I’m in Golden Road Brewing’s Pro-Am Contest!

The Golden Road Brewery selected 42 homebrewers to participate in a competition that will send the winner to the Great American Beer Festival in the Pro-Am competition. I am lucky enough to be one of the 42!

All of us got a big bag of mystery hops. All we know is that they are 7.8%AA, and smell pretty great. I got a very clean, almost noble aroma, but my brother got a piney aroma, so that doesn’t exactly help narrow down the origin. To be honest, though, I kind of like that it’s just a mystery.

So we’re charged with making a beer within the competition guidelines using these hops, and submitting finished bottles by the end of March. Four of the submissions will be brewed on their pilot system, and one of the four will be declared the winner.

Because I don’t have a whole lot of time to get something conditioned and ready to drink, and because the hops are 7.8%AA, I was immediately limited , which was a good thing; creativity comes from limitation! I kicked around a few ideas, and decided to make an American Pale Ale, which I thought would let the hops come through, and which should be ready to drink faster than, say, a Saison or a Brown.

Here’s my first pass at the recipe:

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Golden Road Pro-Am Pale
Brewer: Wil Wheaton
Asst Brewer: 
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 6.52 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal 
Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 10.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 80.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU 
9 lbs 0.7 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 83.0 % 
1 lbs 1.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 9.8 % 
8.5 oz Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.9 % 
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.3 % 
0.86 oz Mystery Hop [7.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 22.4 IBUs 
0.43 oz Mystery Hop [7.80 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 7 8.6 IBUs 
0.22 oz Mystery Hop [7.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 8 2.8 IBUs 
0.93 oz Mystery Hop [7.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 4.8 IBUs 
1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast 10 -
Mash Schedule: Temperature Mash, 2 Step, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 14.2 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time 
Protein Rest Add 13.61 qt of water at 129.3 F 122.0 F 30 min 
Saccharification Heat to 156.0 F over 15 min 156.0 F 30 min 
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F 10 min
Sparge: Fly sparge with 4.67 gal water at 168.0 F
Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I’m probably going to tweak this a little bit, and maybe simplify. I may take out the wheat entirely and just up the C60 a tiny bit, or mix in some C40. At the moment, it’s going to end up right in the middle of the style guideline, and I want to preserve that.  I may also change the mash to a single infusion, just to eliminate one more place where I can screw up.

This will be my first ever competition, and I’m really excited. Even if I don’t get past the first round, I’ll probably learn a whole lot of things.

UPDATED: I asked John Palmer, who I met last night at the Beer Blogger’s thing at Chloe’s at the Pub at Golden Road (wow, that’s a lot of nested ats), for some feedback and comments on my recipe. He gave me some great notes and suggestions, so I have modified the recipe thusly:

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Golden Road Pro-Am Pale
Brewer: Wil Wheaton
Asst Brewer: 
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 6.52 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.98 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal 
Bottling Volume: 5.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 7.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 43.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 80.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU 
9 lbs 0.7 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 83.8 % 
1 lbs Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 9.3 % 
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.3 % 
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.3 % 
4.0 oz Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6 2.3 % 
0.85 oz Mystery Hop [7.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 22.1 IBUs 
0.70 oz Mystery Hop [7.80 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 8 11.0 IBUs 
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 9 - 
2.00 oz Mystery Hop [7.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 10.4 IBUs 
1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 Yeast 11 -
Mash Schedule: Simple Mash
Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 12.7 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time 
Strike Add 13.49 qt of water and heat to 145.0 145.0 F 30 min 
Infusion Add 7.56 qt of water at 184.6 F 158.0 F 30 min
Sparge: Fly sparge with 2.80 gal water at 168.0 F

Created with BeerSmith 2 - http://www.beersmith.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I’m pretty sure this is what I’m going to brew on Sunday. If you want to do it at the same time and see how our things turn out, let me know in email, or just chime in when I’m live-brewing on Twitter. That might be fun and awesome. I can convert this to extract, if anyone wants that.

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