It’s the weekend. You’ve got a few hours free, and you want to brew. The only problem is you forgot to order a recipe kit. Plus, it’s colder than a witch’s behind outside; there’s no way you’re going to the local homebrew shop in this weather. Bad timing has left you with only spare parts in your larder and nowhere to turn. So what do you do? You brew of course.
Beer Kit Guarantee
Northern Brewer has the most comprehensive offering of beer kits in the world. We have over twenty years of experience in homebrewing and we constantly search for the newest and freshest ingredients to add to our beer kits.
We’re so confident in the quality of our beer kits, we’ll replace any kit, anytime, no questions asked.
We take pride in our tech support and our team is ready to help you with any aspect of your brewing experience. From brew day through fermentation, during bottle or kegging and finally – sharing and enjoying. We’re here to guide you and help make sure your homebrewing experience is a success. We stand behind our promise to help you succeed.
Hop Rhizomes FAQ
When will my order ship?
The specific shipping date is determined by hardiness zones. We will start shipping to southern zones once we can harvest rhizomes, usually around mid-April.
I just got my order. Now what?
Check out our Guidelines for growing hops at home (PDF)
I just got my order, and there is mold on my rhizome! Are they ruined?
Rhizomes are shipped moist so they do not dry out and unfortunately mold may form. Luckily, this does not mean the rhizomes are ruined; in fact, these rhizomes may even be healthier than most (see below). Many seeds and hardier plants can be treated with bleach solutions to kill the spores, but don’t do this to your rhizomes – they are too sensitive to the hypochloric acid in bleach.
One important point of interest is that many roots, like rhizomes, may have white colored ‘mold-like’ growths on them. This is not mold but actually symbiotic bacteria that assist the plant in converting free nitrogen into usable forms. The growths are not thick, should be white to off white (green/blue is most likely a mold) and should converge into concentrated areas of varying size called a nodule. These rhizomes are sort of like winning the lottery as these rhizomes theoretically will have a competitive advantage because nitrogen is one of three important macronutrients. True molds on roots have also been shown to offer similar advantages to many different plants. The rhizomes – the part of the plant that helps the plant survive from year to year – are actually rather resilient to moderate stress and as long as they are afforded the care any rhizome deserves should produce a healthy plant, whether there is mold or not.
My rhizomes are puny little sticks! Are they doomed?
There is large variation from rhizome to rhizome and from variety to variety. A large rhizome does not guarantee a large, healthy plant. The small rhizomes should sprout faster due to a more efficient conversion of starches due to the higher ratio of surface area to volume. Little difference will be apparent in the grown hop bine. The large ones sprout slower but grow faster. This results in some hop flowers reaching maturity slightly sooner or slightly later but the quality of the final product should be the same. There is of course also variation from variety to variety. Cascades are often very small compared to other varieties and of course, the theme that emerges is that the quality of the rhizomes can not be truly assessed until they are planted. Virtually any rhizome will grow a healthy plant if afforded adequate care.
My rhizomes are dried out! Are they dead?
Rhizomes are the hardiest part of the hop plant and is designed to survive moderate stress. As the rhizomes ship they are subject to varying temperature and conditions that are not under our control, which may result in drying. The rhizome should be firm but not brittle. If it is flexible and seems like it will bend without breaking the rhizome is as healthy as we can ask of it. If it seems brittle, like it would break, it probably did not have the healthiest journey. They can be easily saved by misting with water and storing in the fridge until planting. This should help them re hydrate so they do not experience a shock from moisture when planted. Be sure to keep them well watered, well-fed, and they will pull through. Of course, the only accurate way to assess a rhizome is to plant it and observe the growth. Rhizomes are designed to help the hop plant survive year to year so are quite resilient and persistent.
Have you ever wondered how some beers get that amazing hop punch in the flavor and aroma? Part of it could be from dry hopping. Check out this video on how to dry hop your homebrew. Then in the comment section below let us know some of your tricks, techniques and experiences with dry hopping.
