May 2023 Meeting Notes

Meeting of the minds took place once again at the ever so reputable, Fifth Ward Brewing Company.

There were not a lot of new faces this month but man-o-man we sure had a hearty number of SOBs in attendance.


Plenty of brewing activity above and beyond the recent AHA Big Brew Day

Dave has not been brewing however his well-stocked inventory of winning 38 cases of craft brew at the recent Mayville (Rock River Bierfest) event is still going strong.

Seth has a clone Wheat brew in the making.

Lee continues his repetitious brewing habits with a Dunkel .

Kurt is awaiting optimal condition of his local conifer trees to produce yet another Spruce Tip Brew.

Travis has combined a hulking 38 lbs. of grain to make a Belgian Quad.

Chuck implemented recent learnings in chilling the ferment of a Cz Lager as well as a “small batch” of a favorite UK clone: Young’s Dirty Dick’s Ale.

Jacob is diving into his 1st Homebrew: California Common. Congrats Jacob!!!

Time to share some drinks

Jeff initiated the monthly sharing practice with his Amber Ale. Unique to what is deemed typical, Jeff produced a nearly NA beer. This dry-hopped Vienna mix was procedurally diluted down to a an estimated 0.5% ABV.

Jeff subsequently shared an Alt Bier which hinted a taste of honey via the combinations of his German Ale malt and Vienna Malt.

Lee entertained us with a Schwarzbier …………..a roasty 4.7 ABV Lager using combos of Munich malt, Vienna Malt, Black Prince Chocolate malt, and some rye. A 10th running of the same yeast yielded a tasty product.

Chuck brought a sampling of tablet fermented brew which was an extended use of the “whiskey mash” used for our club’s distilling event…..Hmmmmmmmmm

Seth poured a 2-month young Mango IPA. 5 lbs of mango slices in the secondary did a very pleasant blend to the Centennial & Simco hops.

Travis shared a Belgian and Mark finished things off with a Pilzen malted brew which utilized Cluster Hops as well as the ever available Walejko hops. Bullwork was performed via White Labs WLP351.

Sturgeon Spirits Craft Distillery

On May 13th a spirited group of SOBs successfully distilled the 2nd round of brew which filled our 10-gallon barrel with 110 proof virgin whiskey. The aging process has now begun and plans will be to conduct a sampling in as soon as 6 months.

BOOKLET – Classic Oshkosh Beers.

Lee has generously volunteered to compose an educational booklet which will honor some history of local brewing as well as feature a host of old and memorable recipes.

The club will cover printing costs of the estimated 30-40 page booklet.
Plan is to kick off this task in the upcoming fall for a hopeful completion by year’s end.

These will be made available thru some of our favorite local venues as well as being provided at various club events.

Big Brew Day

Mother nature was not a total friend however a couple diehards weathered conditions to make for a memorable event producing 8 various batches of brew.
After a host of brew-talk-chatter it becomes obvious the club is very much looking forward to some tastings with some being at our annual July club competition.

Big thanks to the German Ginger’s Gastro team as well as the Cellar for not only the provision of this event but also the walloping 15% sale to SOBs.

Mark your calendars for next year – May The Force Be With You. (May 04, 2024)


Big thanks to Matt (you too, Lee) for the extensive sharing of Beer History.

Totally amazing to hear of the extensive variants former brewers experimented with above/beyond “German Purity” to bring us this beverage we’ve all come to love.

“Bitter as death on the Gallows” should probably go on a hat.

Upcoming Events

  • June meeting on the 21st at 5th Ward. Hopefully the weather aligns for a Beer Garden meeting
  • July 12th – Brews on the Bay
  • July 19th – Club competition meeting at Bare Bones. Craig from Emprize Brew Mill has offered to commercially brew the selected winner. An anonymous type sign-up will soon be provided.
  • August 2nd – Brews on the Bay
  • August 16th – Annual Picnic. NEW LOCATION – Abe Rochlin Park. Members encouraged to bring dish/beverage to pass. Sign-up sheet pending.
  • Sept 6th – Final Brews on the Bay for SOBs
  • Sept 20th – Rushford Winery – Wine/Mead competition
  • Oct 18th – Oktoberfest Beer at Neenah’s Lion’s Tail

Brews on the Bay

Still plenty of opportunity to spend some quality time mingling with SOBs, the Oshkosh community, and listen to some pleasant bands. A reminder that no glass containers will be allowed and provisions you share must be 6%ABV or lower.

Dates available and sign-up opportunity linked in club emails.

A little humor to part with…

A former employee of a nameless local brewery traveled home for the Memorial Day holiday only to discover some horrendous news.
Current Brew Master – ‘I’m so sorry Mary, but our dear friend Keith died at the brewery today’.

‘Oh my god!’ replied Mary, ‘What happened?!’

Current Brew Master – ‘He drown in a vat of Chief Oshkosh said the worker, sadly.

‘That’s terrible! Was it a quick death at least?’ asked Mary.

Current Brew Master – ‘I’m afraid not, He got out twice to pee’

April 2023 Meeting Notes

Another eventful night at our little Home away from Home.

Thanks once again Fifth Ward for your accommodations as well as the free (yes I said free) bottle caps and iodine.

Took a look around the room and no new faces…..just the old ones littered with smiles.


Brett as well as many others (11) have recently brewed identical concoctions with eager anticipation of our April 22nd distilling activities at Sturgeon Spirits Distillery. (More on that below)

– Seth brewing a Mango IPA and from the sounds of it….our club will be very eager to someday get a taste.

– Travis has a Belgian Doppel in the making.

– Lee has partnered some activities with the city and will be breaking ground on and October Fest version of a Vienna Lager
– Jody is eagerly anticipating the day he will assemble a wine kit he acquired back when some of our members were in Jr. High.

Time to share some drinks

Our meeting contained a comfortable balance of beer-shares this evening.

– Kurt kicked things off with some Vienna Lager which he provided a Lagering tutorial on during last months meeting. His recipe is dominated with 98% Vienna malt hopped with a fan favorite Czech Saaz. Tasting went quite well and a suggestion was made to do a Club Vienna Brew.

– Jeff shared some of his Bon/Mon Dunkel which he lagered at 58 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. Great malty flavor

– Travis filled our tasters with a Belgian Triple which tips the scales at 8.5 ABV. The supplementing of Belgian Liquid Sugar was no match for the sugar-owning Monastery yeast from White Labs. This style has become the iconic favorite for all who partake in the annual burning of Christmas trees. Others among us opted up recommendation to experiment with White Labs 575 which is a triple yeast combo.

– Kurt once again stepped to the plate and offered up some Cherry Sour Lambic which is his personal enhancement to the Lambic produced by the SOB Fellowship of the Barrel.

– Kevin Noltenmeyer detoured a tad from conventional brews and shared some of his 2016 Cizer (sp?) which is a blend of apple cider and honey. Kevin states this is one of the simplest intoxicants. Mix-Ferment-Drink. Sky is the limit as infinite variants can be incorporated into any recipe.

Fox Valley Brewery Tour – April 15

Aside from some minor mechanical issues with the bus which left our tour group stranded in the tick infested ditch of a high-speed highway sizzling under the mid-day sun for nearly an hour it was memorably pleasant due to the accommodations of water, snacks, chex-mix, adult beverages and of course the camaraderie of our red solo cup hoisting members.

Eventually a back-up bus arrived and we made it to Hopyard Ale House for not only quality beer but also some stone-fired pizza and tour/tasting to boot.
Bus #2 and some Uber guys got us to our next destination: McFleshmans. The husband/wife combo of Bobby/Allison saw to it that we received a high-tech tour of this most interesting business.

