Pacific Gravity February 2017 Recap

(From Terry M)

Our Homebrew Style of the Month was Amber & Brown Ales.  Kegs included:

  • Tim / Ian / Larry’s Cider;
  • Parker W’s Peanut Butter Porter;
  • Michael Patterson’s Saison and German Lager from the same wort;
  • CCHBS’s Melrose Mild; and
  • Ruben’s Oatmeal Stout in a mini freshman keg that stood tall with all the senior kegs.

Bottles/Growlers included:

  • Eli’s Doctored Porter right out of the fermenter;
  • Andrew W’s Evil Monk Belgian;
  • and a few others that I did not get to sample.

Thanks to all that brought beer to share.

Education Corner: Michael Patterson led a Single Hop tasting session. I hope everyone there was able to take advantage of Michael’s creative learning presentation.

Commercial Tasting:  Andrew W. led the commercial tasting, starting with some interesting Ambers (Dude’s Blood Orange Amber, Mission Brewery’s Amber, and Alesmith’s 2015 Decadence Belgian Amber) before launching into some interesting Brown Ale examples (Los Coast’s Raspberry Brown, Alesmith’s Nut Brown, and Port Brewing’s Board Meeting Double Brown).

An additional thank-you to Andrew for the thoroughness of the tasting session. Each commercial beer is evaluated, along with its vital stats, and the tasting itself had an interesting twist: the first example from each style had fruit, followed by a classic example, then a higher gravity example. Well done.

Raffle swag included lots of hops from the Corley Cellar (congratulations Larry) and some classic PG Glass-&-A-Beer specials.

Welcome New Members:

Josh M.

Damien S

David S.

March Activities:

First Friday will be held at our traditional March First Friday site: Irish Times Pub, 3267 Motor Ave, Los Angeles.

The 9th Annual Monster Brew will take place at Smog City Brewing, 1901 Del Amo Blvd in Torrance. Each 5-gallon pour will cost $30. Brewing starts at 6:30a, with wort distribution around Noon. See the Monster Brew section for more details and hints on how to modify the wort for your style of choice.

Our next club meeting is Thursday, March 16, 7:30pm at LA Ale Works, 12918 Cerise Avenue in Hawthorne.

March Style of the Month is Irish Ales and Stouts, in recognition of St. Paddy’s Day. Please bring your homebrew in growlers or bottles only; due to CA Alcohol & Beverage Control (A.B.C.) regulations, homebrew kegs will NOT be allowed on site.

You can drop off your entries for the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Belgian Beer Challenge at the meeting. Entry deadline is Friday, March 17. Judging will take place at LA Ale Works on March 26.

SCHBF Update:  22 of the 30 camping slots for the May 5-7 festival have been reserved. Cost is $30 per camper. Please pay at any upcoming club event. Don’t forget to follow the registration process at the California Homebrewers Association website so you can get into the festival itself.

Club of the Year, Club member or the Year, and Chili Cook-off Recap!

Hello PG Members,

We all have been pretty busy the last week, so its taken me some time to officially get this post out here. So please Read on:

First, if you haven’t heard Pacific Gravity won the 2016 “Anchor California Homebrew Club of the Year” competition!!!! We turned in our submission and judging was on Nov. 5th during the Cal. State homebrew comp. Check out the link here: I want to thank everyone for a great year and to all the board members for helping make it so. We strived to make a difference, to evolve this club to higher standards, and this is just one of the pay offs. I hope everyone, for years to come, will continue to make Pacific Gravity one of California’s best homebrew clubs around. By striving for more education, involvement, club charity, and as always brewing the best damn beer!

Second, if you “missed” the Chili Cook-off and did not get a chance to vote for Pacific Gravity’s “Club Member of the Year” nows your chance! Please email your vote here: [email protected] you will have tell Next Sunday to vote. That is voting will now close after Nov. 20th. Nominated Members are: Lloyd Johnson, Michael Musgrave, Tim Bardet, Carl Townsen, Terry Malloy, Michael Patterson, Mimi Bardet, Tania Musgrave, Dean Sussman, and as always feel free to vote for any other PG member not on that list. You will get two votes for two different people. So please send those emails with two names!

