The latest trials, tribulations, and thoughts from the club you know and love.
  • 06/11/2013 11:34 PM | Anonymous

    So I had a plan on what to write this month and then suddenly things changed. Hopefully you’ve heard the news from other sources but one of our members, John Huck has passed away.

    John was a very active member of the homebrewing community and was a member of at least 3 clubs I can think of off the top of my head. The first time I remember meeting John, he was running the Pacific Northwest regional of the National Homebrewing Contest. Someone told him that I ran it for the 2 years before him and the first question I remember him asking me was “what did I get myself into?” After giving him the rundown I knew he was the type of guy who would take charge and do a great job running the contest. I think that everyone that participated in judging that year could say we were not disappointed with his effort. He was just that type of guy, very approachable, very knowledgeable and did a great job thinking things through.

    A few years ago John won the Fall Classic. As part of the grand prize he won the chance to brew at Hopworks and created a beer called Huckster IPA.

    Hopworks has generously decided to re-brew The Huckster IPA will have a release party on Wed June 19th at around 5PM. A Celebration of John's Life will also take place on this evening at Hopworks. Details will follow regarding the celebration as they are solidified.

    Hopworks has generously made this beer to help support John's family in their time of need and to honor John's memory as a valued and respected member of the PDX homebrewing community. Please come out and raise a glass to John's memory and join in the Celebration of Life that will follow.  All funds raised will be given to the John Huck Memorial Fund. If you would like to make a donation to this memorial fund, a PayPal link to the fund has been setup for easy online donations.

    Our next meeting will be FH Steinbart on June 13 at 7pm.  The education portion of our meeting will cover Sour Ales. Our style program for the month will be Weizen/Weissbier and we will once again have prizes for the best beers.  We also have 3 taps on our club jockey box open, so if you’re brining beer to the meeting and would like to put it on the jockey box please let me know so I can reserve a spot for you. Finally for our food we will be doing Tacos, so if you want to bring something to accompany that, please contact our Burgermeister, Josh Huerta.


    -Chris Hummert


    Oregon Brew Crew

  • 05/27/2013 10:09 PM | Deleted user
    Sit down, have a beer, and catch-up on club business.  
  • 05/25/2013 11:25 AM | Deleted user

    Mystery SMaSH

    SMaSH 9 – Pacifica

    Paul Johnson and Mark Glasby selected Pacifica as the mystery hop for SMaSH 9.

    This SMaSH was brewed by volunteer Bret Muth. Thank you Bret!

    The membership was able to plow through 5 gallons of the Mystery SMaSH in record time. However we only had eight forms turned in and only five of those had the hop profile filled in. With this low number of results we will need to change the program or stop it altogether.

    We didn’t have any winners for Mystery SMaSH 9.

    Thank you to the following five people would filled out the hop profile (descriptions) and turned in their forms for Mystery SMaSH 9. It is appreciated.

    • ·         Tom Bowden
    • ·         Warren
    • ·         Dean Ehnes
    • ·         Joey Espinosa
    • ·         Tim Brinson

    There were 21 guesses for the hop and 19 descriptions filled out. Checkout the graphs and data on the Education Page.

    Some of the popular hop guesses were.

    East Kent Golding - 2 guesses
    Nelson Sauvin - 2 guesses

    The most popular descriptor categories were:

    Citrus - 4
    Small Fruit - 4
    Tropical Fruit – 3

    The standout descriptions were:

    Orange – 2
    Grape – 2

    SMaSH 10

    Steve Howard and Dean Reiner (winners of SMaSH 8) have selected the mystery hop for Mystery SMaSH 10, to be served at the 2013 June meeting.

    Brian Haslip volunteered to brew this SMaSH. Thank you Brian!

  • 05/05/2013 8:29 PM | Anonymous member
    Wow, we've done a lot this last month! I'm going to try and squeeze this all into one article, looking back on what's happened, and a heads up on what's coming up.

    Breaking News: Club-Only Competition Program Cancelled.
    It's with mixed emotion that I share with the club the AHA's recent announcement that with conclusion of the 2012-2013 season, the Club-Only Competitions will discontinue. Citing multiple reasons, and a new direction for club awards, the AHA made this announcement just this last week. Clubs will still be recognized as "Homebrew Club of the Year" by the AHA at the National Homebrewers Conference, however points towards this honor will be solely based on brewers placing in the NHC competitions. 

    I have been discussing this with the OBC board, been in touch with other clubs, and have opened discussions on the AHA forums soliciting interest in continuing this competition in a new format, however all of this is very new, and we're going to have to see where things go over the summer.

    Heart of Cascadia Wrapped Up.
    Thank you to everyone who entered and volunteered to make this new little competition such a success. We had 70 entries, with 13 advanced to Best of Show (BOS). BOS judges Danny Connors, John Foyston, and Abram Goldman-Armstrong narrowed it down to two excellent entries, and then selected Daniel LeVievre of Beaverton as the winner. Daniel will be working with Danny Connors of Buckman Brewery to spin up 15bbl that we can enjoy this summer. Congratulations to OBC member Bruce Prior for a great showing as runner-up.

    We are still looking for pubs to carry the CDA. Please help your club by talking to your favorite watering holes to see if they'd like to carry a keg of this very special beer. Contact for more details. Release will be in June.

    Recent wins:
    Congratulations to recent OBC members for placing in the 2013 Oregon Garden Classic:
    • Tim Gazdziak: 1st in English Pale, 1st in American Ale, 2nd in Specialty
    • Jason Barker: 1st in Amber Hybrid, 1st in Specialty
    • Ted Assur: 3rd in IPA

    OBC v. BEERS Update:
    Although the Eight Seconds of Froth date is May 11, the organizers set aside May 4th as our special IPA judging day. The competition received 40 IPA entries, including 12 from each club. Expect results to be available on the 11th for round 1, the IPA challenge. I wanted to share this little bit with you form the competition organizers:

    "Our IPA judging session lineup looks more like a BOS judging round at NHC---all our 4 Wyoming BJCP judges and a few other senior judges from Nebraska and northern Colorado are expected to be at our special IPA judging session tomorrow afternoon--our IPA session already has one G Master, 2 Master, a National, 3 Certified judges, one professional brewer judge and an equal number less experienced/Novice judges."

    Keep in mind this brew-off has two rounds. The style for the second round has been selected, and we are looking for OBC members to sign up to brew one of the more challenging styles: Pilsner. Please contact or just talk to me at the meeting if you're interested.

    Style Competition Program:
    Please be sure to bring your IPA to May's meeting for sharing and/or judging. June SCP will be the Weissbier and Wiezen. Now (early May) is a great time to be brewing these, and they are really good summer beers.  The Style Competition Program will continue in July with Session Beers (OG < 1.040), extending our theme of great summer quaffs. Remember that if you (like me) haven't yet made a Belgian Strong with the yeast from the April meeting, these need some time to mature, I would get on that (hint hint, self). 

    When To Brew:
    If you're looking for other ideas on what to be brewing, frankly I am, too: The CoC cancellation rather changes things up. We had some great ideas come up at our last board meeting around entering a few different competitions as a club. Ideas included: Entering an Alaskan competition (save on shipping costs by entering all together), entering a particular style competition (e.g., 2013 German Fest Stein Challenge). If you have some ideas you'd like us to consider, please shoot me a note at

    2013 OBC Fall Classic:
    Last but not least, this year's OBC Fall Classic will be held Saturday, October 26th. I'm still looking at locations to host the event, and welcome your suggestions. More importantly, if you're interested in joining the volunteer team this year, please make sure to get in touch with me: we're starting to work on the event now, and could certainly use a few folks to join in for a few hours a week. 


    Ted Assur
    OBC Competition Chair
  • 05/05/2013 1:08 PM | Anonymous

    So I’m writing this month after reading the announcement from Steinbarts that they had their largest AHA big brew day in history. The parking lot was jam packed full of brewers with their systems and people who wanted to learn how to homebrew. It’s exciting to be part of a community that is so passionate about their hobby and does a great job with helping newcomers learn more about it and become better brewers.

    With that in mind if you see a new member at a meeting, please take the time to go up and talk to them. Ask them how long they have been brewing, find out if they are all grain or extract, ask how often they brew and find out what they’ve been up too. Its little things like this that keeps new members coming back to the meetings month to month and feeling welcomed. I know it’s easy to talk to the people you know, but haven’t seen in a month (I’m very guilty of this myself) but just take the chance and talk to one new person this month. I know we’ll all be better if we do.  

    With Big Brew finished is seems that festival season is starting out in full force. We just had the Oregon Garden Beer Fest, Cinco de Micro, Sasquatch Brew Fest and in just a few weeks we will have the North American Organic Brew Fest, Portland International Beer Fest, Oregon Brewers Fest, Hopmadness, September fest. I’m sure I’ve missed a few more in there.

    Our next meeting will be at FH Steinbart on Thursday May 9th at 7pm. Blake Crosby from Crosby Hop Farms will be coming out to talk to us about growing hops and answer any of your hop related questions. Our style program for the month will be IPA’s and we will once again have prizes for the best beers.  We also have 3 taps on our club jockey box open, so if you’re brining beer to the meeting and would like to put it on the jockey box please let me know so I can reserve a spot for you.

    Hopefully you’re following the blog to keep up on the latest club information. We’ve had a number of articles posted there since the last time we sent out a newsletter. In addition there are a number of competitions that are coming up in the next few months that will be announced there too. It really is the easiest and fastest way for us to get information to the membership. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the website, please let us know. We really appreciate constructive feedback.


    -Chris Hummert


    Oregon Brew Crew 

  • 05/03/2013 8:58 PM | Anonymous
    The next OBC meeting will be on Thursday May 9th, 7pm at FH Steinbarts. 

    Education Topic: HOPS!!!!!
    Blake Crosby from Crosby Hop Farms is coming out to talk about growing hops

    Jockey Box:
    If you're willing to bring beer to the meeting we have a jockey box available members to serve in. But we only have 4 taps available. We have one that will be used by our SMaSH project so that leaves 3 available to members. If you would like to reserve one of the taps, please email Chris Hummert 

    Style Competition Program Continues: IPAs
    Bring some IPA for our little competition, or just to share. Aaron will once again have some great brewer's prizes for best beers. HBOY points will be awarded. if you want to enter or judge: 
    All members that brew an IPA and are interested in entering the SCP competition, please bring a bottle and be there by 7pm. We'll check in entries immediately, and get them judged before the business section. 

    All Active Members and Guests are invited.

    We do accept membership renewal payments online.  To save time at the check in table on meeting night, you may log in to your personal account at and renew from your profile page.  If you are having problems logging into your account you may be using a different email address that what you have registered, or may need to do a password reset.  Please don't hesitate to let us know if you need assistance.

    FH Steinbart Co
    234 Southeast 12th Avenue
    Portland, OR 97214-1321

    View Larger Map
  • 04/28/2013 11:31 AM | Anonymous
    Greetings all!

    On Wednesday, April 17th, the Widmer Collaborator Competition commenced. The Collaborator Committee extends a hearty thank you to all OBC members who deemed Collaborator worthy to share their best brews with! Thank you to all of the judges who came out and helped judge the comp. They were comprised of local brewers, beer bloggers, and other industry professionals. There were many great beers to taste, and they accepted the challenge and completed the task handily.

    From 36 total entries, the field was narrowed to nine beers for the final table; these were judged by...
    Rob Widmer (you know Rob)
    Jacob Leonard of Breakside Brewing (former brewer at Widmer and Walking Man)
    Abram Goldman-Armstrong (past OBC president, beer writer, 107ist, Widmer's Green & Gold is his recipe, etc.)
    Scott Sanders (past OBC president and historian, past Collaborator winner, and new addition to the Collaborator Committee)

    ...a qualified crew.

    At the end of the back and forth, blood and tears, and finally over a pile of zombie (beer) corpses, the arbitrary number of winners were divulged:

    Dean Ehnes and John Lee (first time winners) with a Lavendar Licorice Smoked Baltic Porter
    Dave and Mandy Hayes (second win!) with a Rye Lager
    Mark Easton (THIRD win!) with a German Pilsner
    Jenn McPoland and Jeremie Landers (first time winners) with an IPA

    Congratulations to all Collaborator winners! Lab analysis will be performed on their beers, and the winners will brew their winning beer with Widmer, when seasonally feasible, for release on tap at many fine local establishments (brewers will be contacted as the calendar allows). Each winner will also enjoy a release party for their beer and be presented by Rob with a Collaborator logo'ed Carhartt jacket! Not bad for homebrew, eh?

    The Collaborator Committee looks forward to next year's competition. It's never too soon to start crafting your best brew for submission next year, so get on with the brewing!


    The Collaborator Committee
    (Rob, Noel, Lisa, Jeremie, Jenn, and Scott)
  • 04/23/2013 5:15 PM | Deleted user
    Check out the April meeting minutes from Columbia River Brewing:
  • 04/07/2013 8:07 PM | Anonymous

    I want to start this month off with giving a big thanks to everyone who volunteered to staff our booth at the Spring Beer and Wine Fest.  Without you volunteering your time at events like these, our club wouldn't be successful. I know that the tokens we give you back for beer doesn't come close to what your time is worth, but for that I give you a heartfelt thanks.

    Speaking of volunteering, the club is looking for people to come down to Steinbarts on May 4th to demo brewing on AHA Big Brew Day. We will need you to bring your brewing gear and be willing to answer questions from people interested in trying out homebrewing. Steinbarts has offered to pay for a 5 gallon recipe, and if you’re doing a 10 gallon recipe then the Brew Crew will pay for the other 5 gallons if you bring those 5 gallons to a club meeting. All you need to do is to send your recipe to Steinbarts and they will have it packaged up and ready for you when you arrive on the 4th. For more info on this event, please check out the blog (in a day or so after the newsletter) and you will find all the details.

    This month’s meeting is on TUESDAY April 9th at 6:30pm. Make sure you note the TUESDAY part of that previous sentence.  We will be meeting at:

    Columbia River Brewing Company

    1728 NE 40th Ave

    Portland, OR

    The OBC will be providing 2 pints and some appetizers at the meeting. Brewer Rick Burkhardt will be speaking about the brewery, discussing educational topics and giving tours.

    Remember that our brand new Heart of Cascadia competition entries are due on April 12th. Please make sure to register and get your entries in before the deadline. Ted has mentioned that we have entries that have come in from all over the US. I want to make sure we have as many of our members enter it to make it as successful as possible. Plus it would just make us look all that much better when one of our members win J

    -Chris Hummert


    Oregon Brew Crew 


  • 04/07/2013 5:28 PM | Deleted user
    By Aaron Hansen

    Hop of the month:


     Last month’s SMaSH hop was Sorachi Ace, correctly identified by Paul Johnson and Mark Glasby.

    History:Developed by the Sapporo Breweries in Japan for use in their breweries, Sorachi Ace was released in 1984 and grown mostly in Japan and China. The hop is named for the Sorachi Subprefecture in Japan where it was originally grown. This hop is a crossbreed of Brewer’s Gold and Saaz.

    Selection:Sorachi Ace has a bold lemon aroma/flavor, with a hint of dill, oak and coconut.

    Brewer’s notes:The high alpha make this a great bittering hop, but will also be at home as a late addition or dry hop to impart the characteristic lemon note.

    Technical data:
    HPLC & Oil Composition (Measured within 6 months of harvest, stored at 0 ºC)

    Alpha Acids

    10 - 16 %

    Beta Acids


    6 – 7 %



    23 % of Alpha Acids

    Total Oil


    2.8 ml oil per 100 gram cone weight



    Cascadian Dark Ale (aka India Dark Ale)

    IBUs 60-90+

    Color: 40+ SRM

    OG: 1.060-1.075 (15-18 P)

    FG: 1.008-1.016 (2-4 P)

    Abv 6.0-7.75%

    This April is CDA month here at the OBC as we prepare and brew for the new OBC competition “The Heart of Cascadia” (which is coming up fast on April 20).

    Aroma: Prominent NW hop aromas: citrus, pine, resinous, sweet malt, hints of roast, toast, chocolate malt, and/or Carafa back-up the hops. Dry hopped character is often present. No diacetyl, esters generally range from low to none. Though the resinous, piney, and citrus hop aroma generally comes from NW American hop varieties, hops of other origins may be used to achieve this character.

    Appearance: Deep brown to black with ruby highlights. Head varies from white to tan/khaki, and is generally long-lasting.

    Flavor: A balance between piney, citrus-like and spicy NW hop flavor, bitterness, caramel malt, and roast, chocolate, or Carafa-type malts. Roast character ranges from subtle to medium. Black malt is acceptable at low levels, but should not be astringent. Intense ashy, burnt character is not appropriate. Caramel malt is acceptable at low levels but the finish should be dry. Diacetyl should not be present. Emphasis should be on hop flavor, which when combined with roast/black malts often exhibits a minty, spicy character.


    Mouthfeel: Light to medium, hop bitterness and tannins from roast malts combine to create a dry mouthfeel. Resinous character from high levels of dry hopping may create a tongue coating sensation.

    Overall Impression: A highly-hopped, medium-bodied dark ale, similar in many ways to a strong version of American IPA, except that it incorporates dark malts and signature NW hop varieties, sometimes in conjunction with fruity esters. Bitterness and body is much closer to an IPA balance than a strong ale or American stout. Finish is a nuanced interplay of hop and roast bitterness to create a dry quenching impression. Alcohol can accentuate the roast character in stronger versions.

    History: A style that came to prominence on the Northwest Coast of North America in the early

    21st Century. Northwest hops play key flavor roles, balanced with malt, roast malts give color and flavor, but body should be reminiscent of an IPA, not heavy like a porter or stout. The style celebrates the hops of Cascadia, the Pacific Northwest, but is commonly brewed in other regions.

    Comments: Some brewers prefer to cold steep the dark grains to achieve a very dark beer without the tannin contribution of adding the grains to the mash. The use of Sinnamar to enhance color is common. The interaction of dark, roasted malts and grains with NW hop character creates a unique spicy flavor component described as minty, or rosemary like.

    Ingredients: Pale or pilsner malt, some mid-range caramel malt in a supporting role, Carafa type malts, both regular and debittered, small amounts of chocolate malt, roast barley, and black patent malts can also be used. Northwest American hop varieties, or hops with similar characteristics (eg New Zealand), for flavor and aroma additions. Heavy dry-hopping is common.

    Classic Examples: Phllips Black Toque, Rogue Brewer, Hopworks Secession CDA, Widmer

    W’10 Pitch Black IPA, Barley Brown's Turmoil, Lucky Lab Black Sheep, Three Creeks 8 Second

    IBA, Block 15 Benton Brigade, Stone 11th Anniversary (Sublimely Self-Righteous) Ale, Walking

    Man Big Black Homo, Rogue Black Brutal, Laughing Dog Dogzilla, Southern Tier Iniquity

