Wacker Brewing Company Launch Party

Wacker Brewing Launch Event

The 2014 Pumpkin Cup

2014 Pumpkin Ale Competition

2014 Pumpkin Ale Competition

Ladies & Gentlemen, it’s competition time!

Show us your pumpkin prowess at this club-only competition. The fun goes down at POUR on Prince Street in downtown Lancaster on October 29th beginning at 7PM. You must be a club member to enter, attend or vote in this competition. If you are not currently a member, you can join at the event.

Any style pumpkin brew is welcome. Winners will be chosen by secret ballot. All members in good standing are eligible to vote. Think you’ve got what it takes to snatch up this year’s Pumpkin Cup? Show up to the event with at least 64 ounces of your homemade pumpkin brew to find out.

Any questions, hit us up on our contact form. This is a people’s choice style competition. Prizes and bragging rights go to the winners.

This event takes the place of our regular October meeting.

Additional information forthcoming in this month’s newsletter.


Club Experiment #4: Crystal Malt

The latest club experiment will be to brew the same recipe changing only the crystal malt aspect of the grain bill.

Originally this was slated for the August meeting but we have to push it back to the September meeting (24th). If anyone has already brewed for this, we’re very sorry and hang on to it if possible it will be put to good use we’re sure. The opportunity to have the August meeting at the Brewery at Hershey was one we felt the club would really enjoy being able to experience. Details on the August meeting are in the upcoming newsletter. September is going to be a busy month for the club in general (more on that soon).

The recipes for different methods of brewing are below. When replacing the crystal, please use the same amount exactly for comparison in tasting.
crystal malts
The unclaimed malts at the time of this posting are:
American: 10L, 20L, 120L
British: CaraMalt 10L
All are available at Lancaster Homebrew.

Email lancasterbrewers@gmail.com to claim any of the above and thank you in advance for participating.

BIAB Recipe

Fly Sparge

Batch Sparge

Extract Recipe

Saison Competition Recap

Nicely done club members! There were nine entries showcasing the style. All attendees were served blind samples by number only. Everyone was to taste, take notes and ultimately choose their favorite by blind ballot.

Winners and recipes below. Third place went to Mr. Ben Wohlberg (and if Mr. Ben’s reading this, please email your recipe to lancasterbrewers and we’ll gladly update this list).

riley hop farm

Future source of club centennial hops

1st place: Scott Riley (Twitter: @brewhex Untappd: DjBenway) $50 gift card to Lancaster Homebrew
Batch Size: 5 gallon
Type: All Grain
12.0 lbs 2-row pale
10 oz wheat malt

Mash in: 154 degrees for 75 min
Mash out/sparge: 165 for 15 min

Hop Schedule:
60 min: 1oz Styrian (pellet)
15 min: 1oz Sterling (pellet)

OG: 1.064

Yeast: White Labs American Farmhouse
Primary: 3 weeks at 70 degrees
Secondary: 4 weeks at 70 degrees

Notes: American Farmhouse is 50% brett. From the recipe above, two gallons were kegged. Three gallons are aging on oak, chardonnay and Jolly Pumpkin dregs. TBD on when that will be ready to go.

2nd place: Tim Ranck (Twitter: @TRANCK Untappd: tecks_tim) $25 gift card to Hunger ‘n Thirst
Batch Size: 5 gallon
Type: All Grain
7.0 lbs pilsner
0.5 lbs wheat malt
0.5 lbs rye malt
0.5 lbs maltodextrin
0.25 lbs flaked oats
0.25 lbs flaked barley
0.25 lbs torrified wheat

Mash: 151 degrees for 60 min

Hop Schedule:
60 min: 1oz Cascade (leaf)
30 min: 1oz Cascade (leaf)

OG: 1.049

Yeast: The Yeast Bay Saison Blend
Primary: 4 weeks at 71 degrees
Secondary: 1 week at 71 degrees

Siebel Sensory Training Class

Flavor and Aroma Notes

Some members of our club recently had the opportunity to sit down with a sensory evaluation kit to learn a little more about some of the flavors and aromas that can be found in beers. Some of these elements were familiar, and some were less common. Some were downright bizarre/disgusting. But we got through the first third of the total of twenty four flavor elements and we learned some very interesting things along the way.

One of the things that stood out most to me was the way the different components affected each of us differently.

In case you’re wondering what this sensory eval kit is all about, the way it works is this:

  1. We started with a base beer (in our case this was Beast Light, because that’s what I picked up cheap on the way to the tasting.)
  2. We poured one liter (approx. three cans of beer) into a pitcher and tainted that pitcher with one of the flavor vials that came in the sensory kit.
  3. After mixing well and pouring samples for each attendee, we evaluated the samples against untainted glasses of the same base beer. This allowed us to see how each element affected the flavor, aroma and often our overall perception of the beer.