Third, we had a blast at the Chili Cooks off. It was a good day, hot at first and then the marine layer rolled in to cool us off a bit. Chili’s and cornbread where showing up and snack where laid out. Terry had the lights up for night and a fire pit ready to go. We had a slow start, but soon got some good number later. Just in time for Rives amazing rare and expensive cider and mead tasting that lasted for quite some time into the night. Thank you Rives for going so above and beyond! We did announcement and last calls for voting about mid evening. As there was no contested board members for 2017 we did a vocal call for agreement in next years board members. They are as followed: President Michael Musgrave, VP Terry Molloy, Treasure Tim Bardet, then Carl Townsend for Competitions Coordinator, Dean Sussman as Styles, Mimi Bardet as Charities and Special Events, Tania Musgrave as Secretary, Michael Patterson as Education Director, and Brett Wilson as Activities Director that I know for sure as of now.

All the chili’s where great. We absolutely stuffed ourselves, but only two chili’s could come out on top. Ian Fraser took the win for Best Chili and Parker took the most unique! Both where amazing, Ian’s was a delicious super spicy meat chili and then Parker’s was like an amazing Mole like vegetarian chili (sorry Parker blanking on the actual ingredients). Also we did not get a lot of the style of the month beers that night, but we did get a bunch of kegs so we opened the best beer of the night to everyone that brought beer. It looked like by the end of the night Ian, Tim, Luis, and Larry took the win with there Big Red IPA, and then Carl was in close second with a hoppy pale “Extra Galactic”.

I want to give The Molloy’s a big Thank You for hosting at their house again this year, great times! Check out some of the pics below.

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PG Golf Day Outing and Bottle Share afterparty @ Tomm Carrol’s Trux Stop, RECAP!!

Well we had a lot of fun this last weekend. First off I would like to thank our new Activities Director, Brett Wilson for organizing and taking on the new roll this last few weeks! I and a bunch of other people can’t wait for the next event. Also a huge thank you to Tomm and Denise for hosting the After Party Bottle Share at their back yard bar called the Trux Stop. So many beers where enjoyed by all. Lastly I would like to thank Ian Fraser, our resident club Chef for cooking up some amazing grub as well. Mesquite charcoal cooked sausages and brats that then got a beer bath in secondary! Plus thank you to everyone that brought other amazing side dish foods and to everyone that brought all the beer to share!

A good bunch of us started off by meeting up in the mid morning around 10:15-10:30am at the Westchester golf course, to hit some balls and pay for our golf rounds. It was a busy day and the course was behind about 20-30 minutes tell we tee’d off. Brian Holter and two of his friends and other club member Bill was the first 4’some and then Brett Wilson, Michael Patterson, Ian Fraser, and I (Lloyd) was the second 4’some. The sun was out, but with a cool breeze as we all hacked away at the balls. No matter how bad we did we where having fun and we celebrated big on the good shots! We had a running  game between both 4’some of “closest to the Pin (flag)” on the par three holes, aka the ones we should hit it on the green in one shot. Good thing there where a lot of par threes! In the end one of Brian’s friend killed us on getting it closer, she took home the Beer Prize! Then we all finally made it to the 18th hole and finished off strong. There where a few craft beers enjoyed on the course, Brian was trading with everyone. We lost a couple balls in the water and over the fence, but we could of not had a better day out on the course!

