The Newsletter 28-08-2017
From the club President
What a fantastic night it was for The Melbourne Brewers at The Cherry Tree Hotel for our annual dinner.
There was an excellent turn out of members, who also brought partners and guests along to enjoy the food on offer paired with the beers brewed by our members. We didn't go short on quality or quantity.
Steinbrew has always produced beers for the dinner, and this year they were exceptional. Andy and Lintons' Strong Scotch Ale and Chris and Eds' Old Ale were both fantastic beers. They did an outstanding job and provided arguably the best beers of the night.
Well done to all the members who provided kegs for us all to enjoy, there were so many cracking beers on tap. Our brewers did an outstanding job.
It was also terrific to see gold sponsors Kee Doery and staff from Keg King in attendance, mixing with our members and enjoying the festivities.
If you have not availed yourself of attending the annual dinner or haven't been for awhile, put it in your diary for next year, it's a great night.
Congratulations to Roger Cheesman on his winning entry beating Braden Jackman on a count back with their entries in the Worthogs Pale Ale Competition. Well done guys.
Vic Brew is just around the corner so hopefully, we are well represented and replicate the results Roger and Braden obtained at Worthogs Pale Ale Mania.
Another member has broadened his horizons, this time Jesse McFadyen, who during the month has officially opened his craft beer bar "The Forager's Drop". It is located upstairs at 499 Whitehorse Road Mitcham and has 11 beers on tap including one hand pump. There are plenty of great beers to taste so if you are passing by I'm sure Jesse would be pleased to pour you a beer of your choice.
Our library a fine resource, but there are a number of members who have borrowed books over the time and not returned them for other members to enjoy.
Those that still have outstanding borrowings could you please return those books or make arrangements for them to be returned. The books still remain the property of The Melbourne Brewers so their return will be appreciated.
Subscriptions are now over due and can be paid through our website. These subs are $55.00 and include a copy of the BYO magazine each month. The club relies on your subscriptions to help fund the clubs activities for the benefit of our members so please be financial and avoid the embarrassment of being asked for payment
I look forward to seeing you at this month's meeting with the opportunity of being able to catch up.
Last months meeting
Julys meeting was once again held back at Pete's warehouse in Ferntree Gully with quite a good turnout for the night.
Unfortunately, our sausage making demo had to be postponed due to some last minute staffing issues with our presenters. Hopefully, we can get this reorganised and back on the agenda soon as there was a lot of interest in seeing it.
So with hardly any notice, Braden managed brilliantly at the last minute to put together a very good talk on sours combined with some tastings of a few of his own sours and some tainted beers. Afterwards, Andy complimented things well by talking everyone through some of the different ways of evaluating and judging the beers and rounding the night out as a great evening.
Braden has put together a fantastic little summary to read here called Acid in Beer to help inspire you all to go out and make some great sours or scare you into proper sanitation. It has some good notes and useful links to sites/books.
The next meeting
This Wednesday the Thirtieth of August will be held at the Warehouse in Ferntree Gully once again.
On top of the usual chit chat and beer sampling, there's going to be an internal cider competition showcasing ciders from The Annual Cider Day but also any other ciders people have brewed. So go grab that special bottle you have squirrelled away and bring it down to compete in the night.
The Annual Dinner
Hosted at the Cherry Tree Hotel again and with a forty plus turnout, it was a good showing ensuring it remained as a great night out. There were fourteen different home-brews available plus of course the hotel's range of drinks and who can forget the four-course dinner with the brisket marinated in Andys wort. Not to mention other little touches like the raffle.
The four-course dinner put on by The Cherry Tree Hotel was delicious. It started off with prawn spring rolls as canapés, followed by a rendang curry entree, then the wort marinated brisket and finally topping it all off with the coconut and mango pannacotta.
Here is a list of the beers, cider and mead brewed by members for the night showing who brewed what and a quick description of each written by the brewer.
Meet the Brewer
This months member is...
Tell us a little about yourself.
In 2012, I retired from a hectic life of an IT Business Analyst/IT Project Manager, and now, I am a married (42 years) homebrewer, golfer, caravanner, slow cook BBQer and fly fisherman. I never seem to have enough time to pursue all my interests, but still very happily filling in my retirement time.
I joined Melbourne Brewers about six years ago, as I thought it would be fun and interesting to meet, talk to and join in with other homebrewers. I was also looking to find out ways to improve my brewing and try other people’s homebrews. An added bonus by being a member of the club was joining the “Sausage Making Group” Nothing beats homemade salami and sausages with your own homebrew! I have also enjoyed trying my hand as a judge at Beerfest for three years. I have only been to Steinbrew once but really enjoyed the camping, brewing and fishing weekend.
When did you first become interested in Home Brewing?
About 15 years ago I became interested in the wonderful world of craft beer I really can’t remember how this occurred, but I had just bought a little fishing shack in Jamieson and I noticed a new brewery being built (Jamieson Brewery). As this was within walking distance of my weekender, I became a regular at the brewery. A tasty brew was always a great finish to a day’s fishing. Many evenings I needed Jeanette to drive me home in the courtesy bus!!
