For Pilothouse Brew Crew members only
(see Memberships section for more information on becoming a member)
Competitive Brewing involves three rounds of brewing in each Brewing Competition Cycle, the Pilot Round, the Pico Round, and the Nano Round, with the following rewards for each round.
Also, as a winning semi-finalist and/or finalist, you may receive select prizes from our suppliers, which include BSG, Brewcraft USA, Five Star, LD Carlson, Muntons, Root Shoot Malting, and Inland Island Yeast Laboratories just to name a few.
Competitively Brewing with Us
Each of our Brewing Competition Cycles start with the Pilot Round on our 50L (13.2 gallon) Speidel Braumeister Plus brewing systems. These pilot systems are fully automated and even equipped with Wi-Fi, so you can monitor your Braumeister on your phone or tablet (mobile device) from anywhere in our brewery, even from our taproom where you can hang out with your friends and family while your Braumeister brews your beer.
Before your brew day, we will send you our Simplified Braumeister and related brewing equipment operating instructions that you must acknowledge that you have read before your scheduled brew day with us. Our friendly staff will be right there with you during your brew day to answer any questions you may have as well as help you along the way, so you have nothing to worry about… we have you covered.
When you arrive the morning of your scheduled brew day, you will find that your Braumeister is all ready to go. We fill your Braumeister with filtered water and program it based on your recipe. We will also gather, package, and label your ingredients for you. We will even crush your grains for you in our German-made Sommer grain crusher before packaging them. As such, all you have to do to get underway is add your brewing salts (if any) to your brewing water before you start your Braumeister’s programmed recipe cycle and mash in as directed by your Braumeister. Mashing will take between two to three hours depending on your mash schedule. Your Braumeister, however, will handle everything for you. Please note that high alcohol/gravity beers may require a second mash with the same wort that will add another 1 ½ hours to your brew day with us. After your Braumeister finishes mashing, you will need to rinse (lauter) your mashed grains using hot water from our on-demand water heaters before removing them and starting your boil (we donate your spent grains along with those of your fellow brewers to local-area farmers for use in feeding their livestock). Lautering typically takes a ½ hour. During the subsequent boil, your Braumeister will alert you when it is time to add hops and other ingredients according to your recipe. The boil takes 1 ½ hours. After the boil, it’s time to whirlpool and chill your unfermented beer (wort) before transferring it into one of our jacketed, temperature-controlled fermentors, and adding (pitching) your yeast. This process typically takes another ½ hour to complete. At this point, you have completed your brew day with us. Cheers! Now go and celebrate by enjoying a cold beer in our taproom. We take care of the rest, including the cleanup and any subsequently scheduled dry hopping as well as the transfer(s) from your primary fermentor to a second fermentor or brite tank for secondary fermentation if your recipe calls for that, i.e., your recipe includes the addition of beer flavorings, spices, sugars, etc., and/or to a serving vessel for carbonation.
When your beer is ready to be served in our taproom along with the beers of the other brewers you are competing against, the actual judging will begin. Judging consists of a simple measure, your beer’s sales divided by its time on tap relative to the beers of the other brewers you are competing against. In this way, your beer is truly judged by the demand of the general public.