Introduction to Kegging

Tired of bottling beer? Ditch the bottles and switch to kegging! In this intro-level class, we’ll take the guesswork out of kegging and show you how to properly set up your draft systems, carbonate your beer, and share your brew-tastic creations. You’ll never have to wait 2-4 weeks to enjoy your homebrew again. Best of all, get 15% off the purchase of any keg system, and kiss bottling goodbye!

Introduction to Kegging

Tired of bottling beer? Ditch the bottles and switch to kegging! In this intro-level class, we’ll take the guesswork out of kegging and show you how to properly set up your draft systems, carbonate your beer, and share your brew-tastic creations. You’ll never have to wait 2-4 weeks to enjoy your homebrew again. Best of all, get 15% off the purchase of any keg system, and kiss bottling goodbye!

Minnesota Homebrewer Spotlight, Part 2: Steve Fletty

Steve Fletty (right) accepting his 2016 Meadmaker of the Year Award from former National Homebrew Competition director Janis Gross // Photo courtesy of the American Homebrewers Association

When Homebrew Con 2017 rolls into Minneapolis next week, beer will not be the only home-fermented beverage taking the spotlight. For years now, Minnesota has been well-known (and highly awarded) for its amazing meads and amateur meadmakers.

Often referred to as “honey wine,” mead is a strong, fermented beverage—usually between 10–17% ABV—made from a solution of honey and water. Among these skilled local meadmakers is Steve Fletty, a member of the St. Paul Homebrewers Club who lives of Falcon Heights. He is a two-time Meadmaker of the Year at the American Homebrewers Association’s National Homebrew Competition. Fletty has also won two Minnesota State Fair Best of Show awards (for a Russian Imperial Stout and Saison), as well as 2009 Midwest Homebrewer of the Year. While he enjoys brewing beer and making cider, mead is his serious passion.

Fletty has been making mead since 2002, when he was introduced to it at a Beer Judge Certification Program study class. “Even though mead wasn’t yet a part of the exam, we did a mead tasting night with 60 meads, not kidding,” he said. “Most sucked, but two of them blew my mind. I thought, ‘I need to make that!’”

One was a mesquite chipotle mead—Fletty convinced the guy who made it to divulge his secrets, and he went on to win medals with his own version. The other was a commercial pyment (fermented with a blend of honey and grapes/grape juice). Fletty’s research and hard work to replicate it won him his first Meadmaker of the Year award in 2007. In 2016, he won his second honor as Meadmaker of the Year, in large part because of his Best of Show mead called Holy Cacao, a specialty mead made with cacao nibs, Dutch cocoa, and vanilla bean.

When asked how meadmaking got so big in Minnesota, Fletty admits that he doesn’t know exactly why it happened, but says it’s fantastic that it did. He explains that there was a community of Minnesotans in the late 1990s/early 2000s—folks like Curt and Kathy Stock, and Steve Piatz—that took the old-school ideas of meadmaking promoted by trailblazers like Ken Schramm and kicked them up a notch. They perfected new methods that made not only drinkable but high-quality meads in just weeks or months (versus the then-canonized idea that mead took years to ferment, condition and age before you could enjoy it). These techniques were embraced by a new generation of meadmakers and continue to be practiced today.

Fletty says the joy of competition brewing (and meadmaking) is in setting a stylistic goal and achieving it. “Early on, when I started brewing, there was no good local IPA; this was the late 1990s. You had to make one because you couldn’t buy one aside from Summit True Brit IPA, which is great, but not the West Coast IPA I wanted.” Brewing to stylistic perfection, he says, lets you hone your skills and brewing processes. He says to win medals in a specific style repeatedly is validation of your skills, knowledge, and technique—and makes you part of the brewing heritage of the Upper Midwest.

Homebrew Con is taking place June 15–17 with official conference seminars and events at Minneapolis Convention Center. Related beer parties and events are happening throughout the Twin Cities. To learn more about the conference and to register, visit the Homebrew Con website.

Minnesota Homebrewer Spotlight, Part 1: ‘Bad Ass’ Bryon Adams

“Bad Ass” Bryon Adams // Photo by Chip Walton

As the Twin Cities gear up to host Homebrew Con 2017, the mother of all homebrew parties, at the Minneapolis Convention Center June 15–17, The Growler is spotlighting three local homebrewers that we think are pretty bad ass. And in the case of our first profile, we mean it literally. Meet “Bad Ass” Bryon Adams of Brooklyn Park.

