December 2020 BIER Meeting

December 9, 2020

ZOOM, yet again, still a fun time, just wish we could taste each other’s creations.

Present were:

Jerry Canny .... Dave King .... George Cerny .... James Dunn

Bernie & Donna Kordula .... Steve Morrow .... David Scheel

Jeff Pontin .... Ron Mason .... Don Zwach

aha_logo.pngWe discussed:

Rich got our hops from Hop Heaven, & got them to us.  Thanks for leading this for us, Rich.    

Binghamton On Tap was Feb. 8th  in 2020 at the Double Tree in Binghamton, no news on a 2021 event, but it’s not likely to happen.

The charity for our Spring Homebrew Fest will be Habitat for Humanity.  This assumes we get back to normal by then. 

Next year’s AHA National Convention will be in San Diego, CA, June 17 – 19 next June.  Don’t miss the biggest 3 days in Homebrewing, for the year!  We’re betting on effective COVID vaccines before then.

We talked about;

Tilt, the specific gravity and temperature reporting device you can float in your fermenter, Jerry and Dave King both have one.  Steven and Dave Scheel made an iSpindel, very similar, but only about $20 in parts, compared to $125 for a Tilt.     

We talked about “Shaken, not stirred starter” for waking up and vitalizing yeast, not growing more yeast. 

Making log beer, I think it was George who said he’s going to try it.  Good luck.

James Dunn made a Hard Seltzer, got a big pH drop to about 3.0.  Besides nutrients, pH control sounds tricky.

Dave King mentioned his floating keg pick-up (picture below) quit working, sucked gas, not beer, likely interaction with a bag of dry hops, but the hose was also plenty, maybe too, long.  It got above the liquid, with about 1 gal. left in the 5 gal. keg.  I cut a few inches off, and added a SS nut, which fit tightly over the hose (it shows in the picture), and stays near the pickup, to help assure it stays below the beer surface.  It seems to be working now.


George Cerny has an Anvil Foundry brewing system, and he likes it a lot.  It can be switched from 110 VAC to 220 VAC.  An inexpensive GFI outlet for 220 VAC is a spa panel, Home Depot and Lowes have them.  220 VAC is reported to heat water and wort much faster.  I’m tempted.

Ron Mason told us about his SMASH beer with Denali (AKA Sultana) hops, which gave him lots of pineapple aroma and flavor. 

Autolysis of yeast is a concern to some, others are convinced it takes a long time, like months.  It’s likely a person’s sensitivity and dislike for it that plays a big role in how long is too long.

We were each drinking different homebrews, and reflected on what we’re all brewing.  Hopefully, in a couple months we can meet in person.  

            Jeff – Had a Winter Ale, with a Dunkel and Guinness clone coming along soon.

            Josh – Drinking an Irish Stout, and another Stout needs to be bottled.

            George – Enjoying his Beet Saison, working on a carrot cream ale.

            Dave – Drinking his English IPA, (Tilt graph) just put an American version into the fermenter.  A hoppy Vienna Lager is in the planning stages.

            Don – Arrived late, after attending a live local HB club meeting at a brewery.

Interesting Ending to a Mostly Isolated Year

2020 was a good BIER year, but we certainly didn’t do much outside virtual meetings.  We met at Bing Brew Jan., Feb. & Mar.  April we went virtual, with ZOOM.  Steve Morrow hosted us in his driveway for our Sept. meeting, which went really well, so we should have tried it sooner.  Oct. went back to virtual on ZOOM, it was getting too cold to sit outside. We miss tasting each other’s creations, but we’ll get back to it. 

Other activities got sidelined, as well.  Our Jan. bus trip got cancelled, due to high bus costs, then the pandemic wiped out everything else.  No Spring charity BIER fest, only a virtual AHA Convention, etc. 

Hoppy New Year, we’ll stay virtual for a while yet.  Next meeting is January 13th, on ZOOM.  See you then!

       Dave King (2)