Monday, April 25, 2011

BOSS Homebrew Awards, Flossmoor ProAm & Stout!

First off, I'd like to extend a big "huzzah!" to our brewing brothers and sisters at BOSS for hosting a great competition last March. We entered a few beers, and also judged. As homebrewers, we've found judging to be extremely useful for sensory development - that along with the BJCP study class we're taking. As a judging apprentice (someone who hasn't taken the test yet), you'll get paired up with a more experienced judge who will help you - it's worth pursuing as you'll learn a lot about common off-flavors and brewing mistakes, and chances are you'll try styles that you've never tried before or maybe don't know much about.

Anyhoo, we took home three awards from that comp:
  1. 3rd place for an American Pale Ale
  2. 1st place for English Barleywine
  3. 1st place for American Stout
The first two beers on the list were actually brewing goof-ups that we fixed, so I can't really provide accurate recipes for those. The barleywine was originally brewed an an American barleywine (from Jamil's Classic Styles) - but due to some unexpectedness on the brewday and some needed improvising/tweaks - turned out more malty than expected. 

This proved a good case for submitting your beers to competitions. Not really knowing any better, I submitted this barleywine to a different comp where a judge remarked that it was more like an English barleywine. So for BOSS I entered it as such and bam, it placed. Good judging sheets can be priceless.

The American Stout is a recipe we've been working on awhile. It still needs a few tweaks here and there, but here is it if you'd like to try it. It assumes 80% efficiency, and 8 gallons pre-boil volume:

Recipe: Stupid American Stout
Style: 13E-Stout-American Stout
Recipe Overview
Wort Volume Before Boil: 8.00 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 6.72 US gals
Volume Transferred: 5.50 US gals
Water Added: 0.00 US gals
Volume At Pitching: 5.50 US gals
Final Batch Volume: 5.00 US gals
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.059 SG
OG: 1.070 SG
FG: 1.016 SG
ABV: 7.2 %
ABW: 5.7 %
IBU (using Tinseth): 69.9
Color: 39.3 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 76.5 %
Mash Efficiency: 80.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins
Fermentation Temperature: 67 degF
US 2-Row Malt 13lb 12oz (85.3 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 40L Malt 12.00 oz (4.7 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Dark Chocolate Malt (420) 10.00 oz (3.9 %) In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Debittered Black Malt 8.00 oz (3.1 %) In Mash/Steeped
UK Roasted Barley 5.00 oz (1.9 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Caramel 120L Malt 3.00 oz (1.2 %) In Mash/Steeped
US Horizon (9.1 % alpha) 2.78 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 60 Min From End
US Centennial (9.1 % alpha) 0.80 oz Loose Pellet Hops used 5 Min From End
US Cascade (5.4 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used Dry-Hopped
US Chinook (11.5 % alpha) 1.00 oz Loose Pellet Hops used Dry-Hopped
Other Ingredients
Yeast: White Labs WLP001-California Ale OR Wyeast 1056 - 1.5L starter
Mash Schedule
Mash Type: Full Mash
Schedule Name:Single Step Infusion (68C/154F)
Step: Rest at 154 degF for 60 mins

So why "Stupid American Stout"? Lots of reasons - but if you drink enough, you'll act like a stupid American ;)

One thing I've really learned brewing this is that stouts really need to age a bit before you really know what the beer can be. After dry hopping and carbonating, this beer had an almost ash-like flavor and I was really bummed out - but it improved over the course of a month, and well, now I'm glad I kept it around!

This beer will also be brewed by Flossmoor Station as their GABF ProAm entry, where a professional brewery brews a homebrewer's recipe. The recipe has to take 1st at a BJCP sanctioned competition - lucky for me, I know the brewer at Flossmoor and lucked out. If you brew it, let me know how she turns out. And look for this to be on tap at Flossmoor late this summer.

'til next time - cheers!


  1. That's awesome. You must've had some really great judges at BOSS to recognize the brilliance of that stout.

  2. Indeed - Judge Gulster ;)
    (Sounds like a good TV show!)

  3. Huzzah! to you on your wins. I just entered a stout in ProAm competition out here in California. Who knows, we may end up going head-to-head in Denver.