The Lake County Homebrewers met Monday night (March 28, 2011) for their monthly meeting. We met at Guido’s Pizza in Kelseyville (as is our wont). What a great draft of fun this meeting is. And, it comes with beer.
You may search forever and never find a more congenial, enthusiastic, eclectic, off-centered, bunch than homebrewers. Where some folks get wonky about politics and policy, homebrewers wax eloquent about water, grain, yeast and hops and the infinite ways those ingredients can be mixed. Unlike policy wonks, homebrewers can disagree without becoming disagreeable.
The LCH meetings that I’ve attended have been have been–how shall we say it–loosely structured. Roberts’ Rules of Order have not even been suggested as a way of reining in enthusiasm. Such thinking does not belong there. Paul, our club president, has a job resembling cat herder. With twelve of us in attendance (a large number by our club’s standards), the duties don’t overwhelm him.
One of the group, Rick presented what he’s learned about hops, their history and some information on what grows here in Lake County. Rick has a test plot where he is doing a provenance study to find the best variety for growing here. He said that there currently is a demand for locally-sourced, organic hops.
The final item of business was to pick a stout recipe that the club will brew together. The plan is to brew 55 gallons of Stout on Big Brew Day, May 7, 2011, at Guido’s Pizza in Kelseyville. Prior to May 7, one of us, probably me, will pick up the ingredients for the stout recipe at a friendly local homebrew store (MoreBeer in Concord). Everything will be bought at MoreBeer except for the yeast. Ron, who is studying brewing online, will rustle up enough of the critters for the first pitch. After we’ve fermented about 55 gallons of stout, it will be bourbon casked for several months in Joe’s and Daniel’s cool room.
To get an idea of what we wanted to brew, we tasted Deschutes Brewing’s Abyss (Deshutes wants you to be over 21 years of age to view this link) and then three other stouts (okay, one was a heavy porter) brewed by several in the group. After several tastings we voted by secret ballot. I will post the winning recipe if I can get the creator’s permission.
If you are around Kelseyville, CA on May 7 and want to see the beer being made please drop by.
If you have a moment, leave a comment. They are most appreciated.