The Herald Trubune
Newsletter of the Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild

"Beer is a mellow drink,
but it keeps you on the run."

-Roy Milton-
The Bartender's Bounce-

Vol. 9, No. 3
March, 1995

In this issue

The Meeting: What's Happening
The Last Meeting
Meeting Schedule
Beer News
Roving Reporter
Competition News
Treasurer's Report
Competition Calendar

Newsletter Editors
Spencer Thomas: 994-0072
Josh Grosse: 769-0906

Meeting Schedule

Date            Where           
Tue, March 14   Bock is Best
Thu, April 13   Pilsner
Tue, May 9      Rauchbier Roundup
Thu, June 15    Porter
Sun, July 16    Beer-BQ,  Weiss is Nice
Thu, Aug 10     Belgian
Tue, Sep 12     Best of Fest    
Thu, Oct 12     Heavy (Barleywine)
Tue, Nov 14     Renowned Brown
Thu, Dec 14     Specialty/spice
Jan, 1996       Pale Ale
Feb, 1996       Stout

The Meeting:
What's Happening

This month, we're back in Ann Arbor, at Jim Rigney's northsidehouse. Jim will be giving a short presentation on cold-filtering, and we'll be judging entries to the AHA Bock is Best club-only competition. We will also be taking entries to be pre-judged for the AHA National Homebrew Competition.

Beer of the Month

Last month, Mike Tomaszewski proposed that we do a "style of the month." Everybody is encouraged to bring their beers in the monthly style, even to brew especially for the meeting. Six months of the year, the style will be determined by the AHA's club-only competitions. Mike picked styles for the remaining months of this year. The styles for upcoming meetings are listed in the meeting schedule, always at the lower right corner of the first page.

This month's style is Bock, to match the AHA club-only Bock is Best competition. It's clearly too late to brew for the meeting, but hopefully you already did for the competition. Bring a bottle to be judged, and a bottle to pass around.


This month, Jim Rigney will be demonstrating his beer filtering system. He's got some beer that's ready to go, so we'll check out what it looks like before & after. If time permits, Mike O'Brien will show us how to use a counter-pressure filler to fill bottles from kegged beer. The program starts about 8:30, and should run until about 9:00, when we will have our (short) business portion.

Volunteers or suggestions for future programs are always welcome. Contact Spencer or bring it up at the meeting.

AHA NHC pre-judging

If you are thinking about entering a beer in the National Homebrew Competition (and do think about it, if you've got some beer you're particularly proud of), you can bring a bottle of it to the March meeting for pre-judging. We'll take them away and judge them before the April meeting. You'll get back an official judging sheet on our beer. Based on that result, you can decide whether you want to enter the beer in the National competition or not.

The point here is not to discourage you from entering, but to give you some feedback as to whether you want to spend your money. Also, we want to encourage the best beers to be entered.

The Last Meeting

Dave West certainly has a good place to hold a meeting. Too bad it's so far from Ann Arbor! The selection of kegged beer and mead in his walk-in cooler is enough to make any brewer drool (and dream).

We tried a "judge table." Several brave brewers set their beer in front of 4 or 5 judges to get our opinion. From the judging side of the table, it was fun. I can't speak for anyone on the other side, but there was quite a crowd.

Lotsa business. Here's some high (or low?) points: The pico-system is at Bill Pfeiffer's (but the propane tank is still at Rolf's--hopefully this will be fixed soon). Call Bill (810-229-0727) to reserve it. Still at the low-low rate of $1/gallon plus replacing the propane you use.

Bill talked about the pending AHA-BJCP split-up. Basically, the AHA wants to do it their own way. Most of us judges are just going to sit back and see what happens, then pick sides when the dust settles.

Tom Dimmer volunteered to drive AHA National Competition entries to Chicago following the April meeting. The club will pick up his expenses (gas, tolls, etc.) Entry info is in the Winter, 1994 issue of Zymurgy. We'll try to have some copies of the poop at the next meeting.

