After getting a few score sheets back from the Bluebonnet Brew-off judges last year steps were taken to control fermentation temperatures and more attention was paid yeast pitch rates. Judges scores jumped from the mid twenties to the occasional 40 after making those small-ish changes. This year I hope to get more than one of the beers to the second round and perhaps even hear our beer called out at the awards dinner. We did get a third place in the Limbo Challenge, and a four medals at Labor of Love.
Out of the gate for 2017 we are brewing up entries for Bluebonnet Brew-off. Here’s what we have in the pipeline:
- English IPA (12C)
- Scottish Export Stout (14C)
- American Stout (20B)
- Witbier (16A)
- Saison (25B)
Ok, 2016 is in the books and there was quite a lot of beer brewed. My brew year turned out better than I’d hoped. I started the year with the Journeyman Brewer Certificate program at Eastfield College. I learned quite a bit and made lots of connections within the industry. Not everything scales from a 5 gallon bucket to a 60 barrel fermenter. I was quite reassuring to learn that even professional brewers sweat a new brew until the blow-off tube starts gurgling.
One of the goals for 2016 was to place in the top 5 among brewers in the Dallas Homebrew Collective. There wasn’t a ranking at the end of the year, but we did win the style competition for Brown Ale, took second and third with a porter. There might have been a another win if Silvia hadn’t voted for the beer with which we tied
We did manage to tie for 5th place in the Master Brewer contest at Cap & Hare. There wasn’t a style win, but we did accumulate several third place finishes – 20A – American Porter, 24A – Witbier, and 20B – American Stout. With a bit of recipe tweaking based upon judges feedback we hope to score better in 2017 and get more than 9 points.
We did a single hop IPA, using the Martin House formula, with Nelson Sauvin hops.
Very simple grist:
- 88% two row barley
- 12% light Munich
Straightforward hop schedule:
- 65 IBU worth in the boil at 60 minutes
- At 5 minutes add 0.2 oz/gallon
- Dry hop with 0.2 oz/gallon
Ferment (we used a Vermont Ale strain), cold-crash with gelatin, keg, carbonate, and enjoy.