Snow Beer (v.2011), Abominable Snow Pilz' slightly bigger and hoppier cousin


Here we go again.  So, this year in Minnesnota we've had a bit of the white stuff falling down.   Tonight I'm gonna go home after work and start collecting snow for my annual freak of a beer, Abominable Snow Pilz!  I wasn't sure if I'd get er done this year, but my wife encouraged me to do it again, and anytime the little lady encourages brewing is a good day!   This is still the only beer that I've brewed that my mother has liked.  Not only did my mom like this, it was liked by all. This year I'm lookin to make it a little bigger, and a little hoppier...which unfortunately, my mom probably won't like.  Sorry Barb.

I'm looking at doing a decoction mash this year, but I'm gonna try a little different decoction schedule then the Mai Bock I did during tSnownami, (why didn't I use snow then?!?)   

Here's the new recipe.  Brew day shall be, as soon as I can get 10-12 gallons of water out of locally harvested snow from my front yard!   I'll be using that snow (water) as my brewing water for mash/sparge!  Probably this weekend!

malt & fermentables

Malt or Fermentable
Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner  
American Crystal 10L  
Dextrin (CaraPils) Malt  


Original Gravity
Final Gravity
5° SRM / 10° EBC
(Yellow to Gold)



first wort
60+ mins
30 mins
10 mins
1 min
36.7 IBU

***I also added 0.5 oz at 20 minutes.


Wyeast Bohemian Lager (2124)x 3
lager yeast in liquid form with medium flocculation
7.0% ABV

Brew day notes 2.5.11
I did a double decoction:
  • infuse 6 gal  to get first step of 148F for 60 minutes 
  • with 30 minutes left, pull 2 gallons for decoction 1 of thick mash, heat decoction 1 to 158F, let it rest for 10 minutes, then heat to a boil for remaining 15 minutes of Mash rest.
  • return decoction 1 slowly to main mash, until you get to 158F in main mash. Any remainder should be cooled to 158 then added in but I ended up getting it perfect with the full decoction.
  • Immediately pull 2 1/2 gallons for decoction 2 and bring it to boil during this 30 minute 158F mash rest. 
  • Returned decoction 2 to main mash, to reach 170F.
I ended up with 4 gallons so I sparged another 2 1/2 gallons tap water.

6 gallons MN snow water
+ 2 1/2 gallons Minneapolis tap water

 ***It should have a very nice smooth mouthfeel, and my process was not that much different then last year.  I used about the same amount of Snow-to-tap water.    Last year I did an infusion mash with a protein step.  This year I skipped the protein step and did a decoction mash with saccrification steps. 

I'll ferment this in primary for 2 weeks or so at 48 degrees.  Then I'll take it up to 70 degrees for a diacetyl rest which is pretty essential with the Bohemian Pilsner yeast.  Then I'll transfer to secondary and lager it at 35 degrees for a month or two.   



Flanders Style - American Wild Red Ale

Okay, here we go! This will be my first foray into the sour beer brewing world. 2 years ago I didn't even know that a sour beer existed. Then I had a Berliner from New Glarus, and my world turned upside down. Then I had that New Glarus Old English Porter and the vinegary flavor of that freaked me out and I got turned upside down again. The next month I stumbled upon an awesome event thanks to mnbeer.com and went to Where the Wild Beers Are. The month after that event,I thought....those people are crazy. Then something happened inside of me...deep down, bugs were growing, and multiplying in the very depths and the soul of my palate. I starting craving these funky, funky, wild ales. My brewhouse (Sir Dankhouse) has been worried about this moment that is about to commence, the moment the relentless bugs will come in contact with the beauty and shine of his clean and shiny surfaces. He(Sir Dankhouse...my brewhouse) has feared these creepy, sour bugs for fear of completely turning it's master to the darkside of the funk. Due to his valid concerns...I have made a promise to my beloved brewhouse to always keep my new found dichotomous nature in tact, only bringing the funk and the clean together when completely necessary to blend and mellow, and always with careful deliberation.

Okay...that was weird. Anyways. Here's what's up.

Recipe- Jamil's Flander's Red Ale recipe, but with American ingredients.

***I'm planning on Making this recipe, and then making the actual version of Jamil's recipe with imported malts and hops in order to try and taste the difference between American equivalents of Imported grains. Probably not the best beer to try that on, because this is going to take a year and a half to finish. Maybe I'll try that with another recipe. A Belgian Dubbel maybe.