Who brought what?

Again, no list. I'm not sure why. I started one, but it got lost, and never made it back to my house. I sampled lots of good beer, but I only remember a very few at this late date.

Dave West had an amazing fermented maple beverage (so what do you call it?) 5 years old, sweet, and with a real kick! His cherry braggot was very nice, too.

Mike T's friend (I still don't have his name - he told me, but my mind was too foggy to hold it) brought a keg full of hops. Well, it had beer in it, but it was dry-hopped with Cascade hops, which produced the predominant aroma. Great for us hop-heads. He also treated us to a great guitar and vocal rendition of his "homebrew blues."

Beer News


The Ann Arbor Observer reports that the Old German restaurant will be replaced by Grizzly Peak Brewing Co., a new brewpub. We don't know any more than that at this point. Probably by the time you read this, the Old German will be closed, and remodeling will have begun.

The Ann Arbor News reports that Washington St. Station will close, to be transformed into a new brewpub by Matt and Renee Greff. Renee has been attending our BJCP practice sessions. We look forward to their opening.

Celis Sells Out!

The Austin American-Statesman (3/1/95) reports. Reprinted without permission.

Five years ago, Pierre Celis sold his brewery in Belgium to a large brewing company, using the money to start Celis Brewery, Inc. in Austin.

On Tuesday he sold again, handing a majority interest in Celis Brewery Inc. over to Miller Brewing Co., the nation's second-largest brewer behind Anheuser-Busch. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Celis is confident that the partnership will not hurt the quality of his beer.

"The Miller people learned the lesson," he said. "They know you cannot make beer like this in a large brewery."

Celis will get financing to increase production as well as access to Miller's purchasing power, its distribution system and other key resources.

Celis should benefit from "Miller's marketing clout, which is quite substantial," said Michael Schroeder, an analyst at First International Asset Management who follows Philip Morris, Miller's parent company.

Miller also could provide marketing research to help Celis "understand what the consumer wants," said Scott Barnum, general manager of American Specialty/ Craft Beer Co., a Miller subsidiary.

For Miller, Celis' family of Belgian-style beers is a promising prospect for the fast-growing specialty beer market.

Most important, Celis said, he retains control over how the beer is made. "The alliance will allow us to focus on what we do best, which is to produce specialty beers," he said. "I will not make something I don't like."

"Pierre is the man," said Barnum. "We want to build on the success he already has."

Celis, the chief executive officer, founded the brewery in 1992 with his daughter Christine and her husband, Peter Camps.

The alliance's quickest impact will be to increase Celis' production.

Celis shipped 15,000 barrels to 30 states in 1994. With a 16,000-barrels capacity, the company has difficulty meeting demand, said Craig Foster, Celis spokesman.

Miller will add fermentation tanks to the brewery, Foster said. Details on how many tanks or when they will be added have not been finalized.


Alan Van Dyke comments `I like Barnum's quote best, suggesting the Miller can help Celis determine what the consumer wants. Can you say "clear beer?" I thought you could.

`So, there it is. The rumors are substantiated. When you buy a Celis, you're helping out Miller -and- Philip Morris. What joy. This really hurts us in Austin, too, because we love to buy local, & this just won't be the same anymore.

`Anyone care for a Celis White Dog?

`Alan Van Dyke, Austin'

Roving Reporter

Grand Rapids Brewery

Ronald Dwelle, Grand Valley

Our local homebrewski club, through the efforts of our fearless leader Todd Carlson, visited the newest Michigan brewpub, The Grand Rapids Brewery, for lunch and a tour. All other brewery tours I've ever taken have been led by a PR-type who usually knows less than the yeast about brewing. But, we were led by GRBrewery brewmeister himself. (Maybe what follows is old-hat for the technoids, but it was eye-opening for me.)

