High Plains Draughters February 1996

ILast Meeting
IINext Meeting
IIIHail to Ale Club-Only Competition
IVWinner's Circle
VUltimate Alt Club-Only Competition
VIBrewpub Notes
VIIAffiliation of the High Plains Draughters
IIXNew At The Brewshops

I. Last Meeting

January's meeting featured an excellent program on Bock beers by Mike Bovee and Steve Law. Excellent style, technical and historical information was abundant and the handout was one to be filed for reference. If you didn't get one, ask Steve, he may have some stashed away. Attendance at the meeting was outstanding, because if you didn't get there early, you were out standing in the backyard. Lots of new faces brought lots of very good new brews, so we must be doing something right. The evening ended with a paean to puffery as we gathered around the patio fire to enjoy fine handmade cigars. Thanks to Joe for allowing us to totally deplete his humidor.

Back to the Table of Contents

II. Next Meeting

For our February meeting, we'll be taking advantage of the generosity of the Belle Isle Brewery and its brewmaster, Jack Sparks. Jack has graciously allowed us the use of the Brewery's banquet room for our club meetings!! The first meeting in our new home will be held on Friday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m. It will feature a program led by masterbrewer Jack Sparks (and possible other guest pub brewmasters) on Altbier and Kolsh. Our Ultimate Alt club competition deadline is March 8th, so we can all learn what we did wrong just before our beers are judged (Entries for the Alt competition will be accepted on the 23rd, so bring em if you got em.) Bring your best brews and some party chow to the Belle Isle Brewery Banquet room, located on the third floor of 50 Penn Place (located just east of the intersection of the NW Expressway and Pennsylvania, to the south of Penn Square Mall.) Use the mall's north entrance, take the elevator or stairs to the floor marked R3 and head north to the Banquet room. We'll try to have some signs out directing you, or just ask someone in the Brewery if you get totally lost. (Note: Our March meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 22nd, so mark your calendar.)

Back to the Table of Contents

III. Hail to Ale Club-Only Competition

Some 14 brewers entered the club's Hail to Ale competition that was judged on January 17th. All categories were represented and some very fine beers crossed the judge's palates. The winners were:

First PlaceJoseph H. Bocock
Second PlaceBurt M. Renard
Third PlaceStan Babb

Congratulations to the winners. The first place brew, a classic English pale ale, was sent to New York for the National AHA Club-Only Competition. Awards will be presented at the February meeting and judging sheets for all entries can be picked up there as well. In case you were wondering, Drew Webb (winner of ALL previous pale ale competitions) did not win again this year only because he did not field an entry.

As a side note, there have been some minor changes in the deadline dates and a groundswell for exact descriptions of the subcategories for each competition. Attached with this newsletter is a handy calendar, the reverse side of which gives you all the poop on competition requirements and subcategories. We hope this will serve as a handy reference for the year's competitions.

Back to the Table of Contents

IV. Winner's Circle

Joe Bocock's winning beer smoked the field, garnering a score in the mid 150's, some 7 points ahead of the second place finisher. Here's the recipe.

Back to the Table of Contents

V. Ultimate Alt Club-Only Competition

The AHA sponsored Club-Only Ultimate Alt Competition will be judged by HPD's ever-so-able Masterbrewers (2 going on 3 certified BJCP judges!) on the 8th of March. Entries can be brought to the February meeting or dropped off at Professional Brewers by 5:00 p.m. on March 8th. The eligible category is number 18 in your AHA guidelines, German-style Ale. Subcategories include Kolsch and Dusseldorf-style Altbier. General background follows:

Kolsh is a pale, golden ale that takes it's name from the city of Cologne (Koln in Germany.) Pale as a Pilsner, but with the fruitiness of an ale, Kolsh is noted for it's delicacy and perfumy aroma. To compete with the influx of pale lagers, the brewers of Cologne gradually refined their beers, using top-fermenting yeasts, premium hops, and cold conditioning. Served in tall, cylindrical glasses, it is clean-tasting and light-bodied with a slight acidity and restrained but definite hoppy dryness.

Altbier is a copper-colored, dryish ale that is THE sociable brew of Dusseldorf taverns. They are all-malt with German noble hop character that is rounded by a period of cold maturation. The key word in Altbiers is balance. Maltiness should be distinctive and clean though not overpowering while hoppy bitterness should be apparent, especially in the finish. The fruity character of the top-fermenting yeast is held in check by cold maturation, producing a smooth, balanced palate.

Back to the Table of Contents

VI. Brewpub Notes

Yes, it's another new section for the ole' HPD newsletter. In keeping with other brewrags around the country, we'll occasionally be bringing you the latest in local commercial brewing efforts. If you don't get out to any of the local establishments, put down your bottle capper occasionally and head out for a pint of hand-crafted goodness.

Any reports you may have heard of the demise of the Royal Bavarian have been greatly exaggerated. Jorg and crew put on quite a birthday bash in late January and the joint was rocking. In recent months, the Bavarian's beers were displaying a distinct DMS component, manifested by a slight cooked vegetable aroma and flavor. The beers sampled on the 29th displayed nothing of the sort. The weizen was crisp with a huge, lasting head while the pale lager was clean and malty. Brewmaster Roger Steely has a new beer, a dunkel, lagering and will have it on tap around the end of the month. Jorg favored us with a sample that was well-balanced, highlighting dark malts and noble German hops. As with all the Bavarian's beers, the body and mouthfeel belie it's Oklahoma brewing restrictions.

Also jumping into the German brewing frenzy is the Norman Brewing Company. Brewmaster Brian Smittle has a recipe for a dunkel weizen that he is waiting to try. He's got the malted wheat, Munich malt, a touch of roast barley (for color) and noble German hops ready to go, but is searching for just the right yeast to make an authentic dark German wheat beer.

A long-awaited brew-pub practice that has been sweeping the rest of the country has finally made it to Oklahoma. CASK CONDITIONING HAS ARRIVED! At this writing, both the Belle Isle Brewery and the Interurban Brewery have cask conditioned stouts on tap. Cask conditioning may be interpreted in a variety of ways, but usually means that the beer is one or more of the following: unfiltered; dry-hopped; served at cellar temperature (50-60 degrees); hand-pumped (no Co2); dispensed through a beer engine (a device in the dispenser that creates a great, frothy head); pulled from an actual wooden cask. Hopefully this won't be a passing fad. A pale ale or ESB from the cask is a wonderful thing (hint,hint.)

If you don't have a good handle on what an Altbier is, head down to the Bricktown Brewery and try one of Doug Moller's Altbiers, currently on tap. The beer's strong malt presence (Munich malt), clean hoppiness (Liberty hops) and balanced profile exemplify the style. With the Ultimate Alt competition upcoming, consider it a very necessary research project.

Back to the Table of Contents

VII. Affiliation of the High Plains Draughters

As most of you know, the HPD were founded in late 1989. The idea for the club originated with Kent Keller, who maintained a mail order/home-based brewshop. Since its founding, the club has primarily relied on the sponsorship of a home brew shop to pay most club-related expenses (mailings, trophies, foods, etc.) While Hogue's has always been helpful, the club's primary sponsor since the departure of Keller has been Professional Brewers LLC, a brewshop originally founded by Joe Bocock and Doug Moller, now run by Bocock and Jim Andrews. Recently, Tom and June Larrow have opened a new brewshop, S.W. Brewer's Outlet, Inc. In addition, we now have another new brewshop located at 37th and N. Walker, owned and operated by Chuck Devenney. Under these circumstances, the plan that appears to be in the best interest of all club members is to allow affiliation with all the local brew shops that wish to bear expenses. Those that do will have an opportunity to update club members on their products in each newsletter and will be mentioned and appreciated as sponsors for our competitions. S.W. Brewer's has already eagerly accepted this arrangement. Thanks to Tom and June for their support!

Back to the Table of Contents

VIII. New at the Brewshops

New at Professional Brewers...

Keg Alert!!!!! Due to a special "behind the garage" deal, Professional Brewers now has used 5 gallon stainless steel kegs available for the low price of $23. These kegs are being sold "as is." If you are thinking about kegging, two complete reconditioned systems are available including fully charged 5 lb. CO2 tanks. Our diminutive 3 gallon tanks are still available at $33. Grolsch gaskets are now in stock for those of you who use or are thinking about re-using the ceramic swing cap bottles. The NEWEST fresh hops include a popular standby, Perle as well as the newest hot hop on the market, Columbus (15.2 AAU.)

Next time you browse the fining and additives section, pick up a reference copy of the new written guide to these products. This multipage guide to finings and additives will give you descriptions and instructions that should come in handy. New products include magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) and gelatin. Coming soon, Sparkaloid. We think we have the largest selection of additives and fining agents, but if you need something we don't carry, just hit up Bocock or Andrews to order it for you.

The book selection of the shop is much expanded, so don't forget to check out the many AHA style guideline books(outlining the history and secrets of a single beer style), the Winner's Circle recipes or many other new books, including Line's Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy and Romanowski's On To Mashing. If you are looking for an Altbier yeast for the club's March competition, the YeastLab "Dusseldorf" is now available.

New at S.W. Brewers Outlet...

Everything!! Tom and June Larrow have just opened for business at 9414 S. Western to supply the brewing needs of SW OKC, Moore, Norman and whoever else shows up. They have a complete stock of extracts, whole grains, hops, chemicals, equipment and literature. Masterbrewer Tom will be on premises to answer questions, give advice and generally help out. On special this month, a 3/8" copper immersion wort chiller for just $20.

Back to the Table of Contents

That's all for now. If you have comments, contributions, gripes or whatever, feel free to contact one of the newsletter staff. They may be reached (at reasonable hours) at the following numbers: Joe Bocock - 552-2256 Rick Lloyd - 340-1977 Tim Nagode - 728-4957

See you on the 23rd.... Hoppy brewing!!!

Last Updated: Friday August 16, 1996
Send questions or comments to the
Web Bozo