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’

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!

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!

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