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Award-Winning Homebrew Recipes

In this recipe compilation, we present contest-winning brews from events all over the United States. Featured here are Virg Redman’s traditional bock, winner at the California State Fair, Drunk Monk Challenge (Ann Arbor, MI) winners Bob and Kim Barrett for their German Pilsner, Alastair Hewitt’s mild, winner of the Boston Homebrew Competition, Maltose Falcons’ Mayfaire Competition (Southern California) winner Mike Mraz for his extra pale ale, and Scott DeWalt winner of Dixie Cup (Houston, TX) with his Flanders Red-style wood-aged beer and his maibock, winner at the Alamo City Cerveza Fest in San Antonio.

Looking at this sampling, it’s clear that any beer in any style can become the best of show winner. There is no right or wrong beer, only the one that happens to stand out at any given moment.

Case in point, Hewitt’s Hop Crisis Mild. “I was surprised it stood up to the other beers on the BOS table though,” he says. “I thought something as wimpy as a mild would not stand a chance.”

All of these winning brewers enter numerous competitions each year and continually fine-tune their recipes. At this level, homebrewing is something of a passion. But, if nothing else, the competitions provide feedback and insight that can be used in creating a future award winner — or at the very least, a fine beverage to consume with friends. So, enjoy the recipes, learn from these brewers and we’ll see you in the winner’s circle!

Bob and Kim Barrett, Winners of the Drunk Monk Challenge, Ann Arbor, Michigan

“We try to find competitions that have a grand prize of brewing your beer at a local brewpub. Ribbons and medals are nice, but there’s just something about watching your recipe get ramped up to six or 20 barrels and then helping with the brew on brew day, then climbing into the brew kettle at the end of the day and scrubbing it down that gives you just a really great feeling.”

BK Pils

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.046 FG = 1.011
IBU = 33 SRM = 4 ABV = 4.4%

Ingredients
9.5 lbs. (4.3 kg) Durst Pilsner malt
2.2 AAU New Zealand Hallertauer hops (first wort hops) (0.25 oz./7.1 g of 8.6% alpha acids)
6.5 AAU New Zealand Hallertauer hops (60 mins) (0.75 oz./21 g of 8.6% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) New Zealand Hallertauer hops (0 mins)
White Labs WLP830 (German Lager) yeast (2 qt./2 L starter)

Step by Step
Mash at 151 °F (66 °C) for 35 minutes. Mash at 156 °F (69 °C) for 25 minutes and 168 °F (76 °C) for 10 minutes. The last step is a mash done via decoction; pull one-third of mash and boil it for 10 minutes. Boil wort 70 mins. Cool to 56 °F
(13 °C) with immersion chiller, place carboy in 50 °F (10 °C) fridge for a few hours, then pitch yeast. Ferment at
50 °F (10 °C) for 2 weeks. Diacetyl rest at 65 °F (18 °C) for two days. Lager for 4 weeks at 34 °F (1.1 °C).

BK Pils

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.046 FG = 1.012
IBU = 33 SRM = 5 ABV = 4.5%

Ingredients
2.0 lbs. (4.3 kg) Durst Pilsner malt
1 lb. 2 oz. light dried malt extract
4.0 lbs. Pilsner malt extract (such as Weyermann’s) (late addition)
2.2 AAU New Zealand Hallertauer hops (first wort hops) (0.25 oz./7.1 g of 8.6% alpha acids)
6.5 AAU New Zealand Hallertauer hops (60 mins) (0.75 oz./21 g of 8.6% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) New Zealand Hallertauer hops (0 mins)
White Labs WLP830 (German Lager) yeast (2 qt./2 L starter)

Step by Step
Steep crushed grains at 151 °F (66 °C) for 35 minutes in 3.0 qts (2.8 L0 of water. Heat steeping water to 156 °F (68 °C) and hold for 25 minutes, then heat water to 168 °F (76 °C). In your brewpot, combine liquid from steep with dried malt extract and water to make 3 gallons (11 L) and bring to a boil. Add first wort hops as liquid approaches a boil. Boil for 60 minutes, adding remaining hops at times indicated and liquid malt extract for final 15 minutes of the boil. Cool wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up, aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 50 °F (10 °C) for 2 weeks. Diacetyl rest for 2 days at 65 °F (18 °C). Lager for 4 weeks at 34 °F (1.1 °C).

