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’

Distilling at Sturgeon Spirits

Wait…I thought you were a home brew club…brewers, vintners, and cidermakers? When did you start distilling? Well, a few of us SOBs got together and made some whiskey mash and with the help of our friends at Sturgeon Spirits we distilled it into whiskey…now, the worst part for us…we’re not used to waiting so long for the fruits of our labor (except for our barrel-agers).

Thanks to Sturgeon Spirits, especially Karl and Todd, for hosting us and making it a great couple of days!

2023 Big Brew Day

We weren’t going to let a little rain stop our fun! Thanks to The Cellar for hosting and The Ginger German Food Truck for some great food!

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.

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