First impression of the place is all shiny brass and stainless and tiles and squeaky clean. Brewmeister wouldn't talk money, but my guess is a minimum of six-figures and probably more for the brew-room equipment alone (there went my plans to open my own brewpub). Basic equipment was a mash pot (7.5 barrels), a boiler (7.5 barrels), and four fermenting tanks (15 barrels each). All talk was in terms of "barrels" with one barrel equal to ~31 gallons (I might be off on this figure?). I think he said all the equipment came from Canada.

Their mash is a plain, simple infusion mash. Calculate the temp of the grain, heat the water in the boil tank, pump it into the mash tun, so the mash starts at 162deg.. They get about a 5-degree drop during the mash--the tun has zero insulation or jacket. One stir midway with a painted canoe paddle. Brewmeister wasn't the least interested in other types of mashing--matter of efficiency I suspect. Then they recirculate the mash water until the grain bed "sets" (sounded like they moved a lot of water during this part), until they get a clear run off. Water from the boil tank meanwhile is transferred to a hot-water holder, where it drops to about 180deg.. Sparging is from the hot-water holder at 170-180deg., with the wort pumped directly to the boil pot. I think Brewmiester said they use 10 barrels of water to end up with 7.5 barrels of wort. Incidentally, they use straight Grand Rapids city water (nee Lake Michigan) (normally soft), which they feed through a simple filter to de-chlorinate, and then treat with some hardener salts (depending on the type of beer they're making).

Boil is a standard 1-hour, with hop pellets (looked like rabbit food), both during the boil and for finishing at end. Brewmeister said they were going to switch to hop plugs (though I'm not clear about why--couldn't ask questions fast enough).


Out of the boiler through hose, through the neatest damn chiller. This was a compact little finned-radiator-looking device, maybe 15" by 6" by 24" tall, water cooled, and they chill 7.5 barrels (230 gallons) of water from 212 to 70 degrees in 30 minutes! Fins is obviously the way to go for a wort chiller!

Coming out of the chiller, the wort gets aerated by pumping filtered air into it (not oxygen!), and then the wort is pumped from the bottom up into the ferment tank. They pitch the yeast when there's about 1 foot of wort in the bottom of the tank, then keep pumping. Since the ferment tanks hold 15 barrels, they often (depending on type and demand) add a second batch of wort a couple hours later (after another mash and boil), just pumping it in through the bottom of the tank (the yeast is already going by this time, Brewmeister said. He bragged about how active their yeast strain was!)

Interesting about the ferment-- they do only one-tank fermenting (no primary/secondary) and they control the rate of ferment with temperature. Unlike the mash tank, the fermenting tanks are jacketed, and they can pump refrigerant or hot water through the jackets to control temperature of the fermenting wort. I wasn't clear why they did that, except to control the blow-off which I imagine could get pretty spectacular with 400+ gallons perking away. But the Brewmeister described gradually lowering the temperature down to about 50-degrees until the hydrometer tells them fermenting is done; then they quickly lower the temperature to about 35, which causes the yeast to drop out (that's when they recover yeast for re-use). They use only American Ale yeast, and normally recover a couple gallons of it off the bottom of the tank (they drain off trub and some yeast about midway through the ferment). Brewmeister said they had bought new cultures only once since starting about 6 months ago.

7 gallon airlock

Incidentally, for me the best indicator of the size of the operation was their "air lock" (they were fermenting a greenie for St. Patrick's coming up). Their air lock is a 7-gallon carboy filled with water, with a 1" plastic hose stuck down to the bottom. You wouldn't believe the amount of gas 7.5 barrels puts out--it made the carboy dance. Only one of the fermenters had such an airlock--the others they scavenge the gas.

When ferment's done, they pump the beer directly to storage tanks in the cooler, passing it through a humongous diatomaceous filter. Brewmeister said the filtering is just for clearing for appearance sake, and there's enough yeast left in the beer that it would ferment if they'd let it. (they artificially carbonate it, at the tap).

