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Huzzah!  Welcome to the 6th Annual Byggvir's Big Beer Cup at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival!
Entries showcasing historic, English, and European styles are being accepted from Friday, July 20th through Sunday, August 13th.  You can drop your entries off at five Minnesota brew shops: Northern Brewer (Minneapolis & St. Paul), Midwest Supplies (St. Louis Park), Still H20 (Stillwater), and Brew & Grow (Blaine).  $6/entry.
Judges and stewards of all skill levels are encouraged to sign up to help out.  Judging will be on-site at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th.
Last year, we had over 150 entries, with pairs of hand-made drinking vessels, gift certificates, and other fantastic prizes from our sponsors given out.

We at Byggvir's Big Beer Cup are very excited to announce that Mike Hoops from Minneapolis Town Hall has been generous enough to offer to brew the best beer of Byggvir's at Town Hall Brewery! 

Rules for this prize:

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery reserves the right to select "Brewers Choice" from the Best of Show round of judging. Brewers Choice may or may not be the Best of Show Winner. No meads, ciders, or sour beers will be considered.
Brewers Choice will be brewed at Town Hall Brewery within the next calendar year. It will be served on tap at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery the following August.
The award winning brewer is welcome and encouraged to join the brew session with Head Brewer Mike Hoops at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery at his/her own expense.
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery plans to enter the beer in the GABF PRO-AM Competition. Town Hall Brewery will pay the entry fee and provide 2 Passes to the GABF. The winning brewer will be responsible for travel expenses to Denver (airfare, hotel, food, etc.)
See rules for GABF Pro Am at

Check out our website for more information:
Gera Exire LaTour & Eric Wentling
Co-Organizers, Byggvir's Big Beer Cup

Hey AHA folks,
My old highschool friends have put together a fun web-show about the search for those ultra-rare beers, called Limited Release.  The first show is up now and focuses on Kate The Great; with Dark Lord and Darkness Days to follow.
If you like the show tell your friends about it.

Hark fellow homebrewers!
The 2011 Byggvir's Big Beer Cup online registration is now open and ready for a massive influx of entries!  Registration deadline is coming quick: September 12th.  Check out our website to get information and to register your entries:

This is a limited category competition, so check the accepted categories on the website.  We are looking for styles from the British Isles, Belgium, Germany, etc.  We also love meads and ciders!  There is a special category and $50 gift certificate prize for Historic beers: so put one of them in!  If you have questions about whether an entry will fit--shoot me an e-mail from the website.  This is our fifth year and we want to see a lot of entries this year!  And no, you do not need to be from Minnesota to enter, we want some national entries too.
Drop off and mailing sites are at Northern Brewer (St. Paul, MN,) Midwest Homebrew Supplies (St. Louis Park, MN,) and StillH20 (Stillwater, MN.)  This competiton requires 2 brown unlabeled bottles of 12-16 oz.  Print out labels with your entries online and affix with a rubber band to each bottle.  Payment online via Paypal is recommended.
We also need help with judging and stewarding!  If you can help out, please fill out the volunteer section on the website.  We will be judging Saturday Sept 24 and Sunday Sept 25 at the MN Renaissance Festival grounds.  Volunteering ahead of time will get you free entry to the Festival and a sweet shirt.  You may come in costume if you have one, otherwise you need to wear your (Free!) shirt during judging.  There will be some Hariet Brewing beers on tap as well as some homebrews, but lunch is not provided (get yourself a turkey leg!)  There are several great prizes for entrants and for volunteers thanks to our wonderful sponsors.  
This year Jack Of All Brews and the Minnesota Homebrewer's Association are bringing the fun, and want to see you there.  Get registered and we'll see you at the Festival!  Friend us on Facebook too for more pictures and updates.  

Byggvir and his Merry Knaves of Grain

Kegging and Bottling / Storing bottles on their sides
« on: February 03, 2011, 05:31:12 PM »
Hey folks,

I'm having my basement finished, and have included a large built-in wine rack.  I actually have more 22 oz bottles of beer than I do wine, and was wondering if it is ok to store them on their sides.  I've heard talk of increased oxidation, and sediment problems...anyone have any experience with this?

All Grain Brewing / Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
« on: September 22, 2010, 06:50:54 PM »
Looking for advice here!  I have a Morebeer 1550 brew sculpture and have yet to do a step mash with it.  I would like to attempt with my next brew (a dark Belgian Strong ale.)  I'm using a base of bohemian pilsner malt with several specialty malts and a bit of dark candi syrup.  Any thoughts on a good mash schedule for this one?

General Homebrew Discussion / Effect of bagging your hops in the boil...
« on: September 22, 2010, 04:43:42 PM »
Hey all,

I have a boil kettle without any sort of false bottom or screen to the out spigot.  I use a Therminator wort chiller and want to keep the chunkies out of the chiller.  I have been using a large nylon bag to put my hops in over the last year or so.  This seems to work, but I am wondering if this is affecting my process at all.  Do I need to change my alpha acid numbers to account for the bag?  Also when I add Whirlfloc or Irish Moss to the last 15 minutes of the boil, I get a coating on the bag...will this affect my aroma hop additions?

Thanks for your input!

--Eric Wentling

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