The Newsletter, September 2018

The Newsletter, September 2018

From the club President. 

This time of the year always seems to me to be full of activity and excitement. There seems to be so many distractions,  football finals, the Royal Show, and the Spring carnival to follow.

In amongst all that of that VIC BREW and ANHC are on the home brew agenda.

It was encouraging the number of members who attended our last meeting at Keg King. I'm sure most of us gained some knowledge from the guys at Keg King and also some of us added  additional equipment  to add to our brewery. Thanks again to Keg King for being a club sponsor and for hosting the evening.

Hopefully Erik dried out after the demo miss hap.

Vic Brew has just been conducted, and it was pleasing a number of our brewers placed in different categories.

Mike Pooley 1st in American Pale Ale

Alex Grunwald 1st in Strong Stout with his American Stout

Hayden Henderson 1st in Sour Ale with his Berliner Weisse

Paul McMurray 3rd in Fruit Beer with his Christmas Ale

Ian Tomlin 3rd in Cider

Well done guys and nice to see some of our more recent members taking out top honours proving that they can brew bloody good beer !

ANHC is just around the corner. Some already have tickets, but it would be fantastic to have a presence at Club Night.

Beer Co have provided Southern Cross( NZ) hops for a single hop beer challenge at ANHC. Our club have three beers by three of our brewers in the fermentor, the best to be pitted against other home brew clubs to decide the winner. The winner decided at Club Night.

The other competition at Club night is to brew an Australian Mild. The beer is to be up to 4% abv of any style show casing Australian ingredients. John Keske has a beer in the making.

Both of these beers are to be 19 litre kegs and to be sampled at Club Night at ANHC, so let's rally and get along to ANHC Club Night.

Chris, Erik and Craig have brewed a Saison with ingredients being supplied by Beer Co. We are looking for a venue where we can highlight these beers, not only to our club but also the general public. Details to follow.

Keep in mind "The Christmas Party" to be held early December. Details shortly

Look forward to seeing you all at Pete's warehouse at this months' meeting.

Ian Bennett


The next meeting, 26th of September.

Will be held at Petes factory again with an internal competition on Bitters.


Followed by, Social night. 

Friday the 12th of October. Venue and details to be confirmed, but cross the date off in your calendar.

Brewer of the month.

This months brewer is...Craig Bates

Tell us a little about who you are. 

Craig Bates: Retired Managment Consultant staring down the big 60 barrel next year. (and no that’s not a 60l barrel of top brew, although that might help for while!)

Born & raised in Latrobe Valley, I went to "the big smoke” after high school to attend Melbourne University. Had a grouse time!  Studied science, computing and mathematics.  After 10 years in the IT workforce I completed a masters degree in the UK before moving into consulting.
Family consists of 3 teenagers and an Ex.
When did you join the Melbourne Brewers and what do you like about being in the Club?
Mid 2017.  My brewing mentor, John Preston of Grain & Grape, encouraged me to join a club.  Melbourne Brewers meet not far from where I’m living.  The club is a great way to learn more about how to improve my brewing and where else can one regularly try many different brew styles in the bracing ambience of Pete’s Warehouse?
When and why did you decide to give brewing a try?
First brewed kits after being influenced by a pommy neighbour who was all too fond of making stout - he’d already be drinking it before it left the fermenter!  A few years later, where I was working, a group of us got together and did brews in a place called the Brew Kettle in Carnegie - it was extract brewing on “big” equipment.
Do you brew kit, extract, all grain or a combination?
Since I got my Braumeister I am exclusively brewing all grain.  However tasting some of the brews from last year’s club kit brew competition makes me think I should have another try at extract as they were better than I expected extract was capable of.
How many batches are you up to?
Overall I’m fairly inexperienced at brewing.  All grain I’m at about 15.  I probably made about 10 from fresh wort kits and kit/extract brews maybe 30 or so.
What’s your favourite style to brew?

I can’t say I enjoy brewing any particular style more than any other at this point.  Still so many still to try.  I just enjoy the whole process of mashing and brewing and learning about it.

What about your favourite style to drink?

