The WIZARDS Newsletter
January to March, 1999

Upcoming Events | Recent Events | Hints & Ideas | Meeting Minutes

WIZARD's Upcoming Events

Pub Crawl - April 24

Join the WIZARDS pub crawl to he held on Earth Day '99 (April 24th)! We'll meet at the Alewife 'T' station, outside the turnstiles @ 12 noon. We will try to keep to the itinerary shown below so people can join up mid way through the day. Spouses and guests are more than welcome. Visit the WIZARDS web page for details about last year's pub crawl.

Directions to Alewife - From 128 (or anywhere else), take Route 2 into Boston/Cambridge. Not too far after the road narrows down to two lanes, you'll see an exit for Alewife Station on your right. Take and enter the parking garage. After parking, follow signs to "TRAINS." After going downstairs, open your eyes! We'll meet right in front of the turnstyles.

National Homebrew Day with the WIZARDS - May 1
Sponsored by Strangebrew, Dejabrew and the Horseshoe Pub

On National Homebrew Day, Saturday, May 1, the W.I.Z.A.R.D.s will host a day of brewing demonstrations at the HORSESHOE Pub in Hudson, Ma. This will feature all-grain and extract brewing demonstrations put on by our club members. The event should get underway at 10 AM and should be completed by 6 PM. Planned to coincide with National Homebrew Day, the day will also feature a nationwide home-brew toast at 2 PM.

All WIZARDS are encouraged to attend and especially encouraged to invite their family and friends to stop by! After all, the theme of National Homebrew Day '99 is "teach someone to brew." For those members wishing to put on their own brewing demonstration, please coordinate with Brian at Strangebrew.

For directions, call Horseshoe Pub or StrangeBrew Home Brewing Supplies - 508 460-5050

Additional details at Strange Brew's Web Site and the last club meeting minutes.

WIZARD's Recent Events

A night with Charlie Papazian - March 24
Hosted by the WIZARDS
Sponsored by Strangebrew, Vinotech, The Plantation Club and many others...

On March 3 the WIZARDS hosted a night with homebrew guru and legend, Charlie Papazian, at the Plantation Club in Worcester. Phil opened the evening by welcoming over 100 people to the Plantation Club and introducing Bruce from Vinotech who went on to introduce Charlie. Charlie's speech had three main themes. The first, why do we homebrew? had a simple answer - because its fun. The second theme - support your local homebrew store - stressed the important role the homebrew stores play in our hobby. Without them we could not survive, yet many people only seem to go to the homebrew shop when they need that special ingredient otherwise they buy their ingredients form the local discount store, package store or by mail order. Charlie's point was why not always shop your local homebrew store for all your business. While it may cost a few pennies more, you'll be saving these valuable resources. His third and final theme included a pitch for the AHA.

The hour plus speech also included two videos and two homebrew tastings. The first video featured Charlie at the first National Homebrew Convention in 1971. The second video was an Tom Brokaw interview of Charlie at the convention in the mid-eighties. While he looked a lot younger in both videos, he message was the same as it was at the Plantation Club. The tastings featured Bill's Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone and Phil's alt beer made at the club’s demo day last fall. The one hundred or so guests got to sample both beers while Charlie critiqued them. He felt Bill's clone beer was smoother and creamier but not quite as hoppy as the original. He thought the alt wasn't as fruity as the alt beers he recalled from Germany, but felt it was a good beer none the less.

Prior to the Plantation Club, several club members had dinner with Charlie and his wife Sandra at the Gentle Lentil in Worcester. Dinner gave us the opportunity to get to know the man behind the myth and as it turns out, he not a bad guy. He is truly passionate about homebrewing and pleasant to be around.

The Other Stuff - Hints & Ideas

Beer Gas

While we were at the Plantation Club for the Papazian talk, the club proprietor, Ray, mentioned how he uses beer gas instead carbon dioxide for dispensing his keg beer. Beer gas, available from the Merriam Groves Corporation in Worcester, is some sort of carbon dioxide/nitrogen mix. He swears by the stuff and says all his beers come out of the tap better. Unlike other beer gases (most notably the Guinness ones), this version doesn't require any special taps or fittings. He also says Mirriam Groves will loan you the tank so no new equipment is needed. Anyone want to give it a try?

The Great Experiment

This is the story of Bill's Great Beer Experiment which tried to answer the questions: "Is there really a difference between liquid and dry yeasts?" and "Is there a difference between all-grain and extract brewing?" The simple idea was to make two batches of beer, one all-grain and one extract, following more or less the same recipe. Then each batch was split in two and fermented with both a liquid and dry yeast. Many tastings later, Bill reached the conclusion "yes, there is a difference between yeasts" and "yes, all-grain makes a little nicer beer." The article also contains numerous insights and comparisons from the brewing process. Click here for the full text.

WIZARD's Club Meeting Minutes

Minutes 14 April 1999
  1. Club met at 7 PM @ Vinotheque in Marlboro
  2. No minutes available from last meeting
  3. Next meeting May 12 @ Vinotheque, unless location is changed. Contact StrangeBrew or Club Website for followup.
  4. Earthday Pub Crawl:
    • The club will hold its annual Earthday Pub Crawl on Saturday 24 April
    • Meet at Alewife 'T' station, outside the turnstiles @ 12 noon
    • First stop is to be Cambridge Brewery @ 1230 for tour and lunch
    • Second stop - Backbay Brewery @ approx 230 PM
    • Third stop @ 415 PM - mystery stop
    • End @ RedBones @ 6 PM for dinner
    • Directions will be available on Wizards Web Page and thru StrangeBrew Home Brewing Supplies - 508 460-5050
  5. National Homebrew Day May 1 Saturday
  6. Brian announced that there are hop roots now available @ StrangeBrew for those brewers who would like to grow their own Hops
  7. Sponsorship -
  8. Club Structure -
  9. Brian gave several interesting demonstrations of Keg dispensing techniques and proper sanitary considerations
  10. There were several beer tastings. It seems everybody brought one, some brought two or three (making room for a big spring brew?) Results will be on the Web Page
  11. Happy Birthday, Scott Tringali
  12. and last, but not final........Club Red lives!!! See Bill Nevits home page for the entire story @
  13. Comments, questions or information on the WIZARD's to Bill