2000 October Brew Bash Newsletter

continued from whales newsletter and minutes October 2000...
Recording Secretary: Kenny Schrader


These "Brew Bashes" the Club holds, are events that should be considered as a MUST GO TO! The simple reason is as individuals, we all brew differently. We get set in our ways of doing things whether they are good habits, or bad. By nature, the bad things we do, we are not even aware of until someone else points them out to us. On the other hand, we also have accumulated quite a wealth of good tips and techniques over the years, that others can surely learn from just by being exposed to them.
It would be a downright falsehood to say that nobody was with a fierce brewing enthusiasm that provided the energy necessary to pull this off. It was awesome. Totally IMPRESSIVE!
Participants and batches:
  1. Keith; 5 gallons all grain Brown Ale
  2. Mike M and Harry; 10 gallons all grain Weizenbock
  3. Paul and Kenny; 10 gallons extract Imperial Stout
  4. Tom; 10 gallons all grain, not sure what
We have many pictures and even a video of this Brew Bash. To see it is to believe it. Words here cannot do justice, but let's try anyway... Here at Divorce Court Brewery, the wife is usually ticked at the equipment that scatters about. Well, with the brewing equipment these guys have, she ain't seen nuthin' yet!
If you wanna see some great three tier systems, this was the place to be. The 15 gallon keg used in the extract batch looked downright PIDLEY DOO compared to what was being used in the all grain batches! And without a doubt, Tom's brew stuff blows even the most respectable homebrewers off the map. It's the little things in life. Like a hinged lid for your brewpot. Spigots. Built in volume and temp guages. Wheels. Paddles. Pumps (why lift)? Filters. Motorized Grain Mills. Immersion Chillers. 170,000 BTU Cookers. pure oxygen aeration, a really neato degrees Plato optical device that you can test one drop of wort instead of using a hydrometer, etc, etc, etc... Gotta get these photos out and developed for those who missed it. Way kewl stuff!
Of course, Mrs. Paffrath deserves a toast for putting up with this Brew Bash. However, if she has the patience to put up with Tom, she can put up with near anything! :-) She told us the story of when their house was broken into. When the cops came to investigate they remarked at how BAD the burglars had trashed the joint. Totally ransacked! Mrs. P just smiled, looked about the mess, and said "Nope, they didn't touch a damn thing! It ALWAYS looks like this." What a wife!! (And she brews a fearsome Corona clone too!)
The Crew began by collecting MANY 5 gallon jugs of water through the filtration system. Tom had his lap top computer set up so we could help refine our recipes. The software has you enter ingredients, costs, etc. and gives ranges of recommendations to fit any beer style. It really was a big help with the Imperial Stout recipe. We had over 2.5 times the hops necessary, and revised the hop content to a more reasonable level.
A stuck run-off and some temperature issues had to be addressed, but before you knew it, the sweet smell of wort was in the air! And then the bees came. Dang, these bees were just EVERYWHERE! And downright freaking annoying. There were bees in the doughnuts, in the coffee sugar, in the wort, in your beer bottle, in your hair, in your face. Tom got stung in the arm. And then I messed up his shirt. There was a bee in my beer glass but I didn't notice it doing the breast stroke in there until I brought it up to my lips. My arm made an impulsive reaction similar to waving a lit match out with the flick of your wrist. Too bad for Tom, my glass was full, and along with the bee the beer also flicked out all over Tom! Thick double black coffee stout, what a stainer! Perhaps you had to be there, but it sure was hilarious at the time!
Food and beverages: The crew enjoyed doughnuts and coffee to start. Bagels with butter and cream cheese.Mr. and Mrs. P. fired up the BBQ grill for hot dogs and sauerkraut. Hmmm good! Of course, the afore mentioned double black stout was brought by Paul and enjoyed. The"bitterest beer in America", Alimony Ale (brought by Divorce Court) was on hand. Harry shared his one day old in the bottle SNPA clone which shows very good potential, btw. Of ocurse, Patty's very own homebrew. Not to mention Tom featured 4 kegs (WOW!!!) of Bumzbrew! Bitter, wheatbock, the Gold medal winner, and _______ (another). And Tom also had a fridge-full of stuff for the asking. No excuse at all to go thirsty.
The reason why Tom's batch is written above as 10 gallonsof "Not Sure What" is because Tom only decided what he was making, after he was more than half way through his boil! Since he was helping everyone else with their batches, he got a very late start. It started out as a black lager that turned into a brown ale, I think. Quite possible, it may have evolved into something else. It was getting late and (VERY!!!) dark at this point. The other brewers had already pitched their yeasts and aerated, while Tom's pot was still going. We all packed up and cleaned/policed the area as best we could. Tom was going to visit his Dad (God Bless) at the hospital, and the rest of the brew crew off to watch the World Series, aka Subway Series, between the Mets and Yankees.
Well, this was one good Brew Bash, no doubt. No matter how much you know, you can't learn enough. Especially when it comes to beer and brewing!

Kenny/Divorce Court Labs Brewery