NE Darkside Steam

Just wanted to put in my two cents about the release party last night at the Rock Bottom. I missed the actual tapping as I arrived at 6:02 pm. I heard that Assistant Brewer Kaveh Rahimi made the release announcement to the crowd, then finished it off with a massive front flip on the bar. Dang I need to get there earlier next time. We ended up drinking many-a-beer last night, and I personally put down three of Kaveh's - NE Darkside Steam Beers! It was extremely drinkable. The Steam style, or California Common, is not a style of beer that people drink a ton of in Minnesota. This beer is very smooth, creamy and malty. Not a ton of hops in his version. It's a nice winter warmer at 6% and has an impressive dark color and smells nice and roasty toasty. Nothing too over powering at all in this beer, just very well balanced! It's a little green, and will definitely mellow out a bit in the next month. Like I said though, the drinkability was really high! Kudo's to Kaveh for putting out a great beer and not only pushing the style boundaries, but also putting out a style of beer not common in the Midwest!




Beer Release at the Rock Bottom -DT

Just wanted to let my readers know about a beer release I'll be attending tonight. It's at the Rock Bottom where Masterbrewer Bryon Tonnis is constantly working up nice creations for everyone. The big event tonight is all about Assistant Brewer Kaveh Rahimi who will be releasing his very own NE Darkside Steam Beer. For those of you that don't know, Steam beers were popularized in California where they would take Lager Yeast and ferment them at Ale temperatures. Kaveh is a bit of an inspiration to me, because early on in my homebrewing, I ended up getting a few of his old homebrew 'hand me downs' and in the process I tried one of his homebrews. It was a German Alt which at the time was a style that I wasn't very familiar with. I remember it being real smooth and malty and thinking, man I want another one. Tonight at 6 is the big release party which will be Kaveh's second release as a Professional Brewer and I'd highly recommend everyone come down and check out what this kid is doing!

Rock Bottom
800 LaSalle Plaza
Minneapolis, MN 55402
***Beer Release Party starting at 6pm
Be there by 6pm for the tapping and get a FREE PINT!
NE Darkside Steam Beer
Brewed by Kaveh Rahimi

Cheers! Have a beer.



New and improved Growlers from my boy Timmy C

Check these things out. This guy is so talented, always was, always will be. One of the nicest guy I've ever met as well. Feel free to buy as many growlers and other miscellaneous items as you see fit.




GimmeThatNut Brown on TAP in Northeast!

So... Dan-o (handyman extraordinaire) ended up stopping by tonight as planned. He just so happened to walk in the door as soon as dinner was coming out of the oven! Pork tenderloin, Mash potatoes, peas, and a nice cool glass of Ale Asylum - Madtown Nutbrown! I ended up putting him to work and in the pictures below you can see the finished result of his fine work! GimmeThatNut Brown ale, my first All-grain batch of beer is on tap in Northeast! I ended up bottling a 6 pack of bombers in order to enter them into upcoming homebrew contests. Holy funking snit, I can't believe it. Do you think I should expand to three taps? Yes, is the answer!!! EXTREMELY!

Dub day afternoon

Kegged Beer, Keggerator, New Brew...

I've got a few things going on in my brew house this week.

First things first, kegging my first beer! I'll be kegging most of my GimmeThatNut Brown ale, probably 4 gallons of it, and bottling the last gallon. This is a huge step because I've had a little bit of trouble dealing with bottle carbonation, and bottling is time consuming. It'll be nice to get a perfect pour out of the tap!

Second, Dan-o (handyman extraordinaire) is gonna help me convert my bar refrigerator into a homebrew kegerator. Drill a couple of holes, pop in a couple pieces of hardware and I should be set! It's always good to have handy friends, especially one's that like to get paid in beer instead of money! I've got everything I need to get it done, 5 lb. CO2 tank full, CO2 gauge, lines for gas and liquid, conversion kit for the fridge, a 5 gallon cornelius keg. All I need is a few more kegs, and a couple more taps and I'll be stylin!

Thirdly, I'm about to brew up a clone of Bell's Two Hearted Ale. I'm going to alter it a little bit to my tastes.
I’ll be adding a couple extra pounds in the grain bill, and also not as much hops for bittering. I’m also using a different strain of yeast then what Bells uses. I need to figure out how to propagate yeast from the bottle. I’m sure my wife won’t mind having a yeast propagating factory in our basement.

