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Home » Brews and News
Table of Contents
President : Party Time
Still Time To Enter The AHA Nationals
This Month in Brews & News
March Shop Brew #1 - U.B. Smoked Porter
Marzen Madness 2001 (March Shop Brew #2)
Adventures At The Beer Hotel
Aussie Beer News
Minutes of Recent Meetings
Ten Years Of Mead Consciousness
Beer Style of the Month : English Bitter and Pale Ale
Other Information
Competition Calendar

March 2001, Vol. XXVI, Num. 3
Don T. Knott, Editor
Kevin Baranowski, John Aitchison,Rich Schmittdiel, Drew Beechum, Tom Wolf, Bruce Brode et al.
Contents Copyright 2001 The Maltose Falcons

Party Time
by El Presanowski
     It's time to PARTY Falcons style at the Mayfaire Party, Saturday April 21st. We'll get underway at 1:00 PM, and end when the last Dead Palates beer is finished. The Party will be held at Barbara Antlers house in Tarzana. We haven't been there for a while, so here's the scoop:

    Exit the 101 freeway at TAMPA Ave., go north 1 block to HATTERAS St. Turn RIGHT. Go 1 block east to BECKFORD Ave. and turn RIGHT. Her house is halfway down the block on the RIGHT, across from the park. Parking is limited to on the street.

    Just a reminder, Please be respectful of Barbara's home, and stay out of it. Barbara has a large back yard that she allows us to have the party in. There will be a Porta-Potty out front again.

    Dinner will be $10. 00 per person, served sometime around 5:00 - 5:30pm. Sounds like a big spread, with tri-tip, chicken, potatoes, slaw, and dessert. Jolene, Sean, and their helpers will gladly accept any volunteers that want to help out, or bring any snacks along.

    Speaking of helpers, how you like to eat for FREE! That's right FREE. WE are going to rebate after the event, your $10. 00 back if you sign-up to help with set-up on Saturday and tear down on Sunday. If you want to just do 1 day, you'll get $5.00 back. Call me, Kevin Baranowski, e-mail kavba@earthlink.net. This is open to the next 9 people after me that first respond. We really do need to get more help on these events.

    We will meet at the shop at 10:00 am on Saturday to load tables, chairs, keg boxes and the co2 tank. We really could use another truck to help with all this stuff. Then we'll head to Barbara's and set it all up On Sunday, we need to clean up around the yard, load and return everything to the shop. Probably won't get moving until 10:00 AM depending on how many brain cells are left. Please help out if you can, don't leave all the work to the few.

    You can pitch a tent in Barbara's back forty. We encourage any one to do so if you plan to drink a lot. You might just want to bring along a sleeping bag to be safe. Remember, don't drink and drive. Bring along a designated driver, call a cab, rideshare, or get dropped off and picked up.

    The Maltose Falcons Brews Band will be playing the hits midday and after dinner. There maybe a raffle, so bring some extra bucks, and most of all, Vice President John Aitchison will be presenting all the ribbons and the Best of Show Bird "Hashell Dammit", to the winners of this years Mayfaire Competition. We had 252 entries this year, a significant increase over the last few years. The Falcons Bar will be set up, so bring along a keg of beer. First kegs arrived, first kegs put on the Bar. If you bring a keg, bring along a serving line just in case.

    Southern California Homebrewers Festival
     Saturday May 5th Lake Skinner Temecula.

    $30.00 per person, $6.00 refund after the event to all Club Member Brewers that bring at least 5 gallons of homebrew. You must notify me at the event that you brought beer to get the refund. Tickets are available at the Shop. Camping for either 1 or 2 nights may still be available. Contact MB Casselman for info and pricing. You can probably still share a site if you're tent camping. MB can give you the names of those that have purchased sites that you might contact to share a site and split the costs.

    We really had too much fun Friday night last year, hope we can have a great time again this year. Any and all kegs of beer are accepted for the Club booth at the Fest on Saturday. If you haven't been before or maybe it's been a long time, this is an all day (10:00 am to 8:45 PM) beer drinkers' paradise. Homebrew and Clubs from all over California, and Nevada, gathered under the big tent, serving to an estimated 1500 people. We usually take turns working in our Clubs booth, pouring the best homebrew and talking it up. Don't miss out!

    Just a couple of reminders: the AHA Convention is set for June 20-24 at Four Points Sheraton LAX. We will have a Club booth there as well, and will need kegs of homebrew. Don't forget to take advantage of the Club grain buy at the Shop. 10 pounds per member, brew for a Club event, such as the AHA Convention. You still have time to squeeze at least 1 more brew session before the convention.

    Sunfest 2001 set for August 10,11,12, location to be announced soon. Our summertime campout party is always a lot of fun. We're still taking suggestions for a location, so if you know of a place, contact any Board Member. Speaking of Board Members, Mayfaire means also that it's time for the nomination sheets to go out for next year's Board. (Why we do this so early, I've yet to know the reasoning). So be thinking about that and all these upcoming events, and we'll see everyone at the Mayfaire Party 2001 April 21st. KB

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Still Time To Enter The AHA Nationals
By John Aitchison
     The time window for entering the AHA National Homebrew contest is now open. The AHA contest is the biggest homebrew contest on earth; over 1000 entries. If you get first prize in a category, your picture will be published in Zymurgy. First, Second and Third place winners get their name and recipe in the magazine. I took a third last year; it sure was nice. If you should win best of show, you will be the American Homebrewer of the Year. Can't happen? It's happened to a Falcon before. John Maier won with a barley wine as a Falcon. You can buy a close approximation of that beer today; it's called Rogue Old Crustacean.

    This year we really want to enter. The AHA Conference will be held in LA for the first time ever. Lots of local homebrew club members will be present. We want to hear your name called at the awards banquet.

    All you have to do is send one bottle per entry to:

    NHC 2001
    c/o Alesmith Brewing
    9368 Cabot Drive
    San Diego, CA 92126

    The entry fee is a bit stiff-$8.00 for AHA members and $12.00 for non-AHA members, but well worth it. You can find the very short combination entry form-bottle label form at the AHA's website, http://www.beertown.com/.

    If you're a judge, they'd love to have you help. Greg Lorton of Quaff is the judging coordinator; you can contact him at glorton@cts.com. Be prepared to drink lots of beer if you do judge.


    The number of entries for this year's Mayfaire are up 35% over last year. It's the most we've had in years. Lots of Falcons entered as well as many members of other homebrew clubs from around the country.

    Of course we won't know who the winners are until the Mayfaire party, but thanks to everyone who entered.

    I especially want to thank the club members who gave up most of their Saturday to check in the Mayfaire entries. Diana Utech drove all the Pacific Gravity beers up from Culver City. Dave Anderson, Cullen Davis, Drew Beechum, Tom Hamilton, Lois Hamilton, Rich Schmittdiel, Kevin Baranowski, and Jim Moorman all gave up a day to check in the beers. Most people went to Brian Vessa's afterwards to taste Bruce and Brian's always fine brews.


    The AHA club only competition for May is for the entire family of bocks. If you have a good bock, bring 2 bottles to Mayfaire or give me a call at (818) 886-3568. Tom Wolf entered a Dunkel in last months contest. It was good enough to win best of show at America's Finest City contest but didn't place. Go figure.

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This Month in Brews & News
by Don T. Knott
     In this issue Kevin gives us th lowdown on the party of the year. John remind us once more that the only way to win the BIG ONE is to enter, Drew finally gives my typesetting a little rest. Dave Hull gives his impression of the unprecedented second shop brew in March. Bruce Brode reports on the tasting sessions at the Four Points Sheraton and gives advance notice of the upcoming Mead tasting at the shop.

    My apologies to Tom Hamilton for the garbled text in his article last month. When I get material from Tom the grammar and spelling is always correct, and the writing is always first rate. Result? I hardly check his stuff. I just pour the text into place. Last month the gremlins of the internet intervened and turned certain characters into gibberish and you read the result. Trust me, Tom not only knows how to type, he also knows how to write.

    My apologies also go to M. D. Udall who provided me with the photos which ran uncredited in last month's issue.

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March Shop Brew #1 - U.B. Smoked Porter
By David Hull
Brewmaster : Rich Schmittdiel
     Sunday the 18th, Drew Beechum, Cullen Davis and I helped Rich Schmittdiel brew beer on the shop system. Actually, Cullen and I helped Rich and Drew. We brewed a Porter called "U B Smoked Porter II." When I got there at the ungodly hour of nine o'clock (actually it was interesting to see what the world, and the 405, looked like at eight in the morning. Traffic Report: the 405 was only mildly congested at eight o'clock on a Sunday morning). Anyway, when I got to the shop Rich was lighting the gas under the water. The last time we did this Rich burned all the hair off his forearm and we named the beer Singe Weisen. This time he used a longer fuse, so we could use his original name instead of having to call it Singe II Porter. This is an example of the adaptability of living things to unexpected blips in their environment.

