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Messages - tmsnyder

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Events / Re: Full ticket $110
« on: June 07, 2014, 05:01:51 PM »
Sold it, see you all in a few days!


I have an extra ticket for the NHC for sale, it's a full ticket w/o the banquet.  Paid $220, yours for $110!

email me at


Events / Re: Full ticket $110
« on: June 06, 2014, 06:22:50 PM »
Anyone know how to do this?   All I got for my $448 was an email from Altitude Tickets.   Is this what we register with in Grand Rapids?


I have an extra ticket for the NHC for sale, it's a full ticket w/o the banquet.  Paid $220, yours for $110!

email me at


Events / Full ticket $110
« on: June 06, 2014, 04:20:01 PM »

I have an extra ticket for the NHC for sale, it's a full ticket w/o the banquet.  Paid $220, yours for $110!

email me at


All Grain Brewing / Re: Lbs in a barley much?
« on: January 09, 2014, 01:36:45 PM »
One of the first BW's I made had some English dark malt in it, after reading the style guidelines I decided to go toward the darker end of the range.  It wasn't my favorite,  so I'd be careful with the chocolate malt.  They are fantastic on the paler side when made with almost 100% MO, or even better Optic, or Golden Promise.  If you want to go American, Briess malt for the Bigfoot type of BW.

Crystal malt is fine in a BW.  Put yourself in the shoes of the brewers and brew with what they had available, what were the ingredients available to them 200 years ago or more that made that style of beer survive and become a classic style?  It's an English style adopted by Americans.  For an English BW, use English ingredients.  For an Am BW, use American ingredients. 

I always go to the bjcp style guideline when developing a recipe, there's an ingredients section.  Between that and the OG, color, and IBUs specs you should be able to work up a great barleywine recipe.

17 lb of base malt, a lb of crystal and you'll be at 1.090 or so.  Sounds like barleywine to me!  Keep some light DME on hand in case your mash doesn't go exactly as planned. 

I was considering 17 lbs of base and 1 of mixed caramel & choc. Is this overkill? It's my 1st try at it, so I wanted to check. Also, how long to ferment... Month?
Many thanks

Events / Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« on: January 06, 2014, 10:40:14 PM »
We're talking about rules changes related to getting beers entered into the NHCompetition, not getting tickets to attend the NHConference.  But yeah it looks like the conference is going to a lottery system too.

Two different problems.  The NHCompetition not being able to judge all the beers that people would like to enter is (IMO) a matter of not having the (willing) judge pool capacity.   It seems to me at least that the changes they made will address the judge pool / site side of the equation and # of entries.

The NHConference running out of tickets is a case of demand outpacing supply.  The places lined up to host the conference two years in advance now have to be what, 3000? 4000 capacity places?   That's big and by the time it's determined that the place is too small, it's too late.  Can't move the location.  It will really start to decrease the list of cities that are even able to host, JMO.  Not much you can do about that except maybe jack up the ticket price to limit demand. 

Personally I am very disappointed with the imposition of a lottery to determine who gets to attend NHC.  I have participated in NHC the last three years and never had any issues getting registered right after the process opened up.   In my opinion it should be first come, first served basis.  Now I am concerned that I won't get in as others are to.  Like many I have vacation and family activities planned around the event.   A friend and I plan also to meet up there but the lottery throws a lot of uncertainty into the mix.  Seems as though the 20% more additional slots alone would help alleviate the problem and should be evaluated before imposing a lottery.

Beer Travel / Re: Florida beer recommendations.
« on: January 01, 2014, 11:56:06 PM »
Best beer I found in Florida was totally unexpected: Myakka State Park 'Outpost'

Go see the alligator and drink a bunch of crazy good beer after the boat ride.  Don't drink the beer before like I did, there's no urinal on the boat! 

Just found this winterfest ad:

Upcoming events

~ PAST event PHOTOS ~
2013-2014 Florida frostfest

Saturday January 18th 2014 12:00am - 8:00pm

Come Join Us For A Great Day In The Park

We will  have 3 tons of man made snow that will feature a huge Snow Slide For The Young (And Young at Heart) ....... Ride all Day Wrist Bands Only 3$

Live Music All Day

10 Winter Beers On Tap Down Stairs and 4 in the Cafe


​More Information to Come .............

