Smog City Monster Brew March 11th

Smog City Brewing Company 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501

On March 11th, 2017,  Smog City Brewing Company  and its Brewmaster, PG’s Jon Porter, will be hosting their Fourth Pacific Gravity Monster Brew!

Update:  We have plenty of wort!  If you want to order more batches, they are available!! 

Jon Porter and Carl Townsend have developed the base wort for this event with an English theme.  But, keeping with past monster brews, the recipe can be the base for whatever creative endeavor you might want to do.  Consider this your blank slate.  For the hop heads, boost up the bitterness with your favorite English or American hop tea to make an awesome IPA, or darken it up with roasted malts to make a porter or stout. Use your imagination to make the most awesome beer ever.  Each person will need to pitch a yeast of their choice, add adjuncts to the wort, dry hop in secondary, or do nothing special to it at all.

You can always contact Carl at Competitions AT for any suggestions and look for Carl’s article  can work on “How to Modify my Monsterbrew”.


The cost will be $30 for each 5 gallons of wort.  Read more

May Big Brew Recap

Taking a break from a work conference here in Minneapolis and I can’t help but wonder how the little batch of all-grain Belgian Tripel I brewed at our May 15th Big Brew is doing at this moment. I’m sure it’s almost completely done fermenting and I’d bet it has developed some nice flavors to sip and enjoy. In about a week I’ll take a sample and decide if it’s ready to bottle. I’m looking forward to packaging it up into some Belgian style 750’s; cork and cage seems only suitable for the style. 😀

My thoughts wander to the 6 other brews that were born on the same day and how they’re doing. If you didn’t make it out, you missed a very fun event. Since it was hosted by Carl, I offered him first dibs at writing a recap, and the piece of prose he wrote captured the day perfectly…

 It has been quite a while since Pacific Gravity has done a traditional Big Brew event and the natives were getting restless! So much so that Neil Saund and John Hilliard couldn’t wait for the official 10:00 AM start time. Both were nearing strike temperature as the hour rolled around. Especially impressive, given that Neil lugged in not only his brew setup, but also a dozen gallons of distilled water to make surehis Czech Pilsner had the correct mineral balance. Being happy with the native sulfate to accentuate the Citra hops, John went right to work with some carbon-filtered LA aqueduct to brew his Pale Ale. In the meantime, Carl went to work making sure both Shark and Mermaid were ready to slake the thirst of both brewers and spectators alike. 

 Much to the delight of the early-birds, coffee and donuts arrived at 10AM thanks to the efforts of Michael and Tania Musgrave, our Veep and Secretary. They were eagerly wolfed down, maybe with a bit of coffee porter to ease us into the late-morning swing. 

 With a spark and a roar, Carl fired up the amazing thermosiphon reboiler to brew his commemorative 25th Brewing Anniversary Belgian Quad. Shortly thereafter, Brian Holter stepped up to the plate to demonstrate the “brew-in-a-bag” technique. Not really sure how much heat the nylon bag could take, Brian eased into the kettle gently until he was sure his mash temperature had been met. 

 Michael then kicked off his mash making a mini Belgian Tripel. He was followed by Tim Bardet with an extract version of American Hoppy Brown. Last, but definitely not least, Ian Fraser showed up with a big jar of honey that would make Winnie-the-Pooh happy and set about making mead. 

 In the meantime, more and more spectators arrived and were amazed at the size and diversity of brewing set-ups and mashing techniques. Brewers carefully explained the enzyme action needed to convert starch into sugar, hopefully prompting them to jump into the all-grain fray. Additional beer donators were also arriving and hooking up the fruits of their earlier brewing triumphs. The shark and mermaid were quickly at capacity, and reinforcements were “jockeyed’ into action. To fill out the field, many bottles of exotic fermentation, both commercial and homebrew showed up as well. 

 All this brewing had everyone working up an appetite, so President Lloyd stepped into action at the barbeque grill. Aided by the adept slicing skills of Tania, a bevy of burgers and dogs soon hit the lunch plates with all the accoutrements.