A short and comfortable jaunt to the neighboring Appleton Beer Factory enabled our group to taste the wares of this friendly brewery. Time constraints diminished the opportunity of a tour but the fine tastes we encountered made it obvious they have the right equipment and make the best of it.

On the road again to our final scheduled brewery…..The Stone Arch. More beer and very nice tour/discussion.


Rumor has it that upon completion of the tour bus returning to the Oshkosh Park & Ride….several tourists were able to wrap things up with local beer from a fine local brewery……. Bare Bones. 

Sturgeon Spirits Craft Distillery

This little update will include some learnings which were acquired a few short days AFTER our April SOB meeting. This remains a hot topic ….so read on.
Saturday, April 22 started off with a bang as all distilling participants had their beer on site ready to dive into the distilling process. The team from Sturgeon Spirits arranged a Bloody Mary bars worthy for Kings & Queens. The 40 gallon system was loaded to the max. Surplus beer was routed to a smaller and less complex system which handles 5 gallon batches.

Everything was going per plan and drips of clear whiskey nectar were dripping faster than white lightening. Suddenly reality set in. Alcohol content numbers were dropping which is an indicator that the distilling had reaped the rewards of our beer. We were nearing the end and it appeared we had only acquired roughly1/2 the volume of whiskey we had anticipated. Our barrel was 1/2 empty…..or being I am always the optimist……our barrel was only 1/2 full.
The team of participants studied a host of options and came up with one clear and convincing conclusion: WE NEED TO BREW MORE BEER AND FILL THIS BARREL.

Thanks to Travis’ tight grip on the reins, we were able to source our ingredients thru The Cellar and move forward with all of the initial participants repeating the brewing process on or before May 8th. May 13th with be our 2nd round of distilling and we will FILL THAT BARREL. Some adjustments to our grain bill and procedural tweaks will insure higher efficiencies ….i.e.: elevated alcohol content. Once again….feel free to stop by and see this sparkly system in action.

   10# Corn, 3# Mild Malt, 4# Distillers Malt, 3# Wheat, 1# Rice Hulls

Big Brew Day

Wow……in less than 2 weeks… this nationwide event comes to fruition.
It appears we have 12+ people who will meet in the rear parking lot of The Cellar to whip up a host of brews on their various systems.

Some folks plan on brewing around 8:00AM. (These individuals will need to bring their own water as none will be available on site until the Cellar opens at 9:00AM

In the event this showcase of brewing stimulates your hunger…..fret not.
Ginger German’s Gastro-Truck will begin serving at 10:00AM

Let’s see who’s gonna do what. (sign-up link in email)

Hope to see a good showing of SOBs and feel free to bring your friends, neighbors, work-buds, & family.


Mr. Scott El’ Presidente shared some insights to the ease of Brewing In a Bag.

Top highlights include:

  • Practical for All Grain method
  • No stuck mash
  • No recirculation required (perhaps less efficiency)
  • May want to double grind to heighten efficiency
  • Can pour over bag to mimic sparging
  • May want a system which enables grain bag to drip for extended periods…that wet glob of grist is gonna get heavy
  • Save some money and buy 5-gallon paint bags (Menards)
  • Do not allow bag to rest on bottom of kettle as it will melt, tear, and soil your wort with all those grains you diligently attempted to contain in the bag.

SUPER EASY process & clean-up

Brews on the Bay

A reminder to all members to please consider sharing some of your wonderful beer, providing your warm assistance, or both at one or more Brews on the Bay this summer. Dates available and sign-up opportunity linked below. (Sign-up in email)

ALSO – No glass containers in the park!

March 2023 Meeting Notes

Great night for an SOB meeting.

Thank you Fifth Ward for hosting our event

Great attendance with roughly 23 active participants as well as a couple very young ladies whom orchestrated a flawless Girl Scout cookie delivery.

