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Messages - AmandaK

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You left out that you introduced yourself to a "D List" Homebrewer like me last year.  ;D

Ha, yes I remember! I thought I scared you a bit since I basically accosted you in the registration line. :)

I can't wait to go back!

Every year you go, you make new friends, so that by the time you've attended three or four, it seems like you know everybody or that everybody knows you - kinda like "Norm!"
It's not just the beer.  It's not just the seminars.  It's not just the chance to explore a new city.  It's the people.
I am looking forward to seeing a couple thousand of my best buds at my 16th conference.

This. So much this.

My first year (2012 - Seattle), I went alone. I had no club to go with but I wanted to go anyway. This past year (2014 - Grand Rapids) we went with 9 club members and did club night. A cliff notes of a few experiences for you:
  • I talked my way into judging the 2012 Final Round as a Certified judge with recommendation from the BJCP West rep at the time (GMII). I learned so much during that judging experience! My first flight was with Ron Price, who was on the AHA GC at the time, and I picked his brain on all things AHA and English bitter. My second flight was with Randy Scorby (who had just won AHA Homebrewer of the Year the year prior with a rauchbier) and we judged Cat 22. I picked his brain about all things rauchbier and ended up taking that knowledge home with me to brew the best rauchbier I had ever tasted. Randy and I still stay in contact via the BJCP (he is now one of the Education Directors and sets our club up with CEP sessions 4-6 times a year). When I saw him at 2014 NHC, he met my now husband and gave us pointers on where to go for our upcoming honeymoon.
  • Sitting at the bar on Friday night, by myself at my first NHC, I started talking with an older gentleman. Very nice man. He invited me to sit with his group at their table so we could all eat dinner together and continue our conversation about beer. I sit down, look around at everyone, and everyone is wearing a Blichmann polo. I jokingly ask, "What is this, the Blichmann table?" John reaches out his hand for a handshake and says, "Yeah, I'm John Blichmann. Very good to meet you!" Ha! Anyway, we all hung out all Club Night. Had a blast. One of the younger guys at the table, Pete, and I ran around all of club night, coming back to John and the rest of the crew when we found an excellent beer. It was awesome.
    We met again (they still all remember me somehow) at 2014 NHC, shared some hugs, laughed, and my husband thanked them all for keeping me company during Club Night. Love those guys! The found us during Club Night 2014 and hung around our booth for probably an hour.
  • I met Stan Hieronymus at GABF 2012 on a hungover plane ride and we have kept in touch, but during 2014 NHC the husband and I were running around with him during the welcome reception. Stan was running off to grab me beers he thought I should try and such. I'll never forget the look on on of our newer club member's faces, as if to say, 'Holy sh*t! Are you guys talking to Stan H??'. Haha, it was great. Of course, we introduced them and they chatted it up. Stan is such a wonderful person - would recommend being hung over on a plane next to him. :)
  • Denny and Drew. Enough said. My husband is a huge fan of them (he's the weird beer brewer) and was elated to meet them. It is super neat to have met and kept in touch with people who's book you have on your coffee table.
  • Martin Brungard. Awesome person. Since I knew what he looked like, I ran up and introduced myself. I was promptly greeted with a hug and a smile.
  • AHA Forum meet up. Once this gets arranged, don't miss it. It is awesome to put a face/person to the names we've all been talking to for the whole year. Last year, I did a mini-beer swap with Jimmy K where we traded a special beer/cider that we couldn't respectively get.

These are just a very small handful of the experiences I've had at NHC. And I've only been twice! Just go. You won't regret it.

...but I will spending several hundred dollars to drink homebrew?

Yes. And you will LOVE it.

But seriously? Just go. You will love it. We drove 11.5 hours each way last year and are going back this year again. Like Jeff said, best 3 days of beer related activities ever.

Good read, Marshall.

