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Brewing at Willimantic Brewery - Questions?

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foodplusbeer

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I won the Smoke in the Valley brew contest in CT this fall. The prize was that I get to brew this recipe at the Willimantic Brewery! Its a double IPA with loads of Columbus simcoe and chinook. And yes, its damn tasty.

I think brewing at a real brew pub is pretty cool, especially since I frequented this place in college. So, does anyone have any questions for me to ask the brewer or find out while I'm there? Any advice?

Ill post the recipe soon and ill be sure to let everyone know when its on tap.
 

Evan_L

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Hey, there ya are. Pretty awesome day eh! I really should have bought all my AG stuff earlier. With a 3G pot, no scale, and no chiller yet....had to split that wort between 3 boils and guess at the hops, started as soon as I got home, ended at midnight, long damn day. You missed the best part too...climbing in the boil kettle to scrub it, I should have had a good preplanned exit strategy for just before cleanup too ;) j/k
 
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foodplusbeer

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Hey Evan - glad you found me!

To anyone following - Evan was a local Willibrew frequenter and homebrewer just about to step up to all-grain who joined in on the brew day. And yes, I did bail just before clean up...

Here are some of my learnings:

1. Brewdays are no shorter on a commercial system! We started at 9am (mash water already heated) and just finished transferring cooled wort to the fermentor at 5pm. Unfortunately I had evening plans and had to leave at this time. Definitely longer than I anticipated.

2. More hops = hoppier. Sounds simple, but IBUs, and utilization aside, the more hops you add, the hoppier your beer will be. It doesn't always correllate with IBUs. You don't always want to use a super high alpha hop for bittering. Don't know why this never clicked for me before.

3. Oxygenate! I asked Dave, the Brewer/Owner, "What's the number one thing I can do to improve my beer as a homebrewer?" He advised me to get an oxygen stone. He said that made the biggest difference for him. Looks like that's my next purchase...

I'll post my original recipe soon. And I'll advise everyone when the beer is ready for tasting at the Willimantic Brewery. Most likely in 3 - 4 weeks.
 

JohnnyO

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Wow, congratulations!! I had seen the Smoke in the Valley fest advertised somewhere, but didn't realize there was a homebrew competition attached to it. I'll have to keep my eye out next year. Is it something you had to register for prior, or can you just walk in with some beer to enter?

Hope to get up to Willibrew to try your brew.

If you ever get up to Manchester, go to Tullycross Tavern. The brewmaster, Brian, is a friend and a fellow HBT member. His beer is amazing.
 
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