While we tend to enter any new pursuit with some naivety, I can’t smirkingly kick myself enough when I recall how I once assumed Summit hops were sourced from Minnesota’s Summit Brewing Company. I also assumed that Northern Brewer hops were proprietary to NB stores & it took awhile for me to adopt the now-logical notion that the hops inspired the store name. Though I’m recently fairly certain the hop-to-brand name match of Summit Brewing’s is coincidental – by virtue of the information surrounding the development of North America’s highest rated alpha acid hop.
We get a lot of questions from fans and customers here at Northern Brewer. A while back we were visiting Greg Doss from Wyeast Laboratories and pitched (ha!) a few of them his way.
Presentation by Jess Caudill of Wyeast Laboratories during National Homebrewers Conference 2012. If you are interested at all in this beer style, check this out!
I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of rice beer – not the Budweiser/Miller/Sapporo type of rice beer, but the cloudy drink made from rice or millet in parts of Asia. In some Himalayan regions it is known as chang, and that is the name that I had it under when I was visiting Darjeeling some years back. It was opaque, cloudy, and full bodied with a complex, floral sweetness and a little sourness, and while I had a commercially produced imitation, there are lots of homebrewers in the region still making it the traditional way.
The good people at Lagunitas have issued a challenge to homebrewers attending the National Homebrew Conference this year – brew Hop Stoopid as close to the original as possible. Here it is in their words:
“Hello to all you Homebrewers out there! Lagunitas Brewing Co has put
together (what WE think is) a cool idea for us all to have some extra fun at
your National Homebrew Conference this year in Seattle.
I’m attaching our recipe for Hop Stoopid. Here’s the challenge:
For those of you coming out to the National Conference this year in Seattle,
why don’t you give our Hop Stoopid recipe a go?? Brew a batch and
see how it turns out. Then bring a bottle of your finished product to the
conference and join us in our suite at the Westin Bellvue, attached to the
Hyatt Regency. We’ll have OUR version of Hop Stoopid there AND our Head
Brewer, Jeremy Marshall! You can sample your beer against ours and see
how close you got. Then you can hang out and talk with Jeremy about the
creativity, challenges and the fun of brewing hoppy beers.”
But for all of you homebrewers not lucky enough to be attending the sold-out NHC this year, here is what they provided for the recipe:
96.7% Canadian Rahr 2-Row
3.3% Briess Victory
Note: mash pH adjusted to 5.4 using small charge of acidulated malt
against 2-row portion above (may not be required, depends on water
chemistry and base malt)
13g CaSO4 added to mash
Collect enough volume for 17.8 degrees Plato after boil (depends on %
utilization & brewhouse efficiency)
10% evaporation = about 16.2 Plato concentrating to 17.8 Plato
90 minute boil.
5 grams of CaSO4 added to boil with first hops
On our system most IBU comes from generic super high alpha
pellets and hop extract at the following ratios:
Pellets: contribute 8.6 lbs. of alpha in 85 BBLS
Supercritical CO2 hop extract: 11 lbs. of alpha in 85 BBLS
Both above added at 90 minutes with CaSO4
Middle addition: 22 lbs. Cascade and 22 Chinook with Whirlfloc (at 40
ppm) at 12 minutes remaining in boil
Whirlpool addition (0 minutes): 44 lbs. Simcoe
% utilization and fermentation losses vary quite a bit from system to
system, so take into consideration
Note of Interest: the bitterness alpha all originally came from Simcoe
but in 2007 (“year of the manufactured shortage”) it had to be re-
placed with the generic high alpha but the difference is negligible…
Aerate to 20 ppm O2 and London Ale pitch at 4 lbs./BBL (thick slurry)
or 18 million cells per ml
An FG of 3.6-3.8 is best to simulate final flavor and alcohol so yeast
viability and vitality is essential
Benefits from long warm rest after yeast removal (“transfer to
Very important: Dry Hop Bill
Columbus: 1.2 lbs./bbl
Simcoe: 0.6 lbs./bbl
Chinook: 0.3 lbs./bbl
**Please carefully evaluate quality of the Columbus as it tends to
vary since it is a commodity hop; we select ours very carefully for this
reason and ignore alpha, strictly aroma considered**
Here are my mock-ups of Homebrew-scale recipes:
At 70% efficiency
90 minute boil
14 lbs 2 row
.5 lb Briess Victory
1 oz Nugget at 90 minutes
5.5 ml Hopshot at 60 minutes
0.65 oz Cascade and 0.65 Chinook at 12 min
1.3 oz Simcoe at flameout, wait 10 min before chilling
Pitch yeast starter of y1028 London Ale
Dry hop with .6 oz Columbus, .3 oz Simcoe, .15 oz Chinook
90 minute boil
10.25 lbs Gold Malt Syrup
.5 lb Briess Victory
1.5 oz Nugget at 90 minutes
6.5 ml Hopshot at 60 minutes
0.65 oz Cascade and 0.65 Chinook at 12 min
1.3 oz Simcoe at flameout, wait 10 min before chilling
Pitch yeast starter of y1028 London Ale
Dry hop with .6 oz Columbus, .3 oz Simcoe, .15 oz Chinook
Cheers, and good luck!
