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Old 07-17-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
Hebby5
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Default Beer competitions - Timing is everything. Help please:)

Local to Raleigh, we have a few competitions coming up in the fall. Would like to do my best and but I find that my beers peak at 3-5 weeks. I could brew and keep in the bucket or carboy then bottle everything 3-5 weeks out. However, I think hop flavor will lesson for my IPA sitting in secondary too long.

Any thoughts?

If it helps, I brewing an English Mild, Belgian Witbier, and an IPA. I think that would be the best order for brewing and bottling.

Advice and tips are always appreciated.

Chris

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Old 07-17-2012, 03:00 AM   #2
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I'll first say that I find it odd that those three styles would peak at 3-5 weeks. I would think you'd get better mileage from the Witte and IPA.

Keeping your beers very cold, as close to freezing, should extend their shelf life. You could also brew all three at about the same time so they're at their peak, if you have the equipment. Maybe try brewing multiple small batches.

The mild is a tough style and doesn't store well, that's why English mild commercial examples are uncommon in the US. I would at least brew the witte and IPA first, they should have a longer shelf life.

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Old 07-18-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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I typically leave my bottled beers in my "beer closet" unrefrigerated and they may be aging faster than moving them into the fridge. Thanks for the tip about leaving them in the fridge as cold as possible.

Cheers,

Chris

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Old 07-18-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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Hebby, are you going to be entering the Piedmont Cup? It was pretty cool last year with the awards ceremony in the parking lot of Big Boss.

If you bottle condition as normal, just wait until your beers taste as if they're hitting their stride. Then place a 6 pack in your refrigerator and keep in the back so you won't be tempted. You may want to put a couple extras in there to test right before the competition to make sure they still taste good.

Good luck!

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Old 07-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #5
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Do you bottle or keg? If you keg, you could just cold condition the beer, then dry hop it a week or two prior to the competition to freshen the hop aroma.

If you bottle, you could bulk condition in the primary, then dryhop a few weeks before you intend to bottle to keep the hop aroma fresh.

The bitterness and hop flavor doesn't fade nearly as quickly as the aroma, so just dryhop appropriately!

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Old 07-19-2012, 12:24 AM   #6
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@Darwin Its for the Piedmont Cup and was there last year. Loads of fun! Hope to have a small gathering before hand with the Triangle Homebrewers. If you're not on our Facebook or Meetup group, please join us!

Good luck to you as well.

Chris

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