First Friday, March 5th

If it’s March it MUST be Irish Times. As usual, PG will begin its month long St. Patrick’s Day at First Friday, 3/5. For those of you who have never been there, Irish Times is one of the premier Irish bars on the West Side. It has long been known for corectly pouring a Guiness. It takes a 2 full minutes, and the wait is well worth the time. The food menu is moderately priced,  with the usual burgers and fish & chips.

The bar is conveniently located at 3267 Motor Ave, just North of the corner of National and Motor.

Parking is in the street.

Official start time is 7, but if you want faster bar and food service get there a little earlier.

March First Friday

If it’s March it MUST be Irish Times. As usual, PG will begin its month long St. Patrick’s Day at First Friday, 3/5. For those of you who have never been there, Irish Times is one of the premier Irish bars on the West Side. It has long been known for corectly pouring a Guiness. It takes a 2 full minutes, and the wait is well worth the time. The food menu is moderately priced, with the usual burgers and fish & chips.
The bar is conveniently located at 3267 Motor Ave, just North of the corner of National and Motor.
Parking is in the street.
Official start time is 7, but if you want faster bar and food service get there a little earlier.

Special Vote for Brewer of the Year Rules

On Thursday, February 18th at the Club meeting, we will hold a special vote for the Brewer of the Year Rules.  The ballot language is included below.  Please review the issue now, so that you are prepared to vote. Voting at the club meeting will be conducted by written ballots at approximately 8:15 PM and results will be announced by 9:30 PM.  If you cannot attend the meeting, you have the option of voting on-line.   You can vote at any time by sending an e-mail to [email protected] .  Place the word “Vote” in the Subject line and either “Yes” or “No” in the body of the text.  On-line ballots must be submitted by 7:30 PM on Thursday February 18th.  If you vote on-line, you cannot vote at the meeting. Read more

How Do I Modify My Tustin Monster Brew?

I hope you are all planning to join us at Tustin Brewing’s Second Annual Monster Brew, on February 27th, hosted by our very own Jon Porter.  We’ll be brewing up a batch of medium-gravity amber wort.  Where it goes from there is up to you!  We’re hoping to have as many variations on the theme as possible for upcoming events such as the Southern California Homebrew Fest, club meetings and other beer venues.

The recipe for the wort is shown below.  This year, we are going with a simple Blond Ale recipe.  Like last year, though, it is deliberately formulated so that you can use your own creativity as broadly as possible.  The wort will have a starting gravity of 1.050, 30 IBUs of bitterness and a color of about 5 SRM.  A lot of different beers can be made out of this.  With a bit of tweaking, you can make just about anything.  Here are some ideas on what to do.

1)  Pick a yeast.  The wort comes unpitched, so at a minimum, you have to get some yeast for brewing day.  If you pitch with the Wyeast 1056 Amierican Ale, or White Labs 001 California Ale yeast, you’ll have a pretty good middle-of-the-road Blonde Ale.  But don’t stop there.  If you have ever though about trying a new yeast, this is a great time to try it.  Just make sure you are set up to use it.  Don’t pick a lager yeast if you don’t have refrigeration for your fermenter.   Also, for best results, make up a starter the day before brew day.

2)  Make it stronger.  Styles such as IPA, Barleywine, Belgian Tripel can be made by adding some malt extract or Belgian candi sugar.  Just boil up a small amount of water and extract and boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, to make sure it is sterile.  Cool, and add to your fermenter.

3)  Make it darker.  Pick a dark grain like roast barley, Special B, chocolate malt or Carafa.  Steep in hot water, then strain out the grains and boil the liquid.  Voila, instant dark beer!   Last year, my Schwarzbier come out terrific.  Another variant is to add some melanoidin malt to make some of the malty German lagers.

4)  Dry hop it.   The recipe this year has no finishing hops, though it does have a healthy dose of American flavoring hops.   You can go American for American Pale or Amber Ale, British hops for ESB, or you can go with Continental Noble hops for something like Saison.

5)  Boost the bitterness or hop flavor.   You’ll have to do this if you want to get to IPA range, and I also recommend it for ESB, Robust Porter, Altbier and several other styles.  Boil up a small amount of water and add hops to make a hop tea.  Boil for at least half an hour with high alpha hops to raise the IBU level.  Boil for 10 to 15 minutes with your favorite hop variety to boost the flavor.  Note that this will boost the IBU level by a smaller amount.