At that time I also started visiting as many craft breweries as I could. Many of my friends said my holidays had become glorified brewery tours. … I think they were right. Lucky I have a very understanding wife (who as a non-drinker also makes a brilliant designated driver!!).
I decided that making my own beer would save me a lot of money and allow me to experiment with new flavours that were at times hard to find in Australia. Part two of my plan came true. I have certainly made many sensational beers (at least sensational to me). Not sure about the saving money bit. I wouldn’t ask my wife about that bit.
How many batches are you up to?
I guess I would have made about a hundred batches over the past 15 years. Now I only brew enough to keep about 5 different beers in the beer fridge, and only brew when a keg runs dry.
I also worked as a steward at the AIBA (Australian International Beer Awards) for 6 years, and payment for volunteering was beer. This gave me lots of different beers to try, so brewing seemed to slow a bit during that time.
What's your favourite style to brew and drink?
My favourite beer style to brew and drink at the moment would have to be big, hoppy American Pale Ales. The more hops the better. On the commercial side, I really enjoy the beers Luke Nicholas brews in NZ under the EPIC label. My favourite is probably Epic Armageddon.
What system do you use?
All my brewing is done using Brew In A Bag. I have never been inclined to change as this system is fun, easy to do, minimal cleanup and cheap to get set up. The resulting beer seems as good as most other systems produce.
What’s your favourite brewing gadget/tool?
I don’t think I have many gadgets for brewing (not sure my wife would agree), but the best change I made was about 8 years ago. This was to move from bottling my beer to kegging. Although a bit pricey to setup, wow it makes things quicker and easier, reduces one opportunity to introduce infection into a batch of beer, and the beer always seems fresh.
Have you had any brewing disasters?
Don’t want to put a jinx on myself, but I haven’t really had a lot of brewing disasters. My first one was when I had a mate over, who really wanted to help. That entire batch was infected and ended up down the drain. I wonder if all people have the same idea of sanitation of all things that come in contact with the brewing process. Guess I will never know, but I mainly do my brewing by myself now.
What do you love about brewing that keeps you going?
I love the variety of different beers I can brew. I really love having a selection of beers in the beer fridge so can usually find something I feel like to drink. I have started mixing my beers, so my five kegs can give me many more than five different beers.
The kegs of beer in my beer fridge today are – Epic Pale Ale clone, Black Rye IPA, Union Jack IPA clone, 2015 spiced Christmas Ale, Galaxy single hop APA.
When you’re not brewing, how do you spend the rest of your spare time?
Five years ago I bought a caravan and I love travelling to many parts of Australia (still dropping into as many breweries as possible).
I enjoy fly fishing for trout. Have been doing that for about 15 years.
I am a 17 handicap golfer. Love playing golf when on caravan holidays and also a member at Riversdale (in Mount Waverley). I play a couple of times a week when possible.
In 1983 I spent a year living in Waco Texas (on a teaching exchange) and I fell in love with low n slow smoked BBQ brisket. Since coming home, I love cooking/smoking BBQ. I now have a ProQ bullet smoker and love smoking Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork or Beef Brisket. This is often/usually done with homebrew in hand.
A couple of competitions have been and gone lately and congratulations need to be given to...
Roger Cheesman and Braden Jackman pulling in neck to neck in the IPA section of Pale Ale Mania but Roger just slipping over the line for first and Braden taking out 2nd!
Plus a shout out for participating members goes to...
Stout Extravaganza 2017
Pale Ale Mania 2017
We are a big club people, let's try and start boosting our entries! Get brewing and let's pick things up for the next year!
It's now late August 2017 and a special reminder needs to be put out for everyone to get their Annual fees paid.
(This is a great saving over an individual subscription)
Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month at different locations. They are a great place to socialise, listen to talks, participate in Club competitions, BBQ's and of course taste lots of beer plus many other things.
A monthly newsletter outlining upcoming Club events and competitions as well as general Melbourne Brewers information and photos. This gets distributed by email a few days before Club meetings.
Members are also advised of upcoming events by email. Our member email distribution is also used as a forum to discuss topics of interest and to provide brewing information amongst members.
Periodically, Members volunteer to have a Brew Day at their brewery and invite Club Members or guys who may be interested in brewing to have a look at how they brew, equipment used etc. Brew Days are a good way for novice brewers to learn how to make all-grain beer.
Every so often, days are organised for a group of members to build or assemble equipment e.g. convert kegs to boilers, make immersion chillers, yeast stir-plates, counter pressure bottle fillers, temperature controllers.
Events & Excursions
Periodically the Club organises events/trips e.g. trip to Maltings, Melbourne microbreweries, weekends away at country pubs, fishing trip.
Annual Club events include the Annual Dinner, Xmas party, Steinbeer weekend and Beerfest weekend (Club run comp).
Club buys (Bulk buys) of equipment offer significant savings to members.
There is a large range of brewing books and equipment available for loan by members.
Things to keep you busy
Get a brew happening for:
Baysides Oktoberfest set for the 7th of October. The link goes to last years page as they have not yet updated but details should be similar.
Go to our Calendar and sync it with your own so you never miss an event, do it here.
Get some reading done after you buy some books through our book depository link here.
Last but far from least, help keep the Club alive and don't forget to pay your membership fees right here for this financial year!