Archive for the ‘Alcohol’Category

Beer Church Beer Tasting & Brewing a Rhubarb Wheat Ale: January 20th, 1PM

Hello again from Beer Church, the brewing group at Pumping Station: One! This past Sunday the 6th, we tasted & kegged a beer (the Doppelbock’s leftover batch, titled Kinderbock Son von Doppelbock), tasted our previous foray into Mead-making (I Didn’t Mead It That Way, and brewed an American IPA with Cardamom titled Putting the India back in IPA, all grain. It was an all-around great day and the ferment bucket for the IPA is bubbling along crisply in the fermentation chamber. Today at N00B’s Paradise (Pumping Station: One’s event for newcomers), we tapped the Doppelbock – it’s good.

Doppelbock

Doppelbock, one of Beer Church’s brews.

We just cleaned the taps. The bar is operational. We’re rocking and rolling.

sterilizing tap valves

sterilizing tap valves

So, on the 20th we’ll do it all again. This time we’re going to create a Rhubarb Wheat Ale; this is something few have done. The idea comes from Brittany, who is so enthused with the idea that we’ll oblige and make it happen. If this kind of idea appeals to you – and why wouldn’t it – then you should come visit Pumping Station: One on the 20th at 1PM. You don’t have to be a brewer; you can watch, or participate. Before the brew we’ll go over the basics of how brewing works while tasting our previous brews, including:

* Doppelbock
* I Didn’t Mead It That Way
* Pumpkin Ale
* Whatever bottle you bring! Find something in your fridge or the store that you think most people haven’t had, and introduce us to it.

Another new addition to equipment is our BeerGun which we can now use to bottle beers. This and future brews will have a small amount taken aside for a limited run bottling. Part of that bottling run will be granted to those who took part in brewing of the beer; 2 bottles for the brewmaster and 1 for all the helpers who stuck around until the end. Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately; the brew has to make it through brew day, fermentation, maybe racking for secondary, kegging, kegging, and bottling first. This in mind, if you help out on brew day you’ll get something to show for your efforts that’s a little more solid than being able to come in and try your brew on tap. The rest of the bottles will be saved for future Beer Church events so we get to savor them for a little bit longer. Our brews tend to go by pretty fast after they go on tap, since they’re so good (so far).

Nitty Gritty

When: Sunday January 20th, 1PM. We expect to brew brewing until around 7 PM or so, but you don’t have to hang around the whole time if you don’t want to.
Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston, Chicago
What: Beer tasting and brewing hands-on
Who: Anyone 21 or over, Pumping Station: One members or not!
Why: Because beer is a worthy purpose for your Sunday afternoon
To Brew: “Rhubarb Waves of Grain” – Orange Ginger Rhubarb Wheat Ale
Brewmaster: Eric Stein

See you on Sunday. Follow along at our twitter, @ps1beerchurch.

13

01 2013

New Year, New Beer: Beer Church Sunday 1/6 at 1PM

Winter is not coming, winter is here. The doppelbock needs kegging. It’s looking glorious. We haven’t had Beer Church in far too long, and the new year is here, bringing with it the requirement that we shall brew an IPA. Well, maybe an IPA. An IPA or another lager. That’s up to whoever shows up and tosses in their 2 cents (monetary, or opinion). The Brew & Grow’s strategic location and our wide array of existing equipment mean that we can do whatever we want, and what we want is to make beer.

mmmm, beer

However, not before we sample our existing brews; attend Beer Church this Sunday (1/6) at 1PM and you’ll get to try our as-yet-untasted Doppelbock and our hopped session mead “I Didn’t Mead It That Way” which has so far received solid reviews. We’ll be having a tasting to start (please bring your own unusual store bought or homebrew beers to share, if you can, to supplement the selection), discuss what we’ve done so far (several brews under our belts now!), go over a bit of how brewing works for newcomers. This all happens interspersed with the beer tasting, to keep things interesting.

Once we’ve got the groundwork laid we’ll decide what to brew, make a short expedition to Brew & Grow around the corner for ingredients, and get cooking! We expect to be done brewing by about 4:30 PM as we aren’t going to go too nuts this time.

Nitty Gritty

When: Sunday January 6th, 1PM
Where: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston, Chicago
What: Beer tasting and brewing hands-on
Who: Anyone 21 or over, Pumping Station: One members or not!
Why: Because beer is a worthy purpose for your Sunday afternoon

05

01 2013

Beer Church – Sunday 12/2 at Noon: Dopplebock or not to Bock?

