Jay and I won first place in Amber Waves of Grain Homebrewing Competition's Holiday Beer with our Fruitcake/Holiday Spice Ale. I think I have some ideas about why the other beers were not selected in their categories, but I will have to wait to get the results in the mail to know for sure. Congratulations to all other winners in the competition.
I brewed the Chocolate Chipotle Rauchbier today, and all I can say at this point is that it was interesting. It tasted great as I put it into primary, but I was disappointed with the low amount of spiciness, however that and the chocolate may come out a bit more over time. It was my first time using either in a beer, so we shall see.
I am a bit reluctant about he next beer that I will be brewing. That's because it is one of my least favorite beers due to the culture surrounding it of loading as many hops into it as possible and then on top of that occasionally passing it through a Randall. I prefer my beers with a nice balance between the malt and hops of the beer. I take on this challenge as I plan to brew this beer.
This is going to be another partial mash brew with a base of 2-row and light malt extract. I am going to use a plethora of specialty malts in order to balance out the hops. I will us a 60L crystal malt to give some nice color and a light biscuit flavor, American caramel again for color and a slight malty caramel flavor, Marris Otter for some smoothness, and some Munich malt in order to build the body of the beer. I will try to build the hop flavors in a similar fashion. I will use Cascade which is typical for a it more or a sharp and citrus flavor and use Centennial and Simco to boost the overall bitterness. I will finish this off with a California Ale yeast. I am aiming for about 7.7% with this beer.
On Deck: Chili Lime Pilsner (3/6), Imperial IPA (3/13)
Primary: Chocolate Chipotle Rauchbier, Belgian Blonde
Secondary: Elder Ale
Conditioning: Irish Red
Volume Brewed in 2011: 25 Gallons