Thursday, 10 April 2014

#SJPORR, A Pale ale, kegging and the GKBF

Plenty has happened in the last couple of weeks, and being the slacker I am, I haven't bothered to update, when I should of.
I'll start with the first Great Kiwi Beer festival Home-brew Competition. Run by The Twisted hop and Finneys Homebrew, it was a great mix of many different beer,s considering the small length of time to brew something especially for it. The Kiwi As category gets his beer brewed in a 600 Lt batch by the hop, which is a pretty good prize. (Sadly I didn't enter that category).
One of my brew buddies Oli actually won best overall beer, with his eisbock, but as it wasn't in the category he doesn't get it brewed. So onto my entry:
35-35-33/50 were my scores from 3 judges, so overall happy scores. I entered my Bad Wolf Belgian IPA so happy with that. I should really brew this for the NHC 2014, but whether I get round to it or not is another story. Some great prizes with some other guys I know picking up a few bits and pieces.

Next was a big weekend for beer drinking here in the Chur! The Great Kiwi Beer Festival, and man what a day, an expensive day a boozy day. Like last year I'll go through my highs and lows of the day in regards to beers. But first a small side point. I was able to get a seat in the final tasting of the day, in the "Beer Academy" Soren from 8wired was to talk-about Sour beers, and given the Barrel experiment a few of us are getting into, I figured it'd be a good idea. It was, which has given me some real insight into sour beers and bret strains etc. I'll try post some videos etc. soon.
Now onto the other highlights of the day:
Best Beer: This was pretty difficult, as there seemed to be alot of Pale Ales, IPA's etc. hanging around. So I'm actually going to buck the trend here, and strangely enough pick Parrot dog's  DOGG, an English mild, with low alcohol and not really a big player in the day. I gotta say for a small beer, there's plenty of flavour ,and the mouth-feel is bang on, no faults etc.  So it wins my beer of the day. Mainly its different from the other beers on the day.
Next Best, goes to the Stone Range, Luke at Epic was able to get some of these beer into the festival. Although largely Hop focused, they were well brewed, clean and just plain awesome. Particular favourites were Sublimely self-righteous Imperial Black IPA and the Old Guardian Barley-wine, man what great beers.
Worst Beer: While I don't enjoy this category (in more than one sense) I think it needs mentioning. The beer chosen is Four Ave's Half Nelson, while well brewed, its plain un-interesting and uninspired.
Overall Highlight: The aforementioned sour beer academy tasting, Soren couldn't make it, but his off-sider Jason was brilliant, had good knowledge, and was genuinely enthusiastic about these types of beers. Which got me thinking, why can't I do something like this. It's inspired me. More to come on that in a few weeks.

Thirdly, I brewed my Mountain Warrior II, and the day before brewing changed the hop schedule completely, so it has been semi re-named. Mountain Warrior XPA: Savage Edition. As you will see, I used the Riwaka and Citra I had sitting in my freezers for quite sometime. Efficiency wise, I Hit my Target volume (This was hard-work, as I really pushed it to get the 21 litres into the fermenter) I hit 1.055 as predicted. and dry-hopped earlier this week. Before dry-hopping there was a larger riwaka aroma, which was very promising. so I began the crash chill this morning, and will get around to it, probably Sunday or Monday, as my first ever kegged beer. Exciting stuff.

Case Swap beers: I've done a couple of case swaps recently, the first just a normal CHCH Home-brew club swap, with 7-8 other brewers, trying a number of different beers, and styles. And the other one is a special one, which I'm especially impressed with, as the beer needed to be created and brewed with a single hop in mind. No other restrictions, just one hop to use, which was Mosaic. this has inspired my next brew to keg, Oli's Brown Ale. I'll have to make a couple of adjustments, for my system and fermentation but a solid beer, and my first american Style Brown Ale.

And finally #SJPORR, yes I'm registered in the Kiwi contingent, and I have deep dark plans. I guess I should add a YouTube channel at some stage as well. I will be brewing for the August cut-off in a very short while to allow some ageing. I'll do a special post on this, and hopefully a video (Don't expect the awesome SJPORR intro) But watch this space, and expect some dedicated posts on the challenge, the beer I'm brewing and when it comes to competition time, some notes on beer I enjoyed etc. I'll be using proper score-sheets, and trying to be fair.

I almost forgot -
GUTS AND GLORY UPDATE #1: The beer has developed a pellicle surprisingly quickly, and to be honest it look rather disgusting... But its supposed to look like that. The beer seems to be coming together where it should and I will be adding oak at a later point, to add another character to it.

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