The American Homebrewers Association Annual Homebrew Con 2019 was held this year in Providence, RI. I attended several conference sessions, explored the vendor exhibits, browsed the Onsite Bookstore, and participated in the Club Night festivities.
Sessions I attended ranged in topics from the Health of Your Homebrew Club, Botanical Brewing, Do-It-Yourself Brewing Devices, and Barrel-Aging. Swag I brought home included 4 pounds of grains, a bag full of leaf hops pulled right from a bale, and various trinkets (some of which I will make available to members who sign up to do a presentation to the club).
I have a slideshow to share at the next meeting. Mary, George and I will talk about our experience. We’ll look forward to doing it all again next year in Nashville!
HWelcome new member, Scott (and baby)! Congratulations new President, Pete!
Sign up to serve at Septembeerfest at Southern Brewing 9/21 3-8pm
5 beers per club are expected and we already have 4 volunteers, but come along, serve, and enjoy this big annual event. Let's light it up with the Beer Booth!
Joe passed the President's gavel to Pete. Brian is making necessary notification to the bank regarding our treasury. We still need a VP and secretary.
Ideas for future meetings include a celebration of local beer at the Tampa History Museum, doing more local/Brandon pourings perhaps including one for the Valrico Village Players, and a repeat performance for the Brandon Ballet at Winthrop. We also participate in regional events such as Florida Best Beer (.org) which is in need of stewards. (sign up online)
Past President Joe prompted a fun conversation with the question, what was your worst brew day? Joe Hirtz told a story about the time he burnt his hands when he forgot to keep his mitts on while handling his brew pot. Another member recalled having to use a snowbank to cool his wort. Mary remembered a time in her early days of brewing when she added pumpkin to a mash, only to end up with a stuck sparge and an infected brew. And there was a story about a “whole grain” beer that didn't come out right because, literally, the whole grains were whole/unground.
We had 6 beers to taste; Brian’s mild sour Gose, Mary’s Strawberry rhubarb Berliner
and ordinary bitter, Scott’s 2nd brew American Wheat w/jalapeño and pineapple, Wes’s blended chocolate peanutbutter coconut Porter, and Pete’s white chocolate blonde stout. All were very tasty!
Attendance is up - really good to see our members getting back to our meetings.
President Joe presided and presented information on how to make Belgian Candi Sugar, which includes a desired enzyme for some styles of beer, such as the Belgian Golden that we brewed at the annual Homebrewers Day celebration on May 4 (pictured above).
for more info...
See also readit.com...
And Master Brewers Association...
Mary's dry peach meed
Pete's Belgian golden
Lee's dry hopped blonde
Dean's 10-hour IPA
Joe's Belgian single
Mary's award winning chocolate peanut-butter stout
Wes's imperial porter with coconut and cocoa nibs
Wes's same base porter w/peanut butter
Save the date...
Septemberfest on the 21st at Southern Brewing
Lights! Music! Let's do it up with the Beer Booth!
Jacksonville competition is next, Wes!
We enjoyed our monthly meeting full of exciting information about competitions, conventions, and BEER! Seven members attended plus visitor Paul from Pinellas who brought us a check for participation in Best Florida Beer. His club recommends using it to subsidize educational efforts such as getting more members to certify as judges. That may be just the encouragement a couple of us need to take the next step now that we've learned so much from Joe's competition team meetings.
One of Joe's beers placed 3rd in the Kansas NHC competition! Congrats, Joe! He reminds us that the Sunshine (Orlando) competition is open, and Hogstown (Gainsville) opens soon. See www.Reggiebeer.com for more info. Joe will be judging at Hogstown. An important tip is to enter your beer into the correct style. At the last competition the judges noted that a beer entered into the Belgian strong style and only scored in the 20's would have scored in the 40's if it was entered as a Belgian Golden!
NHC is in Rhode Island at the end of June. Join us! We'll be taking lots of beer to share on Club Night from our Beer Booth with a Village People theme! LOL!
And, of course, we tasted some excellent beer, including Brian's porter, a barrel aged imperial stout that Pete picked up in Nashville, Joe's dark mild, and Mary's Belgian bret and sour.
Next meeting is May 15. Put it on your calendar now, and bring a friend! If you're not a member, do you love trying various beer styles? Thinking about home brewing? Just curious? Attend your first meeting FREE!
It's Spring Break week for our county public schools, so that may account for only 7 in attendance this month. Still, it was a productive and interesting meeting with several topics of discussion and 7 beer tastings!
Topics included the advantages of hydrating yeast or using "smack packs" like Y-Yeast and White Labs. Recommendations for more info include an online resource from Scott Labs and a book "Yeast" available through the Brewers Association. As expected, freshness, timing and temperature are important.
Beers included an IPA with oats and late hopping, a German pilsner, a red ale, a gluten-free porter/stout, and a Belgian golden with loquat. Ray brought the HEAT with a ghost pepper imperial stout and a habanero meed!
