High Plains Draughters September 1995

ILast Meeting/Mead Clinic/Beer Evaluation Seminar
IINext Meeting
IIIMead Competition
IVNTSF Competition
VWinner's Circle
VIUpcoming Competitions/Events
IIXGreat Scot!
XINew At The Brewshops
XIIOktober Meeting

I. Last Meeting

Well, summer's over and brewing season is upon us. Even if we can't remember the last meeting. We talked about all-grain brewing (I think) and a good time was had by all.

The Mead Clinic, held on July 27th, had outstanding attendance, with around 40 mead enthusiasts in attendance. Steve Law gave some excellent technical insights, including an experiment involving the taste profile contributed by different yeasts. A single batch of mead was split four ways and fermented with four different yeasts. After side-by-side tasting, it was agreed upon that the most desirable profile was achieved with a Montrachet wine yeast.

The beer evaluation seminar was also very successful. Around 25 HPD loyalists showed up for an olfactory and gustatory education. Rick Lloyd and Tim Nagode led the group through hop tea sniffing, grain munching and style tasting (17 different style examples!) The next seminar, Beer Fault Detection and Identification, is being worked on this very minute and will probably take place some time in October or November.

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II. Next Meeting

September's meeting will be held on the evening of Friday the 20th at 7:30 p.m. at the Bell Isle Brewery. The program will be "Porter, Then and Now". We'll look at some history, have a tasting session and review appropriate porter brewing techniques. This will be the first in a series of style-related programs over the coming months. Because we have focused on overall brewing techniques in the past, we are going to spend some time looking at specific styles, their characteristics and appropriate brewing practices

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III. Mead Competition

Mead makers we've got!! Apparently by the ton. The AHA sanctioned "Mead Magic" club-only competition was the largest in club history, garnering 26 entries. With such a staggering array, it took the judges about an hour just to get things organized. The judging itself was tough, with lots of excellent meads. After around three hours of judging, the winners were announced, albeit with slurred speech:

1st Place

Tim Nagode

2nd Place

Joe Bocock

3rd Place

Steve Law

All three meads were entered in the "Traditional Mead" category, though there was some post-judging controversy over whether use of hops results in a methaglin rather than a traditional mead. Fisticuffs were avoided and mead experts worldwide are now being polled to answer this question. We await the answer with bated breath. Meanwhile, Nagode's sparkling traditional mead will be judged at the national level in mid-September.

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IV. NTSF Competition

The North Texas State Fair competition was held in Denton, Texas on August 3rd. This is an excellent contest, featuring the best in North Texas brewers. Unfortunately, HPD was not represented in judging circles due to family vacations, work, etc. However, a bunch of beers did make it to the event and into the winner's circle. They are as follows:

Joe Bocock3rd in German Ales (for an altbier)
3rd in Dark Lagers (for a dunkle)
Tim Nagode2nd in English Bitters (for a special bitter)
3rd in Vienna/Marzen/Oktoberfest (for a vienna lager)

Congratulations, guys.

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V. Winner's Circle

Tim Nagode's winning traditional mead was a testament to the yeast experiment from the Mead Clinic. It was brewed with local honey and fermented with wine yeast, allowing the honey components to assert themselves in a most satisfying manner. To boot, the mead was very young, just four months old at time of judging. It's a great time to brew mead, so give this one a go.

Nagode's NTSF 2nd place winner, Sherwood Special Bitter, is a classic exapmple of the style with hardy hop bitterness, minerally yeast character and low carbonation.

(Note: recipes published are the recipes received. If you win a competition, please take the time to forward the recipe to Tim Nagode, either over the phone or via fax at the numberws listed below. Thanks for your support.)

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VI. Upcoming Competitions/Events

September 26-28th marks The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO. The HPD had around a dozen attendees last year, with even more going this year. If you haven't made arrangements, but can't stand missing it, talk with some of the folks going up about a ride and some floor space. We'll point 'em out at the September meeting.

The AHA Club-only "Best of Fest" judging is slated for October 11th. Entries will be accepted up to noon of the 11th at your local brewshop or you may bring them to the September meeting if you wish. Eligible categories include:

17a. Vienna lager - Beers in this category are reddish-brown or copper colored. They are light to medium in body. The beer is characterized by malty aroma, slight malt sweetness and clean hop bitterness. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters, diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

17b. Marzen/Oktoberfest - Marzens are characterized by medium body and broad range of color. Oktoberfests can range from golden to reddish-brown. Sweet maltiness should dominate slightly over a clean, hop bitterness. Malt character should be toasted rather than stronly caramel. Hop aroma and flavor should be low but notable. Fruity esters are minimal, if perceived at all. Diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

The 2nd Tulsa Brewfest has been moved from September 14 to a later date. Live bands, exotic foods and Oklahoma's craft-brewed beers will be showcased. On the competition side, a small contest with a big first prize will be held. Three categories (Light, Dark and Specialty) will be judged and the winner will have the opportunity to brew at the Tulsa Brewing Company. Pull out one of your best for this one!

