All Pacific Gravity news.

PG Summer Party Needs Your Help!

This year’s summer party will celebrate the 15th Anniversary of Pacific Gravity and we’re ready to party like it’s 1995!!

The party is next Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Dean Sussman’s party pad located at 1310 Amalfi Dr. Pacific Palisades CA 90272.  The party starts at 2 PM and continues on into the evening.

We still need volunteers to help make this party a huge success! How can you help? Here’s a list of ways:

We need your help setting up tables, beers, tiki torches, and decorations on Friday night at 6pm. Then, we need your help taking it all back down Sunday morning. As always, those generous enough to help set up and clean up will enjoy delicious beers and those who clean up on Sunday morning will enjoy more delicious leftovers than theycan shake a stick at and plenty of “hair of the dog” to help get them going! To sign up for clean up or set up please e-mail [email protected]


Ian is our masterchef and he needs your help preparing food for everyone. To volunteer, please e-mail [email protected]  As always, this event is a potluck and we’d like to encourage you to bring dishes that fit with the theme including appetizers, desserts, and side dishes.  Last year many of you brought dishes that the party a huge success!  We hope you can repeat that effort again this year!   So far we are very light on food sign up from the members.  To sign up to bring food, email [email protected]

The food this year is going to be a delicious SoCal Taco Bar theme and there will be a salsa bar with one talented salsa chef winning 1st place for best salsa or guacamole.  We want to put name labels on your salsas so if you want to sign up to bring a salsa (or guacamole) please e-mail Ian Fraser at [email protected]

After all, isn’t that what our club is all about!? Our drink competition this year features lime, any drink alcohol, non-alcoholic, beer, or soda that features lime is eligible for our drink competition. Of course, all beers are welcome and we encourage you to drop off your keg at CCHBS by 5pm on Friday so they can be taken to the party. Please let Michael Steinberg know that you’ll be providing a beverage so that he can create a label for your drink. Email Michael at [email protected]

If you made a jockey box at our jockey box event or have a jockey box, please bring it so we can keep all these delicious beverages nice and cold!!

Of course, be sure to have your name on any equipment that you bring to the party.

Wanna spend some quality time with the new and improved CDS? Volunteer for a one hour shift pouring beers for your fellow revelers by e-mailing Michael Steinberg at [email protected]

The shave ice machine is always a big hit at the party. Sign up for a one hour shift running the machine and pouring Dan’s delicious flavored meads. It’s a great chance to take a break in the shade and work on perfecting your sno cone flavor combos! Email Nathalie Caldwell at [email protected]

Sign up for a one hour shift working at the front gate checking in members, collecting entrance fees, and selling raffle tickets. Email Craig Corley at [email protected]

We need tables and canopies. Please contact Michael Steinberg at [email protected] if you’re able to bring a table or canopy to the party.

We look forward to seeing you at party and thanks in advance for your generous volunteering!!

Party on, Pacific Gravity!

2010 Pacific Gravity Summer Party

Party like a 15 year old!

By Ian Fraser

This year’s summer party will celebrate Pacific Gravity’s 15 years in existence!  To that end we are going old school!  The retro theme is a throwback to our earliest summer parties of old but updated to celebrate our anniversary!

But first the business, the summer party will be held August 14, 2010 at Dean Sussman’s party pad located at 1310 Amalfi Dr. Pacific Palisades CA 90272.  The party starts at 2 PM and continues on into the evening.  Admission is free for you and 1 guest if you are a club member and $15 for each additional guest.  Kids are free.  Dean has a swimming pool and welcomes his guests to use it but all children must be supervised by an adult while in the pool.

This is our largest event of the year and we need your help to pull it off!  As always this event is run by you volunteers and those of you who have helped in years past know how critical that is!  Set up this year will take place on Friday Aug. 13 starting at 6 PM, the after party clean up will take place Sunday morning about 10 AM.  Those of you who have done this before know how much fun we have at the set up, and last year everyone on the Sunday clean up crew wound up taking food home.  We will be sending out additional information regarding what to bring, equipment needs and volunteer information.

The food theme will be a throwback to PG’s early days and feature carne asada.  However I gotta be me and blow it up, so we will have carne asada, pollo asado, and smoked turkey in mole sauce, fresh grilled fish, smoked tongue and even carnitas as our proteins featured in the largest taco bar I have ever attempted.  For you volunteer cooks out there any and all side dishes are welcome!  We will need lots of sides, salads, and desserts to round out our menu.  But given the main dish theme what I would really like to do is encourage everybody to make a salsa or guacamole and we will feature all of them on a table and even try to label yours so that everybody will know who brought what!  I am trying to arrange a judging and we will acknowledge the crowds favorite salsa!  So I herby throw down the challenge, bring your salsa or guacamole and try to beat me out as our very first salsa/guac. winner!

Our drink competition this year features lime, any drink alcohol, non-alcoholic, beer or soda that features lime is eligible for our drink competition, so get your creative juices flowing and create something!  As always we will have a best beer competition as well as the drink competition plus the salsa competition, so there are many ways to win this year.

If you plan on bringing a soda or beer please let us know so that we can have a label made for you by contacting Mike at [email protected], if you plan on bring any food items or a salsa guacamole please contact me at [email protected].  Stay tuned for more information as we get the details ironed out we will be forwarding them to you.

The Stuffed Sandwich road trip Sat 7/24

Hey everyone! The OC road trip is being rescheduled but instead on Saturday July 24 we will be heading to The Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel. For those who are not familiar with The Stuffed Sandwich it is run by 2 fellow beer lovers, Sam and Marlene, who pride themselves on fantastic food and a selection of 100’s of beer from 40 different countries! The bus will leave from the Culver city homebrew supply at 12 pm and will return at 5 pm. The cost will be $15 per person and you are welcome to bring some beer loving friends to join in on the fun. If you are interested please email [email protected] by Sunday July 11th so we can get a head count. For more information on The Stuffed Sandwich check out their website.

PG Jocky Box Build

Belated Southern California Homebrew Fest Report

On the first weekend in May, Pacific Graviteers gathered at their Fortress of Solitude (Lake Casitas’ Owl Creek Campground) for the 2010 Southern California Homebrew Festival.

Our beer heroes (beeros, much more powerful than winos) led as always by Josh “Beer Viking” Jensen, brought along 22 examples of superbrewing, which included a Maibock (Carl), an Imperial Stout (Bob K.), an English Mild (Bakofskys); a Tangerine Wit (Bob H.) and many others (see photo).  Ian “Safetyman” Fraser kept us extra-safely sustained with a fabulous menu: Friday night we feasted on pulled pork, sausage explosion or Portobello mushroom sandwiches served with coleslaw and broccoli slaw (prepared by Mimi “The Smiler” Bardet); Saturday morning we indulged in two kinds of fried rice (meat and a veggie/fish version) and eggs; Saturday evening we over-indulged on two types of steak, two types of salmon, fresh grilled bluefin and yellowtail tuna (courtesy of Bob “Zenbrewer” Kaisaki), roasted garlic potatoes, salad with blue cheese or green goddess dressing, and enough desserts to choke a legion of superbeeros; Sunday morning we breakfasted on bagels with smoked salmon plus leftover salmon and tuna from the night before, scrambled eggs and an array of fruit.

A few memorable moments: The Hill-Lindsays—Linda “The Gadfly,” Audrey “The Listener,” and Carmen “The Wanderer”—fortifying us Friday night with Powerful Spirits and Rum Balls ; Mike “The Talker”  Steinberg reciting from memory the opening prologue to TVs “Superman”; Vic “Rasputin” Macias sharing with us each morning the home-roasted coffee that makes him, as his superbeero name suggests, unkillable; PG co-president Peigi “X-Mormon” Robinson leading us like the Donner party into the brewfest; Dean “Summerpartyman” Sussman pretending (for about ten minutes) that he’d rather lounge about camp than go to the fest; Bob “The Electrician” Henderson once again generously tattooing young women; Carl “The Chemist” Townsend fooling us all for a moment by pretending not to know the exact recipe of something he was tasting; Terry “El Leprechaun Grande” exhausted after a day pouring too many pots of gold, Tim “Soccerboy” Bardet and Bob “Silentman” Partridge actually talking—a lot!, and Neil “the Durnk” Saund communicating with invisible spirits through a language only he and they understand.

If you have yet to attend the homebrew fest, despair not!  Be assured that next year the beeroic Graviteers will once again stumble forward in their never-ending battle for Malt, Hops, and the Homebrewers Way!

Ladies club meeting next thursday!

Hey ladies interested in meeting other female brewers? Come and check out Pacific gravity’s ladies club Thursday May 13th at 7:30 at the Culver city homebrew supply. We will be brewing and of course tasting beer! Please email Nathalie at [email protected] for more information and to get put on the mailing list.

California State Fair Entries Due by Sunday April 18th

Entries for the California State Fair Homebrew Competition are due at the Culver City shop by April 18th.  Since we need to ship these entries off, your bottles must arrive packaged for shipping.  This means plenty of bubble wrap and packed into suitable shipping boxes.  Cost for each entry is $10, but the club will pick up shipping costs.  This competition uses the BJCP styleguide.  Three 12 oz bottles are needed for each entry.  Make checks payable to: California Brewers Guild, LLC-HBC.  Entry forms can be found at

Do the Dues!

It’s March and that means its time for our annual Pacific Gravity membership dues collection.  All club members need to pay their dues to keep their membership active until March 2011.  Dues are $30 for the year and are prorated for members who joined the club within the last year.

Club Treasurer, Craig Corley will be collecting dues at our March 18th club meeting.  Can’t make the meeting, there are a number of other ways you can pay your dues. You can go old school and send Pacific Gravity a check to PO Box 2451, Culver City CA 90231.  You can drop off your dues the next time you’re shopping at Culver City Home Brewing Supply. And for the ultimate in convenience, you can renew your dues online via Paypal on the club website ( ), just click on Renew.

All current club members should have gotten a renewal notice via email detailing their dues renewal amount and member information on file. This is a good opportunity to update our membership records, so please let Craig know of any changes to your member information (address, email, phone, etc) or include changes with your check/renewal form.

Keep in mind that your dues are the primary way we fund such club activities as club parties, monthly meetings, club brews and much more.  Your paid membership also ensures that you’ll continue to receive the many club benefits available like discounts on your purchases at Culver City Home Brewing Supply as well as access to the club brewing system, various brewing activities and information.

Have questions about your dues or how much you owe? Check with Craig at the March club meeting or by email at [email protected].

How Do I Modify My Tustin Monster Brew?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vital Statistics:

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

Guidelines for modifying your wort:

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

Tustin Brew 2.0 Pricing Update

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

5 Gallons $27.00 ($28.12 total)

10 Gallons $54.00 ($55.92 total)