A science teacher by trade, Adams started homebrewing in 1993 with beer kits from Midwest Supplies. “I was messing them up left and right,” he said. “It wasn’t until someone suggested that my buddy and I become beer judges that I got serious about brewing. We didn’t believe there was such a thing as a ‘beer judge.’ A few months later, we were in the class learning about the common brewing mistakes and off-flavors they resulted in.”

He went on to become a certified judge by the Beer Judge Certification Program and joined the Minnesota Home Brewers Association homebrew club to learn more about what and how other Minnesotans were brewing. He says he doesn’t have a favorite style to brew, but lately he’s been into SMASH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beers because he likes the simplicity of the aromas and flavors of the limited ingredients.

Adams brews about once a month, but says his day job, kids and other hobbies—including fishing, barbecuing, and motorcycles—keep him out the competition arena. While he may not enter beer into homebrew competitions, one contest we’d say he’s likely to win is that of Most Awesome Homebrew System.

Several years ago, inspired by this beast of a brew rig built by Texas homebrewer Lonnie McAllister, Adams constructed an indoor three-burner, natural gas fueled, automated single-tier Brutus 10 brew stand in his basement; it’s lovingly named The Bad Ass Brewery. Having helped brew a few batches with him in the Bad Ass Brewery, we can attest to its awesomeness. He also built a wall-length, double decker temperature-controlled refrigeration chamber for fermentation and serving beer.

Homebrewing is about more than just making beer for Bryon Adams—it’s a unique way to learn more about engineering and science. He nurtures this curiosity in others by inviting them over for a brew session or teaching them elsewhere.

“I usually let anyone come brew with me that wants to,” he said. “I love seeing people enjoy the craft and knowing they can do this too. I have been offering the Bad Ass Brewery as a fundraiser item at our school for the past three years. This year, I added an onsite BIAB (Brew in a Bag) class, which was a hit. The participants now want to start a ‘Chemistry Club’ at school.”

You can see more of Bryon Adams’ brewing adventures on Chop & Brew, a webshow locally produced by the author of this profile, Chip Walton, and you can find Adams hanging out at Homebrew Con 2017 on June 15–17.

Minnesota: The State of Homebrewing

A sea of kegs and carboys at Lift Bridge Brewing’s Big Brew Day on Saturday, May 6 // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg, The Growler

The eyes of the homebrewing universe will be on the Twin Cities in mid-June, and many of its citizens will pour into our hometown to celebrate their community and culture.

Homebrew Con, the world’s largest annual gathering of homebrewers, will host its official conference events at Minneapolis Convention Center from June 15–17. Other beer-focused activities and parties are going down that whole week at breweries, beer bars, and restaurants throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul (stay tuned for The Growler’s forthcoming guide for more information on those).

It’s not the first time that the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) has chosen to host its yearly party and National Homebrew Competition (NHC) in Minneapolis. The last time was 2010, when more than 1,300 homebrewers attended the conference at what was the Bloomington Sheraton. This year, the AHA estimates at least 2,500 will be there. But the change of venue isn’t the only thing that’s different about the conference or the homebrewing landscape in Minnesota since the last conference.

Homebrewers in Minnesota have been major players in the national community for decades. Our state is home to more than a dozen medium-to-large sized clubs with two of the oldest clubs, Minnesota Home Brewers Association (MHBA) and Saint Paul Homebrewers Club (SPHBC), founded here in the Twin Cities.

The clubs have claimed many individual and group awards between them. SPHBC is a three-time winner of National Homebrew Competition Club of the Year (2007, 2008, and 2009). MHBA won the 2014 Gambrinus Club Award when it received the most Final Round points per number of entries in the NHC, with SPHBC having claimed the prize two years earlier. Beyond beer, Twin Cities locals have brought home the coveted Meadmaker of the Year prize in six of the last 11 years and Cidermaker of the Year most recently in 2015.

Homebrewer David Thomas uses his custom-built chiller to cool a batch of homebrew before pitching yeast // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg, The Growler

As suggested from the awards and accolades, the quality of homebrew seems to be on a much higher level these days. “I have heard countless judges at homebrew competitions claim homebrewers are making better beer every year,” says Ryan Schenian, 29, a member of the Primary Fermenters Brewers and Vintners of Minnesota homebrew club. “It seems the amount of good information available to homebrewers allows them to start marking great beer right away.”