What is malt?
Short answer: malt is grain (usually barley) that is processed in order to convert grain starches to sugars. There are a vast number of malts that brewers can use, and there are two broad categories that various malts fall into: malts which can be steeped, and malts which need to be mashed. Specialty malts and crystal malts (you may see the latter referred to as caramel malts, which is simply a different term for the same thing) can be steeped. These have sugars and flavor compounds available as-is. Simply cracking them, and steeping them in hot water will impart their flavors to the beer. Other malts and grains are mostly made up of starches. These starches need to be converted to sugar by the brewer, which is where mashing and sparging comes in. If you’re an extract brewer, you’ll want to stick to the former category.
Crystal malts are steepable and they’re generally used to add sweetness and color to both extract and all-grain brews. They’re usually named based on color (which can be very specific and scientific [based on the Lovibond color scale – e.g. Caramel 60 L], or pretty subjective [e.g. “So-and-so’s Dark Crystal]). As a general rule, the lighter-colored crystal malts are more strictly ‘sweet,’ while darker crystal malts can add some roastiness or nuttiness in addition to sweetness. On the extreme light end, there are dextrin(e) malts. These malts also add dextrins, which contribute body and a thicker mouthfeel to beer. To confuse things, many maltsters have their own trademarked brand names for certain malts which can obscure what they really are. CaraFoam® , for example is Weyermann® dextrin malt. So CaraFoam®, Briess Carapils®, Caramel Pils, and Dextrin Malt are all different names for very similar malts. Basically, anything labeled crystal, caramel, or cara-something are crystal malts (with the exception of Weyermann® Carafa® which we cover next).
Roasted Malts/Dark Malts
Roasted malts are any malts or grains that are roasted to a very high degree. Any very dark (say, more than 150 Lovibond) malt is considered a roasted malt. The three most common roasted malts are: black malt (sometimes called black patent malt), chocolate malt, and roasted barley. Also belonging to this group are Weyermann® range of Carafa® malts, Kiln-coffee malt, and distaff cousins like de-bittered black malt and pale chocolate. Roasted malts can be steeped for extract brewing or mashed for all-grain, and add a lot of complexity and color in very low quantities. Some brewers get gun shy about roasted malts, but fear not. Roasted malts are delicious, provided you don’t go completely overboard: 10% (or roughly one pound in an average-gravity 5 gallon batch) is about the most you would usually use. Stay below this amount and it’s hard to go wrong. Go right, and roasty, bready, biscuity, coffee-y, dark chocolate, and a host of other flavors are at your disposal.
Base malts make up the majority of the grist in all-grain beer. This group includes pale malt, Pilsner malt, Vienna malt, Munich malt, Mild ale malt, and more; there are also non-barley base malts like wheat malt and rye malt (more on these below). The variety is frankly, astounding. Base malts can be named based on the formation of corns on the barley stalk (2-row vs. 6-row), the barley variety (e.g., Maris Otter, Golden Promise, etc), or the region in which the barley was grown or malted (America, England, Moravia, etc). American base malt is generally mild and fairly neutral; British malts tend to be maltier, bready, and biscuit-like. The European climate gives malts made from Continental barley a clean, “elegant” character. Pilsner malt has a soft, delicate maltiness that practically defines pale lagers. “High-kilned” (heated to a higher temperature at the end of the malting process) base are responsible for the dark, malty lagers of Europe and have also found a home in some ales because of their unique character. Munich and Vienna malts are the prime examples of high-kilned malts, although mild ale malt belongs to this category too. The darker color lends these malts a more toasty, malty flavor than you get from lighter base malts.
Adjuncts are unmalted, starchy … things (normally understood to be a cereal grain, but homebrewers have been known to use things like pumpkin and potatoes, too). Adjuncts don’t have sugars available like crystal malts, so they can’t be steeped for extract brewing. They also don’t have enzymes like malted grains, so they need to be mashed with base malt to extract their sugars. Examples of brewing adjuncts are flaked barley, flaked oats, maize, and torrified wheat, among others. Pumpkin and squash beers are not uncommon. Potatoes and rice have also been used in beer. Any starchy vegetable or grain can be used as an adjunct. These grains can add some characteristics to extract beer but they really need to be mashed to unlock their full potential.
There are also some malts which do not come from barley: oats, rye, and wheat can be malted. These malts are essentially processed like, and can be treated as, their barley malt cousins. Caramel wheat is similar to caramel barley malts and the same for non-barley wheat base malts, and so on. The one difference with these malts is in how they’re crushed. If you crush your own malts, you will want to do some testing before you run a whole batch’s worth of rye malt or oat malt through a mill. Wheat malt can be crushed at the same setting as barley malt. ”Other malts” also includes specialty malts which don’t fall into the other categories of barley malts: things like biscuit malt, or aromatic malt. Frequently these malts are used in low quantities to contribute unique flavors. Fortunately, the names given by their maltsters are usually obvious as to what sort of flavor they contribute. Biscuit malt, for example, contributes a very biscuity flavor (sometimes described as ‘saltine cracker’ flavor), aromatic malt adds a very malty aroma and a deep malt flavor. There are some specialty malts which are less clearly named. Some of the toasted malts like Victory, Amber and Brown malts, and special roast are less obvious. Brown malt and amber malt are similarly toasted malts with brown being darker and more toasty and bready. Amber malt is lighter in color and has less of a pretzel-like flavor and more of a light bready flavor. Victory malt is another light one which sort of lies in between biscuit malt and amber malt with characteristics of both. Special roast is fairly unique and will impart a slightly darker, reddish color and has a fairly strong tangy, berry, and deep almost alcohol-like flavor. All of these can generally used in low quantities at 5% of the fermentables, or half a pound in a standard 5 gallon batch, or less.
|Type||Name||Product #||Country of Origin||Flavors||Common Uses||Lovebond rating|
|adjunct||Fawcett Oat Malt||G516||UK||warm, grainy flavor||British ales, stouts, porters||4|
|adjunct||Flaked Barley||G601||US||grainy, creamy||Irish Stout|
|adjunct||Flaked Maize||G602||US||neutral, moderate sweetness||American Lager, bitters|
|adjunct||Flaked Oats||G603||US||creamy, full-bodied||Oatmeal Stout|
|adjunct||Flaked Rye||G605||US||dry, crisp, slightly spicy||Roggenbier, RyePA|
|adjunct||Flaked Wheat||G606||US||increases head retention and body||Wheat beers|
|adjunct||Torrified Wheat||G608||USA||smooth, bready||Hefeweizen, other wheat beers|
|base||Belgian Pale Ale||g202||Belgium||balanced, plain but makes a solid base||Used in Belgian ales and trappist beers||3|
|base||Belgian Pilsner||g201||Belgium||clean, light flavor||Belgian Lagers and Trappist Beers||1.6|
|base||English Maris Otter||G501||UK||nutty, deep maltiness||All English styles||3.5-4.5|
