Pacific Gravity Reminders: Meeting This Week, Bidding Adieu to CCHBS

“They” say all good things come to an end, and it certainly holds true this Thursday as we hold our last club meeting at our long-time home, Culver City HomeBrew Supply. So, let’s go out in style. If you have a special beer to share, please bring it along as we toast the good times and thank Greg, Kevin, Craig and Tim for their hospitality.

Where: Culver City Homebrew Supply, 4234 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City.
Time: 7:30pm

COMMERCIAL STYLE of the MONTH:   American Pale Ales

As always, we will have some interesting commercial examples.

HOMEBREW STYLE of the MONTH:   American Pale Ales

Kegs, bottles and growlers of the style of the month are encouraged, all homebrews are welcome.

 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOMEBREWERS FESTIVAL RECAP:

Another Homebrewers Fest is on the books, and it was a great. The 97-degree heat did not deter 36 PG and WASH (West Adams Society of Homebrewers) members, along with another thousand or so home brewers, from congregating at Vail Lake Resort and sampling the brews of 35 other clubs from around Southern and Central California. PG had 23 kegs available for sampling on The Wave and expansion module. WASH had quite a few at the next booth over, augmented by the annual Dan Hakes Invitational Mead Sampling. (Invitational, as in: “if you are in the festival grounds, you are invited to sample”.)

And, as always, besides the offerings at the fest site, there was an interesting variety of bottles shared at our campsite on Friday and Saturday nights.  Kudos to Dean Sussman for the inspirational Saturday morning stacking of the leftover bottles from Friday Night’s Bigfoot Vertical.

Additional campsite entertainment was provided by Joe Hogue, who demonstrated the mind boggling versatility of his homebuilt quadcopter.

2018 BIG BREW (5/26): THE  GRAINFATHER  MEETS  THE  THERMO-SIPHON  REBOILER

You won’t want to miss this year’s Big Brew, where you can watch some of our award winning homebrewers demonstrate the equipment that helps them make great beers. Are you an extract brewer thinking about moving to all-grain? Are you looking to upgrade the equipment that you currently have?

Parker will be there with The Grainfather, and Carl is going to fire up his reboiler that will have you ducking for cover as you look for the Santa Monica Airport-bound jet that missed its approach. Andrew, Michael, and Nathan are scheduled to be on hand with their brew rigs, and there is room for 1 more.  If you would like to show off your system, send an email to Carl (competitions @ pacificgravity . com) and reserve your spot. All-grain and extract brewers are welcome to brew.

Notes for Big-Brewers:

  1. If possible, arrange with Carl (see email above) to drop off your equipment at on Thursday or Friday. Please do not show up at Carl’s at 7am.
  2. Bring your own hose for chilling.
  3. Plan your schedule to be finished (wort in the fermenter, equipment packed up) by 5pm.

Notes for Everyone:

  1. Please bring beer. We will be setting up The Wave and the expansion module for kegs. Of course, growlers & bottles are always welcome.
  2. Lunch: We will be firing up Carl’s iconic Weber and cooking up some burgers and hot dogs.
  3. Sides, salads, snacks, and dessert will be welcomed. Please drop a note to the board (board @ pacificgravity .com) if you can bring something.

Date: Saturday, May 26.
Place: Carl’s Place, 3621 Redwood Avenue, Los Angeles, 90066
Time: All grain brewers should plan to start mash-in around 10am. Extract brewers can start later.

 

MAKE YOUR OWN JOCKEY-BOX DAY:

Using a jockey box is the perfect way to serve your homebrew at family outings, friends’ houses, or in your own backyard. And now, you can make your own. In addition to a cooler, (48-quart coolers are a popular size), you will need these pieces for each beer line (prices are approximate):

  • Stainless Tubing ($35 for 10 feet)
  • Vinyl Beer Line ($5)
  • Ball Lock Disconnect with Flare Fitting ($12)
  • Screw Clamps ($4 for Set of 4)
  • Dispense equipment:
    • Option A: Cobra Head Picnic Tap ($5); or
    • Option B: Shank + Standard Faucet ($35)
Approximate cost per beer line (excludes cooler):

Dispensing with Cobra Head picnic tap:  $61
($35 + $5 + $12 + $4 + $5)

Dispensing with Standard Faucet:  $91
($35 + $5 + $12 + $4 + $35)