To Schenian’s point, the last seven years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of books, blogs, Facebook groups, online radio, YouTubers, and webcasts about promoting and perfecting homebrew—resources which were much harder to come by in 2010. Back then, education and advice was spread mainly by word of mouth, during homebrew demos, or via several popular homebrewing books, magazines, and online forums.

The growing quality of homebrew has been bolstered with access to an amazing variety of ingredients—grains, malts, hops, yeast, “bugs” and bacteria. Brewers in Minnesota (and the U.S. in general) have access to a long catalog of the freshest raw materials, while homebrewers in other countries are often stymied from the get-go with ingredients that are old, expired, or of limited availability.

Other important factors that have changed over the last seven years are seemingly interconnected. While most homebrewers begin by making five-gallon batches, back in 2010 “going big” was the trend. Equipment manufacturers and retailers were making large-scale brewing (10-, 15-, 20-gallon scale) possible with innovative large-volume kettles and fermenters, state-of-the-art brew stands, pumps and contraptions of all sorts. While those things do still (and will always) exist, many new and veteran homebrewers in 2017 are turning a cheek to those mammoth setups and dialing in small-batch brewing with one-, two-, and three-gallon batches. Some find this smaller scale more friendly to experimental brewing, others are looking for activity with less physical strain or simply hoping to brew more frequently.

Homebrewer John Longballa of the Minnesota Home Brewers Association working on a “brew in a bag” batch at Lift Bridge’s Big Brew Day event on Saturday, May 6 // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg, The Growler

The concept of “Brew in a Bag” has become popular and been embraced by homebrewers. This method involves all-grain mashing in a single bag (think of it as a large tea bag of malt) that is steeped and then drained of its sweet wort. Eliminated here is not only the need for additional equipment such as a mash tun (often a modified Igloo cooler or large kettle), but also the time required to sparge a more classically brewed all-grain batch.

Which brings us to one of the most precious commodities for just about anyone alive and brewing in 2017: Time. In an increasingly busy world, it’s often difficult to find or justify the time required to brew. While that time is enjoyable and often spent with friends and/or family, it is typically a half-day commitment at least.

“Over the last few years there have been numerous automated turnkey systems marketed that make much of the brewing process a push-button activity if you want to go that route,” says Steve Piatz, 64. He’s a member of both MHBA and SPHBC. “It seems that in recent years individuals entering the hobby are willing to spend way more money on their initial setup than a few years ago; sort of a change from creating or making a brewing system from parts to buying a ready-to-go system.”

A new generation of automated devices manufacturers like PicoBrew are designing equipment to take some of the time and work out of the equation. Word on the street is that AB InBev is working to develop a Keurig-like system that would turn around a fully-fermented and packaged beer in just a few days. Certainly you can argue your feelings about these new devices, but the truth is that time is worth more than money. In an era where your local bottle shop has an unending selection of quality craft beer, what makes homebrew unique is still that stamp of authenticity of and the fun in having made it yourself, almost regardless of how it was done.

New brewing methods, emerging beer styles, and the topics of homebrew equipment and technique will be among the many discussions being had over an amazing line-up of beer at the upcoming Homebrew Con in downtown Minneapolis. The event includes three days of educational seminars, craft beer and homebrew parties, industry discussions, a large vendor expo area, and the highly anticipated awards for the National Homebrew Competition. Learn more and register at the Homebew Con website. Onsite registration will also be available at the Minneapolis Convention Center if space allows.

See more photos from the 2017 Big Brew Day celebration at Lift Bridge Brewing on May 6 below:

Big Brew Day celebration at Lift Bridge Brewing on Saturday, May 6 // Photos by Brian Kaufenberg, The Growler

Lift Bridge, North Loop, & more hosting events Saturday for Homebrewers Assoc. Big Brew

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In 1988, May 7 was announced before Congress as National Homebrew Day. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created AHA Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day and this year Big Brew falls on Saturday, May 7.

Throughout the day, hundreds of bars, breweries, homebrew shops, and homebrew clubs across the country and world will host their local communities to brew onsite for a national, same-day homebrewing session.