In Florida until the 11th. Anyone have any "don't miss" beer recommendations?  We are doing a week in the Naples area and a week in Orlando for the kids.

Events / Re: NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« on: January 01, 2014, 06:00:30 PM »
Having potential stewards come out of the woodwork to help at a competition would be awesome.  Stewards are future judges ~80% of the time in my experience.  If they learn about the competition through these new entry rules, good!

There seems to be an idea in the previous posts that there's a fixed number of qualified judges, and that's what we're stuck with and there can be no other judges.  But that's not the case, there are a lot more judges in the pipeline right now thanks to the bjcp and especially its recent change in the exam.  Raising awareness of the importance of the judges to the NHC the way the AHA has now is going to bump up that flux of new judges even more.

To the poster interested in judging but having trouble finding a study class, you don't need it, you can study on your own, try the commercial examples, practice filling out score sheets, and find some local homebrew competitions and help judge.  Learn the info on the bjcp website back and forth.  Then judge, there's a check box for novice/apprentice non-bjcp judge.  The competition should seat you with their most experienced judges, both to help train you and to counterbalance your relative inexperience.   

Events / NHC entry problems : SOLUTIONS!
« on: December 31, 2013, 02:47:54 PM »
Holy moly!  Just got the latest edition of Zymurgy, and talk about a proactive response to the NHC entry problems!  WOW.  That oughta fix it, and if it doesn't no one can say they didn't try.  It's a 180 degree swing from previous registration, a bunch of people spoke up and they listened!

6 entry max
AHA membership required
lottery period for entry
judges/stewards/organizers from previous year NHC guaranteed entries.

I hate to see the lottery in there, but I'm pretty sure that the other three items will make take away the need for the lottery in short order and may even raise the 6 entry max number over time.  Hopefully the lottery will be able to be lifted.

Thank you AHA for getting in front of this, I look forward to entering what seems to be a much more fair competition this year.

Events / Re: Question about competition judging
« on: August 06, 2013, 06:57:05 PM »
It just take a few beers to get dialed sometimes.  But they should be in agreement on what the style should smell/look/taste/feel like.  If one thinks a style is one way, and another thinks the style is another way it would be tough to come to any consensus. That's why the style guidelines are so great.

As far as mirroring one another, that would mean that they're tasting the same things, and comparing the beer to the same standard for the style, and coming to the same conclusion and score.  So yes, as long as the standard they're using (the style guideline) is correct, then mirroring is good. If they're in lockstep and using the wrong standard then that's bad!

And it's true, after a couple beers the judges will often end up in lockstep and after judging independently will find that they are making the same comments and scoring them the same.

Lockstep is interesting.  To the extent that judges are trying to mirror each other then lockstep is not necessarily a good thing.  To the extent that judges are in lockstep because they have a common (hopefully correct) understanding of the style, which is often not the case initially, lockstep is generally good.

Events / Re: Question about competition judging
« on: August 06, 2013, 06:38:49 PM »

Send me a bottle of your barleywine, I'll sit down with two or three other judges and give you some feedback for free!  :)  LOL!

What were the individual scores?  Was the 23 an outlier?

Any chance you had bottle to bottle variability? 

It's also possible that the competitions didn't temper the beers correctly.  An ice cold barleywine can come across thin and bitter, even though the judges are supposed to ensure the beer is served at the proper temperature. 

Some competitions are more stingy with points too, and some are more generous.  A lot of times it comes from the judge director reminding the judges at the kick off speech that they shouldn't be afraid to give points out in the 40's, and be sure they use the entire range possible.  Without such encouragement, I see it all the time, scores range from 20 to high 30's and that's it.  So we're judging beers over an 18 point range instead of a 35 point range, from 15-50 (in general, we're limited to 15 as the minimum so as not to be hurtful).  So some of the variability you see is from that.  But within the competition they should be consistent, just more or less stingy with points. 

interesting...I put my American Barley Wine this year in three different comps all within a time frame of 2-3 months.  I've received scores from 23-43 on the same beer...yeah a 20 point difference from BJCP judges.  The 43 was from the highest ranking judge, so I 'll have to agree with him ;)

Events / Re: Question about competition judging
« on: August 06, 2013, 06:21:49 PM »
It's up to the judge director to match up judging styles and personalities.  So if it were up to me, I'd put you with someone equally bullheaded and let you duke it out!  Nothing wrong at all with a heated debate over a beer, as long as the comments go on the scoresheet too, so the brewer gets the benefit of the debate.

I'd rather get two well written scoresheets from any rank of judges than four poorly written ones.  It's up to the judge director to keep an eye one these and make sure the brewers are getting their money's worth from the judges.  You should be able to tell what's going on with your beer from two good scoresheets. 

So I got to thinking some more about this...<snip>  If I think the other guy is wrong, I ain't changing my score, and I would expect the same the other way around as well.  I think there needs to be a place for bullheads like me.  <snip>

Perhaps my real wish is that we could get a whole lot more feedback from any one competition.  One Recognized BJCP judge plus a Gump just ain't cutting it.  I wish we could get feedback from 3 or 4 BJCP ranked judges at every comp.  Perhaps not feasible today, but maybe in 50 years it will be common.  That'd be sweet.  Otherwise the only way to know if your beer is really REALLY good is to enter each beer into at least 3 competitions.  And that gets real expensive real quick.  So anyway...


Events / Re: Question about competition judging
« on: August 06, 2013, 06:12:13 PM »
Initially the judging is independent by 2-3 judges, and we don't talk while we fill out the scoresheets.  Grunts, moans, 'wow!' remarks are deeply frowned upon.  We should be doing it uninfluenced by the other judge.  Definitely no table talk while the sheets are filled out.  After arriving at a number we then compare and try to get the scores within some range which is instructed to us by the judge director prior to the start of judging.  Usually it's 5-7 points max.

After discussion, the judges might make a few quick additions or edits to their scoresheets .

And it's true, after a couple beers the judges will often end up in lockstep and after judging independently will find that they are making the same comments and scoring them the same.

If you really want to learn about how beer is judged, volunteer to steward at your local homebrew competition. They are always looking for help.  It's a great way to improve your brewing too, with the knowledge you pick up from hearing the entries discussed by the judge panel.  Generally, the stewards are poured a sample right along with the judges.

As I understand, in BJCP events there are two judges that judge a beer.  Do they discuss the beer together when assigning scores or do they judge the beer completely independent from each other?

Events / Re: NHC Awards Dinner
« on: August 06, 2013, 04:39:30 PM »
I still don't have a clue how someone can cook a meal for 2200, so I've gotta give him credit for that.  It's just an impossible task.

I liked the meal and the beers, I was expecting a slightly more elegant main course, but overall it worked for me.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: August 06, 2013, 04:34:02 PM »
Are the minutes to the Governing Committee meeting available? 

I think this is a good idea.  Can we count on it?

I hope so.  I'll see if I can get comments from Jake.

Beer Travel / Re: Germany spoiled me
« on: July 02, 2013, 07:33:14 PM »
Wife and I went on a 15 year anniversary to Germany.  Highlights were Cologne, Bamberg, and Munich for O'fest.   I was glad to get back in the US though, lots more interesting stuff happening here.

I spent 11 months in Vilsek and Sweinfurt. Did a little traveling around also. I found the crystal weizen (sp?) pronounced "vissen" to be the best in flavor, with a smooth finish. Every little town has their own little brewery, and so their own recipes.
I tried some "Hefe" beer's, as normally I enjoy a dark beer, but those were too bitter for my tastes.
The coolest thing, was you could leave a 20mark bill in an envelope taped to your door, and when you got home, a rack of beer would be there. As I recall, there were 20 bottles, and each bottle was 20oz. If I drank more than 1 and a half, I was headed for a hangover the next morning!
Some of the locals would ask for a half&half, which was half Hefe, and half cocacola! I never tried that one.
One other thing that I found hilarious was, you could go to a McDonalds and get a McBeer to go! I didnt try that either.

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