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Home » Brews and News
Table of Contents
President : What's That Smell
What Really Happens When You Enter A Contest
This Month in Brews & News
January Shop Brew - Old Ale/ Mild Ale
February Shop Brew
H'Ebrew Genesis Ale
New Beer In Old Bottles
Minutes of Recent Meetings
Beer Style of the Month : Dark and Amber Lager
Events
Other Information
Competition Calendar
Archives


January 2001, Vol. XXVI, Num. 1
Don T. Knott, Editor
Contributors: Kevin Baranowski, John Aitchison, Rich Schmittdiel, Cullen Davis, Tom Wolf, Bruce Brode et al.
Contents Copyright 2001 The Maltose Falcons

What's That Smell?
by Kevin Baranowski
    Oh, it's just the smell of many delicious pots of chili being prepared for the Febrewary Club meeting. Yes, it's Febrewary and that brings us to the annual Maltose Falcons Chili Cookoff. If you signed up at the January meeting, great! If you were not there but would like to bring a pot of chili, you can still call Jolene our Burgermistress and let her know that you will be bringing chili. The contest is limited to 12 entrants, so check with her first to be sure that there is still space. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd will be awarded. The rest of us will get for a great price, to sample all the chili's and cast our votes during the lunch portion of the club meeting. So get those taste buds ready because you never know what to expect at our Chili Cookoff.

    Sometimes the chili's are subdued and sometimes they are 3 alarm hot & spicy. It's a good thing we have ceiling fans in the clubhouse!

    Febrewary also brings us to the long awaited Pub Crawl bus trip to San Diego. Be prepared to pay at the Febrewary meeting. Time is running out to sign up. The bus leaves Saturday the 17th at 8:00 am from the shop, and 9:00 am from the Westside. Cost again, is $25.00 per person. Seating is limited to 50 people. This is an all day trip returning late in the evening.

    Our stops are at Alesmith Brewing in Mira Mesa, Stone Brewing Company in San Marcos, and Pizza Port in Carlsbad. We will tour and taste at each, and plan to eat a no host dinner at Pizza Port. There will be beer on the bus, but NO SMOKING on the bus. We'll do the "no one's a loser" raffle on the bus. Bring 1 bottle of beer, commercial preferred, or your finest homebrew, and you'll recieve a raffle ticket. Then just before San Diego we will pick out bottles from the ice chests and call out the raffle numbers. You can't lose if you bring a bottle! Everyone's a winner, so we'll raise a toast to the Woodland Hills Homebrew Club of the Year 2000.

    The bus fee doesn't include any additional expenses that will arise such as food, beers bought at any of the stops, or souvenirs. The plan is to hopefully have something as a lunch on the bus before we reach Alesmith. The Burgermeister will be arranging that. To plan ahead and see what your visit will have, check out WWW: Alesmith.com, stonebrew.com, or pizzaport.com. This way you can learn about their fine products. So don't delay, pay Sunday and don't miss "The Bus". Last minute details or info will be announced at the Febrewary meeting.

    The Maltose Falcons Mayfaire Competition and awards party is rapidly approaching. We really want to encourage all of our members to enter and support our club sponsored competition. The awards party is scheduled for April 21st.

    The location has not been picked yet, and we would like to ask for some suggestions from the membership as to where we might try some new venues. WhiteRock is nice, but maybe we can look for other places to try. Mix it up a little.

    If you know of anywhere that can accommodate 50-80 people, allow camping, allow alcohol, or just have a suggestion of an area that we might try, please contact our Activities Director Georgeanne Eilers. You can also E-mail suggestions to me at kavba@earthlink.net.

    Well, keep those mash tuns mashing, fermenters bubbling, and Alka Seltzer tablets close at hand, and we'll see everyone at the Febrewary meeting. KB


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What Really Happens When You Enter A Contest
By John Aitchison
     As most of you know, we are having our annual Mayfaire Homebrew Contest again this year. Mayfaire is highly regarded among the homebrew community. People enter from all over (George Fix regularly enters from Texas, for example). Mayfaire is one of the three contests that determine the Sierra Nevada California Homebrewer of the Year.

    Over the last few years, the number of entries from Maltose Falcons has declined. I'm sure that some people wonder if their beer is "good enough." I know the beers brought to the club meetings are.

    Others might wonder what happens to their beers after they enter them. Will they get a fair tasting? Are the judges qualified or biased? Read on.

