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Messages - duboman

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« on: March 02, 2014, 03:13:56 PM »
I am not a judge but knowing several I know that it is a tough job tasting beer all day, or in some cases over several days. Some samples tremendous and some are down right nasty.

I think the judges, whether they are nationally ranked or just getting started, do their very best to fairly evaluate each and every beer, but yes, regardless of what score you get or comments you receive, take it for what it's worth-an opinion.

In the end, if you like your beer and are proud of it then enjoy it! Take the feedback you receive and apply the parts that you think could improve the beer and forget about the comments you might not agree with. I also find that when possible, enter the same beer in several comps to get a better overall feel of the beer.

It is also important to provide feedback to the judges on their evaluations. I have emailed several judges from various comps to get a better understanding of their comments and attach their score sheets so they can remember what they wrote as well, even if they don't recall the specific beer. For example: In my most recent comp my ESB received a 35 which I was happy with. The problem though was after reading one judges comments I found that his understanding of the style was lacking. Each thing I got dinged for is clearly stated in the guidelines as being true to style and more than acceptable. In a polite manner I emailed him a copy of the sheet and a suggestion that he re-read the style guideline so that he can improve his understanding and improve his judging knowledge. This was a "recognized" judge and his score brought my average down.

Judges are constantly learning their trade just like brewers. They take the time to volunteer but I also believe that as a brewer it is my right to provide them feedback as well, both positive and negative so they too can improve their trade.

As previously mentioned, you are dealing with the personal abilities of each judge to properly sample your beer and each person's ability to note certain characteristics will be different. Each person's threshold of taste will be different. I can easily detect most general flaws in a beer but when it comes to discerning the nuances of certain hops or malt profiles I fall short. In many cases I can even tell  you what yeast was used in a beer while others can't, every one has strengths and weaknesses. It is unfair to lump all judges together and call them biased.

The Pub / Re: Rain finally
« on: March 01, 2014, 04:01:33 PM »
Glad to hear ya'll are getting the much needed rains, hopefully they'll continue, it's pretty devastating to read about. We, in the midwest would be more than happy to ship out any amount of snow you'd like! 70" so far this year with another 4-6 forecast for today and done with it!

Cool.  Where did you see the scores with out the sheets?  On-line?

The stout is going to the NHC, I have to decide on the others.  My old ale was not quite to style, so I have to figure out if it can go in another category maybe.  And I'll tap the other batch of dubbel to see how it compares.

Yeah, the day after the comp the scores were posted on your entry page next to your entries and after that the home page had all the results for each category and the winners. Now I'm awaiting the Drunk Monk results being judged next weekend.

Good luck on the stout, I passed this year on the NHC, last year's debacle kind of put me off and I really couldn't wrap my head around my entries and getting motivated. I figured I would see how this year's comp played out and jump in again next year. From what I've read it appears a lot of the changes really went through well this year which is a great thing!

Personally I would remove the hop bag and cold crash for a few days and skip the gelatin. It may delay your bottling day but even with gelatin I don' think a day is long enough.

Congrats joe! Still waiting on my sheets, my ESB got a 35 and my pale a 32, looking forward to the reviews.


Judging the Specialty category last year at NHC we must have had four versions of Denny's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter.
only four?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: FIRST homebrew batch....
« on: March 01, 2014, 02:57:16 AM »

I'd only add at this point that you'd like the beer to ferment around 65-68 beer temp, not ambient.

You mentioned a tub, keep the vessel in that with water to buffer temps, if necessary you can add frozen water bottles to keep it cool, this will give you a nice clean ferment.

Cheers on the first beer!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What in the tun this weekend?
« on: February 28, 2014, 11:15:48 PM »
Hoping to brew up a dry stout this weekend if the family and weather cooperate with me:)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Saisons on Acid
« on: February 28, 2014, 11:14:30 PM »
Using the cheapo strips: looks to be on the lowest end (yellow/gold in color, 4-4.5).

No offense, but those are likely so inaccurate you have no idea what the pH is.

Heh, I kinda figured as much but I have no other way to read the ph at the moment.

The sample I pulled today seemed to be normal - no burning whatsoever. I'm still wondering what the hell happened - I don't sanitize my hydrometer and my wine thief was sanitized & dry when I took the reading. Strange.  I am also wonder what the ph would need to be to burn like that (my throat is still red and the less I tell you about my stomach, the better).

At any rate, I'll RDWHAHB for now and hope for the best. If there are any issues when the batch finishes up I'll update. I appreciate the responses, I rarely have problems like this but will definitely utilize the forum again.


Sounds to me like you pulled a quick sample of very green beer with a lot of fusel alcohols in it and sucked up some co2 with it as well since your second pull did not have the same issue. Kind of like passing out because you stuck your head in a freshly opened vessel and get a big whiff of co2 knocking you on your arse!


Cap is not good evidence cheating. I have 500 or so caps from a fairly well known Northern California brewery. I don't like to waste, so I will use them up before I buy new ones. Sure, I could buy caps specific for comps, but I don't always know if or what will be submitted.

When I started brewing overrun caps were the normal at the LHBS. Is this no longer the case?

I am no expert in competitions but the few I have looked at all require unmarked caps to avoid that problem.
thats why I mentioned recapping but I'm glad to know that if it did happen the entrant was sanctioned.


I wonder if anyone has ever entered a category 1 in a Sam Adams bottle with a blotted out Sam Adams cap? Would really make you wonder huh? Especially if it was like a 49 point beer...
i always wondered if anyone has ever simply removed the label off a commercial beer like Sierra, re-capped and entered it as their own

All Grain Brewing / Re: cold-weather brewing
« on: February 27, 2014, 11:08:18 PM »

I tried to get a boil going outdoors on a turkey fryer when it was in the mid-20s and quite windy. Not a mistake I will be making in the future.

I was successful in brewing in the cold with the turkey fryer by using it in my detached garage with the bay door and entry door open so there was a good draft. I sat in my car in the driveway and watched to make sure nothing bad happened. Not sure if the fumes in the garage would have been bad enough to cause harm to me but I didn't feel like taking the chance.
you would have been fine:)
I brew in the garage with the bay door open about a foot and the service cracked open. I have a co monitor and it's never gone off

Stuff like this happens even to those that regularly enter

I just recently shipped off beers to a local comp and got an email a few days later saying I broke the rules by entering two beers in one category, clearly stated as a NO in the rules:( no biggie, through a suggestion from the coordinator another category was recommended for one that fit another style well so he facilitated the switch for me...easy deal!


This sounds like an assumption.

As someone who runs competitions and goes through bottle check in, I will assure you that you will be cursed and grumbled at. But it is unlikely that you will be disqualified.
As one who was a steward at a local comp I can tell you that yes, we cursed but didn't disqualify the entries but check in with them anyways to be sure:) good luck!

Zymurgy / Re: Kumquat Wheat/Kolsch Recipe
« on: February 25, 2014, 08:55:18 PM »

you know, I never had a kumquat till I moved to california. but I really enjoy them. like an orange or tangerine but without all the sweetness, just wonderful aroma/flavor and touch of sour.

Here they have a cross that's available sometimes, a limequat. it's just what it sounds like tiny fully edible limes. yum.

Exactly! I find them pretty tasty although here in the Chicago are I have to track them down when in season, it's a little challenging.

I'll look for the limequat, that sounds good too!

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