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Home » Brews and News
Table of Contents
President : New Year, New Beer!
Shop Brew Report
This Month in Brews & News
Barleywine Club Only Competition
Beer Style of the Month : Imperial Stout
Stuffed Sandwich Annual Season Beer Tasting 12/09/99
Minutes of Recent Meetings
Other Information
Competition Calendar

January 2000, Vol. XXV, Num. 1
Don T. Knott, Editor
Kevin Baranowski, Tom Wolf, Brian Vessa,
Rich Schmittdiel, et al.
Contents Copyright 2000 The Maltose Falcons

New Year, New Beer!
by President for the New Millenium, Kevin Baranowski
    Well 2000 is upon us now, I hope everyone survived the Y2K bug. A New Year and time to get working on some new beers. Right about now is a good time to start thinking about brewing for upcoming competitions, like the Falcons' Mayfaire, the Mayfaire party, and the Southern California Homebrewers Fest. I hope to see some of our newer brewers get into the action, and brew for these events. The beginning of the year is the best time to map out you brewing calendar for the year, that way you can look ahead for upcoming events and have beer ready when you need it (like following the Falcons' beer style of the month). Unlike the big boys we give our beers time to mature, but we have to plan ahead! If you go to the shop on Jan. 2nd for a club meeting, you'll probably wonder why no one showed up. That's because this month's club meeting is on the 9th at BJ's Resturant in Woodland Hills at 6424 Canoga Ave, 1:00 PM start time, $15.00 includes food and tasters. Alex Puchner will be there to talk to us, and give tours. If you haven't been to BJ's yet, it's easy to find. It's just before Victory Blvd on Canoga, we'll be in the back room. When entering the restaurant, go left through the two dining rooms until you see Treasurer Jim at the door to the back room.
    Now that the holidays are over, I'm sure everyone is starting to get more serious about the Anchor Party, and want to finalize your plans. Remember the date is Febrewary 12th, 5:30 to 10:30 PM. Be sure to sign up on the offical list, and please be sure to write down the names of both the member and guest (wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, mistress). The list is at the shop, and will be at BJ's also. We need to give Anchor a number of attending, so be sure to write down both the member and guest names on it. As far as a club bus goes, unless we get paid commitments from at least 50 people we won't be able to do a bus. The bus sign up sheet is also at the shop and will be at BJ's. Leo has given us two hotel suggestions, the Ramada Inn Plaza Hotel or the Chelsea Motor Inn It's up to you to decide and book which is best for you.
    All you chili makers in the club, sign up at the next meeting for the Chili Cookoff at the March meeting on the 5th. You can also email Burgermistress Heather Houck at heatheramyhouck@msn.com, and let her know you'll be bringing chili. There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. We hope to have at least 8 to 10 entries this year, but remember, hotter doesn't always mean better.
    As I mention earlier, the 2000 Maltose Falcons Mayfair Competition will be on us before we know it. John Aitchison takes over this year as the man in charge. Not only do we encourage our members to enter their beers, but John will also be looking for members to judge and steward this event. Dates and information should be out in next month's newsletter. So volunteer this year if you can help out.
    I look forward to seeing everyone at BJ's this motnh for the first of hopefully many more meetings there, so let's not get kicked out!
      Happy New Beer,
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Shop Brew Report
by Kevin Baranowski
    On Sunday December the 12th, Drew Beechum, Cullen Davis, Kevin Bailey, Steve Keppler, Jim Fitzgerald, and myself brewed the first Falcons attempt of a Samichlaus clone called "Falconsclaws". We started the morning at 9:00 AM by cleaning out the dust on the shop system. (We need to do more shop brews, so the dust has no time to collect!) Then we arranged the equipment where we wanted it, and split up the jobs crushing grain, and adding water to the kettles. This was a straight infusion mash into 9.37 gallons of 150' F water, which we mainted for 90 minutes. The grain bill was :
23.75 lbsGerman Pilsner Malt
1.0 lbsGerman 65L Crystal
0.5 lbsVienna Malt
1.0 lbsAmber Dry Extract
1.0 lbsDark Candi Sugar

