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Messages - bbkf

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Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 29, 2013, 02:39:37 PM »

Last year the final round was judged in a single session, for beer anyway.  There is already room there so long as that many good judges keep attending the conference. 

If they go with a lottery system and I get shut out, this National judge will be staying home.  I likely won't volunteer my time to judge at a first round judging site either. Don't piss off your judges and volunteers by excluding them or the whole thing will collapse quickly.

There are hundreds of competitions around the country for people that "just want quality feedback".  NHC should not be one of those competitions because the demand to enter is to high. 

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: September 30, 2013, 05:20:39 PM »
One thing I worry about is the entry fee.  I know some want it to be $30 so people limit their entries.  I was fine with the increase last year but much higher and I'll  just not bother sending entries.

I know they were working on NHC last year, but I hope Philly is a 1st round site this year.  Two years ago, they did an excellent job!!

In 2009, the fine folks in the Philly region didn't even judge my first round beers.  I was pissed at first but then was given a pass to the second round for their mistake.  I won two medals that year and got to go to beer camp at Sierra Nevada.  This is why I enter a lot of beer to NHC.  That beer camp trip was probably the coolest thing I've ever done in my life.

I entered KC last year and got my scoresheets back in about a week.  I'll likely enter there again if they host a first round site.

Pimp My System / Re: Man cave bar with keggorator
« on: August 02, 2013, 05:58:35 PM »
Any suggestions for the end of the bar that does not have the tap? I thought about cutting in a dry sink, not sure what else I can do.

Bourbon!  scotch! and the like.

If anyone still has any of the RGB Pilsner from the conference lying around you might want to get it out of the house:

I drank mine at the conference but a couple of club members had theirs explode on the way home.  The cans are way overcarbed.

There was a perfect can sized space directly behind the safe that was in the hotel closet.  That is where my can is.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Category for Coconut Porter
« on: June 13, 2013, 02:29:27 PM »
Last years gold winning fruit beer at NHC was a coconut porter

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 30, 2013, 06:27:19 PM »
I think Amanda should expect her region to fill up quickly next year if they decide to do it again.

I entered KC.  I think they did an outstanding job.  I entered 15 there and I think I had a master level judge on 12 of the 15.  14/15 of my entries scored above 30.   I'm quite pleased and would totally enter their region again....but I think this is the last year of NHC for me.  Its time to let some of the newer brewers have the fun.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 30, 2013, 05:43:39 PM »
This is exactly why I did an audit of every winner marked on the cover sheet versus the database before I started stuffing. I would hate to go through that myself.

you rock!


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 30, 2013, 05:21:02 PM »
New York scoresheets . . . Anyone?  :'(

I know someone who entered NYC and he got his scoresheets yesterday.  You should get yours soon too i presume. 

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 22, 2013, 05:13:19 PM »
I judged Saturday in Zanesville and everything appeared to run smoothly.  I was not involved with any organization.  Those dudes seemed to keep things running and at least looked pretty well organized.

As a judge, I liked having the second bottle for mini-BOS.  Although its like there is a cup shortage now....

Beer Recipes / Re: Strawberry Hefeweizen Recipe- Input Please
« on: April 16, 2013, 02:30:49 PM »
Its going to depend on what strawberries you use.  I grow sarian strawberries that have about 50X more flavor to them then the tasteless red "water bags" that you can buy in a store.  Remember that the strawberries sold in a grocery store are genetically modified to last longer after being picked than what a "real" strawberry. 

I've never made a strawberry beer so I can't suggest an amount to use.  If I were going to make one, I'd get the strawberries from a local farm where you pick them yourself.

So I'm going to be brewing my first Brett-aged beer soon and I'm looking for some pointers on how to manage the Brett. Here's what I have planned so far:

This upcoming Monday - Brew 3 gallons of a 1.040 table saison as a starter for my primary yeast (WY3711). Planning to pitch in the mid-60's F, hold it for about 2 days then let it take off as best as I can (my basement is still fairly cool, so I'll probably have to insulate in combination with my brew belt).

