Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

2nd place in the NHC 1st round

For the second year in a row, I have a beer going to the final round of the National Homebrew competition! This year, my In the name of doG scored a 38.5 out of 50 in category 18d, Belgian Golden Strong Ale (check out results for my region here), putting me in 2nd place within that category and affording me the opportunity to compete once again at the national level. As an experiment, I also entered this same beer in category 16e, Belgian Specialty Ale, where it scored 33. This beer has competed in category 16e twice in the past where it scored 33.5 (Upper Mississippi Mashout 2012) and 35 (MN State Fair 2011). Looks like category 18d is a better fit, even though some of the non-malt fermentables in this recipe came from honey instead of solely candi sugar as would be more fitting to style.

I’m very excited to be shipping my beer to Seattle for judging on 6/21. There were 7,823 entries submitted by 1,735 different homebrewers in round one this year. As cool as that sounds, I must admit that those numbers are essentially divided into 10 different U.S. and one Canadian region. Within each region, brewers have 28 categories in which to submit fermented beverages. There were a total of 31 entries in category 18d, so the truth of it is I got 2nd place in that particular grouping. Still something to be proud of, for sure.

The other two beers I entered were my pumpkin rye ale and chocolate cherry stout, both of which performed decently, but at the minimal level I expect of myself. I know exactly what went wrong with the cherry stout (fermented too hot, thus it’s a bit tannic and boozy) but just wanted to see the judges confirm/deny (confirmed). As far as the pumpkin rye goes, I brewed it last July and I think it’s just lost it’s rye luster (experimenting with an Irish ale yeast normally reserved for Stout probably didn’t help much either) and they noted it wasn’t quite hoppy enough for an amber (I’d entered it this time as an amber ale-based beer per feedback from the Upper Mississippi Mashout competition) so the judges didn’t get out of the beer what I set them up to expect by labeling this as a pumpkin spice rye amber ale. Oh well.

Now it’s time to package these “computer parts” and ship some (no postman, these aren’t) bottles to Seattle!


One response

  1. Tom


    June 1, 2012 at 7:12 am

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