from a famous Parisian bakery. It is subtly sour, and as a matter of fact, the French object to calling their naturally fermented bread “sour dough.” They prefer the term “pain au levain.” While it isn’t very sour, it is far more flavorful bread than bread fermented with commercial yeast. You can make more sour bread by letting each stage ferment longer than the minimum. (more…)

Bizarro brew


Mark Zadvinskis's Amazing Zymurman Logo!

Over the Valentine’s weekend, the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild resurrected an old tradition — brewing a Bizzaro ale. The first Bizarro was brewed in 2001, and was inspired by Larry Bell’s Eccentric Day ale. Members bring adjuncts and specialty grains, and these are all tossed into the kettles creating—well, A VERY unusual ale indeed. This last batch was brewed at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, Michigan and will be served commercially thanks to Matt and Rene Greff’s Rat Pad program (http://www.arborbrewing.com/index.php?site=cornerbrewery&page=menu3&submenu=2). Homebrewers use a 3 half barrel system, brew a batch and it gets served a few weeks later as one of the Corner’s specialty brews. Brewers are also reimbursed for their ingredients, and get their moment of fame!

Perhaps when Mike is running away, we should pay attention!

Perhaps when Mike is running away, we should pay attention!


Malt Mill motorized

Steve Darnell writes: Over the weekend my son and I put together a motorized malt mill. I’d been planning it since Jim Suchy gave me a washing machine motor just before he left. The parts we purchased cost less than $25 and it took about four hours to make, with Read more…

Bourbon barrel barleywine (BBBW)

Filling the barrel -- Jeff and BobIn April of 2006, AABG members got together to fill our newly acquired bourbon barrel with barleywine. 11 5-gallon batches of the same recipe (see below) were brewed by members in order to fill the barrel. Since then, we have taken some out for sampling at AABG meetings, some members have withdrawn their 5 gallon share, and other members have added newly fermented beer (from the same recipe.) Every time we taste it, the beer is different. It has consistent oaky/vanilla aroma, some bourbon flavor, and a modicum of tartness. Sometimes it is sweeter, sometimes more sour, but always interesting.