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Messages - smkranz

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Classifieds / Re: Looking for NHC Banquet Ticket
« on: June 10, 2013, 12:36:49 PM »
I still have one available.  Please send me a private message if you still need one, and we can go from there.  My cost $50 is your cost.  Note, attendees to the banquet also have to have a conference pass.

Events / Re: Parking at NHC?
« on: June 10, 2013, 12:31:23 PM »
Some of our club members plan to caravan out to my dad's place in northeast Philly after we drop off our beers.  His complex has ample & free parking.  We'll meet there, consolidate ourselves and our stuff into one mini-van, maybe make a quick stop for some German coldcuts and landjäger and drive one vehicle to park down at the hotel instead of 3 or 4.

$20 for directions to his place 8)

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Judging at 2nd round NHC
« on: June 03, 2013, 06:34:59 PM »
I'm sure they will be formulating the judge assignments in the next few weeks.  I expect that we will hear something a week or so beforehand.

It would be quite nice if notice was received more than a week in advance.  If I'm not judging on Thursday I'd like to know sooner than later, so that I can fill the day with other things beery.

I like to occasionally enter comps in far-off locales just for grins.  I just hope their first legal comp is won by an Alabaman.
Would love to be able to swing a trip down to judge if they need judges.  But right after NHC might be a tough sell to the S.U.

Events / Re: Looking for an NHC 2013 Ticket...
« on: May 21, 2013, 07:00:10 AM »
Y'all need to use the Classifieds board.

Classifieds / Re: 1 NHC Awards Banquet Tickets Available
« on: May 21, 2013, 06:55:49 AM »
One banquet ticket is still available after all.  $50.  Send Private Message if interested.

Classifieds / Re: 2 NHC Awards Banquet Tickets Available
« on: May 17, 2013, 07:48:39 AM »
Yes.  :)

Classifieds / 1 NHC Awards Banquet Ticket Available
« on: May 16, 2013, 11:11:43 AM »
We will not be using the two banquet tickets I purchased, so they are now available.  I wish to sell them at cost ($50 each).  I'll assume the PayPal fees.

Would prefer to sell both at once, but I'll also sell them individually.

Please send a Private Message if you're interested.


The Pub / Re: Best TV theme song
« on: May 12, 2013, 05:42:32 AM »
This is ridiculous.  Really?  OK, I'll give you Hawaii Five-O and the Captain, but they're no. 7 and 6 respectively.



The world's classic theme song, that changed the world, unifies people of all geopolitical stripes from around the world, and to this day makes me tingly all over every time I hear the opening.

3, 2, and 1.

Been using this Blickmann Therminator for a couple years now.  I run 5 gallons of PBW at 140+ degrees then 5 gallons rinse water via pump to clean, then back flush till clear.  I thought all this time I was giving this plate chiller a really good cleaning out. Finished brewing last week and cleaned the plate chiller as usual.  Unplugged the unit and set it in the sink to drain. Everyday this week I have run the back flush hose and I am getting quite a bit of grain bits/whole cone hop debris.  I think I must have never, really cleaned this chiller out completely!

I am trying to come up with a good way to totally clean this plate chiller out spotless.  I have heard of brewers putting these in the oven and literally baking the thing.  Seems to me this would only burn the debris to the plates.  Thought about using caustic.....

Anyone got a great, sure fire, total clean method for plate chillers like mine that must be encrusted with barnacles of brew kettle debris?

My Therminator is used with a BoilerMaker kettle and a Blichmann boil screen installed.  The screen is pretty clutch to the Therminator's happiness.  No way you should ever let grains, let alone whole hop cones, get in there.

As soon as I'm done pumping wort through the Therminator, all solid debris is hosed out of the kettle.  Fresh water heated to 120+ degrees, mix in a pretty rich PBW solution, and recirculate the hot PBW through the Therminator for 20-30 minutes with the valve on the output of the pump opened all the way to get lots of movement through the chiller.  If I remember, I'll switch the hoses to reverse the flow for awhile, but that almost never happens.  Then hook up a garden hose, flush both ways through the chiller for a little while.

