Well, it's that time of year folks. The National Homebrew Competition is just around the corner, the perfect time to start thinking about brewing those recipes that depend on freshness for maximum quality. I myself am brewing eight beers for the NHC, one of which (Old Ale) has already been brewed. The rest are fairly to highly dependent on freshness for success. They are:
American Pale Ale
American Amber Ale
American Brown Ale
With the NHC first round in late March and early April it's about time get to brewing. The stout and wiezenbock will be up first as I feel they will benefit from that little extra conditioning period prior to the competition. The rest will be brewed sometime in mid to late February to give the beer ample opportunity to condition properly but still be at their respective peaks of freshness for the competition.
This will be my first NHC so I would love to hear any tips from you veterans or just hear what you're brewing, veteran or not. Good luck to everyone who's entering the competition and I hope to see you at the second round because I plan on going whether any of my beers advance or not.If you want to take your brewing to the next level and maximize your chances of medaling in the NHC, take Gordon Strong's advice which can be found in his new book Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers