May 27, 2010

Double drop fermentation

So I've been reading some books about British pub beers and, in particular, the vaunted British Bitter. Needless to say, I was inspired to recreate the technique of the Brakspear brewery, which produces some of the finest brews in the UK. They use an interesting technique known as the double-drop fermentation and claim it produces unique flavors, especially in their Bitter.

May 25, 2010

Brewer's log: Floor Malt Experiment #3: Parti-gyle 140 Shilling and a “Halvsy”

I too had the opportunity to experiment with the Warminster floor-malted Maris Otter. My goal was two worts from one mash: a Scottish 140/- ale, and a second "small beer" (we'll call it the Halvsy). In total the grist was about 24 lbs for a 5 gallon batch of each of the two beers.

May 20, 2010

Beer and Your Body: Introduction

Beer contains alcohol. When you consume beer, then your body contains alcohol. Alcohol is a poison but the human body has some mad skillz at protecting itself from most of alcohol's super dangerous effects. Other than alcohol, beer has some things in it that are super good for you.

May 19, 2010

May 18, 2010

Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake

All great epic tragedies start out with the protagonist having good intentions. Unfortunately, protagonists usually suffer from chronic hubris and they manage to foul everything up and something usually dies and then the protagonist experiences catharsis and then suffers from regret for the rest of his/her days. I am the protagonist of this story.

Iowa, here ye are

This past March saw Iowa legislators with, essentially, across the board support for a law allowing breweries in our friendly southern neighbor state to brew batches up to 12% ABV. Another antique blue law given a brief burial in the fields outside some hard working Iowa microbrewery, and a spring of hopeful inspiration for homebrewers, current & prospective.

May 17, 2010

Ode to my hop vines

Even my dog can forgive me this doggerel
on account of how it's NB:TB's poetry inaugural;
if you're rolling your eyes instead of trimming your side shoots back,
get thee out to your hopyard and cut me some slack. 

May 14, 2010

Yeast and aerating your wort

Perhaps the easiest way to improve the quality of your homebrewed beer is to do as much as you can to ensure that your yeast is both healthy and happy. Happy yeast is happy beer - or at least a happy beer drinker.

May 13, 2010

Beer Waffles

Everyone loves waffles and pancakes for breakfast on a lazy weekend morning, perhaps after enjoy a few too many homebrews the night before. So here's a twist on a hair-of-the-dog theory, add a bottle of your favorite homebrew to this quick and easy waffle batter for a nice twist on an old favorite.

May 12, 2010

Do I look like my favorite beer?

*Thanks to the Cesar dog food company for that bit of brilliance.
Ever see those ads where the owners look like their dogs? No? Here's an example:

May 11, 2010

How to Make Invert Sugar

Ever feel like your brewhouse could use more science nerdery? Try making invert sugar!

May 10, 2010

Experiment: Shipping beer and hop profiles

Could it be that homebrewers have the advantage over pro brewers when it comes to keeping hop flavor in your beer?

May 7, 2010

Brewing TV: Episode 1

A webcast about homebrewing and beer culture.

Our first episode (which premieres today) visits four homebrewers gone pro at Fulton Brewing Co. and goes behind the scenes at the Upper Mississippi Mashout, one of the largest homebrew comps in America. We also brew a wheat beer, which bores the hell out of Jake's cat.

May 6, 2010


In Greek mythology, when Odysseus went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his son, Telemachus, to Mentor. Mentor served as Telemachus's teacher and guide.

My mentor in brewing was my college friend Adam. He taught me how to brew, passing along all his knowledge of brewing techniques.

Who mentored you?

May 5, 2010

Big Brew Day

Cheers to all who made it to Big Brew Day with the Saint Paul Homebrewer's Club at Northern Brewer's retail location.

May 3, 2010

Cat piss 'n' Mushrooms

There are some awesome flavor descriptors out there that don't seem appetizing at first glance.