The Newsletter, August 2018

The Newsletter, August 2018

From the club President. 

A fantastic night was had by all at the annual dinner this year . The food was of gourmet standard and paired well with the beers our members provided.
The William Angliss venue made for a fun night and the service was of high standard.
Well done to Craig Bates for pulling the night together in his social role, and well done to the members and partners that made it along to give the night the relaxed atmosphere. Those that couldn’t make it along certainly missed out.

The Australian National Homebrew Conference returns to Melbourne in late
October this year.  One of the highlights of the conference is Club Night - it's a great opportunity to wind down at the end of the conference, showcase how amazing club brewers are, get creative, have fun, and catch up with other brewers from around Australia. It’s a great opportunity to promote our club so let’s see if we can be well represented
This months meeting is at Keg King, so hope to see you all there.

Ian Bennett

The next meeting, 29th of August.


Augusts meeting will be off site at Keg King at 35 Smith Road, Springvale. The shop will be open at the beginning of the meeting with a %10 discount for members.


Brewer of the month.

This months brewer is...John Keske

Tell us a little about who you are. 

I’ve been married for 16 years to my wife Michelle and we have an 8 year old son Clyde. I grew up in Minnesota through to the end of high school and then moved around a lot living in Wisconsin, Texas, Virginia, Colorado, Maryland and Washington DC before moving to Tasmania with my wife in 2008.   We recently bought a house in Heathmont and I am hoping to not have to move again for a very long time!


When did you join the Melbourne Brewers and what do you like about being in the Club?

I was a founding member of the Hobart Brewers in Tasmania, and joined the Melbourne Brewers when we moved here in late 2016.


When and why did you decide to give brewing a try?

I started brewing after moving to Tasmania in 2008. I always say one of my biggest shocks on moving to Australia was the price of beer! So I figured I should learn how to make it myself.


Do you brew kit, extract, all grain or a combination?

I did one extract brew before moving to all grain.


How many batches are you up to?

I don’t have a count, but it must be over 100.


What’s your favourite style to brew?

I enjoy brewing German style beers with Kolsch and Munich Dunkel probably being my favourites.


What about your favourite style to drink?

Same as above.


Do you have a favourite store bought beer?

My favourite main stream beer is Sam Adams Boston Lager.


What system do you brew with?

I used to brew on a 3 vessel recirculating mash system, but bought a Braumeister after moving to Melbourne. The 3 vessel system was fun to brew on, but I like the simplicity of the Braumeister. It’s almost just set and forget.


What’s your favourite brewing gadget/tool?

My favourite equipment is my SS Brewtech Chronical fermenter.  I’ve upgraded it with heating/cooling which lets me do temperature-controlled fermentations without needed a dedicated fermentation fridge.


What’s been your best highlight since you started brewing?

Starting the Hobart Brewers and helping to organizing the first ever Tassie State Competition.


What about your biggest disaster?

I can’t think of any major disasters, but I am very prone to filling vessels while the bottom tap is open. Which has lead to plenty of spilled wort.


What’s your favourite brewery to spend some time at. 

In Hobart it was Last Rites.  I don’t have a favourite in Melbourne yet.  I think I need to get out more!


What would be your best tip for others?

Just keep brewing. What works for someone else may not be the best for your system. Just keep brewing and learning what works best for your setup.


What do you love about brewing that keeps you picking up the paddle?

There is always something new to try. I very rarely make the same beer twice. There is always a new grain/hops/yeast to try and I want to try them all!


When you’re not brewing, how do you spend the rest of your spare time?

I’ve always enjoyed wood working and have recently started a project to build a CNC router which should keep me busy for a while.


Beerfest 2018.

 Our sponsors  put up some fantastic prizes this year in support of the Home Brewing Community. Lets show them some love back and get behind them when you next do your shopping or recommend a store to a new brewer. It's these sponsors that keep our competitions running so lets return the favour and support them any way you can!

