Sudzers demo homebrewing in SF with brewer Ben Dobler from Widmer

On October 25, Sudzers Tyler and Marcus joined Widmer Brothers brewer Ben Dobler for a homebrewing demonstration in the Explore Your Craft event in San Francisco. In honor of our region and Widmer’s reputation for wheat beers, Tyler and Marcus developed a recipe called “Wine Country Wheat, ” a wheat wine with honey and grape juice. Tyler reports that the brew is currently fermenting away, and we all hope to try it soon!

October meeting notes

The meeting was relatively light on business, but heavy on homebrews!

Sudzers who attended NCHF gave a report about how much fun we had and how well-received our beers were.

October Thirsty Third Thursday to be held at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose on October 18

Fall brew day discussion – we will begin brewing Dark Matter Imperial Stout on an annual basis each fall. This year’s brew day to be held in November at Keith’s house, date TBD [date is now set for November 24]

Christmas party discussion – regular December meeting will be cancelled, but the club Christmas party will be held at Nick’s house, date TBD [date is now set for December 8]

At the Christmas party, in addition to the famous gift exchange, voting will occur for club officers and Homebrewer of the Year (who gets his or her name engraved on the prestigious Sudzer Cup).


There may be some vacant officer positions, so this is a good opportunity to step forward. If you are interested in running for any office (President/CEO, VP/COO, Treasurer/CFO, Chief Technology Officer, or Chief Communications Officer), please let Derek, Tyler, Nick, Keith or Robin know. Also, if you have anyone you think should be nominated for Homebrewer of the Year, please let one of the officers know.

And then there were homebrews! While attendance was down to about 25 Sudzers at this month’s meeting, we had 18 homebrews to evaluate. Tasting notes on all 18 were not captured, but the brews were, in no particular order:

Robert’s West Coast Session Trappist Ale
Rob’s Gluten Free Raspberry Beer
Rob’s Colonial Ale with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, molasses, and spruce tips
Tyler’s Imperial Red
Mike’s Patriotic Plum Porter
Mike’s British Redcoat Bitter
Doug H’s German Alt
Derek’s Dubbel
Derek’s Belgian Golden Strong
Charles’ British Strong Ale
Charles’ Citra Pale Ale
Fuad’s American Wheat
Steve’s many-years-aged Belgian Sextuple
Keith’s Oaked Black English IPA
Keith’s German IPA
Steve and Keith’s Red Velvet Cake Ale 2.0
Linda’s Dubbel
Santiago’s Belgian Strong

Robert (as a first time attendee!) and Tyler got the most votes for “I’d buy a keg” on the club rating scale of dump/taster/pint/pitcher/keg.

November meeting will be Friday, November 2 at Nick’s house.


Homebrewing 101 Presentation at Morgan Hill Library

As part of the Morgan Hill Library‘s fall series of programs on homesteading, they included a program on homebrewing basics on October 11 from 7-9 pm. Sudzers Mike Conant and Derek Wolfgram, along with The HeadQuarters homebrew club President Andrew Carroll, presented an overview of beer history, ingredients, styles, equipment, techniques, and recipes. In addition, the program provided sources of additional information on homebrewing, such as local homebrew clubs, homebrew supply stores, books and DVDs available from the library, and online resources.

After two hours of talking about beer, presenters and attendees adjourned to El Toro Brewing Co. just down the road from the library for additional discussion and more beer education.

Print or download the slide deck from the program at Morgan Hill Library: Backyard Brewing.pdf

Upcoming Sudzers Events

Club events are always posted on the calendar on, but we wanted to highlight a few upcoming events. See the calendar for times, locations, and other details.

