September shop brew English Best Bitter

Hey September brew crew members! Today is day 4 of fermentation. You should transfer your beer to secondary no later than today. I just transferred all 15 gallons today as primary fermentation had stopped completely.

So far so good. The beer tastes great, and there is a distinct difference in taste between the White Labs WLP-002 English ale yeast and the Nottingham yeast. There will be 5 gallons of each batch at the Falcons 35th anniversary party in October, so be there to taste them.

Sour/Tart Cherries Needed

Hello All,


I know it is not the season, but I was wondering what everyones experience was with sourcing sour cherries.  I am in the need of some whole and fresh sour cherries for  a dark wild ale.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.




Memories of my first Anchor Party

Those of you that are members of the Maltose Falcons newsgroup have already seen the challenge I have presented to the club to enter at least 30 beers in the California State Homebrewing competition (aka Stern Grove) to help our finishing push to win the 2009 Anchor California Homebrew club of the year award.  As an effort to motivate club members, to pull their weight in this challenge, I thought I'd share some stories from my first Anchor award party in 2005.  I'm hoping some other older club members could chime in with stories of their own.

Descanso Gardens Beer Fest (LA Beer Week)

Tickets are now on sale for the Fest that will mark the last night of the LA Beer Week.

4 oz. unlimited pours for $40, at the Descanso Gardens Rosarium.



Event Types: 

We're buying logo printed workshirts for the 35th. (see file. more artwork soon) Would you buy one? Cost ~$35-45

No Workshirt For Me
0% (0 votes)
4% (1 vote)
8% (2 votes)
28% (7 votes)
36% (9 votes)
20% (5 votes)
4% (1 vote)
Total votes: 25

Thermostat & Grains

Just bought the ingredients to make my first All Grain Stout this weekend...I also picked up a Refrigerator Thermostat Control.

Can't wait to start brewing! I'll post some work in progress pics this weekend.


Pacific Brewers Cup Results

Congrats to all the falcon winners! Looks like we did pretty good, well Matt and Aaron kicked some butt more specifically, and Greg N. continued the RIS dominance. (I got to judge the Stout category along with Matt and two other judges this year, Greg makes some damn good stout!)  Anyways congrats again guys!





All Corked Up Wine/Beer/Food Event

As was stated at the meeting:


Benefiting the C.O.C Foundation and the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center K-12 Education Outreach Program

When: Saturday, October 3, 2009
Time: 5-9pm
Where: College of the Canyons - Lot 7
Questions? Call: 661-799-7979

Brew day Heather Wheat Ale

Wednesday morning, the 16th of September, was a very comfortable temperature for a brew day. My younger brother Eric, loves my Heather Wheat Ale so much, (and he drank so much of it!) that he paid for a new batch to be brewed. Eric has always been just the average guy beer drinker too. But he has been developing his beer chops quite a bit with my home brew.

  Eric also wanted to help brew the batch as well. Boy was he in for a surprise! He did not have a clue as to what would be involved with the brewing process. I also thought, free labor for all of the clean up.

Lagering, GABF, and other musings

As an update for those of you who are will be attending the 35th anniversary party,  the schwarzbier I am contributing is now comfortably lagering at 34 °F.  For some reason, this beer seems to do better with a relatively short lagering period (4-5 weeks) than some of my other lagers, particularly my O'fest. 

Speaking of parties, I am off to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver with my good friends Roger Bott and Jay Long next weekend.  Anyone else from the club going to be there?

Beanie's Home Brew Custom Smoked Malt Challenge

Beannie thanks everyone who has joined in his Home Brew Custom Smoked Malt Challenge and wants you to know that if you need more smoked grain or if you missed the meeting and would like some smoked grain. . . . please contact him at 661-312-5819 or email Beanie's Wife @ susanwebster@sbcglobal.net.

Verdugo Event, 9/16/09, Stone and Lets Be Frank

Tonight at Verdugo Bar (www.verdugobar.com)  Lets Be Frank hotdog truck will be doing beer and dog pairings with Stone beers from 7-10 pm.

Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle will be making an appearance along with some of the other normal Stone line-up...Sounds fun, see you there!



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Beer Tasting @ Wade's

Bay Area Beer Tasting!

The bay area has some of the most exciting and innovative breweries in the United States.  Join us for round 2!

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Mike's California Mild: why and how

So, i like a low alcohol beer once in a while, but we all know commercial lite beer sucks.  And, you can't get a good mild beer since they have very short shelf life.

The club members have been making great english style milds for a good while now, putting their various spins here and there, but I wanted something different.

I wanted to make a mild beer that tastes like a good california pale ale, just low in alcohol.  It needs a malty backbone and hops you can taste.  Homebrewing is the only way to get there.

Okay, time to put on your Drinking Caps: White Russian vs Caucasian...


It has come to light recently that there seems to be a huge controversy over the two names associated to a wonderful concoction imbibed by The Dude, (Mr. Lebowski), known as a White Russian, (a.k.a. a Caucasian). So, those of you who are in the know, and budding mixologists as well, I ask of you: What is the main difference between a White Russian and a Caucasian? Both call for Russian Vodka, a coffee liqueur such as Kahlua or Tia Maria and a dairy by-product such as milk, half and half or cream... So, I challenge you, tell me the difference between these two libations... Grizz

Uhoh... Global Warming and Beer

Dr. Ian O'Neill of Discovery Space has just posted an article that summarizes a Czech study of the impact of warming temperatures on the region's Saaz hop crop. In short it finds that in connection with steadily rising temperatures, the hops have decreased steadily in Alpha Acid percentage as well. Now those 2.6% AA Saaz make sense!

