Monday, March 28, 2016

Bluebonnet & Shannon

Two weeks ago was yet another huge week for New Main Brewing. We planned on attending the Bluebonnet Brew-off in Irving, but we were too sick to make it to the event. The competition representatives sent out the score sheets a few days later, and while neither of our entries won, we got some good feedback on how to tweak our recipes. Naturally we drowned our "sorrows" at Division Thursday night with some green beer (Forty-eighter Berlinerweisse with woodruff syrup).

Green beer at Division Brewing in Arlington

The next weekend, we went to Shannon Brewing Co. for their St. Patrick's Day festivities and enjoyed bagpipe & drum, great rare Shannon beers, and good company. Our Pro-Am beer was also on tap for thirsty patrons, billed as the Irish Breakfast Stout. It seemed to be a hit! We thoroughly enjoyed a few pints of it before trying some of the heftier offerings like the Chocolate Rumble Stout (their usual Chocolate Stout aged in a rum & whiskey barrel) and their Double IPA. We were able to meet up with our friend and fellow homebrew blogger Kyle of Steel Rain Beer Blog to share some beer as well as strategize for the next homebrew competition coming up in April.

A pint of Irish Breakfast Stout at Shannon for St. Paddy's Day
On that note, fast forward to this past weekend. Since I am currently glued to review books and study guides in preparation for my Professional Engineer exam, I decided I would take a study break and brew up about 10 gallons of our favorite spring/summer recipe, Palo Alto Wit. We also threw the garage doors open and invited our neighbors to our cluttered brewhouse to share our hobby and a little bit of our home brew. We had a great time brewing and getting to know some of our neighbors from around the block. We are also thinking about hosting a block party soon to invite everyone on the street over to taste some fine beer and enjoy the (for now) pleasant evening weather.

Slowly but surely rebuilding my brewstand and sharing with
the neighborhood!

The good thing about brewing a ton of beer is the motivation it provides for getting all your other beer packaged. Finally after nearly a year in their 1-gallon fermenters, we checked on our 9*8*7 Russian Imperial Stout aged on chipotle and vanilla, respectively. Apparently, leaving a beer that long in a jug with a rubber stopper helps bring out the character of the... rubber stopper. Both beers have a distinct balloon flavor, and on top of that the chipotle version turned nasty sour. Determined to not have wasted 2 whole gallons of precious precious beer, I bottled the vanilla version in hopes that the balloon flavor isn't that noticeable after a few weeks of conditioning. Likely it will still be not great. Lesson learned, no rubber stoppers!

Lastly, I mentioned earlier our next homebrew competition coming up next month. We will be participating in a competition hosted by Martin House Brewing in Fort Worth called Riverside Shootout. This is a very unique and interesting type of competition because you have to brew your beer ON LOCATION at Martin House. They will provide base grain and hops as well as their house yeast and you get to bring whichever specialty grains and/or flavorings you want to make a truly unique and interesting beer. The best-in-show winner gets to brew the winning recipe with Martin House, in much the same way that we brewed our recipe with Shannon. It would be pretty dang nifty to get to do another Pro-Am! Without giving too much away, we will be exploring a newly added style in the 2015 BJCP style guidelines...

Now on tap at New Main: Not Out of the Woods Black IPA and
Shannon/New Main Pro-Am Rio Bravo Breakfast Stout

Until next time, make sure to like us on Facebook, subscribe to the blog, and don't forget to like and share all of our posts so all of your friends can learn about homebrewing and craft beer! Thanks for reading!

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