Dank Funk Red Ale

%     LB OZ  Malt                                      ppg   °L
54%  8   0     Briess Bonlander Munich        30     10
29%  4   8     Rahr Pilsner Malt                    34     2
7%    1   0     Rahr Flaked Corn (Maize)       40    1
3%    0   8     Briess American Crystal 80L   33    80
3%    0   8     Briess American Crystal 120L 34   120
3%    0   8     Rahr White Wheat Malt           34    5

 Original Gravity
1.070? (oops, spilled the glass that had my sample)
Final Gravity
1.008? or lower hopefully
19° SRM / 36° EBC
(Light Brown to Medium Brown)

time                   oz      variety           form    aa
FWH 60+ mins 1.0     US Goldings  pellet  5.0
FWH 60+ mins 1.0    Willamette     pellet  5.5

30 IBU

8% ABV

Wyeast 1056 yeast cake  and Wyeast 3763 | Roeselare Ale Blend - Belgian style ale strain, a sherry strain, two Brettanomyces strains, a Lactobacillus culture, and a Pediococcus culture.

I've got everything I need. The malt, the hops, the yeast(bugs), and the water. Empty better bottle, check. Time, check.

Brew day to come very soon. Please chime in if you have any knowledge of Wild Ales.
I'm planning on mashing this at 156 degrees so that the Belgian yeast doesn't have as much to work with, and so that the Funky yeast/bacteria have some complex sugars to break down for a nice sour ale. Planning on fermenting this at around 68 degrees for 12-18 months.

1.26.11 - Brewed last night.  I came out to be exactly the color that I wanted it.  It's a beautiful orangish-redish hue, kinda like Red Rock in Utah.   Mashed at 156 for 60 minutes, sparged at 167 for 30 minutes.  Boiled for 70 minutes, and cooled it down to 70 degrees with a wort chiller in about 15 minutes, maybe less.  I had a sample ready to do a gravity reading and I knocked it over so I don't have a gravity reading unfortunately.  It was very sticky though!  I pitched it on top of the yeast cake of Wyeast 1056 from my American Dark Ale as well as the pack of Wyeast Roeselare Blend.  It was actively fermenting 2 hours later!  This beer is INFECTED!

2.6.10 - Drinking a New Belgium La Folie and dumped the dregs of this sour brown into primary with the other bugs to up the diversity and complexity.
2.25.11 - Kevin and I took a sample and a hydrometer reading.  It's only down to 1.026 which was a little surprising.  I really was assuming it was going to be down to around 1.015 or lower already.  As expected, it doesn't taste great.  It wasn't sour at all, but did have a bretty horseblanket flavor.  Smelled a little bit like funky cheese as well.  Hopefully my IBU level isn't too high which may prohibit the souring bugs.
3.4.11 - Have this sitting in my basement at 59 degrees and all of the sudden it has vigirous fermentation action again....hmmm wonder what's going on in there?
3.16.11 - Pulled a sample out to taste and take a reading.  It's definitely starting to come around and smell and taste more like intended.  The sourness is coming on a bit and taking over the brett.   Hydrometer reading was at 1.002 so it's safe to say that there isn't much left to ferment.  Hopefully this gets nice an acidic over the next 12 months!
6.23.11 - Sampled again and tested gravity.  Maybe came down one more point.  Taste isn't great right now.  Drank a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin - La Roja and dumped the dregs into the mix!   This isn't acidic at all right now so need to get the acid going in this a bit.  Also used the dregs from De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Demon Fish)
9.11.11 - Dregs from Surly 5 went in which has Brett A.  Also one oz. of medium toast French Oak went in that had been boiled for an hour and then soaked in Chardonnay for 1 month.  Took a sample and it's definitely getting more sour.  Nothing crazy yet, but it's changed sooo much.  It's much thinner now, much less malt flavor, and the brett is starting to get overpowered by the acidity.
12.18.11 - Transferred 3 gallons to a 3 gallon better bottle for long term aging.  This 3 gallons will hopefully get pretty sour over the next 1-2 years.  I may feed it some Maltodextrin eventually.  I plan on using this portion to blend if it does get really sour...if not, then I'll just bottle it as is.  the sample is tasting pretty dang good!  Caramel, Cherries, and tartness in the nose.  Flavor is a little oaky, cherries, and finish's a little sweet.  I wouldn't say it's sufficiently sour yet though.  It's really tasty right now and would be a good entry level sour for someone who hasn't tried one before.
With the other 3 gallons of Flanders I added 4 lbs of local tart cherries that I picked this summer.  I tasted the juice of this and they are definitely nice and tart!   I'll let this sit for at least 6 months and then I'll probably bottle them up or age a little longer!
1.29.12 - Sampled the 3 gallon plain batch and it really smells, tastes, and looks amazing.  It tastes so similar to rodenbach, but maybe even better.  I'm going to bottle one beer out of it, and carb it up to sample.  That will give me a good base line on how to bottle and carbonate the rest of the batch. 


Northeast Homebrew Club - SINGLE HOP TASTING this SATURDAY!