  • October 18: Thirsty Third Thursday at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose
  • November 2: Monthly Sudzers meeting at Nick’s house
  • November 15: Thirsty Third Thursday, location TBD
  • November 24: Fall Brew Day at Keith’s house – more details later, but know that we plan to brew an awful lot of the club recipe Dark Matter Imperial Stout!
  • December 7: Monthly Sudzers meeting will be cancelled but fear not because..
  • December 8: Annual Sudzers Holiday Party at Nick’s house. Again, more details later…



Northern California Homebrewers Festival Photos

The Sudzers represented well at the Northern California Homebrewers Festival in September with about 20 members in attendance and 13 outstanding brews on tap! Plans are already underway for NCHF 2013, with the theme “Space: The Beer Frontier.” Cheers!

Homebrewing books & DVDs from your local library

A couple of club members are working on doing a Homebrewing 101 presentation at the Morgan Hill Library on October 11. As part of our preparations, we put together a list of excellent homebrewing books and DVDs available at any Santa Clara County Library District library. For your reading and viewing pleasure: Cheers!


Sudzers September Meeting Notes

We had a fantastic September meeting – lots of guests since we had Master Cicerone Nicole Erny presenting!  Here’s what you missed if you weren’t there…

New Sudzers T-Shirts are here! $20/Men’s, $25/Women’s (this is at cost!)

NCHF Planning – members going to NCHF had a quick planning session with Mike Conant, our NCHF Chair this year.  If you weren’t at the meeting and haven’t seen any of the emails this week and you ARE going to NCHF, email Mike (or Derek or myself) immediately so we can get you on the distribution list!

Third Thirsty Thursday – September 20th at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose (390 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose); show up between 6 – 7 pm, leave whenever!

The summer party was a huge success – many thanks to Jim for loaning us the fun house and for Nick on taking excellent care of the fun house!

Plan on a fall club brew day later this year – making lots of the infamous Dark Matter Russian Imperial Stout again!

Nicole Erny, Master Cicerone gave a fantastic presentation to the group on “Focus on Flavor”.  We all learned many interesting facts about palates, how to train your palate and how to develop a better vocabulary when describing beer, food, wine, etc.  If you are an AHA member, you can login to the NHC conference site and view the same presentation materials Nicole showed us.

Homebrew Tasting: (due to the large group and length of the meeting, we did not use our rating system on the homebrews presented); you’ll also note a few entries from the Worts’ canned fruit challenge…

  • Jim – Cherry Berlinerweiss
  • Santiago – Gluten Free Saison, made with sorghum and brown rice syrups
  • Chris Ringer – Apricalt, and Apricot-flavored northern German Alt beer
  • Keith – Blackberry Schwarzbier
  • Steve & Keith – Red Velvet Cake Ale 1.0, an ale made with a special cake recipe modified by Steve Casselman, trying to get that baked cake flavor into the beer; Version 2.0 is in secondary right now.
  • Marcus – Night Man (fighter of Day Man), Oatmeal Stout
  • Mike & Matt – Porter; 1st 10 gallon batch, 1st dark beer, 1st beer in kegerator, lots of 1st’s here!
  • Morgan – Eviler Twin, More Beer Evil Twin kit, added American oak chips soaked in 2 oz. rye whiskey and Falconer’s Flight hops to make it “eviler”
  • Jim & Jason – Blind Pig Clone; added oak chips in secondary; only 14 days old
  • Derek – Cask aged American Barley Wine – boozy!

 Reminder to homebrewers for future meetings – bring your recipe with you!

 See you at Thirsty Thursday, NCHF or our October 5 meeting!

Sudzers September meeting announcement

Hello Sudzers!  Just a quick reminder our September meeting is this Friday at 7pm at Nick’s house.  Need the address or directions?  Please email and Chief Communications Officer Robin will be happy to help you.