    There is no question that the judges are qualified. Almost all the judges are BJCP trained. Many are at the certified or national level. We always get several professional brewers to judge as well. I've judged at other contests. Often you get to judge with a non-brewer who never has judged before or had any training. Not at Mayfaire. We just graduated 20 new BJCP judges; there will be plenty of qualified judges this year as always. That's one reason we do have the good reputation.

    What about judge bias? Very difficult, since neither the judges or stewards know who brewed which beer. When beers are entered in Mayfaire, the competition committee meets to check them all in. The first thing we do is make sure that each beer has an entry form, bottle labels, and a check to pay for the entry. We then collect the entry forms and enter the beer and brewer into a program Dave Anderson wrote. Dave's program then prints out a new bottle label. All that is on the label is the entry number, beer style, and special ingredients (for specialties and meads). No name or club is on it. The program also prints a list of all beers by style. We do this so we know how many entries there are for judging purposes. The style lists only show bottle entry number and style. For example, the European Pale Lager list will show which bottles are Bohemian Pilsners, Dortmunder Exports, and German Pils. That way the judges can drink all the same styles in a row.

    Only the competition organizer (Me this year) and the judging coordinator (Tom Wolf this year) know which brewer are associated with each beer. And they aren't allowed to judge or talk to judges about who entered. Judges are not allowed to judge any category in which they have entered a beer. Integrity is very important to all of us (and most other competitions as well). If we suspect a judge can recognize a beer, we won't put them in that category.

    At the time of the judging, the stewards get the beers for each panel of judges as requested. The judges will sample each beer and fill out a scoresheet, which is returned to the brewer after the contest is over. The judges will then select a first, second, and third place beer from each category.

    Again, using the European Pale Lager Category, the top Bohemian Pilsner may not medal; the judges are just choosing the three best beers that meet the style guidelines in the overall category. The scores of each of the entries are then entered in Dave's program. It then will match up the winning beers in each category. We pull all remaining bottles of the first place beers and those all go into the best of show round. We then find qualified judges (we try for four) who judge the best of show. Again, those judges can't have beers in the round or know any of the winners. Only the competition organizer knows the winners at this time.

    You all know the rest. We order ribbons, put the winner's names on the ribbons, and announce the results at the Mayfaire party. Feel free to ask me how the process works, just don't ask me who won until then.

    America's Finest City Homebrew Competition

    Our fellow homebrewers in San Diego are having the 8th annual America's Finest City Homebrew Competition again. Other than the name of the contest, it is a well run contest that really does give brewers input on their beers. QUAFF is Anchor's current California Homebrew Club of the Year (wait until next year) and they have a lot of first rate brewers and judges.

    The contest will be judged on March 2 and 3rd. All of you who like Alesmith, the March 2 site will be at the brewery. If you miss our bus and are a judge you'll get another chance to sample their beers. Their entry window is from 2/5 - 2/28.

    If you have any questions, contact their organizer, Peter Zien at: pz.jdzinc@worldnet.att.net or download their forms at http://www.softbrew.com/afchbc/AFCHBC.html. If you're a judge, I'm sure they'd love to have you. We always send a few judges down there and they send a few up to help us at Mayfaire.


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This Month in Brews & News
by Don T. Knott
     This month we have info about Mayfaire, the San Diego Pub Crawl, contest info,tips, tricks, a Shop brew report, a brew review and more.

    I wanted to have photos of the last Shop Brew, but with so many great articles They'll have to wait until the next time I am short of copy.

    Lastly, Drew Beechum proves that brewing, at least when you do first and second runnings, really is Rocket Science. (WebEd Note. - If ya'll keep making fun of me I'll start giving Differential Equation lectures)


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January Shop Brew - Old Ale/ Mild Ale
By Drew Beechum
Brewmaster : Cullen Davis
     While the Raiders, Ravens, Giants, and Vikings were all fighting for their ticket to the Superbowl, a hearty and intrepid crew of brewers were brewing up two beers at the Shop. Led by Cullen, we made an Old Ale from our first runnings and a Mild Ale from the second runnings of our mash. Our grain bill was as followed:

23 lbsMarris Otter 2-Row
3 lbsCrystal 75L
0.5 lbRoasted Malts (Cullen's Special Blend)

    This was struck with 10 Gallons of water to a mash tempature of 153F. We held that tempature for 70 minutes and then slowly ran out into our boiler. Gravity was checked and the 6.0 gallons had a yield of 1.080. One small can of black treacle (a British Molasses) was added and then the mix was boiled for 60 minutes. Meanwhile we refilled the mash tun with another 7 Gallons of water and the grains were remixed and the grain bed reset. This was run out and water was topped up until 7 Gallons was collected for boiling.

