Pacific Gravity Club Meeting Thursday, February 15th at Tortugo Brewery

Greetings Pacific Gravity,

Welcome to a fabulous February!

Our club meeting this week  will be at usual time and place:

February Monthly Meeting; Thursday 2/15/2024 at 7:30 PM
Tortugo Brewing Co.
916 W. Hyde Park Blvd.
Inglewood,  CA  90302
(424) 227-9963

Our Style Of The Month for February is Belgian beers – so please bring your superior singles, delightful dubbels, terrific triples and quintessential quads to share!

A good time was had by all who attended February’s “First Saturday” at Stuffed Sandwich.  Marlene was a terrific host as always, had a fun vertical tasting surprise in store (Also special thanks to the anonymous club member who helped make that happen – you know who you are!!).

Now we are looking forward to our March First Friday at Firestone Walker Brewing in Venice on Friday March 1!”

And let’s not forget the Monster Brew at Smog City on Saturday March 9! Please be sure and sign up early and often so we can make this event happen! If we fail to hit critical mass, this event may be canceled – PLEASE SIGN UP NOW!! (details below)

But wait, there’s more!  The Southern California Homebrewers Festival is coming up May 3 & 4 at Vail Lake near Temecula.  There are still some slots available for tent campers – If you would  like to attend, please let Terry know ASAP to reserve your spot.  I went for the first time last year, and I gotta say, it really lived up to the hype – a huge amount of fun camping with the club (and meeting other clubs) and attending the massive festival with more homebrew taps than I have ever conceived of!

See you all Thurs 2/15 at Tortugo!!

Parker Waechter
President
Pacific Gravity Homebrewers

Upcoming Styles of the Month

  • January – Winter beers
  • February – Belgian beers
  • March  – British Isle beers
  • April 2024 – Pale beers
  • May 2024 – Dark/black beers
  • June 2024 – Sour beers, smoked beers, and wood-aged beers
  • July 2024 – IPAs
  • August 2024 – No style of the month (Summer Party)
  • September 2024 – German and Czech beers
  • October 2024 – Alternative fermentables beers (using sugars and/or grains other than malted barley)
  • November 2024 – Fruit/spice beers, meads, and ciders/berries
  • December 2024 – No style of the month (Holiday Party)

Upcoming Events

  • February 15: Club Meeting at Tortugo Brewing Company – Style: Belgian Beer
  • March 1: First Friday at Firestone Walker Brewing
  • March 9: Monster Brew

Monster Brew 2024 at Smog City – Sign Up Now!

Porter has once again graciously offered to host a monster brew at Smog City Brewing Company.  This will be our 8th Monster Brew with Brewmaster, Jon Porter (and lucky 13th if you count the ones he hosted previously, going all the way back to his days at Tustin Brewing!).  These events are always a highlight of the year’s activities and an unreasonably huge amount of fun, so please come out and join us!

Date:  Saturday, March 9, 2024
Sign-Up Deadline: Mon March 4
Time:  ~7:00 AM Mash-In
~12pm Fermenter Filling
Location:  Smog City Brewery 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501

If you have never participated in a Monster Brew, here is how it works:

  1. Order wort ahead of time.
  2. Purchase yeast and any ingredients desired for modification to the wort – I suggest supporting local South Bay Brewing Supply (call ahead to verify stock)
  3. Arrive at the Monster Brew with a clean plastic or metal fermenter (NO GLASS!) which we will fill with UNFERMENTED wort.
  4. Take it home and modify as desired and pitch your yeast
  5. Ferment until ready for bottling or kegging

For this year’s batch, Porter will be using a base wort based on the ever popular Little Bo Pils that will allow for maximum creativity.  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.  To see the full recipe and for modification ideas, see Carl’s extensive “How Do I Modify My Monster Brew?” post.

COST and RESERVATIONS
We need a headcount WELL BEFORE the brew session, so we can plan the batch size.  You must make a reservation by Monday 3/4 if you want wort.  The cost will be $35 for each 5 gallons of wort and you can order as many batches as you like  If possible, please pay in advance.  If you want wort but cannot attend the event, you may designate a buddy who can attend to collect your wort.  (We do not have a delivery service.)

SIGN-UP
You can sign up one of two ways:

1. Pay now with Paypal with https://py.pl/2M8HyzSGODw.  If you do this your reservation is good to go.
2. Drop a line to [email protected] saying how many batches you want.  Payment will be due on brew day.  We will accept payment at the Monster Brew: cash or check and will be accepted – NO CREDIT CARDS (though of course you will still be able to pay via the paypal link/QR code with credit card).

FERMENTERS
Bring a pre-sanitized PLASTIC or STAINLESS STEEL fermenters for each 5-gallon batch you purchase.  Absolutely NO GLASS fermenters will be allowed in the brewery due to the risk of breakage. You may bring small glass vessels with yeast or other additions, however. Fermenters must have a wide opening for the filling nozzle. Plastic buckets are ideal, but Cornelius kegs are acceptable. Again, please do not bring any skinny-neck containers – we may not be able to fill it.

If there is wort left over at the end, we will hold a lottery to determine who may purchase an additional 5 gallon allotment. Bring an extra fermenter if you are interested.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
Yeast and any additional ingredients you wish to add to your wort are not included. You can bring your yeast to the brewery, or pitch it at home.  We recommend getting your supplies in advance.  I suggest purchasing at South Bay Brewing Supply, which also happens to be near the brewery if you need last-minute supplies on brew day, but of course supplies may be limited, so it’s better to plan ahead!

PARKING
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.

FOOD
We will have coffee and some light breakfast snacks in the morning.  Later on, the food trucks will be setting up in the parking lot.  In addition, Porter will be supplying tasting samples of some of his fine brews mid-morning.  Cut off time for free pours will be shortly before the tap room opens for business.
REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR BEERTENDER!!!

We hope to see you all there!

Competition Corner February 2024

  • February – America’s Finest City  https://beerawardsplatform.com/afc-2024
    • Missed the entry window – capped at 500 entries
  • February – Start of AHA NHC Process
    • Feb 27 – March 15 Entry registration and payment
    • March 29 – deadline for entry changes
    • May-June Shipping and judging of first Round
    •  July 29 – August 9: Final Round Shipping/Drop-off Window (San Diego)
    • August 17 – 24: Final Round Judging
    • October 10: Award Ceremony at Great American Beer Festival
  • April – Mayfaire Competition  No info yet, but almost certain to happen
  • May/June  State Fair.
    • See if Angel City is a drop-off again
  • May –  County Fair? Unlikely
  • Replace Co Fair with Long Beach Red White and Brews?
    • American beers, 30 different styles
  • September – Pacific Brewers Cup
    •  We are running it in 2024 – Need to get plans in place
  • October California State Competition

Copyright © 2024 Pacific Gravity, All rights reserved.

Stuffed Sandwich Trip, Monster Brew, Competitions

Greetings Pacific Gravity!

There are two great events coming up that you will not want to miss.  We will be having our First Saturday next weekend at Stuffed Sandwich next Saturday 2/3 and a Monster Brew at Smog City on Saturday 3/9.  Read below for details on each!

Stuffed Sandwich FIRST SATURDAY this coming weekend!!

For February’s First Friday, we will instead be partaking of an epic FIRST SATURDAY at Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel -Please join us!

Time: Saturday, February 3, 2024 12 noon.
Location: Stuffed Sandwich
1145 East Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel,  CA  91776  (626) 285-9161

Marlene’s featured theme for February will be “Barlywines and Strong Ales” – this of course means very high alcohol.  Please make your travel plans accordingly! Carpooling with a designated driver, public transport, or sharing a ride-share can be a  good strategy…

Stuffed Sandwich is part of our local beer history as it specialized in craft beer before it was even called craft beer.  In addition to the great beers they will have on tap, they always have a disturbingly excellent collection of bottles for sale.

———————————————————–

Monster Brew ’24 at Smog City – SIGN UP NOW!

Porter has once again graciously offered to host a monster brew at Smog City Brewing Company.  This will be our 8th Monster Brew with Brewmaster, Jon Porter (and lucky 13th if you count the ones he hosted previously, going all the way back to his days at Tustin Brewing!).  These events are always a highlight of the year’s activities and an unreasonably huge amount of fun, so please come out and join us!

Date:  Saturday, March 9, 2024
Sign-Up Deadline: Mon March 4
Time:  ~7:00 AM Mash-In
~12pm Fermenter Filling
Location:  Smog City Brewery 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501

If you have never participated in a Monster Brew, here is how it works:

  1. Order wort ahead of time.
  2. Purchase yeast and any ingredients desired for modification to the wort – I suggest supporting local South Bay Brewing Supply (call ahead to verify stock)
  3. Arrive at the Monster Brew with a clean plastic or metal fermenter (NO GLASS!) which we will fill with UNFERMENTED wort.
  4. Take it home and modify as desired and pitch your yeast
  5. Ferment until ready for bottling or kegging

For this year’s batch, Porter will be using a base wort based on the ever popular Little Bo Pils that will allow for maximum creativity.  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.  To see the full recipe and for modification ideas, see Carl’s extensive “How Do I Modify My Monster Brew?” post.

