All Pints North 2013

All Pints North 2013

All Pints North Duluth

This past weekend, Mrs. Hopped Up Brewer and I road tripped to Duluth, Minnesota for the second annual All Pints North Summer Brew Fest organized by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.  The 4 hour event is set in Bayfront Festival Park along the shore of the inner harbor at Duluth with the iconic aerial lift bridge in the distance.

Duluth is a fantastic setting for a beer event like All Pints, which is perhaps best described as the most laid back beer festival you’ll ever attend. The breeze coming off Lake Superior keeps the temps tolerable on even the sunniest of days, and the festival grounds are spacious enough to park a couple lawn chairs in front of the stage and take in some live music while you enjoy generous pours of some fine Minnesota beer. If you’re into something more active while you rest your lupulin-weary taste buds, you can always challenge some fellow beer drinkers to a game of giant bean bag toss!

All Pints North

As usual, the Surly tent was swamped, but some newer breweries boasted impressive lines as well. Dangerous Man was pouring a couple variations of their excellent Milk Stout. I didn’t get a chance to try the Session Pale, but I heard good things, and their coconut milk stout was surprisingly refreshing, reminding me ever so slightly of the island where I vacationed in January.

Dangerous Man Tap List - All Pints North

New to Duluth, Bent Paddle took home the award for Best Brewery, and tied with Town Hall for Best Beer with their cold press Black Ale served on nitro. Their branding work is top notch, and it’s great to see the beer holds up to the same standard.

Bent Paddle Brewery Display - All Pints North

All in all, this was a great festival, and I definitely plan on attending next year. Attendance this year was double what it was last, but things seemed to go quite smooth. Four hours was the perfect length of time. Not so long that you feel like bailing early, but not so short you feel rushed to get through the tents, either. Couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day to sit outside and drink some beer!

All Pints North - Duluth

Brewed: Modern Times Hoppy Wheat

In early March, my wife coerced me into tackling the Whole30 Challenge with her. For the uninitiated, the Whole30 Challenge is basically a 30 day, ultra-strict paleo diet, so no beer, bread, grains of any kind, or dairy and enough vegetables to scare a small child into thinking all the candy in the world was gone.

I wanted to have something light and freshly hopped ready to drink for day 31, so I ordered up a pound of Citra and tweaked a recipe The Mad Fermentationist created for Modern Times.

Citra Hops

For whatever reason, my order took about 6 days compared to the usual 2 to make it from Northern Brewer in Minneapolis to my house, so this batch turned into a rare weeknight brewday in order to get it brewed, dry hopped, dry hopped again, and kegged before the end of my tenure as Vegetarian In Chief.

Brewing was pretty uneventful. I’ve been struggling with a few batches overattenuating on me, though I thought I’d nailed that down to a once-trusted thermometer now reading about 6°F low at mash temps, though this batch proved I’m not completely rid of that problem. I’ll probably break down and order a Thermapen to rid myself of any further doubt. With 45 seconds of low-flow oxygen and a healthy, 1L pitch of Wyeast 1056, this brew fermented down to 1.008 from 1.052, or about 84.62% apparent attenuation. The next batch I make I’ll be revisiting how long the wort spends below 170°F during sparging just to rule out anything odd. I typically try to heat the first runnings up to 170+ as quick as I can to denature the enzymes in lieu of doing a mash-out, but I’m down to thinking either I have a second bunk thermometer, or I need to start doing a mash-out step.

Hoppy Wheat Runoff

Despite sounding terribly thin, this beer tastes amazing just at just 18 days old, and just in time for our first day of spring temperatures. I double purged everything with C02 when racking and dry-hopping.It is lacking a little body, but I don’t perceive it to be as dry as the numbers suggest, and the citra/centennial hop combo lends some amount of stickiness to the mouthfeel.

It’s been really great reading updates on how Modern Times has gone from concept to reality, and I wish them the best of luck as they get closer to their first production batches. With recipes like this, they no doubt have a great future ahead of them.

Hoppy Wheat

Spring of Eternal Winter (Wheat)

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 60 min 38.3 IBU 5.3 SRM 1.049 SG 1.012 SG 4.80 %

Fermentables

Name Amount
White Wheat Malt 5.5 lbs
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 4 lbs
Caravienne Malt 0.75 lbs

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
HopShot 5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 2.4
Citra 2 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 12
Citra 2 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 12
Centennial 1 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 10
Citra 1 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 12

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American Ale (1056) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F

Notes

  • 2013.04.08 : Made a 1.5L starter on the stir plate. 500mL will be pulled and crashed for the Iron Ranger brewday for the coming weekend.
  • 2013.04.09 : A rare weeknight brewday.
  • 2013.04.14 : Added 1oz Centennial and ¾oz citra for dry hopping round 1
  • 2013.04.21 : Kegged with 2oz citra hops

Brewed: Stone IPA Clone

Looking over my brew log, it’s evident that I’ve brewed and drank more batches of Bells Two Hearted clones in the last year than I care to admit, so I’m making a solid effort this year to have an IPA on tap at all times that I can’t source locally. For the first round, I found Edwort’s Stone IPA clone on homebrewtalk and adjusted the percentages for a 6 gallon batch.

As a side note, being a craft beer guy in North Dakota is not much fun. Amazingly, a liquor store just across the river stocks Surly, but in small quantities, and forget about special releases unless you can leave work at odd hours and stand in line. You can basically forget about anything interesting from either of the coasts. I have to drive 225 miles before I find a store that carries Stone. The last time I was in Minneapolis, I bought a few bottles each of their Pale Ale, IPA, Ruination, and Arrogant Bastard, all of which I enjoyed, so it seemed like a good starting point.

Beautiful cold break with the 50 degree ground water we’re still enjoying. I named this batch Iron Ranger because the color reminded me of the red hills in northern Minnesota.

Cold Break in Carboy

Iron Ranger

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
6 gal 60 min 72.2 IBU 7.2 SRM 1.066 SG 1.016 SG 6.58 %

Fermentables

Name Amount
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 12.6 lbs
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L 1.2 lbs
Munich Malt 1.2 lbs

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Centennial 1.2 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 10
Warrior 1.2 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 15
Centennial 1.2 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 10
Centennial 1.2 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 10

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
American Ale (1056) Wyeast Labs 75% 60°F - 72°F

Notes

  • 2013.04.13 : made a 1.25L starter and put on the stirplate
  • 2014.04.14 : Brewed by myself. Lower than expected lauter efficiency, so I upped the boil time to get up to the expected SG. Collected 5.5 gallons of 1.065 wort into the fermenter. Oxygenated for 60 seconds and left in the fermentation chamber at 65°
  • 2013.04.18 : Fermentation slowing down. Temp bumped to 68°
  • 2013.04.21 : Krausen settled out nearly completely. Added dry hops. Gravity down to 1.010.

Easy Gravity Adjustments for All-Grain Brewers

As I’ve said before, I’m a very analog person when it comes to taking notes and making adjustments while brewing. This runs contrary to the rest of my life, which is lived in front of a computer, but brewing is a chance for me to escape to the garage for several hours and read the Sunday paper while I sip a cup of hot coffee.

While my strike water heats, I typically draft up a sheet like this:

Brew Day Sheet

Typically, the only adjustment I need to make is to gravity or volume. I’m not sure if I just don’t brew often enough to have my boiloff rate pegged, or if the humidity really makes such a drastic difference, but the variability seems high with my crappy burner, so I often find myself doing some napkin calculations on whether or not I need to add some DME or boil longer in order to reach the desired specific gravity for a given batch. The calculations are really simple, but perhaps not obvious:

Let’s say for a given recipe, we’re trying to reach a post-boil gravity of 1.060 with a volume of 6 gallons.Our target points is the product of the number of gallons and the desired points:

6 gallons * 60 points per gallon = 360 total points

Now let’s say we ran off 7.5 gallons of 1.046 wort, and compute how many points we yielded:

7.5 gallons * 46 points per gallon = 345 total points

So we were 15 points short overall. We have two options at this point: boil longer, ending up with less than 6 gallons of wort, but reaching the correct gravity, or add some dry malt extract (DME) to make up for the lower-than-expected efficiency and keep our 6 gallon post-boil volume target.

Figuring out the required post-boil volume is simple division:

345 points / 60 points per gallon = 5.75 gallons

This is useful, because boiling off an extra quart might be just fine depending on your system. The DME route is a bit more complicated, but if one pound of DME yields 43 points per gallon (Briess Golden Light) and we need to add 15 total points:

 15 points / 43 points per gallon per pound = 
    0.34 pounds (about 5.5 ounces)

Hopefully this takes some of the mystery out of doing gravity corrections on the fly. There’s surely dozens of smartphone apps to help out with problems like this, but for those of us that enjoy a more unplugged brew day, it’s great to know how to just hammer things out on paper.

Caribbean Beer

A week ago, I left the sun-filled shores of Dominica and returned to the wind-battered plains of Fargo. The wife and I took a trip with two of our close friends and spent 10 days on the island with two days of travel on either end. It was a wonderful trip, and it was nice to spend so many uninterrupted days away from the office and get some time to just relax for a change.

Of course, what would a vacation be without some drinking? You might guess a Carribean island would have a heavy rum bias, and you’d be correct, though there is a not-so-small brewery tucked away on the south end of the island that churns out some decent beer.

Kubuli Beer

Employing more than 70 people, Dominica Brewery & Beverages Ltd. brews and bottles 6 different beverages (including Guinness Foreign Extra Stout), but primarily sells Kubuli, a nice, pale lager. Rated 3/5 on Untapped!

The beer, sadly, is better than American pale lagers. I hiked several miles with a handful of bottles in 80° jungle weather, and when we stopped for lunch and washed down cold sandwiches with a bottle of warm (hot?) Kubuli, it was still pretty decent. Try that with your Bud Select.

I also had a chance to try their shandy, which is perhaps more representative of the style than anything I can find locally (I’m looking at you Leinenkugel), though not really to my liking.

Next time you’re in the Carribean, be sure to try a bottle. It’s good to take a tolerance break from the rum now and then anyhow.

Tis the Season

21st Amendment Bitter American