Timeless Pints is a proud member of the Long Beach Homebrewers and this month marks the 25th anniversary for the organization. This year, TP collaborated with 2015 Hombrewer of the Year, Adam Widera, in the making of an Imperial Black IPL called the Darth Malt 2.0-LBHB 25th Anniversary Collaboration. This unique beer will be available $1 off the pint price at the Long Beach Homebrewers anniversary party which will be held at Timeless Pints Brewing on Saturday, Aug 29 from 1pm-8pm. See Details here.
We had a chance to talk with Adam more about the Long Beach club and his recent brewing experience at Timeless Pints.
Who are the Long Beach Homebrewers?
The Long Beach Homebrewers is a homebrewing club that began in 1990, and we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. We are a club that provides an avenue for information exchange for both experienced and novice homebrewers with a focus on the art and science of brewing while having a good time. I have been homebrewing since 1995 and have been actively involved with the club since around 2000. I also happen to be the current President of the club.
What is involved with the homebrewers competition?
The competition that I won was the annual Homebrewer of the Year competition for the Long Beach Homebrewers. The competitions consists of a series of specific beer styles that are brewed and judged throughout the year, with the winner being the brewer with the highest point accumulation throughout the year. Points are obtained by placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the individual beer style competitions throughout the year. This year I tied for 1st place with another brewer, Randy Weber, but have also won three other times in the past. Multiple prior winners have gone onto professional brewing careers. As part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Long Beach Homebrewers, the former President of the Club, Josh Smith, approached Chris from TP about making a collaboration beer with Homebrewer of the Year, and Chris kindly agreed.
An Imperial Black IPL sounds amazing and quite interesting. Why did you choose it?
The beer I brewed with Chris was a hybrid of styles, which has a pungent new hop variety, Azacca, as the focus of the hop flavor and aroma. I refer to the style as a Black Imperial India Pale Lager. Recently, I have been intrigued by the flavor nuances that India Pale Lagers (IPLs) offers in contrast to the India Pale Ales (IPAs) that everyone is used to. Lager beers are fermented cold at around 50 degrees F, while ales are fermented relatively warmer (typically around 70 F). The cold fermentation and clean flavor profile of lager yeasts really allow the subtle character of hops to shine through in ways that are different than an ale fermentation. In addition, I was inspired by another black lager style, Baltic Porter, that I have recently explored, and felt that a combination of the smooth roasted character of the Baltic Porter with a super hoppy IPA-like profile would be interesting. The beer I made with Chris uses a de-bittered black wheat malt that provides a lot of color to the beer, yet imparts a very mild smooth roasted character, in contrast to the normal roasted malts that one would use in a Stout, for example. The beer uses a ton of hops, which included Belma, Amarillo, Azacca, Citra, and El Dorado, most of which were used as late kettle additions or dry-hopping, which provide a ton of hop flavor and aroma, while imparting a smooth bitterness (i.e. the so-called “Hop Bursting” technique). The combination of these varieties of hops impart a strong tropical-fruit, citrus, stone-fruit aroma, which is an interesting juxtaposition with the dark color of the beer. According to Chris, it was the most hops he had ever used in a beer!
What are the major differences you found between brewing at home versus on a larger scale at TP?
The biggest difference in brewing with Chris is that we began brewing before the sun came up (5:00 AM)! I’m not sure I was fully awake for the first hour! Many things were similar with brewing with Chris as compared to my homebrewing set-up, except of course for the difference in scale. Also, you want to make sure you have your processes dialed in and recipe correctly scaled when making near 200 gallons of beer. Less room for on-the-fly adjustments, as opposed to making 10 to 15 gallons at home. I also had to adjust for increased hop utilization in a commercial size kettle, so I shifted some of the bittering hop additions to the flavor and aroma side.
The Long Beach Homebrewers meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM at Stein Fillers Brewing Supply, 4160 Norse Way, Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 425-5216.