 It has been said the last shall be first, and Ian proved that to be true with a quick completion of his mead. Not only that, but he took the record for starting gravity for the day, at about 1.130! The rest of the brew crews finished up roughly in reverse order of their starting times. Carl’s hop garden, artichokes and tomatoes got plenty of water that day as the seven batches of wort approached their pitching temperature. 

 As the sun was setting in the west, all the brewers commented that the brew session went well. The various yeast starters got their reward next, as they got down to the real business of converting maltose into ethanol. All in all, it was a great day as Pacific Gravity got back to one of their treasured traditions. Despite the quantities of homebrew that were consumed, we finished off the day with more beer than we started with! Talk about a tradition worth keeping!

– Carl 

For those on Facebook, below are photos from the event care of President Lloyd and Carl. Hope to see you at the next Big Brew or any of the other fun PG events we have coming up.



How Do I Modify My Monster Brew?

This Month’s Question: How do I modify my wort from the Monster Brew at Smog City Brewing?SmogCityLogo

I hope you are all planning to join us at Smog City Brewing Company’s Third Annual Monster Brew, Saturday, March 5th, 2016, from 7:00 AM to 2 PM hosted by our very own Jon Porter. We’ll be brewing up a batch of English 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 club meetings, Southern California Homebrew Fest, and the summer party.

The recipe for the wort can be found below. Read more

Monsterbrew @ Smog City Brewing, March 5th

Smog City Brewing Company









On March 5th, 2016 @ Smog City Brewing Company  and its  Brewmaster, PG’s Jon Porter, will be hosting their third Pacific Gravity Monster Brew!

About the date, Yes I know its backed up to PG’s First Friday at Irish Times, but March 5th was really the best available date for PG and Smog City. So Club Member Up and make it one amazing PG event filled weekend, but make sure to plan ahead doing any Yeast starters.

Jon Porter and Dan White will be developing the base wort for this event with the theme “English”. A marris otter base, with just a small amount of carafoam and acidulated malt to keep ph in spec.  This will be a great starting point for just about any lighter beer.
Keeping with past monster brews, the recipe can be the base for whatever creative endeavor you might want to do.  For the hop heads, boost up the bitterness with your favorite English or American hop tea to make an awesome IPA, or darken it up with roasted malts to make a porter or stout. Use your imagination to make the most awesome beer ever.  Each person will need to pitch a yeast of their choice, add adjuncts to the wort, dry hop in secondary, or do nothing special to it at all.

You can always contact Carl at C[email protected] for any suggestions and once we have the actual recipe values Carl can work on a “How to Modify my Monsterbrew” post.


The cost will be $30 for each 5 gallons of wort.  Everybody will be guaranteed 1 batch, and if mash volume permits, a second or third batch.  Please sign up as soon as you can, by dropping an email at [email protected] or singing up at the next club meeting on Feb. 18th.

Yeast and any additional ingredients you wish to add are not included. You can bring your yeast to the brewery, or pitch it at home. If possible, please pay in advance. You can Pay at our next Club Meeting Feb. 18th or you can drop off a check at Culver City Homebrew Supply.
Be sure to include title on an evalope “Monsterbrew Smog City” your name, telephone number, and E-mail address. All checks made out to Pacific Gravity Homebrew Club. Lastly you must pay in full at the day of the monsterbew. We take Cash, Check, and Credit Card payments.
If you paid in advance, but find you cannot attend, a 24 hour notice must be given in order to obtain a refund. On event day, all monies collected will be given to Smog City Brewing. Such notice may be sent to Pacific Gravity Treasurer, Tim Bardet at [email protected]  or to the current board members at [email protected].

Some of us may want to purchase more than 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.
Don’t forget to bring a sanitized fermenter for each 5 gallons you buy!


Fermenters MUST be either plastic or stainless steelAbsolutely 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. Please make sure you fermenter has a wide opening so we can use the fire hose when it is time to pour in the wort.  Plastic buckets are ideal, but you can use a Cornelius keg if you want.  Please do not bring any skinny-neck containers.  Our aim isn’t that good!


The event will be starting EARLY, at 7:00AM. 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 1:00 PM.  Smog City Brewing Company is at 1901 Del Amo Blvd., Ste B, Torrance, CA 90501


Please park on the WEST side of the building to keep the tap room lot open.
The tap room will be opening to the public at noon.


