Thursday, April 21, 2016

Martin House Riverside Shootout Preview

This Sunday, Amanda and I will be traveling to Fort Worth to compete in Martin House's on-site homebrew competition, Riverside Shootout. Think of it like Chopped but for beer. We will be given some of the main ingredients that Martin House uses every day for their own beer and we are allowed to bring any extra ingredients we need to fashion an outstanding homebrew batch. The winner gets a cash prize of $500, and they get to brew their recipe with Martin House on their big boy system.

Our epic Division bottle share, and
Derek from Dirty Job Brewing, Arlington's
next craft brewery! Check out our interview
with Dirty Job on Atypical DFW Podcast here.
As we mentioned last week, we are going to explore the Tropical Stout category new to the 2015 BJCP guidelines. While this competition is not strictly judged according to guidelines, we think this category is just weird enough to produce a gem. We finished the stout with pineapple for a nice dose of tropical flavor to balance against the roast. We received some good feedback from some other folks when we brought the beer to a bottle share at Division Brewing last week. Hopefully the batch we brew this weekend will live up to the pilot!

Meanwhile the New Main brewing setup has really been coming together lately. Thanks to our gift card from our Operation Bravo win at Shannon and a few well-timed homebrew supply store sales, we have been able to acquire a few pieces of equipment that should make brew day run smoother and more predictably. We have added a whole second vessel and burner, a high temp pump, all of the fittings and hoses the pump needs, as well as a nice heavy duty cart/stand on which the whole shebang is mounted. 

We're going to pump - *clap* - YOU up!

Sure, we could have just dished out an assload of money for a standard single-tier, 2-pump, 3-vessel system and just brew like the majority of people do at this stage, but the idea of doing what everyone else does just for the sake of simplicity isn't really our thing. We are going to brew a test batch Saturday so that we are fully acquainted with the system come Sunday, but I have faith that our ducks will be in a row for competition.

I don't have a whole lot else to say this week, sadly. However, I think it's high time we share a homebrew recipe with you fine people. This beer lends well to spicing and/or dry hopping, so get crazy with it!

Palo Alto Wit

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (Belgian Witbier base)
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 10 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 11 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.048
Efficiency: 60% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.014
ABV (standard): 5%
IBU (tinseth): 15.91
SRM (morey): 6.1

10 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (42.6%)
10 lb - American - Wheat (42.6%)
2 lb - Flaked Oats (8.5%)
1.5 lb - Canadian - Honey Malt (6.4%)

2 oz - Mandarina Bavaria, Type: Pellet, AA: 4, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 7.71
2 oz - Saphir, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.25, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 8.19

1) Sparge, Temp: 155 F, Time: 60 min, Amount: 33 qt, Ladle Rinse, mash out

2 each - Orange Zest, Time: 5 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
2 each - Lemon Zest, Time: 5 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
1 sprig - Rosemary, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
1 oz - Sage, Type: Herb, Use: Boil

Wyeast - Belgian Witbier 3944
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (avg): 74%
Flocculation: Med-Low
Optimum Temp: 62 - 75 F
Fermentation Temp: 65 F for 4-5 days, then ramp to 70 F for 1-2 and cold crash prior to kegging
3 volumes CO2 (plenty of protein in this beer for a nice fluffy head)

Mixing up some rosemary, sage, and basil tea
We've brewed this recipe a couple different ways before, and we think the best method for adding the spices is to just brew the base witbier and let it ferment through primary. Then once you've cold crashed the beer, rack to secondary with a tea made from your spices. The reason for doing it this way is that you can pull a sample of the fermented, uncarbonated beer and measure it out equally into 3-5 sample glasses so you can dose varying amounts of the tea into the beer. Taste each one and compare them to each other and to the base beer in order to decide the appropriate amount of spice tea to add to your fermenter. Then all you do is scale it up to your batch size, pitch the tea, then let it sit in secondary for a few days before kegging or packaging.

Make sure to accurately measure out your
tasting samples so your dosage rates are right
That may seem like a lot of work, but it gives you steady, standard, and easily repeatable results every time. You never know how potent your herbs will be, and if you're using things like fresh rosemary, it's easy to overdo it. Likewise, if you prefer to dry hop the beer rather than spice it, you can simply pitch your desired aroma hops when you rack to secondary. 

If any of y'all brew this or any of our other recipes, please drop us a line and let us know how they turned out! If you're in the Arlington area, we'd love to meet up and swap some homebrew, too. You can reach us at: 

or you can leave us a comment below. Also, don't forget to like and share our posts on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram at newmainbrewing

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