Since we are expecting a larger crowd for this event, we are asking members to bring a folding chair or two if you’ve got some so we have enough seating for everyone!
Agenda for this month’s meeting includes:
7:00 Social Time
7:15 Club Business will start promptly at 7:15
  • New Sudzers T-Shirts ($20 Men/$25 Women)
  • Third Thirsty Thursday – September 20
  • NCHF Update

7:30 Nicole Erny, Master Cicerone –   “Focus on Flavor: Taste (And Describe) Beer Better”

8:30 Homebrew evaluations – style of the month is English Brown Ales, but all homebrew styles are welcome.
  • Reminder: Bring your recipe – club members will have lots of questions!
  • Don’t forget our new sign-in system – if you bring homebrew to share, enter it on the whiteboard along with your name and statistics (IBU, ABV, etc. – optional, but helpful in determining tasting order)
  • Styles for the rest of 2012 are as follows:
    • October:  Belgian Strong Ales
    • November:  Wood aged beer & Smoked beer
    • December Holiday Party – no style of the month 
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.

Since we have a fabulous presentation tomorrow, we WILL be starting on time.  If you can’t make it by 7:15. please come in and sit down quietly and join the presentations!
See you tomorrow!

August Meeting Minutes

Sudzers Meeting Minutes

August 3, 2012

Upcoming Events:

  • Third Thirsty Thursday – August 16th at Original Gravity
  • Sudzers Summer Soiree – August 18th  at 2:00 pm at the Fun House.  Bring a side or dessert to share.  Bring beer.
  • NCHF Planning – September 21-22; separate email list created for those who have tickets; watch for details soon
Big news!
  • Tyler is starting a small brewery operation. 5 barrel system purchased.  Looking for support from Sudzers members – money, labor, etc. Currently looking for a location. More information to come, or keep up at
Homebrew tasting:

Nathan – Pilsner; average rating: members would buy a pint

Matt & Mike – Vienna Lager; members would buy a pint

Elan – Kombucha ale; members would buy a taster

Jim – Hefewiezen; members would buy a pitcher

Doug – Saison; members would buy a pint/pitcher

Bobby – Citra Pale Ale; members would buy a pitcher/keg

Derek – Citra Pale from More Beer Sale Brew Day; members would buy a pint

Kathy – Amber ale; members would buy a pint

Mike – Pale; members would buy a pitcher

David – Porter; members would buy a taster/pint

Liza – Breakfast Stout; members would buy a pint/pitcher

Tyler – Imperial Barley Wine; members would buy a pint

Tom – DIPA; members would buy a keg      **Tom had the best beer tonight**

Reminder to homebrewers – bring your recipe with you!

Master Cicerone Nicole Erny to speak at Sept. 7 Sudzers meeting

I am delighted to share that the Sudzers will have a special guest speaker at the September 7 meeting. Nicole Erny is one of only four Master Cicerones in the world, having demonstrated mastery of everything on this outline during a grueling exam that takes two full days to complete.

You can read more about Nicole at, or follow her on twitter at @Beer_Muse.
Nicole Erny
In her talk “Focus on Flavor: Taste (And Describe) Beer Better,” Nicole will present on the following: We enjoy fermented products because of the amazing depth of flavors they present, including many flavors that we detect in the parts per billion and less! Mastering the ability to describe these flavors takes dedication!  Many homebrewers and BJCP Judges reach a plateau in their ability to describe beer, relying on borrowed phrases and expectations rather than their own senses. This talk is designed to give anyone a set of tools they can use to bring their tasting and describing up to a next level.  In addition to contributing to everyday enjoyment, this is sure to assist in formal judging as well as exams.   

As usual, the meeting will begin with social time at 7:00, followed by a brief discussion of club business at 7:15. Nicole’s talk will begin at 7:30 and will last approximately one hour, after which we will evaluate the homebrews people have brought (maybe with all sorts of new-found ability to describe what we’re tasting!).

Also, be sure to arrive early enough, and with enough cash, to purchase one (or more!) of the brand-spanking-new, hot-off-the-silkscreen, Sudzers t-shirts before the 7:15 start of the business meeting.  The shirts were designed by our very own Doug Weitz, and feature a very cool 4 color graphic inspired by an integrated circuit (You’ll have to come to the meeting to see it!) Mens t-shirts will be $20, and ladies’ t-shirts will be $25. Supplies will be limited, so be first in line to purchase one!

Look forward to seeing you all on Friday.