Then we all headed to the Trux Stop, a bit late due to the late start on the course and a bit of waiting at the holes. Ian got right away to prepping the Charcoal Grills, Brian got to Popping Bottles,  Tomm showed the first timers around the bar and walk-in, and we all got to drinking some rare beers! A bunch of PG members where already there when us Golfers showed up, but then a lot more came as the night fell. Brett awarded Brian and I (Lloyd) with best and worst scores, I got worst with a 102 vs Brians 82 for 18 holes! As a lot of beer talking and passing around bottles continued, soon came time for food. We where all ready and I loaded a few plates that night. The beer bathed sausages where amazing and we can always count on Ian’s great food ideas. Plus we had all the toppings, some awesome salads, Mac & Cheese and also Spiced beans from Scott, 2) potato dishes, and tons of chips. Some time later Denise brought out a cake with all the club member’s October Birthdays on it and we all got a huge slices and ice-cream on the side after singing the B-Day song to the members that where present. Although after all the beer, food, and cake, the best part of the night was about to come. Tom and Tomm combined forces and brought out a beer vertical of “Samichlans Bier” aka the Santa Clause Beer, an imported Swiss winter warmer I believe. The oldest bottle spanning back 26 year!!! Bottle order: 1990, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2010. It was quite a treat, granted the first two tasted like soy sauce, but still awesome to try something 26 and 20 years old. The early 2000’s where more oxidized tasting, and then the 2010 was probably the best tasting. Where you could still pick out the original qualities, but with 6 years of age. An inspiring vertical tasting for sure, thank you Tom and Tomm!

Finally the night wound down, but a ton more great bottles where opened. Rives showed up later with some beer from going to the grand opening of Ventura Coast Brewing, where Dan White is now Head Brewer. Tomm held down the Trux Stop bar like a captain at his ship, as I asked hit what was next form the fridge behind him. One by one people drop off and had to go and so did I. Only to come back the next day to pick up some stuff and find the lines of dead soldier bottles following around the patio, great times!

Having trouble viewing the photos in this post? Click here to see them.

Charity event Recaps, the past few months!

So in the last few months Pacific Gravity did some great stuff for charity and the organization. Not just giving and donating clothes and other goods, but actual physical human time by volunteering for events to put smiles on community members/clients of OPCC faces and then to help OPCC celebrate while raising money for their organization and new merger with the Lamp Community of LA.

First off back in August, you might of saw the Facebook post about our first physical event we worked up as an introduction to volunteering and organizing charity events where we would go as a club to help out in our community with our friends from OPCC. Members of the board organized a Yogurt Parfait dessert surveying for a dinner service at one of the Santa Monica community centers ran by OPCC. PG club members and board members signed up and had a super fun time putting some grateful smiles on the OPCC client faces. The clients being the members of the community in need of help, where OPCC helps them not only survive, but thrive and get their lives back on a functional track with food services, counseling, over night shelter, and much much more.  Here’s a photo of all of us form Pacific Gravity and OPCC having a wonderful time helping out. It was super easy and a truly great experience, I encourage all member to help out next time we organize another volunteer event.











Then just recently called on us Pacific Gravity for our help in getting PG member to volunteer for their “OPCC and Lamp Community 6th Annual Fall Affair” event. Here they would be raising all sorts of money for the organizations and announcing their big merger combining the two largest charitable community organizations together into one to be named “The Peoples Concern”.

Thank you to all the Pacific Gravity members that came out to help, it was a great event, full of celebrities and very charitable members of our communities. The newly named “The Peoples Concern” raised over $80,000 that night while we watched and help take donations over a very cool donation app texted to peoples phones and on the iPads we where carring around. We helped out with the silent auction as well where people where donating for some great gifts, we helped on the registration table, the painting sales, and even the initial set up! It was amazing to be a part of something like that and watch all the action go down. Here are some more pictures of Pacific Gravity members helping out at the Fall Fair event.

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OPCC Fair sign







Again I encourage all PG members to help volunteer and donate to our events as much as you can. Our next donations opportunity will be at out Winter Party coming up sometime in early December. We hope to make it the biggest donation collection yet!!

Last Night’s Club Meeting Reminders and Recap.

Thanks everyone that came out last night, we had a great October Club Meeting that had some long announcements and Nominations for 2017.

Just a Reminder, Voting for the Club President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Club Member of the Year will be held November 5th at the chili cook off Saturday club meeting at Terry Maloy’s house. More info on that to come, but in the mean time Nominations for Pres., VP, Treasure, and Club Member of the Year will be open tell about Nov. 4th. Please email us at [email protected] for your Nominations. There is still plenty of room for Pres., VP, and Treasurer nomination!

Secondly, Tomorrow is the Golf Day Outing hosted by our new Activities Director, Brett Willson. if anyone is interested in golfing there still might be a chance to squeeze you in. Email Brett at [email protected].

Also we will have a Bottle share after party at the Trux Stop, hosted by Tomm Carroll, aka his place. Tomm said last night that if you don’t have any bottles to share don’t worry he has it covered!! also if anyone is interested in bringing any homebrew kegs as well we will have taps set up!! feel free to email me if you do: [email protected] and I will let Tomm know. As well Ian will be cooking up some brats, but with a beer bath technique I’m told so it should be awesome as always. All are welcome to Tomm’s stating at 3pm tomorrow!

Lastly check out the new First Friday schedule for the months of November and December that has been updated for the rest of the year.

Here’s a bit of Recap of Last nights October meeting:

We had a ton of Kegs line up at last nights meeting, all sorts of styles and a couple for the Style of the Month. Everything from Strong Ales, to Smoked Porters, Fresh Harvest IPA’s and NE IPA’s. Plus some great beers being passed around like Rueben’s Smash Hopped Dorado IPA and a American sour blend dry hopped with Mosaic form one of the New Members that signed up last night! There where a ton of new faces and it was great to see and meet you all. I hope you enjoyed the meeting and will be back for more of our events!

Tim J. hosted the Commercial Tasting and did a great job finding all sorts of English Strong Ales and some American Barleywines. We also had a great Raffle with a lot of classics like “A beer and a Glass”, but also gave away some Fresh Cascade Hops from Carls garden, a new and rare LA Ale Works hat and a beer, some PG glassware swag and a beer, a Brewery 750ml, and ended with a grand prize of a 6.5 gal. Glass Carboy donated form Porter at Smog City.

We did our last 2 off flavor tastings last night, hosted by Michael Patterson. Thank you Michael for hosting all the set ups this year. Last night ended on some fun ones Earthy and Spicy. The Earthy one tasted like you just took a shot of dirt mixed in with some grass clippings. Great Stuff!

Club Member Parker Waechter once again this year took home the Best Beer of the Night price of a $25 gift certificate at Culver City Homebrew Shop with his Wee Heavy. He has consistently brewed not only the style of the month, but has done it in away that has improved his skill immensely. I encourage all to be like Parker and brew those beers! The Style of the Month has been there to encourage people to step out of their boundaries. To brew and learn about different styles. Parker has done that, admitting last night how brewing the style of the month has been a great and fulfilling challenge for him this past year and it show in his awesome beers he brings every month. Great Job Parker!

Below are some pics form last night. Cant see the pics on the email?? go to this post link:


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Summer Party 2016 Recap!!

Well if you didn’t make it to the Summer Party this year, it was a blast and if you did make it you know what I’m talking about!!

So much great homebrewed beers and sodas. I counted at least 40 beers on tap with the Wave tap system, all the jockey boxes, and one on the recently fixed hand pump. There was multiple tables of amazing Mediterranean themed food coming from the Ian bbq kitchen crew. Things like Lam, Lemmon chicken, Tuna, and all the sides. Plus, all the excellent dishes, apps, and desserts brought by the members was incredible. Such things like Hummus’s, tabouli, fallafel, even some amazing Thai dishes, and the list goes on!! We also gave away a ton of prizes consisting of door prizes and raffle prizes during the day and end of the night. Everything from beers for the door prizes and a whole list of items for the raffle: books, glass wear, T-shirts, Firestone swag packs, Culver City Homebrew Supply Gift Certificates, a Big Mouth fermenter, a 5lb Co2 tank with regulator, and the grand prize a big Igloo mash tun and boiler pot burner. We had a crazy fun day of drinking, eating, swimming, and just chilling. You will see in the pictures that it was one of the day’s the fires where blazing back in the hillsides. It darkened the sky and through an orange’ish red hue over all of us that day, but we partied on.

