High Plains Drafters

Homebrew Club – Cheyenne, WY

June 20, 2017
by Fred Hirsch
Comments Off on Wyoming Brewfest

Wyoming Brewfest

This year, High Plains Drafters was invited to serve homebrew beer at Wyoming Brewfest in Cheyenne. Due to a change in the homebrew laws in Wyoming in 2015, we are now able to participate in such events as brewers. Twelve beers and two meads were served over the course of two nights. Beverages served were as follows:

Scottish Light – Rusty Brinkman
Cherry Saison – Brian Brothers
Double IPA – Leo Casseli
Hoppy Summer Wheat – Fred Hirsch
Pale Ale – Brian Mertz
Brown Lager – Shawn Miller
Vanilla Porter – Doug Schmidt
Maple Mead – Kent Shook
Saffron Mead – Kent Shook
Rye IPA – Frank Strong
Australian Sparkling Ale – Brent Wickham
English Porter – Brent Wickham
Berliner Weisse – Ryan Willson

The meads were the most popular between the two days, with the vanilla porter, cherry saison, summer wheat, Australian sparkling ale and Berliner weisse all being very popular as well. All beers were very well received by those attending the festival. Unfortunately, not every beer was able to be tapped, but every club member that donated beer had their beer on tap for at least one night. Next year, we will try to balance the serving list out a bit more. Many kegs nearly kicked, but we really don’t need more than 6 kegs per night.

Brian Brothers worked tirelessly to try and recruit many members during the Friday session and we had many others on Saturday looking for meeting information. Many new prospective homebrewers will hopefully be coming to future meetings. We’ll also look at doing more brewing demonstrations for new brewers, as this seemed to be the most requested activity new members are interested in.

March 30, 2017
by Fred Hirsch
Comments Off on Learning about Malt

Learning about Malt

Our latest education session explored malt flavors by doing a tasting of a variety of malt teas. Crushed malt was mixed with hot (160-170F) water and steeped for 15 minutes apiece. While we did see some sugar extraction from all the base malts (2-Row, Pilsner, Maris Otter), extraction from most other malts was a bit disappointing. We’re thinking that raising the amount of malt in the samples would help considerably, and perhaps using an extraction device like a French Press would also help force out more flavors.

A variety of malt extracts from base malt to crystal to roast.

Overall, the meeting really helped our members to understand how base malts can be expressed in various styles. The various crystal and roast malt tastings also showed how much these malts contribute to the aroma of the beers they are used in.

The varieties of malt sampled included American 2-Row, Pilsner, Maris Otter, White Wheat, Rye, Crystal 10, 60 and 120, Special B, Roasted Barley, Chocolate Malt and Carafa II.

If you’re interested in trying out malt teas on your own, you can follow the instructions provided by the AHA here.

Thanks much to our education VP Ryan and his wife Sara for putting together the teas and hosting this meeting. We’ll be looking at doing hop teas for flavor and aroma at our next meeting in April. We’ll explore each of the base types of hop (Noble, English, American), and look at a variety of flavors and aromas related to them. Look for event details on Facebook and the mailing list in the coming weeks.

March 16, 2017
by Fred Hirsch
Comments Off on Barrel Project – 2016

Barrel Project – 2016

After several months, the High Plains Drafters 2016 barrel project has wrapped up. We racked 110 gallons of Belgian Golden Strong into two California Wine barrels. These barrels aged four months and were trialed throughout their maturation. Eventually, we decided it was time to pull the beer into individual kegs.

The beer retained much of its original high ester character (banana and bubblegum very prevalent), but also took on some tannins from the wood and a bit of an acetone note. We’ll have to watch to see if this solvent quality subsides. Unfortunately, very little of the wine quality of the barrel is expressed in the resulting beer.

Many thanks to DanielMarks Brewery in Cheyenne with their help with this project. Thanks to George for the space to keep the barrels, Shawn and Brent for the use of the barrels and all the members of the Drafters for participating in the transport, tasting and emptying of the barrels.

Lets come up with some good ideas on what we’d like to put in the barrels next and we’ll arrange for everyone to brew and get the beer ready for a 2017 session.

February 7, 2017
by Fred Hirsch
Comments Off on Club Updates, February 2017

Club Updates, February 2017

Our new officers have been elected for 2017. They are as follows:

  • Fred Hirsch, President
  • Doug Schmidt, VP Competitions
  • Ryan Willson, VP Education
  • Orris Wickham, Treasurer
  • Bill Briggs, Historian
  • Rusty Brinkman, Secretary

2017 is just getting started, and lots of things are already in the pipeline with the High Plains Drafters. You can follow regular updates, homebrewing news and regional beer events through our club discussion page on Facebook as well as our club mailing list.

