Today started off with a nice drive through rolling hills from Minneapolis. Actually, there wasn't one hill along the way until I hit Redwood Falls. It was a nice easy drive though. The Brau Brothers had a Group Brew day which I was lucky enough to get involved with. The Brau's put on a Homebrew contest each year where they take the winners recipe and brew up on their own equipment for distribution. This year the distribution of the winning American Black Ale, (CDA, Black IPA, etc) will primarily be distributed in South Dakota, with a few select locations in the Twin Cities receiving kegs, and 750 bottles. Dustin Brau lead the show, and encouraged all 20-30 of us to dough in, stir the mash, clean the lauter tun, and basically...if you wanted to participate in the brew day, you really could. It's a fantastic idea. You can only learn basic concepts from most brewery tours, but this hands on approach really helps you understand the intricate steps within the process demystifying a typical brew day! I can't say enough about the Brau Brothers family. They are just straight up, really good, story tellin, card playin, easy going brewers, just doing a really good job brewing quality beer. They are also growing hops, barley, and rye, and I'm sure some other things. There hops are on their 4th year of growth and they clearly are doing a good job as hop farmers because their Wet Hop Ale this year was frickin fantastic. If you haven't tried their 100 Yard Dash - fresh Hop, you may still be able to find a random 6er on the shelves of your local liquor store if you're lucky. It was extremely bitter, flavorful, and a slight aroma of locally grown hops. I will say that they could've been a little more heavy handed on the hops at the end of the boil on that one. Their Ringneck Braun Ale is my favorite Brown Ale brewed in Minnesota by far.
Look for this Brau Brothers American Dark Ale to hit the shelves in a month or two, as well as new and more consistent seasonals from Brothers Brau. There was talk of a Saison in the near future being fermented at extreme temps so def excited for that! Keep up the good work beer brothers and fam. Can't wait to come out in the Summer and see the farm and brewery in it's summery glory!
I ended up walking away with a bunch of this sweet wort. I'll be doing some experimenting with this wort. I'm currently fermenting some on Wyeast 1272 which I think will complement this beer very well. The other portion will be fermented on the new Midwest Brew Supply yeast, Wyeast Headwaters Ale. Can't wait to see the difference between the two yeasts. In addition to that, I may split the wort for a dry hops experiment. All to be sampled at the March NE Homebrew club meetings!
Here is the recipe as I converted it to 5 gallons at 70 % effeciency.
malt & fermentables
(1.054 to 1.063)
(1.013 to 1.016)
24° SRM / 47° EBC
(Brown to Dark Brown)
198 per 12 oz.
|The Brau Brewery|
|American Black Ale, contest winning homebrew recipe that was then brewed by the Brau Brothers!|
|Hop farm (1300 bines!?!)|
|Fantastically delicious Brau Beers! Very well done!|
|The beautiful serving vessels.|
|Dustin explaining the mash procedure|
|Spent grain after brew day|
|Dustin Brau ( Brewmaster Extraordinaire) and Myself after brew day!|
|Dustin racking out wort for the brewers to take home and ferment!|