Mar 2016 People’s Choice Competition: Saison

Our first People’s Choice event of 2016 will occur at our Mar 24 meeting.  The style will be Saison.

To participate:

  1. Sign-up to claim one of the limited number of spots.
  2. Brew a Saison in adherence to Category 25B from 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines
  3. Bring six unlabeled 12 ounce bottles or three unlabeled 22 ounce bottles for judging.

Sign-up is limited to members, however guests are welcome to judge and bring homebrew to share before and after the meeting.

After all entries have been sampled, attendees will vote for their favorite.  The brewer who receives the most votes will be enshrined on our People’s Choice Winners page and will receive a prize donated by our sponsors.

October People’s Choice Event

Our October meeting will double as our Annual Meeting (i.e., elections for the 2016 board) and our Porter People’s Choice competition. We hold these events periodically as a fun, engaging way to share our homebrew with the group, get feedback and learn from each other. Some people also seem to like bragging rights. See the list of prior winners here.

There are still a couple months left until the meeting.  If you are interested, sign up here.  Signup is open to members only, however we welcome all guests judge and to bring homebrew to share before and after the competition..

The rules are simple:

  1. Sign up
  2. Brew a porter (you can get creative with ingredients, but please brew a porter for the base style).
  3. Bring six unlabeled 12 ounce bottles to the meeting.

Email with any questions.

Summer 2015 Update

Here is a summery of key activities from April through July.

General Updates:

  • We have averaged 30 attendees at our monthly meetings year-to-date.
  • We started formal membership sign-ups in April.  As of the publishing of this blog entry, we have 37 paid members.
  • Members have won 4 medals at BJCP sanctioned competitions.  See the Competitions page for details.
  • Initiated a Twitter account in May
  • 34 members ordered club work shirts, which were delivered at the June meeting.

Monthly Meetings

  • Apr 23:  26 attendees.  1 first time Guest.  Several members brought items to present and Kevin Combs walked through the electric brewing equipment used by Brew Lab.
  • May 28:  36 attendees.  7 first time guests.  The theme was cider night.  Bryce from Cinder Block was scheduled to talk to us about making cider, but cancelled just before the meeting.  John talked about how he made the cider he brought.  We also sampled several ciders brought by members.
  • Jun 25:  35 attendees.  6 first time guests.  We sampled 10 session IPAs brewed by members and voted for our favorite.  Visit the People’s Choice page to read about the results.
  • July 23:  30 attendees.  4 first time guests.  JQ from Royal Hops brought samples of fresh hops to share with us and answered many questions from members about growing hops.

Special Events

  • Apr 25:  Several members poured 9 beers at the Parkville Microbrew Fest along with other KC and regional clubs.  Check out this video slideshow created by our Secretary, Steve Gish.
  • May 16:  Jim Dore, Rance McClain, Nick Roudebush and Tim Squires poured their homebrew at Hopfest.
  • May 30:  President Tim Ryan represented the club at The Lone Elm Taproom Homebrewing event (conducted by our friends at Brew Lab) and distributed business cards.
  • Jun 17:  Vice President Kevin Thuiringer represented the club at The Lone Elm Taproom Homebrewing event (conducted by our friends at Brew Lab) and distributed business cards.
  • Jun 27:  Several club members poured at their own booth at the Nanobrew Festival.  Kevin Thuringer and Tim Ryan manned a club booth while sharing a tent with members Tim Squires and Nick Vargo who were manning the Sunflower Prairie booth.
  • July 11:  Jeremy Rott hosted a brew day at his house in Olathe.

Session IPA People’s Choice Event

Our June 25 meeting will be a People’s Choice event focused on Session IPA.  Up to 12 people will brew a session IPA and bring it to the meeting where:

  1. We will do a blinded group tasting of each beer, and we will discuss characteristics observed by participants.
  2. The group will vote to identify the “people’s choice” favorite beer.
  3. All brewers will have an opportunity to talk about how they made their beer.

Instructions for Brewers:

  • Sign up using this link:
  • Use whatever recipe you want, but please do not exceed 4.6% ABV.
  • Bring six unlabeled 12 oz. bottles in commercial six pack carriers to the meeting.
  • Be prepared to talk about your recipe, brewing procedure and actual beer specs.

Currently the people’s choice award is the satisfaction of your beer being voted as the group favorite.  The board will also discuss a more formal way of recognizing the winner.

Preference for events like this is given to paid members.

