Saturday, January 17, 2015

January Minutes

The frost was on the punkin as we held the January B.A.S.H. meeting on Sunday the 11th at the home of Tom and Rocky Freund. Club President Cory Mathews called the meeting to order. Treasurer Carroll Pate reported “All is well, except I’m thirsty”. Paul Holder announced two new local brewpubs in the pipeline, one by member Hector “Toad” Cavazos and the other in Port Aransas at the site of Beaches BBQ.

Paul also gave a synopsis of the book “Water” by John Palmer. The three primary sources of brewing water are tap water, which is cheap but contains contaminants (in our area, chiefly chloramines), reverse osmosis (RO) water which requires chemical addition and spring water, which is pricy and may be missing certain minerals.

For light beers (blondes, pilsners, etc.) soft water such as RO is appropriate. For hoppy ales, you need mineral hardness and pH control is critical. For dark beers your water must be alkaline to balance the acidity of dark grains.

Treating tap water with an RO membrane will remove chloramines, but the chloramines will eat the membranes. Commercial RO machines contain an activated carbon filter upstream of the membranes. The carbon removes chloramines and organic contaminants, then the membranes remove minerals.

Many commercial breweries (including locally) filter tap water through carbon. Contact time is critical. Most home carbon filters are only 30 cubic inches or so in volume, and can only process 1 gallon per hour.

Another option for removing chloramines from tap water is using Camden tablets (sodium metabisulfite). Travis Clapp mentioned that potassium metabisulfite is preferable. Boiling tap water will sanitize it, but will NOT remove chloramines.

Cory and Vice President Sabrina Krueger presented Wild Bill Lehfeld with the B.A.S.H. Cup for Homebrewer of the Year 2014.

The highlight of the January meeting is the Iron Mash judging, and this year was no exception. Five solid teams contested Iron Mash XI, brewing their beers on November 1. The “Clappinators” (AKA the “Brewjays”) consisted of Travis, Judge Mark Woerner and Danna Sharpe. Alex “A-train” Almendarez and Patrick Viles were “Encino Man”. Andrew Herzig, Sabrina, Paul Kalaghan and Brent Juilleret were “Team Hazmat”. Cory Mathews, Jess Mathews, Drew Burkhardt and Claudio Montiel competed as “Model Airplane Glue”. Junior Bill Seddelmeyer and Clinton Schena were “Strutter” (Gene Simmons was absent that day).

After thorough consideration by the elite team of judges, the verdict was clear:

  • 1st – Encino Man, Belgian Dubbel, 151 pts
  • 2nd – Model Airplane Glue, Vanilla Pepper Belgian Dubbel, 132 pts
  • 3rd – Clappinators, ESB, 131 pts
  • 4th – Strutter, Belgian Dubbel, 126 pts
  • 5th – Team Hazmat, Munich Dunkel, 119 pts

Alex and Patrick wasted no time donning their bling medals and drinking from the victory chalice. As Alex would say “It only leaches lead and cadmium, I’ve had worse”!

We feasted on Tom and Rocky’s beef sausage wraps and co-host Aggie Bill and Dianna Hughen’s pulled pork sandwiches, swilled down with the competition beers and new homebrews from Tom and Paul H (kottb├╝ssel), Craig Gann (M-80 IPA), Paul H (amber ale), Aggie Bill (cumin wit), Cory and Drew (pale ale) Claudio (barleywine) and Mark Quade (chipotle red ale). Interesting commercial beers included Mark Q’s Oskar Blue’s Old Chub and Dub’s Pale Ale and Phil Sims’ Choc Winter Stout (Oklahoma).

As the evening wore on, Rocky tried her best to keep Mike Wojdyla’s pyromania under control at the fire pit. As usual, random comments were uttered – you supply the context :

  • Lou Needleman “My tongue is a palette” 
  • Paul H “We don’t want to contaminate the tongue” 
  • Paul H “You need hardness” 
  • Drew “It’s coming out in a trickle” 
  • Wild Bill “That’s what she said” 
  • Travis “I used to get infections” 
  • Patrick “I can’t feel my toes anymore” 
  • Claudio “I had some Freetail yesterday” 
  • Wild Bill “Me too -- Luke’s Mom” 
  • Paul “That was the best head I’ve had all night” 
  • Patrick “Trust the process. We’re deviants, but we didn’t deviate from the process” 

Upcoming B.A.S.H. events:

  • 8-Feb-15: B.A.S.H. meeting (Walt Crawford, Fruit/Smoked/Wood Aged competition, BJCP 20A, 22A-C) 
  • 8-Mar-15: B.A.S.H. meeting (Lou Needleman, brewing demonstration) 
  • 12-Apr-15: B.A.S.H. meeting (Carroll Pate, pig roast, light hybrid beer competition, BJCP 6A-D) 
  • 2-May-15: Big Brew (B&J’s Pizza on Staples at Timbergate?, multiple brewing demonstrations) 
  • 17-May-15: B.A.S.H. meeting (John Daniels?) 
  • 14-Jun-15: B.A.S.H. meeting (Daniel Nutting, English ESB/Pale ale competition, BJCP 8C) 
  • 12-July-15: B.A.S.H. meeting (B&J’s Pizza on Staples at Timbergate, hosted by Paul Holder) 

Thanks again Tom, Rocky, Aggie Bill and Dianna, congratulations Alex and Patrick, keep on brewin’ and we’ll see you next month at the Crawford’s!