Meeting Resources

Following our discussions last evening regarding yeast starters I thought it would be beneficial to dig up a little information and get it out to those interested.  I will also post in on our website too.

Here is a PDF from Northern Brewer that is pretty close to the process that I’ve been using for several years.  I however use a airlock and stopper rather than the foam stopper they list.

In addition to this I put mine on a stir plate to continuously agitate the yeast in the starter.  If I really want big happy yeast volumes I will attach my aquarium pump to the stopper with two holes so I can continually aerate the starter.  So in that case the stir plate is continuously agitating the starter and allowing oxygen to be dissolved into beer and feed the yeast.  The system would look basically like this and I wouldn’t go this far all the time.

You do not need to purchase a commercial stir plate and can easily make one with an old computer fan and some miscellaneous parts from Radio Shack:

Here is a nice video showing a similar process from BYO magazine and Basic Brewing:

Also, this link is a reference I use to determine how much yeast ‘should’ be pitched into a beer depending on its starting gravity.

Ok I hope that helps!

Present: Ryan Jilek, Alan Church, Rocky Stoltz, Jerry Ford, Paul Ellerkamp, Dave Lehman, Michael Kreitinger, Jeremiah Thorpe and Jon Stika.

Beer of the Month was Samuel Adams Oktoberfest.  This beer was an Americanized version of the style and lacked the malty, bready, bisquity body of a true European Oktoberfest.  The beer was a bit light in malt and rather hoppy for the style, but otherwise a very clean and drinkable beer.

Rocky brought an American Ale made with locally grown noble hops and some wild hops that he picked along the railroad tracks near his home.  The beer had a good balance with a noticeable diacetyl (butterscotch) aroma and flavor.  The beer should improve with time.

Ryan brought an Amber Ale made solely with Amarillo hops.  The beer was good and the Amarillo hops were citrusy with a nice grapefruit note.  Ryan also brought a Belgian Wit with a bit of cumin spice in the recipe.  The cumin was noticeable in the finish.  The beer was rather young and should change somewhat with age.

Mike brought an American Ale made from a Midwest Brewing kit.  The beer was clean with a malt finish.  He also brought a Cherry Stout that was good and roasty with a cherry nose and finish.

Alan brought La Blonde Mechante Ale, Blueberry Saison, Kriek Lambic and Geuze Lambic #2.  All these beers were very flavorful and unusual.  The Blueberry Saison had a very fresh blueberry flavor with a sweet-sour balance.  The Kriek Lambic had a sour profile with a subtle leathery note.

Paul brought a Peach Wheat Ale with good flavor and carbonation but no head retention.  Discussion included using some wheat malt to assuring a good hot and cold break during the boil to help with head retention.  Paul also brought an IPA that had good body and hoppiness.

A discussion regarding Star San recommended a dilution of one ounce Star San in five gallons water.  This solution should have a pH <3 to remain effective.  Contact time for sanitation was 2 minutes with a cold water rinse.

Jeremiah brought a wheat beer and a Brown Ale which were good, but could benefit from cooler fermentation as they were both a bit fruity.

Jerry brought a beer made with home made malt, cara-pils, Munich malt, homegrown Nugget hops and Bavarian Lager yeast.  The beer was good, with a steam-beer character from a warm fermentation.

Ryan suggested meeting twice a month during the winter, but no motion was made suggesting we do so.

Jon Stika

Present: Paul Ellerkamp, Rocky Stoltz, Ryan Jilek, Dale Sattler, Jeremy Jahner and Jon Stika.

Ryan brought a Miabock that he brewed last winter.  It was slightly sweet and a little hazy, but very good for the style.  Beer of the month this month is Summit Red Ale.  This red ale is not like a typical Irish red ale in that it is much hoppier; similar to an IPA than an Irish Red.  The Summit Red Ale had a deep copper color and crisp malt flavor with assertive hop bitterness and hop finish.  Dale brought some of his very good dandelion wine.   Ryan brought some of his Cabernet Savignon with prominent oakiness.  Rocky mentioned that he is growing Centennial hops.  Rocky also mentioned that he knows the location of some wild hops growing by the Pheasant Country golf course.

Jon Stika

Present: Todd Solem, Ryan Jilek, Rocky Stoltz, Paul Ellerkamp, Dale Sattler, Mike Anderson and Jon Stika.

Beer of the Month from Town & Country Liquors was Leinenkugels 1888 Bock.  The Bock had a deep brown color, malty aroma, somewhat malty flavor profile with a caramel finish and enough hop bitterness to leave some sweetness in the finish.  Not as malty as traditional German Bock beer.  1888 Bock would be a good introductory beer for those who have not yet tried a dark beer.

Jon read a report from his son, Tanner; regarding a tasting session of New Belgium Brewing Company’s beers that Tanner participated in at the Blue Moose in East Grand Forks, MN. 

Rocky moved that the club apply for tax identification with the state of North Dakota.  Ryan seconded.  A tax identification number would allow the club to establish a checking account as a separate entity.  Motion passed.

Jon Stika nominated Ryan Jilek to serve another term as Vice President.  Ryan Jilek nominated Dale Sattler for Member at Large.  Rocky Stoltz nominated Todd Solem for Member at Large.  Ryan moved that nominations cease and a unanimous ballot be cast for those nominated.  Motion passed.  Ryan Jilek will serve another term as Vice President and Dale Sattler and Todd Solem will serve a term as Members at Large.

Rocky collected $25 dues from each member present at the meeting. 

Jon presented information from Brew Your Own that would give club members a year subscription to BYO for $14 if the club could accumulate 10 subscribers by June 2009.  Rocky passed the form around for those interested and retained the form to allow others to subscribe at the next meeting.  Discussed including a subscription to BYO to be provided to the Dickinson Public Library.

It was agreed that Maurice “Moe” Lloyd be accepted to the club as an honorary member as he has brewed a batch of beer earlier this month that Jon will bring to the March 2009 meeting for evaluation by the membership.  As an honorary member, Moe will not be subject to dues, nor have voting rights.

Discussed the production of beer glasses for each member.  Ryan purchased a case of glasses and had them at the meeting.  Ryan showed an example of what could be applied to the glasses, specifically, the club logo and members name and year they became a member.  Ryan will proceed with procuring the vinyl transfers that will be applied to each glass to serve as a stencil for applying a permanent frost to each glass. 

Rocky brought a home-brewed ESB.  Paul brought a home-brewed English Bitter and home-made Lemoncello, and some Boddington’s Pub Ale.  Jon brought some Hazed and Infused from the Boulder Beer Co.  Todd brought some home-made Chokecherry wine.  Dale brought some home-brewed Pilsner Urquell and some home-made Lemoncello.  Ryan brought some home-made cheeses.  Mike brought some pizza. 

Ryan distributed the Michelob sampler cases and Horny Goat beers that he acquired at cost from Town & Country Liquors. 

Jon Stika

Present: Ryan Jilek, Mike Anderson, Rocky Stoltz, Paul Ellerkamp and Jon Stika.

Beer of the month from Town & Country Liquors was Dundee Oktoberfest. Dundee Oktoberfest has a light amber color and very pronounced caramel flavor. It is both sweeter and lacking in the biscuity/bready flavors of a traditional Oktoberfest, but is clean and smooth with a malty finish.

Rocky brought a Maple Ale, Paul brought a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone, Ryan brought some of his barleywine and IPA from the brewing session last fall, Mike brought some hard cider and lemon “snap”, and Jon brought some Brown Ale. The Maple Ale was good, but lacking in noticeable maple aroma or flavor. Rocky said he added the maple syrup near the end of the boil. Jon suggested the maple syrup might be added to the secondary fermenter to limit the maple flavor and aroma being lost during the boil or carbon dioxide evolution during primary fermentation. The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone was brewed from a kit purchased from Midwest Brewing. The malt bill was entirely dry malt extract. The beer was very good, with a good malt flavor and lots of Cascade hop aroma and flavor. The Barleywine was very good and balanced with alcohol evident in the flavor profile. All agreed the Barleywine was very young yet and would improve with age. The IPA was very true to style and very good overall. The hard Cider was very good with a slight sweetness and nice apple flavor. The Lemon Snap was very lemony and easy to drink. The Brown Ale was well balanced with some fruity esters, but lacked the malt character desired in that style of ale.

Ryan moved to charge $20 as annual club dues, seconded by Jon. After further discussion, the motion was amended to $25 per year. Discussion included that the money could be used to purchase pint glasses on which Ryan offered to etch the club name. The glasses could be used by each member at regular meetings as a tasting glass. Each member would be responsible for bringing their glass to each meeting. Dues could also be used to sponsor a subscription at the Dickinson Public Library for ‘Brew Your Own’ and ‘Zymurgy’ magazines and for other expenses for supplies consumed at meetings. Motion passed.

Ryan moved to split the current position of Secretary/Treasurer into separate positions of Secretary and Treasurer with the President and Treasurer as signatories on any payments made by the club, seconded by Rocky. Motion passed. Ryan moved that Rocky be elected as Treasurer by unanimous ballot and all other nominations cease, seconded by Mike. Motion passed. Rocky is now the club Treasurer and Jon the club Secretary.

Ryan moved that we file as a non-profit organization with the state of North Dakota to give the club a legally recognized identity, seconded by Jon. Motion passed.

Other discussion centered around the need to hold elections for the positions of vice president and members at large at the February 2009 meeting. The current Vice President and members at large are eligible for re-election. Other members are eligible to be elected to these positions except Paul as President and Jon as Secretary. It was noted that Jon brought his own tasting glass to the meeting to save a disposable plastic cup from the trash.

Jon Stika

Present: Rocky Stoltz, Paul Ellerkamp, Jeremy Jahner, Todd Solem, Dale Sattler, Ryan Jilek, Dennis Froemke, Jon Stika, Mike Anderson and Todd Dorval. 

Welcome to new members Mike Anderson and Todd Dorval! 

The beer of the month supplied by Town & Country Liquors was Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown lager.  Fireside is a deep amber colored lager with prominent maple sweetness, hazelnut and chocolate flavors and a clean crisp finish.  Fireside is likely the most flavorful beer available of the many varieties brewed by Leinenkugel’s.

Dennis brought a sample of his first beer that he brewed, an Irish Red Ale, which was now fully carbonated.  Paul brought some of his Scottish 60+/- Ale.  Ryan brought some Oktoberfest that was fermented with a California Common (Steam Beer) yeast.  Rocky brought some ESB.  Jon brought some Espresso Porter.  Todd S. brought some wine that is now a year old that was feremented from Concord grapes locally grown by Guy Harper.  Dale brought Elderberry wine from locally grown Elderberries.  Todd D. and Paul each brought Apple Pie liquor. 

Discussed production of brewing shows for Channel 18 (Consolidated Communications local access).  Jon will script some outlines and questions that could be used in shows.  Topics suggested were: types of beer, ingredients, equipment, process for extract brewing vs. all grain, and the steps in making wine.

Jon updated the website to include the link to CafePress for those interested in purchasing items with the club logo on them.  The link to CafePress is on the About Us page.

Jon Stika

November 20, 2008
Meeting Minutes of the Heart River Home Brewers

Present: Todd Solem, Ryan Jilek, Rocky Stoltz, Paul Ellerkamp, Dennis Froemke, Dale Sattler and Jon Stika.

Paul reported on the Beaver Creek Brewery in Wibaux, MT that brews and sells beer locally in Wibaux.

Ryan brought some Chokecherry Stout which has very well balanced. Jon brought some Belgian Wit. Dennis brought a few bottles of his first beer, an Irish Red Ale, which was a bit under carbonated, very young and malty. This beer should improve with some carbonation and conditioning. Paul brought some Small Batch 471 Double-hopped IPA which was malty, very hoppy but balanced, with a subtle pineapple aroma. Paul also brought an Irish Stout which was good, but a bit sweet, and fit the Porter style better than a stout.

Dale brought a peach wine and a German rhubarb wine that included some clove and ginger. Both wines were very good.

Beer of the Month from Town & Country Liquors was Summit Maibock. The boys at Summit have done it again and brewed a winner that is true to style. The Maibock had a deep golden color, malty aroma, very malty flavor profile with just enough hop bitterness to balance the sweetness and a soft noble hop finish.

Discussed production of brewing shows for Channel 18. Suggestions included; the first show center on why we brew our own beer and the basic styles of beer. Next, could cover basic equipment and the brewing process, then progress on to each step of the actual brewing process.

Also discussed the possibility of collecting dues and what those dues could be spent on. One suggestion was to sponsor a subscription to Zymurgy and/or Brew Your Own for the Dickinson Public Library so each issue would be available to the public and be archived by the library for future reference.

Jon Stika

Present: Paul Ellerkamp, Rocky Stoltz, Ryan Jilek and Jon Stika.

President Ellerkamp called the meeting to order at 6:30PM at Custom Data.

The group discussed a summer picnic and decided that the event would be held at Jilek’s on Saturday September 13 at 4:30PM. Ryan offered to grill beer-can chicken and the rest of the members would bring pot-luck items.

This month’s contribution from Town & Country Liquors was Bass Pale Ale brewed by the William Bass & Co. of England. The Bass Pale Ale had a very malty aroma and flavor up-front, hops in the middle, and a butterscotch-biscuit finish. It was copper-colored with good foam, but not as hoppy as typical of American-style Pale Ales.

Other beers brought to the meeting included; Summit Scandia Wit, Alaskan Summer Ale, Surly Brewing Co. CynicAle, Moosehead lager, and Hazed and Infused by the Boulder Beer Co.. The Summit Scandia Wit was very citrusy, malty and smooth. The Alaskan Summer Ale was a Kolsch-style ale that was very light and refreshing. The CynicAle was a very complex Belgian-style ale with many spicy and fruity flavors. The Moosehead lager was a slightly sweet slightly skunky lager. The Hazed and Infused had a huge hop aroma and flavor but low hop bitterness. It was a bit hazy as it has wheat malt as part of the grain bill. A very good and unique beer.

Ryan brought up a couple brewing techniques for discussion. The first was the idea of conducting a short boil instead of a typical hour-plus boil when all-grain brewing to shorten-up the brew day. The group discussed possible reduced hop utilization (isomerization) and resulting bitterness, as well as the possibility of limiting the time for volatile compounds such as acetaldehyde, etc. to be purged during the boil. It was decided that hop bitterness could be compensated for with a late malt addition or a greater hop charge and that the yeast could clean-up some of the undesirable flavor compounds during the secondary fermentation and conditioning period.

Ryan also brought up the idea of mashing with a full amount of both mash and sparge water instead of adding sparge water after the mash. Discussion revolved around the fact that the mash would be relatively thin and favor more complete breakdown of carbohydrates because the concentration of sugars during conversion is low in the dilute mash and thus does not inhibit enzyme activity. This could result in a drier beer with less body than desirable.

Meeting adjourned at 8:45PM

Jon Stika

HRHB meeting minutes – May 22, 2008 Custom Data Dickinson, ND

Present: Paul Ellerkamp, Dale Sattler, Dennis Froemke, Ryan Jilek, Rocky Stoltz (at 9PM) and Jon Stika.

President Ellerkamp called the meeting to order at 7:40PM. Motion to change the starting time of regular monthly meetings from 7:30PM to 6:30PM that was tabled at the last meeting was discussed. Sattler called for a vote on the motion and the motion passed. Starting with the June 2008 meeting, the regularly scheduled monthly meeting will begin at 6:30PM.

Beer of the month from Town & Country Liquors – Rogue Mocha Porter. Following is the evaluation: Malty-roasty aroma. Flavor was complex with sweetness up front, good hop flavor in the middle, with a slightly dry cocoa/coffee finish. A very late hop flavor, but not as hoppy or dry as a Stout. Nice head formation and retention.

Ellerkamp reported that the lagering box built by Stika from plywood and an old water cooler from Jilek had stopped running and was most likely beyond repair. Jilek suggested that the insulated box could be connected to an existing refrigerator to cool it and it could still be used for the intended purpose.

The summer picnic was briefly discussed but no action taken.

The idea of a requirement for membership in the HRHB club was brought up by Jilek and briefly discussed by the group. Jilek suggested that to be considered a member in good standing, each member should be required to brew a batch of beer or wine at least once a year, and share it with the membership present at a regularly scheduled meeting. No motion was made on this topic.

Stika brought some Avery White Rascal Belgian Wit beer. Ellerkamp brought some; Hoegaarden Wit, homebrewed Grand Cru and Belgian Wit (Patersbier kit) and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine. Sattler brought some chokecherry wine.

The Avery White Rascal was very yeasty and spicy and generally not well received by the group. The Hoegaarden Wit was excellent. The Grand Cru was only slightly carbonated as it had not had much time to condition but was otherwise judged to be very good and would be even better once carbonation and conditioning is complete. The Patersbier Belgian Wit was good but had a very pronounced butterscotch (diacetyl) flavor. The diacetyl was not offensive, but more pronounced than typical for the style. Ellerkamp reported he had problems with the yeast initiating fermentation and it was theorized that perhaps the yeast finished weakly and did not appreciably reduce the diacetyl in the secondary fermentation. The Bigfoot Barleywine was a VERY INTENSE beer. Huge malt, hops and alcohol flavors were almost overpowering. Definitely a beer that must be sipped! The chokecherry wine had excellent color, body, and flavor and was well balanced between sweet and dry.

Jilek suggested a flyer of our beer-of-the-month evaluation could be published and provided to Town & Country to promote their beers.  No formal action was taken on this issue.

Motion by Jilek seconded by Stika to adjourn. Motion passed, meeting adjourned.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Heart River Home Brewers will be on June 26, 2008 at 6:30PM at Custom Data.


Jon Stika

Present at the April 24, 2008 meeting were; Ryan Jilek, Todd Solem, Rocky Stoltz, Dale Sattler*, Dennis Froemke and Jon Stika. In the absence of President Ellerkamp, Vice President Jilek called the meeting to order at 7:30PM. *Dale Sattler is a new member recruited by Paul Ellerkamp.

Ryan informed the group that he had made an arrangement with Town & Country Liquors of Dickinson that T&CL would provide the club with a different beer for evaluation each month, and that the club would agree to post the evaluation on the club website. The beer provided by Town & Country Liquors for this meeting was McEwan’s Scotch Ale brewed by Scottish Courage Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland. Evaluation of the beer found it to be sweet with a very strong malt aroma described as “a baked biscuit covered in malt syrup”. The flavor was described as “drinking chocolate cake” with a distinct alcohol flavor in the profile. The beer had excellent head retention, Brussels lace on the side of the glass and was a deep brown in color.

Rocky brought some of his Coffee Stout which had a very good coffee aroma and flavor with a slightly dry finish…overall a nice example for the style. Jon brought Boulevard Pale Ale, Stone Mill Pale Ale and some of his own Pale Ale. The Stone Mill Pale Ale was judged better by virtue of maltiness and smoothness than the Boulevard Pale Ale. Jon’s Pale Ale was judged to be smooth with a citrusy hop aroma and a medium malt finish. Todd brought a wine he made from locally grown Concord grapes. The wine was light in color with a slight astringency and some acetic acid detected by Dale. Dale brought some Dandelion wine that included some lemon. The wine was very light in color with an excellent flavor and balance.

Dale mentioned that Dave Walter was interested in becoming a member of the club. Dave formerly operated a homebrew supply business in Dickinson.

Ryan mentioned that he had a plastic conical vessel of approximately 16 gallon capacity and a small refrigerator that he would be willing to sell. Ryan said the refrigerator would hold 3 or possibly 4 Cornelius kegs.

Motion made by Froemke, seconded by Stoltz that the club consider starting the monthly meetings at 6:30PM rather than 7:30PM. Solem asked that the motion be tabled until the next meeting at which the President was present before the motion would be voted upon.

Discussion took place regarding a deadline for Froemke to brew his first batch of beer. Though no motion was made on the subject it was generally agreed that he should have his first batch of beer brewed before November 2008.

Discussion also took place regarding the club developing a bank of brewing yeast. Ryan mentioned that he had experience preparing slants for the purpose of preserving yeast.Ryan moved to adjourn, seconded by Solem. Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully,Jon Stika

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