brew day: Get The Acorn

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It will probably be the last brew day of October, and it may well be the last brew day under the open sky before the looming winter of 2013/14 ushers operations into the garage and kitchen. It will be a day to play hooky and eat lustily of the tacos of bachelorhood, even if only for an afternoon, and over the sink so I don’t have to wash dishes later.

It will be a west coast IPA with West Coast IPA, riffing on the recipe for Russian River Blind Pig in Mitch Steele’s IPA. It will have some well-loved old friends – Rahr 2-row, Amarillo, Simcoe – and some new blood too: Polaris for the bittering power, EXP 5256 standing in for CTZ and Cascade where called for in the Blind Pig bill. Continue reading

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German IPA, Polaris, 1217, process, self-righteousness – must be an October brew day

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There I was, citizens: I was enjoying the last gasps of Minnesota summer while brewing outside, I was drinking something from Maine Brewing Co., I was trying out some new hops and new yeast, I was smelling the roast happening at the coffee shop downwind, I was gristing some malt and heating some water and ruminating on a recent conversation with friends. Continue reading

test day: BDSA 2013

I try to brew with the weather, harnessing the ambient temps in my unfinished basement for primary fermentation. Late summer means low to mid 70s, so it’s Belgian time; it’s also a good time to use up odds and ends to make room for hop harvest and restocks for the fall brewing roster, so last week’s brew session was a bin-cleaner Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Continue reading

reader question: boosting mouthfeel

Reader Andrew posted this question earlier in the week:

I was wondering if you could give me some tips on increasing mouthfeel on my lower abv brews. Is there a way to get a nice low abv beer without it being sweet due to high mash temps/ increased specialty malt?

… and I thought it was a substantial enough topic to warrant its own post.

Substantial! Mouthfeel! #BeerJudgeJokes Continue reading

Boat Bitter

After grinding over easily-avoidable rocks and missing hooksets due to the effects of 7% American IPAs, fly fishermen in central Minnesota invented the ordinary bitter as a more temperate all-day beer with which to fill their drift boat coolers [citation needed]. Continue reading