The following Monday - Brew 3 gallons of a 1.080 Bière de Garde and pitch onto my saison yeast cake. Planning to ferment in the low 60's F for a couple weeks, then let it come to ambient for long-term aging.

I have a vial of Brett Trois that I'm going to use for the Bière de Garde. I'm looking for some significant Brett character in the finished beer. Any suggestions on how to handle the Brett aging? Do I need a starter for the Brett if it's just the secondary yeast for a 3-gallon batch? When do I pitch it? Should I wait until the 3711 starts to finish up, or should I pitch it sooner to give the Brett more food to start off with? Thanks!

if you use 3711 yeast with a biere de garde wort, You'll likely get a dark and strong saison, not a biere de garde.  If you then add brett, you'll get near 100% attenuation. You can pitch the brett yeast straight from the vial when you add the wort to the yeast cake.  Keep in mind that when adding the wort to the saison yeast cake that you'll have a lot of saison yeast there and the beer will likely ferment fast.

two years ago i did a saison with 3711.  I did make a starter for the 3711.  I also pitched a vial of brett brux (no starter) when i pitched the saison yeast.  I still have bottles of it and the FG is well below 1.000.  I bottled it at 1.005.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Acetaldehyde
« on: April 12, 2013, 12:28:09 PM »
You get used to how yeast strains work.  But until that happens, you have to rely on taste/smell like amanda sugested.


Don't mix vinegar & bleach.  While each has its merits, they deactivate each other.  You'd be better off using them sequentially w/a water rinse between.

not true. 

Bleach is sold at a pH that "stabilizes" it.  If you reduce the pH (via vinegar) it becomes one of the most effective surface sanitizers you can buy (or make in this case).  However, the life of acidified bleach is reduced.

just make sure you never confuse vinegar with ammonia. 

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: March 22, 2013, 06:14:06 PM »

If NHC is that important to you AND its entry window conflicted YOUR work schedule, then maybe you should have taken the day off from work!  I did because it was important to me.
on the other hand, I did sit in front of my computer at work a whole hour before the entry window was up.  I sat there reloading the page over and over for a few hours until I got my 15 entries into this years competition.  I will not do this again next year and I am sure there are more people with the same intention.

Which is it??? ::) ::) ::)

damn you!  busted.   :-[
I did it at work because my job is that layed back.  I know some people who did take the day off to enter though.   I told my boss that I was not going to be doing any work after lunch and that my priority was entering my beers.  he was ok with it.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: March 22, 2013, 05:05:21 PM »

C)  You're not likely to get judges to volunteer for a competition that they were unable to enter.  And usually judges are the better brewers, this is true in our area at least.  So allow early NHC registration for the judges from the previous year.  This will do several things.  1. Motivate the judges to judge at a Round 1 site  2. Motivate non-judges to become judges.  3. Motivate organizer/judges to volunteer to host a Round 1 site.  This will increase the Round 1 judge pool and allow you to have an even bigger competition open to everyone.

YES!  I like this idea.  It would be hard to start but would roll nicely by the second year.  So the number of judges is a problem.  Its actually the number of GOOD judges that is a problem.  If judges got a priority into entering the competition, it may encourage a non-judge (who might make a great judge) to become a judge.  What motivation is there to becoming a judge?  I did it so that I'd understand the brewing process better and could improve the quality of my homebrew.

Fred Bonjour was on the brewing network last week and shot this idea down because the governing committee wants EVERYONE to have a fair chance.  I don't agree with that because it's unrealistic.  If there is a lack of help or judges now, then encourage AHA memebers to help/judge so that the competition can continue to grow with the AHA membership.

I really think that this is the easiest fix for a short term goal. 

on the other hand, I did sit in front of my computer at work a whole hour before the entry window was up.  I sat there reloading the page over and over for a few hours until I got my 15 entries into this years competition.  I will not do this again next year and I am sure there are more people with the same intention.

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