Aug 2017 Meet Writeup

Aug 2017 Meet Writeup

Its been far too long since we last wrote anything about our regular meetups. As August tends to be a quite month due to people's holidays I thought the write up would be short and sweet. Instead we had a reasonable turnout, new faces, lots of beers in attendance and covered a few topics.

Welcome New People

We had Rob, Matthew and Rolan join us for the first time this month. Thanks for coming it was a pleasure to meet you all. We trust that you got something out of the meetup and enjoyed it.

September Meetup - Will It Brew Challenge

In our June meetup we set ourselves a challenge to brew with rather unusual ingredients. Well next months meetup in September is the time for us to bring these special beers! If all goes well (I know at least one may be infected) we should have beers brewed with:

  • 500g of old Fuggles
  • Tropical Blast (Lilt)
  • A bag of Hay
  • Strawberry Nutri-Grain breakfast bars
  • Mushrooms
  • Dried burdock root
  • Black Treacle
  • Dried Blood (the stuff you make black pudding out of)

Don't worry if you haven't taken part in the challenge. Do still come along as its going to be an interesting meetup for sure. We can almost guarantee you won't have tasted anything like some of the beers attending.

Midweek Meetup

We are currently looking into setting up an additional monthly meetup which would be mid-week rather than at the weekends. This is to help people who work in Manchester during the week and members of other homebrew clubs attend some of our meetups. We appreciate that a weekend meetup doesn't suit everyone. It is likely to be held at different venues across Manchester but these have yet to be confirmed.

Obviously we will make sure this doesn't clash with any of the other homebrew clubs in the Greater Manchester area. Do let us know your thoughts.

Bitterness Ratios

Steve gave us a brief talk about working out your bitterness ratios to help with recipe design. The balance between bitter hops and sweet malts is obviously important. To help you can use some basic maths to work out your bitterness ratio.

IBU / (OG fraction x 1000) = Bitterness Ratio

Example an ordinary british bitter (as per BJCP category guidelines) with 30 IBU and an original gravity of 1.035 would be:

30 IBU / (0.035 x 1000) = 0.86

It was interesting to us that these calculations don't take into consideration the final gravity but can still be helpful when designing your recipes.

** I hope I noted this down correctly. Please do correct us if it is wrong.

Peltier Cooling Build

A couple of our members are interested in possibly building a peltier device for cooling wort during fermentation. If you are interested in helping build such a device have a chat to either Steve or Rich.

Never heard of a Peltier before? Neither had I so here's a wikipedia description: Such an instrument is also called a Peltier device, Peltier heat pump, solid state refrigerator, or thermoelectric cooler (TEC). It can be used either for heating or for cooling, although in practice the main application is cooling. It can also be used as a temperature controller that either heats or cools.

UK National Homebrew Competition

The UK nattional homebrew competition is nearly upon us. We've heard that entries have been opened again so if you missed out the first time round get signed up on asap.

We believe that they are still looking for Stewards to help out at Bristol Brewery, Bristol, BS2 9HH on Saturday 16 September, 2017 at 09:30. Its a great way to experience how a competition is organised and judged. No doubt there will be plenty of opportunity to discuss beer with the many knowledgeable people present there.

Good luck to all our members who are entering!

bru·bi·a·ce·ae² (Coffee Beer Competition)

Rolan kindly joined us to make you all away of the Coffee Beer Homebrew Competition that is being organised as part of the Manchester Coffee Festival on Nov 4th. Heres some details about the competition:

bru·bi·a·ce·ae | \, brübç’ âsç, ç\ noun
  1. an alchoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavoured with hops and products of coffea arabica (family: rubiaceae)
  2. a homebrewing competition taking place at Cup North’s Manchester Coffee Festival on Nov. 4; entrants must use a product of coffea arabica (coffee beans, coffee flowers, etc) in their competition submissions
So, what do I need to do?

First of all, you'll need to register here, so that we know to expect your submission in November and have your contact details so that we can coordinate the fun part: presenting samples of your beer and explaining your process to attendees at Manchester Coffee Festival! Then, using coffee flowers, coffee, or chaff (or some mix of these), you'll need to brew 2L (for public tasting) and 4 x 330mL bottles (for judging). Last, but certainly not least, you'll need to get them to the Manchester Coffee Festival on Saturday, November 4th for judging. Double-plus bonus if you bring your beer AND yourself: you'll get to present samples of your beer to the judges AND the festival-going masses!

What's in it for me?

Well, aside from a chance to play with different parts of the coffee plant in your homebrew (or even just play with coffee!) and a chance to chat to coffee and beer geeks alike, competitors also get all-day Saturday entry into the Manchester Coffee Festival, a chance to win a Flat White brew day with none-other-than Manchester's own Alphabet Brewing Co. AND a £100 bar tab at their very awesome brew tap!

Beers In Attendance

We're glad we kept to small measures given the number of beers we sampled during the meetup:

  • Craig - 4.8% Lager brewed with Motueka hops and 100% lager malt
  • Pen & Mike - 1.9% small beer. Notes of peach from the yeast with a thin body.
  • Pen & Mike - 2.3% mild. Easy drinking with smokey notes.
  • Pen & Mike - 3.7% bubble and squeak beer to use up various ingredients. Some nice sweet candy flavors.
  • Pen & Mike - 4.0% bitter and a 5.2% beer both unfortunately had chlorophenols in them. After last months meetup they believe they have located the issue down to some non-food grade equipment which is good news.
    * Note: Its always good to taste off flavors in beer so if you have a bad beer please still bring it for feedback and discussion. Some people attending may never tasted it before.
  • Pen & Mike - 4.0% Brown ale just bottled. Showed good signs of being a good beer. Getting some good results form the ESB yeast they have been using.
  • Pen & Mike - 4.8% beer which they had trouble with low efficiency and high sweetness. Discussed the mashing temperatures which were a little on the high side.
  • Alex - 3.8% American blond
  • Alex - American Pale brewed with 15% wheat, a ton of Galaxy and Mosaic.
  • Matthew - Wheat beer with only dry hopped hops. Pacific Jade, Mosaic and Cascade.
  • Matthew - 8% Bretted beer with honey. Only a young beer so will almost definitely get better with age.
  • Keith - 5.5% 'Deep Fruit' whinberry sour.
  • Keith - 6.7% 'Carror and Apples'. Not to everyone's tastes but super sour beer.
  • Keith - 7% 'Uniquely Grim' bretted IPA with hedgerow berries.
  • Keith - ' The Ego and His Own' Bretted wit with hibiscus, star anise and rhubarb.
  • Arron - 8.5% NE IPA
  • Arron - 8.5% NE IPA + Tropical Blast boiled down to a syrup and used to prime the bottles with. This was a sneak preview of the 'Will It Brew' beer.
  • Arron - Brough two beers which he received via the UK Homebrew Forum experimental competition for us to critique and feedback on.
    * 'Coriandish Pale Ale' a 5.1% beer brewed with coriander by Dan Burgin. Crisp aroma, carbonation spot on. Nice dry finish and certainly good for a hot day. Be mindful that Coriander can be hit or miss with some people as they can percieve it to taste like washing up liquid.
    * 'Cylipso Tropical Lager' a 5.2% lager brewed with Mango puree. Its certainly a drinkable beer but the Mango left an almost artificial aftertaste so didn't seem to work very well in a lager.
  • Rolan - 5.4% Dark cherry beer which was subtly sour.
  • Rolan - 10% beer that's been in the bottle for 2 1/2 years. Almost like a Bock.
  • Rob - 5.8% Grapefruit rind infused IPA. A clone recipe of Elvit Juice but with less grapefruit. Proabably better then the BrewDog beer in my opinion.
  • Rob - 6.8% Double IPA with Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo and Cascade. Great beer.
  • Steve - Brought along a Mint Wine he had been kindly given. It was made from just sugar, water, mint and some yeast. Surprisingly not a bad drink and cleansing after all those beer samples.


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**As always there may be inaccuracies in this article as beer was consumed on the day and whilst writing the article.