The Newsletter, November 2018

The Newsletter, November 2018

From the Club President. 

It has been a quiet month  throughout November for  The Melbourne Brewers with competitions  concluded for the year, other than our internal competition this month for lagers, so if you have a lager bring it along to see how it stacks up against other lagers brewed by our members.

The event calendar will be ready for pick up at this months' meeting, so make sure you have paid for your purchase. There are a few still available, so if you didn't order initially and would like one, or you would like a second one please contact John Keske or order via Facebook.

Last Saturday four of our members brewed a demonstration  experimental beer at Keg King as a promotion for our club in conjunction with one of our important sponsors.

Erik brewed on his Guten, Roger used Keg King's demonstration Guten, Michael used his Esky as the mash tun and I used my BIAB.

The experiment was to all use the same grain bill and hops and yeast with the variance being in the application of hops.

Erik organised the recipe for a pale ale and the four of us enjoyed a brew day, including the inquisitive questions from many of Keg Kings customers.

The proof of day will be in the tasting of the beers, to see how different they end up and which beer is preferred. We will have a tasting on our January meeting which will be held at Keg King similar to the meeting we had there earlier in the year.

We must thank Will, Daniel, Uri and the boys for making us so welcome and assisting us with raw materials,  and the general logistics to make the day happen.

Hopefully we pick up a new member or two, but if not the public relations exercise was well worth while putting our club front and centre to the public.

Don't forget about the Christmas Party at Andy's place in Balwyn this Saturday 1st December. It is a function that all the family are welcome to attend, it's always a good night and finishes the year nicely.

Beerfest is not far off once the festive season is done and dusted. It is to be held on 23rd February 2019 and again this year we will require members to be involved to make the competition a success. It is to be held at Pete's warehouse, so please make yourself available to judge, steward or be of assistance in any way you feel fit.  This Competition is the largest of its type amongst the brew clubs, has the best prizes for the winning beers, but it takes  more than just the committee to make it all happen.

Look forward to seeing everyone at the warehouse Wednesday

Ian Bennett


The next meeting, 28th of November.

It will be held at Petes factory again Unit 11/12 Edina Rd, Ferntree Gully VIC 3156 from 7:30.

There will be the Lager competition and the three Saisons experiment to be tasted.

Advent calendar slabs will also be there for you to take home.

The Keg King brew day.

Brewer of the month.