Hello again, with a fresh Beer Church event hot off the presses! No plans this Sunday at noon? No problem! Now you’ve got one: come down to Pumping Station: One at noon, sip a few unusual beers (bring one of your own, potluck style – we’ll supply the tiny steins), theorize on the nature of brewing and Sundays, and – Ninkasi willing – we’ll brew a doppelbock all-grain style. It’s possible we’ll also keg “I didn’t mead it that way”, but it may well need another week in the fermentation chamber.

Kegged beers set to condition for a few weeks

Due to the lager nature of doppelbocks, we may find that we need to modify our fermentation chamber to support lower temperatures and/or split temperature. That means physical build and some software tweaking; if you want to pitch in on that, by all means join us. Everyone is welcome who is 21 years of age or older, even if you’ve never brewed before, and aren’t a member of PS:One. A tour of the hackerspace will be available for the curious at some point in the afternoon.

Kegs tapped in the PS:One beer fridge

The brew may last until 4PM or so, depending on the complexities that arise. You’re of course welcome to come and go, but it’s advised to come at the start so as not to miss the beer tasting – which will feature the last of Anisethesia on tap at our bar, which we first tapped for Locktoberfest.

If you can’t make it in person (or if you’re just that intrigued, which you should be), you can follow @ps1beerchurch on twitter. We post updates frequently! See you Sunday.

30

11 2012

Beer (and Wine or Mead) Church, 11/11/2012

Beer Church is doing great lately. We’ve made 3 beers so far – 2 stouts and a spiced pumpkin ale. We just racked the spiced pumpinkin ale last night. We’re not sure how good it is yet, having only tasted it warm and halfway through the ferment, but it’s quite unique and we look forward to kegging it in a few weeks.

We served both our stouts on October 20th, at Locktoberfest Chicago 2012, alongside Cross of Gold beer from Revolution Brewery. Good times had by all, and all the beer poured out into waiting cups at a spirited pace. We look forward to seeing what happens with Locktoberfest 2013. We served out of our brand new taps built by Ryan Pierce!

Bar taps at the PS:One bar

Kegs tapped in the PS:One beer fridge

More developments are… developing, on the bar! It’ll be even cooler later, when we’ll post a full writeup with pictures.

This Sunday, we’ll have a standard Beer Church event; with the addition of a random chance of whether we’ll be making Wine or Mead. Depending on when we hear back from participants, it’ll go either way – this post may be updated in a few days.

For those new to Beer Church, we hold pot-luck beer tastings, where everyone brings their favorite unusual beer and we taste them. We discuss the state of technology, brewing, and science in an informal midday Sunday setting at Pumping Station: One.

Once we’ve satisfied palates and our conversational avenues, we’ll either make wine, or mead! That depends on whether our winemaking correspondent is able to make it. Either way, we’ll be learning something new and making a delicious beverage. Come on down – both ends of the beverage cycle will be covered!

Details

* Date/Time: 12:30 PM, 11/11/2012
* Location: Pumping Station: One, 3519 N Elston Chicago IL
* Attendance: Public, no RSVP required, must be 21 or over

06

11 2012

Beer Church Update

Hello! We had a good time today – moved the bar, planned out the draft tower design, figured out which parts to order. However, the interesting part is on the brewing front. We picked up another keg and cleaned/redid the hardware on 2 kegs, then kegged our two stouts.

Boiling priming sugar

Ryan Pierce kegging the Anise Stout

Kegged beers set to condition for a few weeks

We’ll definitely be ready for Locktoberfest on the 20th and possibly an upcoming party!

08

10 2012

Beer Church Extreme Makeover: Bar Edition 10/7

Oh come all ye faithful! Beer Church has 3 beers in the fermenter, and some of them are just about ready to go in a keg to get all carbonated and cold and… we don’t have any taps on our bar, or a fridge with lines! This Sunday, we’ll fix that (or get started on it, anyway)! Come help us turn our bar (thanks Greg for building it) into a real bar, with taps!

Beer Church’s first 3 beers

We’ll start off with a quick introduction to Pumping Station: One for newbies (you don’t have to be a member to attend Beer Church), with beers in hand. Bring your favorite unusual beer to share, and we’ll all get to try something new and exciting. We’ll check out the Raspberry Pi powered computerized brewing system that we’ve got going and go over our last few successful brews. The focus for project work will be on improving our dispensing and keg system, but if we have enough people we might go nuts and brew something!

The Meat

  • When: 12PM Noon, Sunday 10/7/2012
  • Where: 3519 N Elston, Chicago IL
  • What: Potluck beer tasting, brewing discussion, and fridge/taps buildout!
  • Why: Because you like beer and people who build things.

06

10 2012

Beer Church, 9/23 at Noon!

EDIT: this is on 9/23, not 9/20.

Taken on our last brew day – why not use the hydraulic jack to siphon? You would if you could.

