Yay for us

[Sorry in advance for the mild bragging.]

I recently had 3 beers place in the local Philly homebrew competition, HOPS BOPS.

Results here.

My hoppy tripel – an American-hopped Belgian Tripel (inspired by Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold and Stone Vertical Epic 080808) managed 3rd place in the Belgian/French category (submitted as a Belgian Specialty Ale.)  The Barleywine that Brett & I brewed last fall in Albany (and painstakingly cared for by Brett) – based on a recipe for Great Divide Old Ruffian, finished 3rd in the Strong Ales category.  And the Russian Imperial Stout (based on Stone’s IRS, our favorite beer) that Brett and I brewed last December – a beer that faired miserably in the last comp I entered it in (massive points off for lactic/acidity, which neither myself nor any other people I have given bottles to have detected) finished 2nd in the Stout category.  So, yay for us.  It’s always nice to get some validation from people who are trained to judge beer.  This is my 2nd year with success in the HOPS BOPS comp – last year my Hop Hammer (based on Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, from Brewing Classic Styles) took 3rd in IPAs, and Saisjon, a heavily spiced saison-esque beer took 2nd in Belgian/French.

Anyhow.. I figured this would be a nice opportunity to post a recipe for my hoppy tripel

American Tripel

  • 15 lbs German Pilsner Malt
  • 4 oz German Melanoidon Malt
  • 2.5 lbs Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar
  • 1 oz Simcoe Whole Leaf [12.9% AA] (30)
  • 1 oz Amarillo Whole Leaf [9.3% AA] (15)
  • 1 oz Crystal Whole Leaf [3.5% AA] (5)
  • 1 oz Amarillo Whole Leaf [93% AA] (0)
  • 1 oz Simcoe (DH)
  • 1 oz Amarillo (DH)
  • WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast

Infusion Mash at 150.  90 minute boil. Original Gravity: 1.081, Final Gravity: 1.009, 9.7% ABV.  Dry Hopped in keg for 10 days before transferring to a fresh keg.  I like to use nylon paint strainer mesh bags for dry hopping in, weighted with some heavy stainless steel nuts.  I try to do as much conditioning as possible in kegs, because it is so easy to do CO2-driven transfers after the fact, limiting exposure to oxygen.  Be sure to make a big starter to make sure this attenuates fully… if it does not dry out enough, it is going to be rather unpalatable.  I highly recommend the Mr Malty Pitching Rate Calculator!  For this beer, I used the yeast cake from a much lower gravity beer I had brewed – a [semi-failed] attempt at a Wisconsin Belgian Red clone.