December 2014 BIER Meeting

December 10, 2014

December is full of holiday parties, and 23 of us had our annual “Christmas BIER Dinner” at Brothers 2,. They have a great full Italian menu, so we really enjoyed dinner, along with some great draught Craft Beers.  

aha_logo.pngPresent were:

Dave King (1) ......... Ed & Mo Miner …......... Dan Homa …... Adam Hawley .....Chris Hritcko .....Chris Cyr

Ike Yochelson ......... Joan & Dave King (2).......Jim Parks......... Fil Fata…............. Jeff Poltz ........... Don Petcosky

Dennis Lovelock ..... Carol Dannenhoffer .........Donna & Bernie Kordula.............. James Dunn........  Jason Fletcher

Josh Sember .............Tia ....Nick Martinson .... Kristen Lyons 

We discussed:

According to Adam, Rich will have our hops from our Hop Heaven order at the next meeting.  Thanks for leading that for us, Rich.  

The 2015 AHA National Homebrewers Conference is June 11-13 in San Diego.  I won’t miss it, hope you can join me.  We served a few fine beers at Club Night in Grand Rapids this year, can’t see shipping them cross country, but the CA folks will provide lots of good brews.  It’s the best beer event of the year.    

Jim Parks told us about his marinade, formulated with his Imperial Stout and vinegar, sort of like Balsamic vinegar, sounds great.  Jim brought a bottle of his dinner wine, a 2012 Concord and Elderberry blend.  The non-beer drinking ladies really appreciated this, thanks, Jim!

Nick described his fermentation control system, based on the STC-1000 thermostat.  Don has a similar system.  Kristen says they have an industrial strength version at Binghamton Brewing.  I bought the controller ($18 from Amazon), and need to wire it up, and add the heating source and insulation, so I can control a 2nd ferment. 

Our annual BYO mag. subscriptions are available.  We get a ½ price deal, so for $16.50, you can get the 8 hard copy and 8 on-line editions.  As of this writing, we have 13 takers, soon to be mailed in. 

Dennis Lovelock got his Masters Degree, congratulations!

Kristen spoke to us about getting more local community involvement in Binghamton Brewing.  They’ve been open for about 4 months, with a 3 barrel electric system and 4 temperature controlled rooms, a beautiful tap room, doing well, follow them on Facebook.  They’re going to have Tuesday night Homebrew nights, starting with the 1st one on  Jan. 6.  Bring your Homebrew sample, take a tour, talk Homebrew over some of their fine brew.  Let’s take over the place on the 6th! 

Homebrew Samples

Dennis – Belgian Triple,  1.076, aged on Cabernet Franc grapes & juice.  Wonderful grape flavor. 

Adam – Session Pale Ale, an easy drinker at 4.7% ABV, great C hop nose, with lots of Cascade and Columbus late hops.  

Josh – Session Pale Ale, his 1st all-grain, 1.034 fermented down to 1.008, light, but very flavorful, with Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops.  About 50 to 70% malt extract efficiency, mash tun needs a false bottom or manifold.  A fine, very drinkable session ale.  Excellent start, Josh.      

Ike – 80 Shilling Scottish Ale, 4.7% ABV, nice malty flavor.

Dave King (1)Private Rye,  a Rye Brown Ale, Northern Brewer kit, 1.054 to 1.018, dried out nicely, very tasty.  Bottled 4 mo. ago, holding up well, shows good sanitation and low oxidation.  Glad to see you’re brewing again, with your busy schedule. 

Adam – Pumpkin Ale, spicy nose, 3 gallon batch, made on the stove, and bottle conditioned.  Canned pumpkin, roasted and put in the brew pot, near the end of the boil.  Nice and dry.

Bernie – Pumpkin Ale.  This and the next were poured, for our blind tasting, to see if we could tell the difference.  Both started life as brown ale extract recipes, with Nottingham yeast, about 4.9 % ABV.  This one was done with a fresh pumpkin, cut into wedges, roasted with brown sugar, put in a bag and into the boil.  Spices were separately measured out, the same for both.

Bernie – Pumpkin Ale  This one was canned pumpkin, spread out on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with brown sugar, roasted, put in a bag, and into the boil.  They were both very good, and this one was favored a bit more, for some of us, but for most of us, there was no difference.  So, it seems like you might as well use canned pumpkin.  

Dave King (2) – Chocolate Imperial Stout, 9.1% ABV, 1 lb. cocoa powder for this 12 gallon batch, toasted rolled oats, lots of crystal, chocolate, and roasted malts.  Water adjustments were minimal, for Endicott water, but a few % Acidulated malt would have helped, since apparently, the dark malts didn’t add as much acid as expected.  Mash pH was 5.5, close, but a bit high.  Some like it as is, others would like to add Lactose, some would like it more roasty, more bitter, etc.  Imperial Stouts have a big range in parameters.  Overall, it was well received.     

Josh – Porter, Zach (North Brewing) recipe.  Northern Brewer hops, 153°F mash, US-04 English yeast, 1.062 to 1.016,  good attenuation, low CO2, but good, dark flavor.  You’re making great head way. 

Nick – Porter, another fine effort. A little lighter, sweeter than Josh’s version. 

Jeff – Porter, a Robust version, brewed with Jim & Rich, 4 times frozen and poured off.  Heavy, big HOOCH

Kristen – Belgian Dark Strong, 10% ABV, with dark Belgian candi sugar.  Tasty!

Jeff – Pepper Ale, 5 roasted Jalapeño peppers, etc.  Left for 3 days, tasty, but too intense for some of us. 

Chris Hritcko – Mountain Lager, from Appalachian Brewery, ~5% ABV.  After the last brews, not very exciting.  Interesting commercial brew, but not much in the company of our Homebrews. 

Southern-Tier-Imperial-Rum-Barrel-Aged-Pumking-960x503.jpgDennis – Flanders Red Ale, an interesting sour.  Dennis is really getting into rare territory here.  Made with corn, Pilsner malt, yeast from the dregs of several sours, it’s been 2 years in the making.  I guess you have to be into these.

 Dave King (2) – Judy’s Brown Ale.  This is a double batch, and afterward, it’s been learned that the wimpy Endicott natural gas supply can’t provide a decent hard, rolling boil, so hop utilization is poor, leaving this normally somewhat sweet Brown Ale, even more so.  Also, Judy found she has an allergic reaction to this batch, likely from the unusual use of a British Ale yeast.  A new batch is in the fermenter, with the usual Chico yeast, so time will tell.

Fil – Rum Barrel Aged Pumking, Southern Tier’s famous pumpkin ale, aged in rum barrels.  10.7% ABV, light malt flavor, on the sweet side, big alcohol flavor, very good, but too bad we waited so long to try it, late in our evening.

Jim Parks – Cizer, with Cornell honey & apples, semi-sweet, great apple flavor.  14.7% ABV  A wicked 1st try, great stuff, Jim.

Ed – Clown Shoes I2PA, intense!  A truly fine hop aroma.

Great ending to a great year

Thanks to Fil, for a great 2014 at Brothers 2.  Hoppy New Year. See you next meeting, January 14th, back to our normal 7:30 meeting time.

       Dave King (2)