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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best ale yeast for lagers
« on: October 23, 2013, 07:23:57 AM »
Wyeast 1007 works very nicely at 58F.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 22, 2013, 07:31:10 AM »
I will point out again that I had a beer score 42 at a 1000 entry competition here in MI, then it got a 32 a month later first round of NHC (Octoberfest, First round judge knocked it cause it was not a Maerzen). There are many beers that peak quickly and one would have to rebrew for first round. So is that rebrew qualified, as it is a different batch? I know that many rebrew for the second round, want your viewpoint.

It could be approached the same as the difference between rounds of the NHC. People often rebrew between rounds of the NHC so they should be allowed to rebrew between qualifying and the first round of the NHC. Seems to me for many categories you would want rebrews. For example, it's doubtful many people would want to put six month old IPA in a competition.

I should also point out that I do not brew for competitions and I've never entered any competition. I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just looking at what would make the best use of the limited resources available to judge the competition. It seems Amanda's experience strongly suggests there are a lot of beers going into the NHC that should receive detailed feedback and improvement before getting into the NHC. Pushing those beers into club-run competition where the brewers would have to improve the recipe before it could go into the NHC would benefit the brewer and the NHC.

Having competed a lot over the last dozen years, there are a couple of things that are true.
1a. There is a lot of variability in the judges that your beer will get.
1b. The same 'beer' will place differently in several competitions. A guy I know who was cider maker of the year entered the same cider into our state fair competition, he said it did nothing. I had a beer that did real well in the NHC second round, and it did nothing in the state fair. You think those should have done better?
2. There are beers that are wonderful in the keg, but are not so good once bottled without high attention to detail in bottling. This has happened to me. A beer gun and being anal about O2 and sanitation are things that have helped.
3. Many, myself included, will have some "cellar blindness" when it is time to enter. This is where running the beers past other judges would help, but then again that worked for one beer this year but not another.

Even Gordon Strong had a rule of thumb that 1/3 of the beers will place in a competition. You would think he would do better.  ;)

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 22, 2013, 04:44:38 AM »
+1 on the initally limiting to AHA members.  If you are that interested in brewing, you SHOULD be an AHA member
Many agree, and it's been brought up before. But I think someone researched it and the number of non-AHA members entering is so small that although it's a fine idea, it will be a negligable difference. There is overwhelming demand from members alone.
Yes, there are very few non-AHA members who enter.  Still, we'll save those spots for AHA members.  Maybe in the future we can meet the demand and include non-AHA members again.  Ah, for the days when the competition never sold out . . .
That was not so long ago.

Tom, has anyone plotted the entries vs. year? That would have a nice trajectory, flattened by the limit being reached the last 2 years.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Timothy Taylor's Landlord
« on: October 21, 2013, 09:29:22 PM »
After doing a little digging, it looks like someone found a report for another spring water drawn from Keighley, and it's relatively soft. TTLL definitely tastes pretty dry and minerally to me, though. Here's the values that were listed:

Mineral Analysis (mg/L)
Calcium 41.2
Magnesium 19.1
Sodium 26.5
Potassium 3.54
Sulphate 18.3
Chloride 12.9
Nitrate <1.00
Aluminium <0.01
Bicarbonates 278
Dry Residues at 180c 262
PH at source 7.30

Here's the thread where I saw this:

ESB - If you're not tasting the snatch, you're doing it wrong!
Lets say that is the water that TT uses for Landlord. What do they do with it to reduce the alkalinity then and add to it? That would not give the Burton Snatch I remember from drinking TTL on cask in England.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 21, 2013, 09:33:55 AM »
If the lottery results in some people having more opportunities to enter beers then that has a big impact on who can win ninkasi. I have to imagine few people really enter with the expectation of competing for the ninkasi but if you were one with that goal it would really suck to pull a low number in the lottery.

Why not treat the NHC as sort of the playoffs of homebrewing competitions? Rather than make it an open competition, set a requirement that beers can only be entered if they have scored a minimum score in one or more AHA-sanctioned competitions. It shouldn't be that hard to coordinate a database of results from sanctioned local competitions. The cutoffs could be set to allow the maximum number of beers the AHA can support appearing at the NHC. In the alternative you could require a beer to pick up a designated number of points to qualify where points are earned based on scores at sanctioned competitions. If necessary, the local clubs could be required to pay back a flat amount or portion of entry fees in exchange for becoming a qualifying event.

It's win-win. It focuses entries towards local competitions where brewers are more likely to get detailed notes. It also cuts out low scoring beers from the NHC infrastructure, which opens more spots for quality beers. Honestly, there is no reason for beers below 35 points being judged at the NHC.

