Smoked Turkey Stock Ramen

>> Sunday, December 03, 2017

I was talking with a friend of mine at work before Thanksgiving and he mentioned how his family makes stock from their leftover turkey carcass. I remember my mom doing this when I was little. I googled some recipes and it's super easy, so I decided to give it a try.

This was kind of a two part process for me because I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to use it and I didn't really set out to do ramen. We smoked two bone-in turkey breasts for Thanksgiving this year. I would guesstimate that you either need two of these, or an entire turkey carcass. My family prefers white meat, so that's why we had the two breasts rather than one whole turkey. I was a little concerned about the smoke being overpowering, but it wasn't at all.

Smoked Turkey Stock
2 - Smoked bone-in turkey breasts, skin, scraps, etc, bones broken enough that it will fit in your stock pot
2 - Large onions, quartered
4 - Celery stalks, chopped
4 - Large carrots, peeled and chopped
1t Whole black peppercorns

Add all ingredients to your stock pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and let it ride for about 3.5 hours. Stain using a fine sieve. Chill and store in the fridge. Should yield around 2 quarts.

Ramen with Smoked Turkey Stock
2qts Smoked Turkey Stock
6 - Garlic cloves
1 - Lemongrass stalk, chopped
1 - Jalapeno, sliced
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 bunch of cilantro stems, chopped
5t Hon-dashi powder
5t Soy sauce
Baby boc choy, quartered
Cilantro leaves
Ramen noodles, preferably fresh
Shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Prepare Broth
Combine Turkey Stock, garlic, lemon grass, jalapeno, ginger, and cilantro stems. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour. Strain broth and discard solids. Add mushrooms, hon-dashi, and soy sauce, keep warm.

Prepare the Eggs
Fill saucepan with enough water to cover eggs but don't add eggs yet.Bring water to a boil and add eggs straight from the fridge.Boil/simmer for about 7.5 to 8.5 minutes. At my altitude in West Jordan, Utah, I let them go for about 8.5 minutes which yields a barely set yolk.Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.Peel, halve, and set aside.

Prepare Bok Choy
Place bok choy in salted boiling water for about 1 minute. Remove and allow to drain.

Prepare Noodles
Prepare noodles per package instructions. The most recent ones I used called for cooking 1-2 minutes. I'd recommend erring on the short side as cooking too long will result in mushy noodles. Assemble immediately.

Add noodles to bowl and ladle broth over noodles. Add bok choy. Add eggs. Add cilantro leaves. Enjoy!


Sour Pumpkin Beer

>> Sunday, November 05, 2017

Yesterday we got started on a kettle-soured pumpkin beer, "we" being my buddies Brandon, Jeff, and I. We're a little later brewing this beer than we'd hoped because of GABF, vacations, and work commitments, but still within season for spiced holiday beers. I haven't brewed a pumpkin beer in a while. I like pumpkin beers...but they're not the type of beer I'm going to drink one after the other. That's another reason the three of us are brewing together; five gallons split three ways means I won't have it sitting around in my beer fridge for years (like the last time I brewed one).

As for the style...pumpkin beers essentially fall into the 30 - Spice Beer category, more specifically 30B - Autumn Beer. They may or may not use pumpkin in the recipe, but they typically use the same types of spices used in pumpkin pie. I prefer to skip the pumpkin as I think it doesn't add much and it can be a huge mess in the mash, boil, or wherever you choose to add it. Pumpkin beers are usually fermented with sach strains, often neutral ones like US-05 but English strains are also very common. We're going a little wild with our version. We're kettle-souring with lactobacillus p. courtesy of GoodBelly SuperShots, then we're going to ferment with Brett Barrel III yeast from Inland Island. The lacto and brett cultures mean this beer is probably more appropriate in category 28C Wild Specialty Beer than 30B.

There aren't a whole lot of commercial sour/wild pumpkin beers on the market, especially in Utah. The ones I've tried include Uinta's Funk'n Patch, Boulevard's Funky Pumpkin and Funkier Pumpkin. We're not trying to clone any specific commercial example, just shooting for something similar.

We decided to use the recipe for the Perfect Pumpkin Ale from Beer and Brewing for this brew. Recipe and process below.

Souring - Session #1
7.0# Crisp Maris Otter
3.0# Weyermann Munich II
2.0# Monastique Aromatic
14oz Weyermann Cara Munich II
1 - GoodBelly SuperShot

Mash at 155F, collect ~7 gallons, raise temp to 170F for 10 min, then chill to 100F and pitch GoodBelly SuperShot. Sour until pH is where you want it; I like minimum of 3.4.

Post-souring - Session #2
8.0oz dark brown sugar (90 min)
16g Northern Brewer (60 min)
5t Vietnamese Cinnamon (5 min)
1t Nutmeg (5 min)
1t Ginger (5 min)
3t Vanilla extract (secondary)
0.5 Whirlfloc
0.5t Yeast Nutrient
INIS-913 Brett Barrel III

90 min boil, ferment at room temp.

Brewing Notes
The first session went well. We ran into one minor issue - we accidentally collected a little over 8 gallons. We decided to boil it and condense it down to ~ 7 gallons. No other issues in this session. We'll come back in a week to finish the post-souring boil and spice additions.

Session 2 Notes -11/12/2017
I took a pH reading before starting the boil and we're at 3.34. No issues during the boil. The O.G. came in at 1.072.

Update 11/19/2017
Checked the gravity and it's down to 1.030. Sourness is fairly assertive. Re the spices, cinnamon seems to dominate right now, so we may need to bump them up at bottling.


Brett Morpheus Funky Farmhouse

>> Sunday, October 29, 2017

It's been awhile since I last brewed. Today is going to be a bit of an experimental beer using a yeast I've never used before, Inland Island Brett Morpheus yeast. The base beer is Dallas Barlow's Rye Saison recipe with some minor tweaks. I'm considering putting a portion of this beer on fruit, but won't decide on that until primary is done. I'm hoping for some interesting brett funk in this beer. This yeast is known for producing "significant acidity" which is likely in the form of acetic acid. I'm going to try to keep this in check by not aerating prior to pitching. Here's some info on the yeast from Inland Island, followed by the grain bill for today.
Isolated from a small Belgian brewery known for producing sour and fruited beers.  Yeast produces fruity and barnyard esters as well as well as a significant amount of acidity.

Attenuation: Unknown
Flocculation: Low
Temp Range: Unknown
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium
Grain Bill - 5 gallons
9.0# 2.0oz Avangard German Pale
2.0# 4.0oz Weyermann Pale Rye Malt
7.0oz Avangard Light Munich Malt
4.0oz Franco-Belges Special Aromatic
2.0ml Hop Shot (60 min)
56g Azacca (Whirlpool 30 min)
28g Saaz (Whirlpool 30 min)
0.5 Whirlfloc
Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
INIS-914 Brettanomyces Morpheus

Water - 8 gallons carbon filtered tap water with 3 gallons distilled.

Mash at 152F, 90 min boil, ferment at room temp.

Brewing Notes
No problems, OG came in at 1.070

Update 11/1/2017
Fermentation is cruising along. I saw visible signs of fermentation within five hours of pitching so I was expecting a very vigorous fermentation. It got going, but it seems to have leveled out and is just chugging along now. There was never any sign of needing a blowoff hose. Aroma off the airlock is nice with lots of hops and no hints of acetic acid.

Also, found the following information, I'm assuming is referring to this yeast, @

I'm posting here as this info used to be at a different URL which appears to be dead, so just in case, so that it isn't lost. Assuming this information is correct and referring to the same strain available from Inland Island, this beer probably won't sour much due to the high hopping rate. Still, hoping for an interesting beer.

Belgian microbrewery, uses its own unique yeast strain.

Alvinne brewery not only unique for its beers, but also their yeast strain is quite special. Moen, Belgium – Alvinne opened in 2004 and moved in 2011 to a new production facility in Moen, a small village near the city of Kortrijk. The brewery is situated in an industrial building with a long history. The target audience is the passionate beer lover from all over the world. The mission statement is to deliver world class & innovative beers, pushing the classical barriers and by only making use of malt ingredients, water, hops, yeast and the flavor of used wooden casks. Brewing about 15 different beers, a clear positioning of the portfolio became necessary. The Classical collection, with the Morpheus branding, holds the 3 basic beers of the brewery, accessible for a wide audience. Apart from this range, there is an Oak collection (barrel aged beers), Seasonal collection (cherry beer, Christmas beers) and the famous Sour collection.

The Alvinne team consists of 3 enthusiastic people (from right to left): Davy Spiessens: brewmaster, Glenn Castelein: 2nd brewer, PR and Marc De Keukeleire: yeast and hygiene management. Marc joined the brewery end of 2009 and brought in his passion and baby: his own cultivated yeast strain.

The quest of the Morpheus Yeast

Marc (“the yeast whisperer”) has a Master degree in food science engineering with a specialization in dairy. For years, he has been vacationing in the French Auvergne. This is the place to be for cheese lovers. It is there where the best French AOC cheeses like Saint Nectaire, Bleu d’Auvergne have their origin. It was in that particular mystic area of France, with its old volcanoes, where Marc found his yeast, or must we say, the yeast found him?

He created his own recipe for growth of yeast, and trapped his strain in the open air of the Auvergne. Of course, some unwanted yeast strains were growing in the beginning, but after years of careful selection only the most interesting ones prevailed. What is the criteria for great brewing yeast? First of all, it must be capable of fermenting maltose, the sugar that is found in malt. Furthermore, it doesn’t produce off flavors and it is alcohol tolerant.

Pilot tests were utilized to confirm the above properties of the yeast culture with pleasing results. By January 2010, all of the sour range of Alvinne beers and some selected other beers were fermented with the Morpheus yeast culture.
Almost none of the microbreweries around the world have their own unique yeast. Most breweries use commercial yeast. Alvinne owes a much of its uniqueness to this yeast. For the big traditional breweries that have existed for several generations, the yeast is their treasure and kept safely in yeast banks under -70°C circumstances, in order to have a backup if things go wrong. Alvinne, of course, keeps a backup, safely put away in these super deep freezers.

The University of Leuven is known for its brewing yeast knowledge, so it was there the Morpheus yeast was analyzed. They found 2 Saccharomyces Cerevisae strains and lactic bacteria (see pictures on the left). Saccharomyces Cerevisae is the standard yeast type we know for brewing ale. Lactic bacteria is commonly used in dairy applications, but also in sour beers, but unwanted in “traditional” ales. Both are kept together in a medium that Marc calls a “matrix”. Finding a protocol to keep the matrix alive and active was the next challenge. Fermenting with lactic bacteria and yeast together is called a mixed fermentation. The brewery is geographically situated in the heart of the historically “mixed fermentation” area in Flanders, Belgium.

Brewing with the Morpheus Yeast

Because of the mixed culture, they can brew both traditional fermented beer resulting in a traditional ale; or mixed fermented beer, resulting in a sour beer. The Morpheus yeast has a very high alcohol tolerance. The traditional ale Cuvée de Mortagne has an alcohol level of about 14% ABV. Few yeast strains can tolerate that amount of alcohol. Thanks to the Morpheus yeast, Alvinne is recognized as the worldwide innovator for the mixed fermentation sour beers. There are a complete range of sour ales now.
Enjoy the “probiotic”, super healthy sour ales!
Update 11/19/2017
Checked the gravity today and it's at 1.005. aroma is a little sulfury so I moved it into the ferm chamber to warm things up a bit. Other than the sulfur, it's a pretty nice beer.

Update 11/28/2017
Sulfur notes seem to have completely disappeared. There's still a lot of yeast in suspension so I'll probably start dropping the temps soon.

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