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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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2911
Events / Re: Announcing the names of the winning beers
« on: July 07, 2013, 06:14:44 PM »
The names are in the winners edition of Zymurgy, no?

Now you need to enter the name and recipe as part of the second round. Or am i dreaming?

2912
Homebrew Clubs / Re: Club night pictures
« on: July 07, 2013, 05:58:57 PM »
#7 is my wife facing our very good friend Bob.

2913
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 06, 2013, 03:06:22 PM »
I had 14 beers in the first round.  I find that usually 30% of my beers move to the 2nd round and maybe another 30% may medal.  I think if we limit the number of first round entries to 5 you will end up with a lot of brewers tied for the Ninkasi with 1 gold medal.

Participation by highly qualified judges is what makes the NHC work. Getting those judges into seats at the various competitions is a critical effort. 

I noticed a recommendation for judges to get a pre-registration slot for the next year's competition.  That is a no-cost incentive that AHA can provide judges and it is something that is reasonable.  Those judges have already spent hundreds of dollars in some cases to support the judging.  Another no-cost incentive for judges is to give them a pre-registration slot for the conference too.  Both of these options are no-cost to AHA, but will require a bit of bookkeeping.  This shouldn't be a big deal and given the exclusivity of these registrations, they could be STRONG incentives.8

I do worry about the qualifications of the judges at the NHC and the potential for the opportunity for pre-registration to be abused or 'not effectively' used to get highly qualified judges in the seats.  Therefore, I suggest that a certain number of pre-registration slots be allotted to each first round center with the competition organizer having the discretion of awarding the slots to judges, but it would generally be the highest ranking judges receiving those slots.  This also provides the competition organizer a stick (or carrot) to make sure that judges are providing good feedback.  At the BJCP meeting in Philly, we lamented the fact that even highly-ranked judges can sometimes provide poor feedback.  This is a tool that the competition organizer might use at their discretion.   

Although the NHC is one of the highest entry cost competitions, its the de-facto highest competition in the land and it should not be a surprise that it is more costly to run.  The 2 rounds also increase costs.  I am not embarrassed to have the entry fees higher than other comps.  Raising this year's entry fee was a good move and it appears that another small increase to improve the support judges receive at the first round centers would be welcome.  Those judges are spending a lot to participate and they get little from it other than the satisfaction of a job well done and comradery.   

Its been several years since my last NHC entry, but I would hope that AHA membership counts for something.  I'm hoping that AHA membership is a requirement for early registration to any AHA-run event.  Like they say, 'Membership has its privileges'.  There is no reason why a non-AHA member should have a greater opportunity to register for our events than a member.  Again, a pre-registration opportunity for AHA members should be a consideration. 

Finally, the number of entries per person is currently excessive.  My review of the recent Ninkasi winners shows that no winner had more than 4 or 5 placings.  This year and last, the winners each had 2 first places.  There is no need to allow up to 15 entries into the NHC.  I suggest that 5 might be the proper entry limit.

Enjoy!
Maybe David can say how many he had in the first round.

Edit - he had 4 advance from the first round, by my quick count.

That is the Gordon Strong 1/3 advance rule in action. Thanks for the reply, David.

There is the issue, do you reduce the number of entrees to a small number and have many tie for the Ninkasi, or do you just eliminate the Ninkasi? The Competition Committe has some tough decisions to make.
 


2914
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 06, 2013, 06:26:52 AM »
picking my 5 favorites would be brutal.  Picking 8 this year was bad enough!   ;D
as there aren't enough slots for everyone I hope the limit isn't reduced too drastically. 

one more thing...
190+ judges may be an aberration, but then again we're talking about a conference that was almost the size the previous two largest put together...
if the number of judges as a percentage of attendees hasn't changed much then I don't think this year's judge turnout will prove to be an aberration at all.

we're all agreed that the days of small conferences are over, right?
Next year is to be a little bigger. Unless the hobby and AHA membership shrink, big conferences and convention centers are here to stay.



2915
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Trader Joe's Prost
« on: July 06, 2013, 05:20:00 AM »
The label should say where it is brewed. If from San Jose CA it is Gordon Biersch.

2916
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 05, 2013, 05:53:22 PM »
Participation by highly qualified judges is what makes the NHC work. Getting those judges into seats at the various competitions is a critical effort. 

I noticed a recommendation for judges to get a pre-registration slot for the next year's competition.  That is a no-cost incentive that AHA can provide judges and it is something that is reasonable.  Those judges have already spent hundreds of dollars in some cases to support the judging.  Another no-cost incentive for judges is to give them a pre-registration slot for the conference too.  Both of these options are no-cost to AHA, but will require a bit of bookkeeping.  This shouldn't be a big deal and given the exclusivity of these registrations, they could be STRONG incentives.8

I do worry about the qualifications of the judges at the NHC and the potential for the opportunity for pre-registration to be abused or 'not effectively' used to get highly qualified judges in the seats.  Therefore, I suggest that a certain number of pre-registration slots be allotted to each first round center with the competition organizer having the discretion of awarding the slots to judges, but it would generally be the highest ranking judges receiving those slots.  This also provides the competition organizer a stick (or carrot) to make sure that judges are providing good feedback.  At the BJCP meeting in Philly, we lamented the fact that even highly-ranked judges can sometimes provide poor feedback.  This is a tool that the competition organizer might use at their discretion.   

