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Conan Yeast Giveaway Winners

Posted by homebrewdad on 8/05/2014 at 03:01:20 PM

After much adieu, I am happy to announce the winners of the Homebrew Dad ECY29 (Conan) yeast giveaway.

First off, please do allow me to thank everyone who entered. I said this before, but there were quite a few entries that legitimately deserved to win. Pruning the seventy-six entries down to the seven finalists was extremely difficult; further pruning those down to three winners was even harder.   If you'd like to see, there is a map representing all of the entries

Thank you to everyone who voted. All told, we ended up with a truly impressive total of one hundred and seventy-six votes cast, which is about twice what I was expecting given the number of participants.

To recap, my plan was to select one winner on my own, to allow the votes to select one winner, and to then compare the two lists to come up with a third winner. As it so happens, one winner not only jumped out as the most deserving to my way of thinking, but also happend to win the largest percentage of the votes - by quite a fair margin. That winner is Bret of Warsaw, Poland.

Bret did not submit a recipe idea; instead, his submission was that he would like to pick up the yeast when he returns to the US in a couple of weeks. He will then take the yeast back with him to Poland, where he will share it with other homebrewers there. According to Bret, they do not have access to Conan yeast in Poland, so this would be a real boon to them.

So, I decided to count the person with the second most votes as the community's choice of a winner. That person would be Ryan of Yardley, PA. I got several comments about the quality of Ryan's beer; I suspect that his local homebrew club organized to help him with the voting, but regardless, Ryan garnered as many votes as the next three highest totals combined. Ryan's entry follows.

I'd love to give my REDonculous ale a go with ECY29 instead of my normal WLP004 Irish ale. I think it would really bring a whole new dimension to the beer and play well with the hop profile. The recipe is nothing super extreme, but it a proven recipe I have received a lot of good feedback from.

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.72 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Vol: 5.72 gal
Final Bottling Vol: 5.62 gal
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage

Date: 27 Mar 2014
Brewer: TCXRyNo
Efficiency: 70.00 %

Create a yeast starter with 3.50 l of wort

7 lbs 15.9 oz Vienna Malt - 51.1 %
6 lbs 7.1 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) - 41.2 %
12.8 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L - 5.1 %
5.4 oz Carapils (Briess) - 2.1 %
1.2 oz Chocolate Malt - 0.5 %

Mash @ 156.0 For 45 min
Add 210 F water till 168.0 F temp achieved -10 min

Sparge with 168.0 F water till accumulated desired volume(6.5 gallons in my case).

Hop Schedule
-0.25 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - First Wort
0.34 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
0.34 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 45.0 min
0.34 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min
1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - Boil 0.0 min

Estimated OG 1.079

Hold 65 F for first 3 days or until obvious signs of fermentation have stopped. bump temp 1 degree per day to 68 F is achieved.

Estimated FG 1.020
Check FG on day 7 and Day 10(should be done, if not continue to monitor FG).

1.00 oz Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.25 %] - 3 Days

Cold Crash 24-48 hours.
Keg or bottle
If bottling allow 10 days min to carb before chilling.

The final winner came down to my decicion. As it so happens, this individual ended up with the third highest vote total (by a very narrow margin), but only after a late push (he had lingered aount fifth overall until Sunday or so). This was a really tough choice for me, as I liked all of the remaining ideas (else they would have never been finalists). I particularly enjoyed the idea submitted by Jeff of Riverside, NJ - Jeff suggested doing a peach cobbler brown ale, whcih sounds amazing to me.

But one entry really did speak to me in a special way. It's a recipe, yes, but it's also a story, a reason for the beer apart from beer itsef. That was the final determining factor to me, and so, I'd like to announce Eric of Princeton, IL as the final winner. Eric's entry follows.

As with all great things in life, beer has the power to bring people together and strengthen their bonds through tradition and a shared experience. It is only natural, then, that, for me, homebrewing has become not simply a hobby, but a medium through which I can connect with the people in my life that matter the most. My recipes are often crafted with the specific tastes and unique characters of a friend or family member in mind. Although each recipe is not necessarily successful in reaching this goal, the pursuit of the spirit of the person is reward enough.

Every fall for the last hundred years, Swenson men have taken to the same wooded hills to hunt. We have a bond with this wilderness few people share with any single place these days. In times of poverty, we've been absolutely dependent on these woods for food, and poor hunts have made for lean winters. In exchange, we've worked the land, restored it, and kept it healthy. But we've become few. My grandfather and I are the only Swenson men left. My brother-in-law joins us too, and so we three carry on this tradition.

Grandpa is elemental. Born of the hills and fields. Though he has slowed, it is not his age. He has simply put down more roots. He is the kind of man that will never die - rather, he will only return to the earth. He is the beginning and end of every hunt. He taught me everything I know, as I taught my brother-in-law when he joined our family, as I will teach my sons. And every fall, he still takes to the woods.

Lean Winter
OG: 1.064
FG: 1.012
ABV: 6.81%
IBU: 53.07
SRM: 20.99
Efficiency: 75%

Grain Bill:
8lb 2-row
2lb American Munich 10L
12oz Crystal 60L
1lb American Victory
1lb Rolled Oats (toasted)
4oz Belgian Chocolate Malt (Debittered)
2oz Black Patent (last 15min of mash)

Hop Schedule:
.5oz Simcoe - FWH
1oz EKG - 30min
1oz UK Fuggles - 15min
1oz Chinook - 5min
.5oz Simcoe - Whirlpool
1oz EKG - Dry hop
1oz Simcoe - Dry hop

Yeast: ECY29
Starter: 2L
Mash: 150, 2hrs, BIAB

This beer, a surprisingly hoppy American Brown, pays homage to a man who, himself, defies convention. While North East Ale yeast has been made famous by its use in IPAs, comparatively reduced IBUs and a robust malt backbone will allow the yeast's unique characteristics to take a more dominant role in this beer's flavor profile. The yeast will be the soul in this beer as my grandfather is the soul in my family. This fall, we'll begin a new tradition. We'll come in from the cold and drink a beer to honor the great man. Conrad Swenson.

For those who wish to see, the final vote tallies follow.

Total Votes: 176

Nick from Minneapolis, MN
Jeremy from San Clemente, CA
Brendan from San Diego, CA
Ryan from Yardley, PA
Eric from Princeton, IL
Bret from Warsaw, Poland
Jeff from Riverside, NJ

Congratulations to all of the winners! I will spin up a starter later this week, and should have yeast shipped out next week. Thank you again to all who entered, I sincerely do appreciate your participation. For the winners, I hope that you'll consider sharing a bottle of what you brew with this yeast - I'd love to do a video review of it. Furthermore, I hope that you will also pay it forward - share this yeast with other brewers, if you can.

Tags for this post: yeast, giveaway, winners, contest, conan

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