We were also blessed with a couple new faces in the crowd

Kevin Noltemeyer representing the Sauk City Bluff Hoppers
Team visit from Al Grumann (former SOB) & Blake Schlaeppi 
Mr. Bill Schwalbach. Long time SOB who we’ve not seen for quite some time. Welcome back, Bill.
And another gentleman of whom I did not catch a name. Prior attendee pre-covid. He appeared happy and that is good.


Travis – A post-Bare Bones Winter Beer Fest Creme Ale Belgian
Mark – American Pale Ale highlighted with Rosemary to celebrate his daughter’s graduation
Al & Blake – 60 (yes 60) gallons of Maibock generated from pure maple sap
Kevin – A Lambic, A Choc Cherry Porter…….. as well as others.
Kurt – He’s doing the finishing touches Lagering for the April 22 HH Hinder Headbutt Homebrew Competition
Brett – In the midst of pre-construction brewing scramble to fill every vessel possible. Has an American Blond, New Zeeland Pilzner, and others in the mix.
Lee – Continues in the never ending fermentables marathon with a Dunkle on deck and a Bohemian Dark Lager in the hole

Beer Share

This evening provided some generous shares by fellow SOBs.

Multi-Grain by Al & Blake
Sounds like they emptied the cupboard on this batch. (2-Row, Munich, wheat, Cara Munich, Rolled Oats, Rolled Rye, Wild Rice) Tasty concoction, fellas………..well done.

American Wheat Berry; compliments of Mr. Nick Tollefson.
His mixed berry adjuncts were a perfect compliment to the cascade & centennial hops. Well balanced!

Brett entertained with his Standard Blonde Abomination Amarillo (by morning) Hops provide a nice hint of a fruity finish.

The Backwoods Ale guys (Al and Blake) prompted round 2 with their German Festival Beer. This is not to be confused with an Octoberfest beer despite the Omega O-Fest yeast used in this recipe. Slightly under 5%ABV could make this a nice head-buzz session beer.

Lee (mega batch) Reiherzer delighted the crowd with a German (French) Altbier reminiscent of ventures to earths alt capital….Dusseldorf. Local water with articulated enhancements propelled this triple malt slurry into a VERY clean and crisp copper beauty.

Scott El Presidente shared some of the delights from round 3 of the Fellowship of the Barrel with his Pear Lambic. Aging this Sour/Lambic on Heritage pears produced a palate pleasing sweet/sour combo.

Nice to see multiple SOBs introducing personality into a baseline barrel brew.

Fox Valley Brewery Tour – April 15

Holy smokes…..seats sold out quicker than account closings at Silicon Valley Banks.

25 knowledge seeking brewing enthusiasts will ramble north to 4 prestigious Appleton breweries.

Bus will leave PROMPTLY at 10:30AM on Saturday, April 15. 10:31AM…………enjoy the walk.

Departure site is the Park/Ride just to the south of Bare Bones Brewery
(County Rd S & County Rd Y)

We will need to coordinate our lunch ahead of time so please indicate on the sign-up (in your email).

Sturgeon Spirits Craft Distillery

Yes, we are ready. Folks we are officially committed; lets get that SOB Whisky going

Here are some key dates:

March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) – Grains available at The Cellar. These are all bagged and ready to go.
April 8th-16th – Brew on/between these dates to give optimal ferment times
April 22nd – 11:00AM we will be distilling our very own homebrew at Sturgeon Spirits Distillery

Procedural guidelines were shared at tonight’s meeting and emails dedicated to brewing participants is in circulation.

Currently 11 SOBs are signed up to brew roughly 50+ gallons of the following concoction:

9# Corn, 2# Mild Malt, 5# Distillers Malt, 2# Wheat, Amylase enzymes to fully convince the starch/sugar conversion during the Mash and then Red Star Dady Distillers yeast will unload its fury into an aggressive ferment.

Club members are welcome (and encouraged) to participate in this distilling process…..and what the heck………check the sign-up sheet and reach out to any participants if you want to also experience the brewing process.

40 gallons is required for the distilling process. Surplus will be hopped and prepped as beer and you can bet your boots this will be shared at an upcoming meeting.

Full progress will be communicated as we progress.

Big Brew Day

This May 6th the AHA (American Homebrewers Association) national event is rapidly approaching.

AHA is proposing  a brew which is called NEARLY NIRVANA PALE ALE which is a clone of Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale (See overview below)

Not brewing???? Stop by and mingle with all your SOB friends and catch something to eat via the provisions of The Ginger German’s Gastro-Truck.

Let’s see who’s gonna do what. (sign up in email)


Mr. Kurt Weina provided an overview to Lagering.

A bottom fermenting yeast (SAFLAGER™ W-34/70) will work well in a cooler environment

Mini fridge converted to host a carboy and improved temperature controls works perfect.

Pitch yeast at 55-60°Fdirectly onto wort
Cool temps to 48-50°F for two weeks
Cold crash for 4-6 weeks to acquire a clean/crisp brew
Further question to be directed to 1-800-Lager-God

Retired Equipment

Mr. Chris Julson has elected to exit the homebrewing hobby

In appreciation of SOBs assisting in liquidating many of his assets he has elected to donate a couple items for raffle, silent auction or whatever we please.

The following items were rapidly secured/purchased by some lucky SOBs

Seth: PH metering system
Bill: Vacuum Sealer.

February 2023 Meeting Notes

Key Observation: It seems discussion, collaboration, and camaraderie tend to be heightened while surrounded by the wares of brewing and plenty of high quality fermented malt. Thank You Fifth Ward.

This month’s meeting fell absent of our fearless leader, Scott Westpfhal, however Mr. Travis Sullivan took the reins and flawlessly led us from start to finish.

Our 7:00PM meeting began promptly with Lee Reiherzer sharing some of his Czech Dark Lager (non lager)

New Faces
While sampling this fine beverage we met two fine gentlemen who find interest in our club as well as brewing. Seth who has recently moved to Oshkosh. He rightfully owns the title of being an Okee from Muskogee Jacob. This gentleman habitually attends meetings and we welcome him aboard

Who’s Brewing What
Kurt W. will be competing in his 2nd venture to H.H.Hinder Brewing Company for their annual HEADBUTT HOMEBREW COMPETITION. He will be making a Vienna Lager. We wish him all the luck and suspect he will do well. There is still time for more entries……..check out the link above.

Lee R has sights set on brewing a Red Lager this Sunday. Special Note; This will be Lee’s 500th batch of beer he has brewed. Holy cripes!!!! Congrats, Lee, on this huge milestone.

Fondy Brewfest Summary
Participating clubs was, to say the least, impressive and attendees had opportunity to sample 120 various suds. One of which was supplied by our very own Kurt Weina who scored a 4th place with his IPA. Rock on, Kurt. SOB attendees stumbled onto a “FREE” flyer opportunity which our club will explore to promote the SOB or activities there of.

Fox Valley Brewery Tour
All systems go for this quadruple event!
Plan is to initiate our learning at roughly 11:00AM at the Hop Yard Ale Works followed by subsequent visits to McFleshman’s Brewing Company, Appleton Beer Factory, and buttoning things up at the Stone Arch Brewpub. We continue to diligently explore transportation options so please stay tuned.

This is likely to be described as a Mega Hoot so please consider and sign up. See emails for link.

Time for another sampling………….ZERO objections.

Kurt offered up a pleasant IPA which incorporated some 2-Row base malt, 40L Crystal, and the ever so popular 8 ounces of Centennial Hops. Multiple supportive reviews to this 5.5 ABV pallet teaser.

Quick review of SOB events
Check out the calendar of events

Brews on the Bay
Once again….we will not participate in scheduled events which unfortunately conflict with timing of our scheduled meetings. None-the-less we would like strong representation at all other “available” events.

Please sign up if you would like to participate/donate to any of these activities.
PS…………they are lots of fun.

