Homebrew Con Site is Live

The Homebrewcon site is up and running:

https://www.homebrewcon.org

Tickets go on sale on March 12, 2019, they usually go quick and will set you back between $200 and $260. Early bird prices stop May 1st. You must be an AHA member so if you do join, join through our website as a small portion will go to the club. Homebrew Con is being held in Providence, Rhode Island and if you represent the club we will be able to subsidize some of the cost as long as you get early bird pricing.

Hope to see you all in Providence in June!

First Brooklyn Women Homebrew Competition

For all of our female members, Sycamore Bar and Flower Shop in Brooklyn is organizing the first Brooklyn Women Homebrew Competition this March. There is no requirement that you be a “Brooklyn” woman.

Brooklyn Women Homebrew Competition is open to women age 21 years or older and New York residents.  The competition accepts any style of beer, but entries must have been made at home with ingredients available to the general public.  Those made in commercial establishments, including brew on premise establishments, are not eligible. 

They are accepting entries since through February 17, 2019 so the window is short.

Here is a link to the competition info:

Brooklyn Women Homebrew Competition

Brew For Autism Tickets on Sale!

Pour Standards and the Richmond County Beer Club (RCBC) present the 6th Annual "Brew for Autism" on April 6, 2019 at The Great Hall at Snug Harbor.

Brew for Autism is a beer culture event, with 100% of proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks and other Staten Island Autism non-profit organization.

Last year, we raised over $25k for Autism Speaks and other local Autism Advocacy groups.

This year we're excited to be offering VIP tickets; for an additional donation you will get an event T-shirt as well as an extra hour before the event begins to beat the crowd and enjoy a selection of special beverages only available during this hour.

Each ticket includes: 
- Unlimited samples of unique homebrews (including beers, ciders, and meads), all created by local NYC area home brewers
- Samples of craft beer selections
- Food provided by select local restaurants
- A commemorative sampling glass

VIP Tickets include

-Everything the base ticket includes

-Event T-shirt

-Extra hour before the event with no crowd and exclusive food and drinks.

Brew for Autism is important for us because it allows us to give back. For a modest contribution of $55 dollars ($65 the week of), attendees will be able to enjoy a selection of beer samples provided by local breweries and homebrewers from the NYC metro area.

Tickets can be found at the Brew for Autism Eventbrite Page.

Please come and show your support on April 6, 2019 from 1pm - 5pm. Until then, Cheers!

Kills Boro Beer Featured in Bitter & Ester's NYC Brewery Series

Kills Boro Brewing Company (Pour Standards members Sean Torres and Patrick Wade) has partnered with Bitter & Esters on B&E’s fifteenth recipe in their NYC Brewery Series: Better Times - a saison-style table beer  using saison yeast, and dry hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Azacca hops. 

Congratulations! We can’t wait to brew this and be able to compare our homebrewed versions to the real thing.

—Pour Standards

Upcoming Beer and Homebrew Related Events

There are several beer and homebrew related events occurring in the New York region over the next few months that we would like to highlight for our members.

Craft Beer Festivals:

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s “Weekend of Compelling Ales & Whatnot” is taking place on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 3:00 PM in Milton, DE. Tickets are limited (600 General Admission, 100 VIP, and 16 Super VIP) and are on sale now so if that sounds like a good day trip I’d get your tickets as soon as possible through the link above.

Homebrew Competitions:

Hudson Valley Homebrewers 29th Annual Homebrew Competition

The Hudson Valley Homebrewers will be holding their 29th Annual homebrew competition in March. Prejudging will take place on March 3, 2019 and the main event will take place on March 9th, 2019. Registration is currently open and if you are interested in entering your beers then you should register soon. Entry bottles must be received at one of the drop off locations no later than February 21, 2019 at 7:00PM. Some drop off locations may have earlier deadlines so be sure to read the rules closely.

Homebrew Alley XIII

The New York City Homebrewers Guild will be holding their 13th annual homebrew competition in February. Judging will take place at Finback Brewery on Friday, February 8th and Saturday, February 9th. Registration is currently open and if you are interested in entering your beers then you should register soon. Entry bottles must be received at one of the drop off locations no later than January 26, 2019 at 11:59PM. Some drop off locations may have earlier deadlines so be sure to read the rules closely.

Coney Island Brewery Wort Share

Coney Island Brewery will be doing a wort share on February 23, 2019 at 11:00am. Wort will be 100% NY State 2-Row at about 14-15 degrees plato (1.057-1.061 SG) and each person is limited to up to 10 gallons. To participate you will need to sign up no later than February 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM and bring a sanitized container large enough for your wort. Each brewer will have 8 weeks to ferment and bottle their beers and return some beer to the brewery to be judged. The Grand Prize winner will be able to brew their beer on Coney Island Brewery’s system!

Homebrew Con:

The 2019 National Homebrew Conference will be held in Providence, RI June 27-29.

