2014 Club Officers Needed


Brent MacAloney’s last day on the job

At the November 12th club meeting we will be voting on who will consist of the 2014 set of club officers.  Being an officer allows you some say in the future of the club and gives you an opportunity to improve the club.  In particular this year is an exciting year to be an officer as it is the 25th anniversary of the club.  The positions up for grabs include:

  • President – Runs overall club operations.  Responsible for running meetings, organizing club activities, monthly notes and announcements, and whatever other important club business pops up.
  • Vice President – Assists the President with the tasks listed above.
  • Competition Administrator – Runs the monthly homebrew competitions.
  • Treasurer – Oversees club finances.
  • Webmaster – Works with other officers to post information on the club’s website and Facebook page.  Includes monthly meeting announcements on Facebook, updating website with next meeting information and competition results.
  • Guild Representative – Attends monthly Free State Homebrew Club Guild meetings on behalf of CSI and reports back to the club on decisions being made.

The current set of officers encourage current members to please consider running for one of these positions.  It is a lot of fun and you have your chance to play a role in the storied history of Baltimore’s oldest homebrew club.

If you are interested in running for a position, regardless of if you can make it to the November 12th meeting, or have any questions about any of the positions, please email the current club president, Brent MacAloney.  Deadline for nominations is:  11:59pm on Sunday, November 10th.

Group Brew Project Showcasing Unique and Exotic Hops

NHC LogoWith the 2013 National Homebrewers Conference (NHC) being held right up I-95 from Baltimore in Philadelphia, it provided CSI club members who have never been to a national conference with an excellent opportunity to attend one.  In fact, CSI had around 20 members register to attend the event.

In the months leading up to the NHC, as we met to discuss CSI’s presence at the NHC, it became apparent that it would be both fun and educational to come up with a series of single hopped beers featuring rare and exotic hops to serve at club night.  The goal was to allow those tasting the beers the opportunity to really pick up on the characteristics of each hop variety.  It also provided a chance to those in the club who primarily brew with malt extract, to team up with an all-grain brewer, giving them the chance to try out the process.

First, we wanted to come up with a malt bill that provided for a solid drinking base, but did not overpower the hops.  So we went to the club’s resident IPA expert, Matt Barra, for a recommendation.  He brought a very simple, but enjoyable malt bill that he had used several times before.  The malt bill for a 5 gallon batch was:

  • 8 pounds of Pale Malt (UK)
  • 4 pounds of Vienna
  • 8 ounces of Victory
  • 8 ounces of Crystal 80L

Next we needed to find some hops.  We remembered back to the January 2013 club meeting when CSI member Mike Pietropaoli brought an IPA to the meeting that featured Caliente hops.  Prior to that meeting, no one in the club had ever heard of Caliente hops, let alone used them.  The hop profile in the beer was so unique and enjoyable, members immediately started asking where he found this variety.  Mike pointed us all to YakimaValleyHops.com.

Yakima Valley HopsFor those brewers who have not been to YakimaValleyHops.com, you are severely missing out.  YVH is a legit hops super store.  In fact, I’d argue that there isn’t a shop out there with a larger variety.  At any given time, they probably have around 40 varieties of domestic hops and around 30 varieties of imported hops to choose from.  This provided us with an amazing selection of hop varieties to choose from for our project.  After printing up the current stock and reviewing the hop profiles with the club members, we ended up settling on buying a half pound of each of the following varieties for our group brew project:

  • Bravo
  • Caliente
  • Calypso
  • Comet
  • Falconer’s Flight
  • Millenium
  • Sorachi Ace
  • Super Galena

Note:  I was late on putting the hops orders in and the good folks at YVH were more than accommodating in making sure the hops were in my hand in time for the brew session.  Thanks sooooo much to the staff there.  Talk about tip top customer service!!!

Additionally, we had some brewers with Simcoe and homebrown Cascade hops on hand, so they used those for the group brew.

Members of the club got together on Saturday, April 6th in the parking lot behind Maryland Homebrew in Columbia, MD to take part in a group brew.  The rules were simple.  Everyone uses the same malt bill (along with some help from the MDHB staff, we measured the portions out and milled the grains the night before) but we left it up to the brewer to decide how to best use their half pound of hops.  No other hop varieties other than the single hop could be used.  Brewers could use as much of the half pound as they wanted and make their hop additions whenever they wanted during the brew session.  For example, I ended up adding an ounce at 60 minutes, half an ounce every 10 minutes during the boil, and then another ounce at flameout.

In order to serve all of these beers at the Club Night, I built a 9-tap draft box for the club out of spare wood that I had left over from previous woodworking projects.  That way attendees could go down the line and try up to 9 of these beers in a row, allowing them to compare and contrast the characteristics of each hop.  The draft box turned out awesome and is a nice piece for the club to have and use for years to come.

