The header image above shows the result of my NHC entries last year. Not very impressive, but gratifying nonetheless. I hadn’t brewed anything specifically for the event and just chose a couple of beers I had on hand to submit. I hope to do a little better this year, as I brewed a couple of my favorite recipes for this event. I don’t expect to place, but I do hope for significantly higher scores.
One is not my own recipe, but is a slightly modified version of a recipe I have brewed again and again. It is based upon a Russian Imperial stout by Annie Johnson. I like it too much to fiddle with the recipe extensively but I did substitute Crisp Maris Otter malt for the original base grain of American pale ale malt. It is a big beer; uses 32 pounds of malted grains to make 10 gallons and comes out with over 10% abv. It has a big stout flavor, though (especially when brewed with the Maris Otter), and that balances the high abv. I call it Black Hole Russian imperial stout.
The other submission is my own recipe and is a more conservative beer. It is a chocolate porter, the result of many iterations in search of one that I can both enjoy and call my own. The chocolate flavor comes entirely from the grains selected; no chocolate, cocoa, or flavoring added. I’ll even share the secret that made this batch the final version: I replaced about half of the usual chocolate malt with chocolate rye malt. I don’t usually like the taste of rye malt. Fortunately, the roasting process that brings out the chocolate flavor tames the rye “twang” and yields a very smooth, sweet chocolate taste. I prefer it to the bitter flavors of the usual chocolate malts derived from barley. This Dark Nebula porter is around 7% abv and is another balanced brew.
The big issue now is whether they arrive in time to make the submission deadline. For whatever reason, I didn’t get around to shipping until Monday. The required arrival date in Chicago is today. They are scheduled to be there on time but we will see…
Forgot to report on the results! Submitted two beers again and again received one bronze and one silver certificate. Failed again to place. Submissions were my Russian Imperial stout (silver) and the dark nebula porter (bronze). The porter did better elsewhere this year, garnering medals at the Son of Brewzilla and King of the Mountain competitions.
Gotta think of something different to send this year.
Delivery completed at 12:34pm today!