Minister of Enlightenment

By Wendy Aaronson and Mike Reinitz – Co-Ministers of Enlightenment

At the January meeting, Mike Reinitz kicked off our monthly education series with a discussion of the new 2015 BJCP style guidelines. Because we could not bring commercial beer to the venue, he did a lot of talking, but it was a good overview and we hope will prepare you for the 2016 competition season.   We are committed to include a 30-40 minute session that either covers a beer style and beer evaluation or a brewing process at most of the meetings. This is what you can expect in the coming months.

We want enlightenment to be relevant. As always, we are looking for suggestions for educational activities. Please email us at

February Meeting

We have two activities planned for the February meeting. The first is for a small, but enthusiastic group who want to participate in a tasting of Bob Rouse’s experiment with hops. He made wort for a 5 gallon batch of American Pale Ale and split it up into 5 separate boils and boiled each one with a single hop. He tried to get the IBU’s consistent. He will have bottles of each available for everyone to taste, but Wendy Aaronson would like to conduct a guided tasting and experiment. The small group will be limited to 5 or 6 people. We will discuss the flavor profile of each hop, taste the beers in a blind fashion and discuss your perceptions. After identification of the hops in each sample, the group will taste again and describe the profile. Then, samples will be mixed and participants will be asked to taste and describe the flavor and aroma. How is aroma affected? What flavor(s) predominate? How do certain flavors interact? She’ll write up the results and report in the next newsletter or her blog on the BURP web site.

We will conduct a Brewer’s Corner starting around 2:30 pm. These are casual discussions where you share your beer with some fellow homebrewers, talk about your recipe & process, and receive critical feedback in return. We always invite 2 or 3 advanced brewers/judges to join in so that you can get the best advice possible. If you have a beer that you’re looking for feedback on outside of the monthly competition, bring a bottle or two to share at the Brewer’s Corner…it can be any style!

March Meeting

In January, you received an overview of the 2016 BJCP styles and in March, we will conduct a tasting of some of the newer styles. We will try to have at least 2 commercial examples of a style so that we can compare, contrast and score.

Wendy Aaronson will talk about yeast and yeast management. She is also planning to conduct a yeast experiment similar to what Bob Rouse did with hops.   We’ll discuss the yeast profile and conduct a tasting.