Ongoing beer education & tasting meetings are now moved to the last Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be on February 22nd, 6:30pm @ Shawn’s house. We’ll be judging and discussing IPA. You can get more info at the Facebook event posting.

Coming up in March, we’ll be helping coordinate the homebrew competition with the Wyoming Brewer’s Festival. This is a Wyoming only competition, held in Cheyenne on March 11th. Unlike prior competitions, we’ll be helping run this as a sanction BJCP competition. There is no entry fee, but only a max of 3 entries per brewer will be accepted. We’ll be setting up categories once we have a better idea of the number of entries we receive, but will have places for each category, a best of show and two brewers will select beers to be served at the festival from the placing beers.

In addition to the competition with the festival, homebrewers have been invited to serve homebrew at the competition. If you’re interested in brewing and serving beer for festival goers, please sign up here. Preference may be given to brewers who have entered beers into the competition, but we are hopeful to be able to serve as much homebrew as possible. Dates for the festival are June 16 & 17. If you intend to serve, you will likely be required to attend a TIPS training session as well.

In April, this year’s Eight Seconds of Froth will be the 23rd annual competition and the second oldest on the front range. We’re already gearing up, as we’ve moved the competition up to April, 29th. Keep an eye out for new announcements on prizes and additional judging dates through the mailing list and Facebook discussion group. If you’d like to get involved with the competition, please contact Doug on the club mailing list. Additional information is available here.

We’re also in the process of planning a small homebrewing competition with the Laramie County Fair. This will be August 5th and will be conducted at the fair along with homebrewing demonstrations.

Commitee Updates

Our commitees help organize some club events and improve home brew culture in our community. If you’re interested in any of these groups, please feel free to contact any club officer for more info, or reach out on the mailing list for contact info:

  • Competition Committee – As always the annual competition needs volunteers for various tasks. With our additional competitions this year, anyone is welcome to help. On competition days, stewards and judges are always welcome to participate. If you don’t have judging experience, our monthly BJCP education meetings will help get you up to speed.
  • Social Committee – Lots of planning going on for the Summer party and possible camping trip. They are also looking at future brewery tours and other social events outside of the meetings.
  • Marketing/Internet Committee – We’re looking out for new members and ways of including more home brewers in the club from the local area. If you have ideas on promoting homebrewing and the club to others and how we can appeal to brewers outside the club, please let us know.

Upcoming regional competitions (Feb-March deadlines)

Sweetheart’s Revenge, February 17-18th, Loveland, CO
Dredhop, February 24-25, Boulder, Collins
2017 Peak to Peak Pro-Am, March 4, Longmont, CO
Mazer Cup (Mead only), March 10-11, Broomfield, CO

If you’re planning on entering into Sweetheart’s Revenge or Dredhop, entries are being transported to Fort Collins on Feb 10th @ 5pm. Contact Fred through Facebook or email for more information.

For more information on our recent club meeting, the minutes have been posted here.

March 2, 2015
by Doug
Comments Off on BIG BREW DAY


Just a reminder that Big Brew Day is May 7th.  The Cheyenne High Plains Drafters will be hosting a Big Brew Day @ 6846 Hitching Post Ln, Cheyenne, WY.  More info can be found here.  Hopefully this year will be just a tad warmer than last year: BigBrewDay20140427


December 23, 2014
by Doug
Comments Off on Reminder for Thomas Hardy Brew day. January 11th @ Brent’s

Reminder for Thomas Hardy Brew day. January 11th @ Brent’s

Thomas Hardy’s Ale – From Clone Brews

5 gallons
O.G. = 1.123 – 1.125
F.G. = 1.028 – 1.031
IBU = 70
SRM = 24
12% abv

All Grain
21.25 lbs Maris Otter 2 row
12 oz. Crystal 55°L
12 oz. Amber Malt
2 oz. Peat Smoked Malt

16.5 lbs Light LME
.33 lb Wheat DME
12 oz. Crystal 55°L
.5 lb Amber Malt
2 oz. Peat Smoked Malt

1 oz. Northern Brewer (60 min.)
3 oz. East Kent Goldings (60 min.)
1 oz. Fuggles (15 min.)
1 oz. East Kent Golding (2 min.)
.5 oz. Fuggles (Dry Hop)
.5 oz. East Kent Goldings (Dry Hop)

Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale

add 18 HBU less bittering hops than called for in the extract recipe above (25%)

Mash at 150° for 90 minutes.

July 1, 2013
by Jesse

High Plains Drafters Social Hour

Since we’re not having a formal meeting this month Shawn Miller is hosting our first HPD Social Hour at his house. Bring some food to eat and plenty of beer to drink. No agenda.

When: Friday July 12th, 6:00pm

Where: 4309 Superior Ave. Cheyenne, WY 82001

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Shawn’s number is 307-287-3468 if there are any questions. Hope to see everyone there.