Take it nice and slow this weekend!

Dank Brewing Eight Pointed Star

As many of you know, if you are a home brewer, or a pro brewer, the 6 pointed star has traditionally been the symbol of the brewer. Obviously the 6 pointed star has also been used for many different things in history, some religious, some not so religious. I really like the usage of the 6 pointed star as the brewer symbol, but the original brewers star is a little bit outdated in my opinion. It stood for purity. Purity in the brewing process in the olden days meant, Water, Grain, Malt, Yeast, Hops, and the Brewer. These are all great things and many tasty beers can be created at a very high level with just these simple ingredients. I certainly don't condone anyone who brews beer to the strict guidelines of the past like the  Beer Purity Law. But, I think that the 6 pointed star has a little wiggle room in the "here and now". I know that some home brewers in America, and some in the craft brewing industry agree that creativity in brewing is revitalizing the industry! Specifically I think that the use of adjuncts such as fruits and spices, and all kinds of other things can be added to your beer to create different flavors.  Dogfish Head is at the forefront of this movement for sure.   I can't get it in Minnesota, but that's another story all together.   Take a look at Dogfish Heads beer line up and you'll realize the potential of creativity, artistry, history, and innovation in this industry.  When used appropriately and in moderation, these adjuncts can add complexity to a beer that many people appreciate.  I'm talking specifically about the American craft beer movement, but this movement is not at all restricted to America. Brewers all of the world are creating amazing concoctions in the UK, Italy, Belgian, Europe, Asia, Germany, Timbuktu, and basically anywhere a person decides to create a recipe for a beer that is a little off the wall, a little bit crazy, and even a little bit genius. This is the point of my new age 8 pointed brewers star that adds in a couple extra little points to the traditional 6 pointed brewer star. I'd argue that INNOVATION deserves a point on the star, and also ARTISTRY.  These are things that are vague, and purposefully so, but the beers the we brewers are putting out today don't often fit into any style guidelines, nor do we want them to. I encourage all brewers to think out of the box, maintain the purity of the craft, in that, when you brew your beer, you are doing it to the purist, and best of your ability.


Amarillo Red Ale - Outdoor brew night!

I was talking to my brother the other day because he's coming home from San Diego in about a month and a week, and he has a plethora of beers available to him that we can't get here in middle earth. He inspired me in a few ways. He asked me if I'd ever heard of the Black Seeds(no) and Groundation(yes). He was also talking about how he had this amazing beer the other day from Green Flash Brewing company. He was talking about their Hoppy Red Ale. Sounds damn tasty! Upon further investigation it looks like they use Amarillo for flavor and aroma and then dry hop the shit out of it. Amarillo just so happens to be one of my favorite hops, and one that I've rarely used in my own brews. I'm hoping to have this batch ready by mid-June carbonated in a keg so the Peder-fam and friends can have a little dank keg party in my parents back yard. Weather permitting, this always includes a few heated croquet matches, and grillin out! That's how we do in P-town.

Last night I busted out my propane burner for the first time and it probably shaved a good half hour off my brew time. That thing has got some heat! I'm really excited to see how the Amarillo hops and the Wyeast American Ale II work together. Should be pretty complex and fruity!

Brew day went smooth, it was my first time brewing outside and it was just nice to enjoy the outdoors. I mashed in right on target at 153 degrees for 60 minutes, and sparged at 165 for 30 minutes. My burner had a rolling boil within 10 minutes easy and I almost had a boil over. I'm thinking I'll get better hop utilization with how easy it is to achieve a huge rolling boil. I had so much evaporation though that I had to add some water during the middle of the boil. Cooled the wort, and pitched the yeast at around 10:15 and the brew day was done! Very successful night. I also planted my herbs, water our other flowers and hops, and didn't step on any dog poop!