This is the largest homebrew gathering in America and it is happening practically in our backyard this year. There will be close to 60 educational sessions over three days and plenty of homebrew. There are usually scheduled BJCP exams so if you have been studying up this might be a good opportunity to get that certification.

I’m definitely going to try and go this year and I hope to see many of you as well.

Nate

Hiding a fermentation chest in my kitchen table

I live in a one-bedroom apartment on the 5th floor of a 5-floor walkup. During the day, the sun beats down on the aluminum roof of my building and really heats up the apartment. During the summer, temperatures can exceed 90 degrees, which, as we all know, can be pretty bad for brewing tasty beer. I’ve been mulling over some potential solutions to this problem, while keeping in mind the lack of space in my apartment, and came up with a space-saving DIY project that can be accomplished with minimal work that won’t break the bank. My idea was to create a kitchen table that doubled as a fermentation chamber. I ran my idea by one of our more technically skilled club members, Niall, and then we got to work.

I went to the local Home Depot and picked up a 5.2 cu. ft. chest freezer. They can be found on sale throughout the year, and usually range between $100-200 depending on the size you buy.

Back at the apartment, and five flights of stairs later, I was ready to take measurements. With a depth of 22 inches and a width of 30 inches, I would need a long wooden block that would function as a two-person table, yet still allow me to open the freezer and access its contents. The freezer also had plastic lining that ran along the outside. The lining stuck up just a few millimeters, but would need to be accounted for so that the wooden block would fit snugly on top.

Based off of those measurements, Niall picked up a 4 foot x 2 foot birch butcher block. We then cut grooves into the areas that would be resting on top of the freezer’s plastic liners. After chiseling away all access wood along the grooves, the block was ready to test.

Back up another five flights of stairs, and after a tense “moment of truth,” we found that the block fit perfectly. After a few coats with butcher block conditioner (which helps protect the wood by keeping out moisture,) we covered the freezer lid with epoxy and set the butcher block flush with the back of the freezer. This will allow it to open and shut without a problem.

We then filled a couple of carboys with water and set them on top of the freezer to help weigh down the butcher block as the epoxy resin cured.

24 hours later, I removed the carboys to find the butcher block secured to the lid of the freezer. I then purchased a dual stage temperature controller, which I mounted to the side of the freezer using Velcro sticky back tape. The controller will allow me to dial in what temperature I want to ferment my beer at down to a decimal.

I conditioned the wood a few more times, and the finished product looked great. It takes up minimal kitchen space and gives me control over a very important part of the beer-brewing process.

Cheers!

Words and photos by Matt McCaleb

Making George Washington’s Small Beer

Our founding fathers were many things: Generals, philosophers, scientists and, often, brewers. One of the most famous recipes surviving from colonial times belongs to George Washington, and is housed in a collection of manuscripts owned by the New York Public Library. Inside one notebook from his time as colonel in Virginia you’ll find a page with the heading, “To make Small Beer.” Here’s the recipe he scribbled down:

Take a large Sifter full of Bran Hops to your Taste — Boil these 3 hours. Then strain out 30 Gallons into a Cooler, put in 3 Gallons Molasses while the Beer is scalding hot or rather drain the molasses into the Cooler & strain the Beer on it while boiling Hot. Let this stand till it is little more than Blood warm. Then put in a quart of Yeast if the weather is very cold, cover it over with a Blanket & let it work in the Cooler 24 hours. Then put it into the Cask — leave the Bung[hole] open till it is almost done working — Bottle it that day Week it was Brewed.

You’ll definitely notice a few oddities in there. It’s not often that we brew with molasses any more, outside of a specialty winter and fall ales. And using bran is almost unheard of. If you’re adventurous, you could try to brew a faithful rendition of the beer using the recipe above. Or you could make this more modern interpretation that our own Paul Camarca whipped up.

G.W. small beer: adapted modern recipe 5.5 g
5# Marris Otter
1# toasted MO
2# Wheat bran
2# Molasses (light) 10 min
1.5 styrian golding 60 min
S-04
Mash 152 infusion biab
6.5 g 160 deg strike water
Raise temp to 165 mash out
2 g 170 sparge (pour over bag)
90 min boil
Add hops at 60 min
Add molasses last 10 min

A few members of the club recently got together to make this recipe. If you missed out on the festivities, don’t worry there will be other group brews to come. But it appears as if it was a rousing success. The crew got an early start and by early afternoon we had made our first president proud by cooking up a batch of his personal brew. (Sort of…)

But experiment! Make you’re own take on ol’ GW’s “small beer.” There’s plenty of variables in the recipe to mess with thanks the to the vague nature of Washington’s notes. What kind of hops and how much should you use? What constitutes a “large sifter full”? And what would happen if you swapped in blackstrap molasses or got real crazy and used sugar beet molasses? The possibilities are endless.

Paul will be representing Pour Standards and serving the club’s take on this presidential brew at a New York Public Library event on June 30th. We’ll update with more details when they become available.

Update: Unfortunately the NYPL event has been canceled. We’ll update with more info about a possible tasting when details become available.