NE Minneapolis Hops update 8.31.10

I'm having a ton of fun this year watching my hops grow to harvest.   The Nugget and the Magnums are about ready to be picked with bright yellow lupulin glands and browning leaves.  I'm hoping to get at least an ounce or two combined as these are typically high alpha bittering hops.   Not really expecting much out of my Mt. Hood hops as that bine only has a few cones.  Last year it didn't flower at all.

***Because I don't get full sun in my back yard, I'm thinking I need to do all I can for these hops next year to get a nice healthy harvest. I'm gonna have to read up on my preparation for proper wintering, make sure I prepare the soil with the appropriate nutrients to help these ladies flower to their fullest. My original plan was to let them grow wild with little to no effort (set it and forget it). I'm thinking that a little love will go a long way in year 3!


St Anthony Shifty Eyed Clucker- Farmhouse Ale

With the chill of Fall in the air I decided to brew one more Farmhouse ale to finish off the summer brew season right.  It's fun relying on the ambient temperature on different levels of my house for my fermentation, which right now means I can use all kinds of crazy Belgian farmhouse yeasts that love the high temps in my upstairs!   I decided to try something a little whacked out, a little out of the box, yet very simple.   This beer is supposed to be representative of something a small Farmhouse may have brewed back in the day.  You know the type of French country house that has barley, wheat, and spelt for feed.   Yeah, spelt for feed.  Well, on some of these farmhouse breweries inevitably they'd use a portion of this spelt in their grain bill.  Not sure if they added 20% like I did though.  Man o man.  It should act a bit like adding wheat to a beer which adds some body, mouthfeel, and head retention.   I learned about this type of traditional rustic Saison while reading Farmhouse Ales recently and then ended up doing a google search for spelt trying to find some for this brew.   I came across this recipe from Ryan's Brew and decided to use that as a base, and then mess with the hop bill and yeast to my own liking.   I ended up going with a mix of American, German, and French hops.   I picked up the flaked spelt from Whole Foods and it cost a pretty penny.   I'm excited to see how this turns out as it's probably the most traditional Saison I've brewed to date.

I can honestly say that my house in NE Minneapolis used to be exactly where my neighbors Chicken coop used to be around 65 years ago.   Back in the day my neighbor Bill used to live on his parents farm in the city, on the outskirts of Minneapolis near St. Anthony.  These chickens must have had a shifty eye towards the progress and expansion of this city when house's were being build up around their farm 60 years ago.   Not sure what else went down on Bill's farm, but I do know that I'm brewin beer where those cluckers used to roost. 

St Anthony Shifty Eyed Clucker- Farmhouse Ale

60% Belgian Pale
20% Belgian Biscuit
20% Flaked Spelt

10 SRM
39 IBU’s
OG: 1.051
Mashed at 149 for 75 min
Sparged at 166 for 30 min
FG: 1.003 on 8/31/10
Abv: 6.3%

1 oz (fwh) Kent Goldings
0.5 oz Strisselspalt and 0.5 oz Sterling at 15 min.
0.5 oz Strisselspalt and 0.5 oz Sterling at 5 min.
1 oz Amarillo at 1 min.

¼ tsp Irish Moss
¼ tsp yeast nutrient

Wyeast  French Saison 3711

Tasting notes: 3.11.11-  Only have a couple of bottles of this left.   This is a very unique saison that seems to be more approchable to the typical non-saison drinker.   Sampled this out to people at the NE Homebrew club February meeting and many people comment on liking it.  Bree specifically said, I don't usually like Saison but I like this.  (I wish I would have axed for more details.)  The French Striss.  hops are still coming through nicely although the Amarillo dry hops have certainly faded a bit by now although there is a hint of orange in the nose as well anise and some bready malts, even saltine crackers (presumably from the biscuit malt).  I'm also getting a little earthy, funky stuff in the nose that either comes from the Goldings (FWH) or the F. Striss. hops.   Although this should be a rather dry beer because the yeast ferments out so low it still has a medium mouthfeel from the yeast and the spelt.   The flavor is a bit spicy  (maybe anise),  from the French Striss. hops as well as from the yeast.   Finish's spicy with a little bitterness and then your mouth waters for another sip.  After a minute the mouth does dry out.  Wyeast French Saison - 3711 seems to start out fruity and accentuates fruity hops, but then over time becomes more spicy.  

Conclusion: Next time I brew this I'll probably decrease the Biscuit malt to 10% and sub that other 10% with Vienna.  I think that would balance this beer out nicely.


