We were in Binny’s last weekend (the one by Goose Island Clybourn) and noticed a sign advertising that they are going to be hosting a home brew competition event in April (for Sam Adam’s Longshot Home Brew contest). I’ve wanted to enter the competition for a few years now, but I always seemed to miss it. You have to brew 6 weeks to two months in advanced, depending on the style (sometimes even longer). I just never found out about it in time to have something ready to enter.
Since I have plenty of lead time, I decided to give it a shot this year. The recipe choice was obvious; The one original recipe that I brew that is universally praised by all that have tried it is the Vanilla Porter. So, I went to the home brew store today, got what I needed, and brewed up a batch.
I ran into problems the last time I brewed the Vanilla Porter: I deviated a bit from my normal procedure, and also used a yeast that I harvested from a previous batch, which didn’t work out too well (the fermentation never kicked off, and I ended up throwing some dry yeast I keep on hand for emergencies on it). This time I stuck to the script: I used my tried-and-true methods and bought some fresh yeast. I was also very careful with my sanitation procedures (as I will be on bottling day in a few weeks).
Hopefully, come mid April, I’ll have a top-notch brew ready to enter the competition. (At the very least, I’ll have a really good beer to drink!)