Porters, Stouts, Winter Beers, Sours, and the Holiday Party

Ballots from the porters and stouts competition are online.  Congratulations to Craig for his winning Hopped Up Stout (#61 on the ballot).

Upcoming plans

Monday, December 7 @ 7pm
A survey of winter and holiday beers in December.  Bring homebrew and/or commercial beers to share.  We’ll buy more from the store to sample.

Monday, January 4 @ 7pm
The annual sours competition.  There’s still plenty of time to brew.

Sunday, January 10 @ 2-6pm (or later)
Brewsers (Post-)Holiday party at Brouwerij Lane.  Bring beer and food to share.  Brew a keg for the party, if you like.

Barrel Sours and Stouts, November 2

We’re pulling samples from each of the club’s barrels, a “New York” common ale and a Tripel, to taste at 7.  Neither is probably quite ready for packaging, but both are developing some sour and funky flavors.  From there, we’ll move onto our in-club stouts competition (now with a few porters) and keep going by tasting everything else that we bring.  See you at Brouwerij Lane tonight!

German beers on Monday + Help with this site

This Monday, October 5, we’ll taste and talk all things German beer.  Bring homebrew or pick commerical German beers to share.

After a few weeks of logistical problems, this site has been moved to a more stable server, but we lost some of our old content.  This is a lot of monochrome text.  If you want to help restore some images or other old content, talk to me.  Any help would be great!

Matt Chan’s NHC 3rd place Berliner

Congratulations (again) to Brewser Matt Chan for taking third in the National Homebrew Competition sours category!  Matt shared his prize-winning recipe.

OG: 1.031
IBUs: 1 pellet’s worth

20% acidulated malt (or enough to drop wort pH to 4.5)
40% Weyermann Pilsner
40% Briess White Wheat Malt

1 hop pellet of your choice

1L of nancy’s yogurt starter (1.020 wort + 1tbs of nancy’s yogurt held at 120 F for 1 week)

WY2124/ SafLager 34/70

[mash step 1]
1.25 qt/lbs @ 143 for 133 degrees. rest for 1 hour.

[mash step 2]
infuse to 1.7 qt/lbs to get to 150 degrees. rest for 15 minutes.
pull a decoction and bring to boil (10-15 minutes)
decoct for 20 minutes. add single pellet of hops to this stage.

[main mash]
return decoction until main mash hits 166. rest for 30 minutes.
add in acidulated malt to cap the mash and begin sparging.

hold wort for 2-3 days ( or until completely soured) @ 120 in a container purged with CO2. I did it in a purged corny keg.

ferment out with yeast around 58.

Hop notes, upcoming meetings, and a few schedule changes

Thanks to everyone who brewed a single hop beer.  Tasting sheets are online.

Our October meeting will focus on German beers, both homebrewed and commercial, so brew/bring what you like. November’s meeting is a stout competition.  Make any style or stout, small or large.

A few schedule updates

We decided at the meeting last week to swap months for our annual sour and brett meetings.  Sours will be in January; Bretts will be in June.  This should generally help people who have limited temperature control options.

Our next hop tasting will feature lighter hops, moving away from bold IPA flavors to session ales, maybe lagers, and other beers where hop flavor remains important.  Stay tuned for the date (or suggest it and put in on the meeting schedule).

If you’re interested in helping plan what the Brewsers will do for next year’s National Homebrewers Conference in Baltimore, write Jeff Lyons at  Passes go on sale in the late winter, but the Brewsers—along with other NYC groups, through Brewnity—are already talking about what we can do, both to facilitate getting as many of us down there as possible and to make a strong showing for NYC.

Finally, fellow members of Brewnity, the Brewminaries, are holding an Prost, an Oktoberfest.  This Saturday at Industry City Distilling.  It’s $35 or $40 at the door.  Follow the link for tickets and more details.

Meeting in a week – Hops experiment tasting

We’re not meeting on Labor Day but will meet the following Monday, September 14. A number of us brewed a (slightly modified) version of Hop2It, the “Hops R&D recipe” from Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo, so we’ll taste those, talk hops, and more. The sign up sheet is on Google Drive. If you signed up to brew Hop2It and changed any plans, please update those. If you brewed but didn’t sign up, please add your info. It’s not a competition, but we’ll have tasting sheets and rate our favorites.

August Meeting: Draft Systems

Our meeting is coming up on Monday. Francis will be joining us to talk about all things draft systems. He has been working with Pipe Dreams since he retired from bartending our monthly meetings at Brouwerij Lane (wait, you worked there other days too?). It should be quite informative.

That leaves plenty of time for general home-brew sharing. As always, if anyone has something they are working on for an upcoming competition and would like the group’s feedback, just let us know, sign up on the google spreadsheet, and bring some beer to start off the meeting!

See everyone on Monday evening. Enjoy your weekend!

Picnic tomorrow, hop experiment and upcoming competitions, plus more plans for months to come

We have a lot of plans to take us through the fall and even parts of next year, but before those is tomorrow’s Brewnity Picnic. See who’s going and add yourself on the sign up sheet. The basics are at the bottom of this message. There’s also a charity raffle, benefiting the Young Survival Coalition, so bring a little extra cash.

We had a great meeting this Monday. Thanks to Daniel for bringing his Pilsner along with commercial comparisons. He both kicked off our summer beer comparison and continued our competition-oriented feedback sessions. We have meeting plans through next January (more on that below), but we have time left at each meeting for one or two people to bring a beers you’re trying to ready for competition and get some feedback. As always, add that—or anything else you’d like to organize—to the planning spreadsheet on Google Drive. Be sure to include your name, so we know you’re coordinating.

Next year’s National Homebrewers Conference (NHC), which includes finals of the National Homebrew Competition (also NHC), will be in Baltimore. We’ll coordinate entry into the first round of NHC (competition) and have a meeting at which Brewsers can drop their bottles. Stay tuned for the details, and bring your beer for feedback in the meantime. This year’s NHC was June 11-13 in San Diego. Congratulations again to Matt Chan for his third place finish in the sours competition, and thanks to Steve for his recap of highlights at this month’s meeting.

In addition to preparing for regional and national competitions, we have a few in-club experiments and competitions coming up.

Sign up now to claim your hop(s) for the September 14 comparison. We’ll brew a (slightly simplified version of) Hop2It, the “Hop R&D” recipe by Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing.  The recipe we’re using is corrected for NYC water and is on the sign up sheet.

Also, start brewing anytime for upcoming in-club competitions. These include November’s stout competition (enter any stout), January’s Brettanomyces competition (enter any beer made with Brett, whether all Brett or blended), and June 2016’s sours competition.

Outside of competitions and experiments, we’ll focus on German beers in October and winter/holiday beers in December. Our holiday party will be in January, likely on Sunday, January 10.

The Brewnity Picnic hosted by the Bronx Homebrewers

Where: Croton Point Park (google map), Pavillion 2
When: Saturday, Jul 11. From late morning (11am) until sunset
How to get there: Car of MetroNorth to Croton Harmon station (
Parking Fees for drivers: $5 for residents, $10 for non-residents
What to bring: Homebrews, tasty dishes to share, $5 per person, outdoor fun things, games, etc.
Sign up here

Sour Stout

Jeff’s sour stout won the June 2015 in-club sours competition.  He shares his recipe and some thoughts here.

A few years ago, I had The Bruery’s Tart of Darkness a few times within a short period of time.  I remember thinking how smooth and clean it was and how well the acidity paired with such a dark beer.

Last year, I finally got around to trying to create a beer in a similar vein.  This was also the first time it had occurred to me to utilize a kettle sour, followed by a 100% Brett fermentation.  This would allow for a more complex beer, yet still keeping it as a quick turnaround sour.