COST and RESERVATIONS
We need a headcount WELL BEFORE the brew session, so we can plan the batch size.  You must make a reservation by Monday 3/4 if you want wort.  The cost will be $35 for each 5 gallons of wort and you can order as many batches as you like  If possible, please pay in advance.  If you want wort but cannot attend the event, you may designate a buddy who can attend to collect your wort.  (We do not have a delivery service.)

SIGN-UP
You can sign up one of two ways:

1. Pay now with Paypal with https://py.pl/2M8HyzSGODw.  If you do this your reservation is good to go.
2. Drop a line to [email protected] saying how many batches you want.  Payment will be due on brew day.  We will accept payment at the Monster Brew: cash or check and will be accepted – NO CREDIT CARDS (though of course you will still be able to pay via the paypal link/QR code with credit card).

FERMENTERS
Bring a pre-sanitized PLASTIC or STAINLESS STEEL fermenters for each 5-gallon batch you purchase.  Absolutely NO GLASS fermenters will be allowed in the brewery due to the risk of breakage. You may bring small glass vessels with yeast or other additions, however. Fermenters must have a wide opening for the filling nozzle. Plastic buckets are ideal, but Cornelius kegs are acceptable. Again, please do not bring any skinny-neck containers – we may not be able to fill it.

If there is wort left over at the end, we will hold a lottery to determine who may purchase an additional 5 gallon allotment. Bring an extra fermenter if you are interested.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
Yeast and any additional ingredients you wish to add to your wort are not included. You can bring your yeast to the brewery, or pitch it at home.  We recommend getting your supplies in advance.  I suggest purchasing at South Bay Brewing Supply, which also happens to be near the brewery if you need last-minute supplies on brew day, but of course supplies may be limited, so it’s better to plan ahead!

PARKING
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.

FOOD
We will have coffee and some light breakfast snacks in the morning.  Later on, the food trucks will be setting up in the parking lot.  In addition, Porter will be supplying tasting samples of some of his fine brews mid-morning.  Cut off time for free pours will be shortly before the tap room opens for business.
REMEMBER TO TIP YOUR BEERTENDER!!!

We hope to see you all there!

Parker Waechter, President Pacific Gravity

Competition Corner January 2024

Greetings fellow homebrewers.  I hope your year is starting out well.  Personally, I’m taking advantage of the cool weather and have a “garage lager” in the fermenter.

With the beginnings of a new year, everybody in the club is tied for the 2024 Brewer of the Year award!  Now is you chance to pull into the lead. Here is the rundown on the 2024 cycle:

  • America’s Finest City:  Whoops, already full!  I was stunned to see this 500-entry competition was full before I even had the date.
  • AHA National Homebrew Competition:  AHA has revamped the schedule this year, so advance brewing and planning is needed to pull this off.  Details can be found at https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/national-homebrew-competition/ .  Entry requests open February 27th and close March 15th.  First round entries need to be shipped off in May or June.  If you advance to the finals, second round entries are due in Dan Diego by August 9th, with judging the 3rd week of August.  Final results will be presented at the Great American Beer Festival in October.
  • April – Mayfaire Competition
  • May/June  State Fair
  • May – July:- LA County Fair seems to be history.  If things change, I’ll have an update.
  • July:  Red, White and Brews.  We decided to add this competition to the cycle this year since the LA County Fair left a gap in the schedule.  Run by Long Beach Homebrewers, this competition focuses on various American Styles.
  • September:  Pacific Brewers Cup.  Pacific Gravity is running the competition this year, so we’ll need all hands on deck. More about this in the months to come.
  • October:  California State Competition

If you want to get some competition practice in, there are many other competitions out there.  Check out https://www.bjcp.org/competitions/competition-calendar/ for the full schedule.