This months brewer is...Hayden Henderson

Tell us a little about who you are. 
I'm 35 originally from Christchurch, New Zealand but I've been hopping around Australia for the last 12 years (with a quick stint in Europe as well). I lived in Perth for 6 years until moving to Melbourne in July last year with my wife and two young daughters (aged 20 months and 4 years).  I'm a power station chemist by profession, a new job brought us over to Melbourne, we love it here but miss Perth's weather!
When did you join the Melbourne Brewers and what do you like about being in the Club?
I joined the Melbourne Brewers after picking up my prize from Beerfest in April this year. I enjoy how relaxed it is, the club is full of great brewers but no one is full of themselves about it. I was a member of the West Coast Brewers in Perth which is a fantastic club, and I thought joining would be a great way to meet some new people in Melbourne.
When and why did you decide to give brewing a try?
 When I first moved to Perth in 2011 I was in a long distance relationship for a year with my then girlfriend (now wife) and had heaps of free time so I bought an extract kit. I went all grain in 2015 shortly after my first daughter was born.
Do you brew kit, extract, all grain or a combination?
All Grain.
How many batches are you up to?
I honestly have no idea, somewhere between 60 and 100 at a guess.
What’s your favourite style to brew?
If you'd asked me 6 months ago I would have said IPA but I hardly brew them now. I'm absolutely loving brewing sours at the moment. I like short term mixed ferments like Berliner Weisse and Gose, but I'm really excited about my long term aged sours which I started brewing in April the first of which is now in the bottle. I expect to have one long term aged sour coming off every 3 months for the foreseeable future, I'm starting to brew a few belgians as well.
What about your favourite style to drink?
It really depends on my mood and the weather,  I enjoy most beers. I do love sour beer, also hoppy malty beers like American Porters and Browns. I've also started to enjoy Abbey styles so a bit of everything really.
Do you have a favourite store bought beer?
Sour beer: Boatrocker Daddy Koel, Clean beers: Rochefort 10, Bridge Road La Chevalier
What system do you brew with?
A frankenstein 70L BIAB RIMS set-up with 2 elements, a wort recirculation pump, whirlpool fitting and a few other bits and pieces I've added over the years. I have a SS brewtech brewbucket for my clean beers and a fermentasaurus for my sour beers as well as numerous other sour fermenter.
What’s your favourite brewing gadget/tool?
Without doubt my Jaded Brewing King Cobra Immersion Chiller, it cost a fortune to import from the states but it cools 40L of wort from boiling to pitching temp in 8 minutes.
What’s been your best highlight since you started brewing?
I have two, winning best beer at beerfest 2018 for my American Brown and winning best sour beer at Vicbrew 2018 for my Berliner Weisse which also finished third in sour beer at AABC. (Recipes below)
What about your biggest disaster?
I stupidly connected a hose to an immersion chiller filled with water while standing in front of it and boiling water sprayed all over my shin giving me a nasty burn, it was a 40 degree day in Perth so there was no cold water in the taps to cool it down.
What’s your favourite brewery to spend some time at. 
Boatrocker their mixed ferment beers are stunning and I only live up the road.
What would be your best tip for others?
Everyone will expect me to say water chemistry, but to me, as a scientist, it's minimising the number of variables which can go wrong in your brew day so you have a repeatable process. That means the same sanitisation, chemistry, temp control each time etc. then when you do make a mistake the impact is minimised because you have a robust process. That said if anyone does need help with their water chemistry drop me a message on Facebook.
What do you love about brewing that keeps you picking up the paddle?
I love having someone who doesn't drink homebrew skeptically pour one from one of my taps then keep coming back for more. I'm also competitive so I love competing in amateur brewing competitions as well.
When you’re not brewing, how do you spend the rest of your spare time?
With my young family, and watching sport. I'm a cricket tragic, and also enjoy Rugby Union, Footy (Dockers) and Soccer. I love to get out for a round of golf when time allows as well although I'm far better at brewing than golfing!
My brewery and recipes:
American Brown (23L OG: 1.053, FG: 1.016, ABV: 4.9%, IBU: 36.8, Colour: 46.8
Malt: 0.30 kg Joe White Light Chocolate
         0.65 kg Gladfield toffee malt
         0.65 kg Gladfield Medium crystal malt
         1.00 kg Joe White Light Munich
         3.00 kg Gladfield Pilsner Malt
Hops: 60min: 12g Chinook
           5min:   20g Chinook
           0min:   40g Centennial
Dry Hop: 60g centennial
                20g Chinook
Yeast: Mangrove Jacks M15 Empire Ale
Water: 1 campden tablet
            3.5g Calcium Chloride
            4.2g Calcium Sulphate
Mash at 65 deg C, ferment at 18 deg c, dry hop for 3 days.
Berliner Weisse: 32 litre batch with OG of 1034
Malt: 2.65 kg Gladfield Pilsner
         2.65 kg Joe White Wheat Malt
Yeast: Lactobacillus WLP677
           Bavarian Lager M76
(no hops or 1 pellet if you feel you have to add some to officially make it beer)
Make a 1 L starter for the lactobacillus 3 days in advance of brew. Mash the grains at 63 deg C for one hour then bring to the boil for 2 minutes and immediately cool, pitch the lactobacillus along with the rehydrated M76 and ferment at 18 deg C. After 6 weeks bottle and carbonate to 3.5 volumes of CO2, it will improve for the next 6 months. It's also great to split the batch bottle half and add fruit to the other half.

 The Christmas Party.

Tis the season to drink beer with good friends & celebrate a year of beer.

The Melbourne Brewers will be hosting our year end Christmas party at Andy's place in Balwyn North on Saturday December 1st, 4pm.

Dinner is provided by the club.  Beer sharing is encouraged (homebrew or commercial) so remember to bring some beer to share.
Members and their spouses, partners and friends are invited. It's a family friendly night.  The kids can go for a swim if the weather is good.  We need to know numbers for catering so Please RSVP to John Keske by the 28th of November if you are coming (The 28th is the next club night in Ferntree Gully).
Please let John know how many Adults and how many Kids.

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 man, whose level of drunkenness was bordering on the absurd, stood up to leave a bar and fell flat on his face.

"Maybe all I need is some fresh air," thought the man as he crawled outside.

He tried to stand up again but fell face first into the mud.

"Screw it," he thought. "I'll just crawl home."

The next morning, his wife found him on the doorstep asleep.

"You went out drinking last night, didn't you?" she said.

"Uh, yes," he said sheepishly. "How did you know?"

"You left your wheelchair at the bar again."

The Old Dick.

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

Perran 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.


A big welcome to last months newest member, Diamond Papazoglou!
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:

1st of December, The Christmas Party.

23rd of February, Beerfest 2019.

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