Big Water Ale - IPA – All Grain (5.5 Gallons)

12 lbs Rahr 2-row Malt

2 lbs Vienna Malt

0.5 lb Cara-pils/Dextrin

0.5 lb Crystal/Caramel 20L

5 ounces Centennial hops (60, 30, 15, 5, 1)

Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast

Irish Moss

I’ll mash at 152 degrees for 60 minutes, and sparge at 169 degrees for 20. My last beer I had 70% extraction efficiency of sugars from the grains. I’m hoping to do a little better this time with a higher sparge temperature to hopefully get closer to 80%. I did add a little extra 2-row to combat my pour efficiency.

Big week! I'll make sure to upload photo's of my first pour(in a couple weeks), as well as some construction photo's of Dan-o and I working on the kegerator set up. I'll also upload a video of my dog chugging a beer in under 10 seconds. YEAH!


It's easy being cheesy!

I just found out about Dave's brewfarm (http://davesbrewfarm.blogspot.com/) in Wilson, WI from my Mom actually. Apparently she's trying to take an interest in what she calls, "my obsession". She bought some tickets to a beer tasting event at Pairings in Minnetonka. Dave was at pairings and was tasting some of his beers which was very fun and informative. Some realizations from last night in no specific order.

1. Dave is a certified Yeast freak.
2. It's easy being Cheesy. Wisconsin makes it so much easier to start a brewery compared to Minnesota it's not even funny. No wonder Sconnie has a billion micro breweries, and MN has just a handful. Here's a quick list of why it's easier in Sconnie...
  • In Dave's own words "Wisconsin is the wild wild west of brewing"
  • You can sell your own product retail on-site at the brewery.
  • You can distribute your own product.
  • You can live on site if you so choose.
  • It cost ZERO dollars to get a brewing license/certificate from the State. It's $500 in MN.
  • I'm pretty sure the list goes on and I'd love to here a complete list from someone more informed. Dave?
3.Beer brewed with seaweed can be fairly good tasting. It wasn't amazing by any standard, but drinkable and sessionable, absolutely.
4. I was completely inspired by Dave's Brewfarm!!! Both the idea behind the farm, and his idea's about beer, mainly yeast, have inspired me completely. Can't wait to make the trek out to Wilson, WI and also to watch his progress.
5. Dave brews some really good beer. He tasted a German beer, a Scottish Ale, and a Pale Ale. Keep in mind that he classifies his beer by what strain of yeast he used in it. His beers have no apparent classifications other then his Lager. I would have to say my favorite was his Scotch Ale brewed with Chinook hops. That things was real drinkable at 9%!!! His German one was pretty dang tasty as well, and very yeasty which you'd expect from a german ale yeast. Good luck Dave! Can't wait to try the Matacabra's.

Stay Classy Minneapolis. Let me know when I have at least one reader.


Minnesota Black Bitter - Single Hop

Yo. Check it out. I brewed up numero duo on the all-grain train this weekend. Friday night for me was all about brewing. I had a bunch of hops in my freezer that I picked from a dude in New Hope that grew em. He had hops growing like 40 feet up his deck. I had 4 1/2 ounces of Cascade hops so I decided to put together a nice hoppy brown ale. I found a nice recipe on brewdudes that used all Cascade hops. Cascade is one of the most common hops in america pale ales. Not sure how it's gonna work out. I've read that heavily hopping a darker beer doesn't have the same effect as it would with a pale because the hops is more in the background. We will see. I ended up getting 10 lbs of Rahr 2-row grown right here in our very own Shakopee, and my specialty malts from Sconnie. Breiss Crystal 20, Crystal 120, Chocolate malt, and a little Roasted Malt. Now that I look at it, it kinda looks like it's gonna be a light hoppy porter. We'll go with India Brown Ale. I mashed is at 154 for 60 minutes and by the end of the 60 minutes it was down to 151 so not too bad. I collected the first runnings and then sparged at 166 for 20 minutes. I ended up collecting 7 gallons of wort. I added the Cascade hops through out the boil and after 60 minutes I cooled it down real fast with my wort chiller to 75 degrees. My gravity reading at that point was 1.056. I ended up pitching it with two different kinds of yeast, one american, and one british. It's gonna be interesting to see how the two different flavor profiles effect the finished beer. So, there you have it...a nice Brown ale, with only cascade hops and
two varieties of yeast. Five and a half gallons, burpin out Co2, and poopin alcohol like mad right now.

10.0 lbs  American 2-row
1.0 lbs    Crystal 15L
0.25 lbs  Crystal 125L
0.5 lbs    Special Roast
0.75 lbs  Chocolate Malt
2.0 oz    Roasted Barley
(Mash temp 155 F)
1.5 oz Cascade pellet 60min
1.5 oz Cascade pellet 10min
1.5 oz Cascade pellet 1min

Tasting notes: This Brown ale is tasty as shit. It's a favorite amongst my friends at least! It's almost like a light porter with slight roasted coffee notes, huge hop aroma from late additions and dry hopping, and it spent a long time in my fridge so it's fairly clean. The yeast aren't present very much which is to be expected with clean yeasts at low temps. It tastes pretty smooth and creamy like a light cream stout. I used a lot of hops in it for bittering because I adjusted the AA's down a bit to be on the safe side. I think I made a wise decision. This is an extremely well balance Hoppy Brown Ale. Hopefully I can make it again next year with some Homegrowns.


Bell's HopSlam - Smooth, Strong

Last night I tried Bell's HopSlam on tap at the Bulldog NE for the first time ever. My uncle has been raving about it so I thought I'd give it a try.

I had a couple of pints and started to get a little typsy. It's 11% alc. and that warms you up pretty good. I'm not a huge bitter pale ale drinker, yet, still a lover of hops, so Bell's HopSlam is the perfect fit for a guy like me. This is an extremely drinkable IIPA that Bell's put out. I personally think that they didn't do a huge early addition of hops because it's not super bitter. It is extremely hoppy with presumably many late additions for aroma and flavor. I definitely taste a piny hop presence in this beer which I'm not sure I love. I think the honey mostly just adds to the fermentable sugars and so keeps the beer light as opposed to if you were to use grains for that extra alcohol kick. Dangerously smooth!!! I need to get my hands on some more of it and cellar it. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone who loves hops. Good luck finding any because since I don't have any readers, if you do read this eventually, you'll be too late and it'll be sold out.

Why a seasonal? Only Bell's can answer that question.


What I've brewed as of January 2nd

  1. El Hefe - turned out to be a pretty nice first venture into the brewing process. It was a nice Summer beer. Next time I do a Hefe, I'm gonna try and ferment at around 62 degrees, and use a couple different strains of yeast.
  2. Belgian Double- This one is getting better and better as it ages. The yeast gave it a banana-y smell which I'm not a huge fan of, so I'm researching ways to minimize this in my beers in the future. This was my first experience with messing with a recipe and changing it up a bit.
  3. Imperial Saison- This bad boy was a crazy concoction of spice's. It was heavily spiced, and dry hopped, and unfortunately as it's aged has taken on a medicinal flavor. Not sure if there was chlorine in the water in the spring/summer when I brewed or what. I fermented in my upstairs at about 76 degrees.
  4. French Saison - This is one of my favorite beers to date. Also fermented at high temperatures with a french saison yeast. It had a little bit of wheat in it as well and was a great balance. It tastes almost exactly like Lift Bridge's Saison.
  5. IIPA- This is a nice hoppy concoction that has 4 kinds of hops, dry hopped, and a huge malt bill. It's strong and tastes like hop nectar. I had some initial bottle conditioning issues, but managed to salvage the brew.
  6. Oatmeal Stout- This is a real tasty beer. It's not super dark, and I would classify it as more like an oatmeal brown. I used some homegrown Goldings hops in this one, and it actually tastes fairly similar to Bender. It's an extract oatmeal stout, so the oats don't come through as much as you'd like.
  7. Cream Ale- This is a sweet Cream Ale. I brewed this for my lager drinking friends, and it's proved to be a popular one.
  8. Irish Stout-This is a nice proper stout. Real dark, and has a vanilla nose. Not sure if I love it, but we'll see what happens as it ages.
  9. Nut Brown (ALL-Grain)-Dough in at 152 and held that steady for 60 minutes. Mashed out for my first runnings. Sparged at 168 for 20 minutes and boiled. Added some homegrown hops for flavoring, and it's currently fermenting at about 67 degrees. My gravity readings were right on, so it's looking to be a success. I'll let you know how it turns out.


Brewing All-Grain

I ventured into the realm of all-grain brewing. I will be sharing my exploits as I work towards brewing the perfect brown ale. I encourage friendship, sharing of knowledge, sharing of beer, and constructive criticism. I'm hoping to brew some dank ass brews and I hope everyone likes them.
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