Patersbier (4-ways) - Bottle, Keg, on Tart Cherries, and dry hopped!

I brewed up my first 10 gallon batch about a month ago and now I'm getting ready to start experimenting with this one base beer. I did a pretty crazy traditional Saison step mash to maximize fermentable sugars in order to make sure that I could ferment this out completely, which is what was of utmost importance to the Belgian brewers of old. Now that I have my 9.5 gallons completely fermented out I'm splitting this batch in FOUR different ways in order to do a little experimenting.

I'm doing this in 2.5 gallon increments and the first very simple experiment will be kegging 2.5 gallons, and bottling another 2.25 gallons to see the difference between bottle conditioning and force carbonation and how this changes the finished product that a beer will become. I also am going to prime the beer with Honey that I have from Midwest Brew Supply.   I'm assuming that the kegged beer will be nice and clean and the bottled beer will retain more of the funky Belgian yeast and maybe a little sweetness and honey flavor. For the other 5 gallons, I'm also splitting that up, half on 3 lbs of North Star tart cherries (grown in Golden Valley, MN), pits and all, which I pasteurized at 170 for 30 minutes in about a half gallon of water. I then put the cherries into my secondary FV and racked 2.5 gallons on top of them! It looks beautiful! I left the pits in because I read that the pits can lend an almondy flavor and I think that it will add a nice complexity to this very simple, yet flavorful ale. The last 2.25 gallons I'm going to dry hop with 1 1/4 oz of Celeia hops. I really want to see what these hops are like in the Aroma department. I have a bunch of these Celeia hops in my freezer that I received almost a year ago while on a brewery tour at Pearl Street Brewery in Lacrosse, WI.  Awesome tap room, and always a fun time by the way!  This is a very low Alpha hop, they are rather old at this point, maybe a year and a half to two years. It's not completely unlike something that a Belgian farmer may have had back in the day.

Patersbier Brew Night 7.26.10 

 lft to rt. - Sour Monk(Patersbier + 1 wk on tart cherries), Me, Nacho's Straight up (Patersbier)


Tenor Saw - Ring the Alarm!

Trinity Brewing just posted this on Facebook and I couldn't resist putting it up on the Dank page. Hope you all enjoy this!



This one goes out to all who drop hook...

To all the fishermen out there searching for that elusive one which you seek!  To everyone up in the Boundary Waters and the north woods of Minnesota, to all of those on the lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin or whatever lake you fish on, to the fishermen on the Great Lakes, to all those in the great Northwest in Seattle/ Tacoma slaying the Salmon in the Puget sound, to all in Alaska doing it right and keeping the miners out, to all those in the East and West coasts and across the world who spend their time on dock or boat, to my boy in the Caribbean, and to all who live the island life, may you all be blessed!


Quote of the day!

Native Black Bitter Ale Review - Drink Local!

With all of the local Minnesota Hop talk going around lately I thought I'd step back to my first experience and experiment with locally grown hops from 2009.   I got a bunch of Cascade and Goldings hops from a guy in New Hope.  I used all 4 ounces of Cascade hops in my Bitter Black/ Cascadian Dark / IBA.  I used the Goldings in small additions to many of my beers with great, yet subtle results.  

Last Fall I brewed a nice hoppy Brown Ale using 4 oz. of locally grown cascade hops.  I guess it would be considerd a Cascadian Dark, or a Black Bitter, or a MN Black Bitter.    I figured that the hops were probably on the low end of the Alpha spectrum compared to most cascade hops grown in the US which are grown primarily in the great northwest. Is my assumption wrong...who knows...without a scientific test.  I also figured into my recipe that over hopping would be better then under hopping because we might as well see what these local hops can do right? It ended up turning into an India Brown ale, or possibly an American Brown Ale, or Black Bitter...that's another debate all together and one that I've concluded to call  Black Bitter.  Not sure how it should be classified but it was damn good.  I couldn't have been happier with the result of this bad boy! My friends were freakin over this shit!

This was my 2009 harvest ale, and here is a little review from back then....

