Author Topic: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!  (Read 11473 times)

Offline Wildrover

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Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« on: August 29, 2009, 12:42:06 PM »
I've left my Florida digs for the opposite of extremes (Had to do with being warm and poor or cold and not so poor).  Anyway, we are now living in Grand Forks ND which is slightly less than an hour north of Fargo.  I haven't made any beer yet but this has more to do with not getting my first paycheck until the 15th of September (Yikes!).  In the meantime I'm trying to figure out where and how to get my stuff.  There is a small health food store here in town called amazing grains that has a very limited supply of home brew ingredients and supplies.  Not a lot but there is enough to make a beer.  I looked on the web and found a store in Morrhead MN (basically a small suburb of Fargo) call Country Cannery

http://www.countrycannery.com/

I've called several times but have yet to get an answer and that site has been under re-construction for a long time now so I'm fearing the worst.  Does anyone know anything about this store?

Also, should this not be the best place to get stuff or if its simply out of business can anyone recommend a good internet outlet.  I'm thinking northern brewer, given that they are only around 4 hrs away (thinking shipping is quick?) but I've never sourced ingredients from the internet before so I'm not really sure of what to expect or the best way to do it (e.g. by bulk, or one batch at a time etc.? maybe certain things in bulk and other things like yeast on an as needed basis?)

Also, any insight into cold weather home brewing would be helpful.  I know nothing about it having lived in Florida my whole home brewing life.  My wife has allowed me to dedicate an entire unfinished room downstairs in our new home to nothing but homebrewing so this should be fun!
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 01:50:57 PM by Wildrover »

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2009, 04:01:37 PM »
.....can anyone recommend a good internet outlet.  I'm thinking northern brewer, given that they are only around 4 hrs away (thinking shipping is quick?) but I've never sourced ingredients from the internet before so I'm not really sure of what to expect or the best way to do it (e.g. by bulk, or one batch at a time etc.? maybe certain things in bulk and other things like yeast on an as needed basis?)

I like NB and Austin Home Brew for their flat-rate shpg and selection, including equipment, but they are higher to make up the shpg.  Austin is having their 50-State promo again, BTW.  Midwest Supplies is cheaper on the goods, but the shpg piled up to reach me, but you're much closer.  Midwest also has their 10# bags discounted.

I generally keep a 1# bag of the specialty grains I like, and then buy the bases in 10# bags. 

Offline tommiwommi

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 03:13:42 PM »
Congrats on the move, I bet the countryside is awesome out there.  We almost have our new home (fingers crossed, all 20 of them, lol)

Offline Peter McQuillen

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 05:51:05 PM »
After you have lived in North Dakota for awhile, you HAVE to rent the movie "Fargo".  They really nail the accents and mannerisms of Dakota/Minnesota!


Offline Wildrover

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 09:14:42 AM »
tommiwommi

thanks for the congrats the country side is nice but its really really flat.  A lot of farming and you can see forever!! big difference from Florida to be sure.  Having said that, I would say as far as nice country side goes South Dakota was a lot better than North Dakota.  We drove through there to get here and it reminded me of that windows screen saver from a few ago with the green grass on the rolling hills.  It was nice. 

As far as Fargo goes, I've seen the movie many times.  Its a great movie and in my opinion it does capture the sentiments of the people in the northern plains.  I have to say that even though I've only been here about a month now my feeling is that the people here are about million times nicer and overall more welcoming than the people in Florida ever were.  "Cold country, warm people" right? 

Having said that, the one that will raise their ire is mentioning the movie Fargo.  Eyes do roll when someone mentions that movie, and now that I've been here for a little while I can see why.  First, that movie is actually set in Minnesota, aside from the opening credits none of it takes part in North Dakota, why the directors decided to call it Fargo and Brainard (where the movie is set) is beyond me. 

Also, the people here don't talk like that.  I'll concede, there are some that have the Midwest accent where they do something with their O's and A's, I can't figure it out exactly, but it is here but only slightly and I would say in a relatively smaller percentage of the population (40% maybe)

Having said all that, so far its been a nice trip but I might be thinking differently in a few months, we'll see!

