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Topics - rjharper

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Homebrew Competitions / How best to describe 22C?
« on: February 25, 2015, 07:52:32 PM »
Beer judges,

I have a 22C entry for a competition coming up, so I have to describe it. Reading the style guidelines, I need only identify the base beer category? Similarly, I should only describe the wood variety if its noticeable? I'm torn between how I would typically describe it to friends (lots of detail) versus judging requirements.  If I say Porter instead of Baltic Porter, does that give me more leeway on style or mark me down if its clearly a Baltic and I havent called it so. Similarly, do I say Spiced Rum Oak or Wood?

Per 2008 BJCP 22C

So do I go with:
- Porter
- Porter on Oak
- Porter on Spiced Rum infused Oak
- Baltic Porter
- Baltic Porter on Oak
- Baltic Porter on Spiced Rum infused Oak

I assume if its clearly a Baltic Porter, and there's noticeable oak, then I need to describe it as such or risk getting marked down? In my last competition I used the last option, but I'm wondering if I should be a little more vague? Scoresheets aren't back yet so I can't read the comments, but it took a 43 with the full description, so I'm leaning towards that route again.

Thanks in advance!

General Homebrew Discussion / Hulk Smash
« on: February 20, 2015, 10:50:48 AM »
Guess I don't know my own strength. Hit the WY Smackpack too hard and now there's Roselare sprayed everywhere. Dangit!  :o >:(

Homebrew Competitions / Competition changes your category
« on: February 07, 2015, 11:41:51 AM »
Has anyone else had an experience where you submit entries to competition, then the judging coordinator reassigns your entry to a different category? I entered a 20A; basically a fruit beer with very mild wild yeast notes from the fruit that I noted in the description. It's been moved against my wishes to a 34A Specialty Brett/Sour, and the coordinator has declined my request to return it to 20A.

To me, it's a fruit beer first and foremost, with just a hint of wild. If it was a Brett/sour with a hint of fruit I would understand, but it's not. I want it judged as a fruit beer. I do  not want it judged against a flight of primarily sour or Brett beers where that character is the defining flavor. The coordinator told me it would be marked down in 20A if they tasted Brett notes, but I do not see anything in the 2008 guidelines that says wild yeast is inappropriate in 20A.

I feel I know my beer better than a comp coordinator who's read a 50 character description of it.  Anyone else experienced this?


Beer Travel / Oslo?
« on: February 04, 2015, 07:40:55 AM »
Headed to Oslo for 48 hrs. Any suggestions?

General Homebrew Discussion / Recommend a good monthly beer club?
« on: December 14, 2014, 12:37:52 PM »
Anyone have a good recommendation (or warning) on a beer of the month club? Looking online I see several but other wanting stay away from those that think Anchor Steam or Sam Adams is something novel.

So far I've looked at, and Any others? Any comments on these ones? My boss asked me for a recommendation, but since I only brew my own or spend my hard earned $$$ on beer I've researched directly, I've not got any experience on trusting someone else to send me something good!


Ingredients / Best hops to pair with Galaxy
« on: September 29, 2014, 07:28:43 PM »
Whats a good hop to pair with Galaxy? I've got a big Double Black IPA coming up, and while I've used straight Galaxy in the past and liked it, I like a little more dimension. I've paired Galaxy with Amarillo in a pale ale and it was a bit of a grapefruit bomb. My typical pairings are Citra & Simcoe in the house IPA, the C-hops in my rye pales ales, and Mosaic & Simcoe in my American Stout. Typically my black IPA is usually Cascade, Amarillo & Simcoe, and I've really been leaning to Colombus and Chinook of recent, but I'm not sure the spicy, dank would pair well with tropical fruit! I've also got Nugget, Summit and a few others I've not used yet.

I'd appreciate some suggestions so I don't get stuck in a hop rut.

Beer Travel / Sydney, NSW Australia
« on: September 29, 2014, 06:18:21 PM »
Spending the next four nights in Sydney. Any suggestions for local favourites? I'm in the Hilton near Hyde Park.

Other Fermentables / Kegging wine / mead
« on: September 24, 2014, 09:02:33 AM »
Has anyone kegged wine and/or still mead, and pushed with straight nitrogen. I'm toying with the idea of having white wine on tap for SWMBO. I've read that more wine bars are doing this. I already have CO2 and Blend tanks, and I have more regulators. I was tempted to swap out the Blend tank for N2 then use a blender to have CO2, Blend and N2 available but in reality its probably just cheaper easier to add a third tank (I have space and a tank to switch).

