Thursday, February 4, 2010

Homebrew Alley IV Results

I haven't really blogged much of late because I haven't really had much to blog about. Haven't brewed in about a month. Homebrew Alley IV was this past weekend, so that was something fun. I had the opportunity to judge three flights - English Pale Ales, American Ales, and Strong Ales. Lots of great homebrew. There really weren't any duds in the bunch - and that's saying something because I drank a lot of homebrew.

Results of the competition are posted here.

Lots of people are finding this blog by looking for information on the White Labs High Pressure Lager yeast strain, WLP925. Unfortunately I can't report much good news about how my beers fermented with this yeast did in the competition. There were three of them - a helles, a pilsner (really should have been entered as a Dortmunder), and a rauchbier. None of them placed. But at the same time none of them got bad feedback. They were all kind of "eh". Although, personally, I think that the rauchbier is first rate.


Seanywonton said...

Hey, I heard you gave me and Ray's Barleywine a 26 you fucker!!!
Hahahaha, just kidding. I never thought that beer was very good but Ray wanted to enter it.
Sorry to hear the 925 lager experiments did not turn out great. I just brewed a smoked helles lager today, can't wait to try it!
Have you ever tried any other ways of getting a quick lager out? Like overpitching slightly, or using the steam lager yeast, or using Chico in the high 50's? Might be some potential in one of those there.
On the other hand, there's usually no free lunch with any part of brewing. Probably the best way to get a good fast lager is to do everything right in the primary so you don't even have to lager very long. Pitch really cold with enough yeast, like 2 weeks primary, then 2-3 weeks lagering for a nice ready to drink lager.

Tom E said...

Ray read it backwards, I gave it a 62.

I think you said it right - there's really no shortcut. I think that the 925 beers tasted ready to drink and "lager-like" enough in a shorter period of time than with most other lager yeasts I've used, but they're just missing something. From the perspective of making good, enjoyable beers, I think I'd just rather use some of the other lager yeasts I've had success with in the past.

thatguy314 said...

You forgot to mention the 4 prizes you won in homebrew alley! I guess it's an oversight b/c of the darn lager yeast.

High pressure is supposed to inhibit production of yeast biproducts by all yeasts. Sure, this one may ferment at ale temps and speed at high pressure, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could use your kegs to ferment other lagers under pressure and get reduced biproducts. 15psi might be high, but you could certainly try 5 or 6 and see if it helps. It would be an interesting experiment.

Tom E said...

I was thinking that I might do that very thing the next time around. I had really good results with the Urquell yeast a while back so I may give it a shot with that strain. Pitch it cold, let it free rise into the high 50's under a few psi.