    I was still asleep, stumbling around collecting specialty grains when Drew rolled in with, what a surprise, his laptop. He hooked up speakers and filled the shop with sound. After a while I noticed John was there. He rolled his eyes at the music but didn't say anything. Maybe it was the volume because in truth, Drew had compilation CD's of some very good music. He'd also rigged up the screen to show colored circles and lines that danced to the music. A far more sophisticated version of the crude light boxes I remember assembling thirty years ago, after we got tired of watching propellers on a blank TV screen. But that was another country.

    As everybody knows, brewing beer is a matter of cramming an hour or two of work into six or eight hours of running time. We boiled water, added grains, checked times, and still Cullen hadn't showed. We drank more beer. We'd get periodic reports: yes, Cullen was alive and awake, he'd be with us soon, he'd be there in an hour . We did more stuff and drank more beer and tried to appear professional and cheerful to John's paying customers. Doug Harlan showed up with some Christmas beer that was really very good.

    Around noon we decided to give Cullen another half-hour and then we were definitely going to do something about food. And then there he was. Telepathy maybe, or maybe astral projection. Cullen and I walked up to Quizno's Subs. Quizno's isn't the Stuffed Sandwich, but quite good and a shorter walk.

    All day people had been showing up with beers for the Mayfaire judging on April 7th. While we were cleaning up, Diana Utech arrived to catalogue or do some other mysterious thing with these beers. She seemed generally unimpressed with us as a brew crew, but then she probably hadn't been drinking since nine-thirty or ten in the morning. She did mention, though, that it was a wondrous thing to see men cleaning pots and pans.

    Both Rich and Cullen had come armed with some powerful-looking yeast but before we added the yeast Drew took a gravity reading and then passed around the wort. Like all unfermented wort, it tasted like sweet tea. A few days later I heard from Rich. He said the fermentation had blown the air lock. He predicted this was going to be "one helluva beer". I'll bet he's right.

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Marzen Madness 2001 (March Shop Brew #2)
By Drew Beechum
Brew Crew : Cullen Davis, Brian Kern, Jim Kopitske, Bruce Mullins
     Welcome to the second shop brew of the month of March. This second brew was an attempt to improve upon the Marzen Madness beer brewed last year. Once again the intention of this fest beer is that we'll have a batch lagered through to Oktoberfest as is traditional.

    Facts : Marzen/Oktoberfest beers are smooth rich malty beers that finish relatively light. OG 1.050-1.065; FG 1.012-1.016; IBU 20-30. (From Falcon's Guidelines : Class 9B)

    While this is beer traditionally brewed using a decoction style mash, we decided to take a modern shortcut and use Munich malt to provide some of that same malt character. After all, we had to make the Lucky Baldwin's Barleywine Festival (or the Oscars if you were so minded.) Also we performed a bit of a trick with kettle carmelization to try and boost both color and flavor in the beer. We took about 2 gallons of the first runnings and boiled it quickly in the main boiler to produce a gallon of thicker caramelized wort. While this was going on we continued running off into a second pot where we placed our Tettnanger hops for first wort hopping.

    Once done with our quick caramel boil we added the run off and first wort hops to the boil kettle and continued the sparge normally. Once done we took our gravity reading and read that we had approx. 12.5 Gallons of wort at 1.078. This was then boiled for 75 minutes into 12 Gallons at approximately 1.081.

    The beer was then diluted to 3 different batches. One was diluted to 6 Gallons at 1.054. The other two were diluted to 5.5 Gallons at 1.060. One of the 5.5G batches and the 6G batch were pitched with Wyeast 2308 Munich Lager starter. The other 5.5G batch was pitched directly from a tube of Wyeast 1338 - European Ale yeast.