Or should I just bottle it in 12oz beer bottles and keep some in the fridge?

Other Fermentables / Backsweetening my Triple Berry Mead
« on: August 07, 2014, 10:58:29 AM »
I think I've finally got my technique down for healthy mead fermentation.  I brewed a melomel a month ago, with SNA and daily stirring up to 33% attenuation then after that I just punched down the cap regularly. I went from 1.131 down to 0.997. Yup that's a 19.8% abv pink rocket fuel.

20lbs clover honey
15lbs frozen triple berry (blueberry, raspberry & blackberry)
3 tsp DAP
Lalvin K1-V1116 (so much better than EC-1118 champagne)

I didn't think I'd get it this low, but the yeast really excelled. I need to backsweeten it now that its racked off the primary and fruit. I've ready that 1lb of honey adds about 6-7 points to 5 gallons. I know that the standard answer is to sweeten to taste, but what would be a typical FG for a 20% abv melomel that will still be fairly dry and refreshing. I've tasted too many sweet berry melomels that tasted syrupy.

Also, carbed or uncarbed. I'm thinking dry and carbed or sweet and still, so would carbing work for something this strong or should I keep it still like a dessert wine.

Kegging and Bottling / Chrome flaking off?
« on: July 24, 2014, 06:50:13 PM »
My kegerator is probably around 6 years old at this point. I'm starting to notice flakes of chrome in my beer, and it looks like the chrome finish on the shanks is coming off.  I don't think it's the Perlicks because they are newer and still look good. Has anyone else experienced this? It's probably time to replace them, and I guess this is why they sell stainless steel options.

Yeast and Fermentation / German yeast in a Cali Common?
« on: June 18, 2014, 11:40:06 AM »
I know that BCS states that you have to use San Fran lager yeast but has anyone tried using German lager strains? I've been building up a W34/70 population for a Helles but I need something fast and different and I was thinking a Cali common would be a good way to build up yeast and get a faster batch out. But would it even work? I've seen that it can add sulphury notes.

Ingredients / Best Styles for Strawberries
« on: June 16, 2014, 07:25:56 AM »
I hit the local self-pick farm this weekend and scored a lot of strawberries, and after cleanup, dehusking, and pie making / shortcake eating, I have 11lbs of chopped strawberries and juice in the freezer. So what do I brew? I'm tending towards a lighter brew like a blonde or wheat to showcase the fruit. I know strawberry is mild and drops off fast. My plan is to rack to the strawberries in secondary but hold it at 40F in the kegerator so I don't ferment out all the flavor.

So any suggestions from those who do fruit beers more often?

Homebrew Competitions / MCAB XV Results
« on: May 28, 2013, 08:08:21 AM »
Anyone heard any news on the MCAB? I know that there was a shipping address snafu that pushed back some of the judging, but the last site update still states results by Sat 5/25.  LAst I heard the organizer John is still waiting for results from the competition director (cant post without results!)

Beer Recipes / Schwarzbier
« on: February 27, 2013, 11:55:31 PM »
I'm planning a batch of Schwarzbier as a step up for my WLP885 Zurich Lager yeast for the Baltic Porter to follow. How does this look for the Schwarzbier? It seems to fall in between Jamil's two recipes in terms of roastiness.  I subbed Blackprinz for the Black Roast Barley since its dehusked, and similarly I like Midnight Wheat for color and head retention without astringency.

50% Munich
40% Pilsen
2.5% C60
2.5% Chocolate
2.5% Blackprinz
2.5% Midnight Wheat
Mash @ 151F

1.5oz Tettnang @ 60 mins 26 IBU
0.5oz Hallertau @ 15 mins 4 IBU
0.5oz Hallertau @ 0 mins

Target 1.052OG
30 IBU
30 SRM

WLP855 Zurich Lager


Edited to correct my spelling

Ingredients / Tazo Passion Tea Bags
« on: February 13, 2013, 03:02:42 PM »
"Tart rose hips and citrusy lemongrass woo the voluptuous blooms of hibiscus flowers."

Got a box of these; don't care much for the hot tea by itself (without a ton of sweeter), but the flavor, aroma and color of this has me thinking a steep at the end of the boil in a Hefe or Saison may be interesting and refreshing if done with a light touch. The ingredients listed are Hibiscus Flowers, Natural Tropical Flavors, Citric Acid, Licorice Root, Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Rose Hips, Lemongrass and Juice Extract (color).

I dont pick up the cinnamon or licorice. Anyone tried this, or have any thoughts?

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