March’s Meeting

March’s meeting will be at Bent River Brewing in Rock Island, IL (512 24th St, Rock Island, IL 61201). The meeting will be held Sunday March 29th at 2:00 AM. This month’s topic is partial mash brewing with Rich Toohill. We will also be discussing some exciting things that will be happening this summer.

Sunday’s Meeting

Hello everyone, Sunday’s (January 25th) will be held at Radicle Effects Brewerks (www.rebrewerks.com) in Rock Island at 2:00 PM. Curt Johnson will be presenting on yeast reclamation. I recently revived some WLP500 that I rinsed in September. I pitched the yeast on Saturday and it seems to be working along great. Does anyone else rinse their yeast or possibly rack wort on a yeast cake?

20th Annual Land of the Muddy Waters Results

Thanks to everyone who entered our contest, and especially to those who volunteered to judge, steward, sponsor or otherwise help our event.  We judged 250 beers, meads and ciders in 31 different categories and we are pleased to share the results:

Best of Show – 20th Annual Land Of The Muddy Water

Beer

Place Brewer(s) Entry Name Style Club
1st Tim Thomssen Raspberry Tart 20A: Fruit Beer Lincoln Lagers!
2nd Tim Thomssen You Got Peanut Butter In My Chocolate 23A: Specialty Beer Lincoln Lagers!
3rd Mac Butcher Uber Alles 2A: German Pilsner (Pils) Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM)

Cider

Place Brewer(s) Entry Name Style Club
1st Tim Thomssen Raspberry Bush 28B: Fruit Cider Lincoln Lagers!

Mead

Place Brewer(s) Entry Name Style Club
1st Justin Brooks Saint Ambrose Is Packin’ Heat! 26C: Open Category Mead MUGZ

Full results are available in this Adobe PDF document.

Omega Saisonstein’s Monster Review

Chicago’s Omega Yeast Labs is fairly new to the brewing scene and even newer to homebrewers. They offer some interesting new strains not available at the other big suppliers. One of which is Saisonstein’s Monster – a Saison strain that is actually a blend of two of their other offerings. I picked up a pouch at U.Brew and tested it out on my annual pumpkin ale. Here’s what I thought of it:

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For me, DuPont is the definitive Saison and its yeast is the only proper yeast for the style if you want to follow tradition. However, Omega offers an alternative that does have its place in the growing spectrum of Saisons.

I had never used an Omega yeast before so I really didn’t know what to expect. I decided to split a batch of Pumpkin ale at 1076 OG between the Saisonstein and a popular English strain from a different supplier. In building the starters, the Saisonstein seemed to have more liquid yeast than the competitor and it looked to be very clean and consistent. I’m not sure on the cell counts, but it looked more than sufficient.

I put the yeast through my version of the DuPont fermentation program: start at 70F and ramp up 2 degrees a day until stopping at 84F and then dropping down to ambient temp. The krausen never raged like the DuPont strain and it seemed more even tempered. There was no stalling – just a steady, thick, about 1-2″ krausen until fermentation completed, which point it flocced out fairly quickly. It did leave things fairly cloudy, but it was hard to gauge for sure with the dark pumpkin ale. The finishing gravity was 1009 so that’s 87% attenuation – well within the advertised range which is quite respectable considering the temperature abuse I put things through.

The aroma reminded me a lot of a German Hefe with some banana and clove notes, but not nearly as prominent as a Hefe. The taste had some of that banana and clove, but the majority of the flavor was a fruity, almost mango like character. It was surprisingly well balanced and clean though. Do not expect any of the rustic, grassy, barnyardy characters you get out of DuPont. However, it does remind me of some of the cleaner, American Saisons, such as Revolution’s Coup D’Etat. I could see using this yeast again, only not in a Saison – I see this being a lot of fun in a Belgian Golden or even a Trippel.