Old Ale Hops : (for 60 IBU)
Wye Target11% AA2.0 oz60 min
Wye Target11% AA1.5 oz15 min
Fuggle5% AA2.0 oz0 min

Mild Hops : (for ~14.5 IBU)
EKG5.75% AA0.5 oz60 min
EKG5.75% AA0.25oz30 min

    Our final yields were 5.0 Gallons of Old at 1.091 which was diluted to 5.7 Gallons at 1.080 and 6.5 Gallons of Mild at 1.036. Our total extract was approximately 654 points out of 929 total for an extract of 70%. (This takes into account the 36 points from the treacle)

    We pitched a healthy 3 Quart starter of Wyeast 1318 London Ale III into the heavily oxygenated worts. Within 12 hours the Old Ale had blown the gasket on Cullen's fermenter and the Mild was kicking large chunks of yeast in a furious current inside the carboy.

    If you're curious about how to calculate a parti-gyle (1st runnings/ 2nd runnings beer) Randy Mosher wrote a great article in Brewing Techniques' March/April 1994 issue. (Available online at: http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.2/mosher.html)

    To summarize the calculation :

    V1 = Gallons of First Runnings Beer
    SG1 = Target Specific Gravity of First Runnings Beer
    V2 = Gallons of Second Runnings Beer
    SG2 = Target Specific Gravity of Second Runnings Beer

    To find out how much grain you need, you'll need to get a "master" gravity as though you're making a single batch of full sparged beer.

    That gravity is calculated :

SGTotal = (V1 X SG1) + (V2 X SG2)

(V1+V2)
    So now just make up a grain bill that will give you a total of V1+V2 Gallons of beer at a specific gravity of SGTotal.

    Simple eh?

    In the case of our beer we had a master gravity of 1.054 (65% efficency) and a target volume of 12.2 Gallons. (Not quite what we originally calculated, but no one's perfect.)


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February Shop Brew - February 11th, 2001
By Drew Beechum
Brewmaster John Aitchison
     Continuing the trend of stepping up beer production for Mayfaire, Temecula, and the AHA conference this month we'll be producing nearly a full barrell of Bohemian Pilsner.

    To keep true to style we are doing two things outside of our usual routine. First, we are using undermodified Moravian malt from the Czech Republic. This special malt is only available to homebrewer's from St. Patrick's of Texas. Undermodified malt is kept wet for a shorter period of time resulting in malt that has more protein and less starch than a typical fully modified malt. Mashes using this malt need a protein rest to reduce haze causing proteins.

    We're also going to be following a fairly traditional mash schedule for the style, a triple decoction. Decoction mashes involve striking with a thin mash ratio. To increase the mash tempature, a thick portion of the mash is removed and raised to 154F for a short period and then boiled for 30 minutes. Mixing this back into the mash ramps the tempature to the next rest. In addition to providing a non thermometer method for controlling a mash, decoctions provide greater extract efficency and theoretically creates the malt/oxidation characteristics of continential lager beers.

    John Aitchison has graciously volunteered both his equiptment and his expertise to help us with this fairly demanding style of brewing. If you've ever wanted to try a decoction mash this is a great time to learn this interesting and demanding technique. If you like Pilsner Urquell then come help us make a large batch of even better beer. If you want to brew a traditional lager and have lagering capacity we need you too. To join up with the brew crew contact John Aitchison (john.aitchison@homebeer.com) or Drew Beechum (drew.beechum@disney.com). You can also sign up at the February meeting.


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H'Ebrew Genesis Ale
By Don T. Knott
     A hechshered (certified Kosher) microbrewed beer billing itself as "The Chosen Beer" might be assumed to be a novelty item only, but H'Ebrew Genesis Ale rises above that level, if only slightly.

