March 2020 Meeting

Thanks to Royal City Brewing in Guelph for hosting our March 11 meeting in their warehouse, which featured Stephen Snudden’s presentation on meadmaking!

Thanks Royal City!

Before Stephen’s presentation, he laid out a wide assortment of his meads with notes. The meads ranged from ones that didn’t work out (e.g. mead with a heavy umami flavour), to meads that needed a little adjustment in acid or tannin (which you could do in your glass with a syringe using acid and tannin sources Stephen supplied), to of course the amazing mid-to-high 40s scoring, award winning meads Stephen is known for.

Stephen Snudden was generous with his knowledge and his mead at the meeting, providing a wide variety of meads for attendees to sample. Thank you Stephen!

After some time for trouble shooting problems brews, and for members to socialize and sample Stephen’s mead, Justin opened the meeting by announcing that Meaghan and Kris will be developing a club survey in the near future. Justin urged all members to get involved in responding to the survey and giving their feedback to guide us.

As members arrive for a meeting, we gather some of the groups beer judges, and judges in training to identify off flavours and troubleshoot problem beers. No shame here. It’s a great training opportunity for us, and hopefully the advice helps the brewer!

Competition news

Jamie updated us on upcoming deadlines for brewing competitions, urging us to keep an eye on the club forum (https://truegrist.ca/forum/forum/competition/) for upcoming entry deadlines. Note that at time of this post we expect that Summer competitions may be affected by the CoVID-19 pandemic.

We announced that information about our upcoming Blazing Paddles Homebrew Competition is now available at:

https://blazingpaddles.truegrist.ca

Judging is scheduled to take place June 13 and 14, and we need lots of volunteers to make this competition a success. Please sign up on the competition website if you’re interested in helping out.

Bulk buy news

We also discussed upcoming bulk buys. Our annual hop bulk buy with Topp’s Hops is now live! This will run until April 5th. We have devised a plan to distribute hops in light of our current global situation – but we do require some volunteers to pull it off. We will ship the hops in boxes to several different locations, which will represent orders of several nearby bulk buy participants. Our distribution node volunteer will sort the orders and run no-contact distribution (pick up or delivery). If you can help us out with this, please respond to the bulk buy thread or email our Volunteer Director Meghan at volunteer@truegrist.ca.

We are investigating options for the malt bulk buy many of our members have come to expect, but that is less easily navigated that the hops due to the size and weight of the items. It’s safe to assume that if we do run it, it’ll be different from how it’s been in the past and it may be postponed.

LHBS

In these uncertain times we encourage you to support your local homebrew shops – KJ Urban Winery and Craft Brewing Supplies in Guelph, and Short Finger Brewing Co. in KW. As a Club we are so lucky to have had these supportive shops backing us since day 1. They have both have had to quickly and drastically adjust their business in support of staff and community safety. Both have local no-contact delivery options for online orders.

Timbit Cereal beer with OBK

Ontario Beer Kegs (OBK) hosted us for a Timbit cereal inspired club brew the Saturday following our meerting (March 14). We’ll have a separate recap for this brew in the near future!

Our next meeting

While at the meeting, Justin announced that our next monthly meeting is scheduled for April 8 at Barncat Artisan Ales in Cambridge with Dr. Mike Edney, we have since cancelled this meeting. We are exploring virtual meeting options to keep our members socially connected while physically distanced during the CoVID-19 pandemic. A separate notice will go out once we have arranged for our first virtual meeting with the full details! A reminder that you can always connect with your fellow members on the Club Forum! We also welcome input on the format and content of our virtual meetings.

As usual our meeting slides have been uploaded and are available for you to view, but note there has been considerable changes to this information which we’ve tried to update in this recap.

Mead: A Crash Course

Stephen Snudden discussed similarities and differences between brewing meads and beers in his Mead: A Crash Course presentation, giving us all an appreciation of the intricacies involved in mead production, especially during the fermentation and aging processes. Stephen’s delicious mead samples were available after the presentation for tasting until the end of the meeting. Thanks once again to Stephen for his information-packed presentation and his tasty samples! Please find his presentation, which includes several tried and tested mead recipes, linked above!

Stephen presented a crash course in meadmaking. Stephen is an accomplished meadmaker and runs the website experimeads.com – check it out for some of his sensory experiments involving mead production method and ingredient comparisons.
So much great information in Stephen’s presentation! I think it had us many of us who have not tried meadmaking, seriously considering to give it a shot!