This is the HOTV Brewsletter
VOLUME XXII, NUMBER 2
February 2001

PRESIDENT:
Derek Whiteside
(541) 791-5083
VICE PRESIDENT:
Scott Leonard
541-791-3291
NEWSLETTER EDITOR:
Kendall Staggs
(541) 753-6538

THIS MONTH'S MEETING

The Heart of the Valley Homebrew Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month, alternating between Corvallis and Albany. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 21, at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Scott Caul. His address is 2930 Mulkey Avenue in Corvallis. Scott's phone number is 757-1190. Here are directions to Scott's house:

>From Highway 99W:

  • Take Highway 99W to Circle Boulevard.
  • Go west on Circle to 29th.
  • Go south (left) on 29th to Mulkey.
  • Turn right on Mulkey. Scott's house is a yellow house on the left.

>From Highway 34:

  • After you get to Corvallis, Highway 34 becomes Harrison. Take it until you get to 29th.
  • Turn right on 29th. Continue north past the Dari Mart at Grant and 29th. Mulkey is the second left past Grant.
  • Turn left on Mulkey. Scott's house is a yellow house on the left.

LAST MONTH'S GATHERING by Derek Whiteside

Our last meeting was held at the Oregon Trader Brewpub in Albany, and Eugene Gregg served as our host. Thanks again to Eugene. The turnout was a little lighter than usual, but everyone present seemed to have a good time.

There was a pre-meeting festival meeting, which was coordinated and led by Joel. Joel outlined the different roles and responsibilities necessary to put on the festival, as well as the individuals who would be filling a number of these roles.

During the regular meeting, a number of items were discussed, as follows:

1) Insurance: The membership voted on and approved a motion to procure liability insurance for the club. This insurance will cost $500 per year, but is a) required by the fairgrounds, where we hold our festival, and b) protects us against any sort of club-related fiasco on any other day of the year. This is, in my opinion, a good thing for us to have.

2) BJCP certification: The membership was asked if they were interested in either becoming BJCP certified, or helping other members become BJCP certified. To become certified, one must pass a fairly difficult test, but several of our members have already done it, so we know for sure it is not impossible. If you are interested in becoming certified, OR are interested in helping teach/train for the certification, please email me: derek_whiteside@hp.com.

3) Education / Workshops: The club officers presented a new plan for offering educational opportunities to the membership. We will plan to have 2 to 3 additional, optional club gatherings per year, in which we will pair short workshops (20-30 minutes long) with tastings. These meetings will probably take place on a week night, at the home of a gracious, volunteering club member.

If anyone has ideas on workshop topics or styles to taste/explore, please email Kendall at kstaggs@peak.org). He has volunteered to craft a rough syllabus of topics to cover. Also, if you would be willing to teach one of these classes (yes, you can pick the topic), please email Kendall and let him know what you have in mind. No teachers have been assigned, but some of the topics we are considering include: culturing yeast, using the counter-pressure bottle filler, and recipe formulation.

4) Club Holiday Brew: We proposed the idea of having the club craft an annual holiday brew to the membership. Our esteemed Veep (Scott Leonard) and Kendall proposed the idea of a holiday brew to the other club officers during a previous meeting. The idea is, the club could work to develop a special high-gravity winter beer recipe that we could use to brew for consumption at the Holiday party, instead of buying a commercial beer.

We feel that this could be the start of an excellent club tradition, as the recipe could be re-used and modified year after year. We also thought it would be great to look in to aging this beer in an oak cask, so the officers are trying to find out if this is feasible. None of us knows much about the care and feeding of casks, except that it can be tricky. In any case, the plan is to vote on this matter (at least, the concept of the holiday brew in general) at the upcoming meeting on February 21.

5) Dues Blues: I nagged the lowly non-dues-paying-types to ante up and join the club.

6) Slurp 'n Burp: Ted Hausotter, the president of the Strange Brew Homebrewing Club of Newberg and surrounding communities, came by to make a formal announcement to our membership regarding the Slurp 'n Burp, his club's homebrew competition. The festival will be held on March 31 in McMinville. If you would like to judge, contact Ted at tednjodie@msn.com. For more information on the festival (including entry forms), please see http://members.aol.com/slurpnburpor.

Following the official meeting, a number of members went "in the back" to check out Eugene's brewing operation at the Oregon Trader. I wouldn't mind a refrigerator that size.

See you next week at Scott Caul's house in Corvallis!

COOKING WITH BEER by Helen Smith
JALAPEÑO POPPERS

When preparing this snack, you may want to wear latex gloves; the jalapeño juices can irritate skin.


2 quarts canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup beer (not dark)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 fresh jalapeño peppers, slit lengthwise
   down one side to create a pocket, stem end
   intact, seeds removed if desired
4 ounces cream cheese, or grated cheddar or
   Monterey Jack cheese, plus more if needed
1 cup sour cream or blue cheese dressing

1. In a deep fryer or medium stockpot, heat oil to 400º. Line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.

2. To make the batter, combine the flour, beer, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine; set aside.

3. Stuff each jalapeño with 1/4 ounce of cheese. Working in batches, dip jalapeños into batter, turn to coat, and drop into fryer until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain.

Serve immediately with sour cream or blue-cheese dipping sauce.

AHA CLUB-ONLY 2001 COMPETITION SCHEDULE from Zymurgy

Let's try to get some entries in this year's AHA Club-Only competitions.

March - Stout: Category 16, Stout and Category 12c, Russian Imperial Stout
hosted by Keith Curtachio and the Niagara Association of Homebrewers

May - Bockanalia: Category 14, Bock
hosted by Elaine Seely and the Cincinnati Malt Infusers

August - Wit: Category 19b, Belgian Witbier
hosted by Donna Bettencourt and the Gold Country Brewers Association

October - California Common: Category 6c, California Common
hosted by John Aitchison of the Maltose Falcons

December - Mild: Category 10c, Mild
hosted by Bruce Bennett and Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP)

OREGON HOMEBREW FESTIVAL from Lee Smith

Another reminder: the annual Oregon Homebrew Festival will be May 18-19.

BREWING AT LEE'S by Kendall Staggs

On Saturday, January 13, I joined a crew of fearless homebrewers at the home of Lee and Helen Smith to assist in the creation of a ten-gallon batch of Smoked Porter. On hand were Derek and Sarah Whiteside, Scott Leonard, John Sterner, Eugene Gregg, and Jerry Malloy.

The recipe, according to Lee:

SMOKED PORTER
[RIM SYSTEM]
Batch #131

Target Original Gravity: 1.070 - Actual 1.080
Target Final Gravity: 1.016 - Actual 1.020
6.3 percent alcohol by volume
40 International Bittering Units

Grain bill:
20 pounds Pale Malt
1 pound Rauch malt
1/2 80 L Crystal
1 pound peated malt
1 pound black malt
1/2 pound chocolate malt

Mash at 152 degrees. (15 min rest at 122F; 60 min at 152F; 10 min at 170F)

Hop schedule:
Add to the wort 12 AAUs Goldings hops (3 oz)
After 30 minutes, add 6 AAUs Willamette hops (1 oz)
After 50 minutes, add 6 AAUs Goldings hops (1 oz)

#1056 yeast slurry from Oregon Trail Brewery

Bottle and age at 55 to 60 degrees for three weeks.

