High Plains Draughters Newsletter

November 13th, 1997

I. Last Meeting

It was a bit on the chilly side, but a gang of hardy HPD'ers braved the icy gusts to share brats and beers in Crown Heights park. The clouds cleared off after a bit and a brilliant fall sun shone through as we chowed on homemade bratwurst (courtesy of Joe Bocock) and assorted other excellent Oktoberfodder. Lots of great libations were passed around, including a marvelous 5-year old cherry mead of Chris Saxon's. Next year, we promise to hold out for an earlier and, hopefully, warmer date.

II. Next Meeting

The November meeting has been set for 7:30 p.m. on the evening of Friday, the 21st. As some of you may know, 50 Penn Place has changed hands (once again) and the meeting room that we have been using is no longer available for our use. However, our ever-supportive friends at the Belle Isle Brewery are going to let us use the Urban Market area for the November meeting. The Urban Market is located just east of our old meeting location on the third floor. While the Urban Market is OK, but it's not quite the kind of facility we're used to meeting in. At least a short portion of the meeting will involve discussions about alternative meeting places (see King's Corner below.) As Joe pointed out in his last column, what makes this club run is the contributions of it's membership. Consider this a call to put on your drinking, I mean thinking caps and come up with some meeting place ideas. It may be a place you have access to, that a friend has access to, that a friend of a friend has access to, etc. As for the rest of the meeting, a program on Pale Ales and/or Stouts will be presented by the program chair and flunkies. We're actually looking ahead, competition-wise, as the first two 1998 AHA Club-Only competitions will be Pale Ale and Stout competitions. So grab a friend, some munchies and a tipple or two to bring to 50 Urban Market Place. See you there!

III. Weiss is Nice AHA Club-Only Competition

The entries in the weizen competition were somewhat fewer than usual, possibly due to the unique qualities of this most famous of German ales. It seems that either you don't brew any weissbier at all, or you brew it a lot. The flavor components are so unique that, in general, you either love it or hate it (little known fact: Charlie Papazian, the king of bizarro beer recipes, hates weissbier of any kind.) Anyway, there were 14 entries with a pretty even spread among the eligible categories. And the winners are: Masters Division 1st place - Ben Baer (Berliner Weisse) 2nd place - Neal Wesson (Weizenbock) 3rd place - Tim Nagode (Weizen) Freshmen Division 1st place, Bob Rescinito (Weizen) The beers judged were good to excellent across the board, but Ben Baer's Berliner Weisse had the major league sour power necessary to place it in the lead by several points. Congratulations to Ben on his first Club-Only win!

IV. Bitter Mania Club-Only Competition The AHA-sponsored Bitter Mania Club-Only Competition will be judged the weekend of November 22nd. Entries may be turned in at the November meeting, or dropped off at one of the participating brewshops (Professional Brewers LLC or S.W. Brewers Outlet.) As usual, you may contact the editor at 280-4957 or 329-4517 to arrange an alternative drop off. Eligible categories include the following:

7. English Bitter

a) English Ordinary Bitter - Ordinary bitter is gold to copper colored with medium bitterness, light to medium body, and low to medium residual malt sweetness. Hop flavor and aroma character may be evident at the brewer's discretion. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character and very low diacetyl (butterscotch) character are acceptable in aroma and flavor but should be minimized in this form of bitter. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

b) English (Special) Best Bitter - Special bitter is more robust than ordinary bitter. It has medium body and medium residual malt sweetness. It is gold to copper colored with medium bitterness. Hop flavor and aroma character may be evident at the brewer's discretion. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character and very low diacetyl (butterscotch) character are acceptable in aroma and flavor. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

c) English (Extra Special) Strong Bitter - Extra special bitter possesses medium to strong hop qualities in aroma, flavor and bitterness. The residual malt sweetness of this richly flavored, full-bodied bitter is more pronounced than in other bitters. It is gold to copper colored with medium bitterness. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character and very low diacetyl (butterscotch) character are acceptable in aroma and flavor. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

V. Winners Circle

Ben Baer's Berliner Weisse was so sour, it made your toes curl. While a commercial example is really hard to come by, those that have had them said that Ben got damn close. Brew this one and get ready to pucker:

Holy Oklahoma Berliner Weisse (for 5 gallons)

9 pounds low protein soft red winter wheat (unmalted)

2 pounds malted wheat

2.5 pounds 6 row malted barley

1 ounce Perle hops (6.4 HBU)

3/4 cup corn sugar for priming

Brewer's notes: Mashed in at 143 degrees F, mashed for 17 hours Original Gravity 1.044 Final Gravity 1.014 Boiling time 2.25 hours Primary fermentation: 10 days at 66 degrees F in glass Secondary fermentation: 45 days at 66 degrees F in glass Brewed February 1997, bottled in May 1997

Bob Rescinito placed first in the Freshmen division with a score that was just shy of third place in the Masters division. If you've never brewed a Bavarian wheat beer before, this is a great recipe to start with.