6)  Do combinations of the above.  Suppose you want to make an American Barleywine out of the wort.  Boil up some malt extract, add some hops to boost the bitterness and flavor during the boil.  Cool and add to the fermentor.  Then, dry hop in secondary.

The attached table has a list of some of the interesting combinations you can do.  I came up with 20 variations without even breaking a sweat.  You can probably come up with even more.

You’ll want to pitch your yeast as soon as you get your wort home.  For most of the variations, you should plan of adjusting the wort at the same time, though you could wait a day or so.  Make sure you get it going before primary fermentation is done, since the yeast will need to work on the additional materials.

So, start whipping up your recipe now.   Hope to see you on the 27th.

Got a question for the Brewmaster?  Drop me a line at [email protected].  Also, an archive of prior questions can be found at the Picobrewery website at http://www.picobrewery.com.

Monster Brew 2 Recipe for 16 Barrels (496 gallons):

660 lbs 2-Row Pale  Malt
55   lbs 17oL Crystal Malt
55   lbs 37oL Crystal Malt
55   lbs  3 oL Vienna Malt
32 Oz Chinook 11.4% First Wort/Boil
50 Oz Simcoe 12.2% at 15 minutes
50 Oz Cascade  7.8% at 15 minutes

Vital Statistics:

OG:  1.050
FG:  1.012
Color:  5 SRM
IBU: 30

Guidelines for modifying your wort:

Beer Style Yeast Grain/sugar Hops Fermentation
Amiercan Pale Ale Amer Ale Dry-Amarillo Med
American Amber Amer Ale Crystal Cascade Med
California Common CA Lager Northern Brewer Cool
IPA AM Ale or Eng Liquid malt Extract (LME) Tea/Dry Amarillo Med
Altbier German Ale Melanoidin Hallertauer Cool
Porter English Chocolate Med
Dry Strout Irish Roast Barley Med
Export Stout Irish Roast Barley, LME Med
Imperial Stout Irish LME, Roast barley Tea/Goldings Med
Old Ale English LME Tea/Fuggles Med
Barleywine AM Ale or Eng LME Tea/Centenniel Med
Belgian Pale Ale Antwerp Bel Biscuit Warm
Belgian Dubbel Abbey Dark Candi, Special B Warm
Belgian Strong Dark Trappist Dark Candi, Special B, CaraMunich Warm
Tripel Golden Light Candi Warm
Saison Saison Dry-Saaz Warm
Vienna Lager Vienna Munich or Vienna Cold
Oktoberfest Oktoberfest Melanoidin Cold
Munich Dunkel Munich Lager Melanoidin Cold
Schwarzbier Munich Lager Carafa Cold

Tustin Brew 2.0 Pricing Update

There have been several pricing related updates. For full details see the previous posts.
You can now purchase either 5 or 10 gallons using the buttons below. (10 max per member).
If you already paid for 5 gallons and would like 5 more, just use the 5 gallon button once more.

5 Gallons $27.00 ($28.12 total)

10 Gallons $54.00 ($55.92 total)

TUSTIN BREWING COMPANY MONSTER BREW

On Feb. 27, 2010 the Tustin Brewing Company and its Brewmaster, PG’s Jon Porter, will be hosting their 2nd professional style Monster Brew.

PG Brewmaster, Carl Townsend, and Jon have developed a new base wort for this event, this time in the style of an American Pale Ale. Each person will pitch his yeast of choice, add adjuncts to the wort, dry hop in secondary, or do nothing special to it. For some great suggestions see Carl’s article in the PG website. Included will be the recipe in a Excel spreadsheet format.

COST
The cost will be $27 for each 5 gallons of wort, excluding the cost of yeast (bring it to the brewery, or pitch it at home), and any additional ingredients you wish to add.
The reason for additional cost is to cover Tustin Brewing’s additional costs for putting on the event.

Payment for the event will be in advance this time. You may access the Pacific Gravity Pay Pal account through the PG website: PacificGravity.com, or http://pacificgravity.beerzine.com/
Payment for the event may also be made at the Feb. 18 PG Meeting, or be left at Culver City Homebrew Supply. Be sure to include your name, tel. number, and E-mail address.

You MUST be present at the event to get your 5-10 gallons of wort. No friends will be allowed to pick up wort for you.

