The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

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Old 09-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default Bells Brewing Homebrew Expo 2011

Here's how it works:

This Saturday, September 10th, 11 am, show up at Bells General Store to register to receive wort from the brewery. You take the wort home and do with it as you please. Then return 4 bottles to Bells for consideration. The winner gets to brew their beer at the brewery and sell it on tap at the Eccentric Cafe.

Registration starts at 11 am. Wort starts to flow at 1 pm (they say you can leave THE SANITIZED CONTAINER THAT YOU BRING WITH YOU in your car during registration).

Last year there were 60 entries. The person at the General Store said they should have enough for 200+ entries this year, but to get there early to get in line just to be sure you don't miss out.

Details at: www.bellsbeer.com

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Old 09-10-2011, 03:51 AM   #2
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I went last year and got in line at about 11:15. It's a 3 hour drive. I believe I was about 65th to sign up. They ran out of wort at about #140. It was very hectic and standing room only with people coming in at the end trying to get in line. The place was just crazy!! I received my wort at about 2:00 but since hopslam was on tap, it was worth the wait.

When I got an email from Laura Bell last year telling me I had made it to the top 12, she had said they had only received 95 bottles from the 140+ that received wort. So I guess alot of people decided not to bother with this.

Homer, are you going this year? I haven't decided yet because I want to attend the cider and mead festival in St. Johns also this weekend

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Old 09-10-2011, 06:44 PM   #3
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Just got home from picking up my wort! I showed up at about 10:00 am and there were only about 10-15 people in front of me. But within 20 miniutes the line was almost around the block. They were much better prepared for a big turnout and much better organized than last year, it was pretty quick and easy. In fact they still had slots available when I left at about 1:30. I also picked up a few oz. of the new experimental "369" hops. This is the first and possibly only time these will be sold. I wish I would have won something in the raffle though, there were some killer prizes. A Barley crusher mill, a Blichmann beer gun, and a 10 gallon cooler MLT were the highlights. I'm going back up to Bell's in a bit to participate in the hot dog eating contest, then coming back home and brewing - what a good day.

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Old 09-10-2011, 06:55 PM   #4
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Any one here show up?

Just got back to Grand Rapids from picking up my wort. Heard about the line last year so I showed up around 9:40 to make sure I had my place. It was sprinkling so I sat in my car for a bit until people started filtering up towards the door. Made it to # 7 in line and well worth it. Met some very nice HB's from Kzoo and Waterford. They had some a busy day lined up since it was the closing of the Beer Garden and a hot dog eating contest.

Missed winning a raffle contest by one number and the guy from Kzoo took home a glass carboy. While we waited the 2 hours until they started handing out the wort, I downed some awesome test brews they had on tap.

Black note is a mix of Cream Stout and Expedition Stout and it's barrel aged for about a year. They only had a quarter barrel of it on tap so I was luck enough to get a snifter of it. Q Lakes Lager (I think that's the name) was a dry hopped lager that was very tasty. "Dear Liza" was an experimental ale that was brewed with a undistributed hop named "369". Apparently they were one of only a very small few breweries that got it. It was a very nice and earthy tasting to me. They had it for sale in their general store but didn't have time to pick up any.

A very good time was had by all that I ran into and it was good to meet and talk to some other home brewers.

Wish I could have met some from this forum cause a lot of Michigan contributors here have taught me a ton weather they realize it or not.

Now to figure out what the heck I'm gonna brew!

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Old 09-10-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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The line wrapped around the flag.



78 years strong and still putting down the home brews!
Asked me about this new thing called "Cold hopping" (as he called it). Talked to him about dry hopping for a bit.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamWiz View Post
Just got home from picking up my wort! I showed up at about 10:00 am and there were only about 10-15 people in front of me. But within 20 miniutes the line was almost around the block. They were much better prepared for a big turnout and much better organized than last year, it was pretty quick and easy. In fact they still had slots available when I left at about 1:30. I also picked up a few oz. of the new experimental "369" hops. This is the first and possibly only time these will be sold. I wish I would have won something in the raffle though, there were some killer prizes. A Barley crusher mill, a Blichmann beer gun, and a 10 gallon cooler MLT were the highlights. I'm going back up to Bell's in a bit to participate in the hot dog eating contest, then coming back home and brewing - what a good day.
Very good day indeed. Good luck in the dog eating contest. If you get a chance to stay for a bit tonight, the Macpodz are closing out the Garden and they are a good show. I must have been just a few people ahead of you in line.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dinomyte View Post
I must have been just a few people ahead of you in line.
Yep, in fact I'm in your first picture. I'm the guy in the lower left with the blue hat. And I'm probably right behind you in the other picture, I see my friend that I was standing with at the bar just over your shoulder. By the way, I finished 6 hot dogs in the contest - not my best showing. I think 11 won it. Good luck on your beer.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:58 PM   #8
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Okay - who has already brewed with their wort? I decided on doing two different half-batches and turning in the best one. I brewed one batch last night with 2.5 gallons of the Bell's wort plus a mini-mash of about 4 pounds of grain to get about a 3.6 gallon total boil. Tonight I'll brew something different with the rest of the wort. Haven't decided on what to do yet, though - I'll be playing around on the recipe calculator for a while today. I checked the gravity of just the Bell's wort before boiling, it was about 1.050-1.052. The color seems a bit dark for just 2-row, color is more along the lines of Golden Promise. My first batch came out of the boil at about 1.064. Really excited about this, can't wait to boil up my second batch.

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Old 09-11-2011, 10:04 PM   #9
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I went just to check it out, not to get any wort for the competition. The cafe was great and we went and toured the production brewery also. It was a self guided tour someone in the know at each stop. Business must be good since it sounds like they're brewing pretty much around the clock and all of the empty fermentors would be full by tomorrow. They boil for one hour, have 5 primary yeast strains, and bottle 700 barrels of beer per day. Hoping to go back next year sans the child to enjoy the area a little more.

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Old 09-12-2011, 01:06 PM   #10
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I went with my BIL who lives down there and got 2 buckets worth. He's not a brewer, but I got the extra for BrewerinBR. I had the Black Note and thought is was good. At the price they wanted, it was a TREAT!

The line was long, but from what I saw from hanging out, they just made the 200 or so for the day, so the planning was much better. The line went pretty quick. I wasn't in there when they handed out prizes. I didn't even know when it was. We grabbed a sandwich and ate outside and when we came in people were walking out with goodies.

BrewerinBR and I brewed when I got back home on Sunday (went to the Western Game Sat night!) We did two very different brews. One was a fairly high OG Stout with some interesting (I Hope) additives and the other was a SMaSH.

I didn't even think about splitting the wort into different batches. We could easily have done 4 small batches.

I have 2 stainless Fire Extinguishers that I had planned on turning into small kegs. But the process do so would be time consuming and a bit expensive. I think I'll just stick an airlock on the top of them and use them for fermenters! They would work very well for small batches. And it would be easy to clean and then bake in the oven to sterilize.

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