Never have I seen debris come out of the chiller.  That said, I can't see inside the thing, and do wish that Blichmann (or someone else) would produce an efficient plate chiller which homebrewers could (1) afford and (2) take apart to clean.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: May 03, 2013, 10:41:45 AM »
This said, I am rather upset about the sheets I received for my entry in the "Wood and Smoked Beer" category. Sure I got a low score and am a bit bitter about that (but don't worry I'm not going to tantrum here and defend the merits of my beer, etc.). What is really disappointing is that this category was paneled solely by a non-bjcp and an apprentice level judge. So, not one of the judges has scored higher than a 60 on the BJCP exam...

For a national competition where prices were rather steep and stakes rather high, I find it extremely disappointing that I did not receive scoring or feedback from a more experienced judge. I understand that there may be a lack of judges, but even at the smallest of competitions in which I have judged there has always been a "recognized" or higher ranked judge on each panel (and typically "certified" or higher). I'm not one of those entrants that throws every beer I brew into the national competition; I only send the beers I think would do well, and I do expect to receive feedback from experienced palates that will enable me to fine tune and better these beers.

To be clear, this has nothing to do with these two particular judges -- I am grateful for their effort in tackling a rather difficult category with limited experience, and will most likely be responding to them individually with my specific responses to their scoresheets. (If you're out there guys, thanks for the feedback, and stick with it!)

I'm curious to hear if others met with similar panels in other NHC regionals, or if this was only a problem in the NYC regional.

Ditto.  I received a set of score sheets from a provisional judge and non-bjcp.  That's poor.  We offer new judges seats at our competitions, but only when we have a Certified or higher judge (or two!) to pair them with. 

I know from experience that getting judges to sign up can be like pulling teeth, but the NHC has to have judging centers near a sufficient population of ranked judges to do the job, or incentivize judges to travel with a gas stipend, a comp motel room, or both.  Otherwise, people who get score sheets judged at this level will be turned off, like i was last night when i read them.

Last year I traveled long distances twice, to judge at two 1st round centers, on my own dime just for the experience.  This year the closest center was probably over 5 hours away.  I would have liked to go again, but I couldn't justify the expense to the Spousal Unit this year.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When to add Honey?
« on: May 01, 2013, 05:44:09 PM »
I prefer to add honey to beers 2-3 days after fermentation has been well under way.  There is already alcohol present which will deter any infection from wild yeast or bacteria, and still plenty of yeast rarin' to go to ferment fresh (and simpler) sugars, as long as your chosen yeast is tolerant of higher alcohol %.

No problems after many years of brewing with honey this way.  I use the least-processed honey I can find (i.e. not super-market pasteurized honey).  Local beekeepers' honey is the best and most aromatic, but at least in my neck of the woods, the only local beekeeper honey that is available is usually wildflower.  For varietal honey, I have to drive a bit, or order online.

The Pub / Re: Best tablet not made by Apple
« on: April 28, 2013, 06:00:39 PM »
I thought HP was getting out of the tablet biz? Slate 7?

HP is getting back into that game with the Slate 7.  It's a 7" Android tablet.  Android 4.1, with the addition of Beats Audio and HP ePrint.  MSRP $169.

The Pub / Re: Best tablet not made by Apple
« on: April 28, 2013, 02:42:09 PM »
Going out on a limb here, but I love the HP TouchPads (I have 3 of 'em).  Sadly, it is a discontinued device but can still be found new for about $250 or pre-owned for less on eBay.

Best thing about it is, it can dual-boot two operating systems...its native webOS, or Android.  Plus on the webOS side of the device, you can load a very robust stable of homebrew apps, patches and tweaks.  So although there are very few new apps coming through HP's App Catalog, you have homebrew apps on the webos side, and Android on that side of the device.

Full disclosure: I volunteer as an "Expert" on HP's support forums, primarily for webOS and Palm (yeah, remember them?) devices, and soon for HP's upcoming Slate 7 Android tablet which is expected out very soon.

Some people recommend adding the honey as active fermentation slows so the yeast consume the complex sugars first and then go on with the simple sugars of the honey but IMO this would create the drier, thinner beer


How dry it goes depends a lot on the yeast strain, and Safale US-05 can go pretty dry no matter when you add the honey.  If you're worried about body, a little maltodextrine in the boil would help.  Packaging says 8 oz. per 5 gallons of beer...YMMV.

(FWIW, 40% of your fermentables as honey is really high.  I make a Pale Ale with about 15-18% of honey as fermentable and sometimes I think it's too much.)

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