Draft Box

Feedback on the beers and the project from attendees at the NHC was awesome!  On top of many people just swinging by to try all the different beers and enjoying learning about hops they’ve never tried or heard of, in talking about our project with attendees, I had more than one person come up to me and say they wanted to try something like this with their homebrew club.  It is so exciting that our project inspired other clubs to try something similar.

Pouring Beer at NHC

The point of this post is to encourage CSI members and members of other clubs to organize and try a group project like this or something similar.  Below you will find a few other ideas that may be worth trying with your friends or you club, but however, I encourage you to think outside the box, and experiment on an aspect of homebrew that interests you or that you would like to know more about.

  • Large batch of homebrew using the same malt, hops, and yeast, portioned off and fermented at different temperatures.
  • Large batch of homebrew using the same malt and hops, but using different yeasts.
  • Several separate batches of homebrew using different base malts, but the same specialty malts, hops and yeast.
  • Several separate batches of homebrew using the same malt, hops, and yeast, but using different mashing temperatures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to talk to you about setting up a project like this for you and your friends.  The sky is the limit here and the end result is a lot of fun and extremely educational.  Cheers!


T-Bonz Grille & Taphouse and Maryland Homebrew Beer Dinner

As part of Baltimore Beer Week, T-Bonz Grille and Taphouse, Maryland Homebrew, and CSI Homebrew Club members are holding a homebrew beer dinner on Tuesday, October 23rd at 6:00pm.  The four-course meal will pair foods with homebrews, brewed by members of CSI.  Here is the food-beer pairings:

Greeting Course – Salted Sweet Potato Chips paired with Chris Gough’s Pale Ale

1st Course – Spinach and Lola Rosa Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese tossed in a Peach Vinaigrette paired with Chris Anderson’s Peach Wheat Ale

2nd Course – Cheddar Cheese and Dunkel Soup topped with Fresh Popcorn paired with Ben Sugerman’s Dunkel

3rd Course – Meat Option:  Short Ribs Braised in Chocolate Stout  served with a Seared Pumpkin Cake and Roasted Corn OR Fish Option:  Grilled Rockfish with a Mole Sauce over Rice and Roasted Corn paired with Dave Hume’s Chocolate Stout

4th Course – Pumpkin Pudding Pie paired with Jill Legault and Trevor Fontes’ Pumpkin Ale

Tickets for this event are $50 per person (includes tax and gratuity) or $45 for T-Bonz Beer Club Members.  Tickets may be purchased at Maryland Homebrew (6770 Oak Hall Lane #108, Columbia, MD)or T-Bonz Grille and Taphouse (4910 Waterloo Road, Ellicott City, MD).  Limited seating is available, so please purchase these tickets well in advance.  A printable flyer can be found here.

Max’s 72-hours of Belgian Beer Fest

CSI Members at the Belgian Beer Fest in 2011

It’s that time of year.  We are just a week away from the annual 72-hours of Belgian Beer Festival at Max’s in Baltimore (737 South Broadway, Baltimore, MD).

For those who have gone to this beer festival in the past, you know how legendary this event actually is and no matter what I say, you probably plan on attending.  For those of you who haven’t gone to this beer festival before, do yourself a favor and make it down to Max’s  for this epic event.  There will be Belgian beers and Belgian-style beers served at this event on draft and in bottle that you probably haven’t seen served in the US or will never see served in the US again.  For a review on the 2011 event, please see the write up Belgian Ben wrote.

The event is held from February 17-19, 2012.  Entry to this event is free and you pay by the beer.  You have the option of purchasing sample or full sized beers.  Doors open daily at 11am and it is highly recommended that you get there early if you want to get a seat or some of the more rare beers.

A large group of CSI members will be attending for the opening on Friday, February 17th.  The morning will start off with breakfast a Jimmy’s Restaurant at 8:30am and then we will head over to wait in line immediately afterwards.  If you plan on going and want to attend the breakfast, please go over to the CSI Facebook page and RSVP for the breakfast.

Finally, the draft beer list for this event is 90% complete and we have the latest version.  It is highly recommended that you do some research on the beers that will be available prior to attending.  You can find the latest version of the list here (Note:  List subject to change without notice):


Abbey Des Rocs Grand Cru

Achilles Serafijn Grand Cru

Achouffee Chouffe Biere Du Soleil

Achouffe La Chouffe

Achouffe Mc Chouffe

Alvinne Gaspar

Alvinne kerasus

Alvinne Morpheus Wild Undressed

Alvinne Morpheus Wild Undressed Monbazillac

Alvinne Morpheus Wild Undressed w/ Blue Boskoop Grapes agedin Bourgogne Wine barrels