Although the NHC is one of the highest entry cost competitions, its the de-facto highest competition in the land and it should not be a surprise that it is more costly to run.  The 2 rounds also increase costs.  I am not embarrassed to have the entry fees higher than other comps.  Raising this year's entry fee was a good move and it appears that another small increase to improve the support judges receive at the first round centers would be welcome.  Those judges are spending a lot to participate and they get little from it other than the satisfaction of a job well done and comradery.   

Its been several years since my last NHC entry, but I would hope that AHA membership counts for something.  I'm hoping that AHA membership is a requirement for early registration to any AHA-run event.  Like they say, 'Membership has its privileges'.  There is no reason why a non-AHA member should have a greater opportunity to register for our events than a member.  Again, a pre-registration opportunity for AHA members should be a consideration. 

Finally, the number of entries per person is currently excessive.  My review of the recent Ninkasi winners shows that no winner had more than 4 or 5 placings.  This year and last, the winners each had 2 first places.  There is no need to allow up to 15 entries into the NHC.  I suggest that 5 might be the proper entry limit.

Enjoy!
Maybe David can say how many he had in the first round.

Edit - he had 4 advance from the first round, by my quick count.

2917
Ingredients / Re: Light vs Black Roasted Barley
« on: July 05, 2013, 06:54:09 AM »

2918
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 05, 2013, 06:52:57 AM »
My suggestion is only the top two entries from each region move to the big show. (I'd actually suggest it be only one, but the natives might go crazy.) The problem as I see it is from each region you get one good to great entry, a lesser and a lesser. So one worth making the trip and two which really should have stayed back on the bench. I judged two flights of 11 and had 3 in one flight worthy of advancing to a mini-BOS and only 2 in the other worthy of advancing to a mini-BOS.

Alternatively, implement a minimum score needed to advance to the final round. - But honestly, that's probably a small part of the problem. I think past winners should automatically get to enter as many beers as they want the next year. This will ensure high quality entries from the best brewers. All other slots should be assigned by lottery to keep the open feel.
Isn't a 30 the minimum right now?

2919
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 05, 2013, 06:41:30 AM »
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the AHA GC Competition Subcommittee has put together a survey to gather AHA members' feedback on their priorities for the National Homebrew Competition, which will help in deciding what steps we will take for future competitions.

My suggestion is only the top two entries from each region move to the big show. (I'd actually suggest it be only one, but the natives might go crazy.) The problem as I see it is from each region you get one good to great entry, a lesser and a lesser. So one worth making the trip and two which really should have stayed back on the bench. I judged two flights of 11 and had 3 in one flight worthy of advancing to a mini-BOS and only 2 in the other worthy of advancing to a mini-BOS.

If the entries were cut by that third place entry in each region it would alleviate having to handle 1/3 of the entries which is not just a handful of bottles.

I know some would contend X region or Y region makes better beer and all three should advance, but sitting at the final round judging table and giving a low score is not how I really want to spend my time. I don't mind assisting a brewer with a flawed brew in making better beer, but I shouldn't have to detail that at the final round of judging. My $0.02.

In a perfect world, only the first place would be needed. How many times has a third place first round beer medaled in the second round? The friend setting next to me at the ceremony got a Silver for for his 3rd place first round beer. Can you guess where my entry in the first round placed in the same first round site?

Edit - this was Jim's first National medal, and we were all happy for him.

2920
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 04, 2013, 08:37:31 PM »
3 months, some of those bugs critters are just getting going. Give it time, lots of time.

2921
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 04, 2013, 09:37:29 AM »
I think this is a good idea.  Can we count on it?

I hope so.  I'll see if I can get comments from Jake.

Since the need for a nap interfered with my going to the members meeting (getting old), is there a summary posted for members not in the room?

2922
Read the "Beat the Heat" article that is down a ways. The author was from TX, and has some good solutions.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/zymurgy/free-downloads

2923
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New Blichmann products at NHC
« on: July 04, 2013, 06:30:05 AM »
What new products do they have lined up?  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the NHC.
2barrel kettles and conicals. Interesting solution of going up with the geometry, using existing base hardware.
They had a strange kettle on top of a kettle, sort of rims mash and boil combination rig.  Put half the brewing liquor in the top pot, half in the bottom, heat the bottom, continuously pump from the bottom to the top while draining from the top to the bottom.  When strike temp is set, add malt to the top and mash while recirculating for an hour.  You end up with wort ready to boil in the bottom kettle.
I can't see how this would be terribly efficient, but he said seventy-something percent.
You were there longer than I was.

John was at the LHBS for Big Brew. He said that sales to nanos has increased, and the new products had that in mind. Homebrewers are still the core business.

2924
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New Blichmann products at NHC
« on: July 03, 2013, 05:47:34 PM »
What new products do they have lined up?  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the NHC.
2barrel kettles and conicals. Interesting solution of going up with the geometry, using existing base hardware.

2925
Equipment and Software / Re: Erlenmeyer Flask Size?
« on: July 03, 2013, 10:21:41 AM »
I've grown tired of Erlenmeyer flasks breaking or cracking. I've had ones from the LHBS and Pyrex ones. I now use a glass cookie jar that I picked up for $4, that thing holds 3.5L and has lasted me longer than all of the Erlenmeyer flasks combined!  8)

I was thinking that a mason jar would do just fine.
I like your cookie jar solution. Looks like a flat bottom, and pretty cheap.
I've used those as well. Problem was when I tried to find anything over 2qts - they got pretty expensive compared to the lowly cookie jar.

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