Smog City will have coffee and other breakfast items in the morning. As well Porter will arrange for a food cart later that afternoon.
In addition Porter will be supplying tasting samples of some of his fine brews during the mid morning. Cut off time for free pours will be determined by Porter. Probably close to 11am, after that beer will be available for purchase.

Thank you and we will post more info about this event as is comes, also at some point we will open it up to the other clubs around the area.


Lloyd Johnson    [email protected]

Carl Townsend  C[email protected]

Tim Bardet     [email protected]

The Board       [email protected]

Meeting Recap: You can still vote!!

Thank to all who came to our Annual Chili Cook off and Election meeting this past Saturday. We had 10 chilis to taste and judge. All were amazing, but Neil Saund took home the prize for best chili, with Michael Musgrave’s as runner up missing the tie by one vote. A fabulous Pumpkin Mole by Parker Waechter won most unique chili.

Also going on at the meeting was brew led by our very own Dan White who made Carl Townsend’s Weizenbock that we had the privilege of brewing with Firestone on Halloween. We ended up with 18 gallons of beer that was put in 4 carboys. Carl and Dan plan to ferment each one with a different yeast. 6 gallons will be fermented with Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast, 5 with American Hefeweizen yeast, 5 gallons with both Bavarian and American Hefeweizen yeasts, and 2 gallons with dregs from Firestone Feral One, Russian River Consecration, and Allagash Farm to Face.

The other major event that took place was our election for next years board. Each nominee gave a speech to the attendees about why they should be selected. Here is a summary of what each person had to say:


Lloyd Johnson wants to

  • help keep this club heading in a direction that benefits all members and see the growth of our passion, homebrewing. Finish the current ventures, that the current board has started, as well as bring back some of the old traditions we’ve lost, and hopefully start some new ones to come.
  • help promote home brewing by bringing back the monthly style home brew competition, where club members bring their home brew in the style of the month to have the chance to win a gift certificate to the Culver City Home Brew Store.
  • promote education by bringing back Big Brews where club members bring their brewing sets, to do multiple brews in one day, in one location so that they can see multiple processes in home brewing from many different levels of extract to all grain
  • schedule different different education events such as hop evaluations, off flavor testing, Cicerone training, BJCP Judge training and evaluating the test requirements, and much, much more
  • work on accomplishing our goal of becoming a 501(3)(c) non profit.

Ian Fraser wants to

  • bring back some of that inclusiveness that created the growth of the club as well as the comradery that went along with it
  • bring back the big brews to enhance the educational aspects, the bus trips to educate the knowledge of various breweries and the experiences of their brewers
  • train the next generation of leaders so that they have a vision of the club going forward that maintains our history in the process


Michael Musgrave says he is

  • thankful for the great structure, reputation and relationships Brian, Tad and Ramesh have contributed and are leaving as their legacy
  • honored to work alongside the existing board members and looking forward to growing the club together
  • stoked and already mapping out our First Friday schedule for ’16!”


Timothy Bardet says

  • hes been member since the second meeting
  • he wants to come back as treasurer and serve as he did in previous years in this position
  • he’ll do a great job because “Everybody likes to get paid out!”

Tania Musgrave says

  • Our friendly club culture has drawn her to more and more meetings and events, and is proud to be a member.
  • Having spent time with the current treasurer, Ramesh, she feels that she knows and is prepared for the position duties.Would be honored to take over as Treasurer.
  • she is organized and has previous fundraising experience with a non-profit and love new challenges

Also up for voting is Club Member of the Year. The nominees are:

Ramesh Johnston
Tad Johnston
Andrew Whittle
Lloyd Johnson
Carl Townsend

If you were not able to attend the meeting, please send your vote no later than Saturday November 21st to [email protected].

We discussed at the meeting that the holiday party on December 12th will require lots of volunteers for set up, clean up, food and beer. Stay tuned for where to sign up.

Thank you to all who contributed to a successful meeting by bringing chili and beer.