I filled in to run this month's meeting, but we're still looking for a new President and VP. Ideas for club activities and meeting topics are also welcomed! Speaking of related topics, check out www.tampabayhistorycenter.org for events related to their new brewing exhibit, like Brewseum March 28 from 5pm to 8pm!
This month's attendance was 13, welcoming new member AJ. We sampled 10 beers including a deliberate sample of an off-flavor with a discussion of the causes. Beer Smith and Brewers Friend were recommended for recipes. Other information shared included an invitation to run for President and VP, as the current officers are stepping down. Save dates for the Brewer's Ball at Waterside Park in Tampa 3/3, the AHA Regional Competition 3/31 & 4/5-4/7, and the annual Homebrew Con in RI in June! See ReggieBeer.com to enter your beers in competitions and get expert feedback.
Our regular meeting is back after a Thanksgiving meetup at my house and our annual holiday gathering at Bootleggers Brewing Co., with 15 members present. I was officially named our Equipment Manager, succeeding George who's going to be busy with a couple more years of work and a second job opening his own brewery! We're going to need a new President and VP in April. Apply now!
Put Feb 16 on your calendar for Fergs' Hops for Heros, a club pouring event not to be missed! Should we use the "Beer Booth"?! (weather permitting) Also, I've made reservations at the Omni in RI for the annual AHA Convention, thinking of driving up with the Beer Booth for that one too! Save a date (tba) in April for the AHA Regional competition. Enter a beer and plan on helping out with stewarding for some or all of the 5 sessions. This is the best opportunity of the year to enjoy beer with like minded enthusiasts!
The Coconut Cup competition is open as is the Dunedin IPA smashdown and a Feb pro/am at Coppertail, and while you're at it, the AHA competition. Sign up online at https://reggiebeer.com.
Did you know there are about 80 breweries in the area now? The top 10 in sales include Cigar City, Coppertail, Big Storm, and Tampa Bay Brewing to name a few.
We had a round table discussion on wort aeration, which is important to the
percent dissolved oxygen for yeast health. It's especially important for high gravity beers and 5 gal or more batches. Fermentation time, attenuation, and sweetness can all be affected by aeration. The full study is available in our Facebook files. Pictured is my wort stirring device, designed for quicker wort cooling, and may also aid aeration.
Beer Tastings included Rye Wheat, Spiced Holiday Ale, Pale Lager, IPA, Weizenbock, Dunkles Bock, Starfruit Gueuze, and a Meed. Prost!
The pouring event at Cajun Cafe, St. Pete, for Paws for a Cause was a big success! We enjoyed pouring our beer for a large crowd of enthusiastic beer drinkers. Two outside buildings provided ample space for both a collection of clubs and a number of local breweries. A generous lunch and appetizers were included. And the beer... YUM! So many styles, all excellent! Members are encouraged to attend these events. It is always a good time with friends new and old to mingle, see the variety of serving setups, and swap stories with brewers from all over the Tampa Bay area.
Dominic's Hard Seltzer "Ghost", Rob's IPA, Dean's IPA, Brian's NE IPA, Lee and Katie’s Pumpkin saison, Mary’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Berliner and a Coconut Stout for desert.
Nov 3 at Cajun cafe in Pinellas Park. Pour your beer. Or just attend, tickets are $55. Includes food. This is also the AHA National Homebrew Day! Celebrate with us! Sign up w/President Joe.
Meeds special interest group:
SIG sign up and pick possible days. First Wed?, Sun afternoon...? Contact Ray.
Nov. is last entry for this year. Contact Joe Hirtz for info.
Rap’s 2019 pour, Hops for Heroes at Fergs. Contact Mary and George for info
The Annual AHA is in Rhode Island, June 27-29, 2019. Contact Mary if you're interested in attending.
Oct 5 at Winthrop 7pm-10pm
Oct wknds Best FL Beer help
Oct 13 Octobeerfest at Southern 5pm
Nov 18? at Rapp’s
Feb 16 at Fergs, St. Pete
1 bottle/month for feedback from qualified judges
3 per quarter to place for awards
Up to 2 per month, 6 per quarter maximum
Contact Joe Hirtz
Dual-tap Cooler Demo by Pete
Self-contained server for two 2 1/2 gal kegs. Includes quick connect for CO2 and wheels. Excellent for tailgate parties and club serving events!
Water-base Comparison Presentation by Brian
Served softened v well water versions of the same beer. Discussed the importance of pH in the mash, especially for pale beers. He shared a well water analysis ($30 by Ward Labs) and a spreadsheet by BrewWater.com. Pool or aquarium test kits could be used too, but with less detail.
Mary & George’s spiced cider (apple juice and Nottingham yeast, added some sugar, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg extracts fermented for 1-month) and their starfruit gose. Joe’s wheat and saison. Dom’s blond and robust porter. Pete’s marzen octoberfest. Lee’s IPA Brewdog-clone recipe, and Wes’s peanut butter cocoa imperial stout.
New to brewing. So much to learn. Grateful to have this club's help!