The 6th Annual Hop Blossom Homebrew Competition: A Recap

This past weekend, The Shenandoah Valley Homebrewers Guild (SVHG) put on the 6th Annual Hop Blossom Homebrew Competition in conjunction with The Hop Blossom Craft Beer Festival in Winchester, VA.  I would like to dive in to the aspects of the event, separating out some of the most interesting trends (as many as their can be from a small …

Advertisements

Tasting Notes – Cortana in Rampancy Oat DIPA with Galaxy and Simcoe

Aroma: Deep citrus factor with overripe fruit component. Definitely Galaxy with some subtle pine.  Despite what the recipe calls for in the previous post, I miscalculated the amount of Simcoe I had on hand, so the dry-hop is all Galaxy.  Smells awesome. Appearance: Golden haze, hazy golden.  Super awesome looking beer. Opaque as was it little sister. …

Creating a “Brite” Keg – A Simple Solution for Greater Hop Oil Extraction

I will start off by saying that this is NOT an original idea and the concept of this process stemmed from studies broadcasted through Scott Janish's blog in a post titled Examination of Studies: Hopping Methods and Concepts for Achieving Maximum Hop Aroma and Flavor. There were many (and I mean many!) takeaways from this article in particular …

Tasting Notes – Cortana DDH IPA with Galaxy and Simcoe

Aroma: Surprising pretty low aromatics on this one despite a 6 ounce dry hop.  Pine and citrus mainly with some underlying ripe tropical fruit aromas.  Big wheat characteristic, which is interesting but may take away from the hop aromatics.  Honestly, I would've had a hard time believing this beer was even dry hopped and it's only …

Tasting Notes – Blackberry Depth Robust Porter with Blackberries

Aroma: Overall there is a big nose of ripe, fleshy fruit.  It reminds me of banana, not the banana aroma associated with off flavors, but the scent of a freshly store bought and peeled banana flesh.  Generic berry aroma with some roast and malt in the background.  No hop aroma noted.  Some caramel sweetness resides somewhere …

Blackberry Depth – Robust Porter with Blackberries

Here is an entry for the fourth and final section of the internal club competition that I entered with Counting to/from Infinity Saison and Fernweh Dunkels Weissbier.  The leading competitor had the opportunity to choose the final round style, which to my surprise ended up being an Blackberry American Porter. Over the holidays I pushed homebrewing to …

Tasting Notes – Street Pappy DDH American Wheat with Caramelized Honey

Aroma: Citrusy quality with light bread crust notes.  Some pine hop quality from the Simcoe but mainly tangelo character from both varietals (Simcoe and Amarillo).  Almost comes across as fruit candy-like. Very light honey character, not much along the lines of deep sugary/molasses aromatics I was hoping from caramelizing the honey.  Very clean, some essence …

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Storing a Used Oak Barrel – First Steps in Starting a Solera

For those that are unfamiliar, a Solera by definition, is a a process used traditionally in sherry, vinegar and brandy production, however, can be used for beer, particularly sour beer, where a single stage vessel, in most cases an oak barrel, is filled and every so often (6-12 months usually) around a third of the …