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Home » Brews and News
Table of Contents
President : Oktoberfest is Here
The Apple Dumpling Gang
This Month in Brews & News
Beer Style of the Month : German Wheat Beer
Beechum & Davis To Lead Team. Will Brew Historical Porter
Oktoberfest Directions
Other Information
Competition Calendar

October 2000, Vol. XXV, Num. 10
Don T. Knott, Editor
Kevin Baranowski, John Aitchison, Brewhoser, Tom Wolf et al.
Contents Copyright 2000 The Maltose Falcons

Oktoberfest is Here
by Kevin Baranowski
     Well, for a few of us, one Oktober party down, one to go. Oktober 6,7,8th was the Northern California Homebrew Festival in Napa Ca. We had 20 Falcons and 12 Spawning Salmon make the trip this year. The Maltose Falcons again had the best beer, Bruce Brode and Brian Vessa won 2nd place for their Oktoberfest Beer entry. There were maybe 13 clubs that attended and a total of about 225 people. This festival is such a change from the Southern California fest in Temecula. The pace is much slower, with more time to meet and talk with other brewers.The NCHF is not as much of a general public party as Temecula. Next year think about going up and spending the weekend with a great group of people.

    The Maltose Falcons Oktoberfest Party is here! Saturday Oktober 21st at Whiterock Lake Campground in Soledad Canyon. Camping is availible and recommended. There are three ways to pay; 1 or 2 nights camping, or just day use. Wristbands will be handed out designating camping or day use. Prices are as follows: 2 nights camping, Saturday dinner, Entertainment and BEER $15.00 1 night camping, Saturday dinner, Entertainment and BEER $12.00 Day Use only, Saturday dinner, Entertainment and BEER $10.00

    We will be having a raffle, so if you have anything that you want to donate, get it to Jim Moorman when you check in. Jim will also except Baked Goods to sell or raffle. The new Falcons Board will be announced and the old recognized. We will announce the winner of the Maltose Falcons Oktoberfest Competition and present the Ribbon. The Maltose Falcons Brews Band will play a couple of sets. Our Burgermeister & Mistress will serve an Oktoberfest meal around 5:00 to 6:00 pm that you won't want to miss.

    The Maltose Falcons Oktoberfest Games are planned:

    Keg Toss - 15 gallon keg with water in it thrown for distance.
    Mug Holding - 1 litre mug filled with beer held out and up for the longest.
    Pretzel Eating - Hard and crunchy pretzels. How many can u eat?

    A fun time is always had, and o'yeah, don't forget about the best Homebrew anywhere. We usually have 20-30 kegs of beer at these events. Consider Camping over or at least plan to bring a designated driver if you must go home.Look for a short article in this newsletter with directions to Whiterock if you've never been, and we'll see everyone at Oktoberfest

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The Apple Dumpling Gang
By Tom and Lois Hamilton
    Fall officially arrived on September 22, 2000, and for a change the weather in the Southland was definitely "fall-like." Temperatures in the valleys had dropped from highs of over one-hundred degrees a week earlier to seventy degrees and rainy/misty by September 22. On Saturday, September 23, the cooler weather was perfect for what we had planned to do: pick, mill and press apples in order to make hard cider.

    Ten Falcons made the trek to Oak Glen, California: Ed and Di Alderette, Jerry and Corinne Pooler, Rich Schmittdiel, Marlen Gapasin, Tom and Lois Hamilton, Bruce Brode, and Diana Utech. Brian Vessa was scheduled to attend, but had to cancel due to a business convention which he had to attend.

    Oak Glen is one of California's premier apple growing regions. Located a few miles north of Beaumont (I-10 and Banning Pass area) at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet, Oak Glen enjoys four seasons and is perfect for growing many different apple varieties.