    The label copy describes the beer as "a rich smooth distinctive light brown ale". A thick head and a hint of Cascade in the flavor provide the only discernable distinction. I found it to be more in the pale ale realm than brown. Sediment at the bottom of the 22 oz. bottle indicated that this was a naturally conditioned brew. Noticeable chill haze, no big woop to a home brewer, would not be likely to please those more accustomed to filtered mass market swill. To me it also seemed over carbonated, prickling the tongue almost like a seltzer water.

    Not having taken the recent beer judge class I can only offer my uneducated opinion. On a scale from one to ten I would give H'Ebrew Genesis Ale at most a four.


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New Beer in Old Bottles
By Bruce L. Brode
     With the recent effort to inspire Falcons to enter homebrewing competitions, it's time for a review of how to get your beer bottled in the appropriate 12 fluid ounce dark brown glass crown-capped bottles required by virtually all competitions. Preparing the bottles does involve some labor, but even so I'm always amazed to see some homebrewers BUYING EMPTY BOTTLES to put their homebrew in. None of the homebrewers I know brews enough beer to satisfy his or her own consumption desires, so what are they doing with the empty bottles from the beer they are buying?

    There are two ways to recycle beer bottles: put them in the recycling bin, or refill them yourself! There is an art to acquiring good bottles for refilling, however, and if you're a homebrewer who is going to buy beer it makes sense to focus on purchasing good beer that comes in good quality reusable bottles. This used to be something of a cottage industry for beers like Grolsch and Fischer that come in swing-top bottles where you don't even need to buy caps, but there are other brands that come in normal crown-cap bottles that are worth looking for. Most competitions don't like to see entries in those swing-top bottles and may specifically forbid them.

    Before I get into beers worthy of purchase for their quality and their bottles, I'd like to review for you the method I use to clean up bottles for filling with homebrew. The process begins with a very important step, which is RINSING the inside of the bottles very shortly after you have emptied them of beer into your glass. This simple step eliminates a lot of problems later on, particularly the growth of mold, etc. on any beery residue left inside the bottle. It usually takes a couple of rinses to do this adequately.

    The next step involves soaking the labels off the bottles. I do this in a plastic trash can (which I never use for trash, only for bottle soaking), with some chlorine bleach added to help knock down any mold or bacteria and to help loosen the glue holding the labels on. It's best to avoid bottles with foil labels since the foil usually inhibits water penetration through the label to soften the glue. I find that it takes at least 3 or 4 days of soaking to get the best effect. Most labels, if they don't just float off by themselves, can be scraped off with a little elbow grease using implements like a single-edge razor blade and a scrubbing pad such as the open-weave plastic one called a Tuffy. Wear rubber gloves when dealing with the bleached water to avoid damage to your skin. If any label resists removal, just put the bottle in the recycling bin and move on to the next * it's not worth your time!

    Once the labels are off, the bottles are rinsed thoroughly inside and out with very hot tap water. I use a brass "jet-rinser" attached to my kitchen faucet with a hose-thread adapter that you can buy at most homebrew shops and suppliers (you can buy the jet rinser there, too), to rinse the insides. Once that has been done, inspect the inside of the bottle by holding it up to the light to make sure no crud remains inside.

    At this point I like to use the excellent sanitizing method developed by Maribeth Raines Casselman. Crimp a small square of aluminum foil over the top of each bottle. Place the bottles, standing up, on a rack at the bottom of your stove's oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees F. and let it come up to temperature, usually 30 minutes. Let the bottles bake for 60 minutes after that, and then turn the oven off and let it cool down. The bottles are now sanitary and ready for use in bottling your homebrew, and they'll stay ready pretty much indefinitely as long as the foil stays intact on the top of each bottle, just store them in sixpack holders in a box in your closet or garage. You can have very good confidence at this point that the bottles are sanitary!

    Now back to the process of acquiring bottles. For competition bottles, you're looking for excellent beer that comes in bottles of dark brown glass that take a regular crown cap and not a screw-off cap, and where there is no molded design or lettering on the bottle and ideally a non-foil label. Here are some of my favorite brands:

    At the top of many homebrewers' lists are the beers of Anchor Brewing Company. It's relatively easy to rationalize buying a six-pack or two of a great beer like Anchor Liberty Ale, or Anchor Porter, or Anchor "Our Special Ale" winter holiday brew. The bottles are sturdy, dark brown glass and you can easily pour a bottle-conditioned homebrew out of one of these bottles without disturbing the yeast sediment. And, the labels tend to soak off pretty easily, too. Besides, this is a legendary small California brewery that has helped lead the way back into small-scale commercial brewing, and has always been a great sponsor of homebrewers. What other motivation do you need?

