May 26, 2011

Update: Emma (and Emma's Ale)

Thanks to you, the homebrewing community, together we have raised $8,000 in donations to the Children's Hospital of MN - 100% of the profit from sales of our Emma's Ale recipe kit go to pediatric cancer research. 

And via her father, our friend and colleague Chris German of Brewers Supply Group, here's an update on Emma herself:

May 24, 2011

Amarillo Slim

In case you haven't heard, there is a bit of a hop shortage going on for some of the most popular American varieties. Some of the newer varieties that craft breweries and homebrewers love so much, like Amarillo, Simcoe, Ahtanum, and Citra, simply didn't have enough acreage to meet demand this year. Here at Northern Brewer we decided to look into an alternate source of hoppy goodness: Amarillo HopShots.

May 19, 2011

Warmer Days Call For Ice

These are the days where us folks from temperately chaotic climates start declaring "Warmer weather has finally arrived!!" to either the rolled eyes or dismissive guffaws of those lucky enough to live where freezing is something that happens in appliances & cryobanks. My appreciation for the seasonal change aside, these months do call attention to one of the few caveats of buying live yeast cultures via the internet: shipping & outside temperature.

May 17, 2011

Notes on a brewday: Warminster Standard

Technically, it was a brewnight.
Waxing moon over boiler.
My wife likes English bitters, her birthday is coming up, and she wants to throw a party with lots of beer. She also owns a rhinestone-encrusted switchblade with which she makes sure I understand the things she says. Fortunately I happened to have the last 10 pounds from a sack of Maris Otter laying around and a raging propagation of Wyeast's Thames Valley II with no place else to be. I also had the urge ... the urge to sparge. To the backyard!

May 11, 2011

Brew like a Homebrewer

This is a concept that has been expanded upon by the likes of Jamil Zainasheff in Brewing Classic Styles, page 244 - suffice it to say, it is very easy to get carried away when you've got some 80 types of grain to choose from. Different maltsters, base malts, "specialty malts," even malted oats. Sometimes you really just have to brew like a homebrewer.

May 7, 2011

Why I am an AHA Member (and you should be too)

this AHA  member and union suit enthusiast
has an important message for us all.
Happy National Homebrew Day, everybody. I'll be celebrating in an appropriate manner, as I'm sure will many of you. On this happy occasion, let's take a moment to reflect on just how awesome it is to have the ability to brew, enjoy, and share your own handmade beer, and then sip a thoughtful sip in gratitude for the largely unseen, perhaps even unappreciated, work of some folks who have helped get us where we are today, fermentatively speaking.

And honestly, they deserve more than a grateful sip. Everyone who likes to make their own beer should join the American Homebrewers Association.

May 4, 2011

Best Place to Have a Beer

I remember the first time someone explained the concept of a "beer shower" to me. I was like, "Wait, you can drink beer in the shower??!" And, it turns out, you can. And it's awesome.