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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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3256
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 10:07:50 AM »
Last year I had an O'fest that got a 42 in a local competition with >1000 entries. In the first round it got a 33. Sent a keg to club night, and some guys named Mitch Steele and Tasty McDole were behind our booth when I got back, with lots of questions about the beer along with a lot of praise. That was my reward last year.

Just wanted to point out sometimes Festbier will get a judge looking for a Maerzen. So much for the other competitions as an entry filter - the crapshoot factor.

Maybe retiring the Ninkasi is a solution (thought I would never say that). Homebrewer of the Year can be acheived with one entry.


3257
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 09:55:41 AM »
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.

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.
Was that last sentence sarcasm? My humor detector is on the fritz.

3258
Ingredients / Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:31:22 AM »
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?

Distilled water would be a clean slate. RO water is almost as good, and cheaper.

A water report on the artisian well water would let you know what you have, otherwise you are guessing. It may be good to brew with, but what style is it best for?

It needs to be pointed out that just because the water is gushing out from the ground, can it be trusted? Posted the following a while back as a goofy thing, but look at this water's content.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11711.msg146431#msg146431

You want W-6 for brewing minerals. $16.50 last I looked.
https://producers.wardlab.com/default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f


3259
The Pub / Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« on: February 28, 2013, 07:47:20 AM »
Looks like the plaintiffs should have done some testing before filling the suit. 4.99% ABV is within the TTB limits for a 5% ABV beer. White Labs!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/28/173076501/budweiser-may-seem-watery-but-it-tests-at-full-strength-lab-says?ft=1&f=1003

3260
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: February 27, 2013, 06:51:39 PM »
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

Keith, a guy I worked with a long time ago said that he thought the difference in aging from 50 to 60 was about the same as the difference from 30 to 50. Check back in 17 years from now an let us know what you think! I am in pretty good shape for an old guy, but not as in good as shape as 15 years back. Just saying.


3261
The Pub / Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:57:39 PM »
They have great process control. Beers are brewed to higher gravity and diluted. If they know the mean and standard deviation of the process, they can dilute to below the label value and still be in tolerance for the federal or state regulations. That maybe what the folks are up in arms about, but if it is and ABInbev is in the letter of the law, good luck with that.

3262
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:31:07 PM »
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.

3263
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 11:43:55 AM »
<snip>
 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 Indianapolis region was the second/third to fill in the last couple of years IIRC. Indianapolis is not considered a coastal region by this guy.

Judge overload and burnout is a real issue. If you have March/April rounds you are depending on the same judges. There was a region in TX that struggled a couple of years ago due to the fact that a very large competition had been judged the month before.

Making the second round more than one day would tack another day on the road, paying for a hotel and food for most judges. Or they miss another day of the conference. The BJCP does have a judges lunchen and talk the day before the judging, for a nominal registration fee.

The engine behind all of this is the explosive growth of the hobby. The AHA doesn't have big enough brakes. Growth causes problems, but there were also problems when the membership was shrinking sometime back.

3264
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:50:38 AM »
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?
The last time we got on the stage, Charlie was not there. Settled for shaking hands with Gary, which was cool.

3265
Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:46:46 AM »
The 15 limit is new this year, in an attempt to open up more entries. That had to have debate, as there is this thing called the Ninkasi award. It is based on the most points in the second round. Do you know there have been ties in something like 3 or 4 of the last 5 years? One year it was a 3 way tie. The tiebreaker was first round points. To have the opportunity for first round points there were good brewers entering > 30 or even 40+ beers. With fewer beers they have added a lot of other tie breakers, maybe up to 7, with a coin flip as the final tie breaker.

Get rid of the Ninkasi and have 5 entries? You can look up the chance of that on notgonnahappen.com.

3266
All Grain Brewing / Re: adding sulfate to my SNPA clone
« on: February 27, 2013, 06:27:12 AM »
So if I'm making a big American West Coast-style IPA (5-gallons), how much gypsum (in teaspoons) would I add to a low sulfate spring water?  Also, considering the same style of beer, however, with a very pale color, would I add more gypsum to lower the residual alkalinity (RA)?  If so, how much more gypsum (again, in teaspoons) would help bring out the hop pop?  And Sierra Nevada buys gypsum in 50-lb sacks!!!  Holy crap that's a lot of gypsum!

I would think Sierra Nevada buys by the multiple pallet loads.

I have seen pallets of gypsum at Fullers, Bells, Stone, in addition to Sierra Nevada.

As far as how much gypsum to add, I can't tell you as you need to know the starting water and target value. Do a search on "Brunwater" and read the knowledge page. Or you can start with one teaspoon and see if you like it. If you want more dryness add 2 next time.

3267
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: February 26, 2013, 09:46:50 PM »
When people taste my beer and say you should open a brewery, I laugh. I know