Read all about the ins and outs of brewing beer. From hops to hydrometers, our brewmasters have written hundreds of blog posts to help you brew your best.

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34th Latitude South African Hops

South African Limited Release hops! We have leveraged our way into securing an extremely limited quantity of rare South African hops JUST for homebrewers. Expand your brewing horizons with these special hops that you cannot find in the US. They are currently sold only to craft breweries in very small quantities. Be the first brewer in your club to try them out!

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Short Pour: HopShot for your Beer, Not your Eyes

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Brew. Share. Enjoy Brewery Series Kits

The Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition is unlike anything we have ever created before. For the first time ever, homebrewers like you will have exclusive access to the most sought-after, limited-release beers in the world, complete with first-hand insight from the world-class pro brewmasters who created them.

Step One: Preparation

You’ll Need:

A list or knowledge of your home brewing equipment, ingredients and some sanitizer.

Directions:

Success, so the saying goes, is 90% preparation and 10% inspiration, and so it is with beer. Brewing beer involves
boiling malt, hops and water to create a grainy, sugary liquid.

Next, we add a fungus – yeast – to the wort, allow for time to pass and we have flat, warm beer.

Finally, we mix this warm, flat beer with a bit of sugar and bottle it, which will result in carbonated beer after a week or
two.

But, let’s step back a moment. We add a fungus? Sure. Yeast is a fungus, a very special fungus, it is the crucial
element to the creation of beer, it is what converts sugars into alcohol. We want to create an environment in which the
yeast is happy; where the yeast is allowed to eat away at sugars without any competition. Competition means the yeast
is unable to produce alcohol and even worse, competition means that some other element has entered our beer.
Chances are this other element is bacteria. Bacteria will create off flavors in beer, beer that tastes, smells or feels
unlike beer should, perhaps a strong smell of vinegar, a taste of cardboard, a viscous feel. Yuck.

To prevent the introduction of such odd elements, we clean and sanitize. It is the most important task of the entire
brewing process. You must clean well everything that your beer may come in contact with, and just before use you
must sanitize this equipment as well. Your brew kettle will not need to be sanitized as the boiling wort will accomplish
this, but you will want the kettle clean.

There are many sanitizing solutions on the market, each with their own direction. Most are quick and easy to use. For
example, Easy Clean: 1-Tablespoon Cleanser per 1-Gallon warm water and 2 minutes of contact time. No rinsing
required.

Equipment:

Sanitizer: Sanitizer keeps your equipment clean and prevents infection.

Brew Kettles: Used for boiling your wort.

Fermentation Vessel: A container used to ferment your beer.

Fermentation Lock: Keeps your beer from being oxidized during fermentation.

Spoon: Used for whirlpooling and helps prevent boilovers.

Hydrometer: Use the hydrometer to figure out your original and final gravity.

Bottles: Once your beer has fermented, bottle it for serving.

Auto Siphon: The auto siphon to transfers beer between fermentation vessels.

Bottle Cappers: An essential piece of equipment, fastens caps to the bottle.

Bottle Caps: We have a variety of closures that work with many different bottles.

Starter Kits: Choose a variety of Starter Kits to begin brewing!

Ingredients:

All Northern Brewer Recipe Kits and for that matter nearly all beer will have four basic ingredients: Malt, Hops, Yeast
and water. Don’t be fooled by the length of this list; there is enormous variety within each of these categories, enough
to produce the wondrous array of beers available today, from the palest pilsner to the blackest stout and everything in
between.

Some recipes and kits may also include specialty grains, sugars or spices.

You provide the most basic ingredient for your beer, water. Water chemistry can make a dramatic difference in your
beer, but if your water tastes good to drink, it is fit for brewing.

Malt:

Beer is brewed by fermenting the sugars of malted barley and other cereal grains. Brewers utilize the process of
malting, wherein seeds are prompted to sprout, after which growth is stopped through kiln drying, to eventually access
these sugars. Malting stimulates amylase enzyme production within the grain. Brewers crush the malted grain and soak
it in hot water in a process known as “mashing.” This activates the enzymes, which convert the grain’s starch into
sugars. These sugars are then rinsed from the grain and the resulting liquid, known as “wort”, is boiled with hops and
other ingredients. After boiling and cooling the wort yeast is added to ferment the substance and produce delicious
beer.

Most new brewers prefer not to perform the mashing step themselves. Liquid malt extract and dry malt extract are the
concentrated results of this process, malt sugars that have been produced by mashing and packaged for later use.
Extract brewers then steep a small amount (usually about 1 pound) of specialty grains to provide specific malt flavors
and color in the finished beer.

Hops:

Hops are the cone-shaped flower of the perennial Humulus lupulus plant. Hops are added to wort to impart a bitterness
perfect to balance the sweetness of malt and to provide a wide variety of flavors and aromas. In addition to the
bittering, flavoring and aromatic qualities that hops bring to beer, they also serve as a stability agent, preventing
spoilage, contribute to head retention and act as a natural clarifier. While the use of hops in brewing is the norm today,
it wasn’t until the eleventh century that hop use was first documented in Germany and not until the sixteenth century
the use of hops became common to British brewers. Prior to this introduction beers were flavored and preserved with
plants such as heather, rosemary, anise, spruce and wormwood; adventurous brewers still use these ingredients today.
Particular hop varieties are often associated with particular beer styles, regions or even a particular brewery’s
signature style. Hops are grown in countless varieties. All hops contain alpha and beta acids, it is these acids that
contribute to the stability and bitterness of the beer.

Hops also contain a host of essential oils which can boil off if added early in the boiling process but which lend
characteristic flavor and aroma when added later in the boil or even after fermentation. Each hop varietal can
contribute dramatically different qualities of bitterness, flavor and aroma to beer. These flavors and aromas are often
described as grassy, floral, citrusy, flowery, spicy, earthy, etc. Hops are often found as pellets, plugs or whole leaf. A
staple of homebrew stores, you can also grow your own!

Yeast:

In 1516, The Reinheitsgebot, or German Beer Purity Law, listed the only allowable ingredients for brewing beer to be
malt, hops and water. As you can see, at one time, yeast was an unknown element, the primary agent of fermentation
being completely mysterious! The Vikings found that if they reused the stick used to stir their beer, it would help start
the next fermentation process. These ‘magic sticks’ were so valuable they were often family heirlooms passed from
generation to generation. In truth we now know that these sticks carried the family yeast culture, the crucial element in
fermenting wort to create beer. Fortunately for German brewers the Reinheitsgebot was amended rightly to include
yeast after the microorganisms were discovered.

There is an old saying: brewers make wort, yeast makes beer.

So just what is yeast?

Yeast is a type of fungus. An organism that reproduces asexually, it is unusual in that it can live with or without oxygen.
In a low oxygen environment yeast cells consume sugars and in return produce carbon dioxide and alcohol as waste
products. This process is fermentation. Yeast is used in making wine, mead and cider as well as beer. Brewing yeast
tends to be classified as either “top fermenting” or “bottom fermenting”. As the names indicate, the yeast strains tend to
be most active towards the top and bottom of the wort respectively, though the cells are dispersed throughout. Top
fermenting yeasts produce an ale style beer, bottom fermenting a lager style beer. These yeast strains are actually two
different species, differentiated by temperature tolerance as well as a few other factors. Ale strains prefer warmer
temperatures while lager strains ferment best at cooler temperatures.

Brewery Edition Kits

The Brew. Share. Enjoy.

Brewery Edition

These ARE the beers you’re looking for.

The Brewery Edition is unlike anything we have ever created before. For the first time ever, homebrewers like you will have exclusive access to the most sought-after, limited-release beers in the world, complete with first-hand insight from the world-class pro brewmasters who created them.