Native Cascade Black Bitter Ale- Harvest Ale
Pours a nice dark brown to black, almost like a light stout in appearance. Initially you are hit by the aroma of roasted malts, a little bit of coffee, some caramel but not too much, and some nice fresh hops! Mainly just roastiness in the nose. You can slightly pick up the hop aroma, almost sweet in the smell. When you take a sip you get a beautiful mix of malt and hops. For the yeast, I think it is a bit subdued and it's hard to tell how that is effecting the beer, especially since I went all weird and used two different strains (American ale, and English ale yeast). Mainly when you take a sip at first you get the nice roasted barley and then on the back end you get slammed,not with bitterness, but with the taste of sweet Cascade hop nectar, fruity and sweet with citrus and grapefruit. I say slammed, but it's more like a controlled fall from malt to hops. I'll surely be seeking out some more MN Grown Cascade hops this season from Hippityhops Farms outside of Forest Lake, MN.  Long live the harvest. This year we will have a REAPING party with Native Black Bitter Ale for sure! 

Let me know if you'd like the recipe and I'll dig it up for you.

Brewing/Tasting notes from 1.17.10


Twin Cities Community Brewery - Meet Ups!

We're currently gathering info for our next major info meeting and will let you know once we're set. In the meantime, be on the lookout for meet-ups where all of you interested parties can start talking and kicking around ideas! Start growing the Community part of TCCB!  To join the community follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and go to the blog and vote on what beer you'd like to see hit this market in the future!  Make your vote count...that's the whole idea behind a Community sustained brewery like the Twin Cities Community Brewery!


Bluegrass, Old School Gangsta Rap, Jazz, Jam Bands....and Funk! It's what I do!

For some reason I can't stop listening to this song!  I know it's being played on 89.3 The Current all the time, but there's just something about Boot Stompin music! @ 3:43 the boot stompin is the bomb!


Check yo self before you wreck yo self

***cause big d's in yo mouth,  is bad fo yo health.


Northeast Minneapolis homebrew club...

This is a call out to all Northeast Minneapolis homebrewers.  Me and a few other dude's are looking to start a homebrew club for all that ferment in NE Minneapolis.   I want to gather up everyone that ferments in NE and start dominating our hood.   I have a feeling that we'd be able to find a nice home amongst all of the awesome bars in NE.   We could do monthly meetings, mustachio bashio's, keg drinking, hop sharing, big brew days, mud wrestling.....  The whole damn deal.   Let me know if you are interested at all.

***Of course, anyone that doesn't live in NE or have ties to NE will be considered.  You'll just have to be subjected to our hazing rituals, and brandings.

Blog - Stay Updated!
Nordeast Brewers Unite!
Facebook - Become a fan.
Nordeast Brewers on Facebook

 Have a beer!



Twin Cities Community Brewery - a co-op style production brewery!

 The idea of a Cooperative brewery is something that I've been thinking about for a while now and have been having trouble wrapping my mind around.   About 6 months ago I did a google search and came up with one Brew Pub in Texas that was having the same type of idea, but actually making it happen.   Black Star Co-op Brew Pub is making this very idea come to fruition!   It now looks like there is another one in start up phase in Seattle called the Flying Bike Coop.  This looks to be another Brew Pub.

Now here's the story, last month I attended the The St. Paul Summer Beer Fest which was an awesome beer fest, and upon my beer and merch samplings that day I came across a flier talking about an initial meeting for the St. Paul Co-op Brewery.   I grabbed a flier and put the meeting on my calendar.

That meeting took place this past Saturday at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul with a select few.  It just so happens that the organizers of the St. Paul Brew Fest are the same organizers that are looking to put together this St. Paul Co-op Brewery...now dubbed...Twin Cities Community Brewery   Check the TCCB blog for updates in the future...but for the time being you're better off served becoming a fan on Facebook and joining in on the discussions!  The Facebook page is www.facebook.com/TCCBrewery , and the Twitter handle is twitter.com/TCCBrewery 

Here are some things to think on:
  • Do I want to get involved with the Twin Cities Community Brewery? - ANSWER = YES
  • How can I get involved with the TCCB? - ANSWER - Join in on the discussions on Facebook.  Attend the next meeting.  Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers about it.
  • How are they going to do __________(insert question)? ANSWER = We don't know.   We need your help figuring it out!
  • Do I want to be involved in something really cool, and the first of it's kind?  ANSWER= YES


Minnesota Grown Hops update...

It's been quite a while since I gave an update on my hops.   They've done much better this year compared to year one.   They really jumped up in June, stalled out in July a little bit, and now are beginning to flower at the very beginning of August.  The Magnum and the Nugget are beginning to flower and the Mt. Hood is lagging behind a bit.   The Magnum looks a little thin, but the buds look amazing.   Can't wait to harvest in a month or so!

Here are a few pictures.

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