Meeting 303 took place at O’marros Public House on Sep 21st.  We had two things we wanted to get to, the Cascade hop brew sampling, and Tim’s grain presentation.  But we had to get through some business first.

First, we had a recap of the picnic.  There was a fantastic turnout for the picnic, both in terms of attendees and in the amount of homebrew brought along!  The SOB jockey box wasn’t big enough to handle it all.  Great food, great beer, good times, and perfect weather all made for a fun get-together.  It was great seeing people’s families too as a lot of big SOBs brought the little SOBs along too!

We discussed the upcoming FDL brewfest on Feb 4th from 5-9 PM  The general consensus was that it was the promoters that are being watched and ticked, not the clubs or members themselves.  So, with the clubs blessing, we’re going to sign up for the festival.  More details will come out when it’s closer, but hopefully with brews n blues and Appleton Ale fest both defunct, we can get a big turnout from the SOBs here.

The idea has been brought up about taking a further away brewery bus trip than we have in the past.  Chicago and Minneapolis both came up.  As did a Hophead tour.  Because of cost, it was suggested that we pair up with other brew clubs in the area, and open it up to the general public as well to make sure the bus is full, which keeps the cost down dramatically.  The board will kick it around a little more in early October about what we want to do, then solicit clubs from all over the area if we decide to go that route.  More details will come out on this as we put it together.  Overnight, all day, and other options are all being looked at. Stay tuned!

AHA conference is the 13-15th of June.  Looking to see how many people are interested in going.  Best estimates are that if you go the whole weekend, it will be in the 600-1,000 dollar range, including transportation, lodging, meals, and the $200 admission to the conference.  Hence the early notice, for anyone that wants to go.  For more details, talk to Ian W.

For Big Brew Day in May, rather than have everyone bring out their equipment, which has seemed to be a big reason why the numbers have been down the last few years, a different idea was suggested.  What we would do is all meet at Bare Bones, and do a group brew using the Bare Bones system.  I talked to RJ, and he liked the idea a lot.  We have to sit down with Dan and RJ, hopefully at our next board meeting, and work out cost details and how it would work with the brewery, but so far, it looks like it could be a great way to let people get to try something different!  More details hopefully soon!

Lastly, we discussed the theme calendar idea for the rest of this year, going through 2017.  The members were great with the idea, and like the long term notice on themes.  So I will get the themes added to the calendar as soon as I get back from a business trip, so look for them the first week of October.  The two finishing out this year are going to be Octoberfest styles in October(because ticki tocki ticki tocki hoy hoy hoy!) and then Meads and Wines in November.  Experience has taught me to eat dinner and be prepared in November if you attend, Thursday morning is a rough one!

With that, it was time to drink some homebrew.  First up was Jeff Eaton’s Maris Otter Cascade SMASH.  Made with 10lbs, Maris Otter Malt, 1 oz cascade for 60 min, and the Safale 05 yeast, no secondary, and cold crashed in the keg,  this was an easy drinking, crushable brew.  It had the golden color, and slight nutty flavor that Maris Otter is supposed to have.  It was well liked and gone quickly! A very well made brew Jeff!  Keep bringing em!

Next up was a joint brew by Udey and Travis Sullivan.  It used a malt called Full Pint.  It is new to the market, so they gave it a shot.  Also 10lbs, and 10z cascade for 60 min, and the same 05 yeast.  This was a different malt than most of us were used to.  The description suggested a popcorn flavor, and they were dead on.  This was one of the more discussed beers we’ve had in quite awhile.  No one knew quite what to make of this beer and this malt.  Some people loved it and had more, myself included.  Guess none of us have ever had popcorn in our beer before!  We had a lot of discussion on what kinds of hops and yeast could be used with a malt like this.  Hallertau was a consensus choice.  So if anyone wants to try it again, mix it up, and try it with hallertau hops, we’ll be happy to try it again.  Thanks to Jeff, Mike U, and Travis, for making these two beers.

Taking a short break to refresh our glasses, Tim P. led a good discussion on grains.  We started off with basic differences like 2-row and 6-row.  But we dived in quickly into the things that make the subtle differences, and what makes good beer into a great beer.  Like Alex in Neenah, Tim believes that water and Ph make a huge difference.  As you all know, the malt bill is the heart of any beer.  Adding just a little bit of wheat, or a roasted malt can change a beer completely.  For people that have been brewing for a long time, this is old hat.  For the new brewers, this was a very informative presentation.  Tim touched on recipe building, choosing the right hops for the grain you are going to use, and how to decide what percentages of each grain to use for your grain bill.  There was a lot of back and forth Q & A.  Tim is very knowledgeable in grains and hops, and we all learned quite a bit.  He also had a video presentation to go along with.  Visual exhibits always enhance and make things easier to understand.  Thank you Tim, for a very informative presentation.

Something we haven’t done in awhile, but was VERY well received:  During the presentation, people that had brought beer with them and set it on the back bar, started passing it out.  This was something the club had gotten away from that people missed.  It wasn’t by design to do it this was, but we got a lot of positive response from it!  This is something that the members really enjoy.  And we will keep doing it, so long as you continue to keep bringing the brews in each month.  We had over half a dozen beers back there, plus and amazing mead! I got nothing but great feedback from this!

After Tim’s presentation, or maybe just because my notes were unorganized(see above posts about beer during the meeting!) we had a couple other things to discuss!

On Oct 8th, we are going to have an Apple crush and Mark Schmeling’s house.  We’re going to start at 9AM.  If you wish to be a part, you need to bring something to crush into a cider, and bring a dish to pass.  I’ll be sending out a sign up sheet.  Please sign up fast, since the date is arriving fast!

Next year, we will have the opportunity to harvest some wet hops.  More details will come out on this next year.  Mike Engel brought in some of the hops to distribute to members.  As you’ve all seen on Lee R’s posts, wet hopped beer have popped up in Oshkosh again, so let’s keep the trend going.  Mike is hoping maybe we can do some beers as a club on site.  We will follow up when we get into next year and give you all more details!

Finishing off our even, Randy brought up a buy of SS growlers.  They are normally $30 a piece.  But if we buy them as a group, his friend buying them can get them for $20.  That’s a 33% discount!  And Stainless has the huge advantage of being unbreakable.  We all know just how important that is after having a bunch of beer.  So if you are interested, let Randy Bauer know, or let me know,

Whew! What a great meeting.  Can’t wait for October.  For those interested, Oshkosh has it’s Octoberfest on Sat Oct 1st, at the corner of Oregon and 6th avenue.  That’s right by dockside tavern.  It starts at I believe 2PM.  There will be plenty of Marzen’s Lee in Lederhosen, and weiner dog races.  Come on down! Til the October meeting at O’marros, Prost!