Akron’s Homebrewing Club’s 20th Year Anniversary Brew

…at Thirsty Dog.

A few weeks back Akron’s homebrew club, SAAZ (Society of Akron Area Zymurgists), brewed a 20th anniversary brew to commemorate their humble beginnings from the first meetings at Liberty Street Brewing…where Tim Rastetter brewed (now at Thirsty Dog) and where Fred Karm, brewmaster of Hopping Frog, was also a founding member.  Akron’s recent brewing history is very intertwined indeed.

Before this brew happened, Tim Rastetter spoke at a SAAZ meeting early this Summer, talking about his past and discussing with the club his vision of what a 20th anniversary brew should be.  Well obviously a pre-Prohibition Pilsner featuring 100% Saaz hops!

I was almost going to NOT be a part of this day as I was getting busy myself…but my wife told me to just go.  I did go and I’m glad I did. Being a recent new brewer with bigger toys, I was working through several scale-up issues that resulted in many dumped batches.  I had to figure a few things out.

I arrived after mash-in (I’m not a morning person) and most of the club was present.  Jay from Thirsty Dog was in charge of this brew.  I, and I’m sure everyone from the club, give many thanks to Jay for answering our endless…and endless questions, usually repeated and in triplicate.

Jason, who is also a SAAZ member working at Thirsty Dog was also around most of the time to answer our questions.  Dustin from Thirsty Dog, another SAAZ member and at many of the member brews was also around and answering questions.  I don’t have enough thanks to the employees of Thirsty Dog for being so open to the club.

Anyways, here are some of the pics!

That's a lot of grain to mash-out.
That’s a lot of grain to mash-out.
Nick on the grain-out.
Nick on the grain-out.
The wort going across the other side of the brewery to cool.
The wort going across the other side of the brewery to cool.
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Jay keeping a keen eye on things.

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The mash still slowly spinning.
The mash (grains plus heated water) slowly stirring.

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Thirsty Dog collects there wort in a grant, this pot here, where it's then pumped to the boil kettle, repeat. I was surprised by this as this was how the first version of my home-brewery worked...but 's it's a good system to prevent grain bed compaction and just stick with gravity flow.
Thirsty Dog collects their wort from the mash/lauter tun in a grant, this pot pictured here, where it’s then pumped to the boil kettle, repeat. I was surprised by this as this was how the first version of my home-brewery worked…but ‘s it’s a good system to prevent grain bed compaction by just sticking with gravity flow.
Loading up fresh SAAZ hops for the aroma addition to the boil kettle.
Loading up fresh SAAZ hops for the aroma addition to the boil kettle.
DON'T TOUGH THE BUTTON!
DON’T TOUCH THE BUTTON!
I think Joe is likes this part of the job.
I think Joe likes this part of the job.
Two tangential inlets can be scene here on the left...seeing these in action allowed me to adjust my brewing to use mine better to produce clearer wort on pumpout.
Two tangential inlets can be scene here on the left…seeing these in action allowed me to adjust  my brewing to use mine better to produce clearer wort on pumpout.

Again, thanks to Thirsty Dog for being open enough allowing this opportunity.  It does improve beer in Akron both on a homebrew level and a professional level.

If you are a homebrewer, consider joining SAAZ.  Monthly meetings will be starting soon.  It’s a great way to sample dozens of beer styles – many of which are award winning.  Plus the members are great and offer limitless knowledge and help to new, and old brewers alike.

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