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bierblog: June 2007 Archives

June 25, 2007

belgian brewing 2

our last brew day here in markham included a belgian pale. basically, that batch was just a big starter for today's beers: a belgian strong dark ale and a tripel. i chose white labs wlp530 abbey ale yeast (the one used by westmalle, achel, and westvleteren) for this batch, loosly aiming for something in the neighbourhood of westy 12.

scott came out to join us for this brew day. as a bonus, he lives right around the corner from grand river brewing and was able to grab the 2nd and 3rd growler that they filled on their first day in service. i actually enjoyed the galt knife old style lager a little more than the ploughman's ale, which is saying something since i'm usually an ale man. the ale was also quite good, but i felt the bittering was just a little out of balance (something they've agreed with and scaled back just a little since then). this was quite a treat. unfortunately, my laptop crashed before i could save the reviews, so i still need to resample them.

back when we brewed up our imperial stout we pulled off an extra couple gallons at the end and boiled the hell out of it before adding a quart back into the main wort. we pulled off the first gallon or so for the strong dark, added our demerara sugar, and boiled the snot out of it while the sparge finished. this was added back into the main wort before it came up to a boil.

on with the photos!

there's me loading up the barleycrusher. i love this thing.

strike water coming up to temp.

eric stirring up the mash for the strong dark and scott and i looking on.

gotta get out all the lumps. nobody likes a lumpy mash.

me verifying the temperature. needed a little bump to hit our strike temp.

the magic, er, monk's elixer. gallon or so of first runnings along with 2.2lbs of demerara.

we boiled the heck out of it until it had reduced by about half and then added it back into the main boil. mmm, delicious!

the rest of the belgian strong dark. love that colour.

hmmm, is eric happy or did he just get caught doing something wrong?

the elixer after boiling.

and added back into the main wort. crazy how much shit there was floating around in there.

good strong boil going on the strong dark. this one kept getting angry with us, but we managed not to have any boilovers.

the tripel on its way to a boil. tons of stuff floating in this one too. i think it's from the belgian pilsner malt, since that was the only new thing for the day.

scott flipping through brew like a monk, our bible for the day.

the chaos that is my garage. this was towards the end of the brew day, with most of the gear piled up under the brew table on the left. eric and i looking for something to do while the tripel was cooling.

jenn, best brew wife ever! which reminds me, we somehow managed to forget to take a photo of our fine brewday lunch. doh!

three phases of beerdom. madness, happiness, and quiet contemplation. or maybe just three random photos of me.

eric was on a mission, killing flies in the garage. seems kind of futile killing bugs in the outdoors...

the tripel going into the fermenters, with eric and i keeping an eye on things.

another successful brew day, and two damn fine brews.

Posted by grub at 12:10 PM

June 11, 2007

GCHC 2007

each year the Canadian Amateur Brewers Association holds several homebrewing competitions, including the Great Canadian Homebrew Conference and Competition 2007. the biergotter crew entered 3 beers in this competition and were rewarded with medals in 2 of the 3 categories.

our first entry was the "eised" version of the single malt scotch ale [brew day report]. feedback on it was positive, and although it didn't win a medal it actually scored higher than our bronze medal beer.

the first award went to our wheat wine [brew day report]. this beer took the bronze medal for 3rd place in the barleywine category. sweet!

the second award went to our Imperial Stout [brew day report]. this one stole the category, earning a gold medal for its first place finish. excellent!

i also got scoring sheets for all three beers. for reference, here's the BJCP scoring guide:
world class (45-50): world class beer. great character and now flaws.
excellent (38-44): exceptionally exemplifies style. needs little or no attention.
very good (30-37): exemplifies style well. requires some fine tuning.
good (21-29): generally within style parameters but requires attention.
fair (14-20): does not exemplify style and/or has several major flaws.
problem (0-13): problematic. recipe or brewing technique needs attention.

eised smoked scotch ale (22B - other smoked beer)
form 1:
aroma: 9/12. slightly smokey aroma and good malt
appearance: 3/3. nice colour and head.
flavour: 14/20. smoke flavour up front, mellows out to malt sweetness.
mouthfeel: 3/5. sweetness and carbonation balance each other well
overall impression: 8/10. not assertively smokey which makes for a nice drinking beer. this is a well made beer.
total: 37/50

form 2:
aroma: 9/12. subtle smoke coming through, can still pick up malt.
appearance: 2/3. fine.
flavour: 14/20. subtle smokiness. a little sweet for a scotch ale, but nice never the less.
mouthfeel: 4/5. nice mouth feel. smoke doesn't burn me!
overall impression: 7/10. more smoke aroma would have been nice, but nice balance.
total: 36/50

mini-wheat wine (19C - american barley wine). bronze medal winner in barley wine class.
form 1:
aroma: 9/12. nice spicy nose. malt predominates.
appearance: 3/3. ok.
flavour: 13/20. good malty flavour. hoppiness comes through, especially in the aftertaste.
mouthfeel: 3/5. good carbonation and syrupy mouthfeel. warming alcohol.
overall impression: 6/10. nice beer. well made. only fault is syrupy body.
total: 34/50

form 2:
aroma: 10/12. good maltiness. slightly spicy. ok for style.
appearance: 3/3. colour ok for style. head retention low. colour ok.
flavour: 12/20. syrupy taste very slight, nice bitter aftertaste.
mouthfeel: 3/5. slightly lighter body than style calls for.
overall impression: 7/10. nice entry with only minor flaws.
total: 35/50

magic elixer imperial stout (13F - russian imperial stout). gold medal winner in stout class.
form 1:
aroma: 9/12. alcoholic. high alcohols. rich and complex.
appearance: 2/3. dark and dark head, although not much head.
flavour: 15/20. complex malts. chocolatey, prunes, coffee, warming at the end.
mouthfeel: 4/5. has good body, creamy.
overall impression: 8/10. a lovely beer. can i have more?!
total: 38/50

form 2:
aroma: 9/12. slightly burnt aroma - ok for style. slight fruitiness also present.
appearance: 3/3. deep tan head. low retention.
flavour: 14/20. rich. malty, intense burnt flavour on finish. slight coffee-like taste.
mouthfeel: 4/5. full bodied (on low end) but to style.
overall impression: 7/10. good beer, very enjoyable. no major flaws. could drink lots of this.
total: 37/50

pretty darn good for our first competition.

the medals.

the guy from great lakes brewery talking about their orange peel ale and devil's pale ale. he was nice enough to fill in when the scheduled speaker bailed at the last minute. unfortunately, i have forgotten his name...

a few shots of the crowd. first one is taken down the table from where i was sitting. other photos from the same location showing the rest of the room.

kevin helping john from munro's meadery get setup. he had 6 different meads for us to sample. i think the raspberry was my favourite, but they were all nice.

john again. i actually sat across from him during the dinner and enjoyed talking with him. really nice guy. i hope to get down and check out the meadery at some point in the future.

the bronze!

the gold!

biergotter biotch!!!

Posted by grub at 1:47 PM

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