Club Posts

Wild Cider & Mead

Baltibrewer Caiti opened several bottles of her wild fermented beverages and talked about her thoughts on cider and mead at our Feburary Meeting!

Some Traditional Ferments

  • Basque sidra: Dry and sour, still, sharps and bittersharps
  • Norman cidre: Dry, naturally carbed, cool & slow fermetations (keeving), bittersweets
  • Welsh and English cider and scrumpy: Dry, funky styles from bittersweets, bittersharps
  • Cyser, pyment: Cider + mead, wine + mead
  • Methlegin: Spiced or herbal mead
  • Braggot: Mead + hops and/or wort

Cider Process

  • Select fruit - Sharps, bittersharps, & bittersweets preferable, though can amend with tannin or added wood at the end of fermentation. Mostly sweets/sharps commercially available
  • Grind fruits - grinder or juicer
  • Press - press or juicer
  • Measure sugars (ranges widely - 1.040-1.055)
  • Check for fermentation - may need to stir
  • Monitor over 4-7 months and package when gravity reaches 1.000 or stable. Sulfite, back sweeten, and amend tannins if desired. If you don’t sulfite, assume any bottling sugar will completely ferment.

Mead Process

  • Dilute raw honey at a volume ratio of 1:4 to 1:8 (12-6% finished abv)
  • Stir to induce a wild fermentation - until air bubbles form, may need to stir multiple days
  • Airlock and check back when vigorous bubbling subsides - monitor for a stuck fermentation (solution: add yeast nutrient and STIR)
  • Monitor over 4-10 months and package when gravity reaches 1.000 or stable. Sulfite, back sweeten, and amend tannins if desired. If you don’t sulfite, assume any bottling sugar will completely ferment.

Notes to Consider

  • Acetobacter: avoid by keeping your airlocks full and keep fermentations in a cool place.
  • Sulfur: reductive environment - not enough dissolved oxygen (more stirring)
  • Light isn’t a huge problem unless you are using hops. Avoid direct, prolonged light - but without hops there is nothing to “skunk”
  • Good cider yeasts if you want to pitch something anyway: cider or white wine yeasts work well, including Red Star Cote Des Blanc, Montrachet, Premier Blanc, and Premier Cuvee.
  • Apple varieties available locally (I recommend Brown’s Orchard in PA):
    • Jonathan
    • Rome Beauty
    • Crispin
    • Stayman Winesap
    • York Imperial
    • Northern Spy

Helpful Links & Books

February Minutes

Baltibrew Monthly Meeting Minutes
February 21 @ De Kleine Duivel

Guild Update - Max

  • The Guild Christmas party went well. They are distributing several thousand dollars amongst the various charities. Max made a note of the odiferousness of Baltibrew’s table location in hopes that they will no assign a club there next year.
  • The guild is coordinating a brew for their 20th anniversary. More to come in the guild minutes.


Upcoming Events

  • March 2nd, Group Brew @ Caiti & Jake’s!
    Looking to coordinate brewers to fill on of Jon’s coolships. If you are interested in brewing or taking home a portion of the finished wort, let us know! Pancakes @ 10AM, brewing to start by noon!
  • MALT Bus Trip, March 23rd
    There are still seats left! MALT will depart from the Springhill Suites in Columbia and adventure in Northern Virginia and Frederick. The trip starts at 9:15AM and returns at 9:15PM. General tickets are 50 dollars, friends of MALT can get 10 dollars off with a special discount code.
  • Brubakes, April 14th! - Competitors Needed!
    De Kleine Duivel has giving the okay to host us again! We’re targeting 8 to 12 competitors this year and no more than 60 attendees. The format will stay remain the same, brew a saison and bake something that features the spent grist as at least 10% of the reciepe weight. Be sure to freeze you grain after brewday. We’ll get a site up shortly. More to come!
  • Big Brew, May 4th!
    Jude will coordinate with Brewtherville and provide more information. They seem excited to team up.

Old Business

  • Nepenthe is open! Check it out!
  • Club gear liquidation is on the calendar. It will take some time to organize.
  • New quorum: 7 for simple majority, 9 for 2/3 majority

New Business/Member Announcements

  • New Business Cards - Kris ask for permission to run off 1000 new business cards to update our marketing materials. Vote was passed unanimously by those in attendance (quorum was met).