|base||German Dark Munich||G307||Germany||strong malt flavor, deep color||Dunkel, Schwartzbier||15.5|
|base||German Munich||G303||Germany||smooth, deep maltiness||Alt, bock, dunkel, amber ale||8.3|
|base||German Pilsner||G301||Germany||bright, clean, full-bodied||Pilsner, Helles, all lagers, most Belgian and German styles||1.6|
|base||German Vienna||G302||Germany||slightly toasty, a bit darker and maltier than pilsner malt||Oktoberfest, Vienna lager||3.8|
|base||Global Malt Kolsch||G377||Germany||light, sweet, biscuit||Kolsch||4.5|
|base||Mild Ale Malt||g031||US||creates a more dextrinous wort than most other base malts||Mild, English ales, Scottish ales||5.3|
|base||Organic 2-row||G016||US||mild maltiness||Organic ales||1.8|
|base||Organic Munich||G017||US||rich maltiness||Bock, red or amber ales, brown ales||10|
|base||Rahr 2-row||G001||US||clean, smooth||All styles of Ale, especially American pale ale and IPA||1.7|
|base||Rahr 6-row||G002||US||neutral, slightly grainy||All styles of Ale, especially beers including adjuncts||1.7|
|base||Rahr Pale Ale||G029||US||slightly toasty and full||English and American Ales||3 – 4|
|base||Rahr Premium Pilsner||G026||US||light, smooth||American Pilsner||1.5-2|
|base||Rahr White Wheat Malt||G006||US||Full, slightly sweet||American Hefeweizen, Porter||3|
|base||British Golden Promise||G502||UK||mellow, sweet, clean||Scottish Ales||1.7-2|
|base||Weyermann® Bohemian Pils||G382||Czech Republic||full-bodied, complex maltiness||Bohemian Pilsners||1.7-2.1|
|base||Weyermann® Dark Wheat||G353||Germany||sweet, wheaty||Dunkelweizen, weizenbock||7.5|
|base||Weyermann® Pale Wheat||G352||germany||wheaty||Hefeweizen, other wheat beers||1.5|
|crystal||Belgian Caramel Pils||g206||Belgium||light caramel||Belgian Pale Ales||6|
|crystal||Belgian Caramunich||g208||Belgium||sweet, slightly toasty||Belgian Dubbels and dark ales||47|
|crystal||Belgian Caravienne||g207||Belgium||light, sweet||Belgian Pale Ales, some Trappist beers||20|
|crystal||Belgian Special B||g209||Belgium||Sweet, caramel, dark fruit||Very unique crystal malt. Commonly used in Dubbel.||147|
|crystal||Briess Carapils||G003||US||gives impression of fullness||To enhance head retention||1.5|
|crystal||Caramel 10||g004||US||Sweet, almost honey like||Most British and American styles||10|
|crystal||Caramel 120||g009||US||Caramel, slight roasty/toastiness||Stout, Porter, Red or Amber Ales||120|
|crystal||Caramel 20||g012||US||sweet, caramel||Most British and American styles||20|
|crystal||Caramel 40||g005||US||caramel, sweet||Most British and American styles||40|
|crystal||Caramel 60||g013||US||caramel, sweet||Most British and American styles||60|
|crystal||Caramel 80||g014||US||caramel, burnt sugar, raisin||Stout, Porter, Red or Amber Ales||80|
|crystal||Caramel 90||g015||US||caramel, burnt sugar, raisin||Stout, Porter, Red or Amber Ales||90|
|crystal||Gambrinus Honey Malt||G010||Canada||intense malt sweetness, honey||A good malt for leaving significant sweetness in the final beer||20-30|
|crystal||Organic Caramel 120||G021||US||caramel, burnt sugar, raisin||Organic ales||120|
|crystal||Organic Caramel 20||G024||US||sweet, caramel||Organic ales||20|
|crystal||Organic Caramel 60||G018||US||caramel, sweet||Organic ales||60|
|crystal||Organic CaraPils||G020||US||gives impression of fullness||Organic ales||1.5|
|crystal||English CaraMalt||G503||UK||light sweetness||All British and Scottish styles||30-37|
|crystal||English Dark Crystal||G506||UK||sweet, grainy, malty, slightly roasty||All British and Scottish styles||70-80|
|crystal||English Extra Dark Crystal||G513||UK||burnt sugar, dark fruit||Dark British and Scottish Ales||160|
