Friday, August 05, 2005

Award Winning Beer

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:

9% ABV
100 IBU

Malt Bill
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.

Hop Schedule
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.
OG: 1.075
FG: 1.010

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.


camojack said...

Speakin' of beer/contests, check this one out...

Libby Gone™ said...

my brother is a amatuer brewer, yet good.
My grandpa, much to Mom's dismay, taught me to make wine. As a 16 year old, I became very popular with my freinds HAHA!.
I am MOST sure my brother will totally dig this and will forward it to him.
Best of luck in the competion, either way I think you will come out a winner.
(by the way look around for a pair of Reeboks in the Au Sable, miss them)

Beerme said...


Wow! Great job by all! I missed the party, though. I could have tried out some John Steindreck on them.


hooey said...

R O B E R T S

camojack said...

Yer welcome of course, mon amí.

Pretty sharp bunch over there...

Maggie said...


Just stopped in to say Hi and that I keep up with your blog.(as a non beer drinker,this was totally out of my 'glass')

MargeinMI said...

Good luck in the competition, and watch out for those low hangin' branches! (I'm ASSUMING you'll be in a canoe some time or another?)

Beerme said...

Thanks for stopping by! I promise not to do these posts too often, because they only interest brewers, but I get a little geeky every now and then...


Too right! I will be canoeing a bit on Saturday-that means I paddle and steer while my wife gets a tan and enjoys the scenery: )

Libby Gone™ said...

sorry for being green. What is a firkin?

Kajun said...

libby gone

A firkin is a drink similar to a "fuzzy navel" except it comes in a can.

Libby Gone™ said...

interesting, thanks!

Beerme said...

libby gone,

Kajun is a funnin' with you. A firkin is a fuzzy pickle (gerkin, fuzzy= firkin)...

Libby Gone™ said...

Ok you got me! Actually I thought it was hillbilly slang for a lewd act.

Kajun said...

Well, I was close, I knew it was something fuzzy.

Beerme said...

This just in, I got second place in the category for American Light Ales. Mine was the only one of the three top award winners that was a wheat beer, so I am claiming first place in the American Wheat Beer division!
I tried harder anyway...

Anonymous said...


Put down that 'mint julip', get off the hammock ,and go to your computer and compose a new article. Your fans are waiting. :>)

Kajun said...

Congratulations on the First Place Wheat Beer!

Beerme said...

Thanks, Kajun!
I am going to make an effort to enter more beers into competitions. I'm sure I can get a stack of awards for when I open my Brewpub: )