Homebruin Cup XI Results

Another Homebruin is in the books!  Homebruin XI saw 32 entries, which were split across four separate tables.  Congratulations to the winners, and to the Best of Show winner  – Daniel Hillesheim and his Czech Pale, Stonebriar Pils!

Best of Show

1st – Daniel Hillesheim – Czech Pale Lager

2nd – John Bolt – Wheatwine

3rd – Thomas Brandeis – Vienna Lager

Table 1:  Pale European Beer

1st – Daniel Hillesheim – Czech Pale Lager

2nd – John Bolt – Czech Premium Pale Lager

3rd – Zachary Beck – Kolsch

Table 2:  Traditional Beers

1st – Stephen Alred – Blonde Ale

2nd – Thomas Brandeis – Vienna Lager

Table 3:  British and American Ales

1st – Zachary Beck – Best Bitter

2nd – Erik Reinheimer – Imperial Stout

3rd – Zachary Beck – American Pale Ale

Table 4:  Belgo/Wild/Smoke

1st – Erik Reinheimer – Belgian Dark Strong Ale

2nd – John Bolt – Wheatwine

3rd – Erik Reinheimer – Flanders Red Ale

NEW Club Series – How’m I Cloning

It is with great pleasure that we get to announce the newest TVH brewing series, How’m I Cloning. The name is an obvious play on the How’m I Brewing series. That’s where all participants brew a particular set of ingredients or to a particular beer style. This new project takes it to the next level.

For each How’m I Cloning project we will select a beer from one of our many local breweries and the task will be to clone that beer. We will then gather with all the entries at the brewery where a winner will be selected. The brewers from that brewery will be involved in the selection process too.
The winning brewer will earn themselves a prize pack from the brewery and a customized trophy from TVH, plus all the glory that comes with being the inaugural HIC Champion.
For our first HIC we have selected Goat Hill by Blackberry Farm Brewery. It is a 5% Kolsch style ale (sorta), but the BFB’s own description doesn’t mention the word Kolsch. This is a sneakily tricky and nuanced target, and that’s the point of the series.
The tasting date will be the weekend of May 6th. The specific day/time will be finalized in the weeks to come. That’s over 3 months away, so you should have plenty of time to taste, plan and execute your best Goat Hill clone.
I’ll see you all at the tasting!

Check us out on Facebook

Be sure to check us out on Facebook!  We have an open group for pictures, comments, questions, and general discussions.  Always happy to welcome brewers, new and old!



HIB 15: Altbier

HIB 15: Altbier      

Format: Free- form. Just try to brew an example of the Altbier (or Alt) style. Pick a recipe or formulate one based on the style guidelines. No restriction on grains, hops, yeast, water or techniques.

Goals: Educational and fun. A wide variety of knowledge of the style is expected. No pressure. The intent is to learn and enjoy.

Notes: Plenty of time was given to brew the beer and allow time for ageing, as is the custom of the style. The original notice was sent out on September 21, 2022, and the tasting took place at Crafty Bastard West on January 11, 2023. Fourteen beers were submitted. Each beer was evaluated by all entrants, as well as by Aaron McClain, owner of Crafty Bastard. Comment cards included two simple “slide bars”, one for “is it to style” and one for “how much do I enjoy it”, as well as ample comment space. Each beer was assigned a number, the entries were evaluated “blind”, and the intent was for each brewer to wear his number at the end. That format was roughly followed.

Conclusions: A good time was had by all, and everyone seemed to learn a lot. All the beers were quite tasty – no off flavors in any of them – and a few were judged to be good examples of the style. Aaron preferred Daniel Hillesheim’s fuller, richer interpretation, saying that to him it represented the Altbier style perfectly. His second choice was John O’Neil’s dryer, crisper interpretation. His third was Tom Brandeis’ and his fourth was Wayne Colbenson’s. The majority of participants chose John O’Neil’s. His beer had a surprisingly solid malt presence considering that pilsner malt made up almost all of the grain bill. Interestingly, Daniel confessed that his “Alt” was actually his Dunkel recipe. Which just goes to show that styles (and preferences and interpretations) can overlap a good bit.

John O’Neil’s “Ancient Ways” recipe:

OG: 1.048

FG: 1.010

IBU: 36

Color: 12 SRM

ABV: 5%

Pre-boil: 7 gallons @ 1.043

Post-boil: 6.25 gallons @ 1.048 (45 minute boil)

Mash 45 minutes @ 152.6 F.

