Kyle has the way I would recommend it.
Get the mash pH right. Add the extra SO4 (and Ca) to the boil.
Get the mash pH right. Add the extra SO4 (and Ca) to the boil.
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If look into it, I think Gordon was between jobs in 2009 (after the meltdown) and used an unemployent check for his entries.I know plenty of people with more money than skill, and they wouldn't not balk at throwing a bunch of money at $40 entries if they think it'll help them win some national awards. Raising the entry fees to an abnormally high price would just encourage wealthier people to throw money at it while pushing out people with less means and quite possibly more skill and/or desire.
If you want to limit the amount of entries per person, it would make more sense to just limit the number of entries per person rather than making it a question of your disposable income.
I think limiting the number of entries is a good start but I still don't think that will be enough. It's limited to 15 right now and obviously that was still too many. I understand your point about disposable income. Someone mentioned a few pages back that one of the years Gordon Strong won the Ninkasi he spent one weeks salary on entry fees and shipping. That sounds completely crazy to me but I don't think he "bought" the contest. In fact I think by raising the entry fee you are not going to eliminate the hardcore homebrewer just the casual one who enters the NHC on a whim( like me!!). In fact maybe if they raised the fees the AHA could hire an extra staffer or two to help Janice out.....thus helping all of us out!!
Yes, too funny. I didn't intend this.
I think crystal in a Schwarzbier is fine. I use it in mine.
There are two separate issues here. Obviously, demand has been increasing every year... all regions filled up within 3 days last year, and a few hours this year. There has been lots of discussion on how to fix this.Was that last sentence sarcasm? My humor detector is on the fritz.
The other problem is that the registration software that the AHA switched to this year is garbage. It's unacceptable to have unqualified people hacking together technology like this. Looking at the "company" behind it (zkdigital.com), it's some guy in Colorado who probably knows people in the beer world but lacks any technical background other than some web design skills. You need to be licensed to do my taxes but any random guy can still write server software? C'mon, it's 2012.
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.
Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!
My tap water tastes pretty bad. I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal. I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense.
Try to find a water machine in a supermarket or something. I buy 15 gallons of water in 3 5 gallon jugs for each 10 gallon batch and it's about $0.34 per gallon so really I am adding less than the cost of a yeast package to my brew and I can know more or less exactly what my water profile is because anything in there was added by me. Cheaper than a pH meter and a TDS meter for a quite a while anyway.
I have an artisan well that pumps spring water out of a pipe in my home town. It's free and I trust artisan as a water source. But I do add a Tsp of Gypsum to my water before it boils.
Would distilled water be better?
If I could be in front of a screen clicking icons, sure. Have seen that done.
If it is all manual, no thanks. I have done that twice on an archaic system. You realize at some point that you can do it one day, but not every day. Brewing is a young man's game. I am an old fart.
If I had a brewery, I know there is paperwork, inventory, cellar work, loading dock work, ordering, etc. Then there are the sales, marketing, website, e-mails from customers, acounting, beer fests, etc.
Brewing would be fun, but only a fraction of the job. The owners often are behind a desk, a youngster is brewing.
Preach it, Brother Jeff! You've summed up my feelings exactly.
What we have here is a couple of old granny's, apparently. :p
At $30-$50 per entry, wouldn't you think there would be a requirement for the judges to be National or above, therefore limiting the number of judges. I know I wouldn't want to spend that money and have someone like me judge the beer.My thoughts on having a guy like me judging second round! You want the best of the best.
for the NHC the coastal regions max out quickly, as that is where the people are. Perhaps first round can be done in more than one event in the more populated regions. Instead of doing 750 entries in April, maybe you do a 500-600 entry first round in March, and another one 4 weeks later. You get to double up on the entries. You leave the total entries per brewer capped at whatever 15 entries, or maybe 10. This would also likely make the final round at the NHC a two day judging event. Maybe you can bump the registration to $15 or $20 per entry to allow some nicer incentives to bring in more judges. Maybe offer a separate judges banquet or something like that.
The last time we got on the stage, Charlie was not there. Settled for shaking hands with Gary, which was cool.I don't see any other way unless there is a lottery. Each person gets 15 chances and we draw randomly....kind of like hunting season. There will be years you get to enter a number of beers, there will be years that you get to choose your best one, and sometimes you stay home.
I think the problem with a lottery is that there are more brewers trying to enter than there are entries available. Odds are good you'd end up with one entry, with a very few people getting two and essentially no one getting three or more.
I personally wouldn't enter under any scenario where I'm limited to a small number of entries. Not because I'm trying for Ninkasi, but because my goal is to have one beer medal in the second round. I want to go up on stage, shake Charlie's hand, and bask in your applause... Bend you all to my will... Dance! Dance my puppets, dance!
Wait, what were talking about again?