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Messages - santoch

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Honing Your Skills
« on: January 16, 2017, 10:05:37 PM »
All of these techniques are a means to an end.  That end is repeatability/predictability. 

Most AG brewers, myself included, took a while before we knew exactly where our beer will "land".
Hitting things like mash temps, mash efficiency, boil starting and ending volume, etc, all tend to be somewhat wild at first.  Getting them to a small std. deviation is a sign that you have control over your process.  Making beer stops being a crap shoot and turns into a game of how accurate you can brew to target.

At that point, you'll be able to brew any recipe and deliberately nail it or at worst come really close.
And that's when you can then move on to dreaming up your own recipes and brewing and hitting them on demand, which IMO is where the fun really begins.  I LOVE dreaming up a beer, designing a recipe to hit that profile, and then brewing a beer that tastes, looks, smells, and feels exactly like how I imagined it would.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I offer this for open ridicule ....
« on: January 16, 2017, 09:44:45 PM »
I wonder if the guy cooks?  After all, you can go to a restaurant and get whatever you want to eat.

If it moves but shouldn't, add duct tape.
If it should move but doesn't, add WD-40.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: International presence at HombrewCon
« on: January 11, 2017, 05:53:40 PM »
We had a similar situation for a couple of the events we held in WA last year.  A bunch of folks from BC wanted to come, but the laws prohibited transport of their beer over the US/CA border.
They hooked up with some of the clubs from over the border in WA and they did a collaboration brew here, avoiding the issue.
I realize this doesn't necessarily work from over an ocean, but I thought I'd throw it out there in case it might be a possibility for folks.

Negative comments about my beers at brew club meeting because they are not IPAs, sours, fruit or any other molested style of brew. Comments are like: "good but not hoppy enough", "good but I like more funk." WTF is FUNK?
Feeling like an oddball, I quit going. Why can't people appreciate a good regular beer anymore?

Find another club if you can.  Or start your own.
Lots of folks like ALL kinds of beers, not just the hoppy/BIG/crazy stuff.  They are out there.

The Pub / Re: Movie soundtracks
« on: January 08, 2017, 12:31:21 AM »
I loved the music in Forrest Gump.

The Pub / Re: Horrible beer products
« on: January 08, 2017, 12:25:14 AM »
Any of you see that Best Buy/Verizon commercial of the family around the table while grandpa carves the turkey with his laser-vision, then when redheaded-manbun-dork turns his head to look the other way --- ZRRRRRP!! The manbun falls into his bowl of soup!

That was by far my favorite commercial in recent memory.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Diacetyl rest left too late?
« on: January 07, 2017, 11:47:04 PM »
Every time I have suspected diacetyl but wasn't sure, there was ultimately diacetyl.

I would leave the beer on the yeast and warm for another week. You can also very gently stir the yeast into suspension. That will allow more yeast cells a chance to consume the diacetyl. Be careful not to oxidize the beer though.


Ingredients / Re: Hop addition time for maximum flavor?
« on: January 02, 2017, 09:32:41 PM »
I like to do my APA's and IPAs by "layering" in a mix of hops every few minutes starting at 20 and going through flame out, and dry, This is sort of a play on Dogfish Head's continuous hopping, but I skip everything between 60 and 20, and do it in 5 minute chunks instead of continuously fed.

Generally for 5 gallons, I'll take 6 oz total of 2 or 3 different varieties of hops, and stir them in a bowl. Then add an oz of the mixture at 20, 15, 10, 5, 0, and dry.

Varietals I like that work well together as late blends:
Chinook, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, Galaxy, Citra, Mosaic, Nelson Sauvin, Willamette, Columbus, and Soriachi Ace.

I calculate the IBU contribution of the late hops, then add a small dose of Chinook at 60 (on the order of 1/4 oz in a 5 gal batch) along with enough of a cleaner bittering hop like Magnum, Perle, or sometimes Cascade at 60 to hit the IBU target.  I may have to juggle it around to get the IBUs right, like adding the bittering addition at 50 mins or something.

I haven't seen any NE IPA's up here near Seattle either, though I admit I'm not out looking for them.  All that yeast is bound to cause some nasty beer farts.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Diacetyl rest left too late?
« on: January 01, 2017, 11:41:01 AM »
^^ What they said.

"As long as it takes" is key.  Keep tasting until the diacetyl is gone, and don't be afraid of adding esters or anything due to high temps now that it's nearly finished.  Those compounds were created long ago, and warmth now will only make it better.

The BJCP knew when it created the online exam that some folks would treat it as open book.  The idea was that if the time constraints are tight enough, searching for the answers would still take longer than allotted time would allow, so the best strategy is to actually learn the material.  Ok, the Compare-O-Matic makes that concept moot.  Congratulations!  You passed a test by looking at the answers! Here's your participation trophy! Enjoy!

The result is still the same point that people have been griping about.  The old exam required people to know the styles, ingredients, and troubleshooting topics by heart. That doesn't seem to hold in every case now.

As far as picking and choosing which styles you want to learn and become certified in, it sounds nice on the surface, but the logistics don't scale.  For example, how many different beers would an exam administrator need to serve so that he could satisfy all of the individual cases of "I'm studying this style but not that style"?

Why is this happening?  There is bloat involved -- too many judges and WAY too many "styles" for them to learn and try to interpret, many of which they've probably never tasted before.  That I feel is the biggie -- bloat of all kinds.  Plus I wonder if the online exam for newbies is either too easy or if people are cheating while taking it, I don't know which, probably some of both, and I've never taken the electronic exam.  I'm one of the "legacy" guys from about 2006/2007 who basically had to take the Master level essay exam just to get in as Recognized.

I won't comment about the level of cheating.  It's impossible to prove, though I have my suspicions.  But, I think that you are right in that the 3 phase exam has made it much easier to become certified.  I'm as guilty as everyone.  When I taught the class for the "legacy" exam, folks either learned all of the material or they didn't pass the exam. 

In my experience, it takes less effort to score a passing grade in a multiple choice type exam than one that is essay based.  We concentrated more on the tasting skills for the new exam, because as long as they pass the online, that's "good enough".

So we have folks that scrape by on the online exam, and then write 6 cohesive-enough score sheets to pass.  But, they never retained the material that they "learned" to pass the online. As time goes on, quality suffers.

With respect to snarky comments on score sheets, that's just unacceptable.  Please report those sheets to the competition organizers.

I started out homebrewing (this edition) believing I was a lager only guy, but I've fallen in love with saisons.  Is this an "unpopular" brewing opinion?  ???

Saison is everywhere.  Your opinion is quite popular.

The Reinheitsge-stapo might feel otherwise, but I agree, LOTS of people have latched onto Saison.

IPAs are incredibly overrated.


Agreed.  I love a good IPA, but they are NOT my go to beers.

I'll throw these out there.

"Beer connoisseurs" that can't find the simple elegance of and skill involved to create a well made Pilsner, Helles, or even -- I'll say it -- an American Lager, haven't been tasting/making beer long enough.  This is why I never bother with the beer ratings sites.

Similarly, my favorite categories to judge are CAT 1 and CAT 2. (Light Lagers and Pilsners).
1) Only the very best brewers and the most naive ones enter them.  This makes judging them either a joy to drink or a quick list of obvious flaws.  Few are in the middle.  Makes judging them pretty quick and usually easy.
2) Nobody else wants to judge them, so I don't have to beg like the 30 guys trying to get the Sours or Strong Belgians.
3) You aren't hammered by lunch

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