With these kits, you’ll be able to brew the beers that even the most passionate beer lovers in the world can only dream about…tap room exclusives, discontinued recipes and experimental batches that have become the stuff of rare beer legends.

It’s the most intimate brewing experience possible, because you get to appreciate the beer, its history and character, from the inside out. The only thing better would be an all-access brew day at the brewery itself!

Ready to brew with the greats? We created the Brew. Share. Enjoy. Brewery Edition just for you. Cheers!


Brewery Edition #1 Goose Island Milk Porter

We’re kicking off the Brew. Share. Enjoy. Brewery Edition with a true original. Until now, Goose Island’s legendary Milk Porter has been available exclusively to lucky patrons of the Fulton & Wood Street Tasting Room. But now, you can be among the first to brew this Chicago house favorite at your house.

We partnered with Goose Island Brewmaster Jared Jankoski to scale this recipe perfectly for homebrewers while retaining every last drop of its decadent, deep chocolate hue and oh-so-sippable character. The result is an unbelievably memorable brew that captures the creamy essence of the eggnog cocktail that inspired it, along with notes of milk chocolate, nutmeg and a big, toasty malt backbone. Brew plenty, because this is one beer that tends to acquire a following, and you’ll want to savor it as long as you can.

Goose Island Beer

For years, patrons of the Goose Island Tasting Room have enjoyed a privilege shared by a lucky few – exclusive access to the house favorite Milk Porter poured only at the Fulton & Wood taproom in Chicago, and nowhere else on earth.

Today…that changes. With the launch of Northern Brewer’s new Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition Kits, we’re making it possible for homebrewers everywhere to join the ranks of those lucky few. For the first time ever, homebrewers will have exclusive access to the most sought-after flagship and limited-release beers in the world. And we’re starting with a true classic – Goose Island’s legendary Milk Porter.

We partnered with Goose Island Brewmaster Jared Jankoski to scale this recipe perfectly for homebrewers while retaining every last drop of its decadent, deep chocolate hue and oh-so-sippable character.

Ready to taste it for yourself? Here’s everything you need to know to get started. Cheers!

One Taproom Legend, Two Ways to Brew

The BREW: Goose Island Milk Porter

This unforgettable Milk Porter actually has its roots in a Goose Island brewing throwdown. Every year, Goose Island employees from throughout the company get the chance to dream up and brew up experimental beers alongside Goose’s top brewmasters. One winning recipe is selected to be brewed and offered in limited release as part of the brewery’s Fulton & Wood series.

In 1995, a porter aged in rum, brandy and bourbon inspired by a holiday cocktail called the Tom & Gerry won top marks in the competition and soon became a taproom favorite. The brewmasters continued to perfect the profile, adding warm and spicy notes, along with a toasted, creamy character. The result is a Milk Porter that has become a Goose Island house favorite.

Our brewmasters partnered with Goose Island Brewmaster Jared Jankoski to craft a homebrewing recipe that perfectly captures the complex flavors and character of the Goose Island original.

The result of that collaboration is an unbelievably memorable brew that evokes the creamy essence of the eggnog cocktail that inspired it, along with notes of milk chocolate, nutmeg and a big, toasty malt backbone. It also conveys the complex flavors of barrel aging that have become a Goose Island trademark…without the barrel aging. A feature the brewmasters won’t stop talking about.

Brew plenty, because this is one beer that tends to acquire a following, and you’ll want to savor it as long as you can.