I’m calling this a sour stout, mostly for lack of a better descriptor.  However, there isn’t as much roast character as I would normally expect for a stout.  While gathering the grains, I became worried about the level of roast and cut my dark malts in half.  I am happy with the result and would brew it again as is.  But if you would like the deeper roast character of a proper stout, this beer would definitely hold up to it.

Sour Stout recipe

Brewed 9/30/14
Kegged 10/29/14

5.9% ABV
14 IBU
37 SRM

13.0P – 2.9P
1.056 – 1.012

6 lbs 2 Row – Rahr
2 lbs Flaked Oats
1 lb C60 – Briess
1 lb Golden Naked Oats – Simpsons
8 oz Chocolate Wheat – Weyermann
8 oz Carafa II

Mash @ 148 for 60 mins
5g CaSo4 + 5g CaCl2 added to beginning of mash.

Kettle sour for 24 hours.  Chill to 120F, pitch a handful of uncrushed grain and hold between 100-120F.  (I wrote a more detailed kettle sour primer on Brooklyn Homebrew’s blog ‘The Boilover’.)

Boil 60 mins.
1 oz Styrian Goldings – 60 mins

100% Brett Trois pitched at ale pitching rates.

Ferment at 65F for 2 days, then ambient (70-73F) for remainder of fermentation.

*You could lower the pitching rate and/or raise fermentation temperature if you prefer more funk than fruit from your Brett.

Brewnity Picnic at Croton Point Park

(From the Bronx Homebrewers…)

Hello there fellow brewers and beers lovers!

Summer is finally upon us, which means it’s time to gear up for the annual Brewnity Picnic at Croton Point Park, which will be hosted by the Bronx Homebrewers this year. The picnic will be taking place on Saturday, July 11th starting at11am and ending at sunset.

This is one of the most fun events of the year and is not to be missed. In the true spirit of Brewnity all local club members and their guests are invited. The picnic is potluck style and BYOB. There will be prizes for the following categories:

Best Meat Dish
Best Veggie Dish
Most Quaffable Summer Brew

We will be able to grill on-site and will have a tap board draft system on hand (and plenty of ice) so if you do have beer to share, all you need to bring is your keg(s) or bottles. We have limited taps available so if you are planning on bringing a keg it is important to sign up on the spreadsheet. In addition if you are bringing a pin lock keg make sure to bring your own connections. Any and all unique/interesting/delicious commercial beers are absolutely welcome too! The more we have to share, the merrier! It’s one of the very few local parks where you can drink openly outdoors without need of brown bags/secret stealth.

Croton Point Park is a little less than an hour away on Metro North (departing from Grand Central and getting off the train at Croton Harmon station), and to get to the picnic site you can either walk from the train station (20 min or so) or we’ll be arranging drivers to shuttle people to and fro at a couple of specific times during the day. We’ll be asking for a $5 contribution per person to help cover the cost of the site rental and basic stuff like plates/cups/napkins/ice/etc. Bringing your own drinking vessel will defray costs and be more environmentally friendly!!

In addition to celebrating beer and all it’s goodness we will also be raising money for Breast Cancer Research. We are looking for donations that will be auctioned and raffled off at the picnic. Please fill in items or services that you would like to donate on the spreadsheet below.

More reminders and details to come, but for now, please save the date and add your name to the sign-up sheet (even if you aren’t yet sure what you might be bringing). We need to try to get an accurate head count. Sign up sheet here:

Brewnity Picnic 2015 Sign Up

to recap:

What: Brewnity Picnic hosted by the Bronx Homebrewers
Where: Croton Point Park (click for google map), Pavillion 2
When: Saturday, Jul 11. From late morning (11am) until sunset
How to get there: Car of MetroNorth to Croton Harmon station (
Parking Fees for drivers: $5 for residents, $10 for non-residents
What to bring: Homebrews, tasty dishes to share, $5 per person, outdoor fun things, games, etc.
Sign up here
Why: Because it’s awesome and gosh darn it so are you!

Hope to see you all there!


Josh and the Bronx Homebrewers