Greetings loyal readers! It’s been a while since I’ve made an entry, and if you’re here, you’ve probably noticed a new name in the URL. Since there is now a commercial brewery called Texas Ale Project (and it probably existed before I started brewing, considering how long it takes to get a license), I figured I should come up with something new, and more creative than Texas Ale Company for my home brewery.
After much thought and internal deliberation, I came up with Steel Rain Brewing. As you may have noticed, most of my beer names have been artillery-themed, so it made sense to go that direction with the brewery name. Unfortunately, the very obvious Redleg Brewing is already taken by a brewery in Colorado. I came up with a handful of ideas, but to me, Steel Rain had the best ring to it. Now, I just need to come up with a logo! Any artistic people out there want to help me with that…for free? :-)
So, now that I have a new name, I need to enter some contests, so people will come to know and love the Steel Rain beers! Deep Ellum Brewing Company has such a contest every year, their Labor of Love. The name comes from the fact that the festival that accompanies the contest is held Labor Day weekend. Brewers (or homebrew teams/clubs) can enter up to two beers each for the BJCP-sanctioned competition, and can serve up to five beers at the festival. The Best in Show winner will have their beer featured as DEBC’s 2016 Labor of Love beer, and it will be entered into the Pro-Am Competition at the 2016 Great American Beer Fest! Since this is my first homebrew competition to enter, I’m not expecting much, but I still have high hopes, especially for my IPA.
So, on to the good stuff-what I’ll be entering into the competition. The last IPA I did, with Citra and Mosaic hops, was immensely popular with my regular brewday crowd. It was gone very quickly, so I’ll be brewing that again with no tweaks. For the other beer, I’m going to try a new recipe, but one that’s pretty simple, a SMASH (Single Malt And Single Hop) dry-hopped Saison. I’m going with Belgian Pilsner 2-row malt and Cascade hops, with mostly late additions and dry hops to give it plenty of aroma. In keeping with my theme, I’m going to call it Fiddler’s Green Farmhouse Ale. The IPA remains Killer Junior IPA. Hopefully I can logistically pull off getting two beers brewed and finished by the August 17th deadline to submit them for entry. With my National Guard AT in there, it might be a tight squeeze, but I'm confident that I can do it!
The recipes for the beers (both 6 gallons into the fermentor):
Fiddler’s Green Farmhouse Ale
11lbs Belgian Pilsner (Dingemanns)
1oz Cascade @ 60 minutes
1oz Cascade @ 10 minutes
1oz Cascade @ 5 minutes
1oz Cascade dry hopped in the keg
WY3711 French Saison yeast
Killer Junior IPA
11lbs 2-row (Briess)
2lbs Munich 20L (Briess)
1lb Crystal 10L (Briess)
1oz US Magnum @ 60
1oz Citra @ 15
½oz Mosaic @ 5
½oz Citra @ 5
1oz Mosaic @ flameout
½oz Citra dry hopped in the keg
½oz Mosaic dry hopped in the keg
WLP001 California Ale yeast
The festival is September 6th, time TBA, but I believe last year it was late afternoon/early evening. Last year it was $30 a ticket, and it sold out pretty quickly from what I hear. Homebrewers can get their team of 4 people in free. There were bands and food trucks last year, as well. Hope to see some of you out there, and make sure you stop by Steel Rain Brewing and say hello!