Meeting Minutes, April 2014

Business

Tolga and Matt were kindly late to the meeting.
 
Tolga opened with brief remarks. A few new members introduced themselves. No issues/points of discussion were brought up by any members, so we proceeded to the educational portion of the meeting.
 
Matt the Elder and Zach lead the group through a tasting of hop teas. Each tea was made by mixing 1 oz of pellet hops with 64 oz of hot (110-115 F) water for 24 hours. The hops that were made into teas were:

  • Mosaic
  • Pacific Jade
  • Vanguard
  • Pacifica
  • Cascade
  • Centennial
  • Chinook
  • Columbus

The differences in the hops was quite striking as we proceeded from one variety to the next. Several hops presented a very nice aroma, but the flavor was dominated by bitterness like Pacifica and Columbus, while other hops were reminiscent of green tea in terms of flavor. The aromas described in each hop variety by Hopunion were found to be sometimes accurate, while for others the only real aroma that could be discerned was that the hops were very dank. The overall consensus after tasting was that Mosaic presented as both the hop with the best aroma as well as the best overall hop. The hop experiment was interesting, but definitely demonstrated that the overall flavor of hops is highly intermingled with their use, the grains utilized, and yeast activity. The other lesson that was apparent is that single hops are not generally a good choice for both bittering and flavor/aroma, further reinforced by the SMASH beers tasted afterwards.

Tastings

We commenced with the monthly beer tastings. This month’s theme was SMASH (Single Malt And Single Hop). Competition beers were entered into the online scoring system developed by Brian H, who did an excellent job in making the interface simple and easy to use regardless of the device being used (Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, etc).
 
The beers tasted were:
  • Jennie – ESB SMASH (31)
  • Tony – IPA SMASH w/ Azacca hops (28)
  • Brian – Calypso IPA SMASH (29)
  • Chip – Saison SMASH (39)
  • Doug – Belgian Tripel (31)
  • Kevin K – American Brown (41)
  • Dave – Schwarzbier (lager and wild fermentation) (38)
  • John – Irish Stout (35)
  • Paul – Smoked Porter (*)
  • Rob & Cathy – Smoked Vanilla Porter (37)
  • Doug – Imperial IPA (31)

Chip was crowned best brewer for the month with his very tasty Saison. Among non-competition beers, Kevin’s Brown was very well received. Overall, the lesson gained from the SMASH beers, particularly with respect to the IPAs is that single hops don’t provide for good complexity in the final product, nor do all hops work well for both bittering and aroma.

Bestest Brewer Ever (April 2014)

chipChip Chabot

Chip was declared the winner and has earned the title of Bestest Brewer Ever (for the month of April) for his Saison.  Chip used Maris Otter for his base malt and made three additions of Saaz at FWH, 60 and 10 minutes to get the most character from the hop that he could.  He fermented with Wyeast 3522, Belgian Ardennes to add some great fruity esters to the finished product.  The beer was well balanced, clean, and very drinkable with an abv near 5.4%  Good work Chip!

 
As a final discussion before ending, the members were asked on preparations for the all-member club competition. Several members indicated that they would not be ready for May, but June would be possible. The possibility of moving the competition to June is a distinct possibility, and any change will be communicated to everyone via Facebook. It was also discussed as to what the next learning experience would be, and Rob offered to contact Jasper Akerboom at Lost Rhino to have a lecture on yeast.

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