Standing Stone Brewing Company

homebrewing

By in Brewery & Beer, Events 0

Toasting Homebrewing with Southern Oregon’s First AHA Rally, 2/22

We are excited to welcome the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) for the first AHA Rally in Southern Oregon! The AHA hosts several Rallies all around the country every year, with 4,500 members meeting at 31 Rallies (the most ever!) in 2014. These gatherings are great opportunities to meet other beer enthusiasts in the area, share stAHA_logoories and recipes, and kick back with some beers in a commercial brewery setting. The Rally will take place at our brewpub in Ashland on Sunday, February 22nd, 2-5pm.

Attendees will enjoy beer samples, take home a Rally-exclusive gift from the AHA, and enter to win prizes from both the AHA and Standing Stone. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet Standing Stone brewers and staff, take a VIP brewery tour, and mingle with other local homebrewers.

As a special feature for our Rally, Standing Stone will do a wort give-away. Each attendee gets to take home 5 gallons of wort produced by us! AHA members will show up to the Rally with a pre-sanitized carboy or bucket. Our brewery staff will be there to help disperse the boiled and chilled wort to those who want to participate. Homebrewers can then ferment their beer and compare flavors with others from the Rally.

AHA Rallies are free to current AHA members. Non-members can join online, or sign up o_DSC3980_edited-1nsite at a discounted member rate. Save time and fill out a membership form in advance to bring with you to the Rally. You can also RSVP online to help us properly prepare for the event.

We’re thrilled to bring this beer-community get-together to Ashland. Sign up, mark your calendar, and get ready for an afternoon of beer, tours, prizes and more. Let’s show the home brewing community how Southern Oregon does a Rally!

To Serve & Protect…Beer

We are happy to announce our Standing Stone’s brewmaster Larry Chase is the newest _GEO2546_edited-1board member for the Brewers Association! It’s a national organization that works to promote and protect small and independent brewers, their beers and the brewing community. Larry says he’s excited to be a part of such a vital resource for the industry and is looking forward to taking the responsibility of helping to lead the organization.

“Ever since I started brewing I have gotten so much from the Association” he says. “People already on the board are the rock-stars of the industry and I am thrilled to help and lead.”

The Brewers Association is made up of more than 15-hundred breweries and 34-thousand members, including the American Homebrewers Association community, wholesalers and other beer industry workers.

Larry is currently serving as vice-chair of the brewpub committee, and also sits on the _GEO9458_edited-4organization’s finance committee. Larry emphasizes he won’t only be leading – he’ll also be learning, and bringing new insight and ideas back to Southern Oregon.

“I am looking forward to helping guide the organization as the craft beer industry continues to grow. I will be sitting on the board with big names in the industry and expect to learn from other colleagues on the board.”

Larry will be heading to Boulder at the end of the month for the first quarterly board meeting of the year. Join us in lifting up a glass to congratulate Larry and to wish him success in his new beer role!

By in Brewery & Beer, Community 0

Toasting Passionate (and Really Delicious) Craft Homebrewing

(photo: Aaron Spotswood)

We’re enthusiastic about all craft beer! That’s why we pitched-in some goodies for this year’s winner in the India Pale Ale category for the Hombrewers Competition at the Oregon State Fair (August 24 – September 3rd). The first-place IPA homebrewer was Aaron Spotswood of Albany, Oregon, who also won the Reserve Best of Show honor. We asked Aaron a bit about his award-winning brew, simply named “Dan,” and what drives him to brew craft beer at home.

What do you think is particularly good about this IPA, and what might you change for a future brew?

This beer is silky, floral and full of aroma. Late hop additions and a large, short dry-hop make this a winner. Originally, it placed 2nd in the Indiana State Fair with the first recipe. I then took the feedback from that competition and updated the recipe with Columbus and Chinook hops to create a hop presence without overwhelming the palate. The only change on this beer would be making a bigger batch!

What was some of the judges’ feedback for the winning IPA?

The Award-Winning IPA – “Dan.” Photo: Aaron Spotswood

Aroma: Nice citrus, piney hops.

Appearance: Light golden color, lasting creamy head.

Flavor: Great Balance, very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Overall: Well done. Great hop utilization – not harsh but pleasant. Slight malt sweetness. Great balance and very drinkable.