    Another classic is Guinness Extra Stout, justifiably one of the world's most popular beers and as stark a contrast as you could find in the beer world to the pale, fizzy American standard lager style that is the world's biggest seller (and essentially none of that pale stuff comes in a refillable bottle anymore!). Again, sturdy dark brown glass gives your homebrew excellent protection, and the labels soak off readily.

    If your taste is running more to a pale-colored beer, how about Hollywood Blonde? A refreshing and elegant beer packaged in quality tall brown glass bottles at an attractive price makes this well worth considering.

    Recent bargains available at the Trader Joe's chain include the excellent Rogue Shakespeare Stout (only $5.99 a sixpack), and a pleasant Bohemian Pilsner-style beer called Starobrno (was an unbelievable $3.99 a sixpack and just went up fifty cents to $4.59, still a bargain).

    Look around and you'll find other bargains and high-quality beers that are still packaged in reusable bottles. Good luck, enter some competitions, and remember to bring samples to the next club meeting!


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Minutes of Recent Meetings
by Rich Schmittdiel, Secretary
Maltose Falcons Board Meeting, 1/3/2001
     The board convened for the January meeting at Kevin's house on 1/3/01. Present were Rich Schmittdiel, Kevin Baraonowski, Drew Beechum, Cullen Davis, Jim Moorman, and John Aitchison.

    Jim provided the club financial statement for the board to review: we've still got funds.

    Discussion centered on plans for the upcoming bus trip to San Diego for the brewery visits & pub-crawl. Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, the official date for this grand adventure will be February 17. The first 50 Falcons and friends who sign up and pay in advance will be making the trip, and all others will have to settle for hearing the saga second or third hand. We'll be visiting Alesmith, Stone Brewing, and Pizza Port, in that order. The folks at Alesmith specifically requested that we arrive "fresh"; so we're going there first, before most of us can get seriously polluted. (Eddie???). The bus will be departing from Woodland Hills about 8:00 A.M. and making one pick up stop in West L.A. about 9:00 A.M. The tare will be $25.00. That will cover your travel only. All arrangements for food and drink at the stops will be on a no-host basis. We'll be asking Sean to provide food to eat on the bus; along with whatever beer members may bring to drink.

    Cullen will be leading a shop brew on January 14. Style will be Old Ale, with the intention of making a mild ale from the second runnings. Drew intends to lead a shop brew sometime in February to do a triple decoction pilsner. Plan to arrive early and stay late for that one!

    The board approved a club grain buy of 200 lb. of pale ale malt. Limit 10 lb. per brewer. The stipulation being that the beer produced from the malt must be brought back to some club function. As in the past, John Daume will keep the sign up sheet at the shop.

    The annual chili cook off will occur at the February club meeting, on 2/04/01, at the shop. If you plan to enter a chili, bring your own means of keeping it warm for serving. Crock-pots work very well for this purpose. You should bring enough chili to serve about 30 servings of 2-3 oz. each.

    John Aitchison spoke of efforts to organize club competitions, and stressed the urgent need for members to enter club-only competitions.

    Round table discussion took place about locations for upcoming club events, such as Mayfaire, and Sunfest. We probably won't have Barbara Antler's place to fall back on anymore, so we should seek other venues, lest we wear out our welcome at White Rocks Campground.

    Cullen wants to redesign the membership renewal form to include an email address.

    The meeting adjourned about 9:15 P.M.

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Maltose Falcons Meeting, 1/7/2001
     The January meeting was held at the shop in Woodland Hills on 1/07/01. When Kevin called the meeting to order, there were about 30 Falcons and soon-to-be Falcons in attendance. I also counted some 10 or so late arrivals.

