Beer Quotes & Wisdom

You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline-it

helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear

weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. -- Frank Zappa

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Feb. '10 Meeting

15 people showed up for this month's meeting.  Including a few new faces making their first appearance.  Vince and Brad came from Frankfort, looking to get the kettle boiling again after a few years of inactivity.  Ron is looking to get back to brewing now that his arm has healed.

A few facts about this blog.  In the last month there where 500 visits with 178 new visitors finding us for the first time.  We seem to be garnering interest worldwide as we had 9 visits from Israel and 8 each from the UK & Canada.  Back home, outside of Indiana, we've seen the most activity from New York with 10 visits, and 8 each from California, Texas & Virginia.

After a brief run around the table telling what each of us has been up to, we got down to the business of the bourbon barrel project.  We have the barrel safely stored in Brent's basement awaiting a stand to support it and a batch of beer to fill it.

After an exlploratory beer & bourbon sampling gathering at Tom F"s house, it was decided that an American Stout will do the job nicely.  It should be fairly bitter to cut the sweetness of the bourbon, but light on the aromatics to allow the bourbon to come through.   Tom workied up a grain bill for the 63 gallon batch to fill the barrrel and still have some left over to save as a control if any adjustments may be needed to adjust the bourbon influence.  The recipe is on the message board under HCH Future/Bourbon Barrel Specifics/p.3

The brew day was set for March 13th.  The individually brewed batches will be combined into as few fermenters as possible to cut down the risk of contamination from any single batch.  At the end of fermentation, the keg will be filled.  There is still some technical details that need to be worked out, such as how will we know when its ready.  Or better yet, how will we know IF its ready.  How will we check on it without constantly introducing air into the barrel?

Jon T. showed a lot of interest in these types of questions as he just procurred a keg of his own for the Half Moon and is getting ready to do his first barrel conditioned beer as well.

By this time we were all getting thirsty and it was time to start passing around some beers.  Larry started the evening off with his triple threat of experimental lagers.  The first was a plain American Lite that served as the basis for the next two.  A lime flavored lager and the dreaded olive lager complete with freshly added olives in the bottle to show off the beer lava lamp effect.

To continue with the lager theme, Tom had a Helles and Larry followed with a doppelbock.  Then in no particular order, we had Tom's weizenbock, Brent's IPA, Mike & Jason's hefeweizen,  Jon S's pale ale and Dr. Craig's pale ale.  A brown,  a porter and a steam ale appeared from somewhere, then Cary unloaded his arsonal,  Big Bang, Disco Here & Red Ho.

The discussion then turned to the prospect of getting a very large steam-jacketed brewkettle for the club.  The logistics would need to be worked out on this.  Like of the possible places to keep it, could it fit through any doorways and is there enough power in a home electrical system to operate it?

The March meeting is going to be the IPA competition.  Unmarked bottles will be set up on several tables to allow everyone to try, and determine their favorite.  The IPA with the the most votes will get a paid entry to the National Homebrew Competition.

1 comment:

  1. on the steam kettle idea - does anyone know an owner of one of the various storage/mini warehouses that would be interested in maybe trading some club beer for free/discounted rental of a storage space? I saw an article in one of the brew mags about a Brew-on-Premise operation in Oregon that uses a storage unit. all it took was a couple benches and cookers and they were set up. Seeing no fermentation would be happening there, temps would not be a prob.Just something to think about.


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