    Here’s a sample recipe to get you started


    Widmer W-10 Pitch Black IPA clone 
    (5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
    OG = 1.064  FG = 1.014
    IBU = 65   SRM = 30  ABV = 6.5%

    10.5 lbs. (4.8 kg) 2-row pale malt
    1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) caramel malt (10 °L) 
    12 oz. (0.34 kg) Weyermann dehusked Carafa® II malt (450 °L) 
    10 oz. (0.28 kg) Briess special roast malt (50 °L)  
    12.8 AAU Warrior hops (75 mins) (0.8 oz./23 g of 16% alpha acid)
    1.4 AAU Cascade hops (2 mins) (0.25 oz /7.1 g of 5.8% alpha acid)
    12 AAU Warrior hops (2 mins) (0.75 oz /21 g of 16 % alpha acid) 
    0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Warrior hops (dry hops)
    0.50 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hops) 
    ½ tsp. yeast nutrient (15 mins)
    ½ tsp. Irish moss (30 mins)
    White Labs WLP001 (California Ale), Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) or Fermentis US-05 yeast  
    0.75 cup (150 g) corn sugar (for priming)

    Step by Step
    This is a single step infusion mash using 10.5 lbs. (4.8 kg) of 2-row pale malt to replace the liquid malt extract in the first recipe. Mix the crushed grains with 4.0 gallons (16 L) of 161 °F (72 °C) water to stabilize at 150 °F (66 °C) for 60 minutes. Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) water. Collect approximately 6.5 gallons (25 L) of wort runoff to boil for 75 minutes. The 75-minute Warrior hop addition is reduced to 0.8 oz. (23 g) (12.8 AAU) to allow for the higher utilization factor of a full-wort boil. The remainder of this recipe and procedures are the same as the extract with grains recipe.

    Announcement: The return of the SCP

    We’re bringing back an OBC tradition – the Style Competition Program. The SCP is an OBC-only competition that takes place at in-meetings. For each competition we’ll pick a style for you to brew and bring to the meeting. There will be a talk about the style, and your beer will be judged by our BJCP team. You can either bring a bottle or two just for the judging, or a lot more to share with everyone. You get HBOY points for participating and for bringing beer to share.

    The first SCP competition was little different. Not only did we setting the style, we also set the recipe. This was a technical competition focusing on attention to detail. As you remember from Randy Scoby’s presentation in January system efficiency, temperature loss, proper calibration of equipment, effective use of the grain mill and SANITATION are keys to producing great beer.

    The winner of the March SCP was Jacob Strohmaier. His prize for first place was a sweet infrared thermometer with a laser.

    At the April meeting, we’ll be handing out yeast for the September SCP. This is going to be a Belgian Strong brewed with a single strain of yeast. This yeast was grown from a single colony harvested from a bottle using the Westvleteren strain, and propogated to increase the yeast count. If you can’t make it to the April meeting, you can use Wyeast 3787, Trappist High Gravity.


    Upcoming SCP competitions (and when to brew them)


    Make it


    14B American IPA

    Late March 2013



    Early May 2013


    Session Beers

    May/June 2013

    July 2013

    Belgian Strong (Single Strain)

    April 2013

    September 2013

    12C Baltic Porter

    August 2013

    November 2013


    June 2013

    June 2014

    Chemistry Corner


    Phenols are a flavor compound in beer. They are often described as medicinal, clovelike, plastic, or “band-aid” in aroma and flavor. Some beers, especially wheat beers, benefit from a clove-like phenolic presence. They are also a common defect.

    Unwanted phenols in beer are almost always extracted during mashing and sparging due to improper temperature, pH, and amount of sparge water. They can also be produced by wild yeast strains due to improper sanitation.

    Chlorophenols are produced when beer is made using chlorinated water. The chlorine in the water bonds to natural phenols in the wort. They impart a plastic taste, but are easily avoided. If brewing with chlorinated water, use a filter to remove the chlorine or boil the water before use for 15 minutes to get rid of the chlorine.

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