DESCHUTES OPENS INTERNET BEER SCHOOL from the Real Beer Page

The Deschutes Brewery began an ongoing educational beer series at its website on January 16. The first in a series of four classes opened with a close look at Porter, with Pale Ale (February 1), Stout (February 16) and ESB (March 1) to follow. Brewmaster Bill Pengelly will be answering questions from visitors. See http://www.deschutesbrewery.com

BETO'S BEER ADVENTURES IN SEATTLE from Beto Zuniga

Greetings, HOTVers. Here are a few more places I have checked out in Emerald City:

Hale's Brewpub and Brewery
The bar features all of Hale's brews: Cream Ale, Pale American Ale, Drawbridge Blonde Ale, Hale's Special Bitter (HSB), Amber Ale, Irish Style Nut Brown Ale, Celebration Porter, Moss Bay Extra, Dublin Style Stout, and the seasonals were O'Brien's Harvest Ale, Wee Heavy Winter Ale and Rdyard's Rare Barley Wine. The brewpub has a very nice atmosphere. We had dinner on one of the couches which was nice and relaxing afterwards. I had the Dublin Stout and Anne had the Nut Brown Ale. I found their beers bit lacking in flavor, but I would go back for the food and atmosphere. Hale's is in the Ballard area, not at all far from the original Red Hook premises.

Belltown Pub
The pub has sixteen regular taps, mainly craft brews and some imports, along with four rotating brews encompassing most favorites from Washington and Oregon. The atmosphere is a tad upscale as are most places downtown. The food is good and we have gone there twice when we do something downtown.

Kells
You should know this one; it is much like the old Corvallis counterpart but larger. It has a separate dinning area from the bar. The food was okay but it was a bit on the high side.

College Inn Pub
This cool pub is hidden under an Inn close to UW on the bottom of the "Ave." They have about 14 taps with a few casts. They have a lot of rotating tabs such as a porter/stout of the week and an import of the week. The atmosphere reminded me of the Gingerman from my old stomping grounds [Houston]. It is an old building with no room that is square or even, with a lots of spaces to get lost in. The entire pub is in below-ground premises (one must descend the staircase at the entryway. Its only downfall it is very smoky. But I check it out almost once a week to meet my wife and her coworkers for a "journal club" and the porter/stout of the week.


COMMERCIAL BEER REVIEWS by Kendall Staggs
A TASTE OF QUEBEC

Have you had any good beers lately? Here are some brief reviews of a beers from one of my favorite breweries in the world, the Brasserie Unibroue of Chambly, Quebec, near Montreal. These were courtesy of my very good friend Shawn Murphy, professor of journalism at the University of New York-Plattsburgh. (Shawn, incidentally, started me on the road to ruin by introducing me to the world of homebrewing and later accompanying me to Denver for my first Great American Beer Festival nearly ten years ago.)

As some of you know, Unibroue specializes in Belgian-style beers. Some of their best sellers are available in Oregon: Blanche de Chambly, Maudite, Trois Pistoles, Fin du Monde, and Don de Dieu. Shawn sent me eight varieties that I had never tasted. Here they are:

1 La Gaillarde: This orange-hued ale is brewed according to a 16th-century recipe that features a blend of grains, lots of spices and only a small amount of hops. The name means "the strapping woman" and refers to the brewsters who made most of the beer in olden days. It won a gold medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute in 1996. (5.0 percent abv)

2 Raftman: This beer is brewed with whiskey malt. It has a subtle character and robust, full-bodied maltiness. I found it to be a good brew, but not exceptional. I thought it would be more smoky. It won a gold medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute in 1995. (5.5 percent abv)

3 Kamouraska: This was a light straw-colored, highly carbonated brew with a very light but satisfying aroma and flavor profile. It was very drinkable yet fairly potent. (6.0 percent abv)

4 St. Hubert: This beer is similar to a classic Belgian Tripel. It is very pale and has aromas and flavors dominated by the yeast rather than the malt and hops. The name comes from the name of a street in Montreal where one of Quebec's premiere restaurant chains was born. (6.5 percent abv)

5 1837: This is a classic Belgian Tripel, somewhat thin on the malt profile but with a light, honey-like sweetness and plenty of alcohol. Its only fault is that the carbonation is a little too high. The beer is named in honor "of past heroes who gave their life for country and freedom in the Battle of St. Eustache." This is some episode in Canadian history that I know nothing about. (7.0 percent abv)

