Homebrew Challenge II Winners!
Congratulations to Member-Owners Dan & Joelle Dewberry for winning the Grand Prize in Black Star Co-op’s 2012 Homebrew Challenge II! Also, congratulations to Mark Schoppe for winning the Runner-Up prize! As a reminder, this challenge was to create a sour-mashed beer. Judges Jeff Young, Johnny Livesay (Kitchen Team), Brian Meola (Pub Team), and newcomer Chris Hamje (Beer Team, more about him later!) spent countless hours (if you happen to lose count after one) blindly sipping some world class brews to find “the one…my precious.” Brewing a sour-mashed beer isn’t easy. You rely on living organisms, other than yourself, to make just the right amount and right kind of funky, sour metabolic by-products. A little temperature difference or a little oxygen can turn a clean, sour beer into a gym-sock smelling mash-tun full of wasted time. But, alas, our Member-Owners were up to the challenge!
Hopefully, most of you know Dan and Joelle. They are long-time owners of the Co-op and lifetime members of my friendship army. Proud ZEALOTS, they are no newcomers to the homebrewing world and it was evident in the quality of their sour-mashed entry humbly named, “Sour Wort Old Ale.” Since we’re going to be brewing this recipe eventually on our professional system, allow me to give you some of the tasting notes from our judging session.
“Tropical dark fruit, boozy nose, tart, sour, mild funk, some roasty notes, round prune, sour apple Jr (sic?), heavy brown sugar”
“Great sour and body, sweet caramel flavor & aroma, pruney, booze, appley, biscuit malt ending”
We think the secret ingredient was a heavy dosing of “Dewberries” in the fermenter! Look for this treat on tap in September/October.
And finally, let me introduce to you our new Beer Team Worker, Chris Hamje. Chris will be taking over the tough-to-fill yellow polka-dotted boots that Karinne left behind in the cellar. Being no stranger to co-ops, beer, and hard work, he will be a great addition to our Team and will ensure that our beers are fermented and conditioned with utmost quality. Stop in and say hi to him next time you’re in the brewpub. Look for the “other” bearded dude with a shaved head.