    We did a recirculation of the wort, than began a slow run-off into a boiler kettle that I brought in from home. While this run-off was happening we added some hot water to the shop boiling kettle and steeped a grain bag with 2 lbs. of dark crushed malt in it. Once our first runnings had filled its boiler, we brought it up to a slow boil. (I say a slow boil because the regulator on my propane tank didn't seem to have much output.) We then pumped warm water back through the outlet on the mash kettle, to clear the manifold, let it settle, and then sparged our second runnings into the shop boiler.
    A bag of liquid wheat malt extract was then added and this kettle was then brought to a boil. The hop schedule for the Falconsclaws was :
1.75 ozStyrian Goldings60 minutes
1.75 ozHallertau Mittlefruh15 minutes
1.75 ozHallertau Hersbrucker2 minutes

    A 1 lb. bag of Dark Candy Sugar was added for the last 60 minutes. Total boil : 120 minutes.
    The hop schedule for the Wheat Bastard was :
0.25 ozHorizon60 minutes
0.25 ozHorizon30 minutes

    Total boil time : 60 minutes
    Because of propane problems we finished both batches around the same time, so we chilled the clone first, then the "Bastard." The yeast for the clone was a gallon starter of Wyeast #2206 Bavarian Lager, for the "Bastard", 2 qts. of Wyeast #3056 Bavarian Wheat. The yield was 5 gallons of Falconsclaws, and 7.5 gallons of the fat wheat "Bastard".
    Falconsclaws O.G. 1.120
    Bastard O.G. 1.040
    Now we sit on the clone until the December 2000 meeting and see how it turned out! Thanks to all the guys who helped out on this project, there will be some bottles in your stockings next Christmas!
    This was the first Shop Brew that I have ever done with out Doug King being involved in, so in spirit I hung up the Celebrator with Doug's picture, looking down over us as we brewed. I couldn't brew there without him.

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This Month in Brews & News
by Don T. Knott
    Normally in this space I, your editor, pontificate about the club's Triumphs and Tragedies. For the first time since I took over the helm of the Brews & News we had none.
    That leaves me with nothing to say, but that my wife and I celebrated our Second Anniversary on December 28. With no fursther ado I yield the rest of this space to John Aitchison.

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Barleywine Club Only Competition
by John Aitchison
    The AHA club only competition for February is Barleywine. I know at least 4 or 5 Falcons who made Barleywine for New Years Eve 1999, most of them were very good. I know we've has a few at our latest fests.
    Bring them on into BJ's next Sunday. All we need is three bottles; the club will box up our winner, pay the entry fee, and send the beer to whatever club is hosting the competition. If we don't send your beer; we'll give you back two of the bottles for you to enter in another contest or drink. We know we are the California homebrew club of the year. The AHA bases their decision on who the American homebrew club of the year and the individual homebrewer of the year on these club only competitions and the AHA National Competition.
    It's also time to start thinking of what you want to enter in your own Mayfaire. We'll be judging that around April 1, so if you plan on entering a lager or a high gravity ale; you should get brewing soon.

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Beer Style of the Month : January :
Russian Imperial Stout
by Falcons Grand Hydro, Tom Wolf
(805) 296-0872, WOLF1@IBM.NET
    These beers are classifies by the Maltose Falcons' style guidelines in CLASS 11. Strong ale, Barleywine, and Imperial Stout as sub-class F. As you can imagine from the other members of the category, Imperial Stout is a potent and flavorful brew - a barley wine for stout lovers. It is a brew suited to the Slavic tastes and winter warming in Baltic weather. Imperial Stout has a high alcoholic strength that makes it similar to a barleywine, but it has the roast barley character of a stout. It has been described as having a "burnt currant" character to the flavor that is almost "tar-like" in its intensity. Prominent in Imperial Stout are the aromas and flavors of the alcohols and esters from the high gravity fermentation and the roastiness from dark roasted grains. A high hop bittering level is usually present to balance the very full-bodied and roasty beer.
    The history of Imperial Stout is about as murky as the beer itself. As with its lower gravity roasty cousins the dividing line between Imperial Stout and strong porter is blurred. One theory on the origin of Imperial Stout is that it was brewed to withstand shipping by sea from Britian to the Baltic.
    Imperial Stout is usually associated with the Barclay brewery in London, which was later acquired by Courage. The London brewery was brewing Imperial Stout at least as far back as 1781. Courage still claims on their label "Originally brewed for Catherine II Empress of all Russias" and "As brewed for over 200 years." The brewery is no longer in London, but Courage still brews the product in Tadcaster at its John Smith brewery. Another family member began brewing a competing product in Tadcaster in the 1980's, the familar Sam Smith's Imperial Stout. Both of these Tadcaster products are still available today.
    Comercial examples are :
    Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout (U.K.)
    Rogue Imperial Stout (U.S.)
    North Coast Old Rasputin (U.S.)
    Courage Imperial Stout (U.K.)
    Sinebrychoff "Koff" (Finland)

    Brewing these beers:     

    As with most Stouts the basic recipe is simple. For five gallons use 15 lbs. or more of malt. The base malt is Pilsner, two row or pale ale male alone or in any combination with perhaps some Munich or Vienna malt. The dark color and characteristic taste is the result of 5% to 7% (as little as 12 oz) dark roasted barley or black patent malt often with some chocolate malt mixed in. Another 6% dark crystal, caramel, or other "brown" malt is often used to give a deeper, smoother taste. 1.0 to 1.5 lbs of sugar is recommended in the high gravity versions with original gravity in the 90's and above. Some exotic brewers use dark brown sugar or even a small dose of molasses.
    Water type is not important to this style provided it is good to drink.
    Pitch a very large starter, a gallon would be nice, and be prepared to wait a long time for the beer to fully attenuate. Irish or American Ale yeast is recommended. Champagne yeast may be required to finish this brew if using Irish Stout or other less aggressive yeast.
    Hopping can be as high as 1.0 IBU per gravity unit. English varieties such as Challenger, Target, Northdown, Goldings, or Fuggles are recommended. U.S. varieties such as Northern Brewer, Bullion, Cluster, and Nugget are also appropriate.
Here is a simple recipe for 5 gallons of "Courage" Russian Imperial Stout, adapted from the Grahm Wheeler and Roger Protz book "Brew Classic European Beers at Home".
Click for printable version of recipe
5.5 lbs.Pilsner Malt
7.0 lbs.DWC Pale Ale Malt
2.5 lbs.Crystal 40-60L Malt
8.0 oz.Roasted Barley
5.0 oz.Black Patent Malt
1.7 lbs.White Sugar
Mash90 min, 153' F
Target, 1.5 oz12 AAU, 90 minutes

    The authors recommend 50 IBUs, which matches the Courage product, but this brew will support more depending on your taste. Pitch with 0.5 Gallon starter of Sierra Nevada Ale yeast, Wyeast 1056. Bottle conditioning of 6 to 24 months is recommended to develop the proper flavor.

