BOTL is a club that was founded as a means for our members to educate themselves and others about brewing beer, ciders and meads. We are all in this hobby as like minded individuals that have a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for an enjoyable time. Most of us are from Holland, MI and the surrounding communities.
We are accepting new members at this time.
For more information about our fine organization please email us at
We meet on the second Thursday of each month at the New Holland Pub. Start time 7 PM.

Please bring 3 bottles of this month's style homebrew that you want to share, OR a different style of your homebrew.
When bringing your homebrew to share, please bring your recipe to tell everyone about your brew.

Styles of each month:
January – Barleywine, Winter Warmer, Strong Ales
February - Belgian/French Ales, Lambics and funky stuff
March – English Ales and Milds
April - Lagers, Kolsch and Hybrids and Alts
May –
Cider, Cysers, Perry and Meads
June - Pale Ale, IPA and Ryes
July – Ambers and Reds
August – Wheat, Wit, Weizens and Fruit Beers
September –
Scottish Ales and Browns
October – Oktoberfest, Pumpkin, and Spiced Beers
November – Stouts and Porters
December – Saturday, Dec. 8 Christmas party, best of cellar and potluck lunch

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yeast Strains Affect IBUs Differently

beerandwinejournal.  Dr. Chris White of White Labs and his staff made up a standard wort, with a known (calculated) level of bitterness, and fermented aliquots of it with each of the White Labs strains. Each beer was then analyzed for its actual level of bitterness (in IBUs). He then compared the measured IBUs to the predicted IBUs for each strain. If the two were equal, the beer was given a score of 1. If the measured IBUs were less than the predicted IBUs, the beer received a score between zero and one. For example, if the beer was expected to have 100 IBUs, but only had 80, the beer would be given a 0.8. (Note: the experiment wasn’t done with 100 IBU beers, I just used that number as an example because it’s easy to see how the proportions worked out.) And if the beer was more bitter than predicted, the beer received a number over 1.
 Interestingly, over two thirds of the yeast strains received below a 1. The strains that scored among the lowest — WLP029 (German Ale/K├Âlsch), WLP300 (Hefeweizen Ale) and WLP 380 (Hefeweizen IV Ale) — scored around 0.5. In other words, the level of bitterness was half what the recipe calculator predicted! Other strains that scored under 1 include WLP002 (English Ale) and WLP041 (Pacific Ale) yeast. Interestingly, these were already described as leaving a malty profile.
 It should come as no shock that among the strains that scored 1 or above were the strains frequently used in American-style IPAs. White Labs WLP001 (California Ale), White Labs most popular strain, scored around 1, as did WLP550 (Belgian Ale) yeast. Strains that were slightly above 1 include WLP005 (British Ale), WLP810 (San Francisco Lager), WLP830 (German Lager), WLP860 (Munich Helles), WLP039 (East Midlands Ale) and WLP862 (Cry Havoc).
 It’s been known for a long time that yeast takes some of the bitterness out of worts. That’s why, for instance, Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River recommends slightly underpitching beers that are meant to be intensely hoppy. Exactly how this occurs is not known. It may have something to do with the electrical charges on iso-alpha acid and the charges of proteins embedded in the yeast cell wall. When the yeast flocculate, they may pull iso-alpha acids with them.
 Now that you know that some yeast strains may be bogarting your IBUs, what should you do? Well, if you’re following a recipe that someone else has actually brewed and liked, follow the recipe. Whatever effect the yeast has will have been counteracted by the brewer adjusting the hop amounts to get the right flavor and aroma. If you’re formulating your own recipes from scratch, be aware that you might have to adjust the amount of hops upward to get the level of bitterness you’re looking for.
 It’s probably no coincidence that some of the strains that scrub the most IBUs from the wort are usually used in beer styles that aren’t very bitter. And likewise, most super-hoppy recipes use clean ale yeasts, which many of the strains rated around 1 were.
 The differences among strains could be interesting when making hybrid style beers, like hoppy hefeweizens of Belgian IPAs.
 White plans to release the numbers when he and his lab has tested the yeast strains all again to see if the results are repeatable. Once these numbers become available, they can simply be incorporated into recipe calculation spreadsheets and help brewers better formulate their beers.

Beer Tapping Scientifically Explained

The old beer-tapping prank: One strong hit on the top of an open beer bottle, and poof! Your IPA explodes into a brewski volcano.

