Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: SiameseMoose on April 10, 2010, 08:07:14 PM

Title: My problem judging first round
Post by: SiameseMoose on April 10, 2010, 08:07:14 PM
First round always comes in the middle of peak allergy season, and it's the worst time of year for me to be judging. Note that this is not a complaint about when or how the competition is run, it's my personal lament that my tasting skills are at their worst. It bothers me that, in this most prestigious competition, I can't do my best job. I still give it my best effort, but my senses are clearly compromised. In addition, for this competition I don't think many people enter just to get feedback - they enter their best beers looking to place. That means there are a lot of very high quality beers, and I don't get to enjoy them as much as I'd like.  :'( For personal consumption this month I tend to stick with strong flavors that cut through my haze, like an IPA or a Flanders Red.

Oh well, if you want to sneak a diacetyl bomb past me, do it now ;D
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: denny on April 10, 2010, 08:11:54 PM
Maybe this isn't the place to ask this, but I'm assuming you still feel like you can judge the beers accurately?  I've bowed out of judging when I had a cold because I felt it wouldn't be fair to the entrants.
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: SiameseMoose on April 10, 2010, 09:41:56 PM
I'm sure that I'm still fair, and I feel fairly certain that the order I place beers in would not be different compared to other times of the year. Besides, I'm not the only one in this part of the country with this problem. If you eliminated all of the judges having bad sinus issues this time of year, you'd eliminate half the potential pool. I don't know if you've ever lived in the Midwest, but the tree pollen levels in April are astronomical, and the numbers this year are among the highest ever measured. There are areas where the oak pollen gathers in clumps, totally covering the sidewalk an inch or more deep. It looks somewhat similar to high krausen on a dark beer.
Besides, I'm pretty sure at least one of my flights next weekend is IPA. :)
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: MDixon on April 10, 2010, 10:16:55 PM
I seem to have hit on a magical OTC one-two punch for mine. I take loretadine (sp) everyday so I have lately added in Sudafed (without the regulated stuff) and it keeps me tame even on the harshest of pollen days. Lucked upon the combo this week when I was down for the count with an allergy migrane on Tuesday. Judged this morning without even a sniffle. Better living through chemicals  ;)
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: SiameseMoose on April 11, 2010, 01:44:10 AM
Sudafed puts me to sleep, quick. More effective than any sleeping pill. I'm currently taking Flonase and Zyrtec (and Zyrtec only at bedtime). Before the Flonase, I was hopeless. I had given up on the possibility of taking the BJCP exam, but starting Flonase was a life changing experience. Judging is one thing, but the increase in taste perception was exhilarating. I'm lucky I didn't end up gaining 20 pounds, everything tasted so much better.
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: Janis on April 19, 2010, 08:30:14 PM
I seem to have hit on a magical OTC one-two punch for mine. I take loretadine (sp) everyday so I have lately added in Sudafed (without the regulated stuff) and it keeps me tame even on the harshest of pollen days. Lucked upon the combo this week when I was down for the count with an allergy migrane on Tuesday. Judged this morning without even a sniffle. Better living through chemicals  ;)

Hi Mike,
Even better is to use the homeopathic remedies that are out now.  Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, etc. should have them.  I've used the tinctures with great success.  I am also getting acupuncture treatments for my allergies.  This is my best year since I was 17, and I highly recommend this treatment!

Cheers,
   Janis
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: denny on April 19, 2010, 08:35:16 PM
Janis, the only problem with acupuncture is that when you drink a beer, it all runs out!   ;D
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: bob on April 20, 2010, 12:02:43 AM
Moving to the midwest from California was a downer in the spring and fall because of pollen and molds, until I talked to an allergist. Then I was on Flonase, and switched when Claritin went OTC and generic. Loratadine has helped me a lot. Keeps it under control. When I was on Flonase, my tasting was off some. Loratadine is cheap at Sam's Club too. I rarely need more than a Netty Pot rinse and a hot shower.
 
Haven't tried accupuncture or homeopathic remedies.
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: babalu87 on April 20, 2010, 02:23:47 AM
Janis, the only problem with acupuncture is that when you drink a beer, it all runs out!   ;D

You didnt add enough dry hops  ;D
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: bo_gator on April 23, 2010, 02:01:33 AM
For the record this past weekend I judged the South region's Pilsners and European Amber lagers, and they were probably the best 2 flights of beer I have ever judged. I was truly impressed with the overall quality of the beers in the 1st round of the NHC, good job to all the brewers that entered in the South ;D.
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: denny on April 23, 2010, 03:50:15 PM
That's great to hear!  I'm hoping to judge one of those categories for 2nd round!
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: gtoothaker on April 28, 2010, 12:03:16 AM
One thing you may look into is allergy therapy / shots.  I started them last year and it has made a major difference for me this spring.  The process sucks, shots once a week for months on end, but the end result is great so far.  I've gotten off the wagon for my shots and not gone for a maintenance dose in the last few months, but all is still going fairly well.  My allergies are not 100% gone, but it is very easy to deal with them now and I can actually taste things in the spring.
Title: Re: My problem judging first round
Post by: tankdeer on April 28, 2010, 03:50:03 PM
One thing you may look into is allergy therapy / shots.  I started them last year and it has made a major difference for me this spring.  The process sucks, shots once a week for months on end, but the end result is great so far.  I've gotten off the wagon for my shots and not gone for a maintenance dose in the last few months, but all is still going fairly well.  My allergies are not 100% gone, but it is very easy to deal with them now and I can actually taste things in the spring.
My wife is actually looking at doing this as well. We've heard lots of good things.