Of course, competitions are not for everyone. Many brewers care nothing for brewing to style, or for brewing for anyone but themselves. For these brewers, the external validation of a competition win is unnecessary.
As far as I am concerned, both types of brewers - as well as those who fall anywhere between these two positions - are absolutely correct. One of the truly fantastic things about this hobby is the amazing flexibility it offers; brew what you like, for whatever motivations you may have. There is no absolute "right" or "wrong" in homebrewing.
I myself have never been a big competition guy. For the first couple of years that I brewed, I was painfully aware of my newbishness, and I simply did not see the point in inflicting potentially substandard beer upon a competition I had no chance of doing well in. Then, there was the fact that I live in Alabama - the next to last state in America for homebrewing to become legal - and so, my opportunities to compete were pretty limited unless I shipped my beer out of state.
Last year, I did enter the Alabama Brew Off, though it was a last minute decision that resulted in me simply entering a couple of beers that I had on hand. I had mixed results - largely due to my lack of preparedness; I had no bottles with plain bottle caps, so in...
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It is the brave brewer who starts a decoction @3:00 P.M.
posted by nzo on 8/19/2015 at 08:30:58 AM
Dude - subtracting non-brew-day stuff - not such a long day!
Using the bag allows for total capture of wort with no dead space and because you can squeeze the bag and get 100% same gravity volume the total volume calcs can be adjusted.
Grain absorption prior to squeezing is about 18 oz per lb. - squeezing drops that to about 12, so just ten lbs of grain will yield 60 oz difference.
If you do full volume no sparge you can shave 30-45 minutes off your brew day.
Good luck with the competition!
posted by TheBrewBag on 8/19/2015 at 08:50:37 AM
Heads up for next time: most competitions allow you to black-out a cap with a sharpie if they're not blank.
posted by KidMoxie on 8/19/2015 at 02:22:25 PM
Tags for this post: competition, brewing, beer, festbier, Belgian blond, 2015 BJCP guidelines, decoction, 9 hour