If you have paid in advance, but find you cannot attend, 24 hour notice must be given in order to obtain a refund. On event day, all monies collected will be given to Tustin Brewing.
Such notice may be sent to Pacific Gravity Treasurer, Craig Corley, or Michael Steinberg, Activities Director.

Some of us may want to purchase more than 5-10 gallons. Initially, ONLY 5-10 gallons may be purchased. However, if there is wort left over at the end we will hold a lottery to determine who may get an additional 5 gallon allotment. Bring an extra fermenter if you are interested.

You must remember to bring a sanitized fermenter for each 5 gallons you buy.

FERMENTERS
Fermenters MUST be either plastic or stainless steel. Absolutely no glass fermenters will be allowed in the brewery due to the danger of breakage on the tile floor. You may bring small glass vessels with yeast or other additions, however.

We will have extra plastic fermenters and airlocks available for on-site purchase.
If you think you may need one, please contact Activities Director so that we can get a count.

TIME
The event will be starting EARLY, at 6AM. If that is too early, you may show up by 12 noon and still get your pre-purchased wort. Of course, you’ll not get to take part in the actual brewing. Projected ending time will be between 1-2 PM.

Other clubs will be invited to participate, including the Long Beach Home Brewers, but the organizers hope that Pacific Gravity members make up the bulk of the brewers.

FOOD
Tustin Brewing will have coffee, bagels, pastries, etc. for breakfast, and we will buy our own lunches towards the end of the brewing session. In addition, there is a Trader Joe’s nearby, and an early opening restaurant where you can get breakfast if you wish.

Tustin Brewing’s kitchen opens for lunch at 11am.

In addition Jon will be supplying tasting samples of some of his fine brews during the morning.
Cut off time for free pours will be 11am. After that, it will be available for purchase.

TRAVEL
We will be carpooling down to Tustin. The trip is about 45 minutes at the early hour we’ll be traveling. If there is much return traffic, those who pitch yeast at Tustin, may have a finished beer by the time they get home.

[email protected]
[email protected]
http://pacificgravity.beerzine.com/

Here’s the link to Tustin Brewing: http://www.tustinbrewery.com/index.html

Monster Brew Price Reduction-PayPal

Fellow PG members and guests,
Currently the Paypal info says that the price of 5 gallons of wort for the Tustin Monster Brew will be $30.00.
It has been decided that the price will be dropped to $27.00/5 gallons.
The pricing change will be implemented Mon night (2/1) as soon as our Webmaster, Lee, gets home from a trip.

Sorry if this has posed an inconvenience to anyone.
If any readers have already paid 30 bucks please contact me, or Craig Corley so that we can arrange for a refund.

[email protected]
[email protected]

First Friday-February 5

This coming month we’re all going to Bar Food, a new destination for Pacific Gravity.
Bar Food is located at 12217 Wilshire Blvd., 1 block West of Bundy, in West L.A. Tel: (310) 820-3274

They have 24 taps, most at very reasonable prices.
The bar opens at 5PM and has a Happy Hour menu until 7PM, including FREE hot Dogs and other food from 2-6 bucks.
House beers (Blonde, Amber, and Pale Ales are $3.50 during H.H.
Check out their website for more information.
P.G. members have said it’s a place worthy of our presence as a First Friday destination, so we’ll grace them with our presence.

Check out their website www.barfoodla.com

Hope to see you there.

BJCP Classes Are Now Full

There has been overwhelming demand for the BJCP classes and as a result, they are now full.

I’ve sent an e-mail to everyone who has reserved a spot.  To confirm your reservation, please bring a check for $50 made out to Carl Townsend or cash to the Culver City Shop.  Please also check your information on a sign-up sheet that I have there.   I will send the password for the password-protected area once I have confirmed your registration.

Thank you to those who have already paid.  You should have received the password for the complete reading list at http://www.picobrewery.com/bjcpinfo-08.html
in a separate e-mail.  If not, or if you have trouble with it, please let me know.

I will take some additional names on a waiting list in case anyone has to drop out.

Carl Townsend
[email protected]
Pacific Gravity Home Brewers Club

Competition Corner – January 2010

Ahh, the cool days of January are here and it is time to get some beer fermenting. We have a fresh slate of competitions to enter in 2010, and now is the time to prepare.

First up on the docket is the Club-Only competition for English Brown Ales, BJCP Cat #11. We will judge these at the January club meeting on Thursday, January 21st. Bring three 12 oz. bottles to the meeting and Read more