Bavik Petrus Winter

Bavik Wittekerke Winter

Blaugies Darbyste

Blaugies La Moneuse Saison

Blaugies La Moneuse Special Winter

Blaugies Saison De Epeature

Bosteels Pauwel Kawk

Brugse Zot Blonde

Brugse Zot Dubbel Bruin

Cazeau Saison

Cazeau Tournay Black

Chimay Cinq Cents

De Dochter Van De Korenaar Belle Fluer

De Dochter Van De Korenaar Peat Oak Aged Embrasse

De Dolle Boskuen

De Dolle Dulle Teve

De Glazen Toren Canaster

De Glazen Toren Jan De Lichte

De Glazen TorenOndinke

De Glazen Toren Saison De Epre Mere

De Glazen Toren Cuvee Angelquie Aged in Whiskey/Pinot Noir Barrels

De La Senne Taras Boulba

De La Senne Zinnebier

De Landtsheer Malhuer 10

De Landtsheer Malhuer 12

De Landtsheer Malhuer 12 Aged in Bourbon Barrels

De Proef Draeckenier

De Proef Flemish Primtive

De Proef KO

De Ranke Pere Noel

De Ranke Saison De Dottignies

Deca Westoek X

Dubussion Scladis Cuvee Des Trolls

Dubussion Scaldis Triple Blonde

Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux

Dupont Foret Blanche

Dupont La Biere De Beloeil

Dupont Moinette Blonde

Dupont Monks Stout

Dupont Posca Rustica

Dupont Redor Pils

Dupont Saison

Duvel Single

Ellezelloise Hercule Stout

Ellezelloise Quintine Blonde

Geants Gouyasse

Geants Noel De Geants

Hof Ten Dormaal Blonde

Hof Ten Dormaal White Gold

Hofbrouwerijke Hofblues

Huyghe Delirium Tremens

Huyghe Delirium Nocturnm

Huyghe Delirium Noel

Jandrian Jandrenouille IV Saison

Jandrian Jandrenouille V Cense

Jandrian Jandrenouille VI Wheat

Kerkom Bink Bloesom

Kerkom Bink Blonde

Kerkom Bink Triple

La Rulles Grand 10

La Rulles Triple

La Rulles Cuvee

Lefebvre Hopus

Leroy Christmas

Liefmans Oud Bruin

Musketeers Troubadour Magma Special Cascade Edition

Musketeers Trounadour Special

Noel De Silenrieux

Palm Ale

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Roman Ename Cuvee

Saint Helene La Grognarde

Saint Helene Mistinguett

Scheldebrouwerij De Zeezupier

Scheldebrouwerij Lamme Goedzak

Scheldebrouwerij Oesterstout

Scheldebrouwerij Hop Ruiter

Silly Enghien Noel

Sint Canarus Triple

Slaapmutske Dry Hop Lager

Slaapmutske Hop Collection East Kent

Slaapmutske Triple Night cap

St Bernardus Christmas

St Feuillien Speciale

St Feuillen Blonde

Stillwater/Struise Outblack

Stillwater Jaded

Stillwater of Love & Regret

Stillwater Rule of Thirds

Strubbe Ichtegems Grand cru

Strubbe Keyte Dubbel Triple

Struise Pannepot Grand reserva

Struise Pannepot Reserva

Struise Svea IPA

Struise Tsjeeses

Struise Tsjeeses Reserva

T’ Gaverhopke Extra

T’ Gaverhopke Koerseklakske

T’ Gaverhopke Singing Blonde

Tilquin Gueuze

Van Steenberge Boucanier Christmas

Van Steenberge De Garre Triple

Van Steenberge Ertvelds Wit

Van Steenberge Gulden Draak 9000 Quad

Van Steenberge Monks cafe Flemish Sour

CSI Announces New Officers for 2012

Well the voters spoke at the November CSI Meeting and we are proud to announce the new group of officers for the Cross Street Irregulars for 2012.

  • President – Brent MacAloney
  • Vice President – Tyler Compton
  • Secretary – Chris Sollitto
  • Treasurer – Dave Humes
  • Competition Administrator – Ben Sugerman
  • Guild Representative – Greg Thompson
  • Guild Representative (alt) – Greg Bauer

Congratulations to all of those who were elected to officer positions.  The club wishes you the best in making 2012 the best year yet for the CSI homebrew club.

T-Bonz Homebrew Beer Dinner Featuring CSI Beers

Look out Howard County!!!  T-Bonz Grille and Pub in Ellicott City, Maryland is teaming up with Maryland Homebrew on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 to put on a very special beer dinner as part of Baltimore Beer Week.

What is so special about this beer dinner?  Well I’m glad you asked.  This is no ordinary beer dinner because it will feature beers brewed by members of the CSI Homebrew Club.  That is right folks…Baltimore’s best homebrew club will be supplying all of the beers for this dinner.  What an excellent way to share our beers with the masses!