Hell on the Border Homebrewers of Ft. Smith, AR will have their Homebrewers Festival on Saturday, October 19th at Weidman's Brewery Beer Garden from 1:00 to 5:30. More info later on this one.

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VII. HPD Web Page

If you have access to the World Wide Web (WWW), point your browser to http://www.draughters.com for The Oklahoma Beer Page. The Draughters homepage has been up and operational for barely two months, but our "hit count" (the number of people who look at our page) is averaging 71 a day. We hit a peak so far of 246 hits in a single day. The page is listed by many of the Internet search engines, including Yahoo and Altavista. We have links to us from many of the other beer pages like the AHA and RealBeer. Some hits have come from as far away as Malaysia and the U.K. In short, the High Plains Draughters and The Oklahoma Beer Page are getting to be known.

Why do people from all over the world want to look at our page? Mainly, they're looking for recipes. We have nine categories of recipes online: Brown/Pale/Scottish Ales, Belgian/French Ales and Lambics, Oktoberfest/Bock/Dark Lagers, Porters/Stouts, Pilseners/Helles/Pale Lagers, Weizens/German Ales, Barley Wine/Strong Ales, Smoke/Fruit/Specialty Beers, and Meads & Braggots. And as hard as we've been working on it, we only have 17 recipes posted. We need more! Next meeting, bring your winning recipes (and recipes you think are winners); we'll get them on the web.

Also on the Draughters homepage, you can find our newsletters back to November 1995 (more to come), a calendar of events, a page full of competition entry information, listings of other clubs in Oklahoma, a page featuring the local homebrew suppliers, a page featuring Oklahoma micro-breweries and brewpubs, a page of beer bars and restaurants (including a slick Shockwave animated page for Tapwerks), and a page for asking questions of the Masterbrewers. That's just our page! If it's not enough, we have links to half a dozen other sites (and they have links to other sites, and they have links...you've heard of "surfing the Internet"?).

If you are interested in the Internet and the WWW, talk with Michal Carson or one of the other techies lurking in the Draughters ranks. There's plenty of work to do on our web page, too, so if you have writing skills or html experience, step up. And we're always looking for sponsorship opportunities. If you know of a business or organization who might be interested in a spot on our page or a page of their own, have them contact Michal Carson or Tim Nagode.

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VIII. Great Scot!

What's the difference between a 50-shilling and a wee heavy? Between a MacAllan and an Isle of Jura? And just how do you pronounce Caol Ila? Ask me after the High Plains Draughters Tour of Scotland. Michal Carson and Liz Langthorn are working on plans to get a busload of Okies up to the Scottish highlands, tour a handful of micro-brewerys, sample the local pub scene, and see a few of the Scottish national sites. You can bet there will be a distillery or two on the agenda, as well. They're open to recommendations on what to visit and time of year (reach Michal at 270-2928). Watch for more information here and on the web. And plan for Scotland next summer.

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IX. New at the Brewshop

Professional Brewers

As we enter the brewing season, a new batch of Jack Schmidling roller mills is on the way and should be in the shop by September 14th. These are the ultimate grain mills.

Comments on our new superyeasts made by Dr. Seth Cohen at Saccharomyces Supply Company are 100% positive. This yeast works best if step-cultured, but because each tube contains 5-7 billion yeast cells, it can always be pitched without a step culture. We have noted that it takes about 30 hours to kick off without a step culture. The best news is the quality of the yeast. They were developed for the Boston Wort Processors (Boston's premiere brewclub) by Dr. Cohen and represent some fantastic strains. The American Ale is a knock-off of Sam Adams ale yeast and is "must-try" fungus. Excellent results have also been noted with the English Ale yeast and the Irish Ale yeast. About 10 varieties are in stock. If you have not yet used liquid yeast, you must try this new product.

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X. Oktober Meeting

Let's see... What's a good Oktober berr-kinda-thing to do? You guessed it! Oktoberfest in the park, once again. Mark you calendar now for the High Plains Draughter's annual Oktoberfest celebration, Sunday, October 20th, 2:30 p.m. until the fat lady hauls off the spent kegs. Details next ish.

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: Rick Lloyd - 340-1977 Tim Nagode - 280-4957 (Fax 290-2754) Joe Bocock - 552-2256

See you on the 20th.... Hoppy brewing!!!

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Last Updated: Sunday, September 15, 1996
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