Sudzers Meeting Notes, September 5

Special thanks to Ted at Steins Beer Garden and his terrific staff for
hosting us

Welcome to new attendees Bill, Kevin, and Sue

Susie C. talked about the BJCP exam preparation class that she and
Steve C. will be teaching. The BCJP exam now consists of three parts:
the Online Entrance Exam, the Tasting/Judging Exam, and the written
exam. The class will focus on the Judging exam, and all participants
are encouraged to visit and take the online exam, which
consists of 200 questions in one hour. The exam costs $10 (or three
tries for $20), and can be taken as many times as necessary until you
pass. The exam list is full, but you can get on a wait list by
contacting Derek W. You don’t need to be signed for the exam to take
the class, but you will need to pay to offset the cost of reviewing 27
styles in 5 meetings! The first meeting is Wednesday September 17 at 7
pm at Nick’s house. Susie will send out more details.

September’s Thirsty Third Thursday meetup/Northern California
Homebrewers Festival Warm-Up will be September 18 at Harry’s Hofbrau
San Jose

Northern California Homebrewers Festival September 19-20: Mike C
is organizing for the 40 Sudzers and guests who are attending. He will
send out more details soon – please contact him with questions.

Beer Pairing Dinner, Nov 1st:
5 courses
Appetizer: Shrimp/veggie kabobs with IPA
Soup with ? beer style
Salad course (including Sudzers barrel Flanders Red dressing) with Saison
Beef Stew with dry stout
Spent Grain bread
Chocolate dessert with Russian Imperial Stout and/or Coconut porter

Contact Justin V or Chris Q to volunteer to prepare a dish and/or beer
– the club will pay for ingredients

Dark Matter Brew Day will be held mid to late November at Mike C’s
house in Aptos – details to follow.

Los Altos Hills Hoedown:
Need to hook up a Jockey box – tomorrow. West wind barn on Moody.  Set
up around 14:00.  Steve C will set up.

Homebrew tasting:
Adam C – Autumn Brown Bitter,  made from the second runnings of a
strong Scotch ale, with carrot cake spices added
Matt – Porter with Pandan extract
Justin – 3 Philosophers clone

Meeting Agenda Friday, September 5

We will not be meeting at Nick’s house this month – please email for meeting location information.

7:30 Club Business

Upcoming events:
-BJCP exam prep class begins September 17
-Thirsty Third Thursday September 18
-Northern California Homebrewers Festival, Sept.19-21
-Beer pairing dinner November 1
-Host needed for fall Dark Matter brew day in November

7:45 Homebrew evaluations. Reminder: Bring your recipe – club members
will have lots of questions! We will not have the whiteboard, so
please check in your beers with Derek W when you arrive (if you know
in advance that you’re bringing something, please feel free to email ahead of time with ABV and IBUs to help determine tasting order).


KraftBrew Fest/Gordon Biersch Club Brew Day

On August 2, as part of the KraftBrew Fest to wrap up the 2nd Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week, the Sudzers were invited to do a brewing demonstration at the festival. Since the event was held at the Gordon Biersch production facility, we reached out to Dan Gordon about collaborating on a brew. We decided to brew the club’s version of Gordon Biersch Oktoberfest, with Jim W and Justin V each bringing their systems to the Gordon Biersch parking lot, and brewing utilizing the water, yeast, and hops generously provided by Gordon Biersch. Our plan is to taste the beer side by side with the real thing at a future event with Gordon Biersch brewers. Tanner and Cameron from GB were extremely helpful in providing both guidance in recipe development and logistics on the brew day. Thanks to all club members who participated in the event – we got to talk with hundreds of beer enthusiasts and potential homebrewers about the joy of homebrewing.

Sudzers August meeting notes

Nick gave an excellent recap of the July brew day at MoreBeer – see for a write-up and photos.

The group discussed the upcoming brew day at Gordon Biersch as part of the KraftBrew Fest, where Justin and Jim W will be brewing their versions of Gordon Biersch Oktoberfest, using water, yeast, and hops generously provided by Gordon Biersch.

Derek and Robin are hosting a club brew day at their house on August 9 to brew beers for NCHF. Derek will be brewing Zombie the Elder (Pliny clone substituting Citra for all hop additions), and Pranab will brew a Chai-spice Brown Ale.

Our August Thirsty Third Thursday destination on August 21 will be Fibbar MaGees in downtown Sunnyvale.