Ed Topic - Wild Cider & Mead Fermentation! - Caiti

  • Caiti gave a great presentation on wild fermentations with lots of information on making ciders and mead! Notes are attached here along with these additional links Caiti wanted to distribute.


Homebrew Swap!

January Minutes

Baltibrew Monthly Meeting Minutes
January 17 @ De Kleine Duivel

New Officers

  • Meeting Czar – Jon
  • Social Secretary – Jude
  • Treasurer – Greg
  • Ed Czar – Becky
  • Guild Rep – Max
  • Chilibrew Czar – Caiti (et al)
  • Webmaster – Kris

Overview of 2019 Events

  • Friday, February 15th - Baltibrew Invades Nepenthe
  • Saturday, March 2nd - Spring Group Brew @ Caiti’s
  • Saturday, March 23rd - MALT Bus Trip to Virginia Breweries
  • Sunday, April 14th - Brubakes!
  • Saturday, May 4th - AHA Big Brew
  • Saturday, June 1st - MD Homebrew Guild’s Picnic & Wheat Beer Competition 2 Patapsco St Partk
  • Saturday, July 13th - Lyft Trip to HoCo Breweries - Sapwood Cellars, Black Flag
  • August TBD - MashOut
  • September TBD - Zymurnaut’s Crab Feast @ Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Saturday, September 21st - Fall Group Brew @ Jon’s
  • Friday, October 11th - Chilibrew XIII
  • November TBD - Cider Buy and Wootown’s Mead Day
  • Saturday, December 7th - MD Guild’s Holiday Party
  • Thursday, December 12th - Baltibrew Holiday Potluck (No Regular Meeting)

Old Business - Bylaws Amendments passed!

  • Fewer officers
  • No more club gear…Auction?
    We’d like to get a list together of what’s in Balitbrew’s inventory and then see what format makes the most sense to divest it.
  • New quorum: this month it’s 7 for simple majority, 9 for 2/3 majority

Meet the New Ed Czar

  • Becky has many things planned for this year. Caiti will be talking about wild fermentation at the next meeting and Judy from Checkspot will be coordinating a visit later in the year.
  • The sensory seibel kit will be done at the general meeting, probably split out between 3 or 4 dates so all club members have the chance to participate.

Next Iron Brewer?

  • Kris’ challenged Jon to battle Hefeweizen. Judging will be at the March meeting!

New Business/Member Announcements

  • Max’s Sour Wild Ale Day – Feb 18
  • Online engagement - Kris looked at some statistics and facebook does get us much engagement. Far more eye’s came to the site from posting on reddit. Greg advocated for trying a meetup group. It’s 10/15 dollars a month depending on the subscription level. We trimmed the IT costs down about that much last year by moving to new hosts and consolidating things so we’ll apply the savings to that for a while. Greg will follow up.

*Homebrew Swap!*

A Window into the Past: Where Were Our First Brewers?

One of the tasks in our Baltibrew Yeast Capture project was to search through historical texts about Baltimore's brewing history to try and locate a Baltimore specific beer recipe. Unfortunately we struck out on the recipe but our investigation led to this happy little byproduct.

Presenting a map overlay of pre-prohibition Baltimore Breweries! If you've ever wondered who was making beer in your neck of the woods before the 18th amendment this overlay will give you a little window into the brewing history in your neighborhood!



Notes: Data taken from William Kelley's 1965 book, Brewing in Maryland. Overlay focuses on breweries founded before 1900. Most of these breweries changed owners and name several times before closing. Brewer listed corresponds to the original proprietor. Address are approximate and list is certainly incomplete. The page of first mention is included in the overlay card for each point. Source text is available in the Maryland Room of the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

November Meeting Items

The November meeting was canceled due to weather.  Watch the listserve for information on the following items.

  • Guild Holiday Party is on December 1st.
  • Baltibrew's December meeting, which is a Holiday Potluck, will probably be move to the second Thursday in December, the 13th.
  • Changes to Bylaws were approved unanimously.
  • Officer Nominations are still open.
  • Iron Brewer IPA is on for the December meeting!