A swarm of Brewsquitos made their way down to Caledonia for the September club meeting at the exquisite home of Ken & Bri. Attending were Nick R., Matt T., Ken, Bri, Matt O., Phil, Al, Chad B., and guest from Third Coast Design Works, Casey.
We started the night with the announcement of results from our recent board member election. Thank you to everyone that took the time to nominate and vote. Having solid leadership will be key to our successful participation in the 2014 National Homebrewer’s Conference and also toward the continuous improvement of our club. The races for both Vice President and Secretreasurer were both very close. In fact, voting for VP was so close, that I proposed creating a fourth board position to be filled by the runner-up. This was unanimously accepted. So, without further delay, here is the 2013-2014 board:
President – Phil
Vice President – Nick R.
Secretreasurer – John
All Around Badass – Al
Nominations for the 2014-2015 board will begin in August of next year, with the elections to be held again in September.
Next up on the night, our guest, Casey gave a brief presentation of his Clean Bottle Express™ product line geared toward homebrewers and winemakers. All of his products are “designed to fit into any standard cordless drill with 1000 rpm motor.” This includes the carboy brush, wine/beer bottle brush, and wort aerator/wine degasser. Please contact Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org with any product inquiries.
We had some brief discussions regarding our club booth design, serving method(s), etc. for Club Night at 2014 NHC. No firm plans are in the works yet, but we will begin forming project teams for that soon. If you are unable to make meetings in the next few months, but are interested in joining one of the project teams, please contact me by any means (ex: email, FB, phone, smoke signal, singing telegram, cans on a string, rock with a letter through my window, skywriting, billboard, urinating in my lawn once in snows).
Once again on the topic of NHC, here’s the monthly plug for AHA memberships: If you plan to purchase an AHA membership, please use the click-through banner on our page here: https://brewsquitos.wordpress.com/aha-membership/. The club will be reimbursed $5 for every 1 year, $6 for every 2 year, and $7 for every 3 year membership purchased through the link.
On to the fun stuff, here are the beers we sampled this month:
Nick R. – Oktoberfest (aka “Rodtoberfest”) – Excellent example of the style! However, Nick felt it was slightly too bitter and plans to bring it down a couple IBU next year. The grain bill was mostly Dark Munich & Vienna malt with 3% Caramunich III. Fermented with WLP833 – German Bock.
Matt T. – Oktoberfest (recipe from Brewing Classic Styles – closer to what most breweries in America are making rather than EU) & Classic American Pils (CAP) – Both very nice beers!
Bri & Ken – Pear Saison – Although they used 9 lbs. of pears, it was tough to pick out the flavor if you didn’t know it was there. They felt that perhaps pre-cooking the pears may have reduced some of the flavor.
Steve – Mocktoberfest – Fermented with an ale yeast (US-05). Despite finishing at 1.012, a point lower than Nick’s, it was not nearly as crisp and dry. Like Matt T.’s, Steve’s was close to the Brewing Classic Styles Oktoberfest recipe, but with a bit of honey malt added.
Matt O. – Saison – Grain bill was Pilsner malt, Wheat, Biscuit malt, and Special B. Fermented with T-58 dry Belgian yeast. While tasty, this beer didn’t finish quite dry enough for a saison and the Special B flavor was a bit too prominent.
Phil – Barrel Aged Stout (aka “Bottom of the Barrel Aged”) – Aged in a Balcones Blue Corn Whiskey barrel. This beer has an interesting whiskey character that is quite different from the typical bourbon barrel aged beers.
Al – Belgian IPA – Bursting with Galaxy & Citra hop flavor. The Belgian yeast in this beer complemented the hop flavor, rather than competing with it, a feat that several commercial examples fail to accomplish. Another top notch beer by Al…he doesn’t miss very often.
Chad – Sweet Potato Ale – Three pounds of sweet potatoes were roasted in the oven at 200 deg. for about 30 minutes and then added for the mash. Fantastic fall beer with balanced spice flavors, and nothing too over-the-top, very nice! Hopefully this will earn Chad a good score at the O’Connor’s Homebrew Competition. He also shared a Scottish 80/- that was this.
Nick R. – Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel, Ayinger Oktober Fest/Marzen, and Köstritzer Schwarzbier
Bri & Ken – Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager
Matt T. – Surly Bender & Furious. Delicious beers that will hopefully come to Michigan some day.
Coming up in October there is a cool event at Riverside Park on Thursday, October 17th, starting at 5pm. The Brewer’s Grove Project will be planting trees earlier in the day, followed by a Party in the Park, which includes (BYOB) beer sampling, food truck, meetup with GR area brewers, and finishes with the Grand Rapids premier of the Michigan Beer Film on a large outdoor screen.
We will attempt to keep regular club events on the schedule to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate. In addition to the events, we’ll also be starting monthly casual meetups. We’ll rotate around at the multitude of fantastic GR area pubs. Look for new events and casual meetup dates to be added to our Events page soon!
Our October club meeting will be held on Thursday the 24th at 6:30pm at Tim G’s house. Monthly beer styles are Old Ale, English Barleywine, and American Barleywine, but as always, please bring any homebrewed beers that you would like feedback on or any commercial beers within the monthly styles (exceptions made if you have something special to share ;-)).
Lastly, a quick reminder that if you picked up wort for the Bell’s Homebrew Competition, bottles must be submitted to the Bell’s General Store by 10/26 at 9:00pm. I’ll send an email soon to arrange for a courier if anyone is unable to make it down there by that date.