Gold Medal success at the UK National Home Brew Comp

To be honest this was no real surprise, I took a time proven recipe, ran it through a brew set up that was more than capable and the end result was a gold medal.

The recipe was a Pliney the Elder clone, which is freely available on the internet, tweaked slightly up to 9%.

The winning recipe is below, there is no surprise in it, the success is simply down to a quality recipe and the process control I now have in place.  I’m at the point now where in the last 4 years I have won 4 gold medals at the national, bizarrely I have never won a silver or bronze!

Its all about the process. In particular it’s all about the whirlpool!

So here is the recipe and key numbers.

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
14.50 kg MO Extra Pale UK (4.0 EBC) Grain 1 88.2 %
0.25 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 60L (118.2 EBC) Grain 2 1.5 %
1.69 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC) Sugar 3 10.3 %
80.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 4 62.3 IBUs
40.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Boil 45.0 min Hop 5 17.0 IBUs
60.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 6 20.1 IBUs
60.00 g Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 7 7.9 IBUs
60.00 g Cascade [5.50 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 8 5.1 IBUs
60.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 9 8.4 IBUs
60.00 g Simcoe [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool 30.0 min Hop 10 10.9 IBUs
lots California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 11
100.00 g DH1_Centennial [10.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
100.00 g DH1_Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
90.00 g DH2_Simcoe [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
70.00 g DH2_Centennial [10.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
50.00 g DH2_Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
45.00 g DH1_Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
40.00 g DH2_Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] – Dry Hop 2.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.075 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.8 %
Bitterness: 131.6 IBUs
Est Color: 10.8 EBC
Measured Original Gravity: 1.075 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.007 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 9.0 %

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 44.24 l of water at 71.1 C 65.0 C 60 min
Mash Out Add 0.00 l of water at 74.0 C 74.0 C 10 min

Process control starts at water profile, then on to controlled mash temp using a RIMS, then following the boil having a whirlpool addition of hops and a 30min stand, before being knocked out to the fermenter, all of which is a closed system after the whirlpool to reduce any chance of infection.

The whirlpool is all about adding hop flavour and really is invaluable, it also allow you to keep all the hot break out of the fermenter which really does prolong the shelf life of the beer you produce.

Its then all about pitching enough healthy yeast and controlling the fermentation.

Yeast was pitched at 17degC, alloed to free rise to 19 degC and held there until fermentation was complete. all dry hopping was done at 19degC

Using conical’s allows the yeast to be dumped, followed by the various dry hop additions, they really are a necessity for brewing high quality IPA’s and DIPA’s.

Then it all about the cold crash, cold maturation and importantly finning the beer to insure its bright.

This beer was force carbonated and botted using a beer gun, its bottled bright with a very low yeast cell count, there is enough left as a safety barrier to O2 pick up on bottling but nowhere near enough to affect clarity. And use new bottles! Or autoclave old ones why risk it!

Then all that is left is cold storage up until the very last minute. This beer was hand delivered, way better than any postal service out there!

The result was a Gold medal!

Next up is Brewcon followed by the Black friday comp, for the black friday comp i will be  entering a beer that has previously won gold (2 years ago), can the sucess be repeated?