Friday, April 20, 2012

help me pick a beer!

It's time to start brewing again and I thought I would ask you guys to help pick out the recipe kit I'll use for these next two batches. I prefer Northern Brewer, the twin cities based brew shop I order from online. I have all the gear I need, just the recipe kit. Click this link and you'll end up on their home page. So far I have had the Peace Coffee Porter, Sweet Stout, and Honey Brown. I'm looking for a high-summer beer and a heartier light stout. So what would you try? We can pick it out. I can make a webinar of brewing (don't worry webinar folks, they will be busting out soon! You will get your 9 more videos this summer/fall for 2012) and then first taste online. It'll be a 4-6 week process, but this is the start.

And, if you want to get into brewing with me, go for it! We can do it together. All you need is the Northern Brewer Basic Starter kit, a steel brew kettle, and a recipe kit. Don't be intimidated by the chemistry or the process. It's a lot of fun and easier than making a pie crust. I promise.

And no, NB is not a blog sponsor. I just really think these guys are best at introducing this hobby to new people, and their grains, malts, and kits are top notch for the money.

32 Comments:

Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

My vote would be the sweet stout and honey brown. Despite liking both coffee and porter, I didn't enjoy the combination (disclaimer: I've only tried one).

My wife and I will be making beer this spring/summer, but I don't think it'll be a Northern Brewer one, only because there's a local brew shop I like to give my business to.

April 20, 2012 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

My vote's for the Cream Ale (since you liked Sweet and Honey flavors). It made my mouth water when I looked at it and read the title. For me, that's a good enough reason to vote for it!

April 20, 2012 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Sage said...

I brewed their Caribou Slobber last summer and it was fantastic! It's a brown, which isn't that summery, but it's an all around great brew. Perfect for sipping around a campfire.

April 20, 2012 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Sage said...

I brewed their Caribou Slobber last summer and it was fantastic! It's a brown, which isn't that summery, but it's an all around great brew. Perfect for sipping around a campfire.

April 20, 2012 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

I really liked the Irish Red I made (that's the one I brought over, so you probably want something different.) The American Rye Ale sounds interesting, too. Also the Scottish 60 shilling looks good as a summer beer.
Currently in my fermenter: Scottish 80 shilling.
Kits on my shelf waiting for their turn: Irish Draught Ale and Breakfast Stout.
That Breakfast Stout sounds like a lighter stout, which is why I chose it.

Enabler.

April 20, 2012 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Sage said...

I recommend their Caribou Slobber beer kit. I brewed it last summer, and it was fantastic! Best beer I ever made. It's a brown, which isn't what you think of with summer, but it was great around a campfire.

April 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

My husband makes Belgian Saison, and it's great! It's a wonderful summer beer. He does all grain, but I'm sure the extract is just as good. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/review/product/list/id/3201/

April 20, 2012 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I second the Cream Ale vote! Looks scrumptious!

April 20, 2012 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Chinook IPA would be a good lighter summer beer.

April 20, 2012 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Caribou Slobber sounds interesting, if only for the name! :) I second the recommendation for the Scottish 60--sounds like one of my all-time favorite beers, Thirsty Dog Brewing's "Twisted Kilt."

April 20, 2012 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I have to say, I did not check out the link. However a friend of mine brews and won the Bennington Brew fest with his Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Stout. I am not a huge beer fan, but it is amaizing! So rich and smooth. And the vanilla is just wonderful!

April 20, 2012 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I have to say, I did not check out the link. However a friend of mine brews and won the Bennington Brew fest with his Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Stout. I am not a huge beer fan, but it is amaizing! So rich and smooth. And the vanilla is just wonderful!

April 20, 2012 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger quiltaholic said...

The Surly Cynic gets my vote. I haven't tried the homebrew version, but if it is anything like the commercial Surly - it will be amazing.

April 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger quiltaholic said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

I like in Innkeeper Extract Kit for its citrus. Reads ike a clean summer brew.

April 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

We're big fans of IPA around here, so that's what I'd go for (or something similar). We made a batch of Victory Hop Devil last summer and it was great. I love the Germans more than anything, but they must be lagered and so far we haven't had the chilling facilities to do so. We have a (sort of) local shop about an hour away that will pull actual recipes for actual beers and sell us all the component ingredients. That is AWESOME. I was completely beside myself when I found out we could make Old Speckled Hen at home. This summer I think we're going to be making that, and a batch of Magic Hat #9, which I think is THE perfect summer beer.

What's funny is that since we started home brewing, we've actually been buying MORE craft & specialty beers, not less. Mostly in the name of "research", but also because it rekindled our appreciation for them. It doesn't help that our favorite breweries regularly put out new seasonals that we just must try! ;-)

April 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger spike said...

I had a great Orange Blossom beer that is made in Orlando last night. Maybe a variation using your own honey and local foliage?
For a stout...something with Knob Creek or some good old Jack seems right for a farm camp fire.

April 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM  
OpenID domesteading said...

Beer! Hooray beer! Have you ever made fruit wine? I'm going to give it a shot this year with my blackberries, but I admit I'm a little intimidated by the chemistry. And the fact that a friend of mine made some and it seemed to turn into some scary hallucinogenic potion after it aged. Maybe beer would be safer...? I vote for a red or brown ale. They're my faves.

April 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Really??? Easier than making a pie crust??? This just may be my year to try it. Thanks for the encouragement!

Andrea

April 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a keg of their Spotted Heifer (American Cream Ale) on tap right now. It's easy drinking and pretty tasty! It only comes in partial or full grain though.

Next up is my summer standard (and Bavaria's) - hefeweizen. Light, spicy, bubbly and it doesn't get any faster or easier. It's best consumed young and cloudy - so no aging or clearing. If you make one I recommend using White Labs (WLP380) Hefeweizen IV Ale Yeast and keep your fermentation temp around 65 degrees. The end result will be the real deal.

Good luck! Norts

April 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

My husband swears by the "Dead Ringer" kit they sell. It's a clone of Bells Two Hearted Ale. Northern Brewer used to call it "Three Hearted Ale" but Bells Brewery sued them so they changed the name to "Dead Ringer." It is an all-grain kit, so you do need a wort chiller. They are easy to DIY if you don't have one, just need a cooler and some copper tubing.

April 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

Irish Red Ale All-Grain Kit

That's my vote. I'm partial to Irish Reds.When I buy beer that's what I get if it's available.

April 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger maddogmusher said...

I vote for the Bells Three Hearted Clone too! IPA's in my opinion are the best. The best beer out there is Bell's Hop Slam. It's only available for 6 weeks every year.

You could make a honey Ale for summer, and a throw a piece of lemon in your glass.

Pretty soon I'll bet you will switch from kits to all grain brewing. It's the difference between making a cake from a box to making it from scratch!

April 20, 2012 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger ysmeine said...

I just finished Brooklyn Brew Shop's coffee and Donut stout. I wanted to use my 1 gal equip I use for wine. I think my next one needs to be lighter like The all grain Honey Kolsch. Maybe tweaked to be a littler girlier with lavender. The cream ale also sounds interesting.

April 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

While I haven't tried Northern Brewer yet, I am a BIG fan of Heferweizen for a nice light sipping beer. It's hard to go wrong with the good ol' Hef. Also any wheat beers are good in my book.

There is also, of course, the Farmhouse Bier de Table.

Looks like they have a Bourbon Barrel Porter kit, which I'm sure would be amazing. I had a bourbon porter before from Green Man Brewery in Asheville, and man was it the best beer I have EVER had.

My boyfriend and I have our first ever batch of beer brewing in the cabinet right now (Brooklyn Brew Shop, Chocolate Maple Porter -- next up the Honey Grapefruit Ale and the Coffee and Donut Stout!). The yeast isn't as active as I want them to be and have me worried, though I guess we'll just have to wait and find out.

April 20, 2012 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Deadpenguin said...

Homebrew talk has a good beer calendar here --> http://bit.ly/IboBWr
I prefer the stouts in the colder months and move into the wheat, IPA, and light more session-able beers during the warmer months.
I think Saison would be a good fit for the parameters you mentioned.
I am thinking my next is a hefe dunkel since I have most of the ingredients ready to go then maybe a berliner weiss.

April 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

Nuthin' says summer like Hefeweitzen an Witbier to me!

April 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

Nuthin' says summer like Hefeweitzen and Witbier to me...

April 20, 2012 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Recently “taste tested” 115th Dream IPA from Northern Brewer’s kit and it was that good so that's my vote for the high summer beer. Would also like to give the Dry Irish Stout a whirl.

*going to crack open my first bottle of homebrew next week…nervous/eager to see how it turns out—looking forward to the webinar. Thanks for giving me the brewing bug!

April 21, 2012 at 1:37 AM  
Blogger drey1116 said...

My wife and I usually purchase our beer kits from MidwestSupply.com another Minneapolis based company. Two of our favorites are their Honey Bee Ale and California Steam Beer, a lager style beer brewed at ale temperatures. They also have a Kit of the Month Club which does two things, you get a new beer to brew once a month and you save money off their regular price

April 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger drey1116 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 21, 2012 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Eadwin said...

How about doing an extract brew?

June 14, 2012 at 7:36 AM  

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