The Good Stuff: Brewing & Tasting Notes

BREWING
NOTES

SRM: 31

IBUs: 22

ABV: 6.6%

FERMENTATION TEMP: 65F – 69F

ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1.079

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Milk Chocolate • Approachable Roast • Smooth Body • Complex Creaminess • Malted Milk Balls

PAIRING HIGHLIGHTS:
Brie • Sirloin Steak • Spicy Chicago Dog • Swiss Cheese

Brewmaster’s Tasting Notes:

Dark chocolate porter with creamy tan-colored head. There is an aroma of milk chocolate and approachable roast. The flavor is amplified by a noticeable mouth coating smoothness and a lingering wood-like aftertaste. Chocolate, roasted malt, oats and a lactose backbone further encourage a uniquely inspired porter that sips oh-so-smoothly. Think Malted Milk Balls with a crisp, delicious finish.

Brewmaster’s Pairing Ideas:

Perfect with creamy baked brie or a nicely-seared sirloin. But it’s got the character to stand up to a spicy Chicago dog, too. Its crisp finish makes it ideal for foodies who want their brew to complement the meal instead of weighing it down. And its warm notes make it the perfect match for anything chocolate. Also, smoked brisket, Stilton cheese, beef stew and vanilla ice cream.

Meet the Brewmaster

Promoted to Goose Island Brewmaster in 2015, Jared Jankoski has built his brewing career on a near-fanatical devotion to both quality and innovation.

He’s helped shape the direction of the wildly popular Bourbon County Brand Stout series from the start and tackled this project with the same creativity and expertise he brings to every other Goose Island brew.

“Being brewmaster is about a commitment to quality from raw material to packaged beer, scrutinizing every process in between to always try to improve.”

The inspiration for Goose Island’s Milk Porter is the Tom & Gerry, a holiday cocktail often mixed with rum/bourbon, sugar, warm milk and nutmeg. “This beer was made to impress many of these flavors without actually utilizing them.”

“Similarly, the recipe takes the most desirable characteristics from the many stouts I’ve made in my past and combines them for the ultimate experience. Lactose and oats for mouthfeel and flavor, and a massive dark malt backbone to drive a delicate, but delectable flavor experience.”

Beer Lovers: Brew Your Heart Out

The Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition Kit is unlike anything we have ever created before.

For the first time ever, homebrewers will have exclusive access to the most sought-after flagship and limited-release beers in the world, complete with first-hand insight from the world-class pro brewmasters who created them. Here’s a peek at how we worked with Goose Island brewmasters to make that vision come true.

Brew Day at Goose Island

Amazing, right? With the Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition Kits, your brew day won’t be anywhere near this complex. But, after exhaustive testing and tasting, we can tell you the results are spot on. Our kit is the next best thing to an all-access brew day at Goose Island itself, because we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Brewmaster Jared Jankoski to get it just right.

The Milk Porter recipe and brewing process has been perfectly scaled for homebrewing, so you’ll be able to tap into nearly 30 years of Goose Island brewing innovation behind each kit.

Take it to the next level Own a brewery

For your viewing pleasure: Brew Rebellion’s road to going pro!

If you’ve ever dreamed about opening a brewery, here’s your front-row seat. Next month, Amazon Prime will be airing “Barely Beer Barons,” a series offering a no-holds-barred look at what it takes to go pro, from the ground up. Spoilers: It’s a lot of hard work and even more heart. We’re pulling for the guys at Brew Rebellion because we know a lot of talented

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Yeah, we’re going to go ahead and bother brewing our own beer.

Puhleeze. If everybody thought like this, we’d soon be reduced to a race of people eating entirely out of vending machines. Sure, the convenience and availability of great craft beer is wonderful. But for most of us at Northern Brewer, drinking great beer doesn’t replace the experience of making great beer.

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A brewery on every corner? Sounds amazing.

This article predicts the beer version of “a taco truck on every corner” and we at Northern Brewer couldn’t be happier. Our own HQ is based smack dab in the heart of one of the greatest beer cities in America, according to Thrillist. And knowing you’re never too far away from amazing, local beer is, we can attest, really good for the soul. Not to mention, strike up a conversation with just about anybody, and you’ll find out they’re somehow linked to either beer and brewing, or simply a die-hard, knowledgeable fan.