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Messages - Janis

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241
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« on: April 28, 2010, 07:59:35 AM »
Interesting topic. And as someone who tends to stay away from competitions I do still fill compelled to leave my 2 cents.

As I see it our hobby has grown a lot and it is no secret how to brew excellent beer. Most of us are very willing to share and as a result most experienced and serious home brewers can brew excellent beers. That pushes all of them into the region where it is not so much the skill as a brewer that matters but simply luck. At that point it does help to have as many entries as possible as much as it helps to buy as many lottery tickets as possible if you want to win the lottery. Just that in our case you increase your odds not only by entering more beers but also by brewing the beers as good as you can.

In the end you can definitely “buy” Ninkasi or BOS. The most extreme form is to have enough money that you can brew full time and enter in all categories. You still have to be a skilled brewer though but with the ability to brew that much the odds are definitely stacked in your favor.

And you don’t even have to brew a batch for each entry. There are a number of styles which can be created by blending. I think I could make a decent Maerzen out of a Helles and a Dark Bock, for example. Though it may not be a candidate for a medal it should still get me 30-40 points just for the cost of an entry fee. Maybe the tie breaker should not be the total number of 1st round points but the average score of 1st round points.

I think an entry cap per person is a fair approach to curb the number of entries in the future. Someone who brews a lot still has a leg up since he/she can select their entries from a larger pool. It would also be fair to keep this cap for only the first 3 weeks of the entry window. If there are still spots available after these 3 weeks they can be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Kai

Hi Kai,

Thanks for your thoughts on the NHC awards.  I'll keep these in mind when the AHA GC Competition Sub-Committee begins discussion for next year.  One thing that I don't think we'll do is to change from the First Round Points to the average scores of the First Round entries earning points.  There is enough variability of scores between flights of a category in one competition, much less from one competition to another, that I don't think that would be a meaningful way to do a tie breaker.

Keep the ideas coming!

Cheers,
   Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

242
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« on: April 21, 2010, 09:23:40 AM »
If I'm not mistaken ( which has happened in the past, present and future ), in 2007 Jamil won Ninkasi with 3 golds and 1 bronze...just 4 beers.  And in 2008, Gordon Strong won with just 2 golds...just 2 beers.  It's all based on 2nd round winners, right?  So brew 3-4 kick ass beers and you could win Ninkasi too. 

In 2008, Gordon and another brewer both had 2 golds.  There was a tie breaker involved.  I can't remember exactly, but was it the number that advanced to the second round?

Gordon also said that in 2009, he was between jobs, and used one unemployment check for his entries. 

I entered more this year than last, as well, it is the Nationals.
It all comes down to what is it worth to you!

In 2008 the Ninkasi tie was between 5 brewers.  The tie breaker was the points from the First round of the competition.  The Ninkasi Award is given to the brewer who accumulates the most points in the Final Round with at least one entry placing in the  23 beer categories.

For the two brewers in the years you have mentioned, both had entered a significant number of brews in the competition to win the Ninkasi Award.

Cheers,
     Janis
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

243
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« on: April 20, 2010, 12:56:45 PM »
Sorry I didn't respond sooner; I was traveling when you first posted.
It's great that you have a suggestion on how to improve the competition.  If you have any other ideas in this regard, please let me know, and I'll see what I can do to incorporate your suggestions.

Cheers,
   Janis

janis@brewersassociation.org

244
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My problem judging first round
« on: April 19, 2010, 01:30:14 PM »
I seem to have hit on a magical OTC one-two punch for mine. I take loretadine (sp) everyday so I have lately added in Sudafed (without the regulated stuff) and it keeps me tame even on the harshest of pollen days. Lucked upon the combo this week when I was down for the count with an allergy migrane on Tuesday. Judged this morning without even a sniffle. Better living through chemicals  ;)

Hi Mike,
Even better is to use the homeopathic remedies that are out now.  Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, etc. should have them.  I've used the tinctures with great success.  I am also getting acupuncture treatments for my allergies.  This is my best year since I was 17, and I highly recommend this treatment!

Cheers,
   Janis

245
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« on: April 19, 2010, 01:23:40 PM »
This isn't a dig at the NHC. I think the costs for submitting entries is fair considering how much they have to do for this thing. I just wonder if the way some people blast the competition with entries, makes for a less welcoming kind of competition. Especially when in the Midwest region this year, they reached their max. I can guarantee you there were a number of people who spent literally hundreds of dollars on entry fees to enter beers in almost every category. Meaning some people who wanted to enter, could not. Seem silly to anyone else?

I'd like to see the NHC put a cap on how many beers you can submit. The competing for the Ninkasi award just seems like it gets a little out of hand. Anyone else? This is just my 2 cents.

Hi Senor Pantalones,
Thanks for your suggestion on how the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) can be improved.  I will add your suggestion to the list that the the AHA Governing Committee's Competition Sub-Committee will consider for next year's competition.
Cheers,
    Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

246
Hi Kaiser,

3 L/kg = 1.3 qt/lb

Cheers,
   Janis
   National Homebrew Competition Director
   AHA Project Coordinator
   janis@brewersassociation.org

247
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC re-brewing question
« on: April 05, 2010, 09:29:21 AM »
I entered an imperial brown in the specialty beer category.  I'd like to brew a similar recipe this weekend that I could enter in the second round on the off-chance my beer makes it.  Since its the specialty beer category how similar would the beer need to be to the first beer?  For example- could I enter a black IPA instead of an imperial brown or does it need to be of the same base style? I ask because I'd like to brew a black IPA this weekend but I have no more of the imperial brown and who knows whether I'll go through to second round.

Thanks

Hi Cliff,

Re-brewing is allowed for any style entered in the National Homebrew Competition.  Unfortunately, you have to submit the same style that was originally entered; that is, I doubt a black IPA would fare as well in the judging since it would be judged as an imperial brown ale, which is how the entry is described in the competition database.

Good luck in the competition!

Cheers,
    Janis Gross
    National Homebrew Competition Director
    AHA Project Coordinator
    janis@brewersassociation.org

248
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Northeast registration is CLOSED?!?!?
« on: March 31, 2010, 01:19:52 PM »
I understand that it was open for 5 or 6 weeks. I made the decision to wait because 2 of the beers I wanted to send werent ready yet and I didnt want to take up spots without knowing for sure if I would be sending those beers or not.

spots are only held for 24 hours if they're unpaid, they would have opened back up if you decided not to send them in

Huh.  I registered my beers a few weeks ago and did not get around to paying for them until last week when I added my final entries.  The beers originally entered were still there in the system.  Guess I was lucky?

Hi guys,

The 24-hour "rule" only applies when a region has hit the registration limit.  Because the system has no way of knowing why the entries are not paid, unpaid entries older than 24 hours are deleted to make room for more entries below the limit until the limit is reached again.  Many entrants this year chose to pay for the entries when they registered them, so there wasn't a lot of room opened up before hitting the limit once again.  Any new entries made during the opening between hitting the limit have 24 hours to pay for the entries before they are deleted, etc.

Cheers,
   Janis Gross

NHC Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

249
Homebrew Competitions / Re: 2010 National Homebrew Competition
« on: March 31, 2010, 01:04:35 PM »
This is just an inquiry, not a complaint... but why do the Canadians get an extra week to get their entries in? Inquiring minds would like to know?  ???

Hi Jeff,

As one of the largest competitions in Canada, the ALES Homebrew Open competition is the annual homebrew competition of the Ale & Lager Enthusiasts of Saskatchewan club. The schedule for this competition, the money to run it, and the entry fees are all determined by the ALES club. 

This competition acts as the qualifying competition for all Canadian entries to the Final Round of the AHA's National Homebrew Competition (NHC).  In order for winners in this competition to advance to the Final Round of the NHC, the entry must have scored 30 or more points, the same criteria as for the winners of the First Round in all 9 of the US regional competitions.  Canadian entries that advance must then pay an entry fee for the Final Round of the NHC, and they must ship their entries and maneuver Customs in order to compete.

Cheers,
   Janis

NHC Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

250
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Northeast registration is CLOSED?!?!?
« on: March 30, 2010, 11:44:08 AM »
Hi Curt,

I should be the one apologizing to you.  I am a procrastinator by nature myself, and I don't hold any illusions that I wouldn't have been caught by this rule myself. I'm sorry for the way I worded my reply.

Many large or established clubs can pull off a huge competition, but the organizers of the regional competitions for the NHC don't have the same resources.  The NHC regional organizers and judge coordinators are all volunteers, some of whom belong to clubs that have their own competitions.  Trying to pull off two large competitions in a year can be draining for the people involved.  I think this is especially true if one person organizes the NHC for two or more years in a row.

I'd like to be confident in every regional competitions' ability to run a good competition, do it within budget, and give the entrants the best feedback possible, and the entry limit helps me do that.  If you have constructive ideas that can help this competition in the future, please share them with me or anyone on the Competition Sub-committee, and we'll consider them and get back to you.

Another thing you can do is to volunteer to help with a regional competition as a judge, a steward, or in some other way.  The more people who get involved, the more entries we might be able to accommodate. 

In any event, the state in the Northeast with the highest number of entries last year was PA, followed by NY, MA, NJ, CT, MD, etc.  I hope this helps.

Cheers,
   Janis

251
Homebrew Competitions / Re: 2010 National Homebrew Competition
« on: March 30, 2010, 11:04:02 AM »
Hi everyone,

Two regions have hit the maximum number of entries (750) as of Monday afternoon.  Those regions (Midwest and Northeast) are now restricted from taking any further entries. The entry limit rule was decided upon by the AHA Governing Committee's Competition Sub-committee as the best way to ensure the judging integrity for the competition.

Each year I examine the entries on a state-by-state basis with some additional criteria, to adjust the regions based on a prediction of the entries they are likely to receive.  Unfortunately this year, the adjustments for the Midwest region (location of the Conference in June) were not enough to prevent the entry limit from kicking in.  The entry totals from this year will be taken into account for next year’s competition, and the regions will be realigned as needed to prevent the limit from being reached again, if possible.

I'm sorry if you were caught by the entry limit this year, and I wish you better luck next year.

Cheers,
    Janis

Janis Gross
NHC Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org


252
Does anyone know how a home brew club gets on the "list" to host one of the club only competitions? Any info on this will be appreciated ;D

Hi Bo-Gator,

You can contact me to get the Club-Only Guidelines document, and to put your club on the list.  The next opening on the schedule is September/October 2013. 

Cheers,
    Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

253
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Northeast registration is CLOSED?!?!?
« on: March 30, 2010, 09:52:57 AM »
I was disappointed to find out that there was no room in a NATIONAL competition for my beer. War of the Worts, a local competition in the same area, had more than 800 entries and had no problems getting it done.>:(

Maybe it is time to redistribute or add another region in the Northeast. I think the only way to really determine who has the best beer is to give everyone a shot.

Hi Curt,

This is the first year we have had one region hit the limit, much less two!  The Midwest Region is also closed.

Every year I evaluate the number of entries for each region on a state-by-state basis to determine if realignment is necessary.  This year was no exception, but the changes were mainly centered on lowering the entry count in the Midwest region due to the Conference being held there this year.  I effectively increased the number of states in the East region, South region and, Northwest region,  and decreased the number of states in the Midwest and Southwest regions.  I will certainly look at the regions that have hit the limit this year when I realign the regions next year.

The online registration was live on February 26 this year (5 days earlier than last year) because the deadline was moved up one week (April 1).  I'm sorry you weren't able to register your entries earlier; I hope you have better luck next year.

Cheers,
   Janis

NHC Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

254
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Northeast registration is CLOSED?!?!?
« on: March 29, 2010, 09:45:23 PM »
Hi Babalu87,

I have to say I'm quite surprised by this turn of events myself.  This is the first time that we have had a region hit the limit since the limit was put in place.

You may still be able to enter your beers.  The system will delete entries that were made over 24 or 48 hours ago (I don't recall which it is right now), but that have not been paid for.  Keep checking the online registration because new openings will occur.

Good luck in the competition!

Cheers,
     Janis Gross
     NHC Director
     janis@brewersassociation.org

255
Hi Enso,

You might try shortening the address to Home Sweet HB.  I like the maple syrup answer.  Good luck in the competition!

Cheers,
Janis Gross
NHC Director
janis@brewersassociation.org

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