Yards “The Karma Factor” Homebrew Contest

On February 12th, City Tap House hosted a homebrew contest run by Yards Brewing entitled “The Karma Factor”. The contest¬† was a clone contest to see who could clone one of Yards Year-round beers the closest, we chose to clone Yards IPA.


First we start off with our recipe

14.5lbs. 2-row Marris Otter

.5lbs. crystal/caramel 60L

1oz. Nugget @60min.

1oz. Amarillo @25min.

1oz. Amarillo @10min.

.5oz. Amarillo @3min.

1oz. Amarillo @1min.

1oz. Amarillo (dry hop 5 days)

1oz. Chinook (dry hop 5 days)

White Lab WLP002 English Ale Yeast (1500ml starter)

Mashed @150F for 60 min.

O.G. 1.070

F.G. 1.015

60 IBUs


Next we heat up the strike water for mashing. We wanted to be around 160F for the strike temp.

Preheating the mash tun so we don’t have as much heat loss when pouring in the strike water.

Strike water exactly where we want it, now it’s time to add the malt.

Pouring in the first bag of malt, we wanted to make this a group effort.

The second bag of malt going in, don’t worry about him he’s just a little excited from sniffing hop pellets.

The last bag of malt going into the mash.

Now we must stir the mash thoroughly to make sure there are no clumps(dough balls) and so all of the malt gets soaked so we get a full conversion of starches to sugars.

Looks like we hit our mash temp dead on. Now we wait for about an hour and let the malt do its thing.

After the hour we extracted our first runnings, the efficiency will be determined on how quickly/slowly the wort is removed from the mash. Patience is key in this step.

Here is our refractometer measurement of the first runnings, it caculates in brix% which can easily be converted to gravity or plato. Very handy device. It’s hard to tell from this pictured, but it read 20.4 which equates to 1.082. Which is good for our first runnings.

After we sparged we ended up with our total volume of about 7 gallons. We put it back on the heat, and boil for an hour adding the hops according to the hop schedule. As you can see a nice layer of hot break is forming on the top of the wort.

After we’re done the boil we immediately started cooling the wort, the quicker the better.

After we got the wort down to pitching temperatures its time to pitch our yeast. We pitched at about 75F, i usually like to pitch a little warmer than the ferment temperature to get the yeast going.

Here is whats left of the yeast starter, very little liquid and the yeast. I let it warm up so the yeast mixes with the little bit of liquid to create a pitchable slurry. If you want to make yeast starters i have a how to in the DIY section, or click here.

Before pitching the yeast you have to make sure you sanitize anything that may come in to contact with the yeast when pouring. Obviously the inside of the fermenter should already be sanitized, but you may want to spray the lip of the fermenter as well as the lip of the flask with sanitizer so that when pouring if the yeast may come into contact with the lip it will be ok.

It only took about 3 hours before we got our first bubbles in the airlock, and when i woke up the next morning we had a nice krausen and a ton of airlock activity. There is a video of the active fermentation in the videos section, or click here

After two weeks in the primary @ 68F it was time to dry hop. Pouring the hop pellets into a hop bag to make it easier to transfer later on without getting hop debris in the keg.

After the hops are in the hop bag we racked the beer into a secondary vessel. The beer will sit in here for 5 days with the hops.

As you can see the beer is fairly clear once it goes into the secondary, the secondary is a great way to get the beer off of the yeast and clarify your beer also great for dry hopping.

After about a week or so in the keg poured the first glass. It looks pretty close by comparison visually.

The day of the contest. We were very excited going into the contest, the beer came out very well.

The yards crew at the tasting tables

Alas, we did not win but it was a good time and we got some great feedback on the beers. We’ll definitely be doing some more contests in the upcoming months, keep an eye out.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *