I often have to pull myself out of daydreams wherein I win a GABF medal or receive some other sort of accolade for the beer that I make. Something has to change...
I've been looking into both the Distance Education programs at the Siebel Institute and the American Brewers Guild. I realize that both are respected, but I'm concerned about putting a lot of time, money, and effort into something that will not help me come any closer to brewing professionally. I really need some good advice on this one.
These things being said, I also really ought to get to more homebrew club meetings and do more judging. I haven't been completely crazy about either so far, though my experience with both has been quite limited. I should also start competing. I know that they're all good things to do, so I'll make it happen.
In other news, I've been very good about keeping my Belgian Red around. I brewed it some time in late May/early June and decided that I would hang on to half a case for a while. I duct-taped it to keep my grubby paws off it and put on a note that it is not to be opened until August 1st. Well, that's not quite going to happen as I intend to bring some to this year's Ommegang Fest to share with others after the fest.
Here's the Belgian Red recipe:
10 lbs. German Pils
1 lb. CaraRed
1 lb. Melanoidin
.5 lbs. Flaked Oats
1 lb. Corn Sugar
Premiant and Saaz
(This beer has 2 oz. of Saaz as the finishing hop.)
It reached a bit over 80% apparent attenuation. ABV ~6.7%.
It's kind of wicked. This was one of the first beers that I by having a concept of what I wanted to beer to taste like and formulating from there. I really wanted a reddish ale with Belgian-esque fruitiness and phenolics and a complementary Saaz character. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result. I expect it to be even more pleasant when I open it up once again.