December 2011

Present: Jerry Ford, Alan Church, Craig Tessier, Ryan Jilek, Jeremiah Thorpe, Michael Kreitinger and Jon Stika.

Beer of the Month from Town & Country Liquors was LaBatt Blue Light Lime.  Blue Light Lime was a very clear straw color with a very prominent lime aroma.  The beer had a flavor of lime and candy-like fruitiness reminiscent of Necco wafers & Dots with a slightly malty dry finish.

Discussed the invitation from the Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences of Fargo, ND for the club to participate in the Best of the Best Wheat and Barley Research Update scheduled for February 7, 2012 in Dickinson, ND.  Discussed wort aeration and yeast pitching rates for successful fermentation.  Mentioned that Dale will be heading to Minneapolis on the weekend and will pick up any requested brewing supplies for club members at Midwest Brewing Supplies.

Ryan brought a Hefeweizen and an IPA made with New Zealand hop varieties.  Jon brought an Ordinary Bitter made from the left over Midwest kit.  Alan brought an Ordinary Bitter brewed with unknown hops grown in his yard and an English Barleywine.  Craig brought an Autumn Amber Ale.  Mike brought an Oatmeal Stout.  Jerry brought a Belgian quad and hard cider.  Jeremiah brought an English Barleywine.

Jerry, Jon, Alan, Ryan, Mike and Jeremiah paid 2012 dues.  Jerry paid for his own BYO renewal and that of one friend, Alan paid for his own BYO renewal and that of one friend.  Jon, Ryan, Mike, Craig and Jeremiah paid for BYO renewals.

A drawing was held, won by Jerry, for a bottle of mead and bag of coffee made by Ryan.

Jon Stika

Hopunion does hop and beer testing for affordable rates in case anyone is interested in having some homegrown hops tested for alpha acid or beer tested for bitterness, etc.  The only drawback I see is they require a 7 ounce sample of hops to do the alpha acid test.  Check it out at:

In the December 2011 issue of Brew Your Own, Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver points out that; “… lots of homebrewers don’t begin with nearly enough of a healthy population of yeast to properly start fermentation.  And when the yeast is struggling, it gives off a lot of estery [fruity] profiles, which is a common flaw in homebrews.  I would say that the number one fault in homebrews is poor fermentation…”  The article mentions that Oliver has tasted and judged many, many homebrews.  “If you pitch your yeast and don’t see any signs of fermentation until 24 hours later, you haven’t pitched enough yeast, or it’s not as healthy as it should be.”  The article goes on to state that; “Oliver advocates making a yeast starter the day before brewing, which can easily provide double the yeast population, or harvesting yeast from a batch of homebrew.”  An inadequate pitching rate of yeast can also result in an incomplete fermentation, leaving that “malt extract” flavor finish in a batch of beer.