Jul 10, 2015

July Meeting on the 18th!

Sorry for the late notice, folks. Summer has gotten the best of me.

Our Next meeting is on Saturday the 18th at 7:00 pm at the home of Amanda LaPlante in Odessa. If you need her address, e-mail her here.

The theme is Summer Fun so bring a few of your favorite home-brews and craft beers for beating the heat!

May 25, 2015

Special Event- Real Ale Brewing Company at the Beer Garden

A note from Trey Williamson...

This Thursday (May 28)  the Beer Garden will be hosting an evening with the owner of Real Ale Brewing company at 7:00 pm. We must not forget that the Rio Blanco Pale Ale started as a home brew recipe by one of our founding members. 
The Beer Garden will be tapping two very special Real Ale kegs, the 17th anniversary and the Brewers Cut Kriek. 

Beer Garden At Garden View, 7112 W Hwy 80, Midland, TX 79706, USA

May 16, 2015

Patience: An Essential Homebrew Ingredient

Patience: An Essential Homebrew Ingredient

by Tim Kreitz

For me, one of the funnest aspects of being a veteran Basin Brewer is helping new people learn the art and science of crafting beer at home. Beer is food, after all, and my philosophy has long been that just as everyone should know how to cook, so should everyone know how to brew. Beer makes the world a better place. So in the interest of realizing my dream of a homebrew nation, I'm always willing to answer questions, offer advice, and share my own
experiences with new brewers when they ask.

Along the way, however, I have noticed that one of the primary common denominators shared by noobs throughout the entirety of the crafting process is an almost universal lack of patience and tendency to want to rush things along. Granted, this is understandable because brewing is always exciting, and the anticipation of drinking a batch of delicious homemade beer can get the best of even the most seasoned homebrewer. But the bottom line is that from milling grain to sipping a finished creation, you must be willing to invest the appropriate amount of time in each step. The payoff is always better and satisfaction is thereby increased.

A dear friend and fellow brewer, Stan Moore, once told me long ago, "One of the most important things a beer needs for it to be really good is time." Mark this down as an irrefutable truth. In fact, there are several stages in beermaking where time and patience are the secret ingredients. Here's a partial list applicable to most styles:

1. Don't cut mash times short. 
There has been a popular viewpoint in recent years that a saccharification mash is complete within 15 to 20 minutes and that there's really no reason for mash times of, for example, an hour or more. And while (from a strict conversion standpoint) there may be an element of truth to this assertion, scores of independent taste tests have reinforced that the traditional practice of longer mash times generally produces better tasting beers. Keep in mind that in more ancient times, brewers didn't necessarily understand the science of brewing at all. For them, producing the best beers was achieved through simple trial and error. Our brewing forefathers deduced as a matter of perception that when grain was mashed for longer, the beer not only produced more alcohol, but also tasted better. Those gustory awarenesses should not be ignored today simply because we can apply certain mathematical and scientific formulas to the brewing process.

2. Leave it on the cake a while. An aspect of traditional brewing that, as of recent years, has been shown to be somewhat of a misconception is the idea that a beer should be racked off of its yeast cake as soon as possible after fermentation "completes". AHA Nationals Ninkasi award winner Jamil Zainasheff claims his beers improved dramatically when he stopped using a secondary on most of his low- to mid-gravity beers. He primaries for up to four weeks and argues that removing the beer from the large mass of yeast too quickly substantially prolongs the conditioning process. Starting six or seven years ago, I began adopting this same practice for most of my beers and immediately noticed an improvement, especially with pale ales and lagers. It's now a standard practice for me to leave a beer in primary for at least three weeks since it has become widely accepted that residual yeast at constant fermentation temperatures perform a "clean-up" effect on the beer, making it generally smoother sooner. This has been my experience, and I always recommend it.

3. Conditioning is king. Just because you've racked you beer into a keg and carbonated it over the span of four or five days doesn't mean you have to drink it immediately. If you can wait it out another week or two (or even longer for some styles), the cold and pressure make magic happen. Flavors further develop and complexities emerge. Much like with traditional cask-conditioned ales or German lagers which sit in cold cellars for months at a time before being tapped, most home-brews will benefit greatly from the same treatment using modern refrigeration. The same goes for many bottle-conditioned beers. Once the bottles have carbonated, store them cold for a while. With the exception of only a few styles such as IPA (which will lose certain hop characteristics over time), well conditioned beers tend to get better. 

