I heard about a competition on Facebook for SMaSH beers only – UK SmashOff – and decided I’d like to give it a go and get some feedback. It would be the first time entering a competition, and this one is very relaxed and informal. All beers are peer reviewed and scored with the highest scoring beer taking all prizes. It was pretty strict on rules though for 2018:
- No dry hopping
- Maximum 5% ABV
- Maximum 35 IBU
- No adjuncts or alteration of malt
I figured in the current focus on fruity, hoppy beers that’s what most people would head for, and to change things up a bit I decided to make it all about the yeast, specifically Wyeast Ardennes that I had made the Belgian Strong with. Wanting some continental hops, but not a noble variety, I settled on Mandarina Bavaria. My favourite base malt would provide the backbone, Golden Promise.
Batch size: 13L
3kg Golden Promise
12g Mandarina Bavaria 8.9%AA @ FWH 60 mins
20g Mandarina Bavaria 8.9%AA @ 2 mins
Mash @ 69C for 60 mins
Wyeast 3522 Ardennes
All went well on brew day, hitting target gravity within 1 point, but fermentation carried on well past 1.015, finishing at 1.008. Checking my notes I noticed the mash temp was 66, not 69C. Ooops!! 5.4%, over the limit and would have been docked points. I still had time to brew another before I needed to send them out, so I tuned the recipe and made another batch. This time I would have a large (relatively) hop stand to try and bring the Mandarina tangerine flavours out a little, as it was pretty subtle in this batch. It still made a decent beer, but not one I was happy sending to a competition.