Ramesh Johnston

Event times for the club meeting Saturday

Brew session begins
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Chili cook-off
Announcements and board nominees make speeches
Commercial Style Tasting

The day will official begin at 9:00am and you’re more than welcome to come when you please at or after this time. If you would like to get there early and be involved with the brew, Dan White would greatly appreciate the help I’m sure.

Voting for both board members and the chili cook-off to follow immediately after the speeches. You can vote for club member of the year at any time during the day. If you cannot make the event, you can email us your vote for board members and member of the year at [email protected]

You must have your vote in no later than 1 week (November 21st) after the event to have it count.
You also must be a member with current active status and dues paid in full in order to vote.

Chili Cook-Off

As usual, we will have a “Most Unique Chili” and a “Best Chili” so please plan on voting for both when trying each chili.

More info on this month’s club meeting can be found here.

Club Meeting Saturday – Updates!!

Our club meeting is this Saturday and we have a few more updates on nominations. We now have another contested position, Treasurer, which now has Tim Bardet and Tania Musgrave running. Also, since Brian Holter won CMOY last year, he cannot be nominated this year for member of the year. There are however two recently added nominations to the list, Carl Townsend and Lloyd Johnson. There is still time to send us your nominations for both board positions and CMOY. Also, I’ve included a teaser (photo) of the commercial tasting at the bottom of the post.


Board Nominations For 2016:

Lloyd Johnson
Ian Fraser
Michael Musgrave
Tim Bardet
Tania Musgrave


Member of the Year Nominations for 2015:

Brian Holter (can’t be nominated after winning the previous year)

Ramesh Johnston
Tad Johnston
Andrew Whittle
Lloyd Johnson
Carl Townsend


If you’d like to nominate someone else (or yourself) for either a board position or member of the year, please do so by next Thursday (November 12th) at the latest. Also, if you can’t make the meeting and would love to vote, please email your vote for each to [email protected]

Commercial Tasting

Here is what is going to be opened at the commercial tasting. I hope you all enjoy the tasting of some of my favorites when I’m gone

Brew Day

The brew day will start at 9:00am so come whenever, you’d like with most people probably getting there about 11:00am – 12:00pm for the main event. Dan could definitely use some help so if you feel so inclined to show up early and help it would be greatly appreciated.

14nov9:00 amNovember Meeting - Chili cook-off and election day!!9:00 am Casa Molloy



Monster Brew at Monkish Brewing June 6th

Strand Brewers Club is hosting a Monster Brew with Monkish on 6/6, and they have invited all of us to participate. Henry will be brewing a versatile wort:
78% domestic 2row
12% flaked oats
5% vienna
4% acid malt

OG 1.051
IBUs 25

The brew day will start at 6am sharp. Long Beach Homebrewers, Maltose Falcons, and Crude Brew Crew have also been invited.

If you are interested in attending, sign-up and details can be found at the strandbrewersclub website and facebook event:

Wort is reserved for 10 dollars on the club website with another 20 due at the event, we expect to sell out.  All website transactions are through paypal:

Ryan Penrod

Monster Brew is Full

We’ve had a great response to the monster brew at Smog City Brewing this Saturday.  We’ve allocated all the wort.  We might be able to fill a few more buckets on a provisional basis, but no guarantees.

Just a few reminders for the event:

  • Park on the west side of the brewery to keep the tap room lot open.
  • Bring sterilized plastic or metal fermenters.  No glass, and no skinny neck containers.
  • If you haven’t paid, bring cash, check or credit card to the brewery on Saturday.  $30 per batch.
  • We start at 7:30AM and should be pouring wort around 1 or 2 PM.

Make sure you’ve caught the full articles here:

See you There!


Modifying Your Monster Brew

This Month’s Question: How do I modify my wort from the Monster Brew at Smog City Brewing?

Answer:  I hope you are all planning to join us at Smog City Brewing Company’s Second Annual Monster Brew, Saturday, January 24h, 2014, from 7:30 AM to 2 PM hosted by our very own Jon Porter. We’ll be brewing up a batch of Pilsner-based 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 20th anniversary, Southern California Homebrew Fest, club meetings and summer party.

The recipe for the wort is in the text box. About 2/3rds of the wort is German pilsner malt, based on Smog’s Little Bo Pils. A bit of Cara-Pils, Vienna malt and wheat malt round out the grain bill. Apart from that, the recipe is light-colored and minimally hopped. This gives YOU the opportunity to spice it up, using your own creativity as broadly as possible. The wort will have a starting gravity of 1.052, with 22 IBUs of bitterness and a color of about 4 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. As formulated, the wort will make an excellent Pilsner if you pitch with German Pilsner yeast such as White Labs WLP800, or Wyeast 2007. Of course, this means you need to have a lager fridge or other cooler to pull this off. But, you can also pick something like a German ale yeast and make a Kölsch or and American ale yeast and make a blonde ale. Whatever style you go for, I suggest making at least a 1 quart starter a few days before the Monster brew.

2) 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 Pale Ale, ESB, Robust Porter, Altbier and several other styles as well. 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, and for best effect, use pellets rather than whole-leaf hops. To calculate the bitterness, use these numbers: Each ½ oz of 12% AAU pellets will boost the bitterness by 15 IBU. 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.

3) Dry hop it. The recipe this year has a low level of Saaz finishing hops, but not enough for the citrusy American styles. 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.

4) Make it stronger. Styles such as Maibock or 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.

5) Make it weaker. If you are into session beer styles such as Bitter, the gravity will be too high. You can cut the gravity by adding some water. This is a great way of increasing the yield of your brewing day, and you may need a second fermenter to hold the extra volume. For best results, the water should be sterilized by boiling ahead of time for a few minutes. Note that the dilution will drop the bitterness level too, which will fit some, but not all of the lighter styles.

6) 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! I made a great porter and Schwarzbier the past couple of years with this approach.

7) Make it malty. Discover the magic of melanoidin malt to make some of the malty German lagers styles such as traditional Bock, or Munich Dunkel. I’d even recommend a bit if you are making a Maibock.

8) 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 fermenter. 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 on 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 24th.

Smog City Monster Brew #2
Recipe for 16 Barrels (496 gallons):
• 660 lbs German Pilsner Malt
• 55 lbs Cara-Pils
• 55 lbs Wheat Malt
• 55 lbs Vienna Malt
• 26 lbs Acidulated Malt
• Summit 32oz (FWH)
• Saaz 48oz (15 min)
• Saaz 48oz (Flame Out)
• Target OG – 1.052
• Target SRM – 4
• Target IBU – 22

StyleYeastGrain / SugarHopsFerment
German LagerLagerCold
Bohemian LagerLagerCara-PilsSaazCold
American LagerLagerCold
Vienna LagerViennaMunich or ViennaCold
MaibockBockMelanoidin, LMECold
Traditional MaibockBockMelanoidin, LMECold
DoppelbockBockMelanoidin, LMECold
Munich DunkelMunich LagerMelanoidin, MunichCold
SchwarzbierMunich LagerCarafaCold
Cream AleCream AleCool
California CommonCA LagerCrystalNorthern BrewerCool
AltbierGerman AleCrystalTea / HallertauerCool
Blonde AleAmerican AleMedium
American Pale AleAmerican AleTea / Dry AmarilloMedium
American AmberAmerican AleCrystalTea / Dry AmarilloMedium
IPAAmerican Ale or EnglishCrystalTea / Dry AmarilloMedium
Brown AleEnglishCrystal, ChocolateMedium
Dry StoutIrishRoast BarleyMedium
Export StoutIrishRoase Barley, LMEMedium
Imperial StoutIrishLME, Roast BarleyTea / GoldingsMedium
Old AleEnglishLMETea / FugglesMedium
BarleywineAmerican Ale or EnglishLMETea / CentennialMedium
Wheat BeerWeihenstephanWheat MaltWarm
WitSpices: Corriander & bitter orange peelWarm
Belgian Pale AleAntwerpBelgian BiscuitWarm
Belgian DubbelAbbeyDark Candi Sugar, Special BWarm
Belgian Dark StrongTrappistDark Candi Sugar, Special B, CaraMunichWarm
TripelGoldenLight CandiWarm
SaisonSaisonDry hop SaazWarm