|crystal||Simpsons Golden Naked Oats||G514||UK||light caramel, creamy finish||Oatmeal Stout||10|
|crystal||English Medium Crystal||G505||UK||deep caramel, grainy||All British styles||50-60|
|crystal||Weyermann® CaraAmber®||G366||Germany||Full flavor||Alt, stout, bock, porter||27|
|crystal||Weyermann® CaraAroma®||G367||Germany||full flavor, improved aroma||Alt, stout, bock, porter||130|
|crystal||Weyermann® Carafoam®||G360||Germany||delicate maltiness, improved body||pilsner, pale lager||1.8|
|crystal||Weyermann® Carahell®||G361||Germany||full, round malt flavor||Oktoberfest, Maibock, Hefeweizen||11|
|crystal||Weyermann® Caramunich® I||G362||Germany||sweet malty aroma and flavor||Oktoberfest, Altbier, and Bock||34|
|crystal||Weyermann® Caramunich® II||G363||Germany||toasty, sweet malt||Oktoberfest, Altbier, and Bock||46|
|crystal||Weyermann® Caramunich® III||G364||Germany||toasty, intense maltiness||Oktoberfest, Altbier, and Bock||57|
|crystal||Weyermann® CaraRed®||G365||Germany||full body||Scottish ales, bock, altbier||20|
|crystal||Weyermann® Carawheat®||G354||Germany||wheaty, caramel||Dunkelweizen, Hefeweizen||45.5|
|roasted||Belgian Debittered Black||g211||Belgium||mild dark malt flavor, harsh in high quantities||used to add color without roastiness (schwarzbier)||500 – 600|
|roasted||Fawcett Pale Chocolate||G507||UK||mild chocolate/coffee||Mild Ale, stout, porter||180-250|
|roasted||Organic Chocolate||G019||US||roasted coffee, cocoa||British bitters, porter, stout, brown ale||350|
|roasted||English Black Malt||G509||UK||roasty, black||Stout, Porter, Scottish Ales||500-600|
|roasted||English Chocolate||G508||UK||bittersweet chocolate, roasty||Porter, Stout, Brown Ale||375-450|
|roasted||English Roasted Barley||G510||UK||bitter, roasty||Dry Irish Stout||500-600|
|roasted||Weyermann® Chocolate Rye Malt||G359||Germany||roasty, spicy||Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier||188-300|
|roasted||Weyermann® Dehusked Carafa® I||G372||germany||smooth, slight roastyness||bock, doppelbock, alt, schwarzbier||300-375|
|roasted||Weyermann® Dehusked Carafa® II||G373||germany||smooth, slight roastyness||bock, doppelbock, alt, schwarzbier||430|
|roasted||Weyermann® Dehusked Carafa® III||G374||germany||smooth, slight roastyness||bock, doppelbock, alt, schwarzbier||490-560|
|specialty||Belgian Aromatic Malt||g205||Belgium||Rich maltiness||Wide uses in British and Belgian styles||20|
|specialty||Belgian Biscuit Malt||g210||Belgium||biscuity, ‘saltine cracker’ flavor||British and Belgian Pale Ales||25|
|specialty||Briess Cherry-wood Smoked Malt||G030||US||Rich, sweet smokiness||Rauchbier, smoked porter||5|
|specialty||Briess Special Roast||G008||US||toasty, biscuity, sour, tangy||Brown ale, porter, dark ales||50|
|specialty||Briess Victory||G007||US||bread-like, nutty, toasty||Brown ale||28|
|specialty||Crisp Amber||G511||UK||biscuit, coffee||brown ale, red ale||27|
|specialty||Crisp Brown||G512||UK||dark roasted flavor, slight bitterness||brown ale||60-70|
|specialty||Franco-Belges Coffee Kiln||G381||Belgium||coffee||Stout, porter, brown ale, Scottish ale||50-180|
|specialty||British Peated Malt||G515||UK||intense peat smoke character||Scottish ales||2.5|
|specialty||Weyermann® Acidulated||G370||Germany||sour||Berliner Weiss, Kentucky Common||1.8|
|specialty||Weyermann® Melanoidin||G368||germany||intense maltiness||Dark lagers, red ales, Scottish ales, bock, dopplebock||23-31|
|specialty||Weyermann® Smoked Malt||G369||germany||smooth smokeyness||Rauchbier, smoked porter||1.7-2.8|