Feb/Mar 2015 Update


At the Feb 26 meeting, the club elected the board. Mike McVey presented information on growing hops.  Michael Crane visited and shared samples.  Total signed-in attendance was 26 with 4 first time guests.

The elected board met on Mar 6 to elect the officers and adopt the bylaws.  Per the bylaws, the board and officers are the same people.

  • President: Tim Ryan
  • Vice President: Kevin Thuringer
  • Secretary: Steve Gish
  • Treasurer: Tim Squires
  • Activities Director:  Jenna Munoz

The board also accepted Ken Schmidt’s offer to serve unofficially as the assistant Activities Director.


At the March meeting:

  • Tim R provided an update on the membership process and dues.  Annual dues were set by the board at $32, but payment is not due until April.  Based on the quarterly dues structure, this means dues are $24 for the remainder of the year.  Check out the Membership page for more info.
  • Kevin gave an update on club participation in the Parkville Microbrew Fest and Hopfest.  We have reached the needed number of volunteers for both events.
  • Tim R gave an update on upcoming meetings.
    • The April meeting will feature a “DIY show-and-tell.”
    • The main feature at the May meeting is still being confirmed.
    • The June meeting will feature a session IPA tasting similar to the Irish Ale tasting at the March meeting, however brewers will devise their own recipes for June.
  • The main feature was the Irish Ale Exbeeriment tasting, which included nine Irish Red ales and five Dry Stouts brewed by members.  The samples were blinded for everyone but the brewer.  The group gave sensory feedback for each sample, and then voted on the favorite in each category.  The brewers then provided an overview of their brewing process and took questions from the group.  Kevin Thuringer won the best Irish Ale with 6 votes.  Ken Schmidt won best Dry Stout with 14 votes.  View pics on Facebook.
  • Total signed-in attendance was 28 people with four first time guests.

Jan 2015 Meeting Notes

We had a great turnout at the Jan 22 meeting.  A total of 29 people were in attendance with nine attending for the first time.

The meeting was rather unusual, because we focused on club strategy and upcoming events.  Here is an overview of the key items discussed:

  • The “planning team” has been working since September on defining an operational model for the club while also planning club activities.
  • With support from Mike McVey, we are in the process of incorporating in KS as a non-profit.  Mike provided an overview of the rationale and process for this.
  • We recognized the contributions of Jenna Munoz, Aaron Hill, Brian Hann, Howie Johnson, Steve Gish, Ken Schmidt and Tim Squires on the planning committee.  We recognized the professional contribution that Mike has provided in assisting with the legal aspects of the process.
  • We discussed the draft bylaws and symbolically adopted them by general consent.
  • We discussed the five board positions and the elections process as defined in the bylaws.  Election to be held in the February meeting.  The deadline for nominations is February 5.
  • We received three nominations that were accepted:
    • Secretary: Steve Gish
    • Treasurer:  Tim Squires
    • President: Tim Ryan
  • We received two nominations that have not been accepted:
    • VP:  Brian Hann (declined)
    • VP or Activities Director:  Ken Schmidt
  • Discussed upcoming special activities:
    • The Irish “Parallel Brew Exbeeriment” was discussed.
    • Mike issued an invitation to participate in the KCBM “Hot Summer Nights” competition and described the opportunities.
    • Tim Squires provided an overview of beerfests the club may consider participating in this year, including the Parkville Microbrew Fest on Apr 25.  We need volunteers to bring and serve beer at the club booth.

To volunteer for Parkville or to submit a nomination for the board, send an e-mail to

Parallel Brew Exbeeriment

You’re planning to brew an Irish Red and/or a Dry Stout for St. Patrick’s Day, right?  Have you ever wondered how your homebrewing prowess compares to other local homebrewers?  Are you curious about how process, equipment and other non-recipe related factors affect a finished beer?  We’d like to help you with these things.  Here’s the idea:

  1. Everyone brews the exact same recipe at home using his/her standard process (please resist the urge to tweak).
  2. Brewers bring a six pack of samples in unlabeled 12 oz bottles to the club meeting on Mar 26.
  3. At that meeting, everyone participates in a blind tasting to identify differences and vote for their favorite beers.
  4. After the votes are cast and the blind is broken, discuss the variables that contributed to differences in the beers.

We are using tried and true recipes from Brewing Classic Styles (sorry, can’t post them, because of copyright law).  Our friends at Brew Lab are providing a discount for the ingredients.  Ingredient prices (extract, grain, hops and yeast) are as follows, plus tax.

