March 2016 Meet Writeup

March 2016 Meet Writeup

This month we were back in the basement at @TheBeermoth. In a nice turn of events the collaboration beer 'Upstairs Downstairs' we brewed with @Torrside was upstairs whilst we were in fact downstairs.

Welcome Aron and Stuart

We welcomed a couple of new people to the group this month.

Aron who has just started his homebrewing hobby brought a couple of his beer using the Bulldog beer kits. Really good start to brewing, seems like hes caught the bug with plans for more homebrewing kit. This led a nice discussion about how kits have been improving over the years with some even introducing you to using the raw ingredients and offering the brewer the chance to experiment.

  • First up was his Chocolate stout which came we with some dry hops. The stout has only recently finished so will only get better with age and already shows promise of being a good beer. Try and keep a few aside if you can!
  • Second was the Bulldog double IPA which came with simcoe and summit. Plenty of lemon from the summit came through.

Stuart has been brewing for a little while now and brews plenty of 1 gallon batches. He brought us a medley of beers to try. What a beer list to bring to your first ever meetup. I guess 1 gallon batches offers plenty of room for experimentation.

  • APA - Warrior, citra and amarillo hops. Tried a hop stand and dry hopped this one. Stuart was unhappy with the aroma but most of us though otherwise.
  • English Barley Wine - 12%! Used port, dates, prunes and figs with WLP099 Super High Gravity Ale Yeast. We can vouch that the year definitely chomped through the available sugars.
  • Sour - Used a whitelabs farmhouse blend and the dregs out of a chorlton bottle. Pretty good sour start although some unusual malt notes with the after taste. Stuart has a couple of other variations in progress using raspberry.
  • Juniper Sahti - A traditional style beer from Finland often brewed with pine needles. A strange but enjoyable beer.
  • Summer American Wheat Beer - Brewed with lemon and grains of paradise. Massive hit of lemon with this one!

Carbon Smith Brewing - Crowd Funding

Ollie joined us from @Carbon_Smith to discuss his crowd funding business plan. In a nut shell you or a group of you can hire time on one of three 60 liter brewing kits and a fermenter. This can either be a one off or a monthly subscription allowing either one or two mashes per month. He already has hop contracts in place for most of the hop varities we love. The information pack Ollie brought along is pretty detailed so we will do a dedicated post with the full details.

Stockport Beer Fest Homebrew Competition

Congratulations to Richard(@rcaller) on winning the speciality category with a 14% barley wine. Although we are all not to sure how this could be brewed on scale and ready in time for June?

A special mention to Andrew(@brewingFortyOne) who came second in the same category with his Bière de Garde.

They both brought their beers to the meetup and were well received. Really deserved 1st and 2nd places.

Manchester Beer Week - Our Involvement

Manchester Beer Week(@mcrbeerweek) is taking place June 10th - June 19th. During the week we are keen have some form of homebrew involvement. Plans are starting to be formed but it looks like we will be at Steve's brewery (@BeerNouveau) one of the days showcasing our beer. It might even be turned into a homebrew competition.

Other Topics Discussed

BJCP styles Richard(@rcaller) still wants to do a session on the categories and judging process. Unfortunately he hasn't had time of late but it could be the focus of one of our meetups in the future.

Intra homebrew competition beer categories Richard(@rcaller) has spent sometime thinking about appropriate beer categories. Heres the list:

Category BJCP ID BJCP Name
British 11 British Bitter
12 Pale Commonwealth (British Golden, Australian Sparkling and English IPA)
13 Brown British (Mild, Brown and Porter)
15A Irish Red
American 18 US Pale (US Blonde and APA)
19 American Amber/Brown
IPA 21 IPA (US and speciality)
Dark 16 Dark British (Stouts)
15B+C Irish Stouts
20 American Porter and Stout
European 3 Czech Lager
4 Pale Malty Lager
5 Pale Bitter European Beer
6 Amber Malty Lager
7 Amber Bitter European Beer
8 Dark Lager
Strong 9 Bock
17 Strong British
22 Strong American
Belgian 24 Belgian Ale
25 Belgian Strong
26 Trappist
Weird Everything else including sour, wild, barrel aged, including fruit and veg etc. Plus really strange things like US light beers

Manchester Vs Liverpool yeah we lost enough said. Not sure when the rematch is but it will be hosted by Mad Hatters in Liverpool. Perhaps the beer categories above should be used next time?

Hop shortages hitting homebrewers? Apparently even if homebrewers are willing to pay a premium for hops at times it can still be difficult to find certain hops such as Nelson. and Dean Reagler's (deanrpwaacs) ebay shop were both suggested as good trust worthy alternatives to the usual online shops if they are out of stock.

Cooling controllers most homebrewers will at some point look at building their own temperature controller using an STC1000. But a few of us have recently seen the arival of the 'Inkbird Digital Temperature Controller' on the market for a reasonable £40. A complete unit requiring no need for home electrics and much more capable than a standard STC1000. There are a few different versions but the 'Inkbird ITC-310T Programmable Outlet Thermostat' looks the most capable and can often be found on Amazon.

Easter brewtaps plenty breweries are open over easter Beer Nouveau (@BeerNouveau), Blackjack (@Blackjackbeers), Track (@trackbrewco) and Squark (@SQUAWKBrewingCo) to name just a few.

Other Beers In Attendance

  • Richard(@rcaller) - Lager - 4% pilsner malt and hallertauer mittelfrueh hops
  • Richard(@rcaller) - IPA - Brewed with amarillo, vic secret, critra and more. Came out very dry but there were loads of hops present.
  • Dave @thealebastard - Session Lager
  • Andrew(@brewingFortyOne) - Belgium Rye Stout - 7%. Used crystal rye, rye flakes, rye malt and some special black among other malts (9 in total?). Used pearl hops and kept the IBU low as just 22. Hes brewed a large batch of this to experiment with some special aged variations so expect more soon!