Weissbier (for 5 gallons)

6# 2-row (Briess) 4# Wheat Malt

1# Carapils

1 oz. Tettnanger Pellets (4.7%)

1 oz. Saaz (3.1%)

Wyeast Bavarian Wheat 3056

2 tbsp. gypsum

tsp. Irish moss

Brewer's notes: Mashed grains in 3 gallons of 105F water; over 10 mins raised temp to 122F; rest at this temp for 25 mins; pulled about 40% of mash for single decoction; slowly heated decoction to 160F, held for 15 minute saccarification rest; increased heat to boiling, held for 10 mins. Returned to main mash & increased temp of mash to 147F, rest here for 20 mins. Raised temp to 170F, held for 5 mins. Sparged with 4 gals 170F water. Boiled for 90 mins, adding Tettnang hops at beginning of boil and Saaz and Irish moss at 15 mins left to boil. 5/24/97 Pitched Yeast at 70 Degrees F Specific Gravity: 1.056 6/2/97 Racked to secondary, specific gravity reading was 1.016 6/14/97 kegged the batch and bottled the rest with cup of corn sugar

VI. King's Corner

A Crossroads Decision

In our next two meetings we'll be asking you to help make important decisions about two key questions. The first concerns our meeting locations. Most folks feel we need a set location for our regular non-special event meetings that is conveniently located and attractive. Our special event meetings include are our two club picnics (May and October) and our Christmas party in December. There are no club meetings in August. Our regular meeting place in recent years has been the banquet room at 50 Penn Place. It was provided through the generosity of the Belle Isle Brewery. A new landlord in 50 Penn has taken away that meeting option, but we can still meet in the Urban Market area of the third floor if we make a one year contract with 50 Penn Place management. That location will give us insurance through Belle Isle and access to the great downstairs brewpub as well as a convenient location. The catch is that between $400 and $600 will have to be raised (negotiations underway) from our usual donor sources (brew pubs, brew supply shops and member donations). This should not require any dues but will require some annual effort by those of us who must round up the dough. This option is probably the best although the meeting room is too noisy and open for an idea meeting and will only accommodate 75 people (usually enough space). Please advise us all if you know of a better place at a cheaper (or even better free) price. If you have better ideas lets explore them. You should be able to get a good feel for the space at our November meeting. At our December Christmas Party we will be voting on club competitions. Word from the AHA is that there will be new and improved efforts to make the Club Only Competitions coincide with normal brewing practices. We will probably want to vote to do all the competitions but folks seem to have different views each year. Please feel free to voice your feelings. If you cannot be at one of these meetings, don't be shy about sharing your views. One good way to do so is by e-mail to nagode @draughters.com or brewtrout@aol.com. Please come to our next two meetings if your family schedule allows and bring a new brewing friend! Don't be concerned if you haven't brewed lately, brewing season is just underway . Cheers!

VII. New at the Brewshops

Professional Brewer's Warehouse

Professional Brewers, at 2733 W. Britton Rd., is open on Saturdays from 10:00am - 2:00pm, and by popular demand will be open on Thursdays from 4:30 - 7:00pm, beginning November 20th! We will, however, be closed on Thanksgiving! Come by to take advantage of the these specials: Willamette hops - 50 cents an ounce! Northern Brewer hops - 75 cents an ounce! Northwestern malt extract (3.3 lb box) $7.00! We also have new malt extracts from Munton and John Bull, and a new supply of Wyeast liquid yeast! Tired of bottling!? Five gallon pin lock corny kegs, cleaned with new gaskets: $19.50! Gear up now for the brewing season! Can't make the Thursday or Saturday hours? Give Bob a call at 720-9168 to arrange an appointment ($10 minimum purchase).

VIII. December Meeting

The December meeting/Christmas party will be held on the evening of Friday, December 12. Location will be determined soon and made known in the December newsletter. Mark your calendar now.

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 - 280-4957 Fax - 290-2754 E-mail - nagode@draughters.com

See you on the 21st.... Hoppy brewing!!!