Remember folks, you all can say you knew me when.
I received a call from the Michigan State Fair Homebrewer's Competetion, on Wednesday, saying that "at least one of the beers I entered into the competition has placed"! That means I make "award-winning beer"! Well, at least that's what I'm gonna say...
I won't know until the Awards Ceremony, at the Michigan State Fair on August 13th, which beer won what place, but placing is good enough for me right now!
I entered two beers into that competition: an Irish Red Ale and an American Wheat. I posted the recipe for the Red Ale back in April (See April Showers post) and I made the American Wheat (I call it Summer's Cauldron but it is a slightly altered clone of Bell's Oberon) on June 2nd. I have since brewed a large IPA, called A Terrible Beauty, on July 6th.
I began entering competetions a couple of years ago, just for fun. I have received some good ratings on my beers but never placed before. I have judged beers in competitions and worked as a steward in last year's Masters Championship of Amateur Brewers. Beer judging is fun! There are some very analytical processes involved but the act is still overall a subjective endeavor. Often an experienced beer judge, with rank in the Beer Judge Certification Program, will rank one of my beers higher than another judge who is a novice/beginner. That indicates the subjectivity of the sport.
Here is the recipe for my latest creation, A Terrible Beauty:
I don't know whether to call it an Imperial IPA or an American Barleywine. In competetion, your beer is judged by it's merits and hoe well it fits the style to which you have assigned it. Even the best Irish Stout in the world will receive a poor rating if it is entered as a Brown Ale, for instance.
Anyway, the vitals:
26 Lbs. Breiss Pale Malt
2 Lbs. 20L Crystal Malt
2 Lbs. Weyerman Munich Malt
1/2 Gal. Pale Malt Extract
1 Lb. Malto Dextrin
1/2 Lb. Honey
Mashed at 152 F, for one hour, with 1 oz. Cascade hops in mash.
1 Oz. Chinook (13%) 60 minutes
1 Oz. Centennial (10%) 60 minutes
1 Oz. Columbus (16%) 15 minnutes
1 Oz. Cascade (6%) 15 minutes
2 Oz. Cascade (6%) 1 minute
1.5 Oz. Cascade (6%) Dry Hop
Used WLP 007 for one five gallon keg and White Labs 1098 for the other.
I bottled it yesterday and will be sampling it next week at our annual canoe trip on the Au Sable River near Oscoda.
I know this post is "brewer technical" but I thought it might interest you all anyway. Any questions, let me know, I am happy to explain any of the technical terms but don't want to bore anyone unnecessarily.