LVBW - Fegley's "Be Our Brewer For A Day" Festival

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LVBW - Fegley's "Be Our Brewer For A Day" Festival

Post by Rick » 3 years ago

I entered this event, and was confirmed a table yesterday. :party:

Basically I take 5 gallons of beer, my girlfriend and I will pour samples for a few hundred people. Whoever gets the most votes wins. 40-50 homebrewers are expected, and about 300+ tasters?

Fegley's is the brewery. They are just a small, local joint with a great atmosphere. The Allentown location is where the event will be, thank goodness. I do like the Bethlehem location, but it can get rowdy/noisy there. It's much more chill at A-town. Their beer is not very good for the most part, but they do have 2 or 3 brews that I really, really like.

The gist of this event, the winner of the 8/23 tasting will have their beer brewed into 30 1/2bbl kegs, and it will be distributed to the area as an official beer for Lehigh Valley Beer Week. I assume the winner is present on brew day as well, so that's pretty awesome.

My goal in brewing was to simply get tapped at my favorite bar, Tavern on Liberty. This would exceed that, as they would certainly get a keg.

Pretty exciting. It's to nobodies surprise that I will be brewing an IPA for this. The tasting event is in the summer, but the actual beer week is around Feb. 14th. That time of year is very cold here.

Bottles are the only thing that make sense, although my labels will not survive well in the ice. The only way I could use a keg, is if I made up a jockey box. There is no electricity available for my kegerator. Saving for a house right now doesn't allow for a jockey box in the budget. :/

I'd appreciate any advice on what extra I could do for this. Should I bring a palate cleanser? Should I use my fancy labels and trumpet my fake brewery name? I really have no idea how to approach this.
Last edited by Rick on 02 Jul 2014, 21:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BobBrews » 3 years ago

What beer are you brewing? Did I miss that or are you debating? I ware a necklace of pretzels on a string around my neck sometimes at a tasting. I break one off when I need a pallet cleansed and my hands are free for (whatever?). Labels are nice but may look hokey if not done right. I know yours would be fantastic. I hope this works for you it would be fun to do!
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!

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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

Here is the report for the recipe, and I'll attach the label. I have 4 cases of it right now, bottled 2 weeks now. Most of this is going to friends, though ... so I'll have to re-brew.

BIABacus RECIPE REPORT BIAB Recipe Designer, Calculator and Scaler. (Please visit http://www.biabrewer.info" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; for the latest version.) Trail Breaker - Batch 7 Recipe Overview

Brewer: Conestoga
Style: IPA
Source Recipe Link:
ABV: 7.5% (assumes any priming sugar used is diluted.)

Original Gravity (OG): 1.07
IBU's (Tinseth): 70.4
Bitterness to Gravity Ratio: 1.01
Colour: 13.9 EBC = 7 SRM

Kettle Efficiency (as in EIB and EAW): 74.9 %
Efficiency into Fermentor (EIF): 67.5 %

Note: This is a FVV (Full Volume Variation Mash): Sacharification

Times and Temperatures

Mash: 90 mins at 65 C = 149 F
Boil: 90 min
Ferment: 10 days at 19 C = 66.2 F

Volumes & Gravities
(Note that VAW below is the Volume at Flame-Out (VFO) less shrinkage.)
The, "Clear Brewing Terminology," thread at http://www.biabrewer.info/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Total Water Needed (TWN): 59.85 L = 15.81 G
Volume into Boil (VIB): 54.12 L = 14.3 G @ 1.057
Volume of Ambient Wort (VAW): 42.18 L = 11.14 G @ 1.07
Volume into Fermentor (VIF): 38 L = 10.04 G @ 1.07
Volume into Packaging (VIP): 32.38 L = 8.55 G @ 1.013 assuming apparent attenuation of 81 %

The Grain Bill (Also includes extracts, sugars and adjuncts)

Note: If extracts, sugars or adjuncts are not followed by an exclamation mark, go to http://www.biabrewer.info" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (needs link)

88.9% 2-Row (4 EBC = 2 SRM) 11815 grams = 26.05 pounds
5.1% CaraVienne (44 EBC = 22.3 SRM) 680 grams = 1.5 pounds
2.6% HoneyMalt (49 EBC = 24.9 SRM) 339 grams = 0.75 pounds
3.4% Acidulated (4 EBC = 2 SRM) 454 grams = 1 pounds [*exclusive to my water profile]