Mike C will be the chief organizer for this year’s Northern California Homebrewers Festival, Sept.19-21. We have 30 (!) Sudzers registered to attend!

Jim W gave a very informative presentation on The Art of Fermentation including yeast management, wort preparation, and temperature control – you can view his slides here.

Homebrew presentations included:

Jim W’s Darker Shade of Pale Black IPA

Tugood’s Flat #1 English Brown Ale

Paul’s Rauchbier

Aaron’s Nut Brown Ale

Carter’s Galay Pale Ale

Derek W’s Cherry-Oaky Brown Ale (with wort from the AHA Rally at Heretic Brewing)

Derek W’s 89 Degree Saison

Mike C’s Solid Citizen Imperial Saison

Charles’ Raison D’Etre Belgian Dark Strong

Vern’s Getting Toasted Breakfast ESB

Justin’s Hoppositional Defiant Double IPA

Justin’s Friggin’ Huge Wee Heavy

Derek H & Steve H’s Barrel Aged Prenuptial Imperial Stout

Tim’s 11% New World Saison with Sauvignon Blanc



More Beer Brew Day July 19 – recap from Sudzers CFO Nick

Wow!  What a great event!
Many thanks to everyone who helped including:
Chef Chris Q on the grill,
Justin brewing on the sculpture with Jeff’s much appreciated experience and help,
Pranab running the beer, Tim on the ice and cup runs, and Russell, Tim, Elan, Paul S, Paul T, Jeff, and Ron, serving and engaging the customers :)

Thank you Chris and Jeff for bring the pop-ups to provide us with much needed shade, Tim for bringing a table and chairs, and Adam for the white board.

We had an amazing EIGHT beers on tap, plus bottled mead, thanks to:
Matt for the Special Bitter,
Pranab for the Pale Ale,
Adam for the Hoppy Stout,
John S for the Imperial Hefe,
Yours truly for the Kolsch,
Ron for the Session Brown,
Roger S. for the Hefe and American Pale Ale, and
Elan for the Blackberry Mead.
What a line up!

Finally, many thanks to all those helped organize at the beginning, those who stuck around at the end to pack everything up, and for Malcolm for transporting tables, chairs, the jockey box, banner, and other miscellaneous stuff in his pickup truck from the Sudzer cave to and from the event.

August 1 Meeting Agenda

Our August meeting will be held Friday, August 1 at 7 pm
at Nick’s house. Need the address or directions? Email Don’t forget to carpool if possible to make
sure there’s enough parking to go around.

If you would like to pay your 2014 dues, entitling you to many club
benefits, including a 10% discount at MoreBeer and member-only events,
please bring $25 cash.

Meeting agenda:

7:00 Social Time

7:15 Club Business

Recent events:
-MoreBeer Brew Day

Upcoming events:
-KraftBrew Fest collaboration with Gordon Biersch, August 2
-Brew Day at Derek & Robin’s house, August 9
-Thirsty Third Thursday August 21
-Northern California Homebrewers Festival, Sept.19-21

7:30 Presentation – Jim W on fermentation

7:45 Homebrew evaluations. Reminder: Bring your recipe – club members
will have lots of questions! Sign your beer in on the whiteboard along
with your name and statistics (IBU, ABV, etc. – optional, but helpful
in determining tasting order)

After homebrew evaluations: more social time/informal commercial brew
sharing. Always welcome: homebrews from any style to share.  Don’t have any
homebrew on hand right now? Feel free to bring other interesting brews
you’ve picked up. Don’t have a beer to bring? Please bring some snacks
to share.

Club Session Competition results

On July 11, Sudzers members judged 21 homebrewed beers with alcohol content under 5% ABV. Judging was conducted in two categories: hop forward (self explanatory) and non hop forward (everything else). Surprisingly, there were only 7 entries for hop forward beers compared with 14 in the other category. Twenty three judges completed scores for all of the beers, the high and low scores were thrown out, and the remaining 21 scores were averaged.

