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Messages - dsmitch19

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2017 NHC Competition Chat
« on: February 17, 2017, 03:27:36 PM »
Interest is up. One key thing to get in is to list all sites as alternatives.

Participate in first round judging or stewarding if you can, that will get you preference for next year.

Exactly...Nearly all of those rejected that I've seen/talked to so far only listed 1-3 sites for shipping options.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2017 NHC Competition Chat
« on: February 16, 2017, 04:21:09 PM »
I've definitely noticed more people talking about getting rejected this year than last. Either interest went up or something in the process changed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC competition
« on: January 23, 2017, 09:49:46 AM »
Hi Jim-

I would put it in whatever category number Category 26 M (BJCP cat 27) Other Historical Beer turns into this year (I hear the category numbers might shift around a little bit this year compared to last year due to breaking out a couple bigger categories into their own smaller ones).

Be sure to include a very good description of it during registration so that the judges understand that it is essentially an Alt-Bock or Imperial Altbier.


Yep, there were some changes to the categories. If you click the "Rules and Regulations" button under "Entrant Information" on this page:, the PDF handbook lists the 2017 NHC style categories near the end of the document, pages 13-16.

The direct link to the PDF entrant handbook is here (it is the 2017 version, even though the URL says 2016):

Ingredients / Re: Name your hop source!
« on: January 10, 2017, 01:06:18 PM »
Ted from HH came down to AZ to proctor an exam last year and brought my order with him. Great quality. Just used some of his NB for a Cali Common this weekend.

I've used Niko in the past too with good results and some killer pricing.

LHBS for small quantities of hops I don't use as often.

One of the best judges and brewers I know. Cheers!

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC 2016 Final Round scores
« on: June 13, 2016, 04:27:33 PM »
Just checked the site and was able to log in and check scores.

I got a 38.5 for my Old Ale and it advanced to mini-BOS.  I bet it got docked a bit for some papery oxidation that I have been picking up on in the last couple weeks. Oh well, there is always next year. Congrats to all!

I was lead judge on that category; let me know if I judged it.  More likely you were robbed and Dixon was just hammered when he did your scoresheet.  ;D

FWIW, though, I have never hit 40 in the Finals, and now have 4 medals.  38.5 is very good

I almost got you into the 40s this year, but judge 2 was stingy and drug it down to a 39.5.  ::)

My medal winner scored a 40. 33 and 34.5 for the other two, which is about what they scored in the first round.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Non BJCP Judging
« on: May 25, 2016, 11:55:32 AM »
MD tnx I just voted  for you.  ;D
Rusia is not that close, but closer.
Again I have questions about number of judges, BJCP or NON BJCP.
In this part of word only few beer categories are widely popular, and I expect that APA and IPA will be majority of entrance.
If I expect 150 entrance,  lets say 40 IPA and same number of APA, while rest is all the other beer styles.
Can I use few judge panels to judge 40 IPA (lets say 4 judge panels -10 entrance each panel to judge) or I need one same judge panel for all 40 IPA's - in few days?
Thank you all

Definitely split up the larger categories into multiple judging pairs. An ideal flight size for one round of judging is 6-8 with 10 being OK. More than 10 beers in a flight and you start getting fatigue issues and unhappy judges, from my experience.

You'll need to do a mini-BOS round with the top beers form each judging pair to determine the medalists. Some more info on mini-BOS here:

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Scoring and Awards
« on: April 21, 2016, 09:34:01 AM »
I had the same exact reaction.... I'll reiterate it here:

I have to be honest somethings gotta change with these BJCP 2015 guidelines if this is going to continually happen.

Lager categories continually average 12-18 entries
IPA/American IPA have been separated and now average about 35 entries a piece (the irony is because the IPA category was getting too large)
Specialty categories average 55-81 entries across the board, with multiple sites seeing 70+.... that's ridiculous...

But alas, I got good feedback, so goal is accomplished for me.

The problem is not with the 2015 BJCP guidelines. The problem is with how a competition uses those guidelines. Competitions are free to group styles into any award categories they want, and if they create some giant specialty category like NHC did this year, that is an issue the competition created, not the BJCP guidelines.

This was a learning experience for everyone since it was the first year NHC used the new guidelines, and I'm sure they'll make some adjustments and improvements next year.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: 2016 NHC
« on: April 18, 2016, 10:04:49 AM »
Does anyone know if Nashville finished yet?

Based on a post on their FB page, they are still trying to find more judges to wrap up on Tuesday. While I appreciate all the efforts of people in that region, hopefully another area with more judging capacity steps up next year.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: 2016 NHC
« on: April 15, 2016, 02:06:00 PM »
Results for San Diego and Philly are up. I have three beers advancing from SD...woot!

Then clearly you need to go on the Soper Tour if you're going to NHC.

I'll be at NHC, but not sure about the Soper Tour yet. Depends on how a few things fall in my schedule. So much to cram into a few days!

Homebrew Competitions / Re: 2016 NHC
« on: April 15, 2016, 01:13:55 PM »
What are the shipping dates for the finals?  Got an American Porter through with a 41.  Stoked!!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk


Final round shipping dates are in the competition page FAQs: May 18th and Friday, May 27, 2016.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: 2016 NHC
« on: April 15, 2016, 01:13:17 PM »
Results for San Diego and Philly are up. I have three beers advancing from SD...woot!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Master is too weak of a word
« on: April 13, 2016, 09:31:28 AM »
another question I have is:
 Is the requirement to provide/how to provide this data specified in the instructions to graders or is this an area left to the discretion of the exam grader?

The written exam grading is more discretionary at the grader level. There are no rubrics or other detailed instructions given to the graders for it, compared to the scoring guide for the judging exam. There are the percentage breakouts of the questions to guide grading, as well as some holistic advice in the Exam Scoring Guide. For example, the guide says a national-level written exam "indicates good knowledge of all subjects. Some errors are allowable, but there are no significant gaps and most of the answers demonstrate depth."

From my experience grading written exams, errors, lack of depth and lack of independent thought are all big factors that frequently drive scores down. Depth does not mean long-winded; it's knowing when it is important to drill deeper into an area that is critical to answering the question.


It sounds like you are taking it as a slight.

Just find it odd, that not even the governing board rep who lives in Austin was there.  Not even to stop by just to make an appearance.  Huge event, biggest homebrew competition (multiple site competition) in the world.  Just surprises me it doesn't get more attention from the AHA peeps.

First, thanks for helping out!

Sounds like more of a beef with your local AHA Rep than with the AHA. But, sometimes schedules don't work out and those reps are all volunteers, so I'd probably cut them some slack.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Master is too weak of a word
« on: March 29, 2016, 02:17:51 PM »
I did a practice run last night for kicks using APA. It took me 15 minutes to write, in narrative style, everything I knew about APA. Then I looked it over and realized I forgot stats and comparison.

So stats only on the recipe question? Just those 12 styles? Is that because you are describing the stats in narrative form in the style questions?

Does anyone know the percentage (odds) of getting a 95%? At my age I have to rely on smarts... I'm figuring I'll be lucky to get an 80% on the tasting retake. That means I need a 95 on the written.

All possible questions/styles are listed in the exam study guide. Keep in mind that you'll have to write out AAFM for 3 styles (not just one) and compare them for the two style-related questions you'll get. All in about 17-18 minutes per question. You can list stats for the style questions if you want, but form grading, I've found that people often get them wrong. The style question doesn't specifically ask you to list stats, it asks you to describe aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel. The recipe question on the other hand, specifically asks you to provide stats. The study guide tells you exactly how the questions are graded and what % each part of the question is worth. Pay attention to that. People often short change or miss parts of the question that are worth significant points.

The odds of a 95+ are very, very low. The majority of master exams that reach the 90s, barely reach the 90s. From what I've seen, most of the exam scores in the mid or higher 90s were legacy exams from much earlier points in time.

Feel free to PM or email me if you want to talk more about the exam.

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