The Hop Bill (Based on Tinseth Formula)

[Edit: Actual competition brew I substituted all Simcoe additions for 11.6%AA Mosaic Hops]

11.8 IBU Warrior Pellets (15.6%AA) 14 grams = 0.494 ounces at 90 mins
31.8 IBU Galaxy* Pellets (14.1%AA) 107 grams = 3.774 ounces at 12 mins [*see notes]
26.9 IBU Simcoe* Pellets (11.9%AA) 107 grams = 3.774 ounces at 12 mins [*see notes]
0 IBU Galaxy Pellets (14.1%AA) 56 grams = 1.975 ounces (Dry Hopped after 6 days)
0 IBU Simcoe Pellets (11.9%AA) 56 grams = 1.975 ounces (Dry Hopped after 6 days)
0 IBU Galaxy Pellets (14.1%AA) 142 grams = 5.009 ounces (Dry Hopped after 10 days)
0 IBU Simcoe Pellets (11.9%AA) 142 grams = 5.009 ounces (Dry Hopped after 10 days)

Mash Steps

Mash Type: FVV (Full Volume Variation Mash): Sacharification for 90 mins at 65 C = 149 F
Water Held Back from Mash: 3.8 L = 1 G
Strike Water Needed (SWN): 57.16 L = 15.1 G at 69.3 C = 156.7 F

Mashout for 1 mins at 78 C = 172.4 F
Water Added After Final Lauter: 3.8 L = 1 G

Miscellaneous Ingredients

1 Whirfloc (Boil) 5 Mins - Clarity

Chilling & Hop Management Methods

Hopsock Used: Y (Pulled 30 mins after boil end.)

Chilling Method: Cube (Employed 30 mins after boil end.)

Fermentation & Conditioning

Fermentation: Mangrove Jack M44 for 10 days at 19 C = 66.2 F
Diacetyl Rest: 4 days at 21 C = 69.8 F
Secondary Used: Y
Crash-Chilled: N
Filtered: N
Req. Volumes of CO2: 2.25
Serving Temp: 4 C = 39.2 F
Condition for 21 days.
Consume within 3 months.

Special Instructions/Notes on this Beer

*= Actual addition is at flame-out. 12 min value is only for whirlpool bittering calculation. 1st dry hop in primary (no squeeze), 2nd in secondary (squeeze hops).

BIAB Variations

Water Held Back from Mash: 3.8 L = 1 G

Water Added After Final Lauter: 3.8 L = 1 G
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Last edited by Rick on 02 Jul 2014, 22:54, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by BobBrews » 3 years ago

Rick,

You will win this hands down! :champ: Lovely label and a recipe to match! You have my vote. :salute: I copied the recipe for later in the year!
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!


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Post by PistolPatch » 3 years ago

In a rush Rick but your labels are the best and you are the IPA man :thumbs:.

Just wanted to quickly say re your labels in the ice bucket not lasting, I would just have a display of labelled bottles and not label the ones in the ice bucket at all. In fact give those labels that could have gone on the bottle to the 'customer' instead. It will give them something to remember you by before they get drunk and vote :).

:luck: :champ: :party:
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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

Thanks! And those are excellent ideas, will do.

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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

I bottled this brew on Saturday, and everything worked out perfectly. Whew!

I ended up substituting the Simcoe hops with Mosaic. So this will be interesting, considering I have no idea how this combo works together. Heh, oh well ... couldn't help myself. Mosaic is a descendent of Simcoe/Nugget, so it should be nice. I wanted to tone down the pine and compliment the fruitiness, so that's what I came up with given my current stock.

Also, this is probably going to clinch me the win, but two attractive/fashionable young ladies agreed to do all of the pouring for me throughout the festival! That's going to be huge.

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 3 years ago

Pictures of the ladies pouring, or it didn't happen. :yum:

...and good luck to you Rick.

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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

Thanks bud.

I'll snap some photos on the day, but here's a teaser.

They were considering the idea of dressing like the women in Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible video. Ha, but we all agree that may have been a bit too much.
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Last edited by Rick on 07 Aug 2014, 19:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

The event has passed, and I will post my thoughts on it a bit later. All of the pictures I snapped of the ladies either turned out way too blurry, or had glare from the huge windows behind the table. I'm certainly no photographer, but I thought these turned out nice.
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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

Soooo, the event:

I did not win, but was VERY pleased at the positive feedback. I more concentrated on body language than what people actually said after tasting, because folks tend to be nice no matter what they think.

