What’s going on with the Worthogs in 2015

Written by Zak Holmes

We already have one meeting under our belts as I write this and I will admit that I have not done the greatest job in keeping everyone updated on this website, we tend to use Facebook for the majority of our posts and events and will probably continue to use the as our main source of keeping club members informed of upcoming events. That being said we are going to have lots of events going on this year, we are going to try and make 5 brewfests this year starting with the Fond du Lac Brewfest on February 7, if anyone is interested in coming and serving for a couple of shifts please contact me. We are also planning on being a part of the Columbus Arts and Ales festival, Colonialefest, Ducktoberfest, and the Beans, Bacon and Beer fest in Sun Prairie, we will keep you informed as we know more about what our roll will be in those events. In addition, we will always have our monthly meetings which are held on the 4th Thursday of every month and the majority of those meetings are at the Nitty Gritty in Sun Prairie starting at 7:00.


Congratulations to Hannah Stoffs for winning the second annual Brew or Cry Challenge, we look forward to drinking her winning Belgian Pale Ale at One Barrel Brewing in the future, maybe it will get put on tap for Madison Craft beer week as this was when Peter’s beer went on tap last year. Our first Brew or Cry Challenge date is the march meeting and we should have teams pick by the end of this weekend. Speaking of Madison Craft beer week, I was contacted by Ben Feifarek from the Wine and Hop Shop about doing an east side (SPWH) vs west side (Bluff Hoppers) club competition. Both clubs would brew around 4 beers and then they would be put on tap at an event during MCBW and have attendees vote for their favorite, Ross Harms (President) from the Bluff Hoppers is a good friend of mine and this will be fun to have a little competition betweens the two clubs.


Lastly, it appears that one of our own club members could be opening a brewery around October and I know that everyone in the club is as excited about this as I am, I have talked to with this member quite a bit about what our role as a club will be with his brewery and he wants us to be involved so if you ever had any ideas about opening a brewery now is the time to tell those ideas to him and maybe they can get used. We should as a club try to support him as much as possible and I know that we will.


I look forward to the upcoming year knowing that this could be one of the best years for our club yet.


Zak Holmes



Written by Dan Mickelson

As with most everything I’ve learned, it’s deeply rooted in my mistakes.  After round 2 of the Brew or Cry, I was told that my beer was mildly undercarbonated.  This was also noted about my beer in Round 1.  At home I thought the carbonation was great in a freshly poured pint.

I’m thinking about that again and was just rereading the tips page from Homebrewfinds.com and something stood out to me in particular.  Tip #20 is about filling a quick bottle or growler.  I have been using a cheap growler filler attachment and got a lot of foaming, what I was forgetting was to adjust the pressure.  Using that attachment at 10-12 PSI was far too high.  The author suggests turning my pressure down to 2-3 PSI for optimal results.  Now if you knew this already, hooray for you!  For us Keg-Newbs, I thought I’d share.

I have linked to his page here, and also copied the page to our site as a quick reference.

After a little Facebook conversation, I also know that I force carbed my beer style too low.  I used my standard force carbonation regiment, instead of turning the PSI up a little for the style.
This handy should be helpful to anyone.

-Mick, Master of interWebs



Written by Zak Holmes

The other day I was on a “home brew community” page on Facebook. There was one person who asked in a post if anyone had a good recipe for a Belgian Tripel, and as one may expect there were tons of replies. It got me thinking, “what if I needed a recipe for a Tripel or any recipe for that matter and where would I go to find it?” I’m not saying that the people posting on the page are not good brewers, and I’m not saying that the recipes were bad, but how would I know? Am I going to rely on some random person to give me an award-winning recipe? I know that I am not. If I had to start I would walk over to my bookshelf and pick up my copy of Brewing Classic Styles in which I would find an award-winning recipe for whatever style I am looking for.


Then I think, “But Zak, what if I just don’t like the way that recipe is looking at me from the book?” Then I might find an award-winning recipe in Zymurgy (which everybody has because everyone is a member of the AHA and Zymurgy is a part of that membership right?) where every year you can find a list of all the winning styles from last years National Homebrew Competition on parade.


“But Zak, those recipes gave me the stink eye as well so where do I go now smart guy?” Well you could ask one of the members in your local Homebrew club which you belong to and if no member had one well they might point you to Brew Your Own magazine where you could look back in the issues and find multiple recipes for your style.


“But Zak” STOP! This is all the further I am willing to go with this, at this point you can ask all the wonderful experts on any forum you can find in which you will find vast amounts of wisdom and stupidity alike. All the references I listed above, except for the forums is where I would point you to go find a recipe. Brew it and have it judged by either BJCP judges or by your friends and mostly by yourself after which you can adjust the recipe and find out if you like the changes you made.


The Pres



Written by Zak Holmes

I would recommend helping this project out on Kickstarter. This would be an excellent tool for brewing as it’s a way to keep track of your temperature in the fermentor and the gravity. I know every time that I pull a sample off my fermentor and measure the gravity it’s a sample I’m never gonna get to sample at it’s finest. This device will allow you to wait until you hit your final gravity or will help you by telling you a gravity you want to crash cool your ferment at so you can then add other bugs to the ferment. This device talks to your phone or tablet so you can keep track from wherever you are. I signed up for one and if they don’t get the funding I get my money back.




Check it out


Big Brew Day for the AHA

Written by Zak Holmes

I am happy to announce that we will be doing a brewing demonstration on May 3rd at The Malt House for the AHA’s Big Brew Day, I’m not sure what type, style or how many club members will be there but we did this a couple of years ago and it was a great time. Bill (the owner) is a great guy for providing the space to do this and last time he gave us half off on beers during the event. This is also happening during Madison Craft Beer week and we should get some good foot traffic for this event. The brew day will kick off at 2:00 and should go to 5:00-6:00. Red Eye Brewmaster Kevin Eichelburger and crew will help help kick off MCBW at the Malt House with a nice selection of some of the most creative beers around starting at 7:00 and going till 9:00. If you have any questions about this event please talk to me at the March Club Meeting.




El Hefe’s Desk- February Meeting

Written by Zak Holmes

Our meeting in February was an educational meeting in which we learned about yeast washing from Rod and Victoria. We got some pretty good information out of that on how to clean your yeast and what techniques to use so you don’t have oxygen in your boiled water so the yeast goes dormant. The club was also treated to a presentation on how to build a remote temperature monitor which allows you to check ferment temps from your phone or from work, Jason did a great job!

Jason and myself are also the only two club members going to the NHC in Grand Rapids, Michigan this year. The conference runs from June 12th-14th and will have some great seminars. There are still tickets available and we have a room which could probably accommodate a few more people, let me know if you are interested.

Next months meeting is March 27th and is our first Brew or Cry Challenge date, it will be at the normal 7:00 time and we will be in the back room.



Brew Kettle – Stainless Hop Screen

Written by Dan Mickelson

I wanted less trub going into my fermenters and had problems with my brew kettle bazooka screen getting clogged.  I looked into making a hop spider, when I came across this site.  http://utahbiodieselsupply.com/brewingfilters.php

6x14 inch 300 micron brew filter hops spider filter6x14 inch 300 micron brew filter hops spider filter

I bought the 6″x10″ hop screen for my 8 gallon megapot and used it for the first time this weekend.  Here’s what it saved from going into my fermenter.


I had zero issue with my bazooka screen clogging and the 2.5 oz of hop matter was left behind, saving 1/4″ to 1/2″ of gunk in the tank.  Cleanup was a breeze and it’s ready to use again!  A little pricey at $45, but it’s an investment and something I don’t have to worry about in the future.

They also sell dry-hop tubes for standard carboys and a nice container to dry-hop in the keg.  I bought the corny-keg hopper and plan to use that very soon.


El Hefe’s Desk – January Meeting

Written by Zak Holmes

January’s meeting was a blast, we got to cover topics from the Brew or Cry to what each meeting will bring throughout the year. I think that this year may be one of our best with all of the events that we have coming (Brewer’s Game, Worthogtoberfest, NHC, and the Hop Head tour to name a few). NHC (National Homebrew Conference is probably one of the biggest events that this club will be a part of, there will be seminars, club night, meet pro-brewers and the competition if one of the Worthogs can make it that far! Here’s a link to the Mashing in Michigan site to learn more http://www.ahaconference.org I am really looking forward to going to this and i hope we can get at least 5 members if not more to also go. Remember you will need to have $285 by the middle of Feburary to register for the conference.

Spiedel Fermenters

Written by Dan Mickelson

Product Photo

I bought two of these in 2013 and I love them.  Wide mouth is easy for cleanout. Built-in handles for transporting or shaking up your wort to aerate make life easy.

I bought the 30L (7.9gal) and 20L (5.3gal) with the intent to use one for primary fermenting and the smaller for bottling or secondary fermenting.  In hindsight, I would have just bought only 30L.