    German Pilsner 18.00 lbs
    Munich Malt 9.00 lbs
    Crystal 40L 3.00 lbs
    Vienna Malt 3.50 lbs
    Wheat Malt 0.50 lbs
    Mash :
    9.3 Gallons of Water to 120F. Hold for 30 minutes and then raise to 153F for 60 minutes. Mash out, sparge.
    Hops :
    Tettnanger Tettnang 4.5% AA 2.0 oz FWH
    Hallertauer 4.4% AA 1.25 oz 40
    Hallertauer 4.4% AA 1.25 oz 20
    Boil: 75 minutes. (First 2 sparge gallons were boiled down to 1 gallon for Carmelization)

    Next Month : American Wheat Beer led by Jim Kopitske.

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Adventures at the Beer Hotel
By Bruce L. Brode
     As a resident of Los Angeles' west side, I am chastened to admit that my first visit to one of the monthly Beer Appreciation Night tastings at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport did not take place until the night of February 21, 2001, despite the fact that the tastings have been taking place on the third Wednesday of every month for nearly a year now. I got a good "taste" of what I have been missing! According to Phil Baxter, the hotel's vice president and general manager and host of the monthly tastings, his hotel is gaining a nationwide reputation as the "beer hotel" for its focus on high quality craft beers. With the able assistance of Larry James of the liquor distributor Wine Warehouse (who is a terrific source of information, not to mention some awesome brands of beer), the reputation has grown. Most importantly, this is a charity benefit event: All proceeds go to the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.

    Of course, this was something of a special occasion, with the tasting's theme being Barleywines, a style most craft beer enthusiasts and home brewers hold in particular reverence. It has become quite fashionable in the last couple of years for quality craft beer establishments to hold "barleywine festivals" during the winter months of January, February or March (when the style is most appropriate for consumption), following the lead of the famous Toronado Bar in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district which initiated the trend several years ago and just completed its latest version with some 43 different barleywines from California, the Pacific Northwest, and elsewhere, virtually of them on draught! Another such festival took place in March at Lucky Baldwin's in Old Town Pasadena.

    The Four Points tasting was made all the more special by the presence of several brewmasters of the barleywines tasted, as you'll see in my notes which follow. There's nothing like hearing each brewer's philosophy of brewing such a style "from the horse's mouth." The guest moderator was Stephen Beaumont, a beer writer from Toronto who is regularly featured in the Celebrator Beer News and has appeared at previous Beer Appreciation Nights. He did an admirable job of keeping the tasting focused and on track, even after the crowd became more distracted following the third or fourth barleywine.

    Here are my tasting notes for the 11 different barleywines presented, a wonderful selection covering the entire range of the style, and provoking some questions about "what is a barleywine?":

    Old Foghorn, Anchor Brewing Co., San Francisco, California (draught): Fresh, hoppy, estery aroma with malt behind. Deep orange-copper color. Smooth slightly herbaceous edge to the malt flavor, finishes fairly lightly and quickly. Malt lingers longest. There is an overall consistently fruity character from start to finish. If there is such a thing as a "session barleywine," this may be it.

    Old Nick, Young's Brewery, London, U.K. (bottled): Buttery-malty aroma (a characteristic of this brewery's products), and good fruity esters. Very dark brick red color. Smooth malty-fruity flavor with a buttery 'lubrication' to it. There is a slight chalky mineral character late on the palate. Pretty 'small' for a barleywine by the standards of the U.S. West Coast, but drinking well and tasting authentically English.

    Old Horizontal, Victory Brewing Co., Downington, Pennsylvania: The brewer of this beer, Bill Kobalevski (I'm not sure if that's the correct spelling of his last name), was in attendance and provided some interesting background information. The brewery opened in 1996, and this brew features a grist made up entirely of German malts, and uses solely American whole-flower hops. It weighs in at 10.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and Bill feels it has an ideal maturation period in the bottle of two years. I found the aroma fruity, with some higher alcohols contributing to that, and a bit of a maple-syrup note too. Some malt emerges from the aroma after that. Color is orange-red, like the late stages of a sunset. Smooth, malty flavor and texture with a slightly resiny bitterness. Mr. Beaumont described a "spruce and pine" element to the hop character.

    J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale (cask): Brewed using the first harvest of the hops in the fall, after the flowers have been kilned, and aged in sherry barrels. Ours was served from an actual barrel into pitchers! Fruity, winey-oxidized aroma with a touch of alcohol. Dark red color. The flavor has aspects of licorice and honey with a tangy caramel finish and a slightly dry-bitter note midway through the flavor's journey through my mouth. Many other complexities were noted by the tasters near me, including butter-rum and vanilla essences. In short, it was complex and amazing, although opinions were sharply divided not only as to its merits but as to its proper classification as a barleywine or an Old Ale. It was also rather alcoholic.

