Here are some questions we received about the event. If you have any to add, please contact Lou at info@keystonehomebrew.com. For general info about the event click here.

How many clubs will be brewing?

We generally have at least 10 participating clubs. If the number hits 15, then the grand prize doubles!

Are the barrels relatively fresh when you get them?

Yes! We are offering freshly emptied red wine barrels for 2015. We do have tequila barrels available for clubs that would prefer one of those, but we can’t guarantee that the tequila barrels won’t leak.

What if It Rains?

Brewing will take place in the expansive parking lot behind our Montgomeryville store. In the event of major weather problems, we can relocate indoors. We will have limited space available under tents, but you may want to arrange for your own protection from the elements.

When can we start setting up?

We’ll have someone at the store by 8:00am to ensure you have access to water, electricity, bathrooms, last minute supplies from the store, etc.

Do we need to use our barrel for primary fermentation, or can we ferment in a separate vessel and then transfer into the barrel for aging?

We have often transferred wort directly into barrels for a one-month primary fermentation, with favorable results. Your club is more than welcome to bring a separate primary fermentor, and to transfer into the barrel at your discretion. (If you want to purchase a primary fermentor from Keystone Homebrew, please let us know in advance.) In either case, the beer must remain here on our premises throughout the process.

How will the beer Be Stored?

The beer will remain here at Keystone Homebrew Supply during fermentation and through the barrel aging process. The room temperature is not tightly controlled, but it’s typically in the low 70s.

Is there any limit to how long the beer can be stored in the barrels?

No – except it will need to be emptied in time for the judging (TBD, most likely April 2016).

Will we have access to our barrel during the aging period to top up or add ingredients?

Absolutely! You will have unlimited access to your barrel (during store hours, of course) and you can add anything you’d like, such as hops, fruit, honey, spices, Brett, etc. Give us a list of approved names in advance if you would like us to control unauthorized access.

What is the protocol after the barrel ageing is complete? Is the club responsible for emptying the barrel and bringing the beer to the National Homebrewers Conference?

Yes. Your club will determine how long you want your beer to age in the barrel, and you should plan to return to empty it at that time. You will then leave with both the beer and the empty barrel, reserving some of the beer to take with you to the NHC.

How much beer do we need to submit to Keystone Homebrew Supply for the judging Event?

5 gallons.

Do you have any data on your water source?

Water will be available from our well. Here are the results:

pH = 7.7
Total Hardness = 290ppm
Calcium = 160ppm
Magnesium = 130ppm
Total Alkalinity = 240ppm (as CaCO3)
Sulfate = less than 20ppm
Chlorine = 0ppm

We also offer both spring water and distilled water for sale at our Montgomeryville store, in 1 gallon and 5 gallon quantities.

Do we need to buy our Ingredients for the beer from Keystone Homebrew Supply?

This event is a significant undertaking for Keystone Homebrew Supply. We are supplying barrels for all of the participating clubs to use and we will be dedicating a lot of resources to prepare for and manage the event – not to mention a prize worth up to $1,000! We would appreciate it if you would purchase your supplies from us to the extent that you can, but it is not a strict requirement.

Will Keystone be able to grind grains for all of the Clubs?

Sure – just submit your order at least 2 days in advance. We can either mill your grains just before the event, so it’s ready for you that morning, or if you would prefer to have it in advance we can have it ready for pick-up on any other day that you choose.

Get all the details about the Keystone Barrel Brew Club Championship here.