Next Meeting 10/18/21

Brewers and Drinkers Around Silver Spring


October 2014 Meeting Notes

Posted by on October 26, 2014 at 8:25 PM

BADASS Monthly Meeting- October 21, 2014

Thanks to Robert and Ann for hosting nearly 30 members. The club continues to grow. We have about 90 who have signed up on the website and are on the listserv. Welcome to all first time meeting attendees including: Joe (loves pumpkin beers), Andre and Paula (moved here from Michigan, likes sour ciders and beers), Bobby and Erica (hoping to try brewing/like sorghum based beers and ciders), John (likes pale ales), and Mike (our guest speaker---see more on him below).

LEADERSHIP ROLES ANNOUNCED – A small group of BADASS members met to continue discussing the future of the club: strategy for expanding, education, website/IT needs, meeting locations etc. Six roles are being suggested. Captain BADASS, IT Commander, Lieutenant of Education, Membership Ambassador, Commander of the Treasury, and Secretary of Information. The following folks have volunteered so far…. please talk with them if you want to work on these activities: Allen P - Captain, Justin K - Membership, Gary S – IT, Helen and Sharon R – Secretary, and Richard S – Education. The Treasury role is still open.

CHANGING MARYLAND LAWS re: Consuming Homebrew in Commercial Establishments - A group is getting together to lobby for more progressive laws regarding consuming homebrew in Montgomery county establishments. These will be based on the existing wine laws, such as the ‘corkage’ fee. The hope is to have the law change from just wine to all sorts of beverages. The homebrew groups across Maryland, including some BADASS-ers are working on the fight.

SIGN UP ON THE WEBSITE to participate in a group buy of fresh pressed apple cider $3.50 per gallon

NEW—BADASS MONTHLY TASTING AND JUDGING (Here is the original email from Justin outlining the steps)

1) Each month I'll send a couple email reminders to the group soliciting volunteers to submit beers for review. We're going to start small so as not to take up too much time during the meeting. For now we'll accept up to 3 and see how this goes.

2) As people get to the meeting (7:00-7:15 when people are trickling in) we will ask people to try samples of these blinded beers.

3) Paper/pencils will be provided for evaluation; it will be a very simple assessment sheet and not a full BJCP score sheet. (e.g. you rate it 1-5 on taste/smell/appearance/etc, maybe add comments or circle flavor descriptors). The last question will ask people to guess the style of the beer.

4) During the structured part of the meeting we will see how many people correctly guessed the style, summarize people's ratings, and have a quick group discussion of each beer. The discussion will cover what was good, what could be improved, and how to potentially fix any such issues we find.


Periodically we will include commercial beers with the others so people can see how homebrews stack up to those in a blind taste comparisons. Any takers for upcoming meetings? Please email

Justin directly


During the October meeting, two Black IPAs and a Belgium Dubbel were tasted by a dozen folks using a rating sheet. Justin will review the ratings and provide the feedback to those who submitted beers. Good Start! Hope this continues for meetings to come.


NEED BADASS WEBSITE CONTENT Members are encouraged to contribute…Resources? Recipes? Other? What would YOU like to see? Gary reminded the group that we have a blog page. Maybe send in a review of a beer you’ve tasted somewhere.

GUILD NEWS- BADASS is a member of the Free State Home Brew Club Guild. The Guild meets once every two months. As the Captain, Alean represents BADASS at the meetings. The Guild’s upcoming Holiday Party is December 6th from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Heavy Seas in Linthicum. We will be having a booth together with the BREW club members. Allan is organizing…so contact him. If you would be willing to volunteer at the booth, bring food and beer, etc. More information to follow for those interested. We have up to 12 tickets and we MUST reserve our tickets by October 30th.

GUEST SPEAKER- Michael Tonsmeire, also known as The Mad Fermentationist. He gave an interesting and puckering presentation on Sour Beers (our theme this month). His talked included specific discussion about four sours he’s brewed. He passed samples to the group throughout the discussion. We sampled his Berliner Weisse (he called it a beginner’s sour beer), which was a tart and tangy wheat beer made with lactobacillus and lemon zest. Next a Lambic, brewed about two years ago, bottled three months ago. Third was a dark Saison made with dark fruit and quince paste. The yeast he uses often comes from the dregs of other sour beers he’s made. Fourth was a Flemish Red, which has East Coast and Red Wine yeasts to give it a figgy, plum-y taste. It is pushing three years old now… and is about 7% ABV.

Michael graciously answered questions from the group. Question: Is there such a thing as a sour beer that is not “microbed”? Answer: It is hard to get enough acidity from just fruit. Question: When adding fruit is there such a thing as “too long” to leave it in? Answer: Fruit flavor tends to fade, so I add it 2 – 2 1/2 months before it is done. But it depends on the flavor you are trying to achieve. Question: How do you add an oak flavor? Answer: I cut cubes of oak and boil them for a bit either on the stove or in the microwave and drain off that water (to avoid having the flavor of licking a sheet of plywood!) before adding them. Question: Have you tried sour dough starters? Answer: Yes he has, but not much luck. Has done sourdough bread yeast.

One caution: Sour beers have to be stable before you bottle them…. Wait one to two months or you might be getting a “glass explosion!”

Mike has written a book called “American Sour Beers—Innovative Techniques for Mixed Fermentation” which is on sale for $20.00

The meeting ended with everyone a little more puckered than before, but happy. Looking forward to next month, which will have a UK theme!

NEXT MEETING LOCATION: Gary and Claire will host the November meeting. THANKS!

NOVEMBER MEETING PRESENTATION “So, You Want to Start a Brewery?” Rich Suchoski



Categories: Monthly Meeting Notes

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