6 Eau Bénite: This is an unconventional Belgian Tripel, made with corn in the grain bill. With its huge head and exotic aromas and flavors, you won't confuse this golden brew with Budweiser. It is very fruity, with complex yeast notes from its triple fermentation. The name means "holy water." (7.7 percent abv)

7 Sans Nom: This is an even stronger Belgian Tripel. It is also a little darker in color than Eau Bénite, with even spicier yeast notes. The name means "nameless." I call it great. (9.0 percent abv)

8 Quelque Chose: This is a wonderful, sweet, spicy cherry beer, intended to be mulled. The recipe for this beer was inspired by one of my all-time favorite brews, Liefmans Glčhkriek, but Quelque Chose is even darker, stronger, and fruitier. The brewers soak the cherries in a bitter beer for several months before blending them with another beer made with highly roasted malts. Following the recommended procedure, I served mine warm, in a coffee cup, after 90 seconds in the microwave. The result was delicious. The name means "something." It surely is. (8.0 percent abv)

These are all definitely beers worth seeking.

MY BELGIAN BEER EXPERIENCE by Kelly Ivors

Last summer I experienced a lucky coincidence. My work as a mushroom science student took me to an international meeting in the Netherlands. Belgium borders the Netherlands to the south, so instantly I knew where I would be sight seeing: Belgium of course! Belgium is well-known for its beer. At one time in the mid 1980s, both Belgium and the Netherlands were promoting themselves in the travel world as "Het Bierland" (the beer country). The idea that tourists were "only here for the beer" was not really an insult. What other country can offer more than 450 varieties of beer?

Belgium is the land of glorious beer. No one, not even the Germans (been there too!) or the Dutch, make a better brew. Hundreds of different brands are produced in this small country, and there is a fantastic range of styles, tastes, and strengths (up to 12%!) available. The main claim to fame of the Belgian brewing industry is twofold: classic Pilsner beers of the highest quality, for which there is the greatest local demand; and a series of other beers, including Abbey and Trappist ales, Lambics, White Beers, Belgian ales, "Saisons," and other special brews. The most famous independent producers in Belgium are the five Trappist monastic breweries: Westmalle, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, and Westvleteren.

Esters, alcohols, acetaldehyde, and phenolic compounds contribute to the distinct flavor of Belgian beer. In my opinion, it's the yeast strains that make Belgian beer so distinct. Belgian brewers yeasts have unique characteristics involving increased phenol production (aromatic alcohols), attenuation (some Belgian yeast strains, like the old Saisons, only attenuate 50%), and flocculation (Belgian yeast strains do not flocculate: Belgian yeast cells are usually smaller, with less clusters in comparison to other brewing yeasts).

Now that we know why Belgian beer is so special, it's time to mention the various places to visit for the best beer experiences. The population of Belgium is divided into two cultural groups, the French-speaking Walloons of the southern provinces - known as Wallonia - and the Flemish-speaking Flemings to the north. If you go to Belgium and don't have the luxury of driving all over the country in search of beer, it may help to know what is close. If you find yourself in Brussels and relying on taxis or rail for transportation, go for Lambics. All the producers are clustered in that area. Brown ales could also conceivably be within range. If you are near the borders of France or the Netherlands, or in the province of Namur, there may be a Trappist abbey near you. The provinces of West Flanders, East Flanders, and Brabant are rich in a variety of styles. If you are in Liege or the province of Limburg, there are a few options but mostly local Pilsners are what you will find. You may want to just pick out your favorite Belgian beer styles, and plan your travels accordingly. Amazing beer is incredibly cheap, so take advantage of the currency conversion rate.

My experiences were limited to Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent. Due to lack of space, I will only list my favorite 3 pubs / breweries in each town. Unfortunately, it is not possible to see all of the pubs / breweries in each locale.

BRUSSELS

Brussels (Bruxelles / Brussel) is the capital of Belgium. It's a big city with a big city atmosphere; it seems to lack the charm of most other Belgian towns I visited. People speak mainly French in this city, so be prepared for confusion if you don't speak French. (My traveling companion accidentally ate horsemeat in Brussels because he couldn't read the menu!)