Mike Mraz, Winner of Maltose Falcons Mayfaire Competition, California

“Some of the beers I brewed this year were just for a single competition, (but) most of the time I have my regular beers that I brew and have on tap.”

Three Blind Mice Pale Ale

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.049 FG = 1.010
IBU = 37 SRM = 4.5 ABV = 5.0%

Ingredients
9.5 lbs. (4.3 kg) 2-row pale malt
0.25 lbs. (0.11 kg) CaraPils®
0.25 lbs. (0.11 kg) wheat malt
0.25 lbs. (0.11 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
5.25 AAU Chinook hops (60 mins) (0.44 oz./12 g of alpha acids)
3 AAU Cascade hops (30 mins) (0.6 oz./17 g of 5% alpha acids)
3 AAU Cascade hops (15 mins) (0.6 oz./17 g of 5% alpha acids)
0.50 oz. (14 g) Amarillo hops (0 mins)
0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Simcoe hops (0 mins)
0.50 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hops)
0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Centennial hops (dry hops)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast

Step by Step
Use 1.2 qts/lb. mash thickness. Mash at 152 °F (67 °C) for 60 minutes, then 168 °F (76 °C) for 10 minutes. Ferment starting at 64 °F (18 °C) and let rise to 68 °F (20 °C). Dry hop for 4 weeks.

Three Blind Mice Pale Ale

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.049 FG = 1.011
IBU = 37 SRM = 4.5 ABV = 4.9%

Ingredients
1.25 lbs. (0.57 kg) 2-row pale malt
0.25 lbs. (0.11 kg) CaraPils®
0.25 lbs. (0.11 kg) wheat malt
0.25 lbs. (0.11 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) light dried malt extract
4.0 lbs. (1.8 kg) light liquid malt extract (late addition)
5.25 AAU Chinook hops (60 mins) (0.44 oz./12 g of alpha acids)
3 AAU Cascade hops (30 mins) (0.6 oz./17 g of 5% alpha acids)
3 AAU Cascade hops (15 mins) (0.6 oz./17 g of 5% alpha acids)
0.50 oz. (14 g) Amarillo hops (0 mins)
0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Simcoe hops (0 mins)
0.50 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hops)
0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Centennial hops (dry hops)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast

Step by Step
Steep crushed malt at 152 °F (67 °C) in 3.0 qts. (2.8 L) of water. Steep for 45 minutes. In brewpot, combine liquid from steep, dried malt extract and water to make 3.0 gallons (11 L). Bring to a boil and boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at times indicated and liquid malt extract for final 15 minutes of the boil. Cool wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up to 5 gallons (19 L), aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment starting at 64 °F (18 °C) and let rise to 68 °F (20 °C). Dry hop for 4 weeks.

Virg Redman, Winner of California State Fair Homebrew Competition

“It’s more a labor of love for me. I pay just enough attention to detail to ensure I am brewing what I started out to brew, but if I am not having fun and enjoying myself it ceases to be a hobby. … That’s why I have started to brew more for my taste now instead of being a slave to the style guidelines.”

