September meeting notes
 
Thanks to both Rick Denton for hosting us at his home and to Ditmar’s Orchard for staying open for us.
 
Several members met first at Ditmar’s Orchard outside Council Bluffs to collect fresh-pressed cider to ferment.  In total we purchased nearly 50 gallons from apples they pressed earlier that day.  We determined the gravity to be around 1.040 with a 3.6 pH.  They are eager to have us back in the Spring to sample our fermented versions.
 
Stop number two was Rick’s in Council Bluffs.  Rick served truly outstanding German-style beers including his German Pale Lager, Hefeweizen and Dopplebock.  Rick prefers his Dopplebocks at the low end of the O.G. range of the style to increase drinkability.  The Hallertau hops really had a chance to shine in the Pale Lager.  Rick recommended grinding the wheat malt to powder for a great Hefeweizen.  We’ll be back Rick.  Thank your wife once again for us for her efforts with the cheese and cracker tray.
 
As for other homebrews, Brian brought the big brew Old Ale and a clone of Dogfish Head’s Te’j (Ethiopian mead).  Jose had a single decoction Schwarzbier (Randy Mosher recipe).  Tom shared his Tommers ESB and Duane poured a wet-hopped IPA.  The Cascade hops were all home grown in Duane’s yard and provided a great (but not over-the-top) flavor.  Chris Masek brought the world’s largest bottle (corny keg) full of an Alaskan Amber clone as well as a cider.  Jason provided Summit’s Oktoberfest which got high marks from all.  Most of us also indulged in Chris Masek’s beer-brine pickles.
OCTOBER meeting notes
 
Our October 23rd meeting took place at Infusion Brewery in Benson.  Aaron was kind enough to host our tour.  We discovered the history of the building and saw up close all the work Bill and Aaron put into it, with a little help from Elliot and Dave.  The place looks great guys! 
 
Aaron has definitely taken the homebrewing approach to the commercial level.  His troubleshooting skills helped him figure things out on the fly.  We certainly appreciate all the extra time he took to discuss recipes, yeast propagation, temperature control, innovative ways to reach a desired gravity, technical processes and new beers in the works.  Thanks to all the great people involved with one of Omaha's newest breweries.  
 
Our next gathering will be grain distribution for the Fall Big Brew at Marc's.  The Big Brew is scheduled for Tom Hawk's on Saturday November 23.
September meeting notes
 
Thanks to both Rick Denton for hosting us at his home and to Ditmar’s Orchard for staying open for us.
 
Several members met first at Ditmar’s Orchard outside Council Bluffs to collect fresh-pressed cider to ferment.  In total we purchased nearly 50 gallons from apples they pressed earlier that day.  We determined the gravity to be around 1.040 with a 3.6 pH.  They are eager to have us back in the Spring to sample our fermented versions.
 
Stop number two was Rick’s in Council Bluffs.  Rick served truly outstanding German-style beers including his German Pale Lager, Hefeweizen and Dopplebock.  Rick prefers his Dopplebocks at the low end of the O.G. range of the style to increase drinkability.  The Hallertau hops really had a chance to shine in the Pale Lager.  Rick recommended grinding the wheat malt to powder for a great Hefeweizen.  We’ll be back Rick.  Thank your wife once again for us for her efforts with the cheese and cracker tray.
 
As for other homebrews, Brian brought the big brew Old Ale and a clone of Dogfish Head’s Te’j (Ethiopian mead).  Jose had a single decoction Schwarzbier (Randy Mosher recipe).  Tom shared his Tommers ESB and Duane poured a wet-hopped IPA.  The Cascade hops were all home grown in Duane’s yard and provided a great (but not over-the-top) flavor.  Chris Masek brought the world’s largest bottle (corny keg) full of an Alaskan Amber clone as well as a cider.  Jason provided Summit’s Oktoberfest which got high marks from all.  Most of us also indulged in Chris Masek’s beer-brine pickles.

August 2013 Omahops meeting recap

A big thanks goes out to Jim at Cornhusker Beverage for allowing us to invade his business for the evening.  We needed the space with one of the largest turnouts of the year.  We really appreciate your hospitality Jim!

We also appreciate all the newer faces at the meeting.  Be sure to follow us on twitter, join the OmaHops facebook group and especially the Yahoo group to keep up with the latest events.

As club business goes, the Scotch/Bock was discussed for the Fall Big Brew without objections or alternatives.  We will gladly take up Rick Denton on his offer to host the September meeting at his home on Wednesday September 18.  Wayne shared not only his excellent meads but some insight into their creation.  He suggested using Lalvin’s 71B-1122 Narbonne yeast and staggering nutrient additions when fermenting a mead.  We also discovered the key to making a really great Polish Mead variety is to find someone’s Polish sister to stomp the bees for the best honey extraction.

We had a discussion on water, with most people sharing their methods for utilizing tap water, removing chloramines or just building the mineral profile from scratch with a base of RO water.  Some use old methods that give great results while others utilize online spreadsheets for accuracy. 

On with the real reason we meet, to drink the best damn beer!  Craig brought a tasty American Pale Ale.  Wayne shared his blended mead and the now famous Polish mead which included various spices and citrus peels.  Brian provided his Spring Big Brew CAP and a Scotch Ale from two years ago.  Chris Masek passed around his Spring Big Brew Cream Ale, a Brown Ale and a Sweet Stout.  Tom brought an ESB and Chip shared what we decided would be a great Summer Pale Ale.  Chris McMahon provided a Red Ale and Jason shared his Honey Porter.  We also enjoyed a variety of commercial beers, primarily provided by Jim at Cornhusker Beverage.

We should also thank Frosttop Root Beer for their donations to the cause and letting us view the bottling line in action. 

Congratulations are in also order for our Treasurer John Fahrer on your newly announced venture with Scriptown Brewing!  We can’t wait to sample a few. 

Cheers!