Tickets for the event are $40 and will feature 5 beers with a 4-course dinner.  The menu is currently in the works (we will update this post as soon as we get it), but will be centered around a local theme with fresh, local products.  The style of beers that will be featured are:  Porter, Black IPA, Pale Ale, Belgian Strong Ale, and a Pumpkin Ale.

Tickets can be purchased at Maryland Homebrew (6770 Oak Hall Lane, Suite 108, Columbia, MD) or T-Bonz Grille and Pub (4910 Waterloo Road, Ellicott City, MD) between now and Saturday, October 8th.  A limited number of tickets will be sold (~60), so if you plan on going, please don’t wait until the last minute.  We hope to see you all there!


2012 Club Competition Schedule Available for Comment

Competition Administrator, Ted Wojtysiak, has proposed some changes for the 2012 competition schedule based on feedback from club members. The current schedule has been in place for several years and members have been approaching club officers asking if we could change it up for some of the less popular styles (i.e., vegetable/fruit beers in August and the Northern Brown typically brewed in January). Here’s the proposed schedule.  Note the changed months in bold.

January – Calibration Beer – we will change this to Jamil’s American Pale Ale
February – Big Beers and Winter Warmers
March – Scotch /  Scottish Ales and Smoked Beers (moved from August to the Scotch/Scottish category)
April – English Ales and Bitters
May – Belgian and French Ales
June – Wheat and Wit
July – Single Malt, Single Hop (SMaSH) – find a write up on SMaSH brewing on BrewersFriend.com
August – Kölsch and Amber (moved from July to August)
September – American / India Pale Ales
October – Lagers and Oktoberfests
November – Porters and Stouts
December – Meads and Ciders

Please use the comments area on this post to provide any feedback (positive, negative, or mixed) on the proposal to change the competition calendar for 2012.


Brent’s Dopethrone Smoked Black IPA Recipe

Dopethrone Album CoverAfter reading about a Smoked Black IPA that the guys at RebelBrewer.com had made, I was intrigued.  I love smoked beers and I love IPAs, but I wasn’t sure how the two would go together.  I rolled the dice though and decided to make a batch.  Boy was I happy.  For the most part I used the same recipe that the guys at RebelBrewer.com used, except I cut way back on the smoked malts.  I believe their recipe called for 2 lbs on a 10-gallon batch.

When thinking of a name for this beer, I didn’t have to think very long.  The beer was pitch black, smoky, tasty, and looked friggin evil!  The only thing I could name it was Dopethrone.  Dopethrone is the name of an epic Electric Wizard album released in 2000.  It is considered a true masterpiece by those in the stoner metal scene.  One sip of the Dopethrone Smoked Black IPA while listening to the Dopethrone album and you’ll know exactly what I was thinking here.

Below you will find a text version of my recipe.

BeerSmith Recipe Printout – http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Dopethrone Smoked Black IPA
Brewer: Brenton MacAloney
Style: American IPA
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 11.00 gal
Boil Size: 13.69 gal
Estimated OG: 1.067 SG
Estimated Color: 42.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 54.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU
15.00 lb      American 2 Row (MDHB) (1.8 SRM)           Grain        56.60 %
2.50 lb       Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM)           Grain        9.43 %
2.00 lb       Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)              Grain        7.55 %
2.00 lb       Caramel/Crystal Malt – 20L (20.0 SRM)     Grain        7.55 %
2.00 lb       Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (60.0 SRM)     Grain        7.55 %
1.00 lb       Smoked Malt (9.0 SRM)                     Grain        3.77 %
1.00 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (Dry Hop 4 days)  Hops          –
2.00 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (60 min)          Hops         24.6 IBU
2.00 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (60 min)                Hops         15.9 IBU
1.00 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (Dry Hop 4 days)        Hops          –
1.00 oz       Centennial [10.00 %]  (Dry Hop 4 days)    Hops          –
1.00 oz       Centennial [10.00 %]  (10 min)            Hops         5.2 IBU
1.00 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (10 min)          Hops         4.5 IBU
1.00 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (10 min)                Hops         2.9 IBU
1.00 oz       Amarillo Gold [8.50 %]  (1 min)           Hops         0.5 IBU
1.00 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (1 min)                 Hops         0.3 IBU
1.00 oz       Centennial [10.00 %]  (1 min)             Hops         0.6 IBU
2.00 lb       Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM)           Sugar        7.55 %
2 Pkgs        California Ale (White Labs #WLP001)       Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 24.50 lb
Single Infusion, Full Body
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp
60 min        Mash In            Add 30.63 qt of water at 175.0 F    158.0 F
10 min        Mash Out           Add 12.25 qt of water at 198.4 F    168.0 F