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Homebrew Competitions / Sower's Cup Homebrew Comp 2015
« on: August 27, 2015, 03:29:48 PM »
Hello Judges and competitors,


On behalf of the Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club, we would be honored to have you and your taste buds or your beers at the our annual Sowers Cup homebrew competition to be held in Lincoln, Nebraska on October 2nd and 3rd.  Our BJCP registered competition is part of the High Plains Brewer and Club of the Year circuit.  This is a fun event for all of our volunteers and entrants, and we are happy to announce that Drew Beechum will be our special guest speaker this year.


Entries are being accepted in all 28 BJCP beer based on the 2008 guidelines, mead and cider categories, as well as our special “Sower in the Rye” category and GABF Pro-Am “No Workaround Decoction” category, now through September 18th.  The competition will once again be held the beautiful Ploughshare Brewing Company located in downtown Lincoln, NE.

For those of you interested in entering, please visit the competition website for more information.

Judge registration is open at the link below.


Volunteers will be provided with free meals Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon between rounds.  You are also invited to a very special Cookie and Beer Pairing hosted by Kitchen Sink Cookies and Ploughshare's founder and Certified Cicerone, Matt Stinchfield immediately following the final judging round.  Saturday evening will begin with a ticketed beer dinner exquisitely prepared by Ploughshare, and will be followed by the awards ceremony which is open to all volunteers and contestants.  The ticketed dinner will be largely subsidized by the Lincoln Lagers, and we will be supplying more info once the details have been finalized.


There are several hotels within walking distance of the competition, and several local Lincoln Lager members have offered beds for our traveling volunteers.  Please visit the Sower's Cup website for hotel links or contact me directly if you would like to stay with one of our club members.

Don't forget to visit our Facebook page for updates!

Brian Hoesing
Lincoln Lagers

Events / GABF Pro-AM booth 2014 beer listing?
« on: October 03, 2014, 03:56:03 PM »
Anyone know where to find the list of beers for the GABF Pro-Am booth this year? For the life of me I can't find it this year. The GABF website only lists the winners from 2013.

The First Annual Sower’s Cup Homebrew Competition
Hosted by the Lincoln Lagers Homebrew Club of Lincoln, Nebraska
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Part of the High Plains Brewer of the Year Circuit

BJCP Registered Competition
Open to U.S. Residents 21 years of age or older

Online Registration Portal:
Registration will open on July 21, 2014
Beer Entries, Judges, and Stewards will all register through our BCOE&M Portal, located at the URL below:

Banquet Dinner:
Please stay tuned for more information on our awards banquet and special guest speaker.

Event Details
Date: Saturday, Sep 13
Event Type: AHA/BJCP Competition
Contact: Jason McLaughlin
Lincoln, NE
Entry Fee: $7.00
Entry Deadline: 08/29/2014
Competition Date: 09/13/2014

More information is coming soon! Please stay tuned!

Twitter Feed:

Yeast and Fermentation / Kolsch: Lager on or off yeast?
« on: April 02, 2014, 02:39:28 AM »
So there was a thread a while back that talked about that, "German Lager flavor."

I have a Kolsch going with ECY 21 Kolsch yeast at 60F.  I am about 10+ days into fermentation. Just curious what everyones thoughts are about lagering.  On or off the yeast?  The consensus was on the yeast for a month for the lagers.  Just curious what the thoughts are on a delicate light hybrid like a kolsch?  Does it matter? Thanks!


Ingredients / Schilll Kolsch Malt
« on: January 16, 2014, 03:48:47 AM »
Anyone have experience with this malt?  Sounds like kind of a super Vienna or a malt between Vienna or Munich.   Considering using it as a SMASH Maibock or Belgian Pale Ale.  Anyone have any experience or thoughts on this or this malt?.  Thanks.


I have a pair of tickets to both the Thursday session and the Saturday's Members session to sell.  Due to various things coming up at the last minute and some changes to my work schedule, I am unable to attend.  Really bummed since I have a beer entered in the Pro-Am and this would have been my first GABF.  :'( Looking for face value, $75/pair.  I am unable to transfer tix electronically per my response from sTicketmaster.  Private Message me if interested.  Probably Paypal for payment and I will get them into the mail ASAP.

Brian Hoesing

Tickets to both sessions have been sold.

Ingredients / Malted Corn?
« on: August 31, 2013, 03:39:00 PM »
Anyone have any leads on where to find malted corn.  Not opposed to doing a cereal mash with polenta.  Not sure if it's better than flaked maize?   Just wanting to try something new.

Ingredients / Best salt addition to boost back carbonates?
« on: August 02, 2013, 06:02:57 PM »
So, I am presently brewing a gose using the quick souring method.  Pitched my home grown lacto starter last night into the wort.  This AM before I left for work, it dropped from 5.3 to 3.8.  I was shooting for about 3.5 to 3.8.  My concern is if I continues to drop at this rate the wort will be too sour and the acidity too strong for the yeast.  Would chalk or baking soda be best to add back.  I will likely boil it tonight when I get home to kill the lacto and then add the yeast (WY1007).  I know chalk is generally a pain to add, but with a boiling wort it should be ok, no?  Plenty of sodium already in the water with the sea salt additions, so for that reason I am thinking chalk (if I can get it to dissolve) would be better than baking soda.

Thoughts from the masses?


Yeast and Fermentation / Growing up a Lacto starter
« on: July 03, 2013, 02:25:33 AM »
So, next month I plan on doing a sour german wheat beer.  I am intending to do the quick souring method.  Mash, bring to a quick boil, cool to 100-110F and pitch a lacto starter and hold for a day or few to my desired pH. Then brew as normal.

I plan on building a lacto starter so that the souring occurs quickly.

My question(s) is this:
1. Should I make a moderated sized starter (2000-4000mL) from one of the commercial yeast manufactures?

2. Make a similar sized starter from some grain added to starter wort and propagate a starter this way?

3. Do both 1 and 2 and blend on brew/souring day?

I know I can kinda cheat with acidulated malt, but prefer not to.

Thanks in advance,
Brian Hoesing

General Homebrew Discussion / Water Book!!!
« on: February 01, 2013, 06:20:35 PM »
Trolling Amazon this morning and this popped up!  Looks like the Water book will be available this spring! Yippeeeee!!!! ;D  Of course I will buy my copy from the AHA, but still awesome, none the less!

Ingredients / Fresh Spearmint?
« on: January 09, 2013, 10:23:02 PM »
Probably a long shot here, but does anyone know where to find fresh spearmint in the winter?  Likely looking for an online source as I have checked the local grocery stores, Whole Foods, and organic stores with no luck.  Just started growing my own in a pot a couple of weeks ago, but may not produce the desired amount I am looking for based on my brewing timeline.  Looking to use about 1-2oz added to the beer after primary fermentation.  My google searches have so far turned up nothing.  I would prefer to use "fresh" as opposed to the "dry" spearmint.  But, want to exhaust all possible resources before I commit to the dry spearmint.  Must be spearmint, not looking for other "mint" species. Obviously, not the ideal time of year to plan this...

Brian Hoesing

Ingredients / Combination of hops to create an "orange" flavor
« on: December 29, 2012, 10:17:45 PM »
I am planning on brewing an APA next week.  I am trying to come up with a blend of hops to be more "orange/citrus" than pine or grapefuit, passionfruit, etc.  Going to hop burst it late.

Hops that I know give an "orange" type flavor from experience and reading various hop profiles are:

Cascade (probably more grapefuit?)
Summit (orange/tangerine, hoping to avoid the garlic/BO/Onion)
Pacific Jade

Tenatively planning on using a 2:1:1 ratio of Amarillo:Cascade:Summit, but could possibly substitute one of the NZ varieties. 

Thoughts anyone?


EDIT:  I will also be adding some fresh orange zest at 5min before flameout.  Probably 2-3 oranges?

Got a Kindle Fire for XMas.  Looking for the the best home brew "apps" to download....suggestions?


Ingredients / Topaz hops
« on: November 30, 2012, 03:28:25 AM »
Anyone have any experience using Topaz hops from Australia. It sounds very similar to Galaxy, but appears to have a "dank" quality to it.  Here is the description:

The Australian hop selection Topaz is a super high alpha seedless cultivar with a pronounced and unique hop flavor and aroma. Bred by Hop Products Australia at their Rostrevor Breeding Garden Victoria. Topaz has excellent flavour potential, to the point that a beer hopped solely with Topaz was the most preferred of a group of five single hop beers by tasters at Brau 2010. We are calling it a sister hop to Galaxy due to it's similarly high levels of 4MMP (hardcore hop heads will know what that means).
As a flavor addition Topaz can provide spice (almost clove) character and earthy notes similar in character to old English cultivars, and fruit flavour such as lychee can be detected in later additions and higher gravity brews. It would serve as a great companion to any of the citrusy hops for some serious depth of flavor.
Sam Adams used it, along with Galaxy in its Tasman Red IPA
( I have not tried this beer :-[)

Thinking of brewing a Southern Hemisphere IPA when the WLP Australian Ale platinum strain becomes available this spring, using it with Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, and Mouteka hops.

Any ideas, suggestions, thoughts, experiences?

Beer Recipes / Parti-Gyle Belgian Dark Strong
« on: November 20, 2012, 04:11:38 PM »
So, I am considering brewing a Belgian Dark Strong this weekend.  Thinking of doing something a little different for simplicity sake.  Planing on doing a parti-gyle with 90% Pils, 10% 5-10% Munich.  Using only the first runnings for the BDS.  Using candi sugar for the color and to dial in my desired gravity; either a pound each of  D2 and dark for a little complexity, or just 2 pounds of D2.  Not sure I need or want any crystal-type malts for the first runnings?  Mash 147-148F, 90+ minute boil. R/O water with CaCl2.  I have big, fresh, healty pitch of Westmalle from a local brewery that is calling my name! :D  I have Denny's 400th batch slightly in mind for a base beer...

Anyone having any tips, suggestions, or pitfalls?  I have not done a parti-gyle before.  Plan on using Kai's calculator.

Also, I can't decide what beer to make with the second runnings...Belgian? Hybrid? Some bastardized American-style ale?  Anyone have suggestions?


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