Monday, March 16, 2015

Jack Of All Brews March 2015 Meeting Wrap-Up

JAB March 2015 Meeting!

This month Mike and Kristin Lebben were willing to open up their basement bar and brewing area for our meeting.  Thanks guys!  Here is a recap for those who couldn't make it, or who wanted more details...

Upcoming Events:

1) Lucid BFD contest--Register Feb 26-April 4.

2) Judging first round of NHC April 10-11

For those who haven't renewed dues for 2015, now is the time!  At least one of the local homebrew shops has been checking dates on cards and last year's is expired...Also please buy our hoodies so I can get them out of my house.  If you want one contact me or Steven!!!!

Review of JAB survey results: 23 responses

1) 60% wanted more field trips
2) Make-up of club: 65% intermediate, 21% expert, 14% noob
3) 40% would be willing to do BJCP class--however Primary Fermenters are working on one as well...
4) People expect to get to anywhere from 2-all of the meetings (average 5) with special occasions, work, and kids being the biggest barriers.
5) For mash paddle categories 52% want broader categories.  This certainly widens the options for bringing more beers and winning.  However this does cut down our ability to focus on specific styles of beer for learning/education purposes.
6) Involvement:  Not a lot here guys!  A couple people said they could host meetings once basements were finished--so just say the word when you are ready!  I think it might not be a bad idea to have one of our members give a short (2-5 minute) talk about a beer style monthly.  People learn by doing and by teaching, so this may be a way to get more involvement and teach our members who don't consider themselves experts...
7) Communication:  100% want to communicate via Facebook group.  We are letting JAB@thebarn go, since that has been not functioning well for us this past year.  We will look into an alternate e-mail list with only 1-2 monthly reminders of meetings or events--if people are interested.
8) Club funds:  Not a lot of interest in swag this year.  Split between larger club items like beergun and brewing equipment vs. food/beer for meetings.  We will come up with a plan for providing food at some of the meetings...the big issue is we never know if there will be 8 people or 30 showing up.
9) Mike Lebben suggested a mentorship program pairing more experienced brewers with less experienced ones.  65% of the group said they would be interested in this.  Thoughts?
10) Monthly social events: 82% of the group are interested in monthly social meetings of the club.  These would be more informal hang-out events at local breweries and pubs.  We will start our first one this month.
11) Several people mentioned concerns about homebrew taking a back seat to commercial beers at meetings, as well as the focus being more on drinking than education.  I think these are legitimate concerns.  I certainly think that we should limit commercial beer tasting to take place after all the homebrews are sampled--except if we are tasting commercial examples of the style of the month.  I do want to organize our mash paddle tasting to be a little more regimented, but do not want to take the "fun" out of our meetings.  However, I personally like the chance to share some rare beers with other beer geeks, so maybe we make that all happen in the "meltdown" time after all our official business is done.  

Whew!  I probably spent too much time on this at the meeting, putting everyone to sleep.  However, I felt this was important since it is a snapshot of what the club is interested in.  As always we want the club to be responsive to our member's desires, but in the end the decisions are made by your elected board members.  If you have concerns or questions, please talk to us.  Or run for office yourself next year and get more official power to use for good or evil!  

Talk on Brew Sculptures: 

Joe attempting to bring order from chaos...Or giving a talk at a brewclub meeting...

Joe Lushine was kind enough to give us a fairly extensive talk about brew sculptures.  He covered from basic to expensive store-bought devices.  If I didn't already have a sculpture, I would be itching to get/make one after that talk!  We were also able to ogle Mike's Sabco system in the basement as a nice reference.

Style of the Month:  Irish Red

I did a quick review of the style guidelines from BJCP and we tasted a commercial example of the beer (Smithwicks) thanks Mike B. for bringing that!  Mash paddle was a small sample size this month with only Anna's Irish Lass and my Craic Kills as the contenders.  I would be willing to say that both of our beers were better than the Smithwicks.  The voting was tight with SawBones Brewery getting 9 votes and Irate Princess Brewing getting 7.  

We also tried other homebrews from JAB members, but we had less than usual available.  Mostly we drank a lot of Mike's excellent beers from his huge and well-stocked Keezer.  Professional brewer Tim Roets also brought along some test batches of mead and cyser for feedback, that were quite tasty!

This meeting we waited until the homebrews were all finished before cracking into more commercial beers and I think that worked out really well to cut the chaos and make sure everyone got to try the homebrews.

Overall, a great meeting with a lot of education!  Next Month we get a talk about high gravity brewing from Mike Lebben, and Open Mash Paddle category!  

No comments: