High Plains Draughters March 1996

ILast Meeting
IINext Meeting
IIIThe Blue Bonnet Brewoff
IVGreater Wichita Home Brew Competition
VWinner's Circle
VIBeer Evaluation Training
VIIBock is Best Competition
IIXNew At The Brewshops
IXJune Meeting

I. Last Meeting

Our March meeting came off excellently, with lots of new and old faces, excellent beers and informative information. Our new program chair, Dr. Stephen Law, headed up the usual cast of wackos in delivering "Ways to Improve Your Extract Beers." Topics included use of high quality extracts, hops, and specialty grains, treating wort with respect, variious liquid yeast cultures and their use, conducting fermentation and, of course, sanitation. We also handed out the awards for the Ultimate Alt Club-Only competition, with first place going to Burt Renard for an Altbier, second place to Steve Law for a Kolsh and third place to Jim Andrews for a Kolsh. Congratulations!

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II. Next Meeting

National Home Brew Day...National Home Brew Day!! Once again, it's time to celebrate that most hallowed of nuevo traditions, National Home Brew Day. Saturday, May 4th, bring the wife, kids, girlfriend, in-laws, transients and who-ever to Casa Robles for the HPD's biggest and best party yet. We'll start around 1:30 and continue with all manner of frivolity until the cows come home. Some features of the event include:

The new High Plains Draughters T-shirts will be on sale for $15. Designed by Steve Law, they are a must for any serious member. Do the twinkie thing and wear it with a friend.

Prizes galore, including hops, AHA openers, brew-buttons and stainless steel kegs will abound. The prize for best of show brewing table (your own brews served up on a creatively decorated table) is sure to be a big one!

Swillbier trashing events include: The Miller Mash--have at a can of Miller with a twelve-pound sledge hammer. You'll be judged for style. The Pearl Hurl--a new version of the classic contest. In this one, hurl a Pearl with all your might (slings, catapults and other creative launch devices will be allowed). Points will be awarded for style, distance and damage (to the beer!). The Pint Relay--Four-person teams traverse an obstacle course while carrying a pint of beer. Spills result in time penalties and the pint must be chugged before the relay can continue!

Jack Sargent's famous gourmet chicken (ala Julia Child) will again be the featured entree. Bring a covered dish and join the picnic.

The Brews Brothers, a group of brewer/musicians, will entertain and doubtless spawn wild break dancing and merriment. They are currently honing the set list and practicing until their fingers bleed.

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III. The Blue Bonnet Brewoff

The Blue Bonnet Brewoff just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Ranking second only to the AHA Nationals in size, the competition recieved some 819 entries this year! That's up nearly 100 over last year. The High Plains Draughters had a large showing with about a dozen members making the trip on the weekend of March 29-30. As usual, the clubs in Texas put on quite an event, with a Friday evening program and tasting, followed by Saturday's program, second-round judging, pub crawl and awards ceremony. Highlights of the event included an unscheduled 2 a.m. cigar-and-beer event, Two Row's barlywine and Bavarian weizen, HPD's esteemed cheif leading beer cheers on pub crawl Bus #2, and not getting skunked in the award department. Those mead guys are at it again, with J.W. Mock taking 1st in Fruit and Vegetable Mead and Jim Andrews taking 3rd in Spice/Herb Mead.

J.W.'s Raisin-Nutmeg Melomel also garnered Best of Show - Mead, Cider & Sake. Kudos and a big ole' Hell Yeah to J.W.! Next year should prove to be even more interesting, so plan on attending.

