Thursday Cocktails – January 2023

This month, Jesse Charpentier shared some of his favorite cocktails with us!

Frisky Whiskey

2 oz your choice of whiskey

2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice

.5 oz unsweetened lime juice

.5 oz simple syrup

 

Skrewball Sour

2 oz Skrewball peanut butter whiskey

1.5 oz sweet and sour mix

4 dashes each angostura and orange bitters

1 cocktail cherry – muddled

Chili Recipe

Warm up this winter with some chili, enjoy this recipe Dave Duncan has shared with coworkers!

Brown 1lb of hamburger and chopped onion, drain fat.

ADD:
15oz tomato sauce
15oz whole tomatoes – with juice
15oz kidney beans – rinse and drain.
1 can sliced mushrooms – drained.
1 TBSP chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
pepper to taste

Set in crockpot on high for 3-4 hours.

Fall Hunting

As the temperature quickly plummets, our attention turns from sunny summer weekends at the lake to football, apple picking, pumpkins and for many Minnesotans, hunting. Although there are many scattered throughout the US, hunters are rapidly dwindling in numbers. A pastime lasting throughout generations has been steadily declining since the early 1960s. Hunting encourages comradery, safety, food, and fun. For those that are intrigued by the idea of hunting or are looking for a fun weekend, I would recommend giving pheasant hunting a try this fall. Grab an orange vest, a shotgun, and some comfortable boots and you are ready to go. Although a dog can be beneficial for flushing birds, it is not a necessity. The only caveat is that you can only harvest male pheasants if you are not hunting on a private game farm. You can tell a male pheasant from a female pheasant by their bright beautiful colors (see below for reference). Below are some areas to key in on when looking for pheasants.

Public Land: Minnesota has thousands of acres of public land designed for Minnesotans to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to check the regulations before you go. In many of these locations, you can hunt pheasants free of charge and on your own time.

Tall CRP Grass: Pheasants live in tall prairie grasses where their beautiful colors keep them hidden from predators. Areas both big and small will hold pheasants if there is enough cover. Look for some hip-high grass and go for a walk. You never know what you might kick up!

Corn Fields/Agriculture: Tall prairie grass alongside corn fields or agriculture fields will increase the chance you will see pheasants. The grain provides food and grass provides cover.

Game Farm: A game farm is a plot of land where the landowner releases pheasants for the hunters to harvest. A game farm is great for beginners as it increases the number of birds you will see and harvest. For roughly $15 per bird, a group of friends can go out and harvest dinner for everyone to enjoy. On a game farm, both male and female pheasants can be harvested.

BBQ

Author: Joe Mozeika

 

To me, nothing represents American cuisine quite like BBQ. It can be found from coast to coast with each region putting their own flavor spin on it. In North Carolina they slow-smoke a whole hog on an open-pit cooker, while across the border in South Carolina, a mustard-based sauce covers everything. Memphis does dry rub ribs while Alabama’s got smoked chicken with white sauce. Across Texas, you can find Mesquite wood BBQ out west, brisket in Central Texas, and beef ribs in the north. In Kansas City, they mix it all together with sweeter, thicker sauces!

In addition to the variety of flavors, I find the culture of BBQ to be fascinating. There are no set rules for how you cook your food, what spices—if any—you use, or what you cook your food with. It’s all about patience and the love of meat. Most smoked meats take a while to cook, often up to 14 hours for the larger cuts. Most pitmasters choose to spend that time socializing with friends, family, and even passersby drawn in by the smell of your smoker. You’ve got 14 hours ahead of you so you might as well spend them with some fun people! The majority of pitmasters choose to not keep secrets, rather they share their experience and methods of cooking with anyone that asks. They’ll tell you how they prep their meat, how they make their fire, what type of wood they use, what temperatures they cook at, how to know when the meat is done, and really anything else you want to know. The culture of BBQ is all about sharing, both knowledge and food, which I think is one of its best attributes.

Once you’re ready to try your hand at BBQ you’ve got a few things to figure out first, like what you’re going to cook and what you’re going to cook it in, however, with the rising popularity of backyard BBQ there are many ways option for you to jump in.

Let’s start with what you’re going to cook. If it’s your first go at slow-cooked BBQ, I would suggest Pork Butt. Despite its name, the pork butt comes from the front shoulder of the pig so there’s no need to worry about what you’re cooking, even if the name is a little gross. The pork butt has a high fat content which helps prevent it from drying out during the cook. Additionally, the high fat content and tender muscles of the pork butt make it best suited for shredding. Once shredded, it becomes what is commonly known as pulled pork. Pulled pork can be used in several dishes, from sandwiches to tacos and anything in between! As for what spices to put on your meat, there are some great premade rubs (a rub is the seasoning you cover the meat with prior to putting it on the smoker) that you can find at any supermarket. Read the description or the list of spices on the container to see if it is near the flavor profile you’re hoping for. They can be sweet, smokey, spicy, etc. so be sure to check that it’s going to be right for you before you buy.

Once you have your ingredients you will need to figure out what you’re going to cook your meat in. Here’s where things might take a little more thought. You’re going to have to figure out the smoker that is right for you based on ease of use and cost. There are some inexpensive models that require very little understanding of fire management, such as electric or propane smokers. These will cost less than $200 and all you need to do to start cooking is add wood chips and set them to the temperature you want. From there the next step up would be a Pellet Smoker/grill. These are a little bit more expensive but often they aren’t just smokers, and most will double as grills as well. Like the electric or propane smoker, all you have to do is set the smoker to your desired temperature and fill the hopper with fuel, in this case pellets, from there you’re ready to start smoking your meat. This type of smoker will likely cost anywhere between $500 and $2000 depending on the size and how many features you want. Finally, if you’re like me and like to play with fire something like a Big Green Egg (ceramic smoker) or a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) is a fun and challenging way to get you started. These require a little bit more work, as you have to find just the right amount of charcoal and wood chips to get the temperature and flavor profile you want but they offer much more consistent temperatures and smoke once you dial it in versus an electronically controlled smoker. Something like the two I mentioned above will have a price tag from $500 to $1200 depending on size. Ultimately there is no wrong smoker, just the one that works best for you!

In the true spirit of BBQ culture, I’ve chosen to share my own method of cooking pork butt. Always buy your pork butt bone in. Personally, I feel it adds extra flavor to the final product. To start rinse and dry your meat. After that, I rub the meat with a very light coating of Siracha sauce. This will give the slightest amount of heat on the back end and function as a binder for the rub too. Once the meat is covered with siracha I rub it with spices (Included below is my personal spice mix). Wrap in cling wrap and put it in your refrigerator overnight. Once you’re ready to start cooking, start your smoker and set it to your desired temperature. I always target 225°-250° for my cooking and I prefer a of lump charcoal with oak chunks in my drum smoker. Make sure to let it stabilize for about 30 min or so once it has reached the temperature you’ve chosen. While your smoker is heating up, take the meat out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature. After your smoker’s temperature has stabilized quickly place the meat into the smoker and close it up. From there once every hour you will spray the pork with a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. This keeps the outer layers of the meat from drying out as well as adds a little bit of sweet flavor. Do this for anywhere between 4-6 hours, just until the internal temperature of the meat is 165°. It may reach this a little sooner or a little later than anticipated depending on many factors, but in any case, we are looking to cook for a target temperature, not a time. Once your meat has reached 165°, pull it out of the smoker and wrap it tightly in tin foil. Then place it back in the smoker, keeping the temperature of the smoker between 225°-250°, and wait for the internal temperature of the meat to reach 205°. This should take about 3-4 hours, but again it’s all about cooking until the meat has reached the correct temperature, not a time.  Once the meat’s internal temperature is at 205°, remove it from the smoker and allow it to sit for an hour or so. After it’s done sitting, grab some large forks and start shredding. If you’ve done it right, you likely can shred with just your hands. Once shredded, it’s time to indulge any way you like! There is no wrong way to enjoy your BBQ!

Pork Rub

EC Titanium Motor

Author: Eric Yost

Over the past couple of decades, we’ve recognized a steady improvement in the efficiency of motors used for both mechanical and plumbing systems. Instigated by regulations from the Department of Energy and design improvements, AC induction motor efficiencies have improved across the board to what is accepted as the practical limit for this style motor.

The ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) is a new type of motor that is commercially available. This new style of motor transcends the efficiencies of traditional motors with each style of ECM being unique. Most ECMs utilize a form of magnetic rotor and/or an engineered metal core to reduce losses. These new motors are so efficient that new ratings had to be created to categorize them. The current NEMA Premium chart (Equivalent to IE-3) does not capture how effective these motors are, so the IE-4 “Super Premium” and IE-5 “Ultra Super Premium” levels have been introduced to help categorize these them.