My favorite café: Bier Circus (89 Rue de l'Enseignement in the city center). Number of beers: 300. Right next to the concert hall.

Most interesting café: Toone (6 Impasse Schuddevelde in the city center). Number of beers: 40. This all-wooden café offers puppet shows with professional puppeteers!

Café with best selection: Chez Moeder Lambic (in St Gilles, south of center at Savoiestraat 68, 1060). Number of beers: 800!!! You could camp here for a week.

If you visit Brussels, you must stop by Cantillon brewery (rue Gheude 56). Only lambics are brewed here. What a surprise to see the cobwebs in this place. They don't want to upset the wild yeast strains, hence the microclimate is important. And of course, you can't miss Manneken Pis! Manneken Pis is a 5-minute walk from the city center. It's a rather small statue of a little boy "pissing." The story goes that he saved the town by pissing on a fire.

BRUGES

Bruges (Brugge) was my FAVORITE Belgian city. Impressively preserved and cozy, this is a favorite European weekend destination. I liked it because English was spoken everywhere, and French was not.

Staminee De Garre (1De Garre) was one of the better cafés in Bruges. The beer list is expensive, but impressive and the atmosphere is "thoroughly civilized." They even commission for special beers (spiced triple) to be made under the name. Number of beers: 127.

't Brugs beertje (5 Kemelstraat) is noted as one of the finest beer cafés in the world. Classical music, candlelight, and rickety tables. Number of beers: 250.

Brasserie Erasmus (35 Wollestraat) overlooks a famous canal. Lots of drunk Brits in this place - must be a good sign. Number of beers: 125.

After too many beers, the Begijnhof (nunnery) is particularly attractive.

GHENT

The center of tourism in the providence of East Flanders is Ghent (Gand / Gent). It is built on the Rivers Leie and Schelde. It's a mess of a city, but it has spectacular architecture and a central position on the rail networks. It's not hard to get there. There is probably a greater density of ale breweries in East Flanders than anywhere else in the world. However, Ghent is not the sort of city you can see in a day or enjoy easily. Make sure to spend at least a few days in this area to soak it up (beer) properly. The main problem is absence of city planning. Warning! If you get drunk in Ghent, it may be difficult to locate your exact position. I learned this by error.

Den Trollekelder (17 Bij St Jacobs 17) or "Trolls' Cellar" offers 25 cheeses, and 4 types of bread on their first floor, without compromising beer selection. Number of beers: 140.

De dulle griet (50 Vrijdagmarkt) is aimed at younger drinkers. It's a good place to meet a nice French boy. Number of beers: 250.

De Hopduvel (10 Rokerelsstraat), aka "Hop Devil," is a half-hour walk from the city center. Number of beers: 180. Beers include Stropken, created originally for the warehouse and pub, Cantillon, and a selection of deceased and ancient brews.

I miss Belgium already! I didn't even mention their famous chocolate, seafood (mussels), waffles, and Flemish frites (fries). For those of you beer enthusiasts planning on visiting Belgium, the two best publications (in my opinion) are: "The Great Beers of Belgium" by Michael Jackson (1998); and "The Good Beer Guide to Belgium and Holland" by Tim Webb (1999). I particularly enjoyed the latter as a travel guide.

Also, a great web site / travel guide to visit is: http://belgianstyle.com/mmguide/locate/locate01.html

Hoppy traveling!

INTERNATINAL BEER NEWS

Beer Drinker Fined for Urinating on Woman's Leg
February 8, 2001

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) An intoxicated German beer drinker who urinated on the leg of a woman student in the middle of a crowded Oktoberfest beer tent was fined $600 by a Munich court on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old man told the court he had drunk two liters of beer and suddenly "felt an urgent need to relieve himself" and had tried to do it in "in an inconspicuous way." "I didn't mean to hit anyone," he said.



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