It was interesting to me that there was zero aging at "ale-temperatures." The beer went directly into 15-barrel tanks in the walk-in cooler at ~35-40deg. , and stayed there until needed, as little as 1 week! Depending on demand, the big cooler tanks are run directly to the bar's tap, or sometimes they'll transfer the beer to regular barrels and then to the bar tap. (They had a neat 4-barrel cleaner in the cooler). BTW, they use no bleach for cleaning but instead use some iodine-type thing and something that might have been like B-Bright, and three water rinses (sorry, couldn't ask questions fast enough to get all the details).

Other stuff--Brewmeister said they will not do lagers because lagers occupy the fermenters and storage tanks too long--only ale types. I also didn't know that brew-pubs are limited to 2000 barrels a year (they are expecting to do about 1800-1900 their first year). [Ed note: this is a MI law.] (The 2000 controls the size of the equipment--no sense in getting more or bigger tuns, boil pots, fermenters) Also, brew pubs cannot sell to anyone else--Brewmeister said that they could not even sell beer to other restaurants in their own chain (this pub is owned by Shelde's, with manymanymany restaurants throughout Michigan and maybe nearby states). If they wanted to sell to others or go over 2000 barrels, they would have to get a micro-brewery license, but then they couldn't operate a pub or sell other-people's beers or serve food, [Ed. note: micro can sell food, but not required to] as they do now. Brewmeister, btw, was totally new to brewing, trained during the first two months of operation by working with an expert provided by the equipment seller. Brewmeister was late 20's/ early 30's, and I'm ashamed to say I've forgotten his name (old age is hell), maybe "Harry," (which is why I've been calling him just "Brewmeister"). He was very knowledgeable, though when he found out our fearless leader was a Ph.D. in Chemistry, I think he was a bit intimidated, cautious from then on.

How's the beer?

I sampled five of their beers. The first was sort of like a tasty Bud-clone, which the Brewmeister almost sneered at but said was popular with the yuppies; second was a very very good pale ale called "Thornapple Gold"; third was an amber (can't recall the name--"Amber Something") which was so-so; fourth was a porter which was very good; and fifth was a raspberry beer, interesting and drinkable (I liked, others in the group didn't).

I'll go back.

And if anyone can figure out how to make a finny-wort-cooler on the cheap, let me know.

Competition News

Bock is Best

It's too late to brew a bock for this year's competition, but it's not a bad time to start brewing for next year!

Check out the book, Bock, by Darryl Richman, in the Classic Beer Styles series. It's one of the best in that series. You'll learn about the history of Bock beers, what they should taste, look, and smell like, and how to make them. Although he concentrates on all-grain methods, including the best discussion of the whys and hows of decoction mashing I've seen anywhere, he also includes extract recipes.

Bring a bottle or two for judging. The Bock substyles are, per the AHA:

a. Traditional German Bock Deep copper to dark brown. Medium to full body. Malty sweet character predominates in aroma and flavor with some toasted chocolate malt character. Low bitterness. Low hop flavor, "noble-type" OK. No hop aroma. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl OK. OG 1.066-74, 6-7.5%, 20-30 IBU, 20-30 SRM.

b. Helles (light) Bock Pale to amber. Medium body. Malty sweet character predominates in aroma and flavor. No toasted chocolate malt character. Low bitterness. Low hop flavor, "noble-type" OK. No hop aroma. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl OK. OG 1.066-68, 6-7.5%, 20-35 IBU, 4-10 SRM.

c. Doppelbock Light to very dark; amber to dark brown. Very full body. Malty sweetness evident in aroma and flavor can be intense. High alcoholic flavor. Slight fruitiness and esters OK, but not very desirable. Low bitterness. Low hop flavor, "noble-type" OK. No hop aroma. Low diacetyl OK. OG 1.074-80, 6.5-8%, 17-27 IBU, 12-30 SRM.

d. Eisbock A stronger version of Doppelbock. Deep copper to black. Very alcoholic. Typically brewed by freezing a doppelbock and removing resulting ice to increase alcohol content. OG 1.092-1.116, 8.6-14.4%, 26-33 IBU, 18-50 SRM.

