Oliver Ales is once again hosting its annual Clone Wars Homebrew Competition.  This year, contestants are tasked with recreating Dark Horse, a dark mild ale with an OG of 1.040 and 4% abv.

All samples must be submitted by April 1st at Pratt Street Ale House, Maryland Homebrew, or Meridian Pint. The judging (date TBD) will be by a panel blind tasting consisting of the Meridian Pint’s Sam Fitz and Tim Prendergast and Oliver’s Steve Jones and Derek Davis.

The winner will receive a $50 gift voucher to either Pratt St Ale House or Meridian Pint (winner’s choice) purchased by the brewery, a tap handle award and, of course, bragging rights. The winner will also be invited to participate in a Dark Horse brew day and get a sixtel/pin of the brew. The runner-up will receive a $25 gift certificate and a growler fill of Dark Horse ale. As with last year, there will be a happy hour at the Ale House where participants can gather, try the beer, ask questions, etc.

Here are the specs for the Dark Horse:

83% Pale Malt (of which 55% is Thomas Fawcett’s Halcyon, 45% Canada Malting’s Pale Ale Malt)
4.5% Crystal 45 (Thos. Fawcett)
4% Chocolate malt (Hugh Baird)
8.5% malted wheat (Thos. Fawcett)


Liquor/mash treatment
0.0378 oz gypsum/lb grist (added to mash)
0.0052oz Calcium chloride/gallon total liquor (mash + sparge)

Boil start 4.3 oz/bbl UK Fuggles (4.3% alpha).
At 40 minutes into boil, 2.3 oz/bbl Kent Goldings (5% alpha) (based on 7bbls in brew kettle).
1 hour boil. kettle finings added 5 minutes prior to flame out.
45 minute stand.
Wort is transferred through a hop back containing 4.6oz/bbl whole leaf Kent Goldings (steeped in hot liquor) prior to cooling in plate heat exchanger.
Collection temperature 70F.

Max fermentation temperature 76F with Ringwood yeast in open fermentation.
Aeration by manual rousing at gravities above 1.020 only. Below this gravity the brew may be “under roused” i.e. stirred without folding air into the brew. Crash cool 1.010-1.011 for final gravity of 1.009.
Fermentation usually over 3 days.
Crash cooled and held in FV for further 4 days.
Clarified by fining.