Since I don't have anymore of that batch of pale ale around I'll be brewing more to send to nationals. The batch I sent in was brewed at the end of January and was mostly a prop batch for what was an upcoming Imperial Coffee Stout. I didn't even blog about it in between a Schwarzbier and a Rye'd Pale ale. I did try new hopping technique which is a combination of hop additions that I've found work well. Basically I 'first wort' hopped during run off. Which is the practice of adding hops to your wort which weaves together a unmatched hop flavor (first wort technical reading). I then added just enough bittering hops to balance and didn't add another hop addition the rest of boil. With my theory being, "if I'm going to dry hop the beer, why not just move late kettle additions to dry hops as well." So I added the ounce of what would have been my zero minute hop addition and added them on day 2 of fermentation. After fermentation I racked to 2nd and dry hopped a second time the way I do normally. It was then bottled in the middle of February and two months later at the end of April a couple of BJCP judges enjoyed it. My friends and I couldn't wait that long, we enjoyed the whole batch much sooner.
Now that I'm brewing up a couple batches that will be in bottle a little over two weeks instead of two months before they are judged I'm wondering if I should try and reverse engineer the hop levels to what they may have been after two months in bottles. As many hop heads know, hops are best fresh, and that hop flavor fades and fades fast. I'm probably over thinking it, but I'm going to brew one batch exactly the same and the other with a 10-15% decrease to the overall hop bill and then decide later which to send to nationals.