The next meeting of the Heart River Home Brewers (AHA Club Number: 000163851) is scheduled for Thursday, August 27th, 2015 at Custom Data World Headquarters, 677 10th Street East, Dickinson, North Dakota at 7:30 PM.

Present: Jerry Ford, Ryan Jilek, Michael Kreitinger, Joel Emter, Derek Fox and Jon Stika.

Jon reported on the barrel beer project.  The barrel has been hydrated and swelled water tight.  Jon will treat the barrel with Barrel Kleen to ready it for filling with beer.  Discussed Alive@5 participation.  Consensus was that Rocky Stoltz and Glen Bruhschwein need to be involved to determine club liability serving beer and to determine a charity to receive donations for beer served if the club participated in the event.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Present: Jerry Ford, Casey Ritz, Ellery Dykema, Nate Shilman, Rocky Stoltz and Jon Stika.

Discussed possible participation by the club in Alive@5 event in downtown Dickinson during the summer.  Rocky will follow-up on information regarding Alive@5.  Discussed wort aeration, wine-making, hop growing and mead-making.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Present: Jerry Ford, Alan Church, Ryan Jilek, Rocky Stoltz, Glen Bruhschwein, Ellery Dykeman, Nate Shilman and Jon Stika.

Discussed brewing of Imperial Stout for the barrel.  Rocky, Joel, Glen, Tyler and Jon have their pledged shares brewed.  Others are planning to brew their shares soon.  Tentative deadline to brew batches is by the June meeting.  Discussed location, date and potential logistics of a beer event for September.  Rocky brought Cream Ale brewed as a club sponsored beer and distributed it to members present.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Present: Jerry Ford, Rocky Stoltz, Steve Klicker, Nate Shilman, Glen Bruhschwein, Ellery Dykeman, Ryan Jilek and Jon Stika.

Discussed collective brewing to fill the new wine barrel.  Rocky, Joel (Empter), Glen, Tyler (Benson), Nate, Steve, Ellery, Jerry, Ryan and Jon will brew Imperial Stout to fill the barrel.  Jon will brew a batch of his own plus a batch sponsored by the club.  Ryan will brew a double (10 gallon) batch.

Discussed a club-organized beer event for early this fall.  Several members will check on various details needed to implement the event to determine its feasibility and develop a budget.  The preliminary plans for the event will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Discussed decoction mashing and its effect on beer flavor.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Present: Tyler Benson, Nate Shilman, Glen Bruhschwein, Ryan Jilek and Jon Stika.

Discussed brewing beer of the month kits to be shared with members.  Glen and Ryan will each choose a kit and brew it and be reimbursed from the club at at later date.  Jon has brewed the Halcyon kit which is still bottle-conditioning and will be brought to a future meeting when it is carbonated.  Motion by Stika, seconded by Jilek to trade the two barrels belonging to the club for a fresh used wine barrel recently purchased by Benson.  Motion passed.  Discussed upcoming Brews and Blues event scheduled for June 6th.  Discussed malt crushing and yeast starters.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Present: Casey Ritz, Alan Church, Steve Klicker, Ryan Jilek,  Rocky Stoltz, Nate Shilman, Glen Bruhschwein, Tyler Benson and Jon Stika.

Evaluated several beers brewed by members.  Discussed Beer of the Month kits and brewers.  Rocky, Ryan, Glen and Jon will brew club kits.  Rocky will order kits.  Discussed repitching yeast and sparging methods.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Present: Alan Church, Ryan Jilek, Tyler Benson, Michael Kreitinger, Glen Bruhschwein, Nate Shilman, Jan Heimdal, and Jon Stika.

Motion by Ryan to cast a unanimous ballot for Michael Kreitinger for vice president, Rocky Stoltz as treasurer, Alan Church as member at large and Glen Bruhschwein as member at large. Seconded by Michael. Motion passed.

Jon will contact Rocky regarding renewal of club non-profit status. Dues were collected from some members. Jon will brew first beer-of-the-month. Glen will pick up an all grain Halcyon Wheat beer ingredient kit from Northern Brewer in the near future.  Discussed malting barley, hop cultivation, water chemistry and differences in extract efficiency with different brewing systems.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Present: Ryan Jilek, Glen Bruhschwein, Ellery Dykeman, Joel Emter and Jon Stika.

Collected 2015 dues from Jilek, Bruhschwein, Stika and Paul Ellerkamp.  Collected payment for Brew Your Own group subscription from Jilek, Bruhschwein, Stika and Paul Ellerkamp.  Election of Vice President, Treasurer and two Members At Large was tabled until the January 2015 meeting.  Discussed cleaning of club barrels when the weather warms in the spring.  Discussed harvesting and reusing yeast.

Motion by Stika, seconded by Jilek that the Heart River Home Brewers club purchase up to one beer recipe kit per month, including shipping and bottle caps as necessary, for a club member to brew.  The brewer of the beer may then keep half of the resulting batch of beer and bring the remainder to a club meeting to be sampled and distributed to the members in attendance.  Motion passed.

Discussion prior to passage of the motion included that perhaps the club could collectively suggest various recipe kits so a variety of beers would be brewed and that the club could order the kits or a member could order a kit with prior approval and received reimbursement for the kit if brewed for purposes of the motion.  Empty bottles could be collected at meetings to supply a brewer with bottles as needed.

Jon Stika
Secretary

Notes by Jon Stika from presentation at Hoppy Halloween 2014, Fargo, ND by Russ Karasch of Black Swan Cooperage, Park Rapids, MN

White Oak (Quercus alba) is used for barrels because the xylem contains tyloses that are one-way valves that close when the tree dies and prevent fluid from flowing through the xylem pores afterward. White Oak used at Black Swan is sourced from Wisconsin. Rough sawn white oak is shaped into rough staves and allowed to season outdoors for one to three years to reduce tannins in the wood. Staves are then shaped to be narrower at each end than in the middle and beveled. The inside surface of the staves are bored with holes part way into wood to create a honeycomb of end-grain surface area to interact with whiskey. Staves are then immersed in 160F water for 10 to 15 minutes and bent to shape. After the barrel is assembled it is toasted at 365F for 20 minutes to create the flavor profile. The inside of the barrel is then charred as required by law.

Fusel alcohols are larger molecules than ethanol and become trapped in charred wood. The honeycomb pattern bored into wood will allow the ethanol to extract the same amount of flavor (primarily sugars) in six weeks as opposed to 2+ years which is typically practiced by whiskey makers. There are 27 different sugars that can be extracted by ethanol form white oak. 120 proof (60%) ethanol is the optimum concentration for extracting sugars from wood without adversely affecting sugar chemistry. Over time, ethanol links into longer polymer chains. These longer chains are smoother and less “scratchy” going down your throat. Some work is being done with ultrasound to form these longer chains faster so less aging time is needed to achieve a smoother product.

Other woods can be used to flavor whiskey, beer and wine, but they are all too porous for use as barrels and the “angels share” would be very high as the liquid in the barrel would wick through the wood and evaporate. Flavors from these woods can be imparted into alcoholic beverages by inserting wood chips or spirals into the liquid for a period of time instead of aging the liquid in a barrel of that wood.

Scotch was, and still is, aged in used whiskey barrels because the barrels could be had cheaply. Scotch is aged for an extended period of time in used whiskey barrels because it has to permeate the wood to the depth of the original whiskey (~2 years) and then into unsaturated wood to extract flavors and back out again. Hence Scotch whiskey was aged for at least 7 years to give the ethanol time to penetrate deep enough into the used whiskey barrel and back out again to acquire flavors from the wood. This could have been accomplished in half the time if the Scots weren’t so cheap and bought new, instead of used, barrels.

Wooden barrels used to handle beer were made of various species of wood and lined with conifer pitch to seal them from the inside. The beer never made actual contact with the wood, only the pitch that lined the barrel, so the beer did not pick up any wood flavors.

My note: “Beech wood aging” employed by Budweiser is done with Beech shavings in the bottom of their lagering tanks. I asked about this at a tour of a Budweiser facility in CA several years ago. The wood shavings provide additional surface area for the yeast to be in contact with the beer and reduce acetaldehyde and other undesirable flavors during the lagering period of conditioning.

Present: Alan Church, Jerry Ford, Rocky Stoltz, Ryan Jilek, Alicia Erickson, Glen Bruhschwein and Jon Stika.

Discussed beers members are currently fermenting and plan to brew this winter.  Alicia brought some 2014 Blues & Brews glasses.  Discussed new breweries opening in North Dakota, such as Drekker in Fargo.  Discussed holding the December meeting at a local pub or restaurant, but no consensus was reached on the subject.  Jon suggested the next meeting should be scheduled for December 18th rather than the 25th.  Ryan informed the group that he would be brewing on November 22nd and all were welcome to stop by to watch the brewing process or “supervise”.

Jon Stika
Secretary

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