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A Year of Beer. (A complete list of Styles for the year)
by Tom Wolf
December Christmas Beers/Old Ales (Bring your spiced and special holiday beers)
January Imperial Stout:(Bring your Stouts and Porters)
February Barley Wine : (Bring your strong beers)
March India Pale Ale (Bring your big hoppy beers)
April American Lagers (Lawnmower beer month)
May Octoberfest/Marzen/Bock (Bring any type of German Lager)
June Lambic (Bring any fruit, specialty, or soured beer)
July American Wheat / Cream Ale (Bring your heat beers or light ales)
August Belgian Abbey Ales (Dubel and Strong Dark Ales) (Bring any big dark ale)
September Scottish and Irish Ales (Bring Bitters and Pale Ales)
October Wheat, Witbier / German Wheat : (Bring some German wheat beers)

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Stuffed Sandwich Annual Seasonal Beer Tasting 12/09/99
by Rich Schmittdiel
    Well if you weren't there, you missed a GREAT time! There were more than twenty Falcons who showed up for a lunch and beer tasting. An informal attendance listing includes : Ed and Di Alderette plus their two friends Joe and Diane, Duane Morgan and his wife Paula, Leo Barendse, Tom Wolf, Mick Deering, John Bruno, Gary and Claire Rich, Tom and Lois Hamilton, Todd and Cathy Etzell, Doug Harlan, Kevin Baranowski, Paul Segewick, Steve Keppler, Rich Schmittdiel, and make a grand, late entrance, Jerry Macala.
    As in past years, Sam and Marlene put on a wonderful tasting. The Stuffed Sandwich is located on Las Tunas in San Gabriel. Much thanks to Leo for organizing the event. We had a raffle, and Leo even provided pint glasses for all to use for the tasting.
    Following lunch, we got down to the serious(?) business of tasting the assortment of beers which Sam and Marlene had planned. This year we tasted 15 beers. The more memorable of those tasted included : Mendocino Brewing Company's Eye of the Hawk Select Ale (Millenium Edition), Fuller's 1999 Vintage Ale, and Abbaye de Floreffe Brown Ale (a Belgian double). Marlene's surprise, guessed by nobody, was Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Millenium Release. And the one which really blew everyone away was Sam's surprise. This turned out to be Old Numbskull Barleywine from Alesmith Brewing Company in San Diego. This is well worth seeking out at your favorite bottle shop. I bought bottles of my own favorites to take home, as did several others.
    This was my second year attending this annual event, and I'll surely be back again next year.

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Minutes of Recent Meetings
by Rick Burnside
(Subtituting for Rich Schmittdiel, Secretary)
Club Meeting, December 5, 1999
    Meeting started at 1:50 with 33 present. As usual the meeting started off with the beer tasting.
    Dean Lynn went first with a new beer called Hollywood Red,
    Martin Carman - California Common
    Kevin Baranowski - Brown Ale
    Bruce Wenzel - Spiced Ale
    John Aitchison - 97 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
    John Alberini - Honey Porter
    Bruce Brode - Strong Belgian
    Chris Bushman - 97 Old Shop Ale
    Chris Bushman - Imperial Stout
    Tim Jones - Cider
    After the tasting we broke for lunch. Jolene Brake & Heather Houck prepared Lasagna with salad and cake for desert. While everyone was eating, John Aitchison put on a counter-pressure bottle filler demonstration.
    Kevin started the business part of the meeting by annoucing that our next meeting on Jan. 9th will be at BJ's. Cost will be $15.00 for all you can eat pizza and 8 tasters. Alex Puchner will lead tours of the brewery for those who are interested.
    Febrewery 6th meeting at the shop will be our chili cook off. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I'm not sure what the prizes are, but last year only 3 people showed up with chili so gift certificates were given out instead of the prize money.
    Next Leo Barendse talked about Sunfest at Catalina the second weekend in August. Price will be around $75 to $85 per person, includes two way boat trip and camping.
    Next Topic : Anchor Homebrew club of the year party Febrewary 12th at the brewery in San Francisco. All members are invited with one guest. Free admission.
    Kevin has a list for a bus trip but needs 50 people to sign up in advance for it to happen. Cost : $60.00 per person. If interested in the bus trip call Kevin Baranowski.
    Next Kevin started "Beer Style of the Month." This month, "Christmas Beer".
    Anderson Valley Winter Solstice
    Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 1999
    Anchor Brewing X-Mas Ale 1999
    Samichlaus Brown, has the most alcohol per volume of any other beer.
    After that, Kevin wished everyone a merry Christmas and adjourned the meeting at 5:12.

