December 1996

I. Last Meeting
II. Next Meeting
III. Belgian Blockbuster
IV. Hail To Ale Competition
V. Beer Evaluation Seminar, Part Deux
VI. Winners Circle
VII. Fruit Beer Rules!
VIII. New at the Brewshops
IX. January Meeting

Steve Law in front of the December meeting, Trappist style!


I. Last Meeting

On November 15th, we resumed our program series on beer styles with a massive Beilgian ale tasting/discussions session. We were able to taste home-brewed versions of every AHA recognized style with the exception of biere-de-garde, which was still in the carboy. Strongest beer of the evening was John Pearson's Belgian Strong Ale, weighing in at over 11%. Funkiest beer of the evening was a split batch of lambic by Rick Lloyd and Mike Bovee. Lloyd's version sported aggressive Lactobacillic sourness and nice peach undertones while Bovee's won the Brettanomyces/Pediococcus race, garnering descriptions from the crowd including "dirty socks," "wet dog," "old, funky tennis shoes" and "Gaahhhhh!!!". High praise for a lambic brewer, indeed.

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Dr. Lloyd closes his eyes and dreams of Belgium.
Mike Bovee watches the frenzy. Let's dance

II. Next Meeting

Our December meeting will be at the Belle Isle Brewer (third floor banquet room) on Friday, December 27th at 7:30. The program will be "Post-Christmas/Pre-New Year's Eve Party". We will have an extremely short organized session during which the Belgian Blockbuster awards will be handed out and next year's AHA competitions will be decided upon. To enhance the whole party atmosphere, bring your date, some really good holiday party food and a bunch of your best squeezin's.

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Drinking it in...John Pearson on the right.III. Belgian Blockbuster Competition

The Belgian Blockbuster competition drew 14 entries, pretty good for this hard-to-brew category. The competition was fierce with all the beers drawing excellent scores. In the Senior division, Steve Law placed first with a stellar tripel. Second place was shared by John Pearson (for the above-mentioned strong ale) and Rick Lloyd (for a dubbel). No awards were given in the Freshmen division because the lone qualifying entrant placed in the overall competition.

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Tim and Paula Nagode.IV. Hail to Ale Competition

1997's first AHA Club-Only competition will be Hail to Ale, set to be judged on the 17th of January. The eligible ales are widely brewed, so we expect lots of entries from everyone in the club. Entries may be brought to the December meeting, dropped off at Professional Brewers Warehouse or left at SW Brewer's Outlet, 9414 S. Western. You may also call 329-4517 to arrange a drop-off if none of the above work for you. The styles that will be accepted include:

5. English-Style Pale Ale

  1. Classic English Pale Ale--Golden to copper colored and displays English-variety hop character. High hop bitterness, flavor and aroma should be evident. This medium-bodied pale ale has low to medium maltiness. Low caramel is allowable. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to strong. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Diacetyl should be low or absent. OG--1.044 to 1.056, TG--1.008 to 1.016.
  2. India Pale Ale--Characterized by intense hop bitterness with a high alcohol content. A high hopping rate and the use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer. This golden to deep copper colored ale has a full, flowery hop aroma and may have a strong hop flavor. Hop character can derive from American or English hop varieties. India pale ales possess medium maltiness and body. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to very strong. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. OG--1.050 to 1.070, TG--1.012 to 1.018

6. American-Style Ale

  1. American Pale Ale--Range from golden to light copper color. The style is characterized by American-variety hops used to produce high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. American pale ales have medium body and low to medium maltiness. Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavor and aroma should be moderate to strong. Diacetyl should be absent or at low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. OG--1.044 to 1.056, TG--1.008 to 1.016
  2. American-Style Amber Ale--American amber ales range from light copper to light brown in color. Amber ales are characterized by American-variety hops used to produce high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Amber ales have medium to high maltiness with medium to low caramel character. They should have medium body. The style may have low levels of fruity-esters flavor and aroma. Diacetyl should be absent or barely perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. OG--1.044 to 1.056, TG--1.006 to 1.016
  3. American Wheat--This beer can be made using either an ale or lager yeast. Brewed with 30% to 50% wheat, hop rates are higher and carbonation lower than German-style wheat beers. A fruity-estery aroma and flavor is typical, but at low levels, however, phenolic, clovelike characteristics should not be perceived. Color is usually golden to light amber and the body should be light to medium in character. Diacetyl should be at very low levels. OG--1.030 to 1.050, TG--1.004 to 1.018

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V. Beer Evaluation Seminar, Part Deux

The second round of beer evaluation seminars came off with only a few minor glitches on Saturday, December 7th. Aspiring beer experts gathered to have their sniffers and tasters totally abused in hopes of becoming better acquainted with common homebrew faults. Alchemists Rick Lloyd and Jim Andrews whipped up vile concoctions of Budweiser and various chemical components to emulate various examples of beer-gone-bad. The proceedings were temporarily halted when a slight chemical spill left the back room smelling like a 55-gallon drum of rancid butter for a couple of minutes. Tim Nagode led the group through sniffing and tasting, identification of the faults, their causes and how to avoid them. Finally, the group tasted commercial and home-brewed beers displaying one or more faults. All in all, it was an educational, albeit disgusting, experience. The group then retired to the Belle Isle brewery to clear their palates with some of Jack Sparks' India Pale Ale.

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Best of Fest Winners: Lloyd, Nagode, LawVI. Winners Circle

Belgian ales are challenging brews and concocting a good tripel is no mean feat in itself. Steve Law's winning tripel has it all. Check it out.

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VII. Fruit Beer Rules!Brian

HPD member Brian Myers recently brough home first place in the Fruit Beer category from the prestigious Chicago Brews Brothers competition. With such beer luminaries as Randy Mosher, Ray Daniels, Dennis Davison and the Chicago Beer Society for competition, Brian acquitted the club quite handily. Congratulations, Brian!! (The recipe will be printed next ish, if Bocock can find the recipe Brian gave him.)

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VIII. New at the Brewshops

Professional Brewers

A new shipment of Durst and Hugh Baird malts have arrived and are now available. We are fully restocked on imported hops that include Hallertau Hersbrucker, Saaz and Goldings that are on special for club members (you bag 'em--$1.50/oz.). In from the Andrews farms is unmalted wheat, considered by some to be "the" secret ingredient for excellent head retention. It's also a must in brewing wits and lambics. On hand is a complete set of back "special" issues of Zymurgy for research by club members. The warehouse continues to have the Oklahoma exclusive on SSC ready-to-pitch liquid yeast strains by Dr. Seth Cohen. Twelve strains are in the shop now.

On Saturday, January 4th, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, we will have a special intermediate class on "Advanced Use of Hops." Please call 528-3889 to reserve a place.

We would love to help you with Christmas gift ideas for new or advanced brewers.

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My carboy is this long...IX. January Meeting

We haven't lucubrated on a date yet. Rest assured it will be in January, probably mid-month. Details next ish and at the December meeting.

That's all for now. If you have comments, contributions, gripes or whatever, feel free to contact one of the newsletter staff. They may be reached (at reasonable hours) at the following numbers: Joe Bocock - 552-2256, Rick Lloyd - 340-1977, Tim Nagode - 280-4957, fax: 290-2754.

See you on the 27th... Hoppy brewing!!!

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