    Everyone, except Bruce, met at the Hamilton residence in Upland early on Saturday morning. The plan was to caravan to Oak Glen in order to be at Riley's Log Cabin Farm for our scheduled 11:00 a.m. appointment. Bruce had decided to meet us at Riley's at 11:00 a.m., but 11:00 a.m. came and went and Bruce hadn't appeared. A little detective work revealed that there were two, not one, Riley apple farms, and, of course, we were at the first one and Bruce was at the second one. We found Bruce at about 11:40 a.m. wandering around the orchards at Riley's #2. Fortunately for him, by that time all the apple picking had been completed.

    However, the picking part was easy compared to what followed: milling and pressing the apples. We picked about fifteen bushels of apples (approximately 60% Jonathon, 25% Gravenstein, and 15% Pippin). All of these apples had to be washed and then milled (ground) to a pulp-like consistency. Next the pulp was pressed to extract the juice. All of this was done by hand on equipment that was turn-of-the-century-modern. . . that is turn of the previous century. There were no electric motors, hydraulics, or other labor-saving devices; it was crank, crank, crank the mill by hand, followed by turn, turn, turn a manual screw-press to squeeze out the juice.

    It took three hours for ten Falcons, all of whom were working diligently, to pick, wash, mill, and press thirty-one gallons of apple juice. By the end, we were juice-splattered, wet, sticky, and pretty much worn out. But we had "da juice" and that's what we had gone to Oak Glen to obtain!

    The Poolers and Alderettes purchased 2 gallons and 3 gallons respectively of apple-raspberry cider from a different farm, Snowline Orchards. Their plan was to blend the apple-raspberry cider with our freshly pressed juice. This brought the total to thirty-six gallons of cider.

    Since it takes about six gallons of fresh apple juice to yield a little over five gallons of finished hard cider, we'll have around thirty gallons of drinkable beverage when we're finished.

    Here's what we did: Tom and Lois put six gallons of juice into a 6-1/2 gallon carboy, along with two pounds of white cane sugar, and pitch rehydrated Cote des Blanc yeast. The OG was 1.078 and the expected FG will be 1.000 or lower, for alcohol by volume of around 10% (this stuff is not for lightweights!). The resultant hard cider will be rather dry, and much like the commercially available Blackthorne Cider in flavor and appearance.

    Brian and Diana followed the same recipe as Tom and Lois, but indicated that they have plans to tweak their share of this beverage after it has completed fermentation in order to boost alcohol content.

    Rich and Marlen added five pounds of orange blossom honey instead of sugar to their six gallons of juice, along with some acid blend, pectic enzyme, and grape tannin. They also pitched Cote des Blanc yeast. Theirs will, therefore, be a cyser, a fermented beverage of honey and apple juice. This produces a potent beverage with an exquisite flavor.

    Ed and Di blended three gallons of apple/raspberry juice from Snowline Orchards with three gallons of our freshly pressed juice. To this they added two pounds of cane sugar and Cote des Blanc yeast. The raspberry will probably add an interesting soft flavor profile to the finished cider, and we are looking forward to tasting it.

    Jerry and Corinne combined four gallons of our freshly pressed juice with a half gallon of water and eight pounds of orange blossom honey (the "mead lady" strikes again!). The yeast was Cote des Blanc, but it never took off, so they used Wyeast 2007 lager yeast. Their cyser promises to be really interesting when it's finished. The Poolers have yet to decide what to do with their remaining two gallons of apple/raspberry juice, but whatever they do, it will surely be good.

    Bruce has not yet responded, so it is unknown what he has done with his six gallons of juice. Which brings us to a final, and perhaps noteworthy, point.

    Probably you've noticed that throughout this article the words "juice" and "cider" have been used interchangeably. Interestingly, we Americans have a slight problem with apple nomenclature. We often refer to both sweet and hard cider as "cider." Sometimes sweet cider is also referred to as "apple juice." Most European countries, on the other hand, do not permit such confusion. Their laws specify that "cider" means hard stuff, and "apple juice" means sweet and unfermented. Perhaps we should adopt their thinking in this regard. That way, when we're driving down one of those long, winding country roads in the hinterland of America, and we come upon a sign that says "cider ahead," we'll know to stop. We'll know for sure that it's the really good stuff!