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IV. Greater Wichita Home Brew Competition

Another regional competition that continues to improve is the Greate Wichita Home Brew Competition. Held on Saturday, April 14, the event drew nearly 200 entries and was well organized and executed. Last year, it was held in a dingy beer distributor's warehouse. This year, it was hosted by the local brewing establishment in an elegant, sunlit banquet room. Judging assignments were posted long before the event started (on time!) and the caliber of judges was exceptional. And finally the beer guys came through! Tim Nagode came home with two first place awards in the Bock and Herb/Spice Beer categories (with a Hellesbock and a spiced Triple), Joe Bocock scored a 1st place in the German Ale category (with an Altbier) and Jim Andrews placed 3rd in German Ale (with a Kolshbier). This means that we'll have more than mead recipes this time around! The only downer was that the event organizers seemed to have misplaced(?) all the unopened entries, so we were forced to drink a mediocre dark ale at the awards ceremony. This event is an easy 1-day event, so plan on attending next year.

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V. Winner's Circle


J.W. Mock's stellar win at the Blue Bonnet marks HPD's first Best-of-Show win. Try this one out: Raisin-Nutmeg Melomel


This was the first year we've entertained a German Ale competition and some fine beers were entered. Burt Renard's Altbier won the event and was an extract/specialty grain batch to boot. Here's how he did it: Dusseldorf Alt

The Bock category at any given competition draws some really huge beers, with dopplebocks and eisbocks usually winning out. Hellesbocks are lighter, less alcoholic and of a more delicate nature. To pull out 1st place in this category, Tim Nagode's Hellesbock is worth a try.

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VI. Beer Evaluation Training

With the Blue Bonnet garnering over 800 entries, the judging committee was really pressed for judges. All HPD members in attendance were pressed into service and several commented on how challenging the judging process was and how they would like to learn more. On the return trip, a group of the Masterbrewers started tossing around some ideas on how to further educate interested HPD members in the finer points of beer evaluation. While some may be interested in a better understanding of beer styles and components, others may be interested in competition judging and the Beer Judge Certification Program. In any case, it was thought that a two-part program could best address both needs. The first part would consist of a style and component program, involving commercial tastings and assessment. The second part would be a beer fault program involving doctored beers. The programs would not be part of a regular HPD meeting and there would be some cost associated for the beers, flavoring components, etc. At this point, we're just assessing interest level, so if this is something you would like to do, sign up on the sheet that will be circulating at the National Homebrew Day event, or call one of the newsletter staff.

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VII. Bock is Best Competition

Yes, it's finally time for the AHA Club-Only Bock is Best contest. Lots of folks have been brewing up bocks just for this competition, so it should be one of the year's best. Eligible categories include traditional bock, helles/maibock, doppelbock and eisbock. Drop your entries off at Professional Brewers or S.W. Brewer's Outlet by 5:00 p.m. on May 7th or just bring them to the National Homebrew Day get-together (we promise they'll get to the competition).

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IIX. New at the Brewshops

Professional Brewers LLC:

Products from L.D. Carlson have been added, including Glenbrew Stout, premium Munton & Fison kits (Stout and IPA), Bierkeller extract and Laaglander spray dried extract. Wyeast liquid yeasts have also been added to supplement Yeastlab liquid yeast. The plan is to stock the best of both brands. New Wyeast includes 1056(Chico), 1214 (Belgian Ale), 3068 (Wheinstephan Wheat) and 2207 (Pilsen Lager.) Andrew's stainless steel fermentors have been constructed and add a whole new dimension to brewing. We have doubled our standard stock of Zymurgy magazine, so you should also be able to find the latest issue of both Zymurgy and Brewing Techniques. You will also find a new dried yeast (London Ale) which has been very popular.

S.W. Brewers Outlet:

It's Phil-mania, with all kinds of gadgetry from Phil's Phittings for sale. False bottoms, sparging gear, siphon starters, etc. are available. Get a great deal on a Phil's Mill; $67.50 puts you in crush mode. A limited number of 6.5 gallon carboys are available for $15 and 5 gallon used soda kegs can be had for $15 as well.

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IX. June Meeting

The June meeting will be held at the Belle Isle Brewery on the 7th. We'll have a technical program of undetermined nature, some good eats and excellent brews. Put it on your calendar now, details will follow in the next newsletter. 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 4th.... Hoppy brewing!!!

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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 03, 1996
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