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Messages - dsmitch19

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1
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Double Milk Stout
« on: April 30, 2015, 10:42:30 AM »
OG was 1.095 and it came in at 10.5%. Up front it's similar to breakfast stout by founders but finishes sweet and creamy.

Seems like it could just go under Imperial Stout. If you handed it a craft beer drinker and told them it was a RIS, would they agree?

Also, KBS has added coffee and chocolate. Did you add any special ingredients like that? That would also impact what category you enter in.

2
The fortunate part is that long delays like this are outliers, just as there are some exams that are turned around in 2-3 months. You just usually don't see people posting online about how quickly their exam came back (I administered an exam set in Jan. that took only 3 months to get the grades back). No matter what people are talking about, you tend to see more complaints online than positives. It obviously sucks to be part of an outlier on the slow end of things, so hang in there OP.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC 2015 First Round Results
« on: April 22, 2015, 01:24:38 PM »
Got my Rum oaked Barleywine through. Meads were not handled in the best way in Chicago, IMO. Lots of folks without mead experience judging meads. For Traditionals, it's particularly troublesome because they aren't easy to judge. Can't wait to see my scoresheets and get upset again...

Congrats on the Rum BW! Sounds delicious. It could be worse...you could still be waiting on San Diego results like me. :'(

I'd like to see some changes to how meads and ciders are handled at NHC, either having them as a separate competition from beer or limiting mead/cider judging to 3-4 regions to condense the entries. It really isn't fair with some regions not even having 3 meads/ciders in a category and then some having 10+.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC 2015 First Round Results
« on: April 20, 2015, 10:50:31 AM »
It would be nice to know what "verification" goes into this. I know that they want to get it right, but it shouldn't take a week to verify the winners for 650 entries. Most competitions are able to announce the same day. The only things I can think of that need actual verification are that the beers scored over 30 and were appropriately entered. There are enough stopgaps in place to prevent someone from gaming the system. Clarification on the verification process would really make the wait easier, it's been week now and for the entrance fee, it'd be nice if they'd prioritize this a bit more.

Maybe send a note to Janis to shed some light on the whys and hows of verifying? It would be interesting to know the process. From what I've heard, it involved each region sending in scans of their flight summary sheets and the AHA verifying that scores and places were entered correctly in the system before publishing results.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC 2015 First Round Results
« on: April 15, 2015, 11:22:01 PM »
How long is the verifying process?  We judged Chicago last Saturday and I thought it was all being entered that day....obviously there is something else that has to occur?

The results from each region are sent to the AHA, where everything is verified to make sure no scoring or other errors were made.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC 2015 First Round Results
« on: April 08, 2015, 02:39:03 PM »
It is always fun to advance to the second round. Fingers crossed!

It's fun advancing until you have to sit there, at the banquet or listening to the BN, every year, waiting for your name to be called only for someone else to be called for first place.  :-\

This is the fourth year in a row I've advanced something (and two last year). The last 3 years, the beers have gone to mini-BOS at Nationals. No purple banded medals in my house though.  :'(  Dang. So close every time.

Last year was my first entering NHC and I had two advance to finals. I didn't win, but when I got my scoresheets back, the cover sheet for my kolsch said "honorable mention." Not that HM is an official thing for NHC, but that's a 4th place in my book. ;) At least for last year, I feel your pain!

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: April 07, 2015, 03:25:50 PM »
Always good to hear positive feedback! I'm a recently appointed Associate Exam Director and graded about 110 individual exams last year. It's a lot of work but it's rewarding. We do take it very seriously and try not to cheat anybody out of points. It's been fun seeing all the new judges over the past few years at competitions and advancing through the ranks! I judge around 17-18 competitions/year and it's been great seeing the number of National and higher judges increase by over 100%. It seems that nearly every table has a National or higher judge these days.

I think that depends on where you are judging since the BJCP tends to have very strong representation in certain areas and much weaker representation in others. In AZ, we only have 1 master and 6 national. Of those seven higher ranking judges, we might get 3-4 of them to show up on a good day. Two of them are pretty much retired from judging. Now when I've traveled to San Diego or even Denver to judge, it's a much different story.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Newbie Judge Luck
« on: March 17, 2015, 12:23:43 PM »
My first time judging was with a national judge, and I was pretty intimidated then as someone whose first experience with the style guidelines or a score sheet was the day before I showed up. It was a great experience, and obviously helped perk my interested in judging. Hopefully, you'll be in the opposite shoes one day as an experienced judge mentoring a newbie. :)

9
Homebrew Competitions / Re: First Competition
« on: March 10, 2015, 11:11:29 AM »
I've never judged or even attended a competition, but do you think things like haze affect the later elements of judging?  Will a judge be influenced into thinking there is something wrong because there is a haze issue?

Haze can be indicative of other problems and can be a cue to look for them, but it should not make a judge think or assume there is a problem just by appearance alone. A good judge will use all available clues to try to diagnose a problem, so further analysis of the beer needs to support any problems that haze can tip off, such as oxidation, infection, young beer, yeasty, etc.

Some haze from dry hopping is OK in APA and IPA.

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Homebrew Competitions / Re: First Competition
« on: March 06, 2015, 01:13:12 PM »
A lot of new entrants don't pay enough attention to the style guide. So, make sure you enter your beers in the correct style category. Taste your beer while reading the style guideline for the style you are planning to enter. Does it have those qualities? You might set out to brew an American Amber Ale but the finished product tastes more like a pale ale or an ESB. Enter it as what you think it ended up as versus what you originally set out to brew.

Another question I ask new entrants is did you add anything to the beer so that it would need to go into a specialty category like spices, chocolate, fruit, wood aging, etc. That's a big mistake I see a lot of brewers make.

Aside from that, RDWHAHB! Judging is not a perfect system, but it can be educational and rewarding most of the time. Here's hoping you get some good judges! (On that line, try to enter a competition that has a good reputation for judging and organization.)


11
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Help me understand my score
« on: March 06, 2015, 12:51:48 PM »
It was a pretty big error on my part. It is basically a 'lightly spiced' schwarzbier that I entered into 4C instead of 23. I was light handed with the spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, white pepper, and sage) but it is noticeable. Both scoresheets mentioned the phenolic aroma. Not sure what I was thinking when I filled out the entry form...

Probably a better candidate for 21A Spice/Herb/Veg than 23 if you just added spices to a classic style. Glad to hear you connected with your judges and got more feedback.

12
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1056 vs White Labs WLP 001
« on: February 19, 2015, 12:49:31 PM »
To my knowledge, WLP001, Wyeast 1056 and Safale US-05 are all the same strain.

13
Events / Re: NHC 2015 San Diego. Changes to Registration
« on: February 19, 2015, 12:44:36 PM »
Quick question - somebody help me understand the concept of registering with a guest.

Attended last year with my wife - it was great.

Planning to attend this year with a friend (who is not yet an AHA member but will become one as part of this process). What is the advantage of us registering as guest - versus just two people registering?

If you register with a guest, you will not be split up if the process ends up going to a lottery. You either both get in or not. Guests can also buy the social package this year but primary attendees can't. That's all I can think of...

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Free Beer!
« on: December 09, 2014, 01:11:53 PM »
I'd be willing to help out. Let me know if you are still looking for more feedback.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Beer Judging Exam
« on: December 09, 2014, 01:08:57 PM »
I have not yet graded but I do plan on it in the future.

Please do! :) There's been quite the grader shortage lately. I started grading this year and have found it rewarding, although fairly time consuming. I can now see how easy it is for exams to take longer to grade than expected.

I've told my examinees to expect 4-6 months and be very happy if they come back sooner (2-3 month turn arounds do happen, too. You just don't hear about them as often as the "I took the exam 6 months ago. Where are my results?!" posts).

I'm still waiting on my mead exam results from NHC back in June. Luckily, I'm not anxious for that exam like I was over the beer exams. 

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