Club-only Schedule

Bock is Best       March 20      
Rauchbier Roundup  May 22        
Weiss is Nice      Aug 14        
Best of Fest       Oct 23        
Renowned Brown     Dec 4         

Judge stuff

Upcoming judging events include the AHA National Homebrew Competition 1st round in Chicago, April 28-30. There will be a car-pool. Others include: Mazer Cup Mead, May 26; Small Beer, June 24; State Fair, August 12 or 19; Taste of the Great Lakes late October; Chicago Real Ale Fest October 13-14.

Small and Tiny

The "small beer" competition has been renamed "Small and Tiny." As a refresher, there will be two prize categories: small (OG 1.035-1.045) and tiny (OG < 1.035).

Scottish Light Ale

The "Scottish Ale" categories tend to be ignored in favor of the "Wee Heavy" strong Scotch ale. Scottish Light is the lightest of these flavorful, malty ales, with an OG in the range of 1.030-1.035. It's an amber-colored, malt-accented, lightly hopped ale, usually with a fair amount of diacetyl (butter) in the aroma. Spencer made this one a year and a half ago, and it got rave reviews from some Scots-folk.

Halloween Light
for 5 gallons 5 lb Pale Ale malt
1 lb light Munich malt
0.5 lb Belgian Special B malt Mash 90 minutes at 155F. Boil 60 minutes. Hopping:
1 oz Goldings (5.4%) for 60 min
1/2oz Goldings for 10 min
OG ~1.035 Ferment with YeastLab Irish Ale.
prime with 1/2c sugar.
FG 1.010

For an extract recipe, replace the pale and Munich malt with 4 lbs of a "golden" extract. Steep the Special B in 1 quart of 160deg. water for 30 minutes, and strain into your pot. If you do a partial boil, increase the first hop addition by about 50% to compensate for the higher boil gravity.

For authenticity, you might want to add about 1 oz of roast barley to both recipes.

Competition Calendar                                                                                      
Competition Name                    Entry Deadline  Contact                                          
4th Southern New York Spring Comp   Mar 16          Ken Johnsen, 718-667-4459 (New York)             
Homebrew Rendezvous                 Mar 16          Jim Anderson, 215-232-6611 (Philly, PA)          
Great Maple Brewoff                 Mar 17          Andy Patrick, (Chicago)         
2nd Greater Wichita Open            Mar 17          Lee Bussy, 316-267-2391 (Kansas)                 
Brewers of South Suburbia (BOSS)    Mar 10-17       Al Korzonas, 708-430-HOPS (Illinois)             
9th Bluebonnet Brewoff              Mar 18          Pat Morrison, 817-383-4399 (Texas)               
Borderline Yeast Infectors HB       Mar 18          Bob Talkiewicz, 607-772-8442 (NY state)          
Club 1st Annual                                                                                      
5th Dukes of Ale Spring Thing       Mar 25          Guy Ruth, 505-294-0302 (New Mexico)              
Green Mountain                      Mar 31          802-660-9007 (Vermont)                           
Evanston                            Apr 2           Chris Nemeth, 708-869-3621 (Illinois)            
Upstate New York HB Assoc.          Apr 12          Tom Kaltenbach,               
AHA National Competition            Apr 14          Zymurgy Winter issue, bring beer to April AABG   
Bidal Society of Kenosha            Apr 15          Carol DeBell, 414-654-2211 (Wisconsin)           
Chili Cookoff and Beer Brewoff      Apr 18          Jana Stevens, 303-241-0070 (Colorado)            
Northern Brewer, Ltd.               Apr 21          612-291-8849 (Minnesota)                         
Big and Huge                        May 6           MHTG, P.O. Box 1365, Madison, WI 53701-1365      
3rd Spirit of Free Beer             May             Delano Dugarm, 703-516-9659 (Wash, DC area)      
4th Mazer Cup Mead Competition      May 8 - 19      Dan McConnell, 313-663-4845                      
Small and Tiny Beer Competition     May 29 - June   Spencer Thomas, 313-994-0072                     
Michigan State Fair                 July 28 - Aug   Hal Buttermore, 313-663-1236                     
Beer and Sweat `95 (keg only)       Aug 12          Tim Thomas, 513-221-3388 (Cincinnati / Ft.       
                                                    Mitchell, Ky.)                                   
Real Ale Fest (keg only)            Early October   More info to come.                               
1995 Capitol District Open          Oct 30          Fred Hardy, 703-378-0329 (Wash, DC area)         
November Classic                    Nov 4           MHTG, Box 1365, Madison, WI.                     

