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Hi All, 

As always, a huge thanks to all who entered the last competition. 19 entries, but our fantastic judges did a great job and hopefully gave some useful feedback. The brewer in 3rd place, Matt, chose the next style to be California Common. 7B in the BJCP guidelines: Full link here http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style07.php

Overall Impression: A lightly fruity beer with firm, grainy maltiness, interesting toasty and caramel flavors, and showcasing the signature Northern Brewer varietal hop character.

Comments: This style is narrowly defined around the prototypical Anchor Steam example. Superficially similar to an American pale or amber ale, yet differs in that the hop flavor/aroma is woody/minty rather than citrusy, malt flavors are toasty and caramelly, the hopping is always assertive, and a warm-fermented lager yeast is used.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt, American hops (usually Northern Brewer, rather than citrusy varieties), small amounts of toasted malt and/or crystal malts. Lager yeast, however some strains (often with the mention of “California” in the name) work better than others at the warmer fermentation temperatures (55 to 60?F) used. Note that some German yeast strains produce inappropriate sulfury character. Water should have relatively low sulfate and low to moderate carbonate levels.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.048 – 1.054
IBUs: 30 – 45 FG: 1.011 – 1.014
SRM: 10 – 14 ABV: 4.5 – 5.5%

Commercial Examples: Anchor Steam, Southampton Steem Beer, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager

Good luck to everyone! I have chosen a date as far from Beervana as possible so I hope everyone can make it out to Hallertau, 3 PM.


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Hey Matt I can give you a lift if you like, coming up from South Auckland 027 419 3458

Was a pretty impressive turnout yesterday. Looking forward to the Dark Mild coming in 2 months.


Jo, one thing Barbara asked me to take up with you (since you instigated it) was would it be possible for us to use the NHC/BJCP style of judging? Our current score sheets don't offer an 'overall impression' which is a great section to have. And the scoring (for NHC) is out of 50 something which most of us are more familiar with.

Cheers for the great afternoon, and letting us hang out with all the shiny stuff!

Well that was fun, wasn't it?

Congratulations to Paul M for winning yesterday. Sadly he wasn't there to collect his winnings so as per rules, he gets his entry fee back and the rest goes to the bar for the rest of us to enjoy. (which we did; thanks Steve & Joseph).

2nd place was Bruce, and third was Anatole.

There are going to be a couple rule changes to the WBC. I will go over all this in my next post.

Thanks again, everyone. 

Oh, and here's the graph I promised.

Thanks barbara, i'm very suprised to have won. I wanted to put my beer in to see where i went wrong! Gutted i couldn't be there to enjoy the winnings- It was a mental day yesterday- soccer team i coach won 7 nil! then won at my grade in a squash tournament and then Dan rang me to tell I'd won! (i never win anything!!)

I'd be keen to learn of any feedback on my beer, to improve on it.

Also is anyone interested in my ingredients / method etc - happy to share info. cheers Paul

I'd be quite keen to see your feedback notes too - things to see what they liked etc. 

Could any of the judges comment on what made it the stand out? I tried it , and Your Brew (Paul) was very light and lager like (and tasty) compared to many. Just good to glean some furthur understanding on doing this brew again - what I could tweak on my recipie and process.


Si and I stoked to come 3rd - and I like the next choice on the Jan Beer brew!

Be good to undestand what the aim is on that one- whether to make a clone - or a good interpretation of a nice Red Ale....


I suspect the Dark Mild is going to be a challenge to make a nice version of - no big hopping to hide any sins behind!


Chur all- Damn enjoyable afternoon was had!


judges notes- appearance 4: head; large, lasting: lacing;good:Particles, cloudy: colour Amber.

Aroma 8 malt ; caramel, grain comment Some sulphur. hops: minty

Palate 5 body medium,carbonation avg; finish balanced

Flavour 8 duration avg / long: sweet moderate: acidic moderate: bitter moderate

overall 9. Comment Great Beer.

I called it a californian conman since i used us05 rather than a californian lager strain. I pretty much copied the recipy from "brewing classic styles" by jamil. I had some real old hops so i substitued them for bittering rather than northern brewer. My notes could be wrong but here's ingedients;

3.8kg gladfields ale malt Brew day was 30/6/13

500g munich

300g caramalt

200g victory

75g plae choc

mashed at 66/67 deg

60min 15g target 5g northern brewer NB

20min 20g NB

5min 5g NB

30g dry hoped NB in fermenter after a week-

og 1046. Rehydrated yeast for 2 hours . dried US05 one packet. Pitched to wort at 23 deg and cooled to 15.2 deg as quick as poss in the fridge fermentation chamber. chugged away bubbling every 20 seconds for a week slowly raised temp to 19deg for a few day then slow dropped to 8 deg one degree per day. Put in keg after 4 weeks in fermenter. I started drinking it and thought it wasn't hoppy enough so i boiled the jug and steeped 35g of Northern brewer for 10 minutes and strained with a sieve into the keg. It strangely have a real strong oyster aroma in the immediate. but that went after a few days. I've had a bit of strife with my regulator so was degasing the keg most days- I dont know if that had an effect. The beer only really improved in the last week prior to judging 8 weeks since brew day. I'd like to try and repeat it

I'm glad to have been up the right end of the results for a change!  Just need another bucket of NB judging from the feedback.  Hopefully I can make it out to the future competitions to make my donation in person.  I have tastings for Tuatara on Saturday afternoons so unfortunately work gets in the way sometimes.  I'll still be brewing and entering though since the quality of beers is superb.

Congrats to Paul, Bru (big bruv) and Anatole. What an awesome afternoon/evening. Loved the new venue, great beers, good company. My Common was one of the 'dusty, old hop' offenders but still managed to finish in the top 1/2. Which got me thinking; how old is too old for hops? Kept in plastic baggies, in tupperware, in the beer fridge. Thoughts?

Thanks Barb and the judges for a great time. Looking forward to the bi-monthly comps. The next two styles are good sessionable beers. Yum.

whats the plan for the after dark mild  style? ie 4 months out

Next comp early - mid Nov (date to be determined) is the Dark Mild. Mid - late January is a Sassy Red Clone. Details to follow


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