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!
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.
WHAT A DAY!!!
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!