AHA National Homebrew Competition

This Friday is the deadline for submission to the 1st round of the AHA National Homebrew Competition. Now, I’ve only been brewing for a few months, but I like to think I’m getting the hang of this thing (most people seem to like my stuff). As I’d previously mentioned, I took a comment from my dear friend Aaron to heart, and felt that I needed to prove my hop-mettle once and for all. To that end, I brewed a rather potent concoction.

The base recipe I used was the extract version of the Victory Hop Devil Clone from Austin Homebrew. This recipe includes a 2 and 1/2 lb grain bag, 7 lbs of Pale Ale extract, and 4 ounces of hops. My plans were to add an additional 2 lbs of Amber Extract, and increase the hops to 9 ounces total. My idea was to build an incredibly big beer with a lot of hop flavor. On brew day I made the mistake of following Charlie’s advice a little to far (relay, have a homebrew), and accidentally grabbed the 2 lb container of Munich extract we had for a bock beer we planned to brew. Though unintended, this had a very nice affect on the beer, giving it a deep ruddy amber color, and a great mouth feel. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the Dogfish Head 90 Minute ale. Enough malt body to keep up with an incredible hop kick. In short, it came out really good.

So I’ve sent it in. As of this writing it’s out for delivery to the Northern Brewer regional site for judging (UPS doesn’t ship beer huh? Just don’t tell them) :). I’m interested to see what the experts opinion of my homebrew is. I’m looking forward to finding out. Regardless, this accidental beer has certainly come out better than I would have thought. I may have to do it again.

On a side note, today is also the day my boss receives a shipment of bottles, and a bench capper to assist in the bottling of a brew I did in his house. My company is based out of Northern Virginia, but I work out of our Iowa office. A few weeks ago, I was summoned to the big city to develop a new portion of our website to assist in customer notification of issues. I had so many requests to bring beer, I knew I’d exceed the limits of luggage on my flight (or have to spend the week naked). So I decided I’d give the brew on premise idea a bit of a twist, and co-op my boss’s homebrewing equipment!

While I was out there, I brewed a clone of the famous La Brasseire Sason Dupont, and it’s just about ready for bottling. This will be the first time I’ve attempted to do a Belgian, and honestly, I can’t truly claim this as my own. I boiled, sanitized, and otherwise got everything prepared, but have played no other role since the initial transferring to the primary fermenter. I’ll certainly be interested in the reactions of the people, and hope it comes out well. I think my reputation is at stake.