October 2014 BIER Meeting

October 8, 2014


16 of us met for a Fall celebration of Homebrewing, in the midst of a big festival season.



            Jason Fletcher             Ed Miner                     Rich Andel                  Dave King                    

            Adam Hawley             Roger Haggett            Chris Given                 Chris Hritcko                         

            Bernie Kordula           Donna Kordula           Bob Ciesla                   James Dunn                  

            Fil Fata                        Dan Homa                   Isaac Yochelson          Josh Sember




We discussed our recent festivals, The Madison County Hop Fest went well, considering the wet, cold weather.  Dave Katleski, Founder and Owner of Empire Brewing in Syracuse, spoke with Rich Andel and me, and is interested in attending a BIER meeting, maybe in Dec.  He has been a big player in Craft Beer in NY State, and is the current President of the NY State Brewers Association, and a big supporter of Homebrewing, so don’t miss his talk.  More on that when a date image002.jpgis set. 


The Binghamton Brew Fest was well attended, with about 1300 folks enjoying many brews, including many from all our local breweries.  Many of our members poured samples.  Good chance there’ll be a change in venue for next year, due to the food issue, where the Arena’s usual food vendor gets 20% of anyone else’s food that’s served in the Arena, so there was very little food this year.  Parlor City Brew Fest was a small event, but was fun, and had all the local brewers represented, as well as most of the local politicians. 


Sudsy Brews and Fiery Foods will have been coming in a few days.  Report on that next month.  A Finger Lakes beer bus trip, planned for Nov. 15 was in the works, and by this writing, it was cancelled, attracting only 10 people, for a 30 passenger bus.  The 1st day of Deer Season was a big conflict. 


Rich mentioned that Jeff Poltz had his 2nd hip surgery, and we all hope he’s doing well.  He’s had some really tough going for many months.  We all wish him well, and hope he’s much better and back to brewing soon.


Josh was thinking about getting a nice big brew kettle, and wondered about drilling a hole for a drain valve.  We assured him it could be done with the right drill. 


Bernie and Donna contributed good snacks, popcorn, etc.  Thanks!


Our Beers;    


Adam – Blueberry Cider, made with grocery store apple juice, brown sugar and US-05 yeast.  The blueberries went in a couple weeks later.  Well done, nice blueberry nose and flavor.  Roger mentioned that he uses wine yeast in his Cider.


Chris Given  Hefeweizen,  an extract beer with oranges and their zest, recipe from Popular Mechanics.  It’s Sam Calagione’s Blood Orange Hefeweizen recipe, but Wegmans didn’t have blood oranges, so navels were used.  The orange flavor was really nice. 


Josh – Nut Brown, a Northern Brewer kit, all-grain, mashed at 160°F, O.G. = 1.042, stalled at 1.020, but some added Amylase enzyme drove it down to 1.016.  Low ABC, but has a good “brown” flavor.  BTW, Doc’s has a good selection of kits and ingredients.        


James Dunn – American Amber Ale, Hoppy, bitter, great hop nose.  Well done, for us hop heads, very nice hop & malt flavor balance.  Shows well adjusted water chemistry.  James noticed his Cream Ale was astringent, found too much bicarbonate in his well water, as Don Petcosky noticed, as well.  Don uses 50% distilled water, big help.  This lead to another lengthy water chemistry discussion, an important area for improvement for many of us. 


Dave King (2) –  Red Rye Ale, with Marty’s fine NY State 2 Row Malt, plus 20% Rye, 3% Acidulated Malt and some Gypsum, for a mash pH of 5.1.  2 oz. Citra dry hop in 4.5 gal. keg is getting a little weak, about 3 weeks old.    

Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale.jpg

Adam – Little SumpinSumpin Clone, well done, wheat based IPA.  Adam’s got this one. 


Rich – Heady Topper Clone, a 10 gal. test batch, with hop extract, but without dry hops.  Good brew, with a good hop flavor, but without hop aroma, it’s hard to judge.      


Isaac  Russian Imperial Stout, Brewer’s Best kit, nice job, dried out well, but not roasty enough, which is most likely due to the kit recipe.  


Josh – Dead Ringer IPA Clone, 2nd runnings from the Northern Brewer all-grain kit, with sugar added to take it from 1.010 to 1.051, dried out to 0.998, not much flavor, as expected.  Too bad we tried this so late in the flight.  


Commercial Beers;    


Bob –  Saranac Caramel Porter, nice slightly sweet porter. 


Bernie & Donna – Ithaca Green Trail Session IPA, an OK beer for hop heads planning to have more than a couple, not exciting.  So many breweries are doing these now.


Chris Hritcko – Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen, cloudy, yeasty wheat beer, a classic example.  But you have to develop the taste.


Ed – Undead Party Crasher, Imperial Stout from Clown Shoes.  This chocolaty semi-sweet beer is not the kind you could drink a lot of, but it’s interesting.  Ed brought this back from his Daughter’s recent Boston wedding.  


Ed – Pecan Pie Porter, Another dark, heavy offering from Clown Shoes.  This also came from the wedding.  I see it’s out of production, just as well.


Wine Time;


RogerNebbiolo, intense dark, dry red, with a bit of tartness in the nose.   


DanMead, off-the-shelf honey, boiled for 3 hrs., to concentrate and caramelize it, really worked to leave it sweet, made with wine yeast. 


Josh – Banana Wine, probably the same as we enjoyed at our May meeting, strange, but interesting, and actually very drinkable.  Made with 14 lb. of bananas & some sugar for a 5 gal. batch.  EC1118 Champagne yeast finished it nicely.

Fun night, for the 16 of us.  We need a secretary, to record and make these more flowery, interested in the job?  I'll double the current salary!   See you in November, on the 12th. 

     Dave King (2)