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.




Sudzers Summer Party

A grand time was had by all at the Sudzers Summer Party at the “fun house” on August 18. Many fine homebrews and commercial beers were enjoyed, lots of tasty food was consumed, much swimming was done, and plenty of ping pong, billiards and pinball were played by the 30+ Sudzers in attendance. Cheers!

July meeting notes, a little late!

August notes are coming soon. In the meantime, here’s July! In other news, hope to see you Thursday evening 8/16 at Original Gravity Public House at 66 S. 1st Street in San Jose for Sudzers Thirsty Third Thursday. Email for details.

But now, on to the meeting notes…
The style of the month was IPA, so we had a full house with 34 brewers and beer enthusiasts!

Derek, Keith and Steve updated the group on NHC and what fun and education was had by all.  Derek brought one of the commemorative conference beers to share with the group… Wry Smile Rye IPA.

We also hosted a brew day July 14 during More Beer’s twice yearly sale.  Derek brewed up an extract Citra wheat pale ale, Keith and Steve made a red velvet cake ale (which Steve made up a special recipe red velvet cake to be used in the mash), and Doug and his crew brewed up “Supernatural Anesthetist” – based on Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust, a Citra-hopped Imperial Pale Ale.  We also had fun serving up many brews for our members and tons of great food thanks to Chris.  Talked to lots of people, so we’ll see if we have some new guests in August!

Harry’s Hofbrau saw a handful of Sudzers on July 19 for Third Thirsty Thursday – great beers still on tap.  Facebook claims Pliny is back on tap.

Derek asked the group for ideas for presentations at upcoming meetings.  Ideas ranged from brewing with different grains, exploring hrms, water profiles, adjuncts, beer and food pairing and other technical discussions.  If you have anythink you’d like to present or talk about, email

Work is progressing on the website.  If you’ve got something to contribute, email Keith and he’ll set you up with a password.  Also, if you’re on facebook, be sure to like the Silicon Valley Sudzers page for up to the minute information on events!

We used a new rating scale for homebrew tasting.  After tasting and discussing the beer, the group then gives their personal opinion on whether they’d a) dump the beer, b) buy a taster, c) buy a pint, d) buy a pitcher, or e) buy a keg!  This helped everyone give and get feedback, whether you’re a beer appreciator or experienced judge and kept the meeting moving along.  We spent about 90 minutes reviewing the 12 homebrews brought to the meeting.  The brewers, both old a new, received some great feedback!

See the bottom of the photo below for fancy illustrations of the rating system. Congrats to Linda for the most “I’d buy a Keg” ratings for her IPA! The two beer names obscured by the flash are Linda’s Hoppy IPA and Antwerp Afternoon, a first homebrew (Saison) from our first-time guest Fuad!

Most important news next…we have a date for the Sudzers Summer Party!  Save the date for Saturday, August 18.  The Sudzers summer party is a family-oriented event, held at the “fun house” across the street from Nick’s.  Thanks to Jim for allowing us the use of his truly fun house!     For those of you who haven’t been there, there’s a pool, pool tables, pinball machines etc. Stay tuned for more details, but block off the afternoon of August 18th now!

Lastly, NCHF (Northern California Homebrewers’ Festival) is coming up September 21 and 22.  If you didn’t get your tickets but have a beer you’d like us to serve, let me know and I’ll see if we a)have room to transport it and b) have room to serve it!  If you’ve got your tickets or are on wait list, we’ll be creating a separate email list soon to start hammering out all the details!  Only 8 weeks from today until the event!

Next meeting:  Friday, August 3 at 7pm at Nick’s.  Style of the month is Light Lager (including Helles and Dortmunder).  Hope to see you there!

Sudzers included in two articles on South Bay craft beer scene

Silicon Valley Sudzers get a shout out in Metro Silicon Valley’s 2nd annual beer issue, covering the up and coming South Bay craft beer scene:

as well as’s article on the same topic:



Sudzers Attend NHC Seattle

Sudzers Derek, Robin, Keith, Michelle, and Steve C. made the trek to Seattle for the 2012 National Homebrewers Conference. As always, club night was the signature event:

Tickets to NHC sold out in record time this year (less than a day!). Time to start thinking about Philly in 2013…


Sudzers Bus Trip Photos

June Meeting Recap

Great to see everyone at our June meeting!  We had 24 attendees for last Friday’s meeting.

Business Discussed:

·         Happy birthday to Nick!

·         Welcome new Sudzers member Marcus! 

·         Bus Trip Preparations – tickets are still available! Visit to get your tickets ASAP!  The bus trip is this Saturday, June 9!  We still need to sell 4 tickets!

·         Thirsty Thursday – June 21 – Harry’s Hofbrau, unless something more interesting comes up!

·         July Meeting – moved to July 13 due to the July 4th holiday.  Style will be IPA, so we should have a small turnout! 😉 

Next on the Agenda was the first annual British Beer Competition.  We had 7 entries!

The judging criteria (not BJCP) was based on :

·          4.5% alcohol by volume or less (low alcohol not low taste)
·          flavorful enough to be interesting
·          balanced enough for multiple pints
·          conducive to conversation

The winners, in reverse order were: 

7 – Santiago – spring brew day what if summer ale
6 – Bobby – Sam smith oatmeal stout clone
5 – Derek – pecan nut brown
4 – Raghu #1 – small English  brown ale
3 – Charles –  arrogant bastard style
2 – Raghu #2, English session ale
1 – Keith, ESB

Keith celebrates his small beer victory with the Small Beer Cup

Congratulations Keith!  And thanks to all the brewers who participated.  Start thinking about what you can do next year!

Home brew presentation (not entered in the British Beer Cup):
Vern – IPA with toasted oatmeal and barley

Hope you all had a great time!  See you July 13 with tales of great beers from NHC in Seattle!

Spring Brew In + Barrels of Fun

On May 12, 2012, the Sudzers gathered at Santiago’s house in Redwood City for the 8th Annual Spring Club Brew Day. Santiago had recently completed building a 10 gallon system into his patio, where luckily there had previously been plumbing and a natural gas hookup for laundry. But seriously, what’s more important? Laundry, or a sweet homebrew setup?


Santiago led the maiden brew on his new 10 gallon system with the recipe from What If Summer Ale from Radical Brewing:

Recipe (5 gallon base) :
6.0 Lb  Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt
2.0 Lb Pilsener Malt
1.0 Lb Malted wheat
1.0 Lb piloncillo
Hops & other additions:
60 min Fuggles
5 min Goldings
5 min coriander
5 min candied ginger

In addition, former club president and “Master of the Vorlauf” Doug brought his system over to make 5 gallons of lovely saison.


Santiago & Linda generously provided a lot of tasty food, including many delicious grilled meats.

And generally, a good time was had by all.

Your club president and humble narrator was suffering from a bout of laryngitis that day, but, as always enjoyed seeing other people’s brew setups, sharing some tasty brews and food, and enjoying good Sudzers company.

One other item of note from the 12th: Derek drove up to San Leandro pre-brew-in to pick up 5 gallon whiskey barrels for Tyler, Santiago, and himself from the full pallet that Adam had ordered from Balcones Distilling in Texas. Hopefully there will be many fine barrel aged brews to be sampled at future meetings – my 11.1% ABV, 107 IBU Go Go Barleywine has been in the barrel for just over two weeks now. I’m anticipating about a three month aging, which, because of the increased surface contact, is the equivalent of over a year’s aging in a 55 gallon barrel.


Bus Trip is Almost Here – Saturday June 9th!

Join the Silicon Valley Sudzers for our East Bay Bus Trip 2012!


Destination: four East Bay breweries!


Elevation 66 in El Cerrito!beer-menu
Linden Street in Oakland

$30 for dues-paying Sudzers members
$40 for non-members
(Prices include transportation and bus snacks, as well as water and other liquid refreshments, but lunch and beer ordered at breweries will be on your own);  Please note the purchase price includes paypal fees.


Location Arrive Depart
Sunnyvale Caltrain Early enough! 08:45
EJ Phair / Heretic 10:00 11:30
Light lunch at EJ Phair (optional) 11:30 12:15
Elevation 66 13:00 14:00
Linden Street 14:30 15:30
Drakes Barrel House 16:00 17:15
Sunnyvale Caltrain 18:00 As safely as possible!


To purchase tickets, please visit: