October 2014

Holy shit, the meeting recaps are back!

Attending – guest/potential new member Kathy T., Chris, Mead, David, Ken, Jeremy G., Matt O., Chad B., Chad U., Mike Z., Tim, Liz, Phil, Al, Nick R., Steve, and Jim

Club Business

1. Freshly elected El Presidente, Nick R., gave a sensational summary of his ‘State of the Club’ survey. To summarize that summary: Active membership is comfortable with increased dues ($30) in order to complete the furnishing of the Club bar and to fund other cool shit, the Club will continue to arrange a few club competitions per year, the majority is in favor of more educational content (El Presidente notes that this will only occur if members volunteer to present and lead discussion on occasion), members would like to see more events (see #3 below), and several noted that they would like more formal feedback on their beers (see #4 below).

2. The Club is forming the Grand Rapids Society of Homebrewers along with Primetime Brewers, Rivertown Homebrewers, Grand Rapids Homebrewers Club, and 616 Brewing Homebrew Club. The goal of this multi-club organization will be to arrange events throughout the year focused on the social and educational aspects of homebrewing. Look for an announcement soon on the first proposed event in early 2015.

3. Including potential GRSOH events, the Club will strive for at least one special event per quarter. Moving forward, the Fall quarter will continue to be covered by the annual Brew and Que and Oktobrewfest, so the focus will be on adding Spring, Summer, and Winter events. Promising ideas mentioned in the survey include: Chili cook-off, summer picnic, Fiesta de Goodyke, imperial beer competition, special/rare bottle shares, Michigan Homebrew Festival, ping pong & bonfire extravaganza, and group brew + chili cook-off + hot tub party. Ken also brought up the possibility of raising funds for charity at an event. If you have additional ideas for consideration, please get in touch with Nick R. at nrodammer@gmail.com (p.s. he also loves cat pictures, memes, gifs (NSFW language) & videos, so feel free to send those as well).

4. Beginning with the November meeting we will attempt more formal/critical feedback for those requesting it on their beers. Prerequisite for this will be to post the style and general notes about your beer to the FB event page for that month (or if you don’t have FB, email to Nick R. and he’ll post). In the event that you forget to post about your beer, at the very least, bring your recipe notes. The more information you can provide, the more meaningful your feedback will be. Depending on demand, brewers may be limited to 1 formal/critical review per month and priority will be given to those that post about their beer prior to the meeting.

5. AVP of Monthly Happy Hour, David, has arranged our first Brewsquitos Social Hour for Wednesday, November 11th from 5:00-7:00PM at Brewery Vivant!

Beer & Mead Sampled

Jim M – Wet Hop/Harvest Ale using homegrown Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial – Juicy citrus-forward hop character with a crisp, dry finish.

Chad B. – Belgian Dubbel using horehound candies in place of more traditional simple sugars.

Jeremy G. – Hoppy Amber Lager (IPL), 6.5%, 74 IBU, Saflager S-23, featuring Huell Melon hops.

A – Good clarity, amber/gold
A – Butterscotch, caramel, buttery, ripe melon
F – Butterscotch & melon, “reminiscent of Founders Das Radikal” -Nick R., crisp, dry
M – Lt/med
O – Hop variety is featured well, seems like diacetyl is present, but possible that the character of Huell Melon affects that perception

Ken – Cream Ale with sourwood honey, 4.9%, 19 IBU, 1 lb. honey malt in mash and 1 lb. sourwood honey in secondary with yeast active.

A – Crystal clear (used gelatin)
A – Nice, slightly floral/sweet honey aroma
F – Floral/sweet honey with light graininess, balanced, dry
M – Soft, light
O – Very clean, balanced session beer, some expected more sweetness from 1 lb. honey malt

Kathy – Cherry Tart Kiss (melomel), original batch placed 2nd in the final round of 2014 NHC for Cat. 25!, uses Grand Traverse sour cherries and cherry concentrate, Kathy recommends a traditional hydrometer over refractometer for gravity readings on meads.

“Damn close to the 1st batch” -Nick R., “A touch too sweet for my taste” -Jeremy G., “I’d like more cherry flavor” -Chad B., “Would backsweeten a little bit less” -Chad U., “I love it! Can I buy a bottle?” -Tim

Matt O. – Bohemian Pilsner, WLP830, triple decoction, lots of EKG hops.

A – Crystal clear
A – “Doesn’t smell like a pils”, fruity, floral/spicy hops
F – Fruity, floral, spicy, crisp
M – Medium
O – Esters and hop character out of style for Bo Pils

Nick R.BrettSaccharomyces “Bruxellensis” Trois IPA, 5.9%, WLP644 (Saccharomyces “Bruxellensis” Trois) (76% apparent attenuation) – starter stepped up over 2 weeks to reach desired cell count, grist included 10% flaked rye, 10% flaked wheat, 6% flaked oats (flaked grains for added mouthfeel, tradeoff is haze), 6 oz total dry hop (3 Nelson Sauvin, 3 Galaxy).

A – Very cloudy, lt. gold color
A – Lots of grapefruit
F – Grapefruit bomb!, lingering bitterness, too bitter for some, not for others
M – Lt/med, slightly astringent (hops)
O – Hops seemed to cover the ester character of the yeast, “I had higher hopes” -Nick R.

David – Foreign Extra Stout (dry export style), grist included 6% black barley and 1.5% UK chocolate.

A – Dark brown/ruby (not quite 30 SRM, BJCP min. for style)
A – Chocolate, coffee
F – Chocolate, coffee, slight roast (several wanted more roast, David said he preferred more subdued roast character), dry
M – Medium (not quite full enough), very smooth
O – Decent example, but several wanted more roast and body

Mike Z. – Pale Ale with spruce tips, used 2.5 qt. tips for 10 gal. and added 15 min from end of boil.

A – Moderate haze, gold color
A – Floral, pine
F – Sweet spruce flavor, some pine but doesn’t overwhelm like other examples
M – Medium
O – Excellent!

Chris – Belgian Dark Strong (intended to be Dubbel, but ended up at 9%), WY3522.

A – Hazy, amber/deep gold
A – Spicy/peppery phenols and fruity esters
F – Slight soapiness, spicy/peppery, candy-like sweetness, tart fruit
M – Full, noticeable alcohol warmth
O – Could be smoother and have a bit more complexity, but otherwise very nice, “Fun!” -Jeremy G., “I like it. It’s got a bite!” – Tim

Tim – Mesquite Smoked Rye featuring Briess mesquite smoked malt, brewed at 2014 New Holland Homebrewer’s United with Chad B. and Chad U.

A – Hazy, gold
A – Subtle smoke
F – Bread, smoke, wood, well balanced
M – Medium
O – Smoke is not overpowering. Not distinctly reminiscent of mesquite, just generic smoke. “Like being hungover around a campfire” -Unknown Author

Nick R. – Table Saison, 4.7%, 1.039 OG, pils DME, oats, and honey at flameout, Calypso hops in kettle and 1.5 oz. dry hop, dry Belle Saison yeast, fermented at 72F for 1 day, 76F for 3, and 80F for 10 days.

A – Good clarity (no finings used), yellow/lt. gold
A – Spicy pepper, fruity/citrus/lemon
F – Lemon & pepper dominate
M – Medium
O – “Sell it!”, “Excellent”, “Winner”, “I could drink the shit out of this” -Kathy
Brewer’s comment – may try Amarillo & Orange Blossom honey next time

Al – Belgian Blonde, 6.5%, brewed large batch portion of which was served at NHC, developed weird waxy looking stuff in carboy but tasted okay, so kegged anyway.

A – Very clear, gold, “This is clear, Nick. Your saison? Eh…” -Chad B.
A – Sweet honey-like
F – Fruity, sweet malt, crisp
M – Medium
O – Perhaps a touch too sweet, however some thought it was well balanced

Mead – Red Ale, used cabernet wine, bourbon, and coffee extract to try to achieve tobacco-like flavor. Unfortunately the beer was infected in the bottle :-(

Phil and Liz – Two variations of Oatmeal Stout, same recipe but one was brewed with no-sparge technique and had dark roasted grains added at start of vorlauf and the other was brewed with typical batch sparge process and dark roasted grains were added at the beginning of the mash, most preferred the no-sparge version although several commented that both versions were not quite roasty enough and needed more body to be good examples of an Oatmeal Stout.