Ooohhh, that’s a difficult one!  Being a bit of a dinosaur, I haven’t developed a palate for sours yet.  My recent attempts at Saison are about as close as I’ve got.  I suppose I lean towards the richer flavoured ales.  For a while it was pale ale but at present I’m pretty partial to ambers, porters and dark strong ales.
Do you have a favourite store bought beer?

I tend to have a few favourites in particular styles.  On the lager side I’m a fan of Knapstein Reserve Lager.  On the “Dark(er) Side of the Malt”  Coopers VIntage and Chimay Blue.

What system do you brew with?

A Speidel Braumeister 50 which I share with a friend.  We have extended its capabilities at the lower end with mods to take it down to batches around 20l and as low as 10l.  The large batches were just prohibitive for trying many styles. There is a plate chiller and some keg gear for carbonation and interim storage.  A few fridges and an old tub freezer with an external thermostat for fermentation and crash chilling.

What’s your favourite brewing gadget/tool?

Well its hard to go past the BM50 but I’m also enamoured of my new refractometer after seeing Andy’s in action at the cider day.

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

I think getting involved with the club and its committee but if you’re referring to my most rewarding brews then at this point I’m most pleased with my Bohemian Pilsner fermented last winter in a cellar and earlier in 2017 a robust porter which I couldn’t keep away from.

What about your biggest disaster?

Well last weekend I stupidly lifted up a newly racked fermenter by the lid handles, all the while knowing that the lid wasn’t screwed on.  So I deservedly ended up with yeast cake all over the place and a huge cleanup job!  Brew-wise it would be the stout I entered in the club comp this year which the judges decided was probably infected.  But that had an “amber” lining!  I learned that my plate chiller cleaning practices were way below par and that I should update my ageing HDPE fermenters.

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

Well I’d like to try out more but so far on balance of beer quality, style choice and ambience it would be Bad Shepherd.

What would be your best tip for others?

Share!  Share the experience, share the knowledge, share the rewards!

What do you love about brewing that keeps you picking up the paddle?
Brew with a friend!  I call it “man cooking”!
When you’re not brewing, how do you spend the rest of your spare time?

When I do discover some spare time hiding under the couch or in an old coat pocket I use it to enjoy bushwalking, camping and blues/rock concerts.  If they can be combined with  beer stuff - even better!

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 lady walks into a bar and sees a really cute guy sitting at the counter. She goes over and asks him what he is drinking.

"Magic Beer", he says.

She thinks he's a little crazy, so she walks around the bar. After noticing that there is no one else worth talking to, she goes back to the man sitting at the bar and says "That isn't really Magic Beer, is it?"

"Yes, I'll show you."

The lady can't believe it: "I bet you can't do that again."

"Oh yeah?" He smirks.

He takes another drink of beer, jumps out the window, flies around the building three times, and comes back through the window.

She is amazed, and immediately asks for a magic beer of her own.

The guy says to the bartender, "Give her one of what I'm having."

She gets her drink, takes a gulp of the beer, jumps out the window... and immediately plummets 30 stories down.

The bartender looks at the guy and says, "You know something Superman? You're a terrible person when you're drinking.


















The Old Dick.


The current leaderboard for the  2018 trophy has in the top six in no particular order:

Perrin Cook

Hayden Henderson

Ian Tomlin 

John Keske

Ian Bennett

Guy Denny

These are followed closely by everyone else, so get brewing!

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.

ANHC Club Night note by Andy Davison.

I was hoping to get out to the club meeting this week to talk about club night, but a rehearsal means I won't be able to be there.
In lieu of that I'm hoping to get you all excited by email (yes, a tall ask, so hang in there!)
Club Night is an event tailored to show off what it means to be a member of a club, and to get some bragging rights about being the best brewers in Australia. We also came in officially last in Canberra - photos emortalising both are attached 🙂
Clubs get a table and a few buckets of ice and are able to dress that table up and serve as much beer as they like! In past years we have taken out the prizes for best beer and best table theme, and it'd be great to do it all again!
SO if you're going to get along to club night and want to be a part of the Melbourne Brewers table, or have any themeing ideas, get in touch with Ian or anyone on the committee to help make it happen!


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.

Things to keep you busy.

Get a brew happening for:

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!

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