Category Archives: ANHC

ANHC & AABC wrap

So its Sunday evening, I’m back from my Mums birthday lunch, I’m on the couch and my hangover has mostly subsided. Dinners cooked and I’m thinking a beer could be an option.

Well maybe, if I do it will be a beer that almost got a place at the Australian Amateur Homebrewing Competition (AABC). I am however conflicted about having a beer though, as the hangover was a pretty solid one. This hangover is a 100% Australian National Homebrew Conference (ANHC) hangover. Club night was awesome but brutal, well the brutal bit was this morning. 5 coffee’s, 4 Panadol, 4 neurofen, a beroca and a toasted cheese sandwich. And I still didn’t feel right after all that.

So back to ANHC, and how AABC fits into it.

ANHC 2012 was great. I heard some great speakers. met some great brewers who shared their knowledge (and beer) freely. I hung out with some great people, most of whom are excellent homebrewers who also shared their knowledge, beer, bad ideas, good ideas, and terrible beer jokes (Dan that is aimed straight at you).

It was a great vibe, really positive, really inspiring, really fun. We did have a beer in our hands by 9.30am on both days, and there was more or less free beer 100% of the conference (good beer too) so that may have given me rose-coloured glasses but I got a hell of a lot out of the speakers. Barrel ageing, extreme brewing, foam stability, Belgian yeast, contract brewing, hops, hops and more hops, sour beers, just to name a few. I even now have an idea of how to make sake (but I’m not going to)

My personal favorite bits of the conference were;

  1. Matt Brynildson’s talks on hops and barrels, great info shared so generously. I also got to share some of my Tex the third IPA with him, a particularly proud moment for me as my beer is based on a recipe for his Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA. Thanks Matt, I will now be putting more hops in my beers and getting an oak barrel.
  2. Stu McKinlay – get obsessed, stay obsessed. Yeastie Boys crank out some great beer even though Stu does look like Murray from Flight of the Concords (awesome checked pants). Stu’s 10 commandments of home brewing were great, focused and realistic. They also made me realise that I need to get back focussed on getting some beer made. I’ll post his 10 commandments at some stage, right now I’m just glad I got to hear him speak, have a yard with him and also share a bit of my peach saison with him. Oh and I’m stealing your wine candy sugar idea – ha!
  3. Good people make good beer. Club night was awesome, great beer shared among strangers with nothing in common but brewing, and friendship. Some say booze causes problems, fights etc. There was a hell of a lot of booze on hand last night, all free, and not one hint of a blue or a cross word. I put it down to the good people 🙂
  4. Sake – it sounds interesting to make but I want nothing to do with it.
  5. Sharing knowledge in a humble way. It’s good to let people know what you know, even better to do it in a nice way. Well done to the conference organisers and speakers for making it an open info sharing forum.

There’s more I can write about, but not now. Plenty of ideas still floating around in my head that need a chance to settle before I do anything with them. They need to ferment a little and age a bit. More to come though.

And that gets me to AABC, it links in with ANHC as the judging is done and announced at the conference. I missed the dinner where the place getters for the classes were awarded, but had I been there I would have got to go up on the stage to pick up a second place for my English Barley Wine (woo hoo for me!! I got a score of 132, third highest in the total comp). I entered 6 beers in VicBrew, 4 of them made it through to AABC, all with third places and I got a second place at AABC. Those are strike rates that I like. But it was so close to being 2 places, I missed a place with my Tex the Third IPA by 1 point! bugger, so close. Ah well something to aim for next year.

So now what? Get obsessed, stay obsessed. I am and I will. Time to focus on improving the quality of my home brew, and on getting a beer on the shelf somewhere. Thanks ANHC and AABC, now I have something to focus on for the next 12 months.

Cheers D

PS – Bring on ANHC 2014, and no I didn’t get have that beer tonight


The 10 minute commute and a Seedy Goat Coffee IPA

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned but I’ve got a new job. Its a good gig, more cash, great opportunity, all that stuff. Oh and did I mention that my commute to work is now only a 10 minute walk? Yep its great. It’s through a nice park too. Excellent way to start the day, that and coffee, that makes for a good start to the day. However today I am choosing to also end my day with coffee. It’s in beer though, a Seedy Goat Coffee IPA.

I will get to that in a minute. Firstly I brewed last week and it all went more or less to plan. Let there be ZEN! After my resignation IPA that was a prick of a brew day (mice, blocked equipment and electrical fires) and then the beer didn’t even work out (all sour and off tasting, I tipped it out) I was really hanging out for a good brew day. New equipment, fresh ingredients, no sheep in my brew house. What could go wrong? well a lot actually but the only two things that were anything other than spot on was some hops that I’d had for a while didn’t smell right so I used some other hops instead (it was some whole cone galaxy that was oxidised, didn’t smell good at all) and I forgot to put a charge of hops in the low ABV saison so I added it as dry hop instead.

Both beers are now fermenting away beautifully, well at least I think they are. My Dad checked them last night and reported that the temp controller was on 19 deg C (its set for 20 deg C) and that they looked all foamy and a bit brown. I’ll take that as a healthy krausen, and call them fermenting well. They need to be, I need to have the low ABV saison set for the ANHC “How low can you go” comp next weekend (the 15th Sept I think) and the IPA ready for Vicbrew (the 22nd Sept). So far so good, will have to see how they go.

Anyway back to the beer, its one of their seasonal releases, I usually like them but seldom go crazy for them. This beer is no real difference. Its good, and clean with some coffee character that’s a bit like you get out of those pour over or siphon coffees. Dont buy this beer expecting to taste espresso. It fits in the realm of an English IPA, the fruity coffee from Nicaragua sits well with fruity beer. They apparently also used galaxy and cascade hops, I’m not really getting them though. Could be the coffee cutting over the top or just me not getting them. Not sure, I may be having a bad tasting night? I’m not really sure on this one either way. Let me know if you’ve tried it?

Anyway that’ll do for now, day number 2 of the new job tomorrow.

Cheers D




Zen tomorrow times 2, now a colab beer

I’m excited.

While I happen to be having quite a nice local/international collaboration beer that’s a bit of a hangover from Good Beer Week that’s not why I’m excited.

Right now my car is all loaded up with brand spanking brewing gear and ingredients. The shearing of my folks sheep is finally done and my brewhouse is no longer needed as the smoko room for the shearers. So that’s right, I’m brewing tomorrow, two batches. Two batches so hopefully that’ll be double the zen. This is my last-ditch effort to have a crack at a fresh entry for VicBrew, and perhaps a low ABV beer for the ANHC “How low can you go” comp. This will hopefully result in a nice US IPA and a 3 and a bit % ABV Saison of sorts.

Some Zen would be really nice to round out my week of unemployment. So would another week or two off but that will have to wait, the new job awaits. Still I can fit in some Zen.

I also need to bottle the bret infused farmhouse ale (that’s what I’m calling it, in VicBrew it’ll probably be listed under “beer – other”). I have no idea what this beer will be like, but fingers crossed it’ll be OK as its been ageing for around seven months. No idea what it’ll taste like, but again fingers crossed.

So to the beer that is easing me into my day of Zen tomorrow? A joint effort by Red Duck and Kissmyers Beers, a double IPA called Hop Bach.  Apparently it has 25 hops in it. No idea what hops were used, just a lot. I think that’s part of the flavor of this beer, no particular hop flavor, just all of them. Its kind of resiny and a bit piney with a lingering bitterness. All this balanced with a fairly full and sweet malt backbone. As its 9.8 % ABV a bunch of that sweetness is probably the booze. Again nice beer, not an everyday beer, but a really nice sipper. It’s a little low on the carbonation, but the bottle lid popped open with a really nice pop, and some bits of wax hit me in the face. The booze hits you in the face to, nice and warming.

Finding info on this beer is a little difficult, Anders Kissmeyer, the man behind Kissmeyer beer is everywhere on the web related to beer, but I can’t find a website for him (Click here for the best I could find). Red Duck has this beer listed as a to be released beer on their website, and as there were only 650 of the distinctive wax dipped swing top bottles good luck finding one. I can confirm that at most there are 649 left. Oh and for a better description of the beer without my bullshit go to the Craft Pint.

OK so brewing tomorrow, all good, lots of Zen, fingers Crossed. And hopefully back in time to go for beers in the city.

Cheers D

PS – I’ll post the recipes when (or if) I get around to it and no I don’t know if this beer being symphony #1 means that there will be a symphony #2

PPS – oh and I like this youtube clip – remember its potatoes not pasta! follow the link you fool!


Heretic Shallow Grave

Only days to go now in my current job, then I’m unemployed. Well kinda, I have a week until I start the new job. In that week I currently plan to brew some beer in preparation for VicBrew, maybe sneak into a brewery or two, and just bum around before putting the suit back on and getting on with work. It’ll be a good week, here’s hoping a bunch of stuff I don’t really want to do doesnt really sneak in. Time will tell, a week is such a short thing, who knows what I’ll get up to.

One thing I want to do is brew an IPA to replace the one I brewed a few weeks ago. I think I got something wrong somewhere on this brew. I checked the gravity on the weekend, it’s sitting at about 1.024, not low enough, it also tasted too sweet, and I think there was kinda a banana flavor in it. Not good anyway. I think the yeast must have crashed out, and it is in a very cold shed with a heat pad on flat out. Temp control is not occurring on this beer thanks to the electrical fire. No good. I need to get that gear replaced asap but I dont think I want to do the wiring myself. One electrical fire a year is enough.

Anyway I think the brewing may consist of something for the low ABV comp at the upcoming ANHC, havent figured out what that’ll be yet, perhaps an English pale, or something hoppy, not sure yet. I also think I’ll have a crack at a porter, perhaps like the one I’m drinking right now – Heretic Shallow Grave.

This is a more or less black beer with a chocolaty roasty hit, yet its smooth. I could drink a lit of this. And it has a really nice roasty aroma. All in all this is a good beer. I’m not really surprised though, I’m yet to have a fail from Jamil on his Heretic beers, or his books and podcasts for that matter (perhaps with the exception of those porn adds?).

There is something in this beer that just has a nice weight to it, its a rich thick smooth drop. There are also things about it that remind me of a nice smooth short black coffee, its that sweet roast flavor.

Anyway thats enough for now, I need to focus back on the rack of lamb I’m cooking for dinner. Later on I need to remember to book in for ANHC before the early bird rate drops off. If you havent signed up for ANHC yet and plan to do so do it now. Oh and get your entries for VicBrew ready.

Thats enough public service for me. get yourself a Heretic beer, the Shallow Grave is good, but they all are, so just go with your mood.

Cheers D

PS – I also did a crop walk on the weekend at the folks farm, all the crops are looking pretty good with the exception of about a third of a paddock of canola of my uncle Ben’s. My wheat however is looking the goods as you can see from the pic. I think I might need to figure our how to turn some of it into beer. Any suggestions welcome.

Resurrection Double Stout – ANHC

What am I drinking right now? I’ll get to that in a minute (and if you don’t get it from the post heading then really? no I mean really??).
look at the sparkle!
Long day following a long weekend into a short week with the Vic Microbreweries Showcase (click here to get a ticket) tomorrow night and I’m kinda buggered. Don’t get me wrong I love the 4 day week but after the brother inlaw to be’s bucks party on the weekend I’m a touch buggered. The weekend was good though, saw Black Caviar, apparently the best horse in the world, had lots of beers (Corona’s unfortunately, lots of them) and got a touch sun burnt. Like I said buggered.

So what do I drink when I’m buggered? well first I try the wedding beers, both good glad to say. Not outstanding or over exceptional but they are good and will be on track for the wedding in 3 weeks. The Wit is not to big on the fruity spicy character, and the pale has a nice strong citrus twang to it. All as planned. But that was more of a quality control process rather than a beer.

So what do I drink? In the fridge I have a bottle of theANHC commemorative beer “Resurrection” Double Stout, made I think by the guys at Matilda Bay. This is a good beer, a 6.8% ABV thick rich chocolaty stout, with a really nice roasty backbone, almost a touch of bitterness kind of like a short black coffee.

You can look for this beer but I doubt you’ll find it. I only have the beer because i left it at Brent’s (the buck) office so I could go and drink at ANHC club night without loosing it. This meant that I could let it age somewhere for 6 or so months and enjoy it now. There was talk at the conference about the beer being put on the shelf. Haven’t seen or heard anything to back this up but it would be a good thing. It would lead to a whole lot of people falling over in bars, but it would be a good thing. Oh and its black. That’s a good thing for a stout.

I’m kinda tired now. Need to get some sleep so I can drink beer tomorrow night. Planning on having some beers with Dan (the unemployed), Hendo from Otway Brewing and Glen from Hargreaves Hill if he has decided to let out his inner rock star brewer and join us (ok that probably wont happen). Good beers, good people will be a good day (well evening).

One final thing if you read this please click the follow button on my blog, Mark Dapin is trying to get more followers and I’m trying to stay in front of him. It hardly seems fair he has an column in The Age Good Weekend so I need some help in getting my follower numbers up. Please join, the blog you save could be my own.

Cheers D

AIS MIcro-Tech Pipe Challengeg 2007 - The Sydn...Image by Jason Harding Boardriding via Flickr
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