Below are the Minnesota events, separated by region, or click here to see a map of others events.

Twin Cities and Surrounding Suburbs

Rochester

Duluth

Grand Rapids

Northern Brewer and Pints for Prostates team up to promote men’s health

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Northern Brewer and nonprofit group Pints for Prostates have partnered and are using a new homebrewing kit to raise awareness of prostate cancer and help those affected by the disease.

Homebrew Strong combines Northern Brewer’s customary Belgian Golden Strong Ale with the powerful antioxidant properties of green tea.

The beer will benefit both those who brew it (antioxidants) and those who receive assistance from the portion of the proceeds that goes to Pints for Prostates.

Pints for Prostates is a grassroots campaign that “uses the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message.” Founded in 2008 by beer writer and prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke, the campaign raises awareness among men about the importance of regular health screenings and early detection by making appearances at beer events, social networking, and pro bono advertising.

In addition to the green tea-infused beer kit, Northern Brewer is also launching a new line of Homebrew Strong products, including apparel, pint glasses, growlers, and bottle caps. A portion of proceeds from each item sold benefits Pints for Prostates.


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Ditch the green beer & brew your own this St. Patrick’s Day

If green beer isn’t your thing (and let’s be real, is it really anyone’s thing?), our friends at Northern Brewer have a different idea for your St. Patrick’s Day: brew your own traditional Irish beer.

The malty, deep copper-red colored Irish Red Ale is Northern Brewer’s best-selling recipe kit, or if you like something a little darker, try the Dry Irish Stout, which has a pronounced roasty, coffee-like flavor and aroma, imparted by a generous helping of roasted barley. If you brewed these on St. Patty’s Day, they’d be ready to enjoy by late April.

For the more advanced brewer, we’d also suggest our Irish Hunter Porter with Brett recipe. Drinking this beer young will highlight the tarry, French-roast quality of black patent malt and the bittersweet admixture of malt, ale yeast, and hops. While time in the secondary fermenter and cellar will significantly mute the hop bitterness but also lean out the body, as well as add overtones of leather, smoke, funky esters, and ripe fruit to the roasted malt character.


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Homebrewers, assemble! Homebrew Con 2016 is June 9–11

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2015 National Homebrewers Conference // Photo © Brewers Association

The 38th Annual National Homebrewers Conference, which has a snappy, new name this year—Homebrew Con 2016—is heading to Baltimore, Maryland, June 9–11.

The conference, “a three-day extravaganza of homebrewing culture, companionship and competition,” is hosted by the American Homebrewers Association and features interactive seminars, workshops, and demonstrations designed for homebrewers and beer enthusiasts of every level.

The conference is also home to the final round of judging in this year’s National Homebrew Competition, the world’s largest homebrewed beer, cider, and mead competition. When it was first held in 1979 there were 34 entries, compared to the 7,663 that were entered in the 2015 competition.

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2015 National Homebrewers Conference // Photo © Brewers Association

Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione will deliver the keynote address, with too many other speakers to name individually.

Seminars include 2016 State of the Homebrew Industry, Beers That Flunked The Reinheitsgebot— Or How to Brew with Ingredients from Your Yard Without Killing Your Neighbors, Brewing up a Perfect Pairing: Research-Backed Food Pairing Principles, Going Pro a Pint at a Time, The Chemistry of Mashing, and lots more.

There are several different registration levels ranging in price from $65–$220. For more information, visit the Homebrew Con 2016 website.


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Community Hops hosting fresh hop homebrew competition

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The First Annual Fresh Hop Brew Comp will take place Oct. 25 at the Longfellow Community Hops garden // Photo via Community Hops Facebook page

Homebrewers, think your fresh hop beer is capable of going the distance? Community Hops is hosting a fresh hop homebrew throwdown at its Longfellow garden from 12–3pm on Oct. 25. Members of the public will sample the entires and help choose the winners (if you plan to sample and vote, there’s a suggested donation of $10).

Entrance into the First Annual Fresh Hop Brew Comp is open to the public and will work like this: entry fee is $5 for members of Community Hops or the Nordeast Brewers Alliance and $10 for non-members. Entries must include locally-grown fresh hops and must be delivered by 11am on the day of the contest to the Longfellow Garden, which is on the corner of E 38th St and Dight Avenue (map). Community Hops members can use hops from the garden and non-members can source other local hops.