I never expected Beer Church to be as popular as it is! You’re all great. We now have 2 beers in the Brewing Station: One fermentation chamber under the patient temperature control of chillmon. We aren’t sure which of them is going to rejuvenate TOOOL during Locktoberfest on October 20th, but one these is it!

I don’t know if we’ll brew on Sunday, but the great thing is that we’ve got a Brew & Grow a quick saunter around the corner and all the gear we could need right on hand. If you want to brew this weekend, hit up the comments or the thread on the public mailing list and we might get something going!

Beer tasting: bring a few bottles of something you like that you think others may not know. We will do a potluck beer tasting. Tiny beer steins (for tiny beers) will be provided but bring your own chalice/mug/other drink receptacle if you prefer. Homebrews are highly esteemed, and you will get some beer peer review from your peers in beer! Neither of our brews are ready to rock yet, so we’ll have to wait for tasting our own creations.

You are of course welcome to come even if you do not consume beer or other alcoholic beverages! You must be 21 to drink at beer church. Come on down to 3519 N Elston at 12:00 PM on 9/23!

20

09 2012

NERP – Raspberry Pi and Beer – Monday 9-10-12

RPi beer temp controller

The next NERP (Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi) meeting will be at 7pm Monday Sept. 10th. See the NERP Meetup page for more information on location, meeting format, etc.

NERP is Not Exclusively Raspberry Pi, and this Monday’s meeting will also discuss Android and beer.

During fermentation beer must be kept at fairly precisely controlled temperatures. The required temperature varies with the stage of fermentation and other factors.

Any self-respecting beer temperature monitor would be accessible from the ‘net, and this one is no exception. Monday, Eric Stein will show Brewing Station: One’s  Raspberry Pi based temperature monitor and controller. Eric will show how the Python code and electronics work and discuss some issues around controlling temperature. Sampling the product will have to wait until Beer Church taps the keg.

The Desktop is DEAD, Long live the Desktop: The Android 4.0 miniPC

Jay will be doing a short walk-thru and talk about the user-land experience with the new Ricomagic MK802 thumb-drive-sized pocket-computer. Jay will be demoing android 4.x, Fedora, Ubuntu and/or puppy linux on the Ricomagic MK802. The Ricomagic MK802 is a $65 Cortex A8 1GHZ processor with 1GB of DDR3 Ram, 4 GB flash, wifi and a 500MH GPU (Mali 400) with HDMI video. The small computing landscape is changing fast, and the Raspberry Pi is only part of the story.

07

09 2012

Beer Church – Monday 9/3/12 Noon

In honor of Labor Day, Beer Church is making a temporary excursion to a new day, Monday! Won’t brewing be far better than going to the office? Yeah, it will.

We’re going to brew our second batch of beer. This will be Brewing Station: One’s first attempt at an all-grain recipe. We will brew an Irish draft stout, featuring British 2-row pale malt accented with flaked oats and roasted barley. All-grain beer takes a lot longer to make compared to extract or kit beer. We anticipate being ready to start the mash about noon, although we’ll be setting up and heating water beforehand.

We will certainly have tastings (Bring your favorites! Homebrews are highly esteemed). We will also have discussions of brewing, and possible future projects for Brewing Station: One. We might also try hacking an air conditioner onto Brewing Station: One’s temperature monitoring system, which will allow us considerably more control over over fermentation temperature.

You are of course welcome to come even if you do not consume beer or other alcoholic beverages! You must be 21 to drink at beer church. Come on down to 3519 N Elston at 12:00 PM on 9/3!

01

09 2012

Beer Church – Sunday the 22nd!

Beer Church returns! Do you like science, doing things rather than buying them already done, and beer? Then this event is for you!

Beer tasting: bring a few bottles of something you like that you think others may not know. We will do a potluck beer tasting. Tiny beer steins (for tiny beers) will be provided but bring your own chalice/mug/other drink receptacle if you prefer. Homebrews are highly esteemed, and you will get some beer peer review from your peers in beer!

After (and during) the tasting, we’ll discuss the science of beer brewing and other scientific questions and pursuits. Peer review of projects will happen if people have something to show; 300 seconds of non-fame with frequent interruptions.

For this Beer Church event, we’ll be exploring homebrewing at the space further. Last time we broached the subject and had some homebrews brought down from the Evanston Homebrewing club – this week we have a fridge that could get modded to be set up as environmental control for brewing and we’ll look at the possibility of using the safe room as a cold storage location. An unknown (to me at least) benefactor has also deposited a carboy and a corking machine on premesis! I’m not sure whether we can use those (holler if they’re yours) but I’m hoping so.

You are of course welcome to come even if you do not consume beer or other alcoholic beverages! You must be 21 to drink at beer church. Come on down to 3519 N Elston at 12:00 PM on 7/22!

18

07 2012