I will point out again that I had a beer score 42 at a 1000 entry competition here in MI, then it got a 32 a month later first round of NHC (Octoberfest, First round judge knocked it cause it was not a Maerzen). There are many beers that peak quickly and one would have to rebrew for first round. So is that rebrew qualified, as it is a different batch? I know that many rebrew for the second round, want your viewpoint.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: lager starters?
« on: October 21, 2013, 05:33:28 AM »
I have 5 liter flasks for lager starters.

As Jim says you can also do small gravity to big gravity step.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Why does my PH fluctuate so much?
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:37:09 AM »
You could always mash without the Carafa and cold steep it separately. Add the cold steep at the end of the mash. That way you mash will stay higher.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gorgeous Brew Day
« on: October 18, 2013, 07:04:30 PM »
On the drive from Bend to the coast there's a pretty spectacular lava field.  Is that it?

That's definitely not the Newberry Crater flow; you have to take a road east off highway 97 to get there. Well worth the trip. I see a couple different lava fields on the map west of Bend, so you'll have to be more specific about which highway you're referring to.
McKenzie Pass is what I remember, after looking at a map.  Highway 20 between Sisters and Cascadia.

No, it is more south and a little east of the highway. Huge flow of obsidian, not what we think of lava, this is black glass. On top there are obsidian boulders almost the size of a Smart car.

A ways from there, there was a lava flow with casts of trees, that left round voids down into the lava.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 18, 2013, 12:53:26 PM »
I just saw this on the NHC competition page on the AHA site:

Please check back in January 2014 for information about how to enter the competition.  Registration will be done lottery-style, allowing entrants to register themselves and a specified number of entries (TBD) at their leisure.  After the registration period, entrants will be notified regarding the actual allowed number of entries per entrant (TBD).

I'm sure when they release the details it will be more clear, but the last line has me wondering.  I'm curious if you submit your entries, and they "pull from a hat" which ones can go in.

Either way, there's sure to be some complaining  ;)
That is going to be interesting. It looks like you will register online, and then if those are picked in the lottery, and you send to the first round. Right?

With the general dissatisfaction last year, this will be a change that will let everyone have time to register, but many will still get left out. The AHA will get a look at the potential demand for entry slots if there were no limits.

Should be a fun ride.

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 18, 2013, 04:16:11 AM »
I brewed a beer once years ago using 100 percent maple sap as the liquid. Wasn't good but I did it. Not sure there was much sugar in it.

well about 1/20th as much as maple syrup right? so 3.5% or so?

I've often considered this and I think I would want to use partially boiled sap instead of straight.

More like 1/40th, I believe. I wonder what was so bad about it? I once brewed an extract brown ale with sap reduced to 1/5 of it's original volume. It was terrible. Very smoky from the wood fire I cooked the sap over.

I recently tasted a beer brewed with shagbark hickory syrup. The syrup is made by boiling tree bark for flavor and adding sugar to make the syrup. On it's own it tastes pleasant: woody, nutty, and sweet. Fermented in a beer, it's horribly tannic.

The guys around here say 1/40 for boiling down maple sap to syrup. One friend does Birch syrup, and that is 1/100, so he gets a very low yield.

I have tasted the Hickory bark syrup from southern Indiana. It as interesting, don't remember it being tannic, but that was just the syrup, so the sugar was probably covering up the tannins.

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 17, 2013, 04:57:08 PM »
Muscovado sugar. Stronger flavors.
I also have some Palm sugar which has a rich taste, but have not used.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership
« on: October 17, 2013, 06:26:19 AM »
I would love to join but, don't know which would be a good membership for me since I just started homebrewing  8) ;D
sign up for a year. Benefits of membership are discussed early in this thread. If you use the benefits, you will realize that the cost:benefit ratio is low. I say the membership pays for itself.

Equipment and Software / Re: How to Motorize a Grain Mill
« on: October 16, 2013, 05:02:14 PM »
Was always under the impression that a belt offers some compliance to the system if a rock jams the rollers. I had a bag of malt with 3 rocks, and with a drill, it was rather exciting when the mill would pop up in the air when it all locked up.

Beer Recipes / Re: Copyright
« on: October 16, 2013, 04:57:59 PM »
I have always benefited from the advice and free sharing of recipes that others have given me. I give my recipes out.

Though I have just remembered that I owe a couple of guys a recipe.

Beer Recipes / Re: Copyright
« on: October 16, 2013, 04:10:07 PM »
Beer recipes are a dime a dozen. Recipes in general can't be copyrighted, the legal folks can correct if wrong (looks like they already have weighed in). As said keep it secret, like the Coke Cola recipe if you think it is supper special.

There are recipes for Pliny the Elder on the web, supplied by Vinnie Cilurzo. Now why would he do that? He says the equipment and procedures are hard to duplicate, so you get a similar beer, but not exactly the same. Sort of like Grandma's apple pie recipe.

MY homebrew club did an activity that weighed out the same ingredients in kits - malt, hops and yeast - for club members to brew a home, so water and process were not controlled. When judged there was a 20 point spread. So much for a recipe being special.


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