Follow up question for the group: I am likely going to forgo dryhopping in the future in favor of a whirlpool addition. I believe I get similar aromas from whirlpooling and dryhopping, but I get clearer beer from the whirlpool method.

Anyone else on a whirlpool kick? Or does the xBmt team want to tackle that one?

Equipment and Software / Re: A smart-device for brewing
« on: May 05, 2015, 06:03:17 AM »
I do not see the advantage of just knowing the temperature continuously. I already know and record the temperature of my wort/beer at every important juncture, knowing any more than that is just more data that I wouldn't have use for.

Ingredients / Re: Malt Flavor: American vs. Belgian
« on: May 04, 2015, 02:12:52 PM »
Dingemans is just superior in every way for Belgians over Briess IMO.  Briess malts are ok for American styles but are mild flavored,  and are not as good as Rahr (domestic) malts IMO.  But for Belgian beers, Dingemans and Castle are tops across the board. Excellent pils, pale and specialty malts.


All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: May 04, 2015, 08:04:59 AM »
The parents came out this weekend for a yard-work weekend. We got some stuff done.

Garden related:

Moved 4 more CY of mulch into the garden area and moved out ~2500# of the rock that was there. Transplanted some raspberries from the way back to the garden area. Installed 16 10' tall sign posts for vertical gardening and tomato support. Put up some little fencing around the beds. Planted a few more hot peppers. Started getting the metal edging around this area. (BTW - this stuff better last until we move. It is a PITA to put in.)

We also took a chainsaw to a 9' tall "stump" in the backyard. I cut out a section to use for Hammerschlagen, so that should be fun for our Oktoberfest party.  8)

Our peach tree in the way back (behind the fence) has a couple dozen little peaches on it, but it also has some peach leaf curl. I think I need to get those leaves off of it and spray the rest of the tree.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Collecting data at NHC?
« on: May 01, 2015, 05:19:40 AM »
I'm in.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Lines and Disconnect Cleaning
« on: April 30, 2015, 02:31:55 PM »
When the keg runs out of beer, we run Beer Line Cleaner though the line with one of the things that Steve linked. I just keep it full of BLC so we don't have to mix chemicals while drinking.
I built one of these.

The vinyl lines were replaced after 10 months with barrier lines. I likely won't replace the barrier lines every year.

The only gas-side cleaning I do is to spritz some Star-San on the gas post & QD before I connect them. Same process with the beer-side.

The disconnects (gas and beer) are disassembled and soaked in Star-San if they begin to get buildup on them (every 2-3 kegs or so).

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg outflow problem
« on: April 30, 2015, 09:19:21 AM »
FWIW, I keep a little glass of water in the bottom corner of my chest freezer. The probe sits in that. (Yes, there is a fan in the freezer.)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg outflow problem
« on: April 30, 2015, 08:14:02 AM »
Where is your temp probe measuring 39F from?

Beer Recipes / Re: Dunkel and Schwarzbier recipes differences
« on: April 29, 2015, 11:48:06 AM »
The people that keep telling me to make mine bigger, richer, more body, and -my favorite- "add 10% roast malt" are not really getting it.

So... 20% more roast malt??  ;D Hahaha.

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: April 28, 2015, 06:53:32 AM »
All my brambles and ribes come today. All 59 of them. As well as some rhubarb crowns. Glad I fire weeded the rows last night. This will be exciting!

Holy. Crap.  ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cloudy lager after kegging
« on: April 27, 2015, 05:39:48 PM »
So if you let the beer warm up again, is it still hazy?

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: April 27, 2015, 01:41:48 PM »
She just placed slices between blocks as is. I think it was for 24 or 36 hours. She put in a baking pan to catch the water. They ended up thin, salty ( but not as salty as you might think), and flexible. You wouldn't exactly mistake them for prosciutto but they were tasty wrapped around cantaloupe and honeydew.


I'm imagining this would be excellent as a garnish on a watermelon daiquiri (not the frozen kind!), among many other things.

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