Key points for key pints
Local hops: I’m calling for Magnums from Hop Head Farms in Michigan (available pelletized at shops in the Twin Cities) for the sake of formulating with a known alpha acid content. However, if you have homegrown hops, fire at will! Unless you have a good feel for their bittering potential, it may be advisable to reserve them for late additions and use a store-bought option for the bittering addition.
To the homebrewery
Note: these steps are general guidelines and assume you’re already familiar with the all-grain brewing process. Refer to the instructions for your brew system, and adjust as needed based on experience with your own particular equipment.
1. Make a yeast starter prior to brew day to ensure quick fermentation, good flocculation, and clean flavor.
2. On brew day, collect strike water (I use 1.3 quarts per pound, YMMV) and heat to approximately 165°F.
3. Mill the grains, or have it done for you at the shop.
Mash & sparge
1. Add all grains to strike water and mix to achieve a uniform temperature of 151–153°F. Rest the mash at this temperature for 60–90 minutes.
While the mash rests, collect and heat sparge water.
2. When the mash rest is complete, heat it to 170°F for mashout.
3. Sparge and collect the wort in the boil kettle.
1. Bring the wort to a boil and apply sunblock to your feet prior to donning Tevas. Add 0.5 ounces Magnum hops when the wort begins to boil, and boil for 60 minutes.
2. Add 0.25 ounces of Magnum hops 20 minutes before the end of the boil.
3. Add the final 0.25 ounces of Magnum hops 10 minutes before the end of the boil.
4. Cool it!
Fermentation and beyond
1. Transfer the cooled wort to a sanitized fermenter, aerate well, and pitch yeast.
2. Aim for a fermentation temperature of 60–64°F. When fermentation activity ceases and gravity is stable, allow a couple extra days for the yeast to settle, and then proceed with packaging.
3. Our Minnesota Common will drink well while fresh and should be thoroughly savored for the brief time it lasts, just like summer.
Until next time: Drink it like you brewed it.
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