I could always tell who the competing homebrewers were, because those were the folks who gave backhanded compliments! I confirmed this by walking around towards the end to sample the competition. There were a couple great brews, mostly mediocre, and some really really awful ones. :lol:

There was a peanut butter stout that was pretty bad, but there was also a spiced beer that tasted like pure cinnamon. Just fill up a spice jar with water, mix it ... that's what this tasted like. Another was clearly infected, tasted like band aids and rubbing alcohol, but they served it anyway. Heh.

There was an Oatmeal IPA with Oolong Tea, that was pretty nice as well. Definitely top 3 for me. The event was mostly IPA's, as I assumed it would be.

Honestly, I think the winner had one of the awful beers. It was an "Imperial IPA" that tasted more like hopped pancake syrup to me. It was godawful, flavors were muddled, but it seems people liked it? This was upsetting, because I wanted to be defeated by something better than what I had. This brewer was a member of a local brew club, and I saw their t-shirts being worn all over the place, so I suppose they all just came out to support their friend, and that is how he won. Then again, maybe most people drinking at the event really like uber sweet imperial IPA's? Sometimes I think people see highest ABV%, and somehow equate that to "bigger must be better".

The Fegley's Brewers were also walking around, and decided to give a brewers choice award. Fella who won that spot actually had a very good Rye IPA. I can't say whose was better, his or mine ... both were great and very different from one another. I really wish this guy won, I'd feel much better about things.


The event itself I thought was poorly organized. They told me to bring all materials needed for pouring, which included $25 worth of plastic cups, but every participant received a cup with their ticket. This was mildly annoying to waste money on cups, but I'll surely use them over time I suppose.

The biggest problem I had was that pro breweries from the area had tables, too. People could not vote for them, but they were there. Weyerbacher had an excellent tart beer, but they happened to be RIGHT next to a homebrewer who brewed a rather nice Session IPA. Tasting the weyerbacher brew after his, really was unfair and left the IPA not so memorable.

Keystone Homebrew (our main LHBS) had a table, and also had beer offerings. They had a pale ale with a Blichmann hop rocket hooked up to it. It's basically a Randall type thing which puts the beer through fresh hops prior to serving. I'll bet this destroyed the palates of many before they got to sample a beer. They were right next to the stairs at the beginning of the event.

I don't know, my opinion is that only home brewers should have been serving beer.

On top of this, there were many food vendors. Next to me, they were serving a bacon, cheddar, chipotle chowder ... which happened to compliment my beer nicely. There could be an argument that this was unfair, considering I felt most foods clashed with the homebrewers within their proximity.

Ugh, I really could go on ... but I'm left knowing that I will not attend the event ever again.

I was very happy with my beer, and have no excuses for it. Brewing it twice in a row enabled me a chance to tweak it to perfection, and I really thought I accomplished that.


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Post by goulaigan » 3 years ago

Well, sounds like a cool idea for a festival, but I would agree from your comments that they could have executed it better and more in favour of homebrewing/ers. Anyway, still awesome to get good feedback from people you don't know, I wish we had beer events of any kind around here... If I want to enter competitions I have to mail my brews in, which I have nervously tried once now and actually made out fairly well, but it would be nice to have some local beer culture or events I could actually attend. Good on ya for giving it a good go!

PS That is an awesome Label! :clap:

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Post by Mad_Scientist » 3 years ago

I know that is very disappointing Rick :-(

Yours was the best for sure, I can tell by your attention to detail in your craft. What do they know anyway...

Good on you..!!! :champ:

I was wondering if you hit your 1.070 OG target and what was the FG you got for that yeast. I never heard of it before. The attenuation range is not mentioned by Mangrove Jack.

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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

goulaigan wrote:Well, sounds like a cool idea for a festival, but I would agree from your comments that they could have executed it better and more in favour of homebrewing/ers. Anyway, still awesome to get good feedback from people you don't know, I wish we had beer events of any kind around here... If I want to enter competitions I have to mail my brews in, which I have nervously tried once now and actually made out fairly well, but it would be nice to have some local beer culture or events I could actually attend. Good on ya for giving it a good go!

