Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fung is winning and winning is fung*

Good news from the Schooner Homebrew Championship... Leah and I took second place in the Light Lager category with our Hail Shaft Pilsner Premium Lager! Yeah, it was supposed to be a Pilsner, but as I explained before, I was misinformed as to the alpha acid content of my Hallertau hops, so it ended up way too malty to be a Pilsner. Plus it didn't really have that dry finish either. So I decided to enter it as a Premium American Lager and I guess it was a good call. I'm particularly excited because it's hard to hide flaws in light lagers, and so while I'll need to tinker with the recipe before brewing a Pils again, it appears my technique was solid. I'm also excited because we haven't won any ribbons since going all-grain, and while we don't enter a lot of competitions (and when we do the primary reason is to get constructive feedback), it's always nice to win.

We also entered our Smoke Stack Lightning Rauchweizen which didn't place. However, I'm excited to report that my buddy Ted took second place in the category, and, more impressively, he also took first place in the specialty beer category. Anybody who reads Ted's blog (or has had the pleasure of trying his beer) knows he's one serious brewer, so it's great to see his efforts rewarded. Congrats, Ted!

While I'm posting, I might as well add that the HOPS! Oktoberfest was a great success! I tapped my Altbier and was incredibly happy with the results. Nice malt profile with just a hint of roastiness; wonderful peppery hop bitterness that stands out without being overbearing; nice creamy head and copper/amber color. Look for a final analysis later, but this might be my favorite beer brewed thus far. I only wish I had a fresh bottle of Füchschen (or Uerige or Schumacher or Schlüssel) so I could to a side-by-side tasting.

For anybody in Chicago, hope to see you Thursday at the Rocktoberfest tapping at the Rock Bottom on State and Grand! Prosit!

*Headline explanation here (sort of).


Blogger Brichards700 said...

Congrats on your beer. This was my first year entering this competition. That's crazy that it doubled in size (exactly)in one year.

12:26 AM, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Russ said...

Thanks, Brian. I noticed congrats are in order for you as well! And, on a side note, I was checking out your blog and noticed you're the guy who brewed your beer with Matt at Flossmoor. Had a chance to try it last month and it's great stuff. Hope you had fun brewing with Matt... he's a great guy. Cheers!

3:15 PM, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Brichards700 said...

Yeah that was a blast brewing down there. He makes some damn good beer out of that place. Can't wait to get back there again.

3:44 PM, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Brian said...

Thats awesome-wanted to drop in to say it was nice meeting you and the family at Rock Bottom this week as well as big congrats for the Schooner win!


9:20 AM, September 21, 2008  
Blogger Ted Danyluk said...

Congrats on your win. It was cool to see your name right up at the top in the first category. That's great.

Thanks for mentioning me. I was very surprised to have a couple beers place. I'm happy with them, and glad they kept well in the bottle for 8 months. I've kept enough of both to enjoy this chilly season.

We're still in the Northwest on vacation. Was able to try lots of local beers. Looking forward to getting back to Chi-town. And onto building a snazzy chest freezer keggerator.

I'll get to writing about my winners and project when we return. Sorry I missed the fest. Lets hook up soon. Later.

1:23 PM, September 22, 2008  

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