Our First Ribbon!

After years of brewing for ourselves, friends and family, festivals and charity events, we finally decided to enter our beer into competition.  So, in early October we shipped off four of our beers to be judged in the 34th annual California State Homebrew Competition.

beer entries
The competition was held by the Northern California Homebrewers Organization and the awards ceremony was hosted at Anchor Brewing Company in the Potrero district of San Francisco.  Rounding out the end of the homebrew competitive season,  The California State Homebrew Competition is one of the oldest in the state.

This year’s competition consisted of 14 categories and had 386 beer entries.  We submitted beers to the Mixed Style, Dark Lager, Brown and Specialty categories.  After all the judging was done  we ended up with a great surprise.  We had won our first award,  a second place ribbon in the mixed style category for our California Rye Common beer.

winning
We were definitely excited for this win. It was also a great chance for us to get comments on all the beers that we submitted. Since we probably are our biggest critics, we are always looking to make better beer. This was a great experience for us, and it was an honor to be recognized among such a talented group of homebrewers.

For a full list of winners go here: 34th Annual California State Homebrew Competition Winners.

Fillin’ cans with the Can Van

I got to spend an awesome friday morning helping out on the canning line of the Can Van. Seeing the canning process up close and personal really gives you appreciation for the logistical nightmare they’re trying to solve.

For those that are not familiar with the Can Van, they provide a mobile canning line for small breweries and brewpubs who might not have the capital or space to install a dedicated line. When installing a canning line, breweries not only have to worry about the canning line itself but also the truck loads of cans needed. Companies like Ball only sell cans in volume, and storing a years worth of cans isn’t feasible for most breweries in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Can Van solves this issue by buying blank cans in bulk and applying a wrap around label to the cans inline. Their canning line is partitioned into enough pieces to fit through any door way and can be parked next to a brite tank.

The Process

The process for canning starts with taking blank cans off pallet and sanitizing the with StarSan.

Cans are then placed on a conveyer belt which leads the to a head that flushes them with CO2 and then a head that fills them. Cans are flushed and filled in sets of four.

Lids are placed on top and then enter a seamer one at a time.

Next cans were washed and checked for low fills. I always assumed a scale was used for checking for low fills but the simplest solution of seeing how the cans floated was the preferred method.

Cans were hand dried and labels applied.

Cans were packaged into cases and placed on pallets.

I was really impressed by the Can Van’s quality control. All the cans were checked at each step. Samples were continually taken and will be checked is one month for shelve life. Cans were cut up to the monitor seaming.

It was great to see the analytical approach to quality control and future additions to the system. I look forward to seeing the system in the coming years to see how it changes!

IDEX Fundraiser, Come Taste 6 Unique Beers

We’re completing with 5 other homebrewers for street credit at the IDEX Fundraiser at the Mission Cultural Center. IDEX identifies, evaluates, and grows the best ideas from local leaders and organizations to alleviate poverty and injustice around the world.

For the Fundraiser each of the six breweries was randomly assigned a region where IDEX is actively fighting poverty, and had to develop a beer around that region.

Expect to see 6 distinct beers using native ingredients and other standards. Euphemia Ales will be showing off a Belgian Wit with turmeric!

Drinks and appetizers are FREE! Of course, tips are encouraged to help support IDEX and our grantees!

  • When:  Thursday, June 14th 6 to 9 pm
  • Where:  Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission Street, CA 94110
  • Who: A diverse range of socially conscious professionals interested in celebrating and supporting IDEX’s efforts.
  • Tickets:  Get them ahead of time for a discounted price!

There is a sliding scale of $20 for Students and/or Young Professionals, $45 for Professionals, and $65 for Executives. Available at the door with a $5 increase.

Purchase them on Eventbrite now http://idexmomentum.eventbrite.com

Homebrewing Demo at Speakeasy Brewery

Where: Speakeasy Ales and Lagers (map)

When: Noon-3pm, Firkin Friday, February 17th

Ever thought about learning to brew but don’t know where to start? Come participate in our homebrewing demonstration at Speakeasy Ales and Lagers during Firkin Friday of SF Beer Week. The Euphemia homebrewers will be brewing up three homebrew versions of Big Daddy IPA along with Pine Street Brewery and Artisan Brewing.

Come ask us the hard questions and see the basics. We’ll have three groups brewing the same recipe on different systems. Artisan Brewing will be rocking the extract/mini-mash batch that can be done in any apartment. Euphemia Ales will showing off an all-grain brewing system.  Pine Street Brewery will have the big guns out with a three-tier gravity system. All three variations are great examples of what you can do in your own home!

The homebrewing demonstration will be followed by “Meet the Brewers” of the SF Brewers Guild and live music. So come on down and support Speakeasy with $3 beers!