Amarillo Red Ale

Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale Clone
% LB OZ Malt or Fermentable
62% 8 0 American Two-row Pale
23% 3 0 Munich Malt
8% 1 0 Flaked Oats
2% 0 4 American Crystal 120L
2% 0 4 American Crystal 40L
2% 0 4 American Crystal 80L
0% 0 1 Chocolate Malt
12 13
Original Gravity
Final Gravity
14° SRM / 27° EBC
(Copper to Red/Lt. Brown)

60 mins 1.0 Chinook
10 mins 0.5 Amarillo
5 mins 0.5 Amarillo
1 min 1.0 Amarillo
dry hop 3.0 Amarillo
63.7 IBU / 13 HBU

Wyeast American Ale II (slow airlock activity 8 hours later)

6.0% ABV


CLICK HERE for a revised version of this Green Flash Hop Head Red Recipe

Tasting notes:  My family and I drank this at a little family backyard party as planned.  We drank all of it except about 3 pints, so to say it was sessionable is an understatement.   My brother said that it had a little bit thinner mouthfeel compared to the Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale.  My friends and family like this one mo betta then my Two Hearted Clone.   It was a nice malty beer with tons of fruity resinous hops from the chinook, but mainly orangy, citrusy in the flavor and aroma from the abundance of Amarillo hops.   What a tasty beverage this is.   I brewed it quick and we drank it quick and it was a little cloudy.  I'm sure it would've been even better in a month.  It's gone now though...I'd consider having this always on tap in the dank basement.   It was good, but it wasn't as complex with hop flavor as say a Surly Furious is.   


Warriors unite!


Funky Wednesday for Craft Beer Week in Minneapolis!

Updates: Checked out 612Brew guys last night at Stub and Herbs.  Seemed like cool guys and it sounds like they are thinking about contract to brew route and then with their own brew-house eventually..  Possibly looking at space in Nordeast...Nice!   Had a fantastic Flat Earth flight with cheese!  Very tasty and matched well with cheese.

Hops Update:  Nugget hops have jumped up at least three feet (from 6 feet to maybe 9 feet) in the last three days.  DAMNNNNNN!



Second year dank hops....pumping straight outta the Nordeast soil!

After years of contemplating homebrewing, last year I took the plunge and decided to buy a kit from Midwest Brew Supply.   It was still winter, March of 09 and so I was early enough and already obsessed enough to buy a few hop rhizomes.  Everyone should grow hops!  Local farmers should grow tons of hops! I have three varieties; Magnum, Nugget, and Mt. Hood.  Here are links to what these hops can do for ya.

Magnum Hops profile
Nugget Hops -profile
Mt. Hood Hop profile

I wish I would have bought a few tasty flavor and aroma hops, Cascade maybe, duh!  Oh well.   I'm not too worried though. Last year I did get some locally grown Cascade hops from a guy (sorry, forgot your name) in New Hope and it turned out frickin fantastic in my Native Brown Ale.  Thanks man!  I decided to just go nutz and do an IBA.  I put all 4+ ounces of MN Cascade into that Brown. 

Well, last year my hops grew, but they didn't produce a ton of buds.  The Mt. Hood didn't flower at all, but the Magnum , and Nugget hops produced what seemed to be around an ounce a piece.   Unfortunately I had a fire pit located a little too close to the hops last fall and after a long night in the backyard, I woke up to toasted hops hanging from my fence...doh!

This year, the hops are going like crazy! 

Here's a couple pictures from 4/2/10

Here are a few pictures from May 15th on my 6 foot fence.

They haven't even grown that much in the last 15 days. It's been raining a ton, but the cloud cover has stunted vertical growth.   The roots are just suckin up all the goodness.  Next weeks 80 degree weather is going to make them explode!  The Magnum is almost 8 feet already!  Check em out a month and 12 days later!

Nothin like growin ur own!   If you have a lot of light, a ton of space for the bines to grow up, you should absolutely plant some hops.

I also wanted to mention a great new-ish hop farm in MN that I just found out about today. HippityHopsFarms!  They have 150 Cascade rhizomes in the ground, 75 of them on their second year, and 75 new rhizomes.   Plant the planet!  Plant Minnesota!

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