Carl Townsend
Competition Coordinator

Upcoming Styles of the Month

  • February – Belgian beers
  • March  – British Isle beers

Upcoming Events

  • February 3: First Saturday Stuffed Sandwich
  • February 15: Club Meeting at Tortugo Brewing Company – Style: Belgian Beer
  • March 9: Monster Brew Smog City Brewing

Monster Brew and Yard Sale with Scholb Brewery

There are still spaces available for the Monster Brew with Scholb Brewery on August 5, 2023. Cost is $35 per batch.  This event works just like the Smog Monster Brews in the past.

Scholb Monsterbrew Full Details

They will also hold a Yard Sale for your unwanted homebrew equipment.  Even if you don’t want to get in on the wort, you can bring items to sell or buy.  Please note if you stuff doesn’t sell, you MUST take it back home afterwards.

Important Note:  If you want wort, you must sign up no later than Saturday, July 29th (Summer party day). You can order one or two 5-gallon batches. Sign up at:  https://forms.gle/QBQxqcSJLJdLN9c37

Monster Brew Canceled, RIP Fred Waltman

I have two items of bad news, one considerably worse than the other.

It is with deep regret that I report the passing of our founder, Fred Waltman. Fred started Pacific Gravity with Steve LaBrie in 1995 after breaking off from the Woodland Hills-based Maltose Falcons.  He also founded the Culver City Homebrew Supply Company.
He remained passionate about beer with blogs, guides and travel writings that made many of us who knew him envious. He was our cat herder on the annual Europe trips and many of the folks he introduced us too remain friends to this day. Here is a picture of Fred along with his cousin Jim (left) at the Uerige brewery on Sticke day, 2010.

For those of you in the local area, we will hold an impromptu “Lift a Pint for Fred” memorial tomorrow night (June 2) at Firestone Propagator starting about 5 PM.  We will  also have a tribute to his memory at the June club meeting on June 15th at Tortugo Bowery.

Come join us, lift a pint to Fred’s memory.
— Ian Fraser

In other news,  we regret to announce that the Smog City Monster Brew scheduled for this Saturday, June 3rd has been canceled. We were unable to to sell enough batches to make it viable for Smog City (39 out of the 55 minimum needed).  For those of you who pre-paid via PayPal, you should have received separate notice of refunds. Please don’t show up at Smog City Saturday morning, no one will be there until their regular hours. Also, please share this information with anyone you know who might have been planning to join us.

As a heads up, planning is underway to hold a monster brew and yard sale at Scholb Brewery on August 5th, 2023, jointly hosted by Strand, Long Beach, So Cal Cerveceros, and Pacific Gravity brew clubs.  Look for details in the coming weeks.

Thanks
Craig Corley
Treasurer
Pacific Gravity Home Brewers Club

Monster Brew Rescheduled to June 3rd

OK folks, looks like we get another chance!

Smog City Monster Brew – new date – Sat, June 3rd

I’m pleased to announce that we have a date for the rescheduled Smog City Monster Brew.  After consulting with Smog City, we’ve selected Saturday, June 3rd as the make-up date.  But, keep in mind we still need to get sign-up for at least 20 more batches to make this a viable event.  So please do not procrastinate, or this event might be canceled again!

For those of you who pre-paid and/or signed up before the prior April 29 date, you are automatically signed up for the rescheduled event. If new date doesn’t work for you, let me know and I’ll remove you from the list / issue a refund.

We still need to sell 55 batches to make this work. We only made it to 25 batches on the last try before canceling.

Please share the new date with anyone who might be interested. Full info on the Smog City Monster Brew can be found on our web site at:  http://pacificgravity.com/2023/04/smog-city-monster-brew-apr-29th-sign-up-now/

thanks
Craig Corley
Treasurer
Pacific Gravity Home Brewers Club

Smog City Monster Brew Now Scheduled for June 3 – Sign Up Now

We are now back on track for a Monster Brew at Smog City Brewing Company. This will be our 13th Monster Brew with Brewmaster, Jon Porter, going all the way back to his days at Tustin Brewing.  Everybody has a blast at these events, so please come out and join us!

Date:  Saturday, June 3, 2023
Time: Mash-In: Approx. 7:00 AM
Fermenter Filling:  Around Noon
Location:  Smog City Brewery 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501

If you have never participated in a Monster Brew, here is how it works:
1)  Order wort ahead of time*.
2)  Bring a clean fermenter, which we will fill with UNFREMENTED wort.
3)  Take it home and add whatever yeast and other ingredients you like to customize the batch.
4)  Ferment until ready for bottling or kegging.