Treasurer's Report

Rolf Wucherer

March, 1995: Starting balance: $652.02. I received 1995 dues of $15 from Chris Cooper, Dave & Charlie Wolfe, Ken Schramm, Ed Brosius, Michael Geyer, Gerald Lenghart, Frank Nagy, Rick Lahousse, Neal Hartshorne, Rolf Wucherer, Jim Rigney, Mark Hogle, Steve Krebs, Mark Guiffrida, Vic & Nancy Gagnon, Paul Philippon, and Larry Dziobak; Mark McKinstry paid $5 since he will be moving soon. Karl Brosius gave me a check, according to my notes, but I can't find it - he'll remain on the list and I'll record his payment when we get the check replaced. I received $45 from the raffle for February. This made for a total of $305.00 taken in.

The pico-Brewery Sinking Fund now stands at $151. I'm no longer keeping the pico-Brewery at my house; Bill Pfeiffer has it up in Brighton, so if you want to use it, call Bill at (810)229-0727. It's a great system and members get to use it for only $1/gallon of wert made.

I have paid out $45.90 to Beer Across America for the February and March selections and I reimbursed Spencer Thomas $33.60 for February copies, for a total paid out of $79.50. This leaves a balance in the checkbook of $877.52; the club owned 2 rolls of 32cents stamps and less than a roll of 29cents stamps before this newsletter went out.


Members whose dues have not been paid have been dropped from the list and have not received this newsletter. Of course, they are ignorant of this announcement. We can expect a lot of "new" members relisted below when they shell out, but I'm not gonna chase them around for money - I just do that at the meetings!

Dues for calendar 1995 are $15, and newly joining members are prorated at $1.25 a month through December '95 Make your dues checks payable to me, Rolf Wucherer, 1942 Steere Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. The club does not have a bank account and checks made out to the Guild must be resubmitted.

New Members List

The new members list will return next month. This month, we've got the full list of all paid-up members.

The Meeting: How to Get There

Tuesday, March 14, 7:30PM

2227 Placid Way

Jim Rigney's house, 313-665-9276

From central Ann Arbor: Take Plymouth Rd. to Nixon (just past the big plaza with Kroger, and just before the plaza with the Merchant of Vino.) Turn left onto Nixon, and go to the first stop sign. Turn left onto the Huron Parkway Extension. Follow it to the first stop sign at Traver. Turn left onto Traver, then bear right at the fork (Traver continues straight as a dirt road), onto Placid Way. Jim's house is in the 2nd cul-de-sac on the left, and it's the 2nd house on the left in the cul-de-sac.

From outside Ann Arbor: Take US-23 to the Plymouth Rd exit. Turn west on Plymouth (towards Ann Arbor), and go to the third light at Nixon. Turn right onto Nixon and proceed as above.

Guide for New Members Bring 1-2 bottles per batch of your beer that you'd like to share, or an interesting commercial beer. Bring tasty munchies to cleanse the palate and sop up the alcohol. Feel free to share and sample with other members and make and accept constructive comments; making better beer or curing ailing ales is our interest! Please observe good judgment while imbibing and don't drive while intoxicated.

Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild

c/o Rolf Wucherer

1942 Steere Pl.

Ann Arbor, MI 48104