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Welcome to Grey Matter

Welcome to my new website for my homebrewing operation, Grey Matter Brewing. My name is Ari Berman, and I've been brewing beer for about 4.5 years. I live north of San Francisco, CA, and I brew out of my garage, like most homebrewers. I'm a Neuroscientist by day, and super-ninja brewer by night. The name of my brewing operation should be obvious, Grey Matter being one of the two major anatomical tissue types in the brain. Also, since I'm an uber-geek, my beer naming scheme is almost always rooted in some science topic. So, read the descriptions in the Beers section of the website.

As you can imagine, I love brewing. One of my best friends, Ken Clemmer, got me started in brewing. He has been brewing for around 12 years, and he thought I'd be perfect for brewing. I'm a scientist, so I'm good a technical laboratory-type things. I turns out that I also love to cook. The marriage of the two yields someone who is perfect for brewing. Oh, and I really like beer, a lot. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an alcoholic, but I really enjoy a fantastic beer here and there.

Once Ken got me into brewing, there was no turning back. I realized that I could make exactly the kind of beers I like to drink, and that I could make things that no one else makes. I like being creative in the kitchen, so why not make some beers that no one has ever had? I've made a few creative beers, but I've mostly been exploring the many styles of beer that I really enjoy and trying to get better at brewing.

Being one who likes to push the boundaries of what I'm doing, I decided to make the leap to all grain brewing last month. I'll write more about this later, but to date, I've made one beer using all grain techniques. I tried to reproduce my Imperial Red Ale, called the Redshift Imperial Ale, using all grain techniques. This is one of my favorite beers and I wanted it to taste as close to the original as possible, with just a little more character. Up until this point, I'd only brewed using malt extract and a small amount of specialty grains (called partial mashing), so moving to all grain was a big change. It's the same idea as baking a cake from a box, vs. baking it from scratch. So, for the Red, instead of using six pounds of grain and and nine pounds of extract, I used 17 pounds of grain. The beer came out fine, but there were some issues. The beer is much sweeter than I wanted, and I used British base malt, which changed the fundamental flavor of the beer because I think extract is made with American base malt, which has a very different character to it. I like it, but it isn't what I was going for. So, I'll take another crack at it at some point. In either case, brewing all-grain was really fun, and I can't wait to try it again.

OK, I've rambled on enough. Thanks for visiting my site. Keep checking back for brewing updates, and send me emails, or comments if you'd like to ask questions. Live long and enjoy beer.

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