  • Irish Red (all-grain):  $31.86
  • Irish Red (extract):  $45.66
  • Dry Stout (all-grain):  $29.84
  • Dry Stout (extract):  $46.67

Use this link to sign up for the kit(s) you will brew for the experiment. 

The guys at Brew Lab have the recipes and can help you get everything you need.

Note: Brew Lab has all of the ingredients in stock, except Wyeast Irish Ale yeast, which is expected to be replenished during the week of Jan 26.

Send questions to

November Update

Since we are not meeting in Nov due to Thanksgiving, here is a club update.

  • On Oct 25, Tim S and Tim R manned a booth for the club at the Rot & Ruin festival in Liberty.  We took five kegs, including the club collaboration Hibiscus Grisette.  The pic above is from this event.
  • On Nov 8, Tim S hosted a brew session.  I did not count heads, but I believe there were eight people in attendance.  We need to do these a few times per year.  What a great opportunity for new brewers to see a brewing process in action and to ask detailed questions.  Also a great opportunity for experienced brewers to see the process and equipment used by others in the community.
  • Holiday party invitations have been sent to everyone who attended one of the club’s six 2014 meetings.  If you did not receive an invitation, please check your spam filter.  The invitation was sent via evite on Nov 12.
  • On Nov 14, the planning committee met to continue working on a plan to create an appropriate formal structure for the club.  The committee will meet again in December and January with the goal of producing draft bylaws that will be provided to the overall club for for review/discussion in our January meeting.

Oct 2014 Meeting Notes

We had 15 in attendance at the meeting and one guest.


  • Tim S and Tim R will be manning a booth for the club at the Rot & Run Festival on Saturday.  Asked for additional volunteers.
  • Rather than participating in Learn to Homebrew day on Nov 1, we’re going to do a “Learn to Homebrew Weekend.”  Tim S and Jenna are going to host brew sessions at their homes on Nov 8 and 9 respectively.  Details TBA by e-mail.
  • In lieu of Nov and Dec meetings, Ken will be hosting a holiday party on Dec 5 at 7:00 PM.  It will be a potluck.  Invitations will be distributed by e-mail for club participants and a guest.

Tim R provided a brief update on the club planning meetings:

  • Progress is being made on defining details that will be required for writing bylaws (membership, officers, various procedures, etc.)
  • Planning to continue meeting through the rest of the year
  • In advance of the January meeting, bylaws will be drafted and posted for overall club review/comment.  The plan is to put the bylaws to a vote in the January meeting.

The main event was a demonstration by Chris Stenger on jumping a beer between kegs and cleaning kegs.  We had a good discussion about cleaning practices and a bit of a debate about the StarSan versus Iodophor.

Sep 2014 Meeting Notes

It was great to be back after missing the August meeting due to work. As planned, it was a low key meeting with about 10 minutes taken for club business and the rest of the time dedicated to a facilitated tasting session.

Attendance:  25
First time: 7

The Business:

  • Discussed organizing a carpool to the Oct 18 AHA Rally at the Free State production brewery in Lawrence.  Send an e-mail to the club e-mail address if interested.  Designated drivers would be especially appreciated.
  • The Oct 23 meeting will feature a demo/discussion of keg cleaning.
  • Nov and Dec meetings will be cancelled due to the holidays.
  • On Fri, Dec 5 Ken Schmidt will host a holiday event (Kegger at Ken’s) at his home in Olathe.  It will be a potluck.  Spouses/significant others welcome.  Additional details are TBA.
  • The previously assembled “planning team” has been meeting and will continue to meet through end of the year with the primary focus on organizing club events and establishing an appropriate structure for the club (bylaws, membership policy, etc.).  The plan is to present the output of these meetings in the Jan 22, 2015 club meeting.

Mike McVey facilitated the tasting session, which I thought went really well.  The group evaluated the “Roundabout” BrewHoff beers that developed off-flavors.  As a reference, we used the BJCP Fault List that Mike brought to hand out.  Astringent, medicinal and band-aid (plastic) were a couple faults that stood out.  The working theory is:

  • Something went wrong in the water treatment, which affected both beers.  Possible pH and chlorine/chloramine issues.
  • An infection was established in the 1469 carboy, because of an insufficient pitch of healthy yeast the morning after brewing.  Yeast viability in the Wyeast pack was low and a starter was not prepared.

As usual, I invite participants to add comments.