PS That is an awesome Label! :clap:
Thanks! :D

People really did like my label. Some had me mistaken for a pro brewery, and kept asking where they could buy my stuff. Heh, maybe this cost me a few votes. Ah well, I'm still going to keep using them in competition regardless.

You are completely correct, and what I bolded in your post is what I will have to appreciate from this experience.

The festival is what it is, so even though I could poke it full of holes I must realize that some were perfectly fine with how things were. It was more an event for tasters than it was for homebrewers. At the end of the day, whatever brew is chosen will be consumed by the tasters.

Matt (the brewer who won the brewer's choice award) made a good point to me that last year the festival had 50+ homebrewers. He mentioned that perhaps they filled with pro's just to make up for a near 50% decline of homebrewer participation relative to previous years.

If I do participate again next year, I will not brew such an expensive beer. The way they set things up was a bit of a slap in the face. Had I gone in with a cheap pale ale, and focused on the social aspect ... I would feel much differently.

As of now I can let go of what I mentioned previously, but I feel very slighted to not know how I placed in the event.

I emailed the event coordinator to find out where I placed among the competition, and haven't heard back from him yet. I'll wait a few days, but if he does not return my email ... I can see why the event is on such a huge decline.

I may even post my thoughts on their facebook page if necessary. The event has a great potential to make everybody happy, too bad it seems to be organized by uncultured swine.
Last edited by Rick on 26 Aug 2014, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

Mad_Scientist wrote:I know that is very disappointing Rick :-(

Yours was the best for sure, I can tell by your attention to detail in your craft. What do they know anyway...

Good on you..!!! :champ:

I was wondering if you hit your 1.070 OG target and what was the FG you got for that yeast. I never heard of it before. The attenuation range is not mentioned by Mangrove Jack.
I dunno bud, sometimes I feel like my attention to detail is a flaw.

As far as mine being the best, I cannot accept that in my mind. There were some fine brews there, and I wouldn't have minded losing to a few of them. Some were excellent. It's just that Imperial that won ... ugh ...

Looking at it from a different angle, perhaps experience showed him that the way to fare well within the context of this competition was to brew something big and aggressive. It doesn't matter the quality, the numbers and potency still impresses much of the non-brewing population. Still, I speculate ...

__________________
As for my beer, yes I nailed the 1.070 dead on both times. The M44 I used for the first brew with the Simcoe/Galaxy version(1.010 FG), but this competition brew I used US-05 and FG was 1.011.

One thing I noticed was a bit more alcohol bite than I wanted with the M44, so I went back to my faithful US-05 (rehydrated), and upped the pitching rate to 1.5 packs per 5G VIF. The M44 I also used 1.5 packs, but those are only 10g.

I'll probably never use that M44 again, simply because the lag time is 48+ hrs for the three times I used it ... and I feel like I pitched plenty of yeast but still got too much alcohol bite.
Last edited by Rick on 26 Aug 2014, 21:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Rick » 3 years ago

Ha, oh man this just keeps getting better.

From here ... http://lehighvalleybeerweek.com/2014/08" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... -festival/
The beer will be renamed “LVBW3″ and officially tapped on Sunday, February 15th at Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works as part of the opening ceremony for the week long festival.
The beer already has a name, why do they feel the need to take credit for it? It says right in the article that he is looking for recognition to start a nano. Changing the name of the beer is pretty insulting.

I think I finally found the point of the dagger that I feel in my back. Not only is it in my back, it's in the back of the winner. They are capitalizing on the money, time, and effort spent by homebrewers and don't pay respect where it is due. The entire field does not know where they stand(outside of the two winners), and they are now renaming the winning beer to credit themselves.

:think:
Why would any homebrewer return for this?
Last edited by Rick on 26 Aug 2014, 23:44, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by PistolPatch » 3 years ago

Very good write-ups Rick. Have really enjoyed reading them. I think a lot of comps etc are way under-resourced for how much effort you give them. There are enough hardships in officially run wine and beer judging comps, let alone the one you have gone into above.

I think it's really important to never forget that the best judge of your own beer are often yourself and the people closest to you. For example, Dr Smurto's Golden Ale which is very much like NRB's All Amarillo APA, scored low points when entered as an APA but scored gold when entered as an English Pale Ale. Figure that one out.

Gotta race but can't wait to see more of Emily your labels and well-done on all three counts. You know what I mean :whistle:.

PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 27 Aug 2014, 19:20, edited 1 time in total.
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