April 28, 2011

April 26, 2011

Yeast Experiment Round 3

A while back I posted about a yeast experiment that used 6 different ale yeast strains to make mead. Preliminary tasting results from five Northern Brewer employees are in, I've summarized them below.
Some things I've taken away from this experiment: phenolic yeast strains really don't do well at all in mead, just changing yeast strains can create unbelievably different mead, and lager strains may be a better match for meads than ale strains. Three of the five people enjoyed the Wyeast 1272 the best, and two of the five liked the Wyeast 2112.

April 21, 2011

What's in a name?

I've read that you should never name your chickens, because it makes it that much harder to boil 'em and pluck 'em when the time comes.

Perhaps in a similar vein, I've never named my beers. They are usually referred to as something like, "that one stout with the oak in it that I brewed last fall, or was it in the winter? Whatever, it's probably that one." But friends and other recipients of my beer always want to know what a particular beer is called. I once named an all-Fuggle hops bitter "Fug 'em" but in general people don't know what Fuggle is, so they didn't really appreciate it.

April 19, 2011

The scent of a carboy

I have an olfactory compulsion which you may find weird. Perhaps deviant. Here goes:

April 14, 2011

Brewer's Log: Kansas City Lager

Occasionally, I find myself & the wife in a type of restaurant that repeats itself across the country. These aren't the eateries that entirely play off some combination of fries and fried-meat-patty-on-bun as an excuse for wining & dining; rather, these are the places that have a signature appetizer, followed up by gastric proportions of steak, salad with shrimp, & the like. And it's often the case that the best pour these same chains offer is Sam Adams' Boston Lager.

April 12, 2011

Coffee Beer Collaboration

Coffee beer: it just sounds right. Like when you hear "oatmeal stout", you know that it will be good, even if you've never tried one before. Deep down inside, every brewer wants to be eating oatmeal and drinking coffee and stout at the same time. It is a fantasy that largely goes unspoken, but search within yourself and see if it isn't true.

April 7, 2011

Beer Planet: Chicago

In the cocked-eyebrow, mischievous corner of my brain lives a dream scenario wherein I leave the Twin Cities on the edge of a whim, ready to ride the winds of the world. The past two years have seen my midwinter vacation as nearly the opposite: calculated travels by train to well-researched places for R&R, and of course...beer.

April 6, 2011

Jake's Craft Brewers Conference 2011 Recap

CBC Symposium Beer
A special perk of working for Northern Brewer is being able to attend some of the best beer-related events in the country.  We travel throughout the year to attend everything and anything that has do with homebrewing and craft beer.  For the past couple of years, we have been going to the Craft Brewers Conference, which is kind of like the National Homebrewers Conference for the craft beer industry. This year's CBC was held March 23-26 in San Francisco, and I wanted to share my impressions.

April 4, 2011

Notes on a Brewday: Scum and Villainy IPA

S&V IPA: Sorachi Ace, homegrown Centennial, staggered dry hopping with Glacier and Columbus, blah blah blah. That's actually not what I want to talk about.

Do you like to brew? Do you brew ... frequently? Do you often find that there's still a beer actively fermenting even while you're boiling a new wort?