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Maltose Falcons Board Meeting, 12/02/99
    The December board meeting was held at Heather Houck's place. Attending were Kevin Baranowski, Steve Keppler, John Aitchison, Jim Moorman, Leo Barendse, Jerry Macala, Heather Houck, Jolene Brake, and Rich Schmittdiel.
    The meeting got underway at about 7:30. Jolene and Heather fed us well, again. We were treated to a fine turkey pot pie dinner.
    The next club meeting will be held on January 9 at BJ's in Woodland Hills. Leo has reserved space there for at least 40 people. Planned is an all you can eat pizza buffet plus a beer sampler (8 beers), all for only $15 per person.
    A brief discussion took place concerning the annual Christmass luncheon and tasting at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel. Planned for December 11.
    Jerry Macala was given the assignment to work with Drew Beechum to produce a new club web page. The goal is to have the entry form for this year's Mayfaire on the web page. Jerry is going to register a domain name for the club.
    Lengthy discussion took place over plans for this year's Sunfest. It centered on the logistical issues with a potential site at Two Harbours in Catalina.
    The bulk of the meeting was taken up with issues for the anchor trip. The event is confirmed for February 12. Attendance will be limited to club members plus one gues per member. A proposed charter bus for transportation from LA to the Bay area was discussed. Tentative cost of $60 per person, payment required in advance, to avoid the club being left holding an expensive bag, agian. Leo was given the assignment to check with hotels and motels in the SF area to reserve a block of rooms at a favorable rate. Jim Moorman will check into options for custom printed T-shirts to honor the club's achievement. Apparently your secretary is the only board member who thinks tie dye T-shirts are really cool. Leo will be checking into getting commemorative glasses produced for sale at Anchor and beyond. Steve Keppler will be checking into having buttons made for the event too.
    The meeting broke up about 9:30, all of the fines beers having been consumed by then.

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Events Calendar Check the big events section
    1/9/00 1:00 PM Club Meeting at BJ's Pizza, Grill & Brewer, 6424 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills. $15 per person includes pizza and beer taster. Reserve your ticket by mailing a check (Payable to Maltose Falcons) to Leo Barendse, 25010 Plaza Larios, Valencia 913555 OR Pay for it at the Dec 5 meeting at the shop.

    Sundays, Keg Night at Lucky Baldwins 17 South Raymond Ave. Pasadena. First pint is $4.50, keep the glass, refills are $2.50 until the keg runs dry, for more information call (626) 795-0652.

    First Tuesday, BJ's Beer Appreciation, Brea Every month. From 7:30-9:30 PM. $10, includes 10-11 tasters. Call (714) 990-2095 for reservations and directions.

    First Saturday, BJ's Brewery Tour, Brea Every month. Includes tasters, pizza, and souvenir glass for $14. Call (714) 990-2095 for reservations and directions.

    First Wednesday, BJ's Beer Appreciation, Woodland Hills Hosted by Alex Puchner and David Mathis, time 7:30-9:00 PM. Admission: $14 per person includes all beer samples, handouts and a raffle ticket. The schedule for the next few months is as follows : 11/3 Local Microbrewers Night, 12/1 Domestic Winter Warmers.

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Want to make your own beer at home? Get started on the right foot. Check out the Falcon's sponsoring shop, The Home Beer, Wine, Cheesemaking Shop. John Daume, proprietor, has been serving the home brewing and winemaking needs of Angelenos since 1972, over 30 years! (Falcon Members receive a 10% discount on supplies)
Looking for older Falcons' information?, The Westval Maltose Falcons Webpage (Locally cached) (The Original Falcon's Roost, prior to 1999)
Looking for a home wine making club in the Los Angeles area? Check out our sister club, The Cellarmasters, over 30 and still stomping grapes.