March 2020 Meeting Minutes

RESEARCH: Ken went to Pooles Island Brewery in Middle River. They are one of few places with a serving wall to pour by the ounce for yourself. Though some beers were good, this occasion is the first time Ken dumped a beer. It was a NEIPA that poured clear and sour. The bartender told him it was due to being old. Upon Ken giving it a 0.75 score on Untappd, the brewer came to him and told him this beer immediately cleared then soured upon being transferred to the brite tank. They still chose to sell it as a NEIPA. Joe agreed that Pooles is mediocre.

George is changing his brewery logo.  Don’t trash your old ones though, you never know when this vintage knickknack will come handy in the future 🙂 He also let us know BC Brewery is working on a true gluten-free beer, a black IPA.

Kelly added 2 events on Slack. Some tours and events may be cancelled due to the current Covid-19 panic.

Meeting started at 7:28PM.


1) We had our social at Double Groove; we were well-received. The head brewer is very technical and we recommend his place. They will be expanding into the space next door so the taproom dimension should improve drastically.

2) Marc hosted a Sour beer tasting. We had about 28 beers and only 2-3 were vilified.

3) Our last meeting was quite the success, with a record on how many beers were brought (both homebrew and commercial). We also tried a new table arrangement and we’ll be keeping this “I” configuration as it seems to work better.

4) Guild Meeting Minutes are on Slack. Kelly went for our chapter and paid our dues. Next guild meetings are 5/11, 7/13, 9/14, 11/9 for anyone interested in participating or representing our chapter.

5) Bernie still has a functional kegerator for sale. The club also has 2 of his graduated pots for sale at $5 and $6 respectively.

6) Marc had a presentation on Plaato last month and is still very happy with the product.


1) Next Social is at Independent Funk House on Wednesday March 25th at 7PM! Feel free to invite other people.

2) Alecraft has scheduled their next homebrew competition for 5/23, which is a Saturday. Their requirement that one has to be in attendance in order to win is a sticky point for many. Colin let us know this requirement may change.

3) MASHOUT 2020 competition dates have been announced: August 20-23.

4) Alecraft Brew-Haha will be on Saturday 3/28 from 12-5. Ken is hoping for the club to be involved.

5) We voted on next year’s March style! Between the choices of Scottish Ales, Lager/Pilsner and Belgian Triple, the Scottish Ales won. The brewed beer can be any of their varieties.

6) Our Next Style (May) is a Saison. We should end up with a dry beverage, different than a farmhouse ale. Brett is NOT typical for the style. There are 3 different types based on the % of alcohol. Ken let us know this is an easy style and it was his introduction to brewing. He recommended we use ingredients sourced from the region that inspired our recipe. We discussed how the most important thing for the style is the yeast. Marc has added a podcast on Slack about this. He will try an open fermentation (meaning no airlock, just a sanitized foil) with his recipe in order to prevent a stuck fermentation. He let us know some strains of yeast that have the diastaticus gene will chew everything up quickly and deplete the oxygen, halting fermentation. Ken recommended the Belle Saison yeast as he never had a stuck fermentation with this one.


We have 24 members, $130 in cash and $942.34 in our account. Last month’s raffle brought $20.


Chris talked about nitrogen in beer. He stressed that this gas is meant for serving beer and should not be part of brewing. It does not dissolve in beer but instead allows one to increase the pressure without over-gassing the beer, thereby changing how the beer comes out and is served. The nitrogen spout inside a restrictor plate has 5 pinholes that reduce flow and induce turbulence. Some fallacies: the “nitrogenated beers” are just carbonated beers (for example, for the nitrogenated Left Hand Milk Stout, one has to pour vigorously, therefore creating turbulence); cascading bubbles are not nitrogen. The Guinness widget creates a nucleation site. He also discussed the advantage of nitrogen when having long lines to the serving tap, as overcarbonation is very common in these instances if CO2 only is used. Lastly, nitrogen is stored in tanks at a different pressure than CO2, so don’t use a CO2 regulator for a nitrogen tank or you risk bursting it.

BEERS: our style of the month was Dry Irish Stout. Ken went over an overview of the style and then we dived in!

1) Commercials: we had Guinness, Murphy’s, O’Hara’s and 1623 as examples of dry Irish stouts. It seemed Murphy’s had the best reviews. As a last commercial, we ended the night with Scofflaw’s Goat’s Milk (milkshake IPA) brought by Joe.

2) Homebrews: many of us brought the style of the month. Ryan brought his first brew-in-a-bag, an Irish stout at 4.3% to which he added whole coffee beans (bought at Troegs) for 30 hours. We all thought it was very accomplished and the coffee came through nicely. Marc and Mike brought their Sliabh Dubh 1-month old stout. They brewed it with Imperial Scottish Ale yeast A31, which imparts some tartness. They love Imperial yeast and order from Great Fermentations, which ships fast and cold. Art/Claire and Adi/Linda split a batch together, leading to Steven and Sven. The difference between the two is that Sven is partially soured (1L of it) with Icelandic yoghurt cultures.  Gregg and Chris also soured parts of their Irish stouts: Gregg soured a little over 1 pint with Kefir and Chris soured around ½ Gal with Greek yoghurt. Ken brought an Irish EXTRA Stout, Guess’n Extra Stout 2019 that he soured by leaving the top off.

Homebrews not on style: George brought a Raspberry Selzer, Matt and Dave brought a Porter they were given ingredients for and a secret recipe, and Chris brought the last bottle of his coffee Russian Imperial Stout we first tried last year.

Meeting ended around 9:45PM. Cheers!