Archive for Uncategorized

AHA Big Brew Day Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who came out and joined us for our Big Brew Day Saturday! We had a lot of fun in the sun and made 25 gallons of Bucksnort Brown Ale! We also found a few new members and made several new friends.

I can see exciting things in our club’s future. I want to thank everyone for making the Big Brew Day happen.

Meeting Minutes – April 17th, 2012


The meeting this month was geared around IPA’s.  We talked about the types of IPA and how to get larger hop aroma from beer.  Several good ones were sampled at the meeting, including a Double IPA which Michael brewed.  We also had several commercial styles.

Some items of business which were brought up during the meeting:

Old Business:

  • Big Brew Day is May 5th.  We discussed organizing that day at The Home Brewery to participate in the brew day.  Those willing or interested in participating, please email (homebrewzoo [at] gmail dot com) and let me know so that we can keep a tally of who will be involved.  The Big Brew Day has extract and all-grain versions of two brown ales this year.  To be a part of it, you can brew at The Homebrewery or you can brew at home, but you should brew one of the recipes provided by the AHA.  If you would like the recipe put together as a kit for you, please email Todd at the Homebrewery and he can make arrangements for that.  Please do not wait until the last minute to do so.  We hope many of you will choose to come and brew at The Homebrewery, as it will be a great opportunity to teach others about the hobby and tell them about our club.
  • We are participating in the August 2012 Club-Only competition.  The category is Porter, and covers BJCP category 12. In order to have your beer considered to represent our club at the competition, please bring it to the June meeting (our Saison meeting, as well).  We will have a blind tasting of the beers and vote to see which will represent our club at the AHA event.  This June deadline is designed to allow enough time for the winner to re-brew the recipe prior to the August 10th entry deadline if he should choose to do so.
  • June’s meeting is also our Saison meeting.  We should have a special guest at this meeting.  My brother, Joe, (The Thirsty Pilgrim) will be in town and is currently planning on joining us that night.  He will offer some insight into the Saison style and will give a short presentation about what makes a Saison a Saison and where the style comes from, among other things.  Joe is a freelance beer writer and has lived in Brussels, Belgium.  He has traveled all over Europe researching beer and now lives in Costa Rica, which is just now developing a craft beer scene.  He will be an interesting guest to have at the meeting, and he looks forward to meeting all of you.

New Business:

  • We came up with another interesting experiment for anyone who would like to participate.  Anyone who would like to should brew a beer using breakfast cereal for our September meeting.  The rules are simple: You can use any breakfast cereal you want to use, but it must account for 10% by weight of your entire grain bill.  We were discussing drawing your assigned cereal from a hat, but that was voted down by popular vote.  I am not sure if we will have a prize for the winner of the competition, but you can bet there will be points awarded for creativity.
  • I reminded everyone of the themes for the next few months:
    Next month’s theme is Dark Lager.  If you have not already brewed one, you probably don’t have time to properly lager a beer, so a commercial example is probably your best bet.
    June’s theme is Saison. There is still time to brew this, but Saison yeast can be tricky, so it is best to try and do this early to give time for yeast trouble.  If you need a good basic recipe to brew your Saison, I provided one at our March meeting.
    July’s theme is Experimental Beer. This is open.  Oak-aged, odd ingredients, whatever you want to try is fair.  I think we’d all like to see some pretty creative and crazy experiments.  Anyone feel like dry-hopping with bacon?

If you have anything to add, please feel free to do so int he comments below.  Thanks again to everyone who participated last night.  We had a really fun time.

Free Kegerator?


This is a contest sponsored by Fox and the Hound. There are various prizes (kegerator, home brew kit, etc) but it does require that you send a text to them.

Obviously ZOO has nothing to do with this contest. Just thought some of you might want to try your luck!

More information here.

My Saison!


Ok, “My Saison” is what we named our colt that was born this morning. I’m very fortunate that a few months ago when we were contemplating names for the foal, my girlfriend had no objection to me naming it after a beer. It has some French lines in its pedigree and its mother is named “My Engagement”. “My Saison” seemed to be a good fit. Of course, “My Trub” would have worked too….

Regardless, it’s a good reminder that the you should be considering brewing your Saison for the June ZOO meeting!

From Beer Advocate:


Saisons are sturdy farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there’s been a massive revival; especially in the US.

This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.0-8.0%