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Messages - AmandaK

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Ingredients / Re: lower cost bock
« on: January 29, 2015, 04:33:51 PM »
1) How much are you really going to save with these cheaper ingredients?

2) Is that difference really worth all the work to make what could be a sub par product?

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: January 29, 2015, 01:16:36 PM »
I'm a Hochkurz infusion masher when it comes to German lagers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Competition Scoresheet timeline.....
« on: January 29, 2015, 11:16:01 AM »
Scanning and emailing judging sheets is probably the easiest option available although for a large comp you need a fast scanner and somebody, or preferably multiple people, who has a good process in place to sort forms before they go in the scanner and afterwards as the files are being created. It's faster and cheaper to send forms by email with the cost of postage these days.

This is what we do for Malt Madness.  Our competition is around 500 entries and we have 2-3 to people to scan score sheets.  We used to stuff envelopes and have them available for people to pick up the day of the competition and send the rest out by mail, but we switched to scanning to save on postage.

Dave, what type of scanner are you using?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Competition Scoresheet timeline.....
« on: January 29, 2015, 07:31:12 AM »
I wasn't at all implying that running a comp is a one man job.

I know you weren't implying that.  :)

Setting up a central data gathering solution?  Yes.

Sadly, I have yet to find someone that will do this for us. Hell, I can't even get someone to build me an Access database!  :o

The problem with going digital is that you would have judges filling out score sheets on some sort of device. Here's some potential issues (I'm listing so we can talk about them an try and find a solution, not because I'm throwing it back at you):
- Many judges are older, with poor eyesight, and may be stuck in their ways of filling out a paper sheet.
- Does everyone bring their own device? What about the people who don't have smart devices?
- Comps depend on judges filling out sheets in about 10-12 minutes. Any longer than this and a 2.5 hour judging session turns into a 3.5-4.5 hour judging session - that's where you start to talk about judge fatigue. Imagine a 600 bottle comp, which is usually broken down into 2 early flights, 2 Friday flights, and 2-3 Saturday flights. If those sessions took longer than 2.5-3 hours a piece, it would be a disaster. Judges would drop like flies from fatigue and the organizer would likely not be able to do weeknight judging sessions. That's a huge issue. My point is this: many people take longer to type than write, especially on a mobile device or tablet. How can that be overcome?
- If they aren't full typed out score sheets, then how do you communicate to entrants that they might not get the traditional set of feedback?
- Who is going to set this database up? Do you have a reliable volunteer?
- How are you going to integrate it with something like the BCOE&M? From what I understand, it is updated every now and then, and you would have to patch your system in each time it is updated - who is going to do that?

My point is, there is a lot that goes into this and I don't see (at least our group) being able to pull it off. I'm open to suggestions.

Back to my other point of poorly run competitions, Jimmy hit the nail on the head:

The trouble is just that many organizers don't think ahead about the process.

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: January 29, 2015, 06:51:51 AM »
Oh yeah, as a follow up: I cranked it down to 0.039" gap. Doing no-sparge for a 5 gallon batch of ESB yielded 70%. I'll take it.

Wonder what I'll get with a single batch sparge? Hmm.

I'll bet on 80+ %.

I'll let you know when the weather gets nicer around here. Next batch is a 10 gallon batch of Pilsner. After all the wedding beers, I could probably brew a 10 gallon 1.050 beer with my eyes closed!  ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Competition Scoresheet timeline.....
« on: January 29, 2015, 06:36:57 AM »
Here's what I do: find comps that don't dilly dally around and get their packets out to their entrants on time. If it takes two weeks to get my stuff back from a comp, I don't enter that comp anymore. Simple as that. Same goes for medal packets. If I am sent the wrong medal and the organizer tells me 'tough sh*t' (yes, this has happened to me), then I don't enter that comp anymore.

If a competition is ran well, it takes two or three days to get the packets back to the entrants. Most of that time is spent sitting at a post office, watching them weigh and mail each packet. What should be happening is these comps should be stuffing the pre-labeled envelopes as the entry packets come in to the organizer, right after they are entered into the BCOE&M. Some comps don't have this system in place, so they just pile it all to the end and then don't do it for two weeks. A self addressed envelope isn't going to help these dilly dallying comps.

Here's one that I ran last year, and I'm mentoring our organizer in this year: Ask anyone on here that's entered it. We get our stuff out quick. I think last year we had them mailed (all 300+ packets) by the Wednesday after the comp. The year before that was similar.

Please don't take offense to this, but the "go digital" comments seem to come from people who have not yet taken charge of a full on beer competition. (Please, correct me if I'm wrong!) It's a lot more complicated than you think, and it is certainly not a "one man job". Well, unless you want to burn that 'one man' out completely and have him running for the hills!  :o

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: January 28, 2015, 03:17:59 PM »
Oh yeah, as a follow up: I cranked it down to 0.039" gap. Doing no-sparge for a 5 gallon batch of ESB yielded 70%. I'll take it.