Discovery Space - Now We Have A Problem: Global Warming Is Impacting Beer Production

Great meeting - What an eye-opener

Ok - I have been homebrewing for a little over 2 years but it was my first Maltose Falcon Club meeting yesterday.

I am amazed.  I thought I made decent beer but was overwhelmed at the different styles and quality of tastings.  I am also impressed about the collective knowledge in the room.  I don't know why I did'nt attend until now.  I'll be back for sure.

Thank you Beanie for the smoked grain.  Living in SCV - I need to come over and check out your brew-sculpture some day.

Going Down South

 No big surprise that I'm as big a fan of food as I am of malted barley concococtions. The other night Amy and I decided to run back home to Florida for our dinner inspiration and it was a damn good meal, so here it is for you. (Oh and for the beer content, all I can say is it's amazing how well Firestone Walker's Union Jack IPA goes with fried catfish)

Drew's Fried Catfish

4 Catfish Filets

1.5 cups flour

1 egg

0.5 cups coarse Cornmeal



Cayenne Powder

one small container Crisco


September 2009 Brews and News

v. 35
i. 9
Newsletter Date: 

-35th Anniversary Party!

LA Septemberfest

From the same folks behind April's LA Beer Fest at Sony Studios in Culver City comes the first LA Septemberfest at Paramount Studios with 60 breweries, ~200 beers, music, BBQ, etc.

Tickets are $40 - unlimited pours - likely to be no ticket sales at the door.


September Brewing 101 Class

Come to the Home Beer Wine Cheesmaking Shop and learn how to make your first extract batch from the pros!

Everyone's welcome to stop by this quick evening class. Bring a brew to share or just bring yourself.

Cost is $5 and is applicable to your membership in the Falcons

Board Roles: 

Help with Brutus 10 brewing stand

Brutus 10 Brewing Stand

Here is my first blog: I went to great lengths to buy all the steel, pumps, pipes, love temp guages and yet been able to put my Brutus 10 stand together. The problem is that I have very few friends that know how to weld, or want to help. In addition, I travel all over the U.S. for work, but home on the weekends, which puts a time crunch on my efforts at finding a friend or co-brewer to help.

Schwarzbier Recipe

Drew guilted me into including my recipe for yesterday's brewing festivities.  It's been tweeked a little bit fro mthe last time I brewed it, we'll see how it tastes.

BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Schwartzbier
Brewer: Matt Bourbeau
Asst Brewer: Paul Resendi
Style: Schwarzbier (Black Beer)
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

It's is hot I'm Schwartzin'

My alarm went off at 6:30 this morning.  Normally on a Saturday, that would meen I was a dumbass and forgot to turn my alarm off the night before.  But not today.  Today was a brew day.  I don't normally brew a lot this time of year, and I certianly did not plan on it being 100+ when I decided to schedule a brew day today, but that's the way the ball bounces.  I decided I needed an early start.  Fortunately, my brother-in-law Paul came over to help, which was invaluable, particularly for clean-up.  We doughed in at 8:00 and took the mash trough a 4 step, direct fire mashing schedule (125 °F

November Club Meeting

Remember, Remember the first of November, the Falcons next meeting day.

Style of the Month: SOUR BEERS

All interested brewers (and potential brewers) are invited to join us at the Home Beer Wine Cheesemaking Shop in Woodland Hills, CA for a beer tour! Lunch will be served for ~$6. Bring your homebrew to share!

Don't forget to adjust for the change away from Daylight Savings!


Board Roles: 
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Marriott Warner Center AAA Rate is a tad cheaper than Block Room Rate for 35th Anniversary Party

Hey guys . . . just wanted to let you know that if you have AAA Card the rate is a tad cheaper than the Maltose Falcon's Block room rate for October 17th.  $107 + tax  (Anyone over 62 can get the room for $101/night so it pays to be old . . . .Beanie missed it by a mere 3 months)

Check-in is 4:00 but if you request an early check-in they will try to accommodate that and check-out time is 12:00 the next day.

Oh, and here's the phone number for reservations:  1-818-887-4800 OR Toll Free:  1-800-MARRIOTT

And so it begins.... (time to make the schwarzbier)


I've never actually bothered to Blog about things befroe, but given the hard work that went into the design of this new web site, I 

feel obligated to give it a try. 

Last evening, I began what I refer to as my lager ritual, that is, the start of my yeast starter for a lager.  Those of you familier with my brewing philosophy know

that I firmly subscribe to the notion of pitching large quantities of yeast, particularly in my lagers.  This approach was given a challenge this year as I finally upgraded my boil kettle to

What a BOS Time

Just got done judging the LA County Fair Best of Show a few hours back. Bruce Brode did his usual superb job keeping an eye on the motley crew. With me were Steve Cook, Paul Sedwhick and Jim Wilson. Sitting down we were faced with 23 or so entries. Irene quickly pulled each of the bottles and we each poured a small sample. The routine:  sniff, swirl, taste and notes. After running through all the contenders, we start nominating beers we don't think will win or have a flaw. In the blink of an eye, 23 becomes 12, becomes 9 and finally becomes 6.

Sunfest Aftermath

Wow! Great party up there in the mountains. The early birds got hit with that all too rare Southern California phenom - rain. Reports had everyone huddling under a couple of popups, cooking breakfast and enjoying each other's company. Turnout was a little smaller, thanks mostly to the homebody element's fear of a little rain. Too bad guys, cause this fest was awesome - cool, pine scented and with an amazing view from atop the mountain. And all of it a short 70 minute-ish drive from the Valley.


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