Woo! Hoo! won my first competition

ok, it was ony a simple homebrew club meeting night competition – but still very exciting.  I know, lots of luck involved, but very fun.

I went to my first Home-brew club meeting last night, Gold Country Home-brew Club in Sacto – very nice group of people, excellent demonstration (Cheese and Beer pairing, Munster and Stout go VERY nicely together) and some nice commercial and home-brew examples.  I’ll definitely go back.

Now, on to the fun part.  the nights competition was Porters and Stouts.  It just so happened that I had an Oatmeal Stout in my fridge/keg.  I cleaned some bottles, then jammed my racking cane into the party tap…amazing how well that works.  Capped three clean bottles.  3 people brought Porters, and 2 of us brought Oatmeal Stout.  The porters were all fairly sweet (common for porters), the other Oatmeal Stout was also sweet – but very nice, and my Oatmeal Stout is dry.  Personally, I’m not a fan of sweet beers.  So, I won the official blind judging, but came in DEAD LAST for the peoples choice.  Not sure what to make of the contrast.  My beer was served last of the night, after some strong tasting sweet porters and stout – so it’s possible that the taste buds were wiped out.  Or people just don’t like it – oh well – I like it.  Very happy it did well in the judging.  This beer came out very very clean, no off flavors – very nice.

Fun stuff, woo hoo!

Brew On!
Brian.

Tasty Beer

Racked my Pete’s Wicked Ale clone from secondary to keg and a few bottles.  It is sooooo tasty right now.  Very balanced, but has some of the Pete’s Wicked Ale character to it…with a couple of the changes I made.  This was an all grain batch.  Only concern I have is that the Primary fermentation was warmer than I would have liked – high 70’s vs. mid 60’s.  After 1 week in primary and a little over a week in secondary – I did not pick up any off flavors.  I kegged about 3 gallons, and bottled the rest.   I’m really interested to see if there is any significant flavor difference between the bottled beer and the kegged beer.  My kegged beers have always tasted ‘fresher’ to me, while my bottled beers tend to develop an off flavor after about a month … a taste I cant quite place.  it’s almost like the hop character diminishes more in the bottle than it does in the keg.  First taste should be in a week.

This weekend – I’ll brew some more Pale Ale I think…though I plan to go very pale with it…

Off to my first homebrew club meeting tonight – the Gold Country Homebrew Club in Sacto, then I’ll head to the Hangtown Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts on Thursday.

Brew On!
Brian.

Back to Brewing again

After taking a 5 year break, I’m back to brewing.  I’ve brewed sense 1993.  Most of my brews were just hobby brews, trying things out – trying to make something with a different taste, a beer I couldn’t buy in the store.

I’m now focused on making really good beer. With focus on a couple different styles.  I’d love to ‘go pro’ someday, but now, just focused on making really good stuff.  I’m focusing on the following styles, Oatmeal Porter, West Coast Pale Ale, West Coast IPA, Red/Amber Ale, Blonde Ale, Old American Pilsner, and maybe a Wheat Beer – if I can find one that I actually like!

I’ve moved from Extract to All Grain, and from Kit to formulating my own recipes, with the help of brewtarget – wow, what a nice piece of software.  I’ll start posting some of my brews, and my equipment, what I’ve bought, what I’ve made.  Mainly, I’ll share my failures – and why I think they happened, and what has worked well for me.

Brew On!
Brian.