A big Congratulations to a few people that brought beer and soda to the the Party. Tad and Ramesh for winning “Best Beer of the Party 2016” and to Craig Corley for “Best Soda of the Party 2016”. Tad and Ramesh won with their Firestone Walker Parabola Clone which was spot on and I though was better then the bottle of actual Parabola we where blind side by siding it with. Craig won with his amazing “SLaM Soda” which as stood the test of time and has proven once again that its soda to be recorded with.

A special Thanks you to all that brought donation for We had a good amount of good and money to turn in from the collection at the party, you can see it in one of the picture.

Thank you to all that brought beer, soda, and food to the party. Also thank you to everyone that brought beer despensing equipment, tables, pop-ups, ice, and other party supplies. Thank you for coming, for buying raffle tickets and PG gear. Thank you to all the guest who came to enjoy not only the summer party, but our passion as homebrewers. We had a great turn out that helped pay for putting on parties like this and continuing the support for the club. We could not have a party with out you, literally!

Most of all we really could not put on a summer party like this with out these following people. The one’s that sacrifice so much time and effort to make sure everyone has a fun and fulfilled experience at these parties. Let me go down the list best as I can:

Thank you to Dean, you lending us your place every year is one of the greatest gifts we could get form you. I could not image a summer party any where else.

Thank you to Mimi Bardet and the Board (Michael and Tania Musgrave, Tim Bardet, Carl Townsend, Dean Sussman) for organizing the multitude of preparations and extra meetings needed to make sure every detail is taken care of and that the party runs as smooth as humanly possible. From what I saw it was a great team of people working together to make it happen and everyone that came had an amazing time. I can not thank you all enough for doing your parts and playing your rolls.

Thank you Ian and to the kitchen crew!! As always the food was mind blowing, every bite better then the last. The food you always prepare for these parties and events makes them that much more special.  I still talk about dishes I’ve had from years past and this year was just the same, excellent. Ian wrote me about some of the guys in his crew this year so I figured I could not say it better, so from Ian and all of us Thank you:
-Neil for the transportation, I could not cook without the equipment. Thank you!
-Luis for the Lemon Chicken and Friday night prep and Sat. cooking.
-For Reed for the Friday night prep and smelling like fish.
-For Rob Kadota whose rumor of being dead was proved false; you are still a rock star behind the grill, I know I owe you a tuna steak, still sorry not sorry for eating yours!
-For our host who showed off his knife skills…Sorry about the bread dough!
-And thank you all the beautiful people who brought dishes!

I also want to thank Carl Townsend and Tom Rierson for transporting and taking care of the “Wave or Beer” system. Thanks you Carl for always taking care of it and making sure its cleaned, as well as housing it. Thank you to Tom for the use of your truck transporting it around and also for fixing the Hand Pump this year so we could put a stout on it.

Thank you to Craig Corley for stepping in as Door Prize and Raffle announcer guy! Terry had to be out of town and Corley was our next seasoned vet in the art of raffling. You did a great job and I thank you for giving out some many great gifts to the masses! Especially the the special beers you when out an got for the door prizes.

Thank you to Dan Hakes as always for your use of the string lights you bring and set up every year! I really love the colored bulbs in them this year. Hope your Wash Summer Party went great, sorry I could not make it, but I did post it so hopefully some PG’ers showed up!?

Thank you for everyone that donated to the Party and Raffle this year. Especially to:
-Kevin and Greg at the Culver City Homebrew Supply Store for their donation of multiple Gift Certificates and other discounted items for the Raffle!
-Mark Takahashi, now brewer at Golden Road, for bringing a box load of 6 packs of various beers. We will still have some left over for this up coming club meeting to raffle off, because there was so much!
-Tad and Ramesh for the donation of the 5lb Co2 tank’s and regulator’s, plus some clean up parts from Culver City Homebrew Supply. One full tank set up was raffled off at the Party and the other ones regulator is now a permanent part of the clubs newly acquired 20lb Co2 tank set up!
-Also a big thank you to Tomm Carroll as well for donating a bunch of beers from his personal collections to the raffle. Also for the great experiniece had by all drinking more beers from your collection at “The Trux Stop Pop-Up Spot” you put on this year, it was so much fun.
-Thank you Michael Musgrave for the books we put in the raffle, and to anyone I might be missing that dropped off some great stuff that day.