Wonder what I'll get with a single batch sparge? Hmm.

Other Fermentables / Re: mead in a beer competition
« on: January 26, 2015, 12:12:11 PM »
Ouch, I think my questions are misunderstood.  I insinuated nothing, just asked a question.  The interviewer on the BN asked the beer brewer/meadmaker if he switched over to entering just meads cause it was easier to win mead medals than it was to win beer medals or something along those lines.  I was trying to find out if it is a prevalent attitude among judges. 

Here is the link, maybe I just took it wrong,  time stamp 44:50-about 47:00

Ah yes, it was misunderstood on my part. I read it as 'BN people insult mead makers and call it easy to make', which is not what you're saying. FWIW, I don't listen to the BN.

ANYWAY. I'm with udubdawg - who makes pretty dang good mead himself (even though it isn't sweet enough  ;)):

If you can make amazing mead I promise people don't think it is easy. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing the Basic/Classic styles
« on: January 25, 2015, 06:18:38 PM »
Ooo. If I had to pick:

1) ESB
2) Dry Stout
3) German lagers
4) weird husband beer
5) weird husband beer

Husband is a "weird beer guy" and I'm the to-style lady. The only beer we enjoy equally is a good dry stout. I think we're on the 5th or 6th batch of that one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Thoughts on my ESB recipe
« on: January 25, 2015, 03:08:27 PM »
British-style ale is my specialty.  The chocolate malt should stay.  What has to go is 8 ounces of the crystal malt.  That's way too much crystal malt for a British-style bitter.  If one researches real British-style bitters, one discovers that most British bitters get their color from a small percentage of chocolate or black patent malt.

Here's one of my British-style Bitter recipes:

Boil-Over Bitter (a.k.a. Anglo-American Bitter)

Batch Size: 5 gallons
O.G.: 1.052
F.G.: 1.012
ABV: 5.25%


8 lbs Thomas Fawcett Pearl
0.75 lbs Briess Torrified Wheat
1.5 ozs Thomas Fawcett Pale Chocolate

Mash: 90 minutes at 68C


1.5 ozs U.S. Cluster 6.2% AA (60 minute boil)
0.75 ozs U.S. Cascade 5.6% AA (10 minute boil)
1.5 ozs U.S. Cascade 5.6% AA (20 minute steep after chilling to 160C)

IBUs: 36

BU:GU Ratio: 0.69

Yeast:  Whitbread "B" (a.k.a. Wyeast 1098, WLP007, S-04)

You can substitute British hops for American hops.
I'm interested in this recipe as I've used crystal and no chocolate in my bitters and it seems most recipes are similar. I have the TF Pearl and TF chocolate but only flaked wheat. I was wondering if toasted wheat flakes would give a similar flavor as torrified. I have some wy1968 slurry in the fridge so I probably will use that.
Don't worry too much about the chocolate/crystal thing. There are many ways to skin a cat.

My recipe is basically mostly Maris Otter, 1/2# English Med Crystal, 1/4# English Xtra Dark Crystal, some UK Goldings, and WY 1968. Seems to work quite well as it wins in large comps. Might not be 'historical', but I like to drink it so that works for me!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Perlick 650 SS with flow control?
« on: January 25, 2015, 03:04:22 PM »
I have 5 of the 650SS faucets. I got them from Adventures in Homebrewing, which is the best price online.

I love them. Just get 'em. You'll love them as well. My only problem with them is that guests will turn the flow control knob while we have a party going. When you set up the controls for each beer and people mess with them, it's very annoying. I had to put up a sign. "No touchy the shiny knobs!" Seemed to work. ;)

Other Fermentables / Re: mead in a beer competition
« on: January 25, 2015, 02:58:35 PM »
1) You listened to the BN for real information. Unless you can filter out the d*ck jokes and insults, then don't apply their opinions to the rest of us.
2) I am a beer judge who makes beer, cider, and wine. I have never made mead or judged mead. I think it is too difficult and time consuming to make on my own for my level of consumption.

You rinse the shampoo off of your dog and you feel like you're sparging.
You do anything that involves rinsing and think of it as sparging. :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Anything Brewing 2day kids?
« on: January 23, 2015, 11:28:17 AM »
Will brew tomorrow, two batches with no sparge on each one. Brewed two batches on Sunday with single batch sparges, and I think I can shave a little time on the day by adding more grain and no sparging.

you segregate your beer drinking guests into who knows the difference and appreciates great beer and so-so beer. the so-so class always drinks from the keg you want to get rid of (guilty) ;D

EDIT: admit've done it  ;)
Haha. SO GUILTY. This is exactly what our outsourcing parties are. We have older beer on tap and have a fresh batch waiting in the wings. Solution? Invite friends over who accept the challenge. :)

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