December 2016 Meeting Minutes

IMG_1107IMG_1099IMG_1098Home-Brewers of Western Loudoun (HOWL) held the monthly meeting at Kettles and Grain on December 8th at 7:00 pm.  Meeting was opened by Vice President Brian H with a brief agenda discussion regarding Announcements, Off flavor tasting, and the December in-club competition of ‘strong beers’.


  • From recent posting on the FB page; Jared Stober of Two Track Malting (Bismark, ND) is offering deals to Brew Clubs, ref; We are offering all of our malt in 50 lb. bags at $0.85/lb through the month of November and for group orders of 500 lbs or more all of our malt is only $0.75/lb plus freight, regular price is $1.00/lb. We currently produce Okefenokee Pale, Badlands Sunset Pilsner, Dakota and Denhoff malts. You can find descriptions and spec sheets by visiting   Communication is in the works to understand freight costs.  A few members are interested.
  • Invite to attend “Wart Hogs” spring fling; President of the WortHogs homebrew club; The WortHogs have traditionally held a Real Ale festival sometime in the Spring (March/April time-frame). This typically is a very informal event where club members share some real ale and food. Generally just a party with fellow home brewers and their families enjoying some great beer. This year the officers have decided to solicit interest in having a collaborative party with other clubs in the area.   More to come if interested, shall discuss on upcoming meetings.
  • Local event discussion for Starr Hill, and ideas for future brew tours.
  • Additional, Brew Calendar for 2017 was brainstormed and Brian shall take a statistical approach for our review on the FB page

Off flavor tasting experience:

A continuation of the off-flavor education was conducted by Dave A with help and oversight from other experienced tasters.  Control sample shifted from the previous Bud to Pabst, or PBR.

  1.  Grainy (husk-like, nut-like) – Excessive runoff or insufficient boil, also suggested was high temp mash (over 170F), excessive grain crush
  2.   Metallic (Ferrous sulfate, metal, tin-like blood) –  appeals to vampires (sorry), water sources, non-passivated vessels, other comments – exposed to metal (Al) too carb
  3.   Isovaleric Acid (cheesy, old hops, sweaty socks) – use of old degraded hops, other comments on Belgian sours may use old hops for this purpose
  4.   Mercaptan (sewer-like, drains) – poor yeast health, autolysis
  5.   Light struck (skunky, toffee or coffee-like) – Clear green bottles, exposure to UV light, comments; reminds you of the college beers, remember Rolling Rock

Calendar Brew Competition (+10 ABV)

Hold onto your seats, time for +10 abv.  I saw a tee shirt at this years ‘Mashout’ event that read, “There is no such thing as Strong Beers, just weak Men” or refer to the historical outlawing in the UK for Strong Ales to which it was stated that “Strong Ale” is a waste of grain and men alike…  Come on don’t take the fun and challenge out of high gravity brewing.

Friendly competition using Brew Brawl listed 6 beers for the event;  –  Below is the order of Tasting

  1.  RF – Only C’s, you guessed it Chinook, Cascade, and Columbus hops in a great Double IPA, favorable comments referring to nose and favor, well made
  2.  BH – Space Madness, Galaxy Hops, now you get it, very reminiscent of a New England DIPA, juicy, cloudy by nature tasty
  3.  JN –  Naakte Keizer, a T&J collaboration to clone the “Van De Keizer Blauw from Het Anker”, say that three times, Belgian dark dream, wonderful experience
  4.  GP –  Tiramisu Stout, with Hickory syrup and coffee, it’s would not be a great December without a GP cellar Stout, yum comments for aroma, ingredients for dessert
  5.  JK – Storm King clone, A Victory Brewery clone attempt that some say was better that the professional sample, nice finish, dry, nice stout per style guidelines
  6.  TP – Doble Doble, coming from the Moser book for double (or triple) mashing for high gravity, talking a 1.200 OG, then whisky barrel aged for the Strong Ale finish

And the Winners are –

  1. Gold, TP’s –  Barrel Aged Doble Doble Strong Ale
  2. Silver, JN’s –  Naakte Keizer Belgian collaboration
  3. Bronze, GP’s –  Tiramisu Stout

Please note that a possible tie for third looks to exist in Brew Braw with the RF’s only C’s with scores of 3.8.  The score range was from 3.6 to the high of 4.3, pretty close in a 1 – 5 scoring range, good job to all brewers.

See you on Facebook, then the undersigned know of any corrections,


tom p, secretary



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