Have you ever tasted a beer and known that SOMETHING was off, but didn’t know how to describe it or what might have caused the problem? Part of what this series of classes is teaching us, as brewers, is how to identify the flavors that might show up in our beers; or beers we’re tasting at meetings and events; and tie them to a specific chemical or precursor that is the root of that flavor we’re perceiving.

For example, one of the flavor components we tested was diacetyl. Diacetyl is an organic compound with the chemical formula (CH₃CO)₂. It has an intensely buttery flavor. diacetyl Diacetyl can show up in your beer for a number of reasons, but it is typically a result of yeast activity. Read up more on diacetyl here. This chemical is something brewers often talk about, but experimenting with tasting beer intentionally tainted with this compound can give new insight into what diacetyl actually does to a beer.

Another big one we hit in this session was Dimethyl Sulfide or DMS. DMS gives an aroma/flavor perception most commonly associated with cooked corn. Dimethyl SulfideThis is another flavor you will hear a lot of brewers talk about. Personally, I didn’t have nearly the reaction to this element as most of the other brewers present. On the other hand, there were some samples that seemed very intense in flavor or aroma to me that others seemed not to be able to pick up at all.

That brings me back to what I said earlier about the differences in perception across even a small grouping of fairly experienced brewers. Everyone’s taste perceptions are different and the thresholds at which we notice tastes and smells vary. The flavor kit we were using was calibrated to provide three times the level of flavor at which most people will begin to notice it.

Overall, this has been a very useful and educational experiment and we aren’t done yet. There will be two more sessions to finish out the total of twenty four flavor vials that came with the kit. The next session will be held on Monday, June 16th at 6:00 PM. Location is Mike Knaub’s house. This session is open to any member who wishes to attend. If you would like to participate, shoot me an email (use the contact form if you don’t know the address.) Hope to see you there.

Knowledge is power.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas Needed

Nope.This survey is now closed. Thanks for all the great answers. Cheers.

Here’s the resulting article: We Know What Dad Wants. Hint: It’s a Freaking Beer! Happy Father’s Day.

Lancaster Newspapers has asked for our help identifying the perfect Father’s Day gifts for beer-loving dads.

Looking for a thrifty option and an over-the-top option.

Fire away:

Saison Competition Reminder for May 2014 Meeting

We’ll be tasting Saisons as interpreted by club members during the May 28th meeting. It will be held at the usual location at Lancaster Brewing and is open to current members as well as anyone who’d like to join the club. For entrants/entries, please bring at least a growler or 6-pack with some labeling for the organizers to serve. Meeting starts at 7:00.

Whether you are brewing or just interested in learning more about the style, here are a few good resources:

Phil Markowski’s “Farmhouse Alessaison
BYO’s Style Guide

It’s all in the yeast, but let’s see what the club has to say about that!

AHA Big Brew Event at Lancaster Homebrew

Celebrate with fellow brewers at Lancaster Homebrew Saturday May 3rd. If you are new to brewing and want to learn from experienced brewers, this is a great introduction. Be there from 10am to noon for the demo. If you are not so new to brewing, meet future and current brewers to share techniques. Details in the image and directions below.

AHA Lancaster Homebrew

Yeast Experiment

This month we will be tasting beers from the club yeast experiment.

Twelve of our brewers brewed this beer and fermented it with a different yeast strain.

The yeasts used were:

WLP007 Dry English Ale
WLP565 Belgian Saison I
WLP300 Hefeweizen
Wyeast1450 Denny’s
WLP099 Supa’ High
WLP008 East Coast Ale
WLP005 British Ale
WL530 Abbey Ale
Safale US05 American Ale
WLP023 Burton

Nominate Yo Self, Fool!

It’s time for club leadership elections again. This month we will be taking nominations for the position of club secretary.

Duties of this position include helping with email and social media updates. Remembering all the great ideas we come up with at our monthly meetings and helping to put them into practice. Working with the media as a representative of the club when needed. And busting your ass behind the scenes to help the rest of the management team make our club run all smooth-like.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW AND LOVE would be good at this sort of thing, the February meeting is where you make that public knowledge. We need a strong candidate to fill this role in for our club. Nominations will be accepted up until the day of our March meeting when we will hold an election to determine the winner.

Please contact me with any questions or thoughts about the elections or to throw your name in the pot.

Cheers and Mahalo plenty,


Your current club management roster consists of the following dear souls:

JEREMIAH EASTEP – Club President
MICHAEL DOMIN – Club Vice-President
KAREN HOLLMAN – Activities Director
KIRSTEN DEEDS – Club Treasurer+
+Note: Kirsten has accepted a transfer from the office of Club Secretary to the office of Club Treasurer. Given her impeccable background in finance, having her in this role makes mad sense.

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