So, my people of NE Minneapolis, we've got our big Single Hop IPA Tasting this Saturday at our new NE Homebrew HQ at Pracna on Main at 4 pm.  That is once again, this Saturday at 4 pm at Pracna!   Hope ya'll can make it.  We're gonna be making some big decisions this week about future 2011 club events.  You really won't want to miss it I assure you.    (completely talking out of my ass there)  Hopefully Nathan has something on the agenda!   SINGLE HOP TASTING COMIN TO YOUR TOWN!

Remember...bitch's ain't shit but ho's and trick's... was a total lie and fabrication.  They are cool, and totally encouraged to brew and join the club.

  • Amarillo
  • Cascade from Hippity Hops Farms
  • Citra
  • Simcoe
  • Sorachi Ace
  • Fuggles(?)
  • Northern Brewer


Nick L. Bag


American Black Ale,Cascadian Dark, Black IPA, Bitter Black Ale, Hoppy Dark ale

Dark Embrace_Bitter End-American Black Ale
It's been exactly a month since my last brew day which is probably the longest I've gone between brew sessions in almost 2 years. If you've seen my blog lately it consists mostly of gangster rap, which is all good because that's where my roots are growing up in P-town in the 90's.   Nothing screams gangsta like a bunch a white boys in suburbia with bumps in the trunk.   But, I'd like to bring it back up to where this blog should be which is brewing beer.

Late last year, 2010, my homebrew club, Northeast Homebrew Club, decided to do a Single Hops IPA experiment. We'll be tasting the five IPA's on the 15th and I'm really pumped for that. Since I'm on an experimental IPA kick, I decided that I might as well do a Black IPA, or CDA, or whatever you wanna call it. I'm getting all crazy with the hops in this one with a goal of mixing Piney, and Citrus hops successfully with the flavor being more Citrus, and the Aroma being more Piney. Hopefully this hop bill will create this effect.  I think that the aroma of piney and roasted malts will play together nicely, and then a backbone of burned Citrus(Centennial hops?) will really make for a nice Black IPA. I think I'll add the Carafa III in the last 20 minutes of the mash to reduce the roasted flavors typically derived from a full pound of this specialty grain.

Here's what I'm looking at!

%     LB OZ Malt                                              ppg °L
60% 9    0 American Two-row Pale (organic)    37   1
20% 3    0 Vienna Malt                                      36   3
7%   1    0 Carafa III (added last 20 minutes)  32   525
7%   1    0 Flaked Oats                                     33  2
3%   0    8 American Crystal 60L                       34  60
3%   0    8 American Dextrin (Cara-Pils)            33  1
        15  0
Original Gravity
Final Gravity
39° SRM / 76° EBC

hops                       oz   variety          aa

first wort 60+ mins 1.0 Columbus     15.4
first wort 60+ mins 1.0 Chinook        13.0

boil 60 mins            0.5 Magnum       14

boil 20 mins           1.0 Centennial     10.0

boil 15 mins           0.25 Columbus   15.4
boil 15 mins           0.25 Centennial  10.0

boil 10 mins           0.25 Centennial   10.0
boil 10 mins           0.25 Columbus    15.4

boil 1 min              0.5 Columbus      15.4
boil 1 min              0.5 Centennial    10.0
boil 1 min              1.0 Chinook       13.0

dry hop                 0.5 Centennial     10.0
dry hop                 1.0 Simcoe          13.0
dry hop                 1.0 Chinook        13.0

100+ IBU 
7.5% ABV

Brew day shall be, whenever I get the time in the next week!  Today, tomorrow, we shall see.  I'll update with actual OG, and brew day notes.

1.15.11 - Brew day went pretty dang smooth.  Crushed the grains.  Mashed in at 153 held for 60 minutes.  After 40 minutes I added in my 1 lb. of Carafa III.   After 60 minutes temp of mash had come down to 149.   Might turn out to be a lighter mouth-feel then I wanted, but should be fine.   Sparged at 166 for 20 minutes.  Boiled for 60 minutes and added a whole bunch of C hops!  Cooled in 10 minutes.   Gotta love that MN winter tap water at 45 degrees!  Fermenting vigorously after 12 hours at 62 degrees!  Came out extremely dark, and will probably be dark brown to black with a slight reddish, amber hue when held up to the light.   Roasted aroma and flavor were very subdued and almost non existent.  We shall see.

3.14.11 - Steve's tasting notes.  Very Black-Opaque.  Little foam.  Subtle Aroma-Matly?, Heavy mouthfeel.  Bitter and Tasty and Fruity.  Lingering dry finish.   He said he'd give it a 11.5 on a 1-10 scale.   I guess he liked it, and commented that he liked it better then Odell's Double Black IPA.    (I was actually inspired by this Odell beer because I thought it was way too sweet, and way too roasty and was trying to create something similar but less sweet, and less roasty.)
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