Time for another sampling………….Bring it, Travis.
An Imperial Lager seasoned in a 10 gallon barrel for 1 year proved more than worthy when highlighted with a plumb adjunct for 6 weeks. Yum!!! Strong barrel influence despite this being the 4th he’s brought to this boozy oak cavity.

It should also be noted that upon adjourning of tonight’s meeting…………Travis offered up a nice selection of sours which were sourced during the Fondy Brew Fest

What the heck is SMaSH??? It is a brew made with a Single Malt and a Single Hop. Here’s a link to a little background info on SMaSH

So the latest discussion is taking advantage of the generous offering from Jody Cleveland of Bare Bones Brewery to share some surplus Malteurop Pale Ale. Quite the offering as this equates to 8 – 55# bags.

We could, in turn, coordinate multiple members doing multiple concoctions on May 6th’s AHA Big Brew Day.

In addition to this offering…………Ryan Walejko has offered up some of his successful home-grown Chinook/Cascade hops to further compliment the May 6th home-brew national event.
Thanks, Dudes.

We will soon have a sign-up available.

And………so that we stay hydrated with free water and fully nutritiotioned..we will utilize the gracious parking facilities of The Cellar for this annual event as well as the scrumptious provisions of Ginger German’s Gastro Truck.

Distilling with Sturgeon Spirits
We continue to narrow the details of successfully pursuing this fascinating venture.
Please sign up using the email link if you so-happen to have interest. As we learn more………so will you.

Treasurer’s Report
Per Kurt’s summary we have the following funds
Club Savings: $$$
Cask & Caskets: $$

January 2023 Meeting Notes

Jan 18th, 2023

What a beautiful winter night at 5th Ward awaiting the onset of a Wisconsin winter squall!


Members provided survival beverages to quench thirsts thru the evening:

Kurt                       Breakfast Stout
Matt/Staci              Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Mark Stanek          Lager
Scott                      Great Lakes Christmas Ale
Chuck                    Speckled Hen Clone
Travis                    Red Ale (Lakefront Clone)


Fondy Club’s annual Beer Fest at Expo Center (February 4th)

5 SOBs will be serving our club’s finest.                 

Scott                      Xmas Ale
Kurt                       Centennial IPA
Brett                      Blueberry Blonde
Travis                    Barrel-Aged Plum Brown
Andrew                 Barrel Aged Sour

Event will host 103 various homebrews.

Note: There may still be room for 1 additional pourer

Brews on the Bay

Scott has aligned with Parks Director and SOBs are WELCOME BACK
Requested for SOBs to be represented in planning discussions.
Begins in June. There are 7 events and of that……3 are in conflict with scheduled SOB mtgs.

(06/21, 07/12, 08/02, 08/16, 09/06, 09/20)

Will investigate on how we may manage participation.
Kurt has volunteered to coordinate with these events.

Summer Picnic

August 16th
Abe Rochlin Park in Oshkosh

Sturgeon Spirits

Club is working with owner (Karl) to distill a club brew.
Will require ~40 gallons of “big” beer (10%)
Please reach out to a board member if you have interest or any questions.
Will investigate a brew day in March.
Brewery Tour (Fox Valley): 

Will have to commit/pay prior to event.
Tentative date of April 15
ATTENDEES……..Please sign up using the link in the email blast.

Wort Share

More to follow…so stay tuned.

Big Brew Day

1st Saturday in May
Parking lot of the Cellar (behind the store….follow your nose and sniff for steaming wort

Inquiry to members:

What are goals of 2023 SOBS?
What do members wish to have at meetings?
How do members brew? What unique differences are fellow brewers doing?
Check out calendar on SOB website and highlights on screenshot below.

2023 Elections

New Member Coordinator              Travis
New Secretary                                 Chuck
Continuing President                       Scott
(Due to heightened demands within Scott’s career, he will need to delegate some activities throughout board. Lets be ready to divide and conquer)

Will revisit status in 2024 election.

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