The WIZARDS Newsletter
October - December, 2001

Upcoming Events | Club Business | Recent Events | Hints & Ideas | Feature Sites

WIZARD's Upcoming Events

Upcoming Club Meetings

Club meetings this quarter will be November 20 and December 18 all at Deja Brew in Shrewsbury. Check our web page, call Strangebrew or call Deja Brew for directions.

Upcoming Trips & Outings

The Wizard's 2002 brewing schedule and club tastings is now announced!

ActivitiesClub Meetings
  • March 24 - Wizard's Homebrew Competition Entry Deadline
  • TBD - Competition Judging
  • May 4 - Wizard's Homebrew Competition Awards Ceremony and Brew Day at the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson
  • February Meeting - Porter Night
  • April Meeting - Brown Ale (Mild & Brown ale)
  • June Meeting - Bitter & English pale ale
  • August Meeting - IPA
  • October Meeting - Strong Belgian Ale
  • December Meeting - Barley wine

Upcoming club activities are always posted on the club's website at Additional details will be published in the newsletter as they become available and provided via email to the club's egroups email list.

WIZARD's Club Business


Dues for 2001/2002 are now due again. Dues are still a bargain at $12/year and cover most, if not all, of our club activities. Dues pay our nominal expenses like buying the pretzels and cups for meetings. The biggest way your dues are spent is at club functions where the club finds some way to treat everyone in attendance like buying the Christmas Ales at our holiday party this past December or buying the appetizers on the annual pub crawl.


As always, articles and suggestions for the newsletter are both welcomed and encouraged and should be sent directly to Bill.

WIZARD's Recent Events

Chillers - September Club Meeting

Another highlight of our September meeting was chiller night. The idea was simple, anyone who had a chiller of one type or another could bring it and put it on display for the rest of the club as a sort of information sharing activity. What was really interesting is that all we had on hand were counter-flow chillers and no one brought one of the more popular immersion style chillers. Go figure. In any case, the club had an informal discussion about different chiller types, constructions and pros/cons.

Club Only Brew Day - October 13
By Brett Schneider

We had a great little gathering on a cloudy but pleasant day to brew, and if you missed it you will maybe get a chance to sample some of the results at a club meeting later this year.

Me, Bill, Tony, and Jeremy ended up brewing 5 batches of beer - an ordinary bitter, a saison, a Pete's wicked clone, Bill's Hillside Pale Ale and an end-of-day 10 gal batch of what we think will turn out to be a mild or a low gravity brown ale? Not sure what to call it, but Tony took it home and it was split in half and he was going to pitch two different yeasts. At least half of that batch will end up somewhere on hand pull for the club to consume, and the other half will be there too but pushed with CO2. To learn more about the "Afterthought Ale" see Tony's follow-up article below.

The brown was MO crisp pale, crystal, roasted, and wheat with whatever we had for hops. If Jeremy's computer recovered the file from it's shutdown we "should" have a record, otherwise we'll just make something up. OG was 1.044

Anyway, that's a short story about a nice day of fall brewing - better luck next time to those of you who missed out.

Club Only Brew Day - The Afterthought Ale
By Tony Maciag

The "Afterthought Ale" (possibly a mild, possibly a brown?) was split into 2 six gallon carboys and one was pitched with:

WLP005- British Ale Yeast: This yeast is a little more attenuative than WLP002. Like most English strains, this yeast produces malty beers. Excellent for all English style ales including bitter, pale ale, porter, and brown ale. Attenuation: 67-74%.Flocculation: High. Optimum fermentation temperature: 65-70 F.

the other was pitched with:

WLP007- Dry English Ale Yeast:Clean, highly flocculant, and highly attenuative yeast. This yeast is similar to WLP002 in flavor profile, but is 10% more attenuative. This eliminates the residual sweetness, and makes the yeast well suited for high gravity ales. It is also reaches terminal gravity quickly. 80% attenuation will be reached even with 10% ABV beers. Attenuation: 70-80%. Flocculation: High. Optimum fermentation temperature: 65-70 F.

the yeast they are comparing these to in the descriptions is:

WLP002- English Ale Yeast: A classic ESB strain from one of England's largest independent breweries. This yeast is best suited for English style ales including milds, bitters, porters, and English style stouts. This yeast will leave a beer very clear, and will leave some residual sweetness. NOTE: Due to the high degree of flocculation, this yeast has a very clumpy appearance in the package. Attenuation: 63-70% Flocculation: Very High.

Editor's note - Tony posted the following update on 22 October...

I kegged both carboys yesterday.... one in a ball-lock (the British ale yeast - this was the one I had figured for the hand pull....) and one in a pin-lock (the Dry English Yeast... and as you would guess, it's drier than the British...)

The gravity was around 1.020 -22 on the British and around 1.012-14 on the Dry English..... I figured that might not be enough sugars left to carbonate it sufficiently, but I did not want to overprime it, so I stuck to the middle of the road and primed each with 1/2 cup of DME boiled in about 1.5 - 2 cups water...... I hope that's about right.

The beer tasted good, if a tiny bit astringent, but keep in mind it was only one week young yesterday....

Editor's note - Tasting notes from the holiday party...

We finally got to taste the Afterthought Ale at the Wizards Holiday Party held at Bill's house. Both beers were available on the hand-pump. The first, made with the WLP002 Engligh Ale yeast, was by far the crowd favorite. Although some preferred the dry eyast batch, most of us felt it had a bit of an odd taste. The first batch was almost consumed at the party and Bill onl;y had a glass or two to drink the next day. The second batch wasn't hit nearly as hard and lasted until the January club meeting. All in all, it was an interesting experiment which used up our leftovers on brew-day! Who knows what next year's Afterthought Ale will bring.

Octoberfest - October Club Meeting

Our October club meeting featured our annual Octoberfest Competition. This year's event had the best selection ever with five different home brews being pitted against one German import. Results of the club's tastings are summarized below. Congratulations to Bill Shelly who took both first and second place a Vienna style lager and an Octoberfest and to Phil's third place Octoberfest. What makes Bill's win so interesting is they were both extract beers! A related article on Bill's brewing with extract techniques can be found below. Finally, thanks to all brewers who participated in this annual event.

BrewerStyleColorHead RetentionClarityAromaFlavor/Mouthfeel
#1 - Bill ShellyVienna GoodGreatGoodNot MuchClean, sweet, full body
#2 - Bill ShellyOctoberfestGoodGreatGoodVery slight hop aromaClean. slight sweetness, full body but not as much as expected by the head
#3 - Phil TatroOctoberfestGoodGoodGreatMalt sweetneesMalt flavor, slightly thin
#4OctoberfestLittle too darkGreatGoodMalt sweetnessSweet, little astringent, little too roasty
#5OctoberfestGoodPoorGoodVery slight grassyThin, Green apple
#6 - Hacker PschorrOctoberfestGood but light end of style rangeGoodGreatSlight skunkinessSkunked!

There was one big lesson learned from this year's competition for future club tastings and competitions and that is all beers to be sampled should be stabalized at a constant temperature. We had too many beers at too many different temperatures which the club felt may have affected our opinions of some of the beers as we sampled them.

Club Samplings

Homebrew tastings over the last few months have included Mike's Summer Wheat and Bitter, Dave's Northern Brown and Jewel-in-the-Crown IPA, Chuck's beer, Bill's Irish Stout, Ben's Mild and Maple Lager, Greg's Belgian Double and Framboise, and Phil's Dopplebock. Commercial tastings included Three Horses Beer from Madagascar (2/5), Saranac Black Forest (3.75/5), Dejabrew Schwarzbier (3/5) and Cisco Brewers Captain Swan's Extra Stout (3.75/5). Note, numbers in parenthesis, where available, show our rating on the five point scale with one being "it stinks" and five being "give me more."

The Other Stuff - Hints & Ideas

The Makings of a Wining Extract Brew
By Brett Schneider

Introduction - This year's Octobrefest tasting surprised almost all of us as the top two beers were extract brews. We've long felt one could make a great tasting extract brew but until now one had never topped of one our tastings. In the following article, Bill Shelly shares some of his wining secrets!

Below is the process I use for brewing lagers:

I'm very fortunate to have well water that is cold and free of chlorine and bacteria. Most equipment gets sanitized with Bio-San and rinsed with tap water. Bottles are sanitized with Bio-San in the dishwasher and rinsed. Bottle caps are disinfected with Iodophor and rinsed.

I always try to:

And now for the wining recipes:

Vienna Style Lager
Vienna Style
Based on the "Negra Modelo Dark Beer" recipe from "CLONEBREWS"
by Tess and Mark Szamatulski

OG 1.054  (CLONEBREWS predicts 1.050-1.051)
FG 1.015  (CLONEBREWS predicts 1.011-1.013)
IBU 27  (assuming 23% utilization)

6oz 60L crystal malt
8oz German Vienna malt
2oz chocolate malt
3lb M&F light dried malt extract
3.3lb Bierkeller light malt syrup
.75oz Hallertau Hersbrucker plugs @ 4.5%AA (3.4 HBU) (60 min boil)
.9oz Tettnanger Tettnang plugs @ 4.9%AA (4.4 HBU) (60 min boil)
.5oz Tettnanger Tettnang plugs (last 10 min of boil)
1tsp Irish moss (last 10 min of boil)
Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager yeast (use starter!)
Ferment at 42-52F (used 47F).
1.25 cups M&F extra-light DME priming for bottling
OG 1.054
FG 1.015
IBU 25  (assuming 23% utilization)

12oz Carapils
6oz Caravienna
5.6lb William's Brewing German Gold extract syrup
(from 50% German Moravian Pilsner, 50% German Munich)
1.4lb Alexander's Pale extract syrup
.8oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker plugs @ 4.5%AA (60 min boil)
.8oz Tettnanger Tettnang plugs @4.3%AA (60 min boil)
.25oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker plugs (last 10 min of boil)
1tsp Irish moss (last 10 min of boil)
Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager yeast (use starter!)
Ferment at 42-52F (used 47F).
1.25 cups M&F extra-light DME priming for bottling

Feature Sites

Here are this issue's feature web sites! Everyone is encouraged to recommend a site for future issues.

Comments, questions or information on the WIZARD's to Bill