    As with past meetings, we came to taste beers. There were eleven examples tasted this month:
    1. Kolsch by Tom Wolf. Our Grand Hydro demonstrated just how well he does brew beer.
    2. Pale Ale by Danny Young. An extract brew that could have benefited from using a yeast starter culture.
    3. Bitter by Danny Young. This was better than the pale ale.
    4. Grain Goddess pale ale. MB brought her version from the recent All Women's brew held at her place. This quadruple-hopped brew was mash-hopped, first-wort hopped, boil hopped, and then dry hopped for good measure. MB stated it was about 42 IBU by her calculations.
    5. Jen Rhude provided her own version of the Grain Goddess pale ale. A little lighter on the hops than MB's version.
    6. Ken Rhude brought his American ale.
    7. Jen Rhude provided us with a taste of her strawberry ale, made using strawberries in the primary fermenter.
    8. Tom Wolf poured samples of his California Common (AKA Steam Beer)
    9. A gruit ale, the result of a shop brew by Drew, Cullen, and Jim. An ancient style, which doesn't use hops, but instead relies on yarrow, marsh rosemary, and sweet gale for the bittering and flavor. Most thought it tasted like lambic ale.
    10. Black Bear Porter by brewers Dave and Dan, first time visitors to a Falcons meeting. Good beer, we hope that they decided to join and will return.
    11. Pumpkin ale courtesy of Drew, Cullen and Mick Deering. A nice, smooth seasonal ale.
    Lunch at this meeting, courtesy of Sean, was tacos, refried beans, cabbage salad, and churros.

    During the business portion of the meeting, Kevin held forth on the upcoming bus trip & pub-crawl to San Diego, to happen on February 17. The first 50 to sign up and pay the $25 tare will be going on the trip to Alesmith, Stone Brewing, and Pizza Port. Highlights planned for the trip include a "nobody loses" raffle, and snacks to eat on the bus, plus beer to drink, courtesy of your fellow travelers. Arrangements at each stop will be on a no-host basis, so bring your wallets.

    The club is sponsoring a grain buy, of 200 lb. of pale ale malt from John'shop. The sign up sheet will be kept at the register. Limit 10 lb. per brewer, and all beer must come back to the club at some function.

    The Doug King memorial tasting will be held on January 15 at MB's house. For your $15, you'll get to enjoy pizza and beer, including some examples of Doug's own styles, like Dougweiser.

    A motion was made, seconded, and passed to elect Drew Beechum to the vacant board position of publicity director.

    The Mayfaire this year will be held on April 21, location TBA. The annual competition will accept entries from March 1-March 20 at the shop. We're sure hoping that more club members will enter our own club competition this year, as it is embarrassing to see awards continue to go to brewers from other clubs.

    The next meeting will be held on February 4 at the clubhouse in the shop, and will feature the annual chili cook off. If you didn't sign up, and still wish to enter, let Kevin or any other board member know. Plan to bring your chili entry with a way to keep it warm until it is served at lunchtime.

    During open discussion, MB suggested that we produce another run of club paraphernalia before June, for sale at the AHA convention/beer festival. Other members pressed for board consideration to produce another run of club nametags.

    The meeting concluded with commercial examples of porter, the style of the month. We tasted:

    1. Fuller's London Porter (rated 8 1/2 Falcons, on a scale of 10)
    2. Samuel Smith Taddy Porter (not rated, as most members felt that this sample had not been stored well, or otherwise suffered ill treatment)
    3. Anchor Porter (rated 7 Falcons)
    4. Marin Brewing Point Reyes Porter (not rated)
    5. Stone Brewing Company Smoked Porter (rated 8 Falcons)

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Beer Style of the Month : February :
Dark and Amber Lager
by Tom Wolf
     The Maltose Falcons style guidelines classify these beers:

    Class 1 American Pale and Dark Lager
    Subclass C American Red Lager
    Subclass D American Dark Lager
    Class 8 Amber and Dark Lagers
    Subclass A Vienna Lager.
    Subclass B Marzen/Octoberfest.
    Latin American Malta
    Subclass D Munich Dunkel
    Subclass E Schwartzbier

    American Red Lager is typically a reddish version of the normal American lager. American Reds use small amounts of dark malts to achieve a red color and sometimes a light toasty-malty flavor as well. American Red Lager imitates German Marzen and Vienna beers but is brewed for American tastes with American ingredients and methods.

    Commercial Examples: Leinenkugel's Red Lager, Red Wolf Lager.

    American Dark Lager is typically a colored version of ordinary lager since the dark color is usually derived artificially from the addition of dark caramel brewing syrups. American Dark Lager imitates German Dunkel but like the American Red Lager is brewed for American tastes with American ingredients and methods.

    Commercial Examples: Michelob Dark, Lowenbrau Dark (U.S.-brewed).

