Tag Archive for Homebrewing

April Officer’s Meeting

Springfield-Brewing-Company

Title: April Officer’s Meeting
Location: Springfield Brewing Company
Link out: Click here
Description: Officer’s meeting to plan strategy and prepare for events in and after the month of April. All members are welcome to attend.
Start Time: 20:30
Date: 2016-04-03
End Time: 22:30

Brewer Profile – Keith Wallis

ZOO Members at Springfield Brewing Company
Keith adds hops to a pro-am entry during a brew day at Springfield Brewing Company.  He placed 3rd in the GABF Pro-Am with a Rauchbier in 2014.

Keith adds hops to a pro-am entry during a brew day at Springfield Brewing Company. He placed 3rd in the GABF Pro-Am with a Rauchbier in 2014.

Name: Keith Wallis

Home Brewery Name: Hop Pirate Brewing

Brewing Since: September 2012

ZOO Member since: March 2013

Typical batch size: 6-10 Gallons

Favorite style to brew: Pale Ales

Brewing Setup: Cooler mash tun with an 18 gallon brew pot.

How did you get started brewing?

My friend Chris and I really enjoyed craft beer. We wanted to see if we could make our own that was comparable to commercial beers we enjoyed.

How did you find out about the club?

Through a competition that the ZOO was hosting.

What has been your biggest challenge as a homebrewer?

Time.

What was the biggest mishap you ever encountered when brewing? (bottle bombs, broken equipment, big messes, etc.)

I dropped a 6 gallon glass carboy. Luckily, I escaped with just a little scratch. But, the scare caused me to rethink my cleaning process

Have you ever had to dump a batch? 

Absolutely.

A cooler mash tun in the foreground with a brew kettle in the background.

Keith uses a cooler mash tun and an 18 gallon pot on propane for brewing his beer.

What has been your biggest success as a homebrewer?

Winning 3rd Place at the GABF with my Pro/Am collaboration with Springfield Brewing Company

What is your favorite part of brewing your own beer?

The end product, of course.

Do you have any other stories, facts, or information about yourself you would like to share with the club?

Read as much as you can about home brewing. Even if you don’t agree with the information, it is good to see how others are brewing.

To contact Keith, please register on our forums or comment below. If you would be willing to be featured as a brewer, please email homebrewzoo@gmail.com.

Brewer Profile – Chris Becker

Chris Becker

Name: Chris Becker

Home Brewery Name: Becker Brewing

Brewing Since: September 2012

ZOO Member since: March 2013

Typical batch size: 7 Gallons

Favorite style to brew: Wild ales and Belgian styles.

Brewing Setup: I run a 15 gallon direct-fired RIMS mash tun with a recirculating pump. I don’t have a brew stand at this point, but am planning on adapting my current setup to a two tiered setup with digital control.

How did you get started brewing?

A friend, Keith, suggested we both buy home brewing kits online because it sounded like a fun hobby. I decided to buy one because I’ve always enjoyed beer and cooking, and it seemed like a good way to enjoy both of those hobbies. Armed with a seven gallon pot, a carboy, and some jugs of extract, I made my first batch.

How did you find out about the club?

Keith was looking for feedback on one of his beers and told me about a local competition (Hoppy St Patrick). We entered and both won medals, so we decided to check out the club the next month.

What has been your biggest challenge as a homebrewer?

Right now, my biggest challenge is time. I go to college full time and have two part time jobs, so I’m very limited by when I can brew. I’d love to brew once a month, but that rarely happens any more.

What was the biggest mishap you ever encountered when brewing? (bottle bombs, broken equipment, big messes, etc.)

Probably the largest mishap I encountered was also one of the greatest mistakes I made. The second beer I brewed was going to be a Belgian dubbel, sort of like chimay blue. I got the extract kit from an online company and read through the reviews. One mentioned using a particular wyeast private collection yeast strain to improve the beer. Not knowing any better, I bought it, brewed the beer, and added the yeast. It wasn’t until later that night that I decided I should google what “brettanomyces” was. Thankfully, the beer turned out excellent, and sparked my interest in mixed fermentation brewing.

Have you ever had to dump a batch? 

Yes. I brewed a Berliner Weisse and used a handful of uncrushed grain to inoculate the beer for a sour mash. During the sour mash, the beer started to smell off, kind of like baby farts and spoiled milk. I finished off the beer and fermented it, hoping that aroma would go away. It never did. While the beer tasted alright, the aroma was just too much to overcome. It went down the drain.

What has been your biggest success as a homebrewer?

Since I got into mixed fermentation brewing, I wanted to attempt a turbid mash, which is a multi-step mash which involves heating a rather protein rich part of the wort during mashing in a separate vessel. It is a traditional Belgian brewing technique, and has a lot of moving parts. In September 2014 I finally had the equipment and ambition to attempt it, and it went extremely well. I haven’t sampled the beer yet, but it is looking great. I expect it to be one of the better beers I have brewed so far.

What is your favorite part of brewing your own beer?

The experimentation and chemistry involved. I love the sciences, so being able to build my own water, tinker with difficult recipes or brewing profiles, and predict outcomes based on the numbers I get during a brew session is extremely fun for me. I love the freedom of designing something that is totally unique, yet at the same time it still works out.

Do you have any other stories, facts, or information about yourself you would like to share with the club?

No, although if you are interested in learning more about brewing with things other than Saccharomyces, please get in touch!

To contact Chris Becker, please register on our forums or comment below. Chris’s forum user name is Becker07.

Expansion on Perceived Bitterness

card2

In order to better illustrate the perceived bitterness relationships, I have written a short javascript calculator that does the math.  This way, you can adjust the ratios between Original Gravity, Final Gravity, and IBUs to see how they affect the BU:GU ratio, Apparent Attenuation, and Perceived Bitterness as described by The Mad Alchemist.

I hope you find this calculator helpful.  Have fun brewing!

In the below calculator, we’ll use the estimated IBUs, Original Gravity, and Final Gravity to calculate perceived bitterness using Ray Daniels’ BU:GU Ratio from Designing Great Beers and then using the formula created by The Mad Alchemist, which also factors in Apparent Attenuation.

Brewing Session Beers

mugs

At the August 2014 meeting, I presented a brief educational discussion on brewing “Session” beers.  Below is an edited version of the presentation, including the portion in which I described using math to compare the perception of bitterness between two beers.  If you have any questions,please feel free to comment below.

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