Preparation:
  • Bend Stainless Tube to fit into your cooler (tube bender and measurements will be on hand at Jockey Box Day);
  • Cut Vinyl Beer Line into 2 sections, beer-side and dispense-side;
  • if using shank & faucet, drill hole in cooler for shank (drill and hole cutter will be on hand);
Assembly:
  • screw Ball Lock Disconnect onto Flare Fitting;
  • use Clamp#1 to attach the Flare Fitting to the beer-side Vinyl Beer Line;
  • use Clamp#2 to attach the other end of the beer-side Vinyl Beer Line to the Stainless Tube inside the cooler;
  • use Clamp#3 to attach the dispense-side Vinyl Beer Line to the other end of the Stainless Tube;
  • use Clamp#4 to attach the other side of the dispense-side Vinyl Beer Line to the dispense fixture (Cobra-head picnic tap or faucet shank;
  • (if using shank + faucet) attach faucet to shank fitting.

Date: Saturday, June 16.
Place: Casa Molloy Event Center (6738 W. 87th Place, Westchester, 90045)

A couple of Jockey Boxes will be on display at the Big Brew, and a sign-up sheet will be available. If you cannot be at the big brew, but wish to order the hardware (except for the cooler, which you provide), please send me an email (vice-president @ pacificgravity .com) and advise how many of each of these pieces you would like (prices approximate). If you already have some of the pieces (e.g. clamps, shank & faucet), you do not need order with us.

  1. Stainless Tube (@ $35 ea):
  2. Vinyl Beer Line (@ $5 ea):
  3. Set of 4 clamps (@ $4 ea set):
  4. Ball Lock + Flare Fitting (@ $12 ea set):
  5. Cobra Head Picnic Tap (@ $5 ea) or
  6. Shank + Basic Faucet (@ $35 per set):

 

SHARE YOUR HOMEBREW:

Please bring some of your homebrew to the meeting and events.

DUES are DUE.

Dues are $36 per individual, $54 for couples.  If you haven’t paid yet, please do it at the meeting.

NEEDED:  MEETING PLACE

Do you know of a local venue that would allow us to hold our monthly meeting and share our homebrew? Do you have a decent sized backyard that could host 30-50 fellow club members for a meeting? If so, please drop us a line at board @ pacificgravity .com), or talk to one of the board members at an upcoming event.

See you Thursday!

Pacific Gravity News: First Friday, April Roundup

This Friday (May 4) is First Friday! And It’s a Classic!

Where: Daily Pint, 2310 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA, 90245
Time: 7:30pm

April Meeting Kegs

We had quite the line-up of kegs at the April meeting. Thank you to the following members who donated legged home-brew:

Parker W: Dubbel
Carl T: Pale Ale
Parker W: Standard Bitter
Ken M: New England IPA
Carl T: Belgian Blonde
Parker W: Altbier
Tim J: Monster Lager
Andrew W: Double Chocolate Imperial Stout
Tim J: Dark Red

There were quite a few growlers and bottles floating around, too. Thanks to everyone who shared.

Southern California Homebrew Festival

We are less than a week away. It’s going to be a hot day!  I will be sending out a final email on Monday or Tuesday.

Pacific Gravity Big Brew: Saturday, May 26

Still in town for Memorial Weekend? Come on over to the annual Big Brew and check out the brew rigs of your fellow PG members in action, including the system that Carl uses to brew his award winning beers.

Date: Saturday, May 26.
Place: Carl’s Place, 3621 Redwood Ave. Los Angeles, Ca. 90066
Time: 10:00 – 6:00

All Grain Brewers should plan to start mashing in around 10:00 am. Extract brewers can start later.

If you secured a spot to brew, arrange an equipment drop off time with Carl (competitions @ pacific gravity . com) on Friday. Please do NOT show up at 7am on Saturday and expect a warm greeting.

Craft Day:  Make Your Own Jockey Box: Saturday, June 16

Where: Casa Molloy, 6738 W. 87th Place, Westchester
Time: 10:30a – 6:00p

You supply the cooler. We’ll order the supplies. You make your jockey box. Easy, eh? Starting from scratch, each beer line line requires:
1. a length of stainless tube ($30 per 10-foot length, you cut to size);

2. vinyl beer line ($5 per 10 feet);

3. 4 screw clamps for securing beer line ($4 per set of 4);

4. ball lock disconnect ($7);

5. swivel nut for ball lock ($3);

6. dispense hardware options, either:
(a) cobra head picnic tap ($5) OR
(b) shank ($30) + standard chrome faucet ($30)

If you haven’t signed up already, please respond to me at: vicepresident @ pacific gravity.com and advise how many of each item that you would like us to order.