To enter, fill out the online entry form. Entrants will receive an email confirmation and participant number when their submission has been approved. Entries (bottles or kegs) must be marked with a participant number and be void of any other identifying information.

Members of the public that plan to sample and vote must be able to prove they are of legal drinking age. They will receive a ballot and rank their top three favorite beers. Anyone who can demonstrate brewing industry affiliation gets an additional ballot and a vote for the Industry Choice award.

In total, there will be four winners in the following categories: 1st place Community Choice, 2nd place Community Choice, 3rd place Community Choice, and Industry Choice.

Prizes are bragging rights and a wooden plaque from Wood From the Hood.

For more information about the competition, check out Community Hops’ Facebook event.

In related news, this Sunday, Sept. 13, Community Hops will be harvesting hops from the Longfellow garden. More information about the harvest is available here.

Duluth Homebrew Supply opens in Fitger’s complex

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Duluth homebrewers, start your engines!

Duluth Homebrew Supply opened its doors July 16 in the Fitger’s complex. Owners and siblings Katie Hagglund and Kelly Katoski opened the store with hopes of bringing to life a vision of people gathering around a shared passion.

“We started Duluth Homebrew Supply not just because we love to make great beer,” said Hagglund. “We did it because we love watching the spark of individual interest turn into something bigger—the building of community.”

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The store has a wide selection of grain and a mill for customers to use, as well as equipment for homebrewing, wine and cider making, and kegging. For now, they’re offering Brewer’s Best recipe kits, but are in the process of collaborating with several of Duluth’s breweries to create clone kits of their beers. They’ll also offer classes for varying levels of experience.

Hagglund said their opening day was exciting and that they’ve received a lot of support from the community. She’s hoping to have a dialogue with the store’s customers to make sure they’re stocking what people need to enhance their homebrewing experience.

Store hours are Monday–Saturday, 10am–9pm and Sunday 11am–5pm.

American Homebrewers Association Rally is Sunday at Surly

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Surly Brewing Company will be home to an American Homebrewers Association Rally on Sunday, July 19 // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) is hosting a rally this Sunday, July 19, from 2–7pm at Surly Brewing Company, and several attendees will walk away with five gallons of Surly wort to ferment and experiment with at home.

AHA rallies are meant to give AHA members an inside look at local breweries and provide homebrew and beer enthusiasts an opportunity to connect with one another. The event is free to AHA members but advance registration is required. Non-members can either join online and register for the rally ahead of time or join for a discounted rate at the rally itself.

The event will include a VIP tour of the brewery, a meet and greet with Surly brewers, and beer and prize giveaways.

The wort giveaway will work like this: attendees pay $5 to register for one of several rounds of wort-giveaways (at time of publication all the rounds were sold out except for one), bring a pre-sanitized fermenter (buckets, kegs, and plastic carboys are encouraged—glass carboys are discouraged), and have it filled with Surly wort (a pale, lacto-kettle soured wort brewed with Simpsons Golden Promise & aromatic malts with minimal bitterness). People are then free to take the wort home and ferment it as they see fit.

More information is available on the AHA website. In addition, the AHA will host another rally on Aug. 23 at Bent Paddle Brewing Company in Duluth, Minnesota.

Winner of Homebrew Competition Will Brew Their Own Recipe at Boom Island

Boom Island Homebrew Competition

The winner of Boom Island’s Belgian-style homebrew competition will get to brew their beer on the brewery’s 15-barrel system and see it poured in the taproom // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Boom Island Brewing Company is giving one homebrewer the chance to make the jump from garage to brewhouse, but first they have to prove their mettle in a Belgian-style homebrew competition as part of the brewery’s annual Boom Days celebration, July 17-19.

The grand prize winner will brew their beer on Boom Island’s 15-barrel system and have the satisfaction of seeing it served in Boom Island’s taproom.

The competition is part of Boom Days, a celebration of Belgian National Day, and will be limited to the following Belgian-style beers from the 2008 Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines: 16A-Witbier, 16B-Belgian Pale, 16C-Saison, 16D-Biere de Garde, 16E-Belgian Specialty, 17B-Flanders Red, 17C-Flanders Brown, 17D Straight Lambic, 17E-Gueuze, 17F-Fruit Lambic, 18A-Belgian Blond, 18B-Belgian Dubbel, 18C-Belgian Tripel, 18D-Belgian Golden Strong, 18E Belgian Dark Strong, and 21B Christmas/Winter (Belgian) Specialty.

Entries must be submitted by 5pm on July 12 at Northern Brewer’s St. Paul or Minneapolis locations. The award ceremony will take place at 4pm on July 19 at the Boom Island taproom.

Complete rules and registration information are available here.

Homebrew Recipe: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em Rauchweizen

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This recipe appears in Michael Dawson’s book, “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer at Home.” Learn more at mashmakerbook.com.


In his book “The Brewmaster’s Table,” author and brewer Garrett Oliver lauds the versatility of Bavarian weissbier as a pairing companion for a wide range of dishes and cuisines. Its simultaneous sweetness, tartness, high effervescence, and host of yeast-derived flavors make it a good match for everything from brunch to spicy Indian or Thai curries. Dunkelweizen, a variant brewed with dark malts for deeper flavor and color, goes especially well with chocolaty Mexican moles or molasses-heavy barbecue sauce.

This information is especially valuable now that we northerners are finally heading into outdoor-food season: Let’s make a beer for barbecue and tacos.

Going by the numbers

Rauchweizen is a sub-subspecies of weissbier: a dunkelweizen brewed with a portion of beechwood-smoked malt, a top-fermented companion to the smoked-malt lagers of the Franconia region of Bavaria. Leaving the smoked component for later, we’ll use the specs for dunkelweizen as our guide.

An original gravity of between 1.044 and 1.056 makes dunkelweizen a middleweight beer with an alcohol by volume content of 4.3% to 5.6%. Hops take a backseat in these ales, with the emphasis on a very low bitterness of 10 to 18 IBU, ramping up in step with the OG to maintain balance. The color of dunkelweizen is dramatically darker than the golden to pale orange of classic weissbier, pouring from a deep amber 14 SRM to a verging-on-porter-territory dark brown 23 SRM.

What makes it tick

By German law any member of the weissbier family must contain at least 50 percent malted wheat; apart from that, the defining ingredient is the yeast.

The top-fermenting yeast used for weissbier and all its variants is a unique collection of little beasts. In the sexy and ever-changing microbial taxonomy scene, you may see its genus referred to as either Saccharomyces or Torulaspora, but you’ll know it by the trail of its fermentation byproducts: the weissbier profile is dominated by spicy (cloves, nutmeg, vanilla) and fruity (banana, bubblegum, plum) aromas and flavors created by the yeast.

With dunkelweizen, the wheat malt is accompanied by darker base and crystal malts to create the darker color and a more intense caramel/bready/chocolate malt character to peek out from beneath the yeast flavors.

And with rauchweizen, at least some of those darker base malts will traditionally be dried over a beechwood fire, which gives a warm, phenolic overtone—sweet and woodsy—to something reminiscent of ham or bacon. Which is precisely where the magic is going to happen when we pour a big half-liter vase of the finished product next to a plate of pulled shoulder or brisket.

A recipe to try

Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em Rauchweizen

Target OG: 1.048, Target IBU: 15

Shopping list:

Grain

• 5 pounds wheat malt

• 3.5 pounds Weyermann (beechwood-smoked) Rauchmalt

• 4 ounces Weyermann CaraAroma

• 3 ounces Weyermann CaraFa II

Hops

• 1 ounce German Tradition

Yeast

• Your favorite weissbier/hefeweizen strain—I’m using Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen

Next Page: Key Points and Brewing Method

AHA Big Brew Events in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa

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Lucid Brewing Company will host one of many American Homebrewers Association Big Brew events on May 2 // Photo via Lucid Brewing

At a fundamental level, beer has always been about bringing people together. Whether you’re brewing it or drinking it (or both), there’s a good chance you’re not doing it alone.

What better way to embody this tradition than to participate in one of many American Homebrewers Association (AHA) annual Big Brew events on May 2, which encourage homebrewers to gather and brew together.

Events are planned across the country and a complete listing can be found on the AHA’s website. Below are the events taking place in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Pre-registration is often required and many events include access to professional brewers, free beer and/or brewing ingredients and more, so click the links below to find more information on individual events.

Minnesota (Metro)

Minnesota (Outstate)

Wisconsin

Iowa

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20