    Scaldis Noel, Brasserie Dubuisson, Belgium (bottled): This beer is known in Belgium as Bush, a name the brewery cannot legally use for it in the United States. Our samples of this winter holiday beer were served from magnum-size bottles. Typically earthy Belgian ale aroma aspects, along with fruity esters and light toasty malt, and even a touch of marshmallow. Coppery-orange color. Rich, clinging flavor of malt, spice, pepper, and fruit on the palate. Warming. Purportedly the "strongest beer in Belgium" at 12% ABV. Questionably a barleywine in some people's view.

    Fido, Hair of the Dog Brewery, Portland, Oregon: Brewer/owner Alan Sprints was in attendance and stated that, unlike his other strong-beer products (Adam, Fred, Golden Rose, etc.), this one was actually brewed to be a barleywine. Considering that his brewery is in the Pacific Northwest where most U.S. hops are grown, the grassy-minty hop aroma was not surprising. There were fruity aromatic notes as well. Hazy dark orange color. The hoppy flavor break was refreshing, and slightly bitter in the aftertaste, leaving the malt flavor a tad obscured. Certainly, a hop-lover's barleywine.

    Arctic Devil Barleywine, Midnight Sun Brewing Co., Anchorage, Alaska: Buttery-fruity aroma, with malt. Notwithstanding that simplistic description, it actually had a very complex aromatic character. Beautiful deep red color with outstanding clarity. Early, clinging, slightly iodine-like inkiness to the flavor, with lots of malt. Aged for several months in an American oak Cabernet barrel, it seems as if it could stand even more age.

    Old Crustacean 1998, Rogue Brewery, Newport, Oregon (bottled): First place winner in the judging at the Toronado's 2001 Barleywine Festival. Hoppy, citric-fruity aroma with a touch of grapefruit. There were fruity esters with a slight malt aroma that followed them. Color was dark red. Big, overpoweringly rich palate flavor of hops and malt. Purportedly brewed to a hop bitterness level of a whopping 120 IBU, Mr. Beaumont feels that a minimum of 5 years of age is in order for this massive beer.

    It should be noted that we took a well-deserved break at this point to effect some recovery, particularly from the last one we tasted.

    Burley Barleywine, Craftsman Brewing Co., Pasadena, California: Brewer/owner Mark Jilg was in attendance and explained his preference for aromatic character in a barleywine. I found the aroma of this one fruity, malty, with an apple-like character to it. Dark copper-orange color. Smooth, slightly acidic flavor, touch of muskiness, some thought it phenolic. There was a citric character to the flavor break.

    Old Gubbillygotch, Russian River Brewing Co., Guerneville, California: Although brewer Vinnie Cilurzo was not in attendance, he is well-known to many of us in Southern California from his previous exploits as a home brewer and thence as a brewer/owner of Blind Pig Brewing Co. in Temecula. This was the third place winner at the 2001 Toronado barleywine judging. Fruity esters dominated the aroma. Luminous rich orange color. Fruity hop break with some tannic edges. Flavor was smooth at first but developed substantially in the mouth into the finish.

    Old Bone Yard, Pizza Port Brewing Co., Carlsbad, California: Brewer Tommy Arthur was in attendance and explained the stunning fact that this beer was only six weeks old! He also indicated that Bigfoot (see below) was his original inspiration, and it shows. Fruity hops (pineapple?) jumped into the nose. Some smoky malt came out later. Rich palate flavor had elements of minerals, smoke, fruit, malt and hops. The nice collection of flavors sorted themselves out well on the palate without impeding one another. 9.75% ABV.

    Old Numbskull, Alesmith Brewing Co., San Diego, California: Brewer/Owner Skip Virgilio was in attendance and explained his belief in the virtue of bottle-conditioned strong beers that are not aged at refrigerator temperatures. Buttery aroma with toasty malt. Hazy orange color. Rich, penetrating palate flavor with elements of minerals, fruit, bitterness, malt, and burnt/smoke character. A touch of the burnt and bitter flavors lingers in the finish.

    Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale 2001, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, California (bottled): Brewery representative Steve Grossman, brother of founding owner/brewer Ken Grossman, was in attendance and explained that this latest version of the venerable brew contained about 10% ABV and about 85 IBU, and had been bottled about 6 weeks ago. Aroma was of pineapple fruit with a grassy hop edge, and a lovely fresh citric ale yeast character. Rich amber color. Sharp, hoppy flavor break was fruity as well but well-supported by malt. Remarkably drinkable for current release (or is it just the late hour?). A classic endures!

    Old Stock Ale, North Coast Brewing Co., Fort Bragg, California (bottled): Smoky-malty aroma, fruity esters, very slight rubbery-plastic odor. Beautiful reflective dark red color, nice clarity. Rich, smooth, concentrated flavor was more malty than hoppy. Straddles the fence between barleywine and Old Ale.

    Watch for news of forthcoming Beer Appreciation Night tastings at 7:30 PM on the third Wednesday of every month at T. H. Brewster's in the New Four Points Hotel Los Angeles International Airport, 9750 Airport Boulevard, Los Angeles 90045, .

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Aussie Beer
from the Reuters Wire
     SYDNEY (Reuters) - Beer-loving Australians have flocked to their garages to turn them into home breweries after hotel beer prices jumped following the introduction of a 10 percent consumption tax nine months ago.

    "We've had huge sales of home brew kits in the last eight months," Alec Hill of Pacific Brewing Pty Ltd told Reuters on Friday. Australia's largest grocer, Woolworths, says the sale of home beer brewing kits has risen 55 percent since the introduction of the goods and services tax last July, according to local media. A home brewing kit costs A$70 (US$35) and makes 22 liters (five gallons) of beer or 60 small bottles called "stubbies" in Australia. But refills cost only A$11.50 for 60 bottles compared with A$25 for a case of 24 bottles in a hotel - a saving of close to A$50 for beer-swilling Australians.

    The Australian Hotels Association said there has been a sharp decline in over-the-counter beer sales since the consumption tax hiked the price of on-tap beer by nine percent. Australia is one of the world's biggest beer drinking nations with 99 liters (22 gallons) per head being downed each year.

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Minutes of Recent Meetings
by Rich Schmittdiel, Secretary
Maltose Falcons Board Meeting, 2/27/2001
     The March board meeting took place at Kevin's house on February 27. Present were Rich Schmittdiel, Kevin Baranowski, Drew Beechum, Cullen Davis, Jim Moorman, Don Knott, and John Aitchison.

    At the conclusion of the Kings game on TV, Kevin called the meeting to order, and Jim provided the club financial statement for the board to review.

    Jim led a discussion of the need to produce new club logo items, or "swag", as he refers to it. We agreed that we should produce new logo T-shirts and glassware. Cullen was requested, and agreed to work up a new Falcons logo design and show it to board members for comment. The goal is to have the new paraphernalia ready in time for sale at the Mayfaire, on April 21. Jim will look into production costs to have T-shirts silk-screened.

    Additional discussion took place about producing new, personalized nametags or badges for members. We agreed that the black lettering on a yellow background works well, and that we would retain that standard. The plan is for the club to collect orders from members who are interested in having logo nametags, produce a run of badges, and then collect the fee upon delivery of the badge. Drew agreed to do the legwork necessary to find a production facility once a design is ready.

    Kevin led the discussion of the upcoming So. Calif. Homebrew Festival (SCHBF, to be held on the first weekend of May in Temecula. MB has again reserved campsites for Falcons who attend and want to stay overnight. The board agreed that those who bring a 5-gallon keg of beer to the event would receive a $6 rebate on the price of admission.

    Kevin again stressed the need to have members propose sites for Mayfaire, and especially for Sunfest. We agreed that he should make that request of members early and loudly at the upcoming club meeting.

    Two shop brews are planned for the month of March. Your secretary was dragooned into leading a brew session to produce a batch of smoked porter, while Drew will lead a session to brew a Marzen. Sign up sheets to be made available at the next meeting.

    The board discussed the continuing absence and non-participation of the elected activity director, and agreed to bring the matter up before the membership at the upcoming meeting. We intend to invoke the club bylaws and replace this member.

    The meeting adjourned about 9:15 P.M.

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Maltose Falcons Meeting, 3/4/2001
     The March meeting was held at the shop in Woodland Hills on March 4, 2001. When Kevin called the meeting to order, I estimated that about 40 Falcons and soon-to-be Falcons were in attendance. I also counted some 10 or so late arrivals.