"In one second, most of your beer has really turned into foam," says Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez, assistant professor at the Fluid Mechanics Group of Carlos III University in Madrid. "You better have put the bottle into your mouth, because you need to drink whatever is coming out."
 Physicists know quite a bit about beer foam, Rodriguez says. They've pinpointed the components of barley and wheat that make a fluffy, thick head. And they've explained why the bubbles in Guinness sink instead of rise.  But the tapping phenomenon has been a long-standing puzzle in beer science ? until now. Rodriguez and his team have figured out that a stiff hit on the bottle's top sets off miniature explosions inside the beer. These tiny blasts create mushroom clouds similar to those generated in the air by an atomic bomb, the Salt reported. "Actually, the laws of physics that control the development of these beer mushroom clouds are the same as [those that drive] the development of the cloud in an atomic bomb," Rodriguez says. "Obviously, there's no nuclear stuff in the beer. So the source of the explosion is very different, but the mushroom cloud that you see is very similar."
 Rodriguez presented his findings at the end of November at a scientific meeting in Pittsburgh. But the idea for the project started where all good beer research does - at a pub. He and a bunch of scientists went to a bar one night after work, when one of their friends fell victim to beer tapping. "We asked ourselves, what was the cause for this?" Rodriguez says. "So we decided to go to the lab and do some experiments under well-controlled conditions." They started filming the process in the lab with high-speed cameras. And eventually, the team realized that bottle tapping set off a chain reaction in the beer ? a bit like a Rube Goldberg device. The end result was a mushroom cloud of beer. But the steps in between are a bit more complicated.
Step 1: Throbbing bubbles
 A swift strike on the bottle's mouth sends waves down through the liquid. The waves cause tiny bubbles in the beer to pulsate. They shrink and swell. The glass bottle may seem solid, but it can act like a spring, Rodriguez says. "So when you hit the spring, [the glass] compresses and creates waves. From a mathematical point of view, it's like a sound wave traveling through in the beer."
Step 2: The collapse
 At some point, the bubbles just can't take the compression anymore. The force becomes too much for the gaseous pockets, and they shatter - very quickly. "The bubbles collapse violently," Rodriguez explains. "They break up into clouds of tiny fragments - and in very little time." (Physicists call this process cavitation.)
Step 3: The rise
 Here's where the magic starts happening.
The tiny fragments of bubbles start to grow very rapidly. "The carbon dioxide has an easier time to get into the bubbles because of the increase in surface area," Rodriguez says. "So they grow very, very fast." As they grow, they become lighter and lighter. So they start to rise. "It's like a spot of hot air in the environment," he says. "The bubbles are buoyant and will rise."
Step 4: The eruption
 Now the reaction has reached the point of no return. "The faster the bubbles rise, the faster they grow, because the mixing with carbon dioxide is more efficient," Rodriguez says.  And that creates a self-feeding loop: The bubbles keep growing and rising, faster and faster. Ultimately, the loop becomes so intense that plumes or mushroom clouds of bubbles form in the beer.  The result is foam spewing out of the beer bottle in a few hundred milliseconds, Rodriguez says. "There's really not much you can do to stop it."
 All right, so the end result of all this research is that, sadly, you can't save your beer from the evils of tapping. But Rodriguez and his colleagues are now studying whether their findings may have applications beyond the bar.
 For example, there have been instances when large amounts of carbon dioxide have suddenly erupted from lakes and volcanoes. "Some geologists think that our findings could have technological applications to prevent these incidents - or even [for] carbon dioxide sequestration," he says.
 Who knows? Maybe the science of beer tapping could one day prove useful in the fight against climate change.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Beerfest At The Ballpark - Lansing

Saturday April 5th, 2014 1pm - 6pm

 Spring is finally here and it is time to celebrate at Beerfest at the Ballpark!
 Come out and enjoy Lansing’s first Annual Beerfest at the Ballpark featuring the best in Michigan craft beer, cider and mead.
 Beerfest at the Ballpark is an outdoor beer, cider and mead festival with live acoustic music hosted in the heart of Downtown Lansing at the Cooley Law School Stadium home of the Lugnuts at 505 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912. Beerfest at the Ballpark will have over 30 Michigan Breweries, Cideries, Meaderies showcasing 100+ craft beers, ciders and meads. The entertainment will be live acoustic music. Beerfest

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Has Craft Beer Gone Too Far? Take The Quiz.

by John Metcalfe -  Is this the future of U.S. beer consumption – a country that stumbles over itself to buy beer made with wild-carrot seed, bee balm, chanterelle mushrooms, and aged in whiskey barrels? The consumer-trend forecasters are still working on that question, but in the meantime I've knocked together this quiz to gauge the collective awareness of craft brews. If you and your social circle know the answers to more than half of these 10 questions, I'm calling it: Stockpile your Bud and PBR now, because America's simpler beers might be heading the way of the dinosaurs.
 Pop a cold one and let's begin.  QUIZ

Hello, My Name is Vladimir

 by Emma Hall -  Controversial craft beer brand BrewDog is protesting Russia's anti-gay laws with a new product, called "Hello, My Name is Vladimir," promoted with the hashtag #NotForGays.

 Just days ahead of the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics, the new beer has gone on sale in bars as well as online. BrewDog, based in Scotland, delivers globally and will donate 50% of profits to support charitable organizations that, it says, "support like-minded individuals wishing to express themselves freely without prejudice."
 BrewDog claims it has sent a crate of the beer to the Kremlin, and explained in a blog, "This beer is… brewed with Limonnik berries. We heard they're great for improving sexual performance, so we've sent a case to the Kremlin as we suspect there is someone there who would appreciate a little helping hand."
 The company warned its Twitter followers, "If you wanna try Hello My Name is Vladimir before the KGB catches up with us, hit up a BrewDog bar to try it on tap from today." One of the publicity shots for Hello, My Name is Vladimir re-creates the infamous photograph of Russian president Vladimir Putin riding a horse, shirtless, on a 2009 vacation in Siberia.
 The bottles of Hello My Name is Vladimir feature Warhol-esque pictures of Mr. Putin's face, set against multi-colored backgrounds. In its blog, BrewDog describes the beer as "for uber hetero men who ride horses while topless and carrying knives. I am a beer to mark the 2014 Winter Olympics. But I am not for gays. Love wrestling burly men on the Judo mat or fishing in your Speedos? Then this is the beer for you!"
 more... beer-notforgays-protest

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Carhartt Teams up with New Holland for 125th

hollandsentinel - A special beer crafted to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Michigan-based clothing manufacturer Carhartt has resulted in a unique collaboration with New Holland Brewing Co.
 The local microbrewery has teamed up with the iconic clothing brand to pay tribute to hard-working people who wear Carhartt by making a signature craft beer for release this fall.
 “Carhartt is the epitome of craftsmanship,” New Holland President Brett VanderKamp said in a news release. “The same dedication to hard work and creativity that we admire in farmers, chefs, artists and other brewers is exactly what you’ll find at Carhartt. They reflect the same devotion to quality raw materials, artisan processes and delivering remarkable results as we do.”
  The name of the special brew and other details are expected to be released at a later date ...more