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This Month in Brews & News
by Don T. Knott
    Well here we go with another year of Brews & News. Oktoberfest marks the high point of the Homebrewers year and it certainly is true for the Falcons. We installed our "new" board of directors, congrats to new board members Cullen Davis, Georgeanne Eilers and Sean Donnelly.

    To those of you wondering why this is getting to you so late, I have just two words. Harddrive Crash. Luckily most of the usual contributors were as slow as ever in getting me their copy so I got it after the crash. Our esteemed Veep Mr. Aitchison however, gave me his copy AS SOON AS I ASKED FOR IT and his was lost. So goes the luck. Virtue is its own punishment.. My apologies.If I ever recover the data and if the column is still relevent I'll run it.

    This month we have a special contribution from Tom and Lois Hamilton chronicling their foray into Apple Country. Cider to follow.

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Beer Style of the Month :October :
German Wheat Beer
by Tom Wolf
    German Wheat Beer is Class 16 of the Maltose Falcons beer styles. Subclasses are A. Bavarian Krystal Weizen, B. Bavarian Hefeweizen, C. Bavarian Dunkelweizen, D. Berliner Weisse.

    In Germany a country known for its Lagers, Wheat beer (Weissbier) is a welcome and popular exception.

    Of the various styles of German and Austrian wheat beers, Hefe Weissbier is the best selling and most widely consumed through out the world and is primarily what will be discussed in this article.

    Weissbier, (white beer), was immensely popular in Germany in the 17th and 18th centuries but almost disappeared in the 19th century. Sales of Weissbier in 1959 were down to only 1% of the beer brewed in Bavaria. Popularity of Weissbier has now rebounded with sales of around 22% of the Bavarian total, supporting several million barrel wheat beer breweries. The popularity of this style is well deserved since not only does it taste great but it is a healthy drink because of its moderate alcohol and good vitamin B and trace mineral content.

    The revival of Weissbier can be credited to the foresight of Georg Schneider who took up the lease on the Weisses Brauhaus in Munich 1n 1856. The brewery was built by Duke Maximilian, (later to be Prince), of Bavaria and was the showcase of his brewing empire. Today the famous tourist attraction the Hofbrauhouse Munich is located on the same site. The brewery was so successful that it financed a good portion of the costs of the Thirty Years' War. At the time the right to brew Weissbier was exclusive to the Bavarian house of Dukes. Schneider had a plan to privatize the brewing of Weissbier. The Royal Brownbier brewery which was adjacent to the Weisses Brauhaus had a need for more capacity and space and had therefore been using empty rooms in the under utilized wheat beer brewery. Schnieder made a deal to vacate the Weissbier Brauhaus for the rights to brew the then unpopular Weissbier. That same year (1872) he purchased the Maderbrau brewery in downtown Munich and began brewing wheat beer to start the slow comeback of this great beer style.

    Today the popularity of wheat beer has spread throughout the world and to the USA. No American brewpub is complete without a Hefe Weissbier/Hefe Weizen (wheat beer with yeast).

    Weissbier is the breakfast beer of Southern Germany. The classic breakfast, the "brunch of Bavaria", is Weissbier, Weisswurst and Brezen- (Wheat beer, white sausage made with veal and parsley served with sweet mustard and a pretzel (brezen))

    Bavarian Krystal Weizen is the traditional wheat-based ale from Southern Germany known for the "clove-spice" phenolic aroma produced by unique ale yeast strains. A high percentage of wheat malt is used, typically from 50% to 70%. Like nearly all wheat beers, these are highly carbonated, refreshing summertime beers with a low hopping rate so as not to obscure the delicate wheat and "clove-spice" aromas and flavors. Krystal refers to the fact that this is a filtered beer. Color light straw to medium-dark straw, light body.

    Commercial examples:: Maisel Weizen (Germany), Erdinger Weizen (Germany).

    The Bavarian Hefeweizen version includes suspended yeast (sometimes lager yeast) introduced at bottling, and the cloudy result lends a bread-like flavor which is much favored by those who feel that this provides nutrients. Parameters are otherwise the same as for Krystal Weizen.

    Commercial Examples: Weihenstephan Hefeweizen (Germany), Paulaner Hefeweizen (Germany).

    Bavarian Dunkelweizen is the dark version of Bavarian Weizen, in which some darker malt has been used to feature a slightly more robust flavor. Color light amber to dark amber

    Commercial examples:: EKU Dunkelweizen (Germany), Erdinger Dunkelweizen (Germany).

    Berliner Weisse is very different from the above styles, and is a sharply sour beer from prominent use of a 20% lactobacillus culture in its fermentation, has been described as perhaps the most purely refreshing beer in the world. Wheat content is generally only about 25%. The beer is usually served with a "schuss" (dash) of raspberry- or woodruff-flavored sugar syrup to counter some of the lactic sourness. Very low hopping rate as the sourness provides the 'break' normally provided by the bittering hops. Light body, low gravity, very pale color

    Commercial examples: Schultheiss Berliner Weisse (Germany), Berliner Kindl Weisse (Germany).

    Brewing German Wheat Beer

    Here are the Falcons competition guidelines defining the different German wheat beers:

 Krystal WeizenHefeweizenDunkelweizenBerliner Weisse
Percent Wheat50-70%50-70%50-70%25%
Color (SRM)2-92-910-232-4
Alcohol (v/v)4.5-5.7%4.5-5.7%4.5-5.7%3.0-3.5%

    The following information is distilled from the books "Designing Great Beers" by Ray Daniels and "German Wheat Beer" by Eric Warner. Warner's book is one of the better of the beer style books and is highly recommended.

    German Wheat beers are an excellent opportunity for extract brewing. According to Ray Daniels, based on observations from competitions and his own brewing experiences there appears to be no particular advantage to doing an all grain brew where wheat beers are concerned.

    This is one of the simplest styles to brew. The unwritten law for wheat beers is that at least 50% wheat is used. Up to 70% wheat is common. Small amounts, rarely more than 5%, light or dark, Cara Pils, Crystal or Vienna can be added to increase the body although none are required to make a good wheat beer. For a Dunkelweizen dark extract and or up to 30% grains such as Munich, Crystal, Chocolate or Special B can be used for color and flavor.

    A single or double decoction mash is recommended for all grain brews particularly if using more than 50% wheat to avoid stuck mash or in the case of a Kristall Weizen to allow a clear beer. In all cases a mash in at 95 F with a 1 degree F per minute rise to protean rest at 122 F for a total time of 30 minutes before raising to 152 F saccharification temperature is recommended.

    Water chemistry is not a factor to brewing wheat beers to style. German wheat beers are brewed with a wide range of water types.

    Hopping of a German Wheat beer is straight forward. Hallertauer is recommended although Pearle or Saaz or any of the other German style noble hops can be used. Hop should be moderate at only 15 to 17 IBU. A single addition of hops is normal although about 0.5 oz. of the same hop may be added to a 5 gallon batch late in the boil for flavor

    The secret of these beers is the selection of the yeast and the fermentation temperatures. The signature phenolic clove-like taste of a German wheat beer can only be perfected with the proper yeast selection and fermenting temperatures. Several common yeasts are recommended: Wyeast 3056 and 3068 and Yeast Labs Bavarian Weizen. Daniels stated a personal preference for the Yeast Labs yeast and gave supporting evidence based on two competitions in which identical beer was entered using the three yeasts. He cites first places and a best of show using the Yeast Labs yeast. However Ray Daniel's studies of AHA competition wins showed no clear superiority of the above yeasts and his book lists competition wins using Brewers Resource CL62, GW Kent Weihenstephan, bottle cultures and other sources. Fermentation temperature is key to a great wheat beer. Warner has a rule of thumb that the sum of the pitching temperature and the fermenting temperature should be 30 C, (118 F). A suggested combination is to pitch at 12C (54 F) and ferment at 18C (64F). An equal pitching and fermenting temperature of 15 C (59 F) also meets the rule.

    Simple recipes for 5 gallons of German Wheat Beer

    Hefe Weizen

Extract VersionAll Grain Version
3.5 Lb Pale Malt Extract (or 2.75 Lb DME) *3.5 pounds pale barley malt **
4 Lb Wheat Malt Extract5 pounds pale wheat malt (winter wheat is desired)

    * For Dunkles substitute 3.5 Lb Dark Malt Extract
    ** For Dunkles substitute 3.5 Lb Dark Munich Malt
    0.75 oz. 5% Hallertauer (~16 IBU)
    Boil 90 Minutes, OG = 1.050
    Chill to 54F
    Pitch a one liter starter of one of the above yeasts, reserve and refrigerate about 10% of the yeast to prime.
    Ferment at 64F for about 4 days until fully attenuated.
    Carbonate up to twice the level for a normal lager or ale. (about 1 cup of corn sugar)

    For a true German style beer reserve 1 1/2 quarts, (four, 12 oz bottles), of the finished boiled wort. Bottle cooled wort or chill to 170F or less and add to pre-heated bottles. To carbonate add the reserved wort and yeast and bottle or transfer to a pressure keg. The beer should carbonate in about 5 days at 68 to 77F. Cold condition at 39 to 47 F for three weeks and drink!

    Don't be put off brewing this style because of the German aversion to corn sugar! The vast majority of winning wheat beers at home brew competitions are either primed with corn sugar or force carbonated.

    Berliner Weisse

Extract VersionAll Grain Version
2.5 Lb Pale Malt Extract (or 2.0 Lb DME)2.5 pounds pale barley malt
2.8 Lb Wheat Malt Extract3.5 pounds pale wheat malt

    0.3 oz 5% Hallertauer (~6 IBU)
    Boil 90 to 120 Minutes, OG = 1.035
    Chill to 70F
    Pitch a one liter starter of Wyeast 1056 or other clean ale yeast at normal ale temperatures.
    Add 65 milliliters of Lactic acid to the finished beer.
    Prime with 1 cup of corn sugar.

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A Year of Beer. (A complete list of Styles for the year)
by Tom Wolf
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)
November Spiced Beers : (Bring a spiced beer)
December Old Ales / Strong Ales : (Bring Your Winter Warmers)

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Beechum & Davis To Lead Team. Will Brew Historical Porter
by Drew Beechum
    Okay so, I was hoping to do a shop brew the weekend after Octoberfest.

    Given John's preference that we do these on Sunday I was hoping to do this on 29th.

    Cullen Davis and I have worked up a Historical Porter recipe (I'm doing a small ~2 G batch for test) that I'd like to have for the AHA conference.

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Oktoberfest Directions
    Directions to White Rock Lake Campground. From the Valley or Westside, head north on the 405 or 5 freeways until you hit the 14 freeway. Go north on the 14 freeway and exit at Soledad Cyn rd. Follow Soledad Cyn east a few miles until you see the signs for White Rock on the left. If you miss the Soledad exit, you can still exit at Agua Dulce Cyn rd and head south to Soledad Cyn then turn left. The Party area is near the entrance. Camping is a left turn in the park, follow the road around to the backside of the lake. Day use is a right turn in the park, follow the road around until it ends.

    Ride share, campout, don't drink and drive!

    White Rock Lake Campground 10645 Soledad Canyon Rd Saugus, Calif.

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Events Calendar Check the big events section
    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.