May 2019 Meeting Minutes

Meeting was opened by the President Dave A. on time at Kettles and Grain in Leesburg with a few announcements as follows:

  • Coming Saturday 5/4 is Home Brew Day; sign-up to brew at K & G parking lot with 15% discount on materials
  • Solace Competition 5/19 check out the drop off dates and places via email and website update
  • June meeting shall feature Belgians + Sours
  • Bellylove Brewing featuring Jmark’s Rye IPA as the HOWL tap, check it out
  • Matt the elder proposed teaching a brew class ant NOVA, more to come…

Now for the much anticipated – HOWL Experimental Beer Feature – Splinter Beer

Background: 2 years ago HOWL executive committee decided to add an experiment to the Brew Calendar, and Yeaster was selected in April, followed by Hopster in 2018, this year became Splinter to use the Solace Wort leftover from the Share to age in ten selected woods.  Dave and Jmark brewed the wort and Tom p toasted 9 of the 10 woods.  After fermentation 10 growlers were prepared with 2.5 oz of wood chips, ‘bottle’ conditioned , and chilled.  This is what happened or as best documented by the Howler’s tasting note opinions.

  1. OAK – vanilla, some spice, pepper, definitely some tannic, barrel feeling, a sessional barrel aged beer, lumber and spice
  2. PECAN – More Aroma, perfume, rye, nutty, an over roasted nut, a pecan taste (because this member doesn’t like pecans)
  3. WALNUT – Acid, acidic, good toasty note, darker in color, plastic?, tannic is heavy, green, tasting the juglone acid (common in Black Walnut), some likes and some dislikes, pecan was better
  4. MAPLE – sap, unfinished sap, sweet, mulch aroma/smell, sour note, green tannic wood, green pepper
  5. ALDER – Best so far? fruit, berry like, banana, pear, tannic, smoky
  6. APPLE – light, no taste of wood, off flavor maybe fro the wood could be caused by amalic acid?
  7. CHERRY – cherry flavor is pronounced, better mouthfeel, subtle in flavor, could be good for blending
  8. HICKORY – brown wood?, more subtle than expectations, astringent, dry finish
  9. MESQUITE – again expectations thought it would be more strong (relating to smoke properties), need more hops, piney, subtle, finish is a little unpleasant
  10. PALO SANTO – only wood not toasted due to the resin content, wood is used in a Dogfish Head Brown Ale (supposedly aged in crafted barrels of this stuff).  The comments were plentiful; soap, soap and more soap, bad, urine, pine sol, solvent, Aroma is amazing and carried a distance, Eucalyptus, clove, cloying vanilla, worse than potato beer, Is this a Brazilian wood for flooring on Amazon and not the true beer aging type (as spoken from a local home-brew supply store owner).

Upon the complete tasting why not vote on the preferred wood flavored aged beer?  The results: CHERRY the winner, with runner up tied to OAK and ALDER, and third going to PECAN, and some honorable mentions going to MAPLE and WALNUT.  Some blending was experimented with the CHERRY being the favorite additive.

Thanks to all who participated making this Splinter Beer experiment a success.

Next meeting June 6 with Belgians and Sours being the Calendar feature for friendly competition.


tom p, secretary


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