*For those of you who pre-paid and/or signed up before the prior April 29 date, you are automatically signed up for the rescheduled event. If new date doesn’t work for you, let me know and I’ll remove you from the list / issue a refund.

Read more

Pacific Gravity response to the Coronavirus (COVID -19)

Dear Club Members,

Considering the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to assure you that Pacific Gravity is taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our membership and guests. In an abundance of caution and to avoid exposure the Board has decided to suspend club meetings and events for the short term as this situation develops.

As of this moment, judging for LABBC will still happen this Sunday (3/15), but this could change, so please check for any last-minute notices. Given that this is a discretionary event, we recognize that some of you may wish to not participate. If this is the case, please contact Carl Townsend (Head judge)  as soon as possible.

We will be taking a number of precautions at the judging site to avoid any unnecessary exposure. Specifically,
1) You will be asked point blank as you enter if you are sick, or even think you might be sick, or if you have been exposed to anyone with Covid-19. (We would hope that you would refrain from even coming out.)
2) Please avoid unnecessary body contact. Do a fist-bump if necessary, but avoid shaking hands or hugs. We will be spreading you out to avoid crowding.
3) Please wash your hands thoroughly using the CDC guidelines a couple of times throughout the morning. We will provide plastic gloves for use if desired. If you have hand sanitizer, please bring some along.
4) Do not pass around cups of beer. Do not swig out of the bottles, even if they are nearly empty. We will have plenty of cups available.
5) Lunch will be served up by our chef. Please do not serve yourself. If the weather cooperates, please spread out to eat using the outdoor tables. (This also avoids food smells in the judging area.)

Other Upcoming Events:
The March meeting scheduled for March 19th is cancelled.
The Monster brew scheduled for March 28, 2020 at Smog City Brewing is postponed, tentatively until May.
AHA has notified us that the first round judging for the National Homebrew Conference has been postponed.
We are staying in contact with the CHA and monitoring their response and will provide updates about SCHBF (May 1-3, 2020) as they become available.

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our club’s membership and public health officials assess our risk to be low, we are focused on caring for the health and well being of our members, their families and our community at large.

We apologize for any inconvenience this situation has caused.

Please maintain your focus on keeping yourselves and your families safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Ian Fraser
President
Pacific Gravity Homebrewers

Sign-ups needed now for Monster Brew

We still have plenty of space for the Monster Brew session at Smog City this Saturday, March 9th!  But, we need a headcount BEFORE the event, so you must must make a reservation NOW if you want wort.  The cost will be $30 for each 5 gallons of wort.  You can order several batches if you like.    If possible, please pay in advance.

You can sign up one of two ways:

1) Pay now with Paypal.  If you do this your reservation is good to go.

2) Drop a line to [email protected]  saying how many batches you want.   Payment will be due on brew day.  We will accept payment at the Monster Brew; cash, check and credit card will be accepted.

Please also see my posts on Monster Brew:

Hope to see you there!
Carl Townsend
Pacific Gravity Home Brewers Club

Monster Brew Modifications

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

Answer:
I hope you are all planning to join us at Smog City Brewing Company’s sixth Annual Monster Brew, Saturday, March 9th, 2018, from 7:00 AM to noon hosted by our very own Jon Porter. We’ll be brewing up a batch of European 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

11th Monster Brew March 9th at Smog City Brewery

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

Can you believe it?  Pacific Gravity has been doing Monster Brews with Smog City’s  Brewmaster, Jon Porter for 11 years!  With five trips to Tustin Brewing and five hosted at Smog, we will be making our 11th Monster Brew on Saturday, March 9th, 2019.  Everybody has a blast at these events, so please come out and join us!

Date:  Saturday, March 9, 2018
Time: Mash-In: Approx 7:00 am
Fermenter Filling:  Around Noon
Location:  Smog City Brewery 1901 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501

Jon Porter and Carl Townsend are developing a base wort that is sure to allow for maximum creativity.  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.  To see the full recipe and for modification ideas, see “How Do I Modify My Monster Brew?”

COST and RESERVATIONS

We need a headcount BEFORE the brew session, so you must must make a reservation if you want wort.  The cost will be $30 for each 5 gallons of wort.  You can order several batches if you like.    If possible, please pay in advance.

You can sign up one of two ways:

1) Pay now with Paypal.  If you do this your reservation is good to go.

2) Drop a line to [email protected]  saying how many batches you want.   Payment will be due on brew day.  We will accept payment at the Monster Brew; cash, check and credit card will be accepted. Read more