    We assemble to taste and discuss home-brewed beers, so we quickly got down to the business at hand. There were fifteen examples poured this month:

    1) A fine example of "Dougweiser" lager, courtesy of Rick Burnside. Rick is one of two Falcons who are particularly skilled at brewing this demanding style. We were not disappointed with this recent effort.
    2) A "Belgian Single" from a recent shop brew, courtesy of Kevin B.
    3) A California Common brought in by Martin Carmen. The club appreciates Martin's brewing skills, and sure wishes we could convince him to start using liquid yeast cultures.
    4) A Munich Dunkel by Martin Carmen.
    5) "Alleged" Oatmeal Stout made by David Uhl.
    6) Oatmeal Stout by high gravity guru Derek Stepanski.
    7) Another Stout by Derek.
    8) American Stout courtesy of Tom Hamilton.
    9) A very fresh Stout by MB Raines. This one a mere 13 days old.
    10) A wonderful "Cakeweiser" Stout by MB. This one was brewed using the chocolate cake from a Doug King Memorial Beer Tasting. It started as a 1.105 OG and finished at 1.028, and has a whopping 82 IBU.
    11) Scottish Export/Wee Heavy by the John Aitchison/John Rasmussen brew team.
    12) A great Belgian Dubbel by Grand Hydro Tom Wolf.
    13) An example of Falcons 25 IPA by Jen and Ken Rhude.
    14) A "Lite" Gruit Ale by Ken and Jen.
    15) An Imperial Stout by David Janss. This was particularly well received.

    Lunch this month, by Jolene, was red beans and rice, in honor of Mardi Gras. The bread pudding for dessert featured a very tasty whisky sauce.

    The club is sponsoring a grain buy, of 200 lb. of pale ale malt from John's 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.

    Kevin requested club members to provide suggestions for alternative sites for the Sunfest meeting this year. We'd like to find other places to go for these events, lest we wear out our welcome at White Rocks campground. This year's Mayfaire will be returning to Barbara Antler's home in Tarzana, after an absence of several years. That celebration of beer will take place on Saturday, April 21. Entries for the Mayfaire competition are due at the shop not later than March 21. Judging for the Mayfaire competition will take place on Saturday, April 7, at 9:00 a.m. at a church on the corner of Sherman Way, and Winnetka.

    Two shop brews are planned for the month of March. On March 18, I will be leading a session to brew Smoked Porter. On March 25, Drew will lead a Marzen session.

    The Southern California Home-brew Festival (SCHBF) will be held the first weekend of May, at Lake Skinner, down Temecula way. Kevin mentioned that the $30 admission could be waived for those who volunteer to work for 2 hours assisting at the festival. In addition, anyone who brings a 5-gallon keg of beer will receive a $6 rebate from the price of admission. Campsites will be available for $22 for two nights. MB has reserved 9 sites. If you are planning to attend, talk to MB about getting a campsite.

    After prodigious lobbying efforts by Diana Utech, among others, club member nametags will again be produced and offered for sale. Price is tentatively fixed at $4.00 apiece. A sign up sheet was available for members who wish to shed their cloak of anonymity. Further details will be forthcoming.

    The board brought before the membership a proposal to replace the elected Activities Director, who has not participated in any way for several months now. By acclamation, the position was declared vacant. Jen Rhude was nominated, seconded, and elected new Activities Director. Welcome Jen!

    Bruce Brode announced that the annual mead tasting would take place on Saturday, May 12, in the clubhouse at the shop. This is great opportunity to sample some fine examples of this style. It usually even brings out a few "cross-dressers" from the Cellermasters Club, who are willing to bend elbows with the Falcons when mead is the drink of choice.

    After some discussion, the May club meeting date was moved to Sunday, May 20.

    The meeting concluded with a tasting of commercial examples of stout, the style of the month. Grand Hydro Tom Wolf provided five examples of this style:

    1) Murphy's Draft Stout
    2) Guinness Extra Stout (the one in bottles, not the cans)
    3) Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout
    4) "Storm King" Imperial Stout by Victory Brewing Company
    5) Old Rasputin Imperial Stout.

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Ten Years of Mead Consciousness
by Bruce L. Brode
     When I convened the first known Mead Tasting among Falcons members in early 1992 I didn't know quite what to expect. I had a strong suspicion that a few Falcons were making mead but they didn't seem to be communicating with each other about it much. After I took the initiative as Falcons president and set a date for a tasting (being a meadmaker myself), I was astonished when more than 40 people showed up! Clearly, I had tapped a reservoir of interest that continues to this day. When I exited the shop after that tasting concluded and night had fallen, and saw an enormous full moon was rising in the East, it struck me as an appropriate omen for an ancient beverage that has inspired so many spiritual tales over the millennia.

    Ten years later, we're still going at it. Our annual spring Mead Tasting for 2001 will take place on Saturday, May 12 at 1 PM in the clubhouse at the Home Meadmaking Shop (you know what I mean). We seek as many home-made meads as we can accommodate, and we'll also survey some currently available commercial products from California and elsewhere. I hope to have a special treat of two meads from a commercial producer in Argentina who hopes to market his mead here in Southern California and seeks our input on his products. The globalization of mead consciousness continues!

    We'll plan to take our customary mid-tasting snack break to refresh our palates, and contributions to the snack table are welcomed. Suggested donation for the tasting is $3 to defray a few expenses of the commercial meads and other tasting necessities. For further information, contact Bruce Brode at bruceb@cpandb.com.

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English Bitter and Pale Ale
by Falcons Grand Hydro, Tom Wolf
     The Maltose Falcons style guidelines classify these beers:
    Class 4 English and Scottish Bitter Ale
    Subclass A. English Ordinary Bitter
    Subclass C. English Strong Bitter/Extra Special Bitter
    Class 5. Pale Ale
    Subclass A. English-Style Pale Ale

    These beers are the most widely sold style of ale in Britain. Although they are considered separate styles for competition purposes there is little real difference between Bitter and Pale Ale. The style need not be boring since the taste can vary wildly due to the range of hops and bittering and the range of yeast, malt and sugar flavors used. At the start of the home brewing revolution, before many of the world's styles of beer were easily available in the U.S., Bass Pale Ale and Fullers ESB were inspiring many home brewers to brew these styles.

    English Bitter can be real ale, the cask conditioned and pumped from a vented cask or on tap in conventional kegs. A fresh dry-hoped aroma is expected especially in real ale. Often a low gravity "Ordinary Bitter" is preferred as a session beer to allow a long session at the pub. One expects the ale to become stronger and more flavorful as the monikers "Special" and "Extra Special" are added. However the terms used to describe bitter in England such as "Special Bitter" and "ESB" are mostly meaningless, assigned by the brewer according to the relative strengths of his own products. The Falcons guidelines are a little more structured giving. A good hop character is critical in a Bitter, but beyond that it is a very wide-ranging style.

    Commercial Examples: Bodingtons Best Bitter, Fullers London Pride, Fullers ESB.

    English Pale Ale Pale Ale has more in common with Bitter than differences. Because it is in bottles, dry hopping is not an option so at best it has the flavor and aroma of late hop additions. Other than this as can be seen from the vital statistics, a pale ale can be identical to an ESB.

    Commercial Examples: Bass Ale, Whitbread Pale Ale, Sam Smiths Old Brewery Pale Ale.

    Brewing English Pale Ales and Bitters:

Ord.&Spec. Bitter ESB & Pale Ale
OG:1.030 - 1.0451.046 - 1.065
FG:1.008 - 1.0141.011 - 1.020
ABV:3.0% - 4.8%4.4% - 6.2%
IBU:20 - 4530 - 65
SRM:6 - 146 - 14
    These beers are defined by the use of pale ale malt, preferably British, a hearty dose of English Hops, low carbonation and a soft dry character. The signature hops are the soft and delicately flavored East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. Other varieties such as North-down, Challenger, Target, Progress, Brewers Gold and Brambling Cross will also give the British character. Moderate to extremely hard, "Burtonized", brewing water is recommended to produce the hoppy dry character.

    Choose a quality English pale ale malt or use American two row. Five percent of crystal malt with a color rating between 40 and 90 will add the expected caramel taste. The wide variety of the style comes in its varying strength and with the selection of the kilned malts, adjuncts, sugars and the hops. You can't go wrong - so add up to 15% of an assortment of your favorite grain, flaked barley, wheat malt, some corn, brown sugar, whatever! But go easy, the British pale malt, just a touch of 90 L crystal and Goldings hop make a nice brew!

    Hop at around 0.8 bittering unit for each gravity unit. Pick the English yeast of your choice.

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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.

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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.