The winners were:

Hop Forward
1. Jim W, Tiny Pliny
2. Adam C, Session IPA
3. Bill and Mikael, Session American Pale Ale

Non Hop Forward
1. Malcolm L, Breakfast Stout
2. Derek W, Continential Breakfast of Champions (honey oatmeal milk stout with cinnamon & toasted coconut)
3. Nick O, Kolsch

Malcolm’s Breakfast Stout got the highest overall score of any entry (37.4 on 50 point scale). Additional entrants were:

Hop Forward
Matt I, American Red
Tyler D, Session IPA
Justin V, Wheat IPA
Nic M, Session American Pale Ale

Non Hop Forward
Adam C, Chocolate Milk Stout
Justin V, Bavarian Hefe
Charles S, Scottish Ale
Tyler D, Belgian Wit
Jim W, J & J Pils
Pranab S, ESB
Matt I, Best Bitter
Carter K, Watermelon Wheat
Chris Q, English Brown Ale
Rich K, Scottish Ale
Duncan H, Belgian Wit

Upcoming Sudzers dates and events

Thu 7/17: Thirsty Third Thursday meetup, 6:30 pm - ?, Harry’s Hofbrau
San Jose

Sat 7/19: MoreBeer Los Altos Summer Sale Brewing Demonstration,
approx. 9 am – 4 pm  - if you would like to help out, please contact
Nick at

Sun 7/20: First batch of 17th Annual Northern California Homebrewers
Festival (NCHF) tickets go on sale at at 10 am

We are allocating 60% of the all tickets (festival, dinner,
camping-only) and select cabins to the July 20 sale date; the
remainder go on sale on July 26
Ticket sales are capped at 2 per purchaser

Pricing for this year:
$45 Festival Tickets
$30 Camping-only Tickets
$50 Brewers Dinner Tickets

July 25-August 2 Silicon Valley Beer Week

Sat 8/2: Sudzers brewing demonstration/collaboration with Dan Gordon
from Gordon Biersch at KraftBrew Fest 2014
( Email if
you would like to help out.

Sat 8/9: Brew Day at Robin and Derek’s house in San Jose to brew beers
for NCHF. Email for address, and please let
Derek W know as soon as possible if you plan to bring equipment and


Off Flavors Tasting part 2

notes from the “off flavors” tasting part 2, 6/27/14. Thanks again to Tyler for serving as MC. Thanks Mikael for the pics.

photo 1x

The first part of this tasting was so enjoyable that barely half as many people showed up for round 2. Since there were fewer people, and since in the first round most of us found at least some of the samples imperceptible, we mixed the flavor with only two cans of Coors, and the bad flavors just jumped out this time. Maybe not a good thing.

The kit from Siebel comes with very little information about the flavors and what might have caused them. The slides shown were found on the net on some homebrewing site. If Tyler can remember where and we can get permission from the creator we’ll post the slides here.

The description in bold is what the kit says, the rest is my personal comment. Here’s part 2 in the order we tasted them:

  1. Geraniol: Floral/Rose like — an unpleasant fruitiness. Despite the similar name this chemical is only a minor part of the geranium aroma.
  2. Indole: Farm/barnyard — “barnyard” is the polite language. In plain Anglo-Saxon, it smells like shit. Yes, literally. According to the slide only 50% of people perceive the “fecal” aroma, I’m one of that half. One whiff and I didn’t even consider drinking any.
  3. Isoamyl acetate: Banana esters / peardrop — as with the apple and spice flavors last time, wrong for a lager but not unpleasant
  4. Grainy: Husk like / Nut like — tannic, astringency on the back of the tongue.
  5. Isovaleric: Cheesy / old hops / sweaty socks — another seriously nasty one. As the pitcher was passed toward me the first few tasters were already complaining. Cheesy as in spoiled cheese that you should have thrown out a long time ago.
  6. Lactic: Sour / Sour milk — sour milk, nothing else to say
  7. Caprylic: Soapy, fatty, goaty — yecch. To me, pretty much the sour milk flavor again.
  8. Papery: Cardboard, oxidized — exactly; wet cardboard.
  9. Vanilla: Custard powder — familiar vanilla flavor
  10. Bitter: Hoppy / Bitter — bitterness past hoppy and into puckery and astringent.
  11. Infection: Sour / buttery – the sample must be fake butter flavor, it smelled EXACTLY like microwave popcorn.
  12. (extra). Untainted Coors light – To fool the participants — I said out loud that there was an aftertaste I didn’t like, and I’ll stand by that.
  13. Hefeweizen: Spicey + buttery esters — the sample is specifically CLOVE, strong and unmistakable. Too strong to be pleasant although I like Bavarian banana/clove hefeweizens.