    Vienna Lager and Marzen/Octoberfest are the German amber beers, often referred to as the category "V/M/O". These beers are about balance. They are pleasing to the eye with a red amber copper hue. Expect a mouthwatering combination of soft maltiness, a touch of sweetness totally balanced by the bittering hops both in the taste and the aroma. These beers demand the highest quality grains and German style hops to achieve the classic taste. Marzen/Octoberfest were traditionally brewed in March stored in caves for the summer and served at the October festivals. Americans are familiar with these brews due to the Octoberfest celebrations and the Vienna style beers brewed in Mexico that survived prohibition.

    Commercial examples: Vienna - Dos Equis (the dark one), Marzen - Spaten Ur-Marzen, Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest.

    Latin American Malta is a very dark brown typically South and Central American product. Note: This is not the sweet, non-alcoholic, malt-based Malta soda from South America. Expect sweet malt and low hop taste and aroma.

    Commercial Examples: Negra Modelo, San Miguel Dark, Callao Dark Export.

    Munich Dunkel is more malty and full bodied than most other European lager styles. Unlike the Pilsner beers that emphasize hop flavor Munich beers accent the malt. The hops should be barely perceptible but there to provide balance. The color is brown, not black. The flavor should not be roasty from dark grains it should be deep due to amber and brown grains and the decoction process.

    Commercial Examples: Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel, Hacker-Pschorr Alt Munich Dark, Spaten Munich Dark, Kulmbacher Reichelbrau.

    Schwartzbier like the American Dark Lager can be a darkened version of a Pilsner Unlike Dunkels these beers may have roasty flavor and be crisp and refreshing. The flavor profile should be malty but overall expect a balance between hop and malt. Commercial Examples: Kulmbacher Monchschof Kloster Schwarzbier, Ur-Köstritzer Schwarzbier, Sapporo Black Beer, Suntory Black Beer, Asahi Black Beer.

Brewing Dark and Amber Lagers:
 American Red/DarkVienna Lager
OG:1.040 - 1.0501.046 - 1.052
FG:1.010 - 1.0121.010 - 1.014
ABV:4.1% - 5.1%4.6% - 5.5%
IBU:14 - 2018 - 30
SRM:10 - 208 - 12

Brewing Dark and Amber Lagers:
 Marzen/OctoberfestMalta
OG:1.050 - 1.0641.042 - 1.052
FG:1.012 - 1.0161.010 - 1.015
ABV:4.8% - 6.5%3.5% - 5.0%
IBU:20 - 3011 - 20
SRM:7 - 1415 - 30


 Munich DunkelSchwartzbier
OG:1.046 - 1.0581.044 - 1.054
FG:1.010 - 1.0141.012 - 1.016
ABV:4.3% - 5.6%4.2% - 5.4%
IBU:20 - 28 25 - 35
SRM:12 - 28 20 - 40+

Brewing Munich Dunkel

    Ingredients:Use a high percentage of German Munich malt in combination with German Pilsner malt. A small amount of crystal malt can be used to add to the malt complexity and body particularly if an infusion mash is used. A pinch of roasted malts may be used to improve color but should not add any flavor. Dave Miller suggests using Special B malt to add color and rich taste while avoiding roastiness. California's Carbonate water is fine for brewing Dunkel. Decoction mashing is recommended to achieve the intense malt flavors but is not necessary. Noble German hop varieties and German lager yeast such as the Wyeast Munich strain should be used.
Recipe for 5 gallons of Munich Dunkel:
Malt, OG 1.052:
(45%)4.5 Lb.German Pilsner Malt
(40%)4.0 Lb.German Munich Malt
(7.5%)3/4 Lb.Weymeran 8L German Crystal Malt
(6.5%)2/3 Lb.80L Brown Malt
(0.5%)1.0 Oz.Black Patent Malt.
(0.5%)1.0 oz.Chocolate malt
Hops (23 IBU):
2.2 AAUMt Hood90 minutes
2.0 AAUHallertau Mittelfruh60 minutes
3.0 AAUMt Hood30 minutes
1.5 AAUHallertau Mittelfruh15 minutes

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A Year of Beer. (A complete list of Styles for the year)
by Tom Wolf
January Porter : (Bring your Stouts and Porters)
February Amber and Dark Lager
March Stout
April English Pale Ales and Bitters
May American Pale Ales
June European Pilsners
July American Lagers / California Common
August European Ales
September Mead
October Specialty Beers
November Brown Ale / Mild
December Christmas Beers


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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.