Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 National Homebrew Competition

The first round of the 2010 NHC is over, and much to my surprise, my Dr. Pavlov's Salivator took 1st place in the bock catagory.  It was first among 15 other entries, and scored a 37 out of 50 possible points.  This makes it eligible to move on the the national finals in Minneapolis in June.
The winner there is crowned Homebrewer of the Year.
For the complete listing of the first round winners from the Great Lakes region copy and paste the address below in your web browser.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Susie's Sweet Stout Double Brew

In getting ready to finish up my 1 year of fame, I brewed up the double batch of Susie's Sweet Stout.  This is the 2 kegs worth of 2009's Best of Show that will be the featured beer at the 2010 Indiana Brewer's Cup award dinner.
I've never done two brews in one day before, so this was something new for me.  My equipment is set up to do single 5 gallon batches of beer.  But because I'm using the yeast built up from a batch of Thistle Dew Scottish ale I made last week, I had to get both batches done in relatively short order.
I took detailed notes in the brewing of the Thistle Dew.  Things like how long does it take to heat 4 gallons of water to 170 degrees, and how long does it take to drain 6 1/2 gallons of sweet wort from the mash tun.  I was then able to put together a time line of when to start the second batch while still working the first without ending up with two critical events happening simultaniously.
I sent out an invitation to the Howard County Homebrew Club to join in on the event.  4 members came by to share the day.  Jeff G. was first to arrive with a couple of his own beers.  Eric M. began his Homebrew Tour as he is looking to document the different methods of brewing the members of the club uses.  Jon S., who donated the use of some of his equipment to help out in the heating of muliple pots of water, stopped by to have a beer.  Matt D. drove up and unloaded his brewing equipment to do up a batch of his own beer.  He also brought a keg of beer to share as well.
Then the non-brewers began to show up.  5 other friends & neighbors came over to enjoy the beautiful spring day, and have some wonderful homebrew and brats that were grilled by Jeff in the back yard.
Eric filmed the process throughout the day, and everything went quite smoothly with onle one minor spill that he caught on tape as the transfer hose of the first batch went astray spraying beer all over the floor of the kitchen.  Eric showed signs of a mild panic like he'd never seen anything like this before, which he hadn't.  I kept my cool, having seen this kind of thing before and got it quickly under control and began the clean-up.
The transfer of batch #2 went much smoother and with the insertion of the airlock, my brewing was done.  Now all that was left was the clean-up.  Interestingly enough, it was also about the time everyone decided it was time to leave too.  It was a good day, and though I don't think I'll be doing another double brew anytime soon, I enjoyed the company for my Big Brew Day.