So there you have it. I encourage you to try one or more of these practices and experience the difference for yourself. You will not be disappointed. In the meantime, cheers and happy brewing. 

May 9, 2015

June Meeting Set- Sunday the 14th @ 3:00 pm

Brewers, our next meeting will be another Brewers' Round Table. Bring a homebrew and let other brewers give you feedback or bring a store-bought beer you'd like to imitate at home, and get recipe ideas from the gang.

Our hosts will be The Humidor of West Texas, located at 5100 E. University in Odessa, next door to The Cellar.

The meeting will end promptly at 6:00 pm.

Apr 23, 2015

The Big Brew

Saturday, May 2 is National Homebrew Day, and our club will be meeting at Tom Elliot's house at 2803 W Michigan Ave, Midland, Texas to celebrate. 

Set-up starts at 9:00 am. We will have a toast at noon. 

All brewers are welcome to bring their gear and brew on sight. 

If you have never brewed, this is a great chance to lean. Show up (with a few beers to share) and watch how grain, hops, water, and yeast become our favorite beverage. 

Suggested recipes can be found at the link above. 

Feb 27, 2015

Ginger Beer - Tim Kreitz

The Basin is a frozen wasteland today, but y'all know it won't stay that way. Before you know it, the
heat will arrive and you will want some easy-drinking suds for that bar-b-que or pool party.

Thankfully, long-time Basin Brewer and magical wizard of all things hip Tim Kreitz posted a video last year on how to make an excellent Ginger Beer. Get those kettle fires lit and you'll have the answer for the inevitable heat sure to come
our way. 

Jan 25, 2015

All About APA

Our annual Pale Off is coming at the end of March, and that means any brewer who wants to enter the contest had best be getting their submission in the fermenter in the very near future.

Here are the pertinent facts on BJCP category 10A, as taken from the official BJCP website:

Aroma: Usually moderate to strong hop aroma from dry hopping or late kettle additions of American hop varieties. A citrusy hop character is very common, but not required. Low to moderate maltiness supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuity). Fruity esters vary from moderate to none. No diacetyl. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive. 
Appearance: Pale golden to deep amber. Moderately large white to off-white head with good retention. Generally quite clear, although dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy. 
Flavor: Usually a moderate to high hop flavor, often showing a citrusy American hop character (although other hop varieties may be used). Low to moderately high clean malt character supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuity). The balance is typically towards the late hops and bitterness, but the malt presence can be substantial. Caramel flavors are usually restrained or absent. Fruity esters can be moderate to none. Moderate to high hop bitterness with a medium to dry finish. Hop flavor and bitterness often lingers into the finish. No diacetyl. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive. 
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Carbonation moderate to high. Overall smooth finish without astringency often associated with high hopping rates. 
Overall Impression: Refreshing and hoppy, yet with sufficient supporting malt. 
Comments: There is some overlap in color between American pale ale and American amber ale. The American pale ale will generally be cleaner, have a less caramelly malt profile, less body, and often more finishing hops.  
History: An American adaptation of English pale ale, reflecting indigenous ingredients (hops, malt, yeast, and water). Often lighter in color, cleaner in fermentation by-products, and having less caramel flavors than English counterparts. 
Ingredients: Pale ale malt, typically American two-row. American hops, often but not always ones with a citrusy character. American ale yeast. Water can vary in sulfate content, but carbonate content should be relatively low. Specialty grains may add character and complexity, but generally make up a relatively small portion of the grist. Grains that add malt flavor and richness, light sweetness, and toasty or bready notes are often used (along with late hops) to differentiate brands. 
Vital Statistics:OG: 1.045 – 1.060
IBUs: 30 – 45FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 5 – 14ABV: 4.5 – 6.2% 
Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, Bear Republic XP Pale Ale, Anderson Valley Poleeko Gold Pale Ale, Deschutes Mirror Pond, Full Sail Pale Ale, Three Floyds X-Tra Pale Ale, Firestone Pale Ale, Left Hand Brewing Jackman’s Pale Ale
If that isn't enough to get you going, Brew You Own magazine has posted a fine selection of APA recipes for you to steal from gain inspiration from.

Good luck and happy brewing!