What other contests have you entered this year and what other awards have you won?

2nd Place…American IPA – Indiana State Fair
1st Place…American IPA and Reserve Best of Show – Oregon State Fair
1st Place…American Brown Ale – Oregon State Fair
1st Place…Specialty Beer, Cascadian Dark Ale – Oregon State Fair
2nd Place…Robust Porter – American Homebrewers Association Club-Only Competition

What do you enjoy most about home brewing?

Home brewing is an outlet for me. I am a creative guy with a mind for science. I have a lot of aquarium- keeping experience and I‘ve found that brewing is very similar to keeping aquariums in many ways. There must be a vision, a procurement of materials, and an execution of a plan, all done within the parameters required for a living organism. When I’m finished I have something that the public loves and wants more of. I love it!

Thanks, Aaron, for the info, the picture, and brewing great craft beer! If you’re interested in other homebrewing events in your area, check out your local Homebrew Club (like the Rogue Valley Homebrewers) or the American Homebrewers Association. And support local craft beer!

By in Brewery & Beer 0

Brew Your Own: Sharing the Secrets of Homebrewing

American Craft Beer Week has left us even more inspired to explore and share the alchemy of craft beer. We’re intrigued with homebrewing, which is a fascinating, rewarding and approachable avocation. Southern

Bob Bacolas (photo: Examiner.com)

Oregon has a thriving homebrewing culture and we’ve hosted a few  enthusiasts in our “Brewer for the Day” program. We’ve also got one of the best brewing supply shops, Grains, Beans & Things. We interviewed owner Bob Bacolas to tap his knowledge and help aspiring beer makers get started.

How did you get into home brewing?

I was living in Juneau and one of my buddies worked at Alaska Brewing. He loves to homebrew and craft commercial beers. Drinking his homebrew convinced me that I could craft beer as good if not better (and fresher) than many of the European beers I’d come to enjoy. So, he taught me to brew.

What ingredients are needed?

That depends. My 7-year-old daughter insists that brewers use only Malt, Hops, Yeast and Water in strict accordance to Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law. However, my wife Tonessa claims that wheat, a bit of tangerine, other spices and fruit have a place in the fermenter. So, you see, I live in a house divided. Whatever the recipe, the ingredients must be fresh – really fresh.

What equipment is needed?

As with anything, brewing equipment can be as basic or as exotic as you can imagine. I use a modified Coleman Cooler to mash my grains, an old kitchen stainless pot to brew in and a couple of glass carboys as fermenters. I keg my beer in used soda tanks.

What steps are involved in the process?

There are different methods, depending on where you want to start in the process. About 90% of homebrewers prefer to use malt extract (liquid or dry) so I’ll summarize that process:

  • Note: Equipment used before the boil must be clean. Equipment used after the boil must be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Steep specialty malts at around 150 degrees for at least 30 minutes to make a tea, bringing out the qualities of the malts and any adjuncts. Put that tea in the brewpot.
  • Depending on the recipe, add water to the tea, bringing the volume to 3-6 gallons. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Remove the pot from heat and add the malt extract. If using liquid, make sure the extract is fully dissolved before returning the pot to the heat.
  • Bring the resulting “wort” (unfermented beer) to a vigorous boil
  • Add hops for bittering and boil for 45 minutes.
  • Add more hops for flavor, and add Irish Moss, a protein coagulant that helps reduce cloudiness in the finished beer.
  • Isaac Overacker, homebrewer, at Standing Stone as Brewer for the Day

    Boil for 10 more and add hops for aroma. Turn off the heat.

  • Cool the Wort in an ice bath or a “Wort Chiller.”
  • When Wort is below 80 degrees, vigorously aerate the liquid and inoculate with a high quality yeast.
  • At this point the brewer’s job is done and the yeast takes over. When is the beer done? The yeast will tell you.

What are your favorite beers to make?

I really enjoy making and drinking authentic German Pilsners.

How can folks learn about the process and get supplies?

Stop by or call a brewer’s supply like Grains Beans & Things. We love to explain processes and help new brewers. Our shops are like “Cheers” for homebrewers, full of like-minded folks willing to share ideas and tips. They’re great places to hang out.

