Present: Dale Sattler, Jon Stika, Dennis Froemke, Todd Solem, Ryan Jilek, Jeremy Jahner, Rocky Stoltz, Paul Ellerkamp, Kelan Luptak* and Jeremy Kruse*.
Ryan raised a question about including all the mash and sparge water up-front in a single infusion mash, and the consequences of conducting such a mash. Stika offered to research a response to the question. Jon offered the following: A thin mash that included all of the typical mash and sparge water at once (~2.5 quarts water per pound of barley malt) favors a more complete conversion of starch to sugar, but requires a longer mash time to achieve as the enzymes (alpha and beta amylase) are more dilute than in a typical mash of 1.25 quarts water per pound of barley malt. The thin mash would result in increased fermentability and therefore produce a drier, thinner mouth feel beer. One reason why conversion would be more complete in a thin mash is that amylase is not inhibited as much by a higher sugar concentration as it would be the case in a typical mash. To adjust for the differences of a thin mash, the mash could be conducted at a higher temperature and higher pH which favors alpha amylase, and be conducted for a shorter period of time, giving beta amylase less opportunity to produce more fermentable sugars. Another issue with thin mashes is that they do not easily form a filter bed in the mash tun and can therefore present problems with the runoff into the brew pot. Reference: The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing by Dave Miller pp. 128-129.
Ryan and Rocky reported on their brewing session from the previous week. They each brewed high gravity beers (barley wine) with single infusion mashes. Ryan collected a first-running batch of 1.080 (for a barley wine) and a second running batch of 1.060 (for an IPA). Rocky collected a single batch with a starting gravity of 1.076 for a barley wine. They also reported mash efficiencies of 72%-74%, and that all batches began fermenting quickly after pitching yeast.
Dennis reported at length about brewing his first batch of beer from an extract kit. He also displayed pictures of parts of his brewing process. Congratulations to Dennis on brewing his first batch. We look forward to sampling it at the next meeting!
Ryan provided a draft format for a flyer to provide to Town & Country Liquors that would include our evaluation and the brewers description of the beer of the month provided by T&C. The group approved of the format, and Ryan will be responsible for producing the flyers each month and providing them to T&C.
Paul reported that Ron Rhoades from Consolidated Communications encouraged the Heart River Home Brewers to produce brewing-related shows for cable Channel 18. Todd moved to pursue the proposal, seconded by Jon. Ryan said he had the video equipment and expertise to record the shows and Jon offered to write and present the shows with assistance from other club members. Further discussion centered around how the shows could be structured. Ryan suggested the shows could progress through the brewing process and also tie-in to the current topic of the Techniques column of Brew Your Own. Motion passed and tentative plans were made to begin producing the first show around the first of the year.
Ryan mentioned that he and Paul were planning to order used kegs from Northern Brewer during a special NB was having on the kegs. No one else was interested in going in on the deal at this time.
Beer of the Month from Town & Country Liquors was Firebrick Vienna-style lager brewed by the August Schell Brewery of New Ulm, MN. The beer had a good malt aroma and flavor typical of Vienna malt and had a deep copper color. The malt was balanced by the subtle flavors of noble hops, most likely Hallertauer and Tettnanger, with a light noble hop finish. Firebrick was a very nice example of a Vienna-style lager.
Home brewed beverages brought to this meeting included; Hefe Weizen brought by Ryan, which had good flavor and aroma but was under carbonated. Ryan mentioned that the beer was in excess of what would fit in a keg at time of packaging and so was transferred to a bottle and primed with some PrimeTabs. Dale brought a bottle of dandelion wine which had a very nice citrusy flavor. Dale briefly discussed the process of making the wine and the quantity and quality of dandelion blossoms required. Paul brought three beers which included a Honey Ale made with 5 pounds of orange-blossom honey, a (Spanish Peaks) Black Dog Ale clone, and an English Ale, all of which were good, however the English Ale was quite young and would benefit from further conditioning.
Ryan acquired 19 cases of various Goose Island and RedHook beers from T&C at a discounted price. The beer was divided up among the members present and Ryan reimbursed accordingly by each member who took some of the beer home.