Short Pours – Blending Your Creations

Short Pours content worth reading for brewers everywhere
Short Pours Blend Creations
Short Pours Blend Creations

Blend your creations for entirely new experiences!

Pump up your fermentations with some creativity! A really fun method of creating something unique and bold is as simple as blending different types of beers, wines, and meads. A beer-wine hybrid, a “vineale”, or a mead-beer hybrid, a “braggot” is one way to produce interesting new flavors and subtle nuances to your creations. Blending beers, wines and meads is a centuries old practice going back as far as the ancient Egyptians, and has continued to be practiced today. There is no limit to what you can create with different blends of your fermentations.

This can be as simple as combining some beer wort and wine must and letting them ferment, but the real fun comes in when you are looking for that perfect balance of flavors in your finished product. A great experiment that you can easily conduct at home is to run some blending trials of some different beers and wines. Want to make a robust porter with a cabernet sauvignon character, or a saison with some fruity riesling in the background? Let the trials begin. First, ferment out your two base products for blending later, and keep in mind that the final blended product will only be as good as the base beers, wines and meads used to make it.

Once you have finished your batch of beer and wine, the tasting begins! Try mixing various proportions of your wine into the beer, and then taste them to determine what tastes best to you. You may find that a porter only requires 20% cabernet to really have a great flavor, while you may use up to 50% riesling blended into a saison to come up with something truly memorable. When doing blending trials, it is a good idea to have some basic graduated measuring cups available and a pen and a pad.

Make yourself a few different blends of the same two base beers/wines at varying proportions. For example, blend one beer with 10% wine, one with 20% wine, one with 30% wine, and so on. Be sure to keep good notes of how much of each base beer/wine before tasting. Doing small trials like this will enable you to pinpoint the exact proportions of your beer and wine to really get the flavors balanced out.

Once you determine the perfect blend, you can measure out larger amounts of the base beers and wines to blend into one large batch for bottling. The sky is the limit here, and there is no wrong blend to make, it’s all a matter of your preference. Try a hard pear cider with a Chardonnay, or blackberry mead blended into an American brown ale.


St Paul Porter Extract KitCabernet Sauvignon Wine Kit

Petite Saison Beer KitWashington Riesling Kit

Brad Segall Master Brewer Blend Your Creations

 

I’m very proud of the work Northern Brewer has done to help people make better beer at home. In 1995 I published the first edition of the Northern Brewer catalog. This catalog has since become the most famous showcase of brewing products in the industry. The Northern Brewer Homebrew Forum launched in 1997 and became a hugely popular place for homebrewers to get their brewing questions answered in near real-time. More recently, I created BrewingTV with a mission to create unique and fun videos about the culture of homebrewing. It is Northern Brewer’s mission to help you make the best possible beer.

That’s why we are so fond of saying, “We won’t rest until you brew your best.”

Tudor Ale Homebrew Recipe

This beer recipe was created by Eric Harper, brewer at Summit Brewing Company. It was brewed for and will be served as part of a collaboration with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as part of its “Supper with Shakespeare” event, “Tudor Keg Party!”

Watch this video to learn more about Harper’s inspiration. Then brew your own version of the Tudor Ale from the recipe below.

Recipe reprinted with permission by Summit Brewing Company and Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

5 Gallon Batch Size (scaled for 70% efficiency)
O.G: 1.046
F.G: 1.012
BUs: 15

MASH INGREDIENTS
7.25 lbs. Crisp Maltings Floor Malted Organic Pale Malt
1.2 lbs Simpson’s Crystal Medium
0.5 oz Simpson’s Black

MASH SCHEDULE: SINGLE INFUSION
Sacch’ Rest: 154° F for 45 minutes
Mashout: 172° F for 5 minutes

BOIL ADDITIONS & TIMES
60-minute boil
0.5 oz East Kent Goldings (55 min)
2.5 oz Honey (50 min)
0.1 oz Fresh Sage, chopped (5 min)

YEAST
Wyeast 1028 London Ale
Fermentation Temp: 68° F

FERMENTATION SCHEDULE:
One week primary fermentation
“Dry-hop” with 0.5 oz dried sage for one week.
Two weeks bottle conditioning

How to Make Smashing Pumpkin Ale with Real Pumpkin

Here at Northern Brewer, there is one question we get asked A LOT during the fall and winter months – and that’s how to incorporate real pumpkin in our Smashing Pumpkin Ale Beer Kits. In this video we’ll show you how to use canned and real pumpkin in our extract and all-grain kits.

Extract w/ Specialty Grains (Smashing Pumpkin Ale Recipe)

All-Grain (Smashing Pumpkin Ale Recipe)

Beer Nerd Book Club: “Extreme Brewing (Deluxe Edition)”


This installment of Beer Nerd Book Club highlights Extreme Brewing (Deluxe Edition) authored by Dogfish Head founder/president and homebrew advocate Sam Calagione. The book is not only a glimpse into the mind and boil kettle of the diabolical genius Sam C., but (more importantly?) includes a bunch of awesome recipes from Sam, Dogfish Head staff, fellow brewers, and collaborators.

The first half of the book gets into the basics of homebrew, walking the reader through the brewing process using a recipe of Dogfish’s own. Sam then dives into topics like brew-friendly fruits, herbs, spices, wood, and bacteria giving his personal philosophy and experiential details along the way.

Then come the recipes. And, man, are there some recipes! Sure, you get rad recipes for Dogfish Head beers like India Brown Ale and Midas Touch. You also get Sam’s original recipes, many of which I have tried and have gone over amazingly well – the Peppercorn Rye Bock is incredible! On top of all that, this deluxe edition also includes more than a dozen new recipes from Dogfish Head collaboration beers with breweries like Stone, Victory and Russian River.

I highly suggest it to anyone who loves Dogfish Head’s beers and brew philosophy… especially for anyone interested in brewing outside of the lines.

For an inside look at Dogfish Head and its roots in homebrewing see Brewing TV – Episode 63.

Chip Walton
Northern Brewer Video Dude

Brew Lab: Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale

As we here at Northern Brewer were fine-tuning our new line of three-gallon Brew In a Bag (BIAB) recipe kits, we knew we wanted at least one that was a little outside the lines. Something fun. Something a little different. Move over, dessert! Far beyond your typical brown ale, the Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale is a treat unto itself. Notes of toasted oats, bitter chocolate and raisins make this a giddy-fying brew.

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All-Grain Brewing with John Palmer

“How to Brew” author John Palmer stops by Northern Brewer to brew an all-grain batch of a very special recipe. In our video, Palmer discusses his techniques for adding salts to brew water, mashing, batch sparging (versus fly sparging), chilling and fermentation. It’s a full-blown brew day with one of homebrewing’s most influential people. Grab a pint and enjoy the show.

John’s original concept for the recipe can be found at this link. Note that it has gone through several revisions since then, but this is the main idea. Brew Strong!

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