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Chop & Brew – Episode 23: Music City Brew Off

We’re off to Nashville (aka Music City) for the Music City Brew Off! In this episode, Chop & Brew gets an inside look at the inner-workings of this homebrew competition hosted by the Music City Brewers homebrew club. MCB president John Malone shares his experiences and gives some advice to other clubs that may be interested in coordinating a competition of their own. [Original postdate: April 17, 2014]

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C&B 23 - Gold Medals

189 thoughts on “Home

  1. frozen midwestern brother

    If you are interested in home brewers that overcome small city spaces to brew their own…..check out CHAOS home brew club in Chicago. We have all banded together to rent a warehouse space where we have burners, temp control, and barrel projects. It is non profit and volunteer run. We would love for you to stop by and check us out next time you are in the windy city.

    Reply
  2. Lewis

    Hay Chip, love your videos. I live in the UK and have been following you since brew tv, that’s what got me started. You Americans are leading the way in homebrewing. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  3. alan

    i’m rethinking my homebrew philosophy after watching this episode. i have not made a habit of repeating beers that i have brewed in the past, even when they were great. i can always pick out one or two problems that i would like to change about most of the beer i have made. i always try to make the correction(s) with the next beer, which is usually 180′ different from the last. especially now that i have upgraded my equipment, i need to focus on a few recipes and dial in my procedure. i’ve been brewing for five years and still, every session is a learning experience. thanks mino and thanks chip!

    Reply
  4. Dave

    Funny that BTV21 and C&B21 are both mead episodes. I like how you added a cameo from the lovely mrs. Chip in the mirror to put this one over the edge!

    Reply
  5. Matthew

    Alan,
    Not saying that it is not a good idea to dial in your process but brewing the same recipes is painfully boring. In my opinion that is best left to the pro’s. Instead, it is better to work on your fermentation process. Making sure that you are pitching the correct amount of yeast and providing it with O2, nutrients, AND controlling the ferment temp. is far more important than anything else in the process. Investing in a Ranco controller with a fridge/heat wrap is what has taken my beers from okay to award winning. I could see doing a number of batches with one or two yeasts but doing the same recipe over and over sucks. We’re homebrewers after all…

    Reply
  6. Gkhodge

    Very impressive. I am entering my first homebrew contest and feel overwhelmed , but this dude has the Charlie P RDWHAHB mantra down cold. Dude! I know my buddies love my brews, so I am not too worried , but then again…what if some steward shakes it up and yeasts up my Helles? Who cares, right?

    Reply
    1. absentmindedbrewer

      Don’t get intimidated by contests. I entered my first competition with the fifth beer I ever brewed and pulled a first place in English pale ales. On the other hand, I’ve entered a couple competitions with my smoked porter (my favorite recipe that I wouldn’t change a thing about) and have never placed with it. You have the right idea – just relax and see what happens. Sometimes you’ll be surprised and one will land home. But even if you don’t, its a great engine for feed back. I find myself entering styles that are new to me pretty often, knowing I probably won’t place but the comments can be great. I always think it’s a good idea for new brewers especiallybto enter even if they’re not competitive. If you get a knowledgeable judge, the comments can be better than any medal or ribbon.

      Reply
  7. darkbroodbrews

    Yet another great episode, Chip and crew! A tiny bit of shameless self-promotion here: I just started a new beer and food blog of my own, also covering the BJCP and Cicerone exams, that is kicking off with daily updates of my current internship as an assistant brewer for a local brewpub! All this goodness is at Brews & Stews: http://brewsandstews.wordpress.com

    Reply
  8. absentmindedbrewer

    Don’t get intimidated by contests. I entered my first competition with the fifth beer I ever brewed and pulled a first place in English pale ales. On the other hand, I’ve entered a couple competitions with my smoked porter (my favorite recipe that I wouldn’t change a thing about) and have never placed with it. You have the right idea – just relax and see what happens. Sometimes you’ll be surprised and one will land home. But even if you don’t, its a great engine for feed back. I find myself entering styles that are new to me pretty often, knowing I probably won’t place but the comments can be great. I always think it’s a good idea for new brewers especiallybto enter even if they’re not competitive. If you get a knowledgeable judge, the comments can be better than any medal or ribbon.

    Reply
  9. WalleyeGuy

    Hey Chip, Can you give us more details on shaking the bucket during the fermentation of a cider/mead? Is this just during primary? It makes sense that you can’t aerate when the must is in a CO2 atmosphere – who would have thought? I just bottled my first cyser a few weeks ago. I had it in secondary for like 6 months to degas. Tastes great, but man that was a long wait! Keep up the great episodes!

    Reply
    1. absentmindedbrewer

      WalleyeGuy, I believe Mino was talking about during the first few days of primary. At this point, particularly for mead, the shaking (or using a degassing wand hooked up to a drill, like a lot of people do – check out the BrewingTV episodes on Mead with Curt Stock, and a later episode on making wine) drives off the CO2 making for a quicker, healthier fermentation (which can lead to a quicker turn around), and it helps mix up any nutrient additions you’re adding during the first few days (Mino briefly mentions his staggered nutrient technique in this video, but you can check out Episode 21 of BTV for Curt Stock’s method also, including a written form of a few of his recipes detailing his method). Once active fermentation slows down and you have already driven off most of the CO2, you probably want to avoid vigorous shaking or stirring, as you’ll be mixing in more O2 which the yeast won’t use and drive off at this point (which will lead to off-flavors). The general school of thought between agitating the must and staggered nutrient additions, is that your mead will be tasty in a few months rather than a few years. I’m not a huge expert when it comes to mead and cider, but that is pretty much my understanding from the few batches I have done of each, and from the excessive amounts of brewing videos I watch online :-) Hope this helps!

      Reply
  10. Joseph

    Chip,
    Thanks so much for posting this video! Really good to get an hours worth of solid footage from one of the great brewers in today’s craft beer scene. Keep up the good work and making such good and informative videos!

    Joseph

    Reply
  11. cory odell

    I want to say I just started watching chop and brew and I like it a lot. I started becoming a fan of yours back when you were doing the videos for brewing tv which just this year I watch all the episodes and was a little disappoints that there was no more to watch when I got to the last one. then I stumbled on to your new video show. all though different from brewing tv it had your feel to it and cooking part I like because I like trying something different. I started getting my equipment to start brewing some beer I’ve wanting trying brewing for a while now. now I can. I look forward to watch more of chop and brew. chop for chop, brew for brew!

    Reply

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