June 30, 2011

The Joy of Extract Brewing

I recently took what some might consider to be a step backwards in my brewing. I put away my mash tun and my large(ish) kettle and I brewed a batch of extract beer. When I first started brewing, "all-grain" seemed like a peak to surmount: the pinnacle of the art of brewing and the black belt in homebrewing Karate and after making the leap to all grain brewing several years ago, I had not looked back. 

June 28, 2011

Mash Tun Time Machine

All that's old is new, and I for one welcome our Victorian throwback overlords. There seems to be a developing trend in the world of IPA: a hearkening back to the days of yore with ultra-traditionalist rebrews of 19th century export ales from the days of the Raj.

June 23, 2011

Spring Wine

Brewing beer is an art where the effort is packed into a short period. The vast majority of decisions take placing on brewing day, when you've got to multi-task, hit all your expected numbers, and get all the temps, sanitation, and additions right. Wine and mead making are much more drawn out. And amazingly, much of the skill is in paying attention to your fermented wine or mead and reacting to it. Instead of exerting control over all factors, as one constantly tries to in beer, you've got to let the wine control you.

June 21, 2011

Thunderbolt Pale Ale: Hop Substitution Experiment

So far, it's been a hot summer and a short summer. And that's to say summer hasn't officially yet begun. As manic as winter had been, summer crept around the Twin Cities like a lurking radioactive monster. From windy to above average hot, that was only after the tornado season began in north Minneapolis.

June 14, 2011

Panadería Norteña

When life gives you lemons... make a shandy! When life gives you undercarbonated beer? Bake with it!

June 9, 2011

Hops You're Not Using But Should Be, pt 2

From the lofty vantage point of my office chair (Ikea), I can see which hop varieties are the current Shiny Object, and which deserving little pellets and cones get unfairly passed over - the ugly ducklings and Cinderellas of the Humulus lupulus world, if you will. And from the lofty (ha! well, I'll call it that and maybe it'll stick) vantage of this blog I can exhort my fellow homebrewers to quit missing out.

Today's sermon: Horizon.

June 6, 2011

Illegal: Homebrewing in Alabama

If you haven't seen it already, you have to watch this video that Northern Brewer and Brewing TV put together on the defeat of the Alabama homebrewing bill. It will change your mind on the state of homebrewing in the US.

Seen it? Ok, good.

June 1, 2011

Settling Down

I'm the sort of brewer who rarely makes the same thing twice. I've been hopping around from style to style, recipe to recipe, technique to technique ever since I started brewing. That's been great, I feel like I've covered a lot of ground, learned a lot of basics, had a good time. I'm also the sort of brewer who often measures things in handfuls, tosses whatever is lying around into the mash or into the boil, and takes a cavalier approach to using wild yeasts. Also fun, and less work.