The EC Titanium motor from ABB is one of these new commercially available options. It is a Ferrite Assist Synchronous Reluctance (FASR) motor that exceeds the highest industry standard of IE-5. (See table below). Available with up to 20 hp in multiple frame sizes, these Ultra Super Premium Efficient motors possess a few unique advantages over other motor styles.

  1. EC Titanium Motors can be controlled with a standard ACH-580 variable frequency drive
  2. These motors do not utilize rare earth magnets
  3. The lack of a large permanent magnet eliminates the need for special skills to service

EC Titanium Motors have a proven history of installations that prove their efficiency. Mulcahy worked with a large university to retrofit the new motor to fit an existing air handling unit that had been re-sheaved for higher output. The increase in fan capacity necessitated an increase in motor horsepower. This usually means also changing the wire size and VFD, but due to the efficiency and low amp draw of a titanium motor, nothing else needed to be changed.

The EC Titanium motor and ACH-580 combination are a major improvement over the status quo in our industry. Both products have proven real-world applications. Contact Mulcahy if you have any questions or applications.

Mulcahy named to list of Minnesota’s Top 200 Workplaces

We’re proud to announce that Mulcahy has earned a coveted spot in Minnesota’s TOP 200 WORKPLACES by the Star Tribune.

Mulcahy has been recognized as a Top Workplace in our region for the fifth year in a row, not only that but one of the Top 200 Companies in Minnesota. Being one of the Top 200 Workplaces is a great honor and we would like to thank our employees for making that possible.

“When starting in the warehouse five years ago, I would never would have imagined how much my soon-to-be Mulcahy family, from all departments would help me develop professionally and personally in the past five years. It’s also a huge plus to always have a positive atmosphere of people right away in the morning. Truly a special place.”

– Sam Thotland, Tech Sales

Spring Fishing in Minnesota, Mike Comstock

Like many living in the north central part of the country, I look forward to getting on the water to fish. It’s a great resource to be enjoyed by the whole family. Here is a little guide to fishing possibilities around the metro and outstate Minnesota.

If you have kids and want them to enjoy fishing for a lifetime, buy them a $10 single-piece rod of their favorite cartoon character to use as the ice goes out. Crappies are typically what we go fishing for until the walleye season opens Mid-May. These bountiful fish can be caught with minnows, leeches, plastic baits or even corn, but the best bait in most lakes is a small jig with a crappie minnow. If you have a boat, look for bays with shallow water that warms faster, typically on the north side of the lake. Crappies will start to spawn when the water temperature gets close to 60°F. (Hint: Lilacs bloom around the same time.)

Fishing photo

Minneapolis Area Lakes

Lake Minnetonka – The lake is known for largemouth bass but has a lot of walleyes that can be caught in the spring and fall when boat traffic is down. There are a lot of bays and shallow areas to target that will warm up earlier. For crappie in these areas, try a light line-bobber and small jig (add minnow). The lake is also known for BIG muskies in the 50”+ range in the fall, if you want to up the challenge and reward possibilities.

White Bear Lake – Water levels here have fluctuated over the years but have recently stabilized. Largemouth bass are a favorite with panfish and muskies being the next sought-after fish. Start in the bays for crappie, but find the weed lines near the drop-offs.

Prior Lake – In early spring the crappies can be found in the shallows near the deeper water in the bays and near the bridge. Walleyes can be caught in the deeper areas of the lake where there is structure late afternoon.

Northern Minnesota Lakes

Mille Lacs Lake – Crappies can be caught in back bays and channels in spring as the water warms. Walleye and smallmouth bass can be caught along the rocky points and reefs early and late in the year. Minnows, plastics and crank baits work in spring and fall. Summer brings walleye deeper to the mud flats. Leaches and night crawlers are the most common bait options for success. This lake also offers the opportunity of big muskies in fall.

Pokegama Lake (Grand Rapids) – Crappies are abundant, but it’s a matter of finding the right bay where they are spawning and watching water temperatures. There are a lot of big walleyes due to the smelt in the lake. They can be caught along the weed lines & sunken islands with minnows, leaches or night crawlers.

Lake Vermilion – Crappies can be found along the north shore of bays and inlets. Look for some vegetation or cover. Walleyes are usually a primary focus here and can be caught shallow in the spring but will move out deeper as the water warms.

I hope this gives you a good start to enjoying a lifelong activity that can lead to many friendships and valuable life experiences.