Last, but not least I want to thank all of the volunteers that came to help set up, work the party, bartend, and brake down.  There are so many of you and your help at these events are key. You all know who you are and we all can’t thank you enough for stepping up and helping out.

Im sure Im missing some thank you’s? Here’s one, thank you for reading this post! Please feel free to add any recaps, thank you’s, or corrections in the comments section below this post on the PG website.

Cheers to awesome times and to next years Summer Party!!
Your Prez,

2016 Summer Party photo album on Facebook:


A Quick Recap on the ProAm!

I wanted to thank everyone that was able to participate in the ProAm Opportunity. Which was being held through our club freind Devon Randall at the Arts District Brewery.

She was given a blind list of all of the Pacific Gravity homebrew comp winning beers form Jan. 1st, 2015 thru the recent present. From that list she picked 6 beers that she thought would be fun to brew for the brewery and be a good fit for a ProAm entry! The Six she choose we sent in full recipes for her to then pick a final one to brew, the six where:

Rives Boreland’s “White IPA”, from the 2015 LA Belgian Beer Competition

Carl Townsend’s “Scottish Ale”, from 2015 LA County Fair

Lloyd Johnson and Ted Silvas’s “Elderflower Belgian Pale”, from 2015 LA Belgian Beer Competition

Craig Corley’s “Alt #15”, from 2015 LA County Fair

Parker Waechter’s “Surfin Sancho Toasted Coconut Stout”, from the 2015 California State Fair

David Codney and Kevin Koenig’s “Incident Reflection White IPA”, from 2016 LA Belgian Beer Competition

From this Six recipes she then chose a winner. I know I will get some flack for it, but in the end she chose mine, aka Lloyd and Ted’s “Elderflower Belgian Pale”. As of lately we have been talking about the recipe and supplies for the brew, as well as the brew date getting bumped up. Which will be tomorrow July 28th, starting at 7am at the Arts District Brewery! Something Ted and I could not pass up and are extremely excited to be able to finally brew one of our beers on a pro system. As well we made the GABF ProAm deadline and the beer will be going this October to compete, and at some point will be on tap at the brewery!

Thank you all and I hope we can give the club more chances in the future for ProAm opportunities like this.


May Club Meeting Recap!!

First off I wanted to Thank everyone again who brought their generous donations for our May club meeting charity drive. We collected a ton of stuff for our friends at and it showed with all the extra pink tickets people where given for the raffle because they donated. Which made the raffle more fun because people where yelling out pink or blue at every prize, wishing for there color to come up. We gave away a lot of great stuff that night too during the raffle because of it: hops and brew in a bag- bag, hop rhizome clipping and even a whole cap, shirts, beers, glasses, Firestone Walker glasses wear, and a few bundle pack of Wyeast and Firestone Walker swag, and a lot more.

Thank you to Michael Musgrave for stepping in and manning the grill he and Terry brought, cooking us a bunch of tasty burgers and large dogs with all the fixings chopped up by Dean and Terry. Ian I hope your recovering nicely!? Michael M. also bought our alternative fermentable commercial beers and Terry helped serve and present them.

We had Simon in from Phantom Carriage Brewery, doing the Barrel Project sours. Where a few of the PG homebrewers brought in sour beers and dregs to be added to wort Simon brought and will soon be added to a PG/PH barrel project soon!

We had some great educational stuff going on as well. Michael Patterson brought us two more off flavors to try: D.M.S. and Indole “BarnYard”. I personally finally had one I could not stomach with the indole off flavor, not the nice Brett barnyard flavors you would think. Michael P. also brought his own test of different added levels of grapefruit flavoring to beers, from low to high. Then, Greg Foster brought us another mind blowing triple triangle test to test on us! This time he did a 5 day traditional dry hop in wort vs. a long term hop in cold kegs of carbonated beer. The cold hop was surprisingly more aromatic.

We had more Homebrew then we could drink too! A bunch of kegs and some great examples of Alternative Fermentable Beers on hand. The Best Beer of the Night winner for the style of the month was our resident master brewer Carl and his Belgian Blond!!

We also inducted a few new roles to the Board: “Charity and Special Events” with the roll being filled by Mimi Bardet, and then “Educational Coordinator” with the roll being filled by Michael Patterson. I just wanted to thank you both for your contributions in both those roles so far this whole year.

Also a big thank you to Culver City Homebrew Supply for hosting the meeting at their shop, it looked like a bunch of club members where taking advantage of their extra club meeting member discount we implemented for this year. 10% off your purchase at the shop on club meeting nights hosted at the shop, instead of the usual 5% off.

May was one of those special club meeting months, and everyone had such a great time. Photos are on Facebook below, if you’re not seeing the gallery in email, click here. Thank you all for coming and see you all soon!


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.



Southern California Homebrewers Festival: Recap

So this years Southern California Homebrewers Festival at Vail Lake in Temecula was one not to miss! I can’t even start explain how many great homebrewed beers we all enjoyed at the fest a couple Saturdays ago. There was about 40 Clubs pouring (counting More Beer’s booth) with an estimated average of 500-600 beers on tap! Pacific Gravity ourselves where serving a full tap system of 21 beers on tap, with a couple kegs in reserve.

It all started off with us showing up that friday and setting up camp. Carl and Tom got the “Wave of Beer’ and the kegs to the our festival tapping site, Ian and Tim got the campgrounds chef’s kitchen in order and set up. The rest of us pitched our tents and some kegs from brewer combo Ian and Tim where tapped and put in cardboard box cooler! As well Jeff B. tapped a couple kegs, one being a 6 day brew to keg turn around.

Ian started us off on the right path with surveying up some Hawaiian flare appetizers, before the commercial night tasting, of Spam musubi, Fresh Ahi Poke, and Arare crackers. As he started cooking dinner most of us headed down to the festival site around 7-7:30pm to check in, get our glass wear, and enjoy some more beers. We where then greeted with the fact everyone got a complementary large bottle of Belgian Dark Strong from Ventura’s Surf Brewing and the CHA. As well, a good handful of Homebrewer’s booths where already set up and pouring some amazing beers. Like homebrew club “Vibe” from Ventura was pouring a sour Cuvee that was to die for. Also very notable was our friends “The Yeastsiders” who not only where pouring some amazing beers, but had 19 of them ready to go already. One being a 22% beer!

We slowly made our way to the commercial tasting night, gated off in the back. Due to rules they had to be separated and no beer went in or out between Homebrewers and Commercial beer areas. From the commercial tents there where: Mission Brewery, Ventura Surf Brewing, Ritual Brewing, and Rockbottom Brewery. Out of all the commercial tasting Mission had a great Stout that went quick and they had a wheel to spin for prizes. Surf Brewing had some great beers on tap and in bottle, Terry wins the special prize of finding out they had a special secret Kriek beer behind the bar! Ritual had a lot of good beers on tap, especially in the IPA’s. Although I did note that I felt I was getting some more off flavors in the Commercial beers then Homebrewed beers!

Some of us closed out the commercial tasting night and walked back to camp. Vail Lake was jumping, one club had a full band on a trailer rocking out, others had great light displays and where serving beers to who ever walked up. I heard More Beer had there campsite set up to pour beers to all that came. Some of us stopped off for a beer or two! Back at camp though was the real treat, Ian’s dinner for Friday night was one of the best meals I have ever had! More on the Hawaiian theme we where treated to full BBQ’ed Teriyaki Tri-Tip’s, wing and leg Teriyaki Chicken, Sticky rice W/furikake, and of course Hawaiian style Macaroni Salad! We all could not stop taking about it or eating it. We all could of ate tell we popped! While after dinner we sat around the fire, we opened bottle after bottle of great craft beers to share and slowly started knocking off to bed, with anticipation for the following day.

