Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Upcoming brew plans and SCH competition

A big thanks to the Stoney Creek Homebrewers whose second annual competition was a huge success this past weekend. I went down to the General Lafayette Inn with some entries and to judge. I wound up judging Belgian Strong Ales in the morning (as usual) and Amber Hybrids in the afternoon.

It was a real treat to have two short flights. The more competitions I judge, the more I find that doing shorter flights (in this case eight in the morning, seven in the afternoon) makes the whole process much better. I think that it makes the day go more smoothly for everyone involved and allows the judges to provide better feedback. I don't care what kind of expert you are and how great your palate is, once you start to get into ten, twelve, even more beers in a flight, you're going to have some fatigue. So great job by the SCH crew in keeping it tight.

I was also quite pleased to place with a few of my entries. I was particularly happy with how my Dortmunder Export did, as that's a recipe that I've been tweaking and trying to perfect for a while now. The feedback from the judges was definitely very flattering.

Speaking of lagers, I've got my WLP925 yeast starter working as of last night. I plan on brewing Friday night. I'll get my spunding valve all ready to go this week in preparation. The brew will be something along the lines of a helles. I have a bunch of Weyermann Pale Ale malt laying around and I want to use it up before it goes bad, plus for the first try with this yeast I want to do a very clean, basic kind of a beer. I think I'm going to do almost 100% base malt (with a dash of cara-pils) and no aroma or flavor hops. Boring, I know, but I think that this will be the best way to judge the flavor profile of this yeast.


Seanywonton said...

Great job Tom! Congrats on the Dortmunder. I think I am going to grab up a vial of lager yeast and start doing some very soon.

I see you didn't brag about the fruit beer you medaled with though, are you trying to hide something from us? You did a Magic Hat #9 clone, didn't you!

Tom E said...

I'll tell you exactly what I did. I brewed an American Wheat a while back that got pretty mediocre feedback in all of the competitions I entered it in. So I took the last remaining bottles, cracked them open, dosed each with about 2-3 ml's of peach extract, and re-capped.

As a matter of fact, I don't even know what that beer tasted like!!!