Offline Peter McQuillen

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2009, 10:12:56 AM »
It's almost a Canadian accent.  But you are right, with the advent of television, radio, movies, etc., a lot of the local accents are much less noticeable than they were years ago.

Silk long johns - that's the key to learning to live with cold weather.  They won't cook you when you are inside and they are wonderful when you are outside.

And the people are much nicer.  I think it has to do with population density.  the fewer people per square mile, the nicer they act.

Went to my first Beer Club meeting last night and won 4 oz of fresh Cascade hops in the raffle.  Think I will do a Pale Ale this weekend and use fresh hops for the very first time.  Wish me luck!

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 09:04:33 AM »
Peter

where exactly are you at?  Another NoDak resident?  I'd be interested in learning about how active the homebrew scene is here in the great state of North Dakota?

Offline Peter McQuillen

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 10:13:22 AM »
Sorry, I am in Northern California.  I used to live in Wisconsin and have spent time in Minnesota, etc.  But I am sure that there is a lot of brewing going on in NoDak. 

Best of luck in your new adventure!

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2009, 09:17:20 AM »
I'd be interested in learning about how active the homebrew scene is here in the great state of North Dakota?

I wouldn't be surprised if all 17 of you brew.  That's a long winter, eh?

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2009, 12:07:15 PM »
Well, there is n homebrew store but for a town of 70k that's to be expected.  Grand Forks is a nice little town though and there is a store where you can buy homebrew ingredients and some equipment.  Its just not a homebrew store, its more of a health food store but they have enough to get by in pinch should you need it.

My reading tells me there is a club in Fargo but thats 70 miles away and its seems like a bit of a drive just to meet in a club but there are those in this state that do it.

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 05:31:25 AM »
I was corresponding with a guy way up in ND or Minn on tastybrew "CLB" (steve) I think. Brilliant brewer, works in 28 gallon batches.  I think he also works by the pallet load, but still maybe a resource.  As you can imagine, his concerns are based on actually achieving boil when it gets real cold up there.

I don't think SWMBO could do rural.  I know I could.  But I grew up in a town of 400.   
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline t2000kw

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 03:03:23 PM »
Once you've got your paychecks coming in, why not mail order your brewing ingredients and save a trip? There are plenty of good place to buy from. Two that I use are:

Alternative Beverage
http://www.ebrew.com/
http://www.ebrew.com/company/catalog.htm#welcome

and E C Kraus
http://www.eckraus.com/
(I use this last one mainly for winemaking ingredients but sometimes also for brewing supplies)

Alternative Beverage has great recipe packages if you don't mind someone putting them together for you. The results are great. And they even have all-grain recipe packages if you want to brew all-grain beers.

I'm sure that there are plenty of others out there, and I've ordered from others. Locally for me, I have two choices. I can drive 1 hour to Columbus, OH, and go to the Winemaker's Shop, or drive 2 hours to Cincinnati and go to Listermann Supply (also available through mail order). Listermann's has a great selection, the best I've seen in a shop, both for winemaking and beermaking. www.listermann.com

Northern Brewer and Austin Homebrew are both well reported on and have decent prices. Your choice may have more to do with shipping costs than anything else.

If you get into all-grain brewing, find yourself a good shop in a big city that you visit a few times a year and get a large sack of base grain (or a couple different types if you wish) and whatever specialty grains you will need to make the brew(s) you like. Then you can store them in a container to keep the mice out and you will have your own storehouse of supplies. That's what I've done. I mail order some extract kits from time to time and make some all grain brews when I have the time available.

Donald

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Well I made it, all the way to North Dakota!
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2009, 10:19:33 PM »
Donald,

Thanks for the reply, I took much of your advice.  I've been buying from Midwest brewing supplies, they are in the same town as Northern Brewer but their prices are a little cheaper I think.  I ordered enough stuff for my next three brews so that worked out well too.  I did buy the ingredients for one batch from the local health food store (small homebrew area) that was more to support them in their efforts than anything.  My guess is they don't sell much so I want them to stay interested so I'll buy from there every so often.  They have what you need to make some basic beers though the selection is very very limited. 

thanks again

WR