For the shank & faucet option, advise how many shanks and how many faucets (e.g. if you want to purchase your own faucets).

Homebrewers Club In Need Of New Home

An era comes to an end: it’s been a great 20+ years, but our May meeting is the last one we will be holding at Culver City Homebrew Supply. Our June and July meeting places are already set (jockey box day and summer party, respectively), so we will need a meeting place for August.  If you know of a meeting place on the Westside that has room for 30-50 people and will allow us to share homebrew on-site, please drop a line to: board @ pacific gravity.com.

 

HAPPY BREWING!

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!

Lloyd

2016 Homebrew Festival: Call For Beer

If you can donate a keg (or two) for the Pacific Gravity serving booth at this year’s Homebrewers Festival at Vail Lake on April 29-May1, please email me ( brewfest{at}pacific gravity{dot}com ) and Carl ( competitions{at}pacific gravity{dot}com ) and advise with the keg size and style.

If you will be attending the festival, please bring your keg with you.  If you are not attending, you can bring it to Thursday’s club meeting at my place, or we can make alternate arrangements.

Thanks.

 

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SoCal Homebrewers Festival: Last Day to Save & Other News

Today is the last day you can register for Homebrew Fest registration for $40 – tomorrow it goes up to $45. Go to www.calhomebrewers.org and purchase a membership in the California Homebrewers Association for $10.   Then click on the MEMBERS ONLY tab on the CHA website, choose the “2016 SCBF REGISTRATION”, and buy the fest registration.

In other news:

Homebrew Fest Camping:

  • There are plenty of slots available at the PG campsite.  If you haven’t reserved a spot yet and want to, email me at schbf {at} pacificgravity {dot} com
  • Please pay the $30 camping fee at the next Pacific Gravity event (like this weekend’s Monster Brew), at the Culver City shop, or send a check to the club’s PO box.
  • If you want to get in on a group meal plan, sign up with Chef Ian at fraser_ian {at} smc {dot} edu

Homebrew Fest Activities:

  • Commercial breweries offering tastings on Friday night from 7p-9p include: Ritual; Surf; and Rock Bottom.  CHA is negotiating with two more.
  • For our musical entertainment, The Bricktop Blaggers, the popular Celtic-Rock group that played last year’s fest, will be playing Friday night during the commercial tasting.

Register today!

 

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SoCal Homebrew Fest Reminders: 13 Days Left to Save $

If you are going to the Homebrewers Festival on April 29 – May 1:

(1) Save $5 by registering for the home brewers festival by February 29.

– Go to www.calhomebrewers.org and purchase a membership in the California Homebrewers Association.  Cost is $10.  Per California ABC regulations, you must be a CHA member to attend the festival.

– Click on the MEMBERS ONLY tab on the CHA website, choose the “2016 SCBF REGISTRATION”, and buy the fest registration.  Cost is $40 before Mar-1, $45 thereafter.

(2) If you are going to stay at PG-Land, our campsite / banquet complex at Vail Lake Resort (cost: $30 per camper, excludes food):

– Reserve a spot by sending an email to me at [email protected] with your name and the names/email addresses of any campers that will be joining you;

– Pay $30 to Tim Bardet, Club Treasurer.

We will send out more info as the fest gets closer.

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HomeBrew Festival Registration: Save $10 by Jan 31

April 29 – the start of HomeBrew Festival Weekend – will be on us in no time, and now is the time to reserve your spot.  If you sign up by January 31, you can save $10 off the official registration cost of $45.  And don’t forget to reserve your spot at PG-Land, our campsite complex at Vail Lake Resort.

Attending the Homebrew Fest in 5 Easy Steps:

(1) Go to www.calhomebrewers.org and sign up to become a member of the California Homebrewers Association.  Cost is $10.  Per California ABC regulations, you must be a CHA member to attend the festival.

(2) Click on the MEMBERS ONLY tab on the CHA website, choose the “2016 SCBF REGISTRATION”, and buy the fest registration.  Cost is $35 before Feb-1, $40 before Mar-1, $45 thereafter.   Do you want to attend for free?  Choose “Volunteer Registration” to donate 2 hours of your time and save the entire cost of registration.

(3) Pay $30 to Tim Bardet, Club Treasurer, for a camping slot in PG-Land.

(4) On April 29, drive (or better yet – hitch a ride) get to VAIL LAKE RESORT in Temecula.

(5) Enjoy sampling the food and the plethora of beer that will be present throughout the weekend.

We will send out more info as the fest gets closer.

SoCal HomeBrewers Fest: Response Needed

The next Southern California HomeBrewers Festival will be held April 29 – May 1, 2016 at Vail Lake RV Resort in Temecula.  I will be reserving our club campsites in a couple of weeks, and I need your help to figure out how many sites P.G. will need.

We are limited to 6 campers per campsite, and there is a different cost structure depending on whether you are staying in a tent or in an RV/trailer.

If you plan to attend and stay at the PG campsite, please send an email to me at:  “brewfest {at} pacificgravity {dot} com” and advise:

(a) If you will be camping in a tent, how many – including yourself – camping slots will you need? The cost will be $30 per person for the weekend (Fri and Sat);

or

(b) If you plan to stay in an RV/Trailer.  In this case, your RV/Trailer will get its own campsite at a cost of $110 for the weekend, and must be paid before we reserve the campsites in the first week of November. (If you want the lowdown on this option, talk to Larry Powell.  He did it at the 2015 fest.)

 

OTHER FEST NEWS:

  • The costs listed above cover the cost camping only. They do not include CHA membership ($10 – required to purchase fest pass) or the Festival Pass ($35 if purchased in January; $40 if purchased in February; $45 if purchased in March or April) or food.

 

  • The Bricktop Blaggers will be back, providing their take on Celtic Rock on Friday night.
  • A different band will be playing Saturday afternoon.
  • The Friday night commercial pour will take place in the festival area.
  • They plan to have 5 commercial breweries pouring Friday night; each must pour 2 or 3 special beers.

Happy Pacific Gravity 20th Anniversary Kickoff Month!!

To kickoff our 20th anniversary, we will be posting old and possibly forgotten photos of past events / members each month starting with some from around 1999.  There are certainly more, but we’re trying to pick some of the better ones.  We wish they were a little better resolution, but after all, it was 1999!!! Hope you all enjoy and party like it’s 1999 this year to celebrate! …just don’t dress like it’s 1999, wow!

Cheers to our 20th and may we have an even better next 20 years! Read more

SoCal HomeBrewers Festival – News & Deadlines

The registration site for the May 2, 2015 Homebrewers Festival at Vail Lake in Temecula is now up and running at www.calhomebrewers.org until April 17, 2015.  No registration will be allowed after that in order to comply with California ABC regulations.  There are some significant changes to the SCHF from years past:

(1) Only CHA members are allowed to register for the SCHF.  There is a $10 registration fee – go to the calhomebrewers.org site, click on the “Membership” tab, then select “Become a Member”.)

(2) Each CHA member is permitted to purchase only one (1) registration for the SCHF. (Once you are registered as a member on the calhomebrewers.org site per #1 above, a “Members Only” menu option becomes available. In the “Members Only” menu, choose “2015 SCHF Registration” and follow the instructions.

Homebrew Festival registration is $35, but you can save $10 if you register by January 31 (final cost: $25), and save $5 if you register between Feb 1-Feb 28 (final cost: $30). The entrance fee may be waived if you get on the volunteer list, but those opportunities fill up fast and you could get left out.

(3) SCHF attendance will be limited to 1600.

(4) SCHF registration will end on Apr. 17.  There will be no registration available during the 2 weeks prior to the Festival.  No exceptions.

Camping:

Pacific Gravity has secured a group of campsites for the weekend (5/1 – 5/3).  We have capacity for about 50 campers; cost for a weekend of camping is $25.  Your camping spot is not reserved until you pay the camping fee to the Pacific Gravity Treasurer.

So, for the low cost of $60 (if you register by 1/31), you get: (a) 2 nights of camping; (b) entrance to the Friday Night Pro Brewers tasting session; and (3) admission to the Saturday Homebrewers Festival that will feature over 30 homebrewers clubs offering samples of over 300 examples of homebrew across all styles.

I will be posting more information about cost and planning a bit later.  In the meantime, don’t forget to save the dates in your calendar.