December 1995

President's Corner by Lee Smith

The November meeting was held at Frank Bretl and Ann Reiling 's house and was attended by 16 stout souls who negotiated a rather steep (for me) hillside to get to the house. It was worth the effort, though, and we had a really good meeting. Thanks, Frank and Ann, for having us, and good luck toward the completion of your new house.

The first order of business was the election of officers for 1996. Your "guiding lights" for next year are Lee smith, president; Bill Bolen , vice president; and Mark Taratoot , secretary/editor. (A special thanks to Mark for taking over this most important function!)

Dave Wolf gave a report on the Christmas party coming up on December 20. Details should be elsewhere in this issue. Michael Villiardos offered to host the January 17 meeting and Art Smoot had previously agreed to be our host on February 21.

"RAIN OR SHINE ON DECEMBER NINE!" -- the litter patrol will descend on our favorite stretch of highway 20. Volunteers are: Herb Fredricksen , Ron Hall, Jeff Tobin, Ted Manahan , Rob Robinson, Stephanie Low, Jennifer Crum , and me (refreshments to follow). See you at Ted and Chuchang 's on the 20th .

Solstice Party by Dave Wolf

NEWS FLASH !!! NEWS FLASH !!! Once again, the HOTV will be having their annual Christmas Party and All Around Holidaze Blast. Since NOT ONE OF YOU DOGS has contacted me with suggestions or offers of help (Home -752-8402 or Work - 715-5333) I pledge to make the "Name The Commercial Brew" even harder than last time! Current plans are for a crack video team to record the evenings events, in all of it's glory! Be forewarned. We'll supply plates, cups, and most everything. If you plan on having a beer or two, please work on car pooling and designated drivers.

Please remember to bring: Pot luck food - Don't be skimpy. We'll all notice what you bring!

Beer donations for the Ring Toss Questions for the Trivia contest (answers too!) Donations for prizes. Just about anything will do! Beer We might run out, you know!

Here are the current stats:

Wednesday, December 20, 1995, at 6:00 PM

Ted Manahan's luxuries mountain top retreat, located in beautiful N. Albany, OR. The official address is 1440 N. Albany Rd. We will have balloons and stuff to try and mark the rather tricky entrance.

From Corvallis -
Take Hwy 20 towards Albany. Turn left on N. Albany Rd. N. Albany Rd. is the first traffic light coming from Corvallis, into Albany. Go 0.9 miles. You go past the railroad tracks, past Thorton Lake, past the North Albany Middle School, and past Quarry road. Just as you start to go up a little hill, you will see the driveway on the left. Take the long and winding communal drive way up about 200 yards. The house is at the very end of the driveway, on top of the hill.

From Albany (and other I-5 places) -
Take the Albany exit (Highway 20) and follow the signs to Corvallis. After going through Albany, you will cross the bridge over the Willamette and head out of town. Turn right at the econd traffic light onto N. Albany Rd. Go 0.9 miles. You go past the railroad tracks, past Thorton Lake, past the North Albany Middle School, and past Quarry road. Just as you start to go up a little hill, you will see the driveway on the left. Take the long and winding communal drive way up about 200 yards. The house is at the very end of the driveway, on top of the hill.

6:00 - 7:00 - NAME THE COMMERCIAL BREW This year we're doing it first, while the taste buds are fresh. We don't want to hear any more of that whining we had to tolerate last year! This will start ON TIME, (ed. note: yeah, right, Dave) so you late wankers practice your excuses now! ("I could have gotten ALL of those, f only I'd been there!") We're saving lots of video tape for this one.
7:00 - 8:00 - POT LUCK - We'll supply paper plates and plastic. Cool environmentally sound folks will bring their own set of stuff.
8:00 - 8:30 - BEER AND CHOCOLATE TASTING - Just deserts brought back by popular demand!

Meeting Schedule

There is no December meeting as Heart of the Valley will be having our annual solstice party on December 20. Please refer to the article you just read for information and directions.

January 17: Michael Villiardos hosts. The address is 513 Kings Blvd. in Corvallis. This is the funny triangle shaped yard nearest the intersections of Kings Blvd, Tyler, and 19th Streets.

February 21: Art Smoot hosts. The address and directions will be in next months newsletter.

Style Update

The beer style of the month for December will be Beer that goes with chocolate. Dave Wolf will be presenting this encore presentation at the solstice party on the 20th.