 Ready to get brewing? We are. Thanks, Bob! For even more information, check out “How to Brew” and the American Homebrewers Association.

Join a Big Brew Near You for National Homebrew Day

Being passionate about all things beer, we love to support local homebrewers and encourage folks to learn how to craft microbrews of their own. So, naturally, we’re really looking forward to National Homebrew Day on May 7th. Homebrewers around the US – and the world – mark the annual celebration by taking part in the “Big Brew,” hosting collaborative, hands-on brewing events

We’re lucky that there’s an event in our own backyard, thanks to the Bear Creek Homebrew Club and Grains Beans n’ Things. On May 7th from 11 AM to 4 PM, a “Learn to Homebrew” fiesta will be held at Grains, Beans & Things in Medford, OR (820 Crater Lake Ave, directions here). (If you’re outside the Rogue Valley, find your local homebrew clubs here).

(Photo: American Homebrewers Association)

We talked to Dennis Dye, event organizer and Bear Creek Homebrew Club member, to get the details on the festivities. There’s a fabulous lineup on tap, making this a can’t-miss event. Even better, it’s free and open to the public.

  • Imbibe interactive beer brewing demos for four different beers, including an Irish Cream Stout made by the Bear Creek Homebrew club. You’ll get to learn about a broad array of ingredients and the steps involved in the alchemy of crafting beer.
  •  Cross your fingers for great prizes in a free raffle, including gift certificates for brewing yeast from White Labs and WYeast, gift certificates for Bella Union and Wild River Brewing, organic locally-grown Alpha-Beta Hops, the opportunity to join us at Standing Stone Brewing Company’ to be a “Brewer for the Day” and craft a batch of beer with our brewmaster, Larry Chase, and more.

    One lucky Big Brew attendee will be our Brewer for the Day

  • Enjoy BBQ and connecting with a hip and hoppening community of others with an interest and passion for beer.

For more information, visit the Bear Creek Homebrew Club website or contact Dennis Dye. See you there!

“Brewer for the Day” & Supporting Homebrewers

We recently had the pleasure of inviting Isaac Overacker, an avid homebrewer, to spend a day at Standing Stone Brewing Co. and take part in the professional brewing process. Isaac was the lucky winner of a raffle prize we donated to a homebrewing event hosted by our friends at Grains, Beans & Things (supplies for homebrewers). It was a great experience so we thought we’d share it here.

Homebrewers are vocal proponents of small craft breweries. As a professional brewer I always enjoy conversing with homebrewers who are as passionate about their avocation as I am about my work. Here at the brewery, we love to welcome our hobbyist friends and help them advance their craft. So, when Dennis Dye of the Bear Creek Homebrew Club called for a raffle prize for a “Learn to Homebrew Day” event hosted by Grains, Beans, & Things as part of an annual, nationwide celebration sponsored by the American Homebrewers Association, I was glad to help. After musing about what a home brewer might like most, I thought they’d probably enjoy working on professional equipment and being able to share questions and insights with a brewmaster. So, we offered the grand prize of “Brewer for the Day,” providing the lucky winner with the opportunity to spend the day brewing at Standing Stone Brewing Co., including sampling our range of beers, eating a delicious lunch and taking home a Standing Stone t-shirt.

Isaac sent us a note reflecting on his experience and has allowed us to post it here:

I stopped by Grains Beans & Things a few weeks ago to pick up a few supplies for my next batch of beer. While I was there, I entered a drawing to be a “brewer for the day” at Standing Stone Brewing Company. I’ve been brewing all-grain with my dad for two years, but when I won the opportunity to help brew a batch of beer at Standing Stone, I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity to improve my techniques. Spending a day helping a brewer as skilled and friendly as Larry was certainly one of the best things I’ve done for my brewing! Incorporating some of his tips and tricks, we improved the mash efficiency of our next batch by 50%. But more importantly, I had a lot of fun. Thank you, Larry, and the rest of the Standing Stone staff, for a great day! ~ Isaac

We had fun too, Isaac! Thanks for coming by, and thanks to Grains, Beans & Things and the American Homebrewers Association for supporting the growing movement of homebrewers. If you’d like the opportunity to be a “Brewer for the Day,” or know a special someone who would, we offer this package for purchase with other merchandise and gift items . . .perfect for the holidays or any day.