We all woke up to Ian making coffee, and starting breakfast consisting of delicious Fried rice w/eggs over top, once again we ate tell we where stuffed! Most of us contemplated taking cold campsite showers and getting ready for the main event, but there was some work to do first. A handful of us went to the fest site prior to help set up the booth and get all the beers labeled and on tap. Then later between 11am-12pm most of us started heading down to the fest. The Fest was buzzing, all the clubs where in a semicircle with the main stage opposite to the booths, playing music and special talks all day. Maltose Falcons booth was first with two tent and tap set ups, pouring about 35 beers. One notable one was a stout being poured through a coffee Randall! All of us took our own path that day to some degree, a bunch of us had slotted times to work our own Pacific Gravity Booth too. Every stop we took the beer got better and better! Society of Barely Engineers was there with there “Societe du Lambic” European Sour/Lambic Booth. Where they take the same base beer and different club member do there own twist on it, by adding fruits, spices, aging it, and you name it. Vibe was on a role that day too, they busted out a gong and rang it every time they where opening a new sour beer bottle. By the time I got there they had a table full of samples to try! Long Beach Homebrews our freind to the south had a double booth set-up with one pouring great beers and the other as a Hydrations station with all sorts of infused waters. Another notable club was Crown of the Valley Brewing Society with a great list of interesting and delicious beers on tap! The list goes on and on of great clubs like Strand, Yeastsiders, Crude Brew Crew, BrewCommune, Thousand Oaked, Foam on the Brain, and so many more with great home-brewed beers on tap. A lot of clubs also had food and snacks out and one you could even make your own pretzel neckless. Lunch we all got food from the food court area consisting of those amazing Brats that apparently will not become back I heard. They have been going to this festival for years. Also another place had great BBQ, and another one had some good looking Tacos! A bunch of us and fest goers also bought Raffle tickets that go to supporting the CHA. Some people where buying tons of them. The grand prize was a full brewing sculpture. Unfortunately none of us won the main prizes.

As the day got longer, the sun starting to set, we all pushed though. I was on a personal goal to try at least one beer form every club that day. It took most of the day to do it too. In the end most of us gathered around the PG booth with club friends Strand Brewers Club’s booth right next to us at the festival. We drank with Strand, toasted the memory of their loved and lost member this past year Jeff Sanders. We might of been getting a bit rowdy, but we here having fun. We closed down the festival as they where asking people to leave, headed back to the camp site, grubbed on more of Ian’s awesome food of Ribeye Steaks, Cedar Plank Salmon, Roasted garlic rosemary roast potato’s, Strawberry/Gorgonzola green salad with ambrosia dressing, and Lodge country loaf bread. More bottle and kegs where opened and tapped, some of us where having the times of our lives, maybe a little to much? Some of us where already in bed, and some don’t recall!!

The next morning was somber, a bit hung over, some more then others. Ian treated us with our final breakfast of Bagels with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and all the fixings, Scrambled eggs, Berry fruit salad, coffee, and Mimosa’s!  Thanks to Paul for the champagne! A group of us eventually went back to the festival site to break down the tap system. We took down our tents, cleaned up the site areas, and where serenaded with the sounds of acoustic guitars by Michael M. and Brett W. while reminiscing about the day before. One by one we all started to leave, packed our car and kegs to hit the road. A couple of us went to check out the actual Vail lake, which was unfortunately down 30 feet, thanks to El Nino predictions and the County’s presumptions that they’ll get it back in rain water as they took it.

Im pretty sure everyone that went this year will be back again next year, especially if Ians cooking and it’s at Vail Lake again. CHA is trying to get a 5 year contract so hopefully everything works out and we will be able to enjoy this amazing festival in such a great location again.

Thank you to everyone that came and helped out during the weekend. Tell next year!