Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Keeping Busy

We have been very busy lately here at New Main. We brewed the final batch of our Pale Ale for a friend's bachelor party and it is almost ready to keg condition. We also knocked out a 2.5 gallon batch of wheat beer that will be finished with fresh apricots in secondary. We are rapidly running out of room in our fermentation chamber!

Our fermentation chamber is damnear full
of Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, and the
recent small batch wheat beer
(not pictured here)
Not to worry, though. The Russian Imperial Stout has been conditioning for several months now, and we will bottle the base recipe in the 3 gallon carboy soon. We will keep the two smaller 1 gallon carboys going for a few more weeks and try treatments of chipotle pepper, Mexican vanilla extract, and cacao nibs. Yum!

Coming up on our busy brew schedule is the next incarnation of our Gose recipe that we brewed just before Christmas 2014. We will be changing the recipe slightly and pitching an actual lactobacillus starter this time instead of "cheating" with lactic acid. Hopefully, the beer will be sour, salty, and citrusy just like the many Goses we tried in Portland and Seattle last month. We are also going to split this batch down and try a variant finished with tamarindo (a small bean-like pod with sweet, tangy pulp commonly consumed in Mexico in candy or beverage form). We think it will give the beer an interesting twang and make it a great summer thirst quencher.
Tamarind fruit. It's tastier than it looks, trust me.

The RIS and the Gose are going to be entered into this year's 4th annual Labor of Love Homebrew Competition hosted by Deep Ellum Brewing in Dallas, Texas. Unlike last year, this year's competition will be a BJCP sanctioned event, meaning beer entries are judged against a set list of almost 30 main style categories, each with about 5 sub categories. Bet you didn't know there were that many kinds of beer out there! For your viewing pleasure...

As with last year, the overall winner of the competition will get to brew their beer alongside Deep Ellum's pros on their 30 barrel system, and the resulting beer will be distributed across the metroplex to thirsty patrons on draft only (I think). The winner will also be entered into the 2016 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition to go up against the nations best professional and amateur brewers.

Aside from the competition, entrants are encouraged to come pour up to 5 of their fine homebrews in a beer festival setting on Sunday, September 6 at the Deep Ellum brewery. We will be bringing the remainder of the Gose and RIS, as well as last year's crowd pleasing Palo Alto Wit. I would also like to brew up one last batch of the pale ale and dry hop with some of our homegrown Willamette hops if they are ready for harvest by then. If not, maybe one of the hops that seem to be popular right now like Mosaic or Galaxy. The last offering will be reserved for either of the special edition RIS batches, depending on how they turn out. Stay tuned for more information and a dedicated recap of the evening shortly after it all goes down!

One of our 3 Willamette hops growing right
in our front yard!
The next big event on our radar is the American Homebrewers Association Rally being held at Community Beer Company in Dallas, TX on Saturday, August 1st. AHA rallies are great because AHA members get to take home great swag, speak one-on-one with our favorite professional brewers, try special and limited release beer, and sometimes we even get to take home some professionally brewed wort for our own fermentation experiments! Not to mention, we get to hang out with our fellow homebrewers and learn about the many homebrewing clubs in the area. We will definitely dedicate a post to this event as well.

 If you are a homebrewer and you aren't a member of the AHA, what the hell are you waiting for?! You get all kinds of discounts to various pubs and restaurants, free entry to AHA Rallies across the nation, and of course free subscription to Zymurgy magazine, a great publication with how-to's, interviews, and brewing news. While you're at it, go ahead and sign up for the Deep Ellum Labor of Love Homebrew Competition as well. It's free, it's fun, and it guarantees honest feedback on your homebrew that will help you become a better brewer.

Today's Main Break: Aside from joining clubs and organizations, free podcasts are a great way to learn more in-depth techniques and general knowledge about brewing. You can listen in the car on the way to and from work like I do! Check out the Brewing Network and (locally in DFW) Stubby's Texas Brewing Inc. for more!

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