Our major sponsors:

Champion Brewer - $500 voucher for Grain and Grape
Beer of Show - Prize package from Home Make It ($100 voucher, 2 x bags Viking Pilsner Malt, 2 x Fresh Wort Kits, 2 x White Labs English Ale Yeast, 2 x White Labs German Pilsner Yeast.
Best Novice - Fermentasaurus with pressure kit from Keg King
Best Club - 10 x bags Malt from Cryer Malt.
Our category sponsors:
Pale Lager - $100 pack of malt, hops and yeast from Beerco
Wheat and Rye - $100 voucher from Brewers Choice
 Dark Ale and Lager - $100 voucher from Clever Brewing
Strong Ale and Lager - $100 voucher for Grain and Grape from Spiedel
Porter and Stout - Malt and Yeast from Bintani 
Pale and Bitter Ale - Malt and Yeast from Bintani 
American Pale Ale - $100 voucher from The Brewers Den 
Farmhouse and Wild - $100 voucher from Greensborough Home Brew
Speciality - $100 pack of malt, hops and yeast from Beerco

 Lame beer joke of the month.

A guy stumbles through the front door of a bar, ambles up to the bartender and orders a beer. The bartender looks at the drunk man and says,”I’m sorry sir, but I can’t serve you…you’ve already had too much to drink.” The guy swears and walks out of the bar.

Five minutes later the guy comes flying through the side door of the bar, and yells for a beer. Again the bartender says,”I’m sorry, sir…but I can’t serve you…you’ve already had too much to drink!”

Ten minutes later, the same guy comes flying through the back door of the bar, storms up to the bartender and demands a beer. Again, the bartender says to the man…”I’m really sorry, sir, but you’ve had too much to drink…you’re going to have to leave!” The guy looks quizzically at the bartender and says finally, “My God, man… How many bars do you work at?!”

The Old Dick.

Since 1999, the Club Brewer of the Year trophy has been an unusual mechanical device, affectionately known as “The Old Dick”.

The trophy was built about 22 years ago by former Member Dick Seville who was a popular and eccentric Member of the Melbourne Brewers and the ABAV which preceded it. “The Old Dick” is designed to hold a 750ml bottle of beer and to gradually tilt it in order to pour the contents without disturbing the sediment, thereby obtaining a crystal clear beer.

Dick an engineer by trade would regularly take the device with him when dining at BYO restaurants and drinking his own beers, mostly bottle conditioned brown ales.

Longstanding Members will remember Dick as the quietly spoken gentleman who would bring a large plate of cheese and onion sandwiches to every club meeting which would be unveiled late at each meeting after the standard Club nibbles had been consumed. These would rapidly be devoured and were a traditional part of Club meetings for many years.

Dick was an inventive guy having a hand in building one of the first commercial washing machines ever built in Australia. Unfortunately, Dick passed away several years ago but much of his brewing equipment was donated and subsequently auctioned by the Club so many current Members have equipment designed and built by Dick and his legacy lives on.

The Old Dick was donated by Dick’s family and Colin Penrose. So next time you see “The Old Dick” remember that it, like our Club, has a rich history built on the efforts of eccentric good blokes like Dick Seville.

The Old Dick is a prestigious award given to the Club Brewer of the Year, based on all the members points tallied from all competitions entered. First, Second and Third all generate points to determine who gets to be this years Brewer of the Year.


Membership Subs for 2018/19 are overdue now, please get them paid if you haven't already.
The club's preferred method of payment is online.
New members: If you believe you are not on the club mailing list, send the committee an email or bring it up with someone at a meeting to make sure we add you in.

Your membership comes with these great benefits plus many others so support the club and help keep it going.

BYO Magazine
 All members receive the BYO magazine as part of their yearly subscription.

(This is a great saving over an individual subscription)

Monthly Meetings

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.

Brew Days
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.

Activity Days
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
Club buys (Bulk buys) of equipment offer significant savings to members.

Club Library
There is a large range of brewing books and equipment available for loan by members.

Some Inspiration for our next in house competition.

Things to keep you busy.


Get a brew happening for:

Vicbrew 2018, 22nd and 23rd of September.

26th of September, Internal Competition on Bitter Ale.

Octoberfest by Bayside, 13th October.

28th of November, Internal competition on Pale Lager.

Go to our Calendar and sync it with your own so you never miss an event.

Get some reading done after you buy some books through our book depository link.

Last but far from least, help keep the Club alive and don't forget to pay your membership fees for this financial year!