Traditional Bock

(5 gallons/19 L, partial mash)
OG = 1.090 FG = 1.030
IBU = 24 SRM = 17 ABV = 8.8%

Ingredients
3 lbs. 4 oz. (1.5 kg) light liquid malt extract
7.0 lbs. (3.2 kg) Munich malt
4.5 lbs. (2.0 kg) German Pilsner malt
2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg) Vienna malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) honey malt
0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
4.0 oz. (0.11 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
2.0 oz. (57 g) crystal malt (120 °L)
4 AAU Hallertauer Hersbrucker hops (60 min) (1.0 oz./28 g of 4% alpha acids)
4.8 AAU Hallertauer hops (30 min) (1.0 oz./28 g of 4.8% alpha acids)
1 Whirlfloc tablet (20 min)
White Labs WLP833 (German Bock Lager) yeast
Safale S-23 dried yeast

Step by Step
Mash temperature was 154 °F (68 °C). Used fly sparge method. Boil time was 60 minutes. Pitched both yeast strains (no starter). Primary ferment for 3 weeks at 52 °F (11 °C). Lager for 3 weeks at 38 °F (3.3 °C). Carbonate to 2.4 volumes CO2.

Traditional Bock

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.090 FG = 1.030
IBU = 24 SRM = 17 ABV = 8.8%

Ingredients
7.0 lbs. (3.2 kg) Munich malt
8.0 lbs. (3.6 kg) German Pilsner malt
2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg) Vienna malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) honey malt
0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
4.0 oz. (0.11 kg) crystal malt (40 °L)
2.0 oz. (57 g) crystal malt (120 °L)
4 AAU Hallertauer Hersbrucker hops (60 min) (1.0 oz./28 g of 4% alpha acids)
4.8 AAU Hallertauer hops (30 min) (1.0 oz./28 g of 4.8% alpha acids)
1 Whirlfloc tablet (20 min)
White Labs WLP833 (German Bock Lager) yeast
Safale S-23 dried yeast

Step by Step
Mash temperature was 154 °F (68 °C). Used fly sparge method. Collect about 8 gallons (30 L) and boil until volume is reduced to 5 gallons (19 L) . Primary ferment for 3 weeks at 52 °F (11 °C). Lager for 3 weeks at 38 °F (3.3 °C). Carbonate to 2.4 volumes CO2.

Alastair Hewitt, Winner of Boston Homebrew Competition in Boston, Massachusetts

“I enjoy the challenge and the creative side of developing new recipes. Since there are so many different ways something can turn out, I am always surprised. There are many ways to make improvements and this also keeps it interesting.”

Hop Crisis Mild

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.038 FG = 1.012
IBU = 14 SRM = 18 ABV = 3.5%

Ingredients
5.8 lbs. (2.6 kg) British 2-row malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) British crystal malt (145–165 °L) (Simpson’s Extra Dark Crystal)
5 oz. (140 mL) Lyle’s Black Treacle
3.1 AAU East Kent Golding whole hops (90 mins) (0.63 oz./18 g of 5% alpha acids)
0.21 oz. East Kent Goldings whole hops (15 mins)
Wyeast 1318 (London Ale III) yeast

Step by Step
Single step mash in 2.1 gallons (7.9 L) at 154 °F (68 °C) for 75 minutes. Sparge with 3.3 gallons (13 L) and then top up to 6.7 gallons (25 L). (Don’t over-sparge, lower efficiency is better for this.) 90 minute boil, cool and collect 5 gallons (19 L). Pitch yeast and ferment 68 °F (20 °C). I did about 10 days in primary and racked straight to keg.

Hop Crisis Mild

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.038 FG = 1.012
IBU = 14 SRM = 18 ABV = 3.5%

Ingredients
1.0 lbs. (0.45 kg) British 2-row malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) British crystal malt (145–165 °L) (Simpson’s Extra Dark Crystal)
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) light dried malt extract
2 lb. 10 oz. light liquid malt extract (late addition)
5 oz. (140 mL) Lyle’s Black Treacle
3.1 AAU East Kent Golding whole hops (90 mins) (0.63 oz./18 g of 5% alpha acids)
0.21 oz. East Kent Goldings whole hops (15 mins)
Wyeast 1318 (London Ale III) yeast

Step by Step
Steep crushed malt at 154 °F (68 °C) in 3.0 qts. (2.8 L) of water for 45 minutes. In brewpot, combine liquid from steep, dried malt extract and water to make 3.0 gallons (11 L). Bring to a boil and boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at times indicated. Add liquid malt extract and treacle for final 15 minutes of the boil. Cool wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up to 5 gallons (19 L), aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 °F (20 °C).

Scott L DeWalt, Winner of the Dixie Cup Homebrew Competition, Houston, Texas

“What I’ve found is the base beer, as long as it is close in color and relatively non-descript in flavor, does not have the impact the yeast, bacteria and barrel have.”

TexanBrew Flanders

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.052 IBU = 0 SRM = 16

Ingredients
6 lb. 14 oz. (3.1 kg) 2-row pale malt
2.0 lbs. (0.91 kg) Munich malt
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg) wheat malt
0.3 lbs. (0.14 kg) Special B malt
2.0 oz. (57 g) debittered hops (60 mins)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast
Wyeast 3763 (Roselare Blend)

Step by Step
Mash at 157 °F (69 °C) for 60 minutes. Boil for 60 minutes. Pitch WLP001 and ferment at 65 °F (18 °C) through completion. Wyeast Roselare blend (seasonal strain) is put in the barrel with the finished beer. The beer is aged in the barrel for at least one year; mine is going on 2.5.

TexanBrew Flanders

(5 gallons/19 L, partial mash)
OG = 1.052 IBU = 0 SRM = 16

Ingredients
1.7 lbs. (0.77 kg) Munich malt
1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg) wheat malt
0.3 lbs. (0.14 kg) Special B malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) light dried malt extract
4.0 lbs. (1.8 kg) light liquid malt extract (late addition)
2.0 oz. (57 g) debittered hops (60 mins)
White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) yeast
Wyeast 3763 (Roselare Blend)

Step by Step
Partial mash malts at 157 °F (69 °C) in 5.5 qts. (5.2 L) of water. Mash for 45 minutes. In brewpot, combine wort from mash, dried malt extract and water to make 3.0 gallons (11 L). Bring to a boil and boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at times indicated and liquid malt extract for final 15 minutes of the boil. Cool wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up to 5 gallons (19 L), aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 65 °F (18 °C) with ale yeast. Add Roselare blend to beer in secondary (preferably in a barrel).

Scott L DeWalt, Winner of the Alamo City Cerveza Fest, San Antonio, Texas

“It is so hard to keep from draining the kegs before (this maibock) has had time to fully mature. The young beer is quite tasty; however, time and patience, though terrible rewards themselves, do pay off.”

TexanBrew Maibock

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.073 IBU = 24 SRM = 24

Ingredients
8.0 lbs. (3.6 kg) Pilsner malt
3.75 lbs. (1.7 kg) Vienna malt
2.0 lbs. (0.91 kg) Munich malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) aromatic malt
0.5 lbs. (0.23 kg) CaraPils® malt
4 AAU Hallertauer hops (60 mins) (1.0 oz./28 kg of 45 alpha acids)
5.3 AAU Perle hops (30 mins) (0.75 oz./21 g of 7% alpha acids)
White Labs WLP833 (German Bock Lager) yeast

Step by Step
Mash at 154 °F (68 °C) for 90 minutes. Boil for 90 minutes. Ferment four weeks at 50 °F (10 °C). No diacetyl rest.

Notes on Recipes
All recipes were scaled to 5 gallons (19 L), when necessary. (Half of these recipes were originally brewed at a 10-gallon/ 38-L scale.) Likewise, when necessary, recipes were altered to match BYO standard assumptions for extract efficiency (we assume 65%) and hop utilization (the curve passes through 25% utilization at 60 minutes boil time). If needed, the amounts of pale malt or bittering hops were changed. (In most cases, changes were minor.) The amounts of specialty malts, sugars and late addition hops were not changed.

Where possible, BYO has supplied a conversion to an extract, partial mash or all-grain equivalent recipe. In each pair of recipes, the first is the beer as originally brewed and the second is the converted recipe. BYO would also like to thank all the brewers for sharing their award-winning recipes!