8 # Avangard Pilsner

4 oz. Crystal 60

4 oz, Briess Chocolate (350 L.)

41 g/1.5 oz Perle @ 7.1% for 45 minutes (30 IBU)

30 g/1.06 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh @ 4% for 15 minutes (7 IBU)

3.6 g baking soda, 4.3 g calcium chloride, 1.5 g Epsom salts, 1.9 g gypsum added to mash

Ca: 82 ppm, Mg: 12 ppm, Na: 45 ppm, Cl: 83 ppm, carbonate: 210 ppm

WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch yeast fermented @ 66 F. for 5 days, then 72 F. for 2 days


Christmas Party 2022

The holiday season is upon us and it is once again time for the TVH Christmas Party! This year’s party will be December 17th at Don’s house (address given in the TVH member email), with festivities kicking off around 5ish and going until late.

Don will be preparing a delightful main course, but asks those attending to please signup to bring a side: PerfectPotluck link 

As always, feel free to bring homebrew or something special to share. Note that Uber/Lyft is not always reliable out in Loudon county, so I suggest carpooling and/or planning a DD ahead of time.

Happy Holidays!

Pigtoberfest 2021?

With the rise in Covid cases in Knox County, Marci and I have decided to require everyone attending Pigtoberfest must be vaccinated for Covid-19. If you are not currently vaccinated and wish to attend, get vaccinated soon. If you prefer to not get vaccinated, then there will be other events in the future you can attend.

If the case count continues to go up, we will likely be cancelling Pigtoberfest. We don’t want this fun event to become a super-spreader event.

While this event has always been a family event, please consider if your younger children should attend, or if you should attend if you have young children.

Believe in science and have compassion for your fellow human beings.



September 2020 Update: Strange Times

A lot has changed since I posted the last club update in early March. We enjoyed one last gathering at Don’s house, and enjoyed a traditional Irish meal (and several great beers, of course) to celebrate St Patrick’s day on a lovely Saturday afternoon.

The next week Knox County issue its “Safer at Home” order, closing bars, restaurants, and any non-essential gatherings. TVH followed suit in cancelling all in-person meetings for the time being, and began hosting regular (typically twice per month) meetings via video conference. Since then we have continued our group projects (a Saison is now souring in the barrel, and an HIB project is forming to brew a Scottish Wee Heavy), and held just a couple low-key, in-person meetings. Most festivals and competitions have been cancelled or delayed this year, and at this point it’s hard to tell when we may go back to these events. Not much to do besides RDWHAHB, and of course buy a crowler or three from your local breweries and beer stores (shoutout to Casual Pint Harden Valley, we miss you!!). If you have an idea for a socially distant club activity, let us know!

In the meantime John Bolt has compiled “a brief and incomplete history” of the club. Check it out here.

In other news, the club welcomed 5 news members since March and congratulated John Peed on his retirement!

Club Update March 2020

Don’t let our infrequent updates fool you–the Tennessee Valley Homebrewers are alive and well! We recently welcomed three new members to the club steering committee–Stephen Alred, Scott Boyd, and Wayne Colbenson–and they are brimming with plans for some fun activities this year.

Here is a sneak preview of the year to come:

  • St Patty’s day party at Don’s
  • Off flavor tasting clinic
  • Central Ave brewery crawl
  • Homebruin Cup competition
  • Pig Roast
  • Club night at National Homebrew Con in Nashville
  • Border Battle tap takeover with Blount County Homebrewers
  • Asheville bus trip
  • Sour barrel project
  • Club tents at Thirsty Orange, Bruce Street Brewfest, Brewers Jam, and other local festivals

If you are interested in checking out the club, please join us at either of our two monthly pint night socials: the 1st Tuesday of the month at Casual Pint Harden Valley and the 3rd Wednesday of the month at Crafty Bastard West (in Echelon bike shop in Farragut), both start at about 6pm.

LTHBD Update

Learn to Homebrew Day was a great success! Thanks to everyone that came and special thank to Wayne and Darlene for their support of the club. We made the news!


TVH’s LTHBD @ FermentStation

Come join TVH as we brew out in front of FermentStation. The event is on Saturday November 3rd. We will be starting our 15 gallon all grain demonstration around 10am. There will be staff on hand to help you if you are just getting started or considering brewing for the first time.