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Messages - AmandaK

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Zymurgy / Re: How long till I get my first issue
« on: February 01, 2015, 08:46:26 AM »
The magazine comes out every two months, so I'd imagine that you're first issue would be the March/April one. I think that comes out in February.

Welcome to the club! :D

All Grain Brewing / Re: Campden Tablets
« on: January 31, 2015, 05:00:38 PM »
Tried boiling it first for one batch. Same thing, going to get the water tested when I move this summer. Haven't ever noticed that plastic burp tasted with my house brown or stout so that's what I will brew until then
Just throw a crush Camden tablet into the strike water and/or boil water. It'll cover your butt.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Perlick 650 SS with flow control?
« on: January 31, 2015, 04:29:02 PM »

Sometimes you have to pour two or three pints to be certain! 
And fill a few growlers without adjusting the tank pressure.
It's probably the coolest thing about flow controls. Well, that and switch between saisons and ESBs on the same beer line.

Ingredients / Re: lower cost bock
« on: January 30, 2015, 10:45:24 AM »
Try chewing on Briess Munich versus Best Malz Pilsner and Best Malz Munich I. It's amazing how much the Breiss Munich tastes like the Pilsner malt.

Ingredients / Re: lower cost bock
« on: January 30, 2015, 07:19:36 AM »
Long story made short, Steve:

Sure you can do it! But your own priorities are going to have to tell you if it's worth it.

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: January 30, 2015, 07:05:00 AM »
Jon, it's no more involved than raising the temp for mashout on our system.

If I'm doing a German lager, I'll usually do a rest at 145F, then one at 158F, then mashout. The time spent at the 145F and 158F flips between 30 and 45 minutes. If I want a more fermentable beer, I do 45 minutes at 145F and 30 at 158F. If I want more body, I reverse that.

Looks like the next few weekends are going to be too cold for brewing, so that will give me some time to source Saphir hops and maybe even get some more done on the basement bar. I have some custom lights coming in, I want to install a new fixture for spotlighting, I'd like to get some shelves on the bar back, maybe install the new bathroom door, get a frame around the map, and install a new sliding glass door to the deck.

In the meantime, here's a crappy quality picture of the table we built:

It got good use over the past weekend. Mario Kart N64 prior to a party we had:

I'm really going to have to take some proper pictures when this thing is all said and done. Cell phone pictures just aren't doing it justice.

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.

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