Water Furnace Modular Chiller Solution

The Water Furnace TruClimate 300 (formerly the WC HybrEx) is a modular water-cooled chiller that can be the solution to a lot of challenging scenarios. For example, many chillers are coming to the end of their service lives and replacing them have challenges that didn’t exist when the system was first constructed. The walls that enclose the chiller room were built after the units were placed and now limit the size of the replacement. Besides, construction cranes are no longer on site to move items around.

This is where the AHRI-certified cooling-only TruClimate 300 comes to the rescue. Rather than installing a single large unit, replace the chiller with multiple modular units piped together to efficiently deliver the desired capacity. The individual 30 ton and 50 ton modules are easily moved through a standard 36” door with a simple pallet jack and fall within the weight limits of most freight elevators.

One of the biggest features of the TruClimate 300 is its robust tube-style heat exchanger for condensing which stands up to sediment and particulates usually associated with open cooling towers. That means less downtime for flushing and cleaning. This condenser provides the efficiency of a brazed plate while minimizing heat exchanger fouling.

Beyond just replacing an aged piece of equipment, the TruClimate 300 is an opportunity to upgrade a chiller plant’s hardware and controls. The TruClimate 300 utilizes premium-efficiency scroll compressors housed in a compact cabinet for easy installation. Optional permanent magnet DC inverter drive lead scroll compressor is available on the 30 and 50 ton module sizes to increase capacity turndown and efficiency.

Once the factory-tested modules are installed, the Aurora HydroLink2 controls make the final system operate efficiently. The system not only does lead lag of each module for capacity control, but its supervisory controls also equalize the run time across each module. This balances usage and is all managed internally to the control sequences. The platform also provides numerous factory-installed options for better service, diagnostic and monitoring abilities. Preventative alarms make it easy to stay on top of maintenance. Refrigerant, energy and performance are tracked through the HMI or DDC protocols.

Head pressure control is maintained using modulating isolation valves. This allows the chiller to be operated under a wide range of temperatures. Because it’s monitored at each individual module and not system wide, there’s no single point of failure. The redundancy of refrigeration circuits and chiller modules provides additional reliability.

The Best Ability is Availability

There are many critical HVAC systems currently operating with degraded efficiency and on the brink of failure. Often, it’s the central air handling unit (AHU) that is on life support and is exhibiting the symptoms of soon and unrepairable failure. However, these ubiquitous pieces of equipment currently carry some of the longest lead times in our industry. Quick replacement usually means sacrificing options and quality.

Let Mulcahy Company and VTS offer you a solution!

We can select, configure and price a new customized AHU for you in a matter of minutes to meet your performance and dimensional requirements. The numerous options allow us to meet the requirements for most applications.

The key is the configurable modular design. The ability to orient fans, coils, heat wheels, filters, etc. result in a final design that can meet the space and performance goals. For this reason, VTS air handlers were chosen for the retrofit of the Milwaukee Athletic Club. The short lead time fits in with the phased construction schedule. The project totaled over 20 units ranging from 1700-10,000 cfm to transform the building’s mechanical systems.

Winter & Beer

Given the seasonal nature of some beers, most beer connoisseurs have a few favorites they anticipate each time of the year. In the fall, many look forward to numerous Oktoberfest biers that make a brief appearance. In the winter months, brewers showcase an offering of darker and stronger stouts and ales. Winter ale, although not a defined beer style like stout, is a widespread brewing tradition in much of the country. Brewing a stronger beer to thwart the effects of the cold weather months is undoubtedly as old as brewing itself and for many is as much a part of Christmas as Jingle Bells. Here are a some of our favorite winter beers:

Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA- This is a different sort of winter warmer, but its longevity and national popularity proves its worth. It is a great and inexpensive option for a fresh hopped ale.

Summit Winter Ale – A local winter ale, based originally on the British Warmer style of beer has also stood the test of time.

Schell’s Snowstorm – This winter seasonal offering changes slightly year to year. This year’s version is described as a malt driven Oat Starkbier.

Surly Darkness – This gem came out in late October and might be hard to find. However, the barrel-aged version is due out in February.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout – The beer released on Black Friday can still be found on store shelves. People wait in line for the variants of the base version. The 14% ABV is not for the meek.

Junkyard Brewing – Barrel-Aged King-Size and Queen-Size Stouts – This pair of stouts from Fargo are both available now in barrel-aged versions for extra flavor. These peanut butter stouts might be worth a road trip.

Bent Paddle Double Shot Double Black – It’s all in the name for this bourbon barrel-aged beer out of Duluth