The Beer style of the month from October was hard cider. Since then, I have found another commercially available cider that is really worth trying. It is Woodchuck and is made in Vermont. Two styles are available at Supperette Market in Corvallis (next to Bombs Away Cafe); amber and dark and dry. If you like cider, or think you might like cider, TRY THIS ONE!!!

Beer style for January.... There will be one, but what will it be. Suggestions are always welcome!

A Homebrewers Introduction to Scotch Whiskey

by Ron Hall
On my recent vacation to Britain, I was surprised to realize my quest for knowledge of single malt Scotch whiskey exceeded my interest in beer. I have always been a Scotch fan, but my knowledge of Scotch varieties and the distilling process was very limited. I am happy to report that my knowledge in these areas has increased significantly as a result of my trip.

As a homebrewer, I was amazed at the similarities that Scotch whiskey distilling has to brewing. Basically, Scotch whiskey IS distilled beer, without the hops. While Scotch drinking is enormously popular all over England and Scotland, I had to travel to the picturesque town of Pitlochry in the center of Scotland to tour my first distilleries.

Our first tour began at the tiny Edradour distillery, located in a beautiful little glen 3 miles east of Pitlochry. Edradour boasts that it is the "smallest Scotch distillery in the world", mostly for marketing reasons, although it is likely true. The entire distillery fits in 3 small barns, and the cooling water is provided by a stream running alongside the buildings. They have added a good-sized visitor center and gift shop to capitalize on Pitlochry's tourism.

The distilling process begins by mashing and sparging a batch of beer wort, without any hops, and with a fair amount of peat smoked malt. Unlike brewing, the sparged wort is sent directly to the fermentation vessel without boiling. During the tour, we were told that the wort ferments to approximately 8% alcohol in JUST 2 DAYS. I don't know how they get it to ferment this fast, but they use a special whiskey yeast and plenty of it. The fermented wort is distilled twice. The first distillation concentrates the alcohol content from 8% to 25%, and the second distillation concentrates it from 25% to 75%. The still is nothing more that a boiling kettle with a top on it, that feeds a tube that is chilled. As the wort is heated to the around the boiling point of alcohol (78.5 deg C or 171 deg F), more alcohol than water is boiled off the wort, and hopefully condenses out in the chiller. he "top" of the boiling kettle is actually a tall onion shaped tower, so that most of the water and impurities will fall back into the kettle instead of passing on into the chiller and condensing out.

So distilling alcohol is the EASY part. Making something that TASTES GOOD is the HARD part. The 75% alcohol is now placed into oak barrels that used to hold either sherry or bourbon. These barrels impart much of the flavor and color to scotch. Over the 10 years or more that scotch is in the barrel, it will gradually turn from crystal clear alcohol to a wonderful golden elixir. It will also lose 2% alcohol per year through the walls of the barrel (they call this "the angels' share"). This will bring it down to its serving strength of 40-45% alcohol. Unlike wine, scotch does not improve with age once it is removed from the barrel and bottled.

Now before you run out and buy some hardware to make a still, I should remind you that private distillation is highly illegal in all 50 states. But if you do have the patience and lawlessness to try to make some scotch, save me a wee dram in 10 years or so. I don't even have the patience to make lagers.

What's in Your Beer?

The following ingredients are approved by the FDA for use in beer. These are only the adjuncts approved as natural and artificial flavors. Other adjuncts are allowed for other purposes.

Benzyl propionate, borneol, calcium chloride, citral, citric acid, citronellol, cis-3-hexanol, cognac oil, corn syrup, ethyl acetate, ethyl acetoacetate, ethyl alcohol, ethyl butyrate, ethyl oenanthate, ethyl propionate, ethyl vanillin, ginger, ginsing extract, glycerin or glycerol, grapefruit oil, hexanal, hexanol, isoamyl acetate, isoamyl alcohol, isobutyl alcohol, isopulegol, jasmine oil, lactic acid, lactose, lemon oil, licorice, lime oil, malic acid, menthol, methyl anthranilate, monosodium glutamate, nutmeg, orange flowers, propyl alcohol, quassia extract, quillaia, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, stryalyl acetate, sucrose, sucrose otaacetate, tartaric acid, undecalatone, yerba santa, yucca mohave.

WOW! I guess that's what they mean when they say no additives! Better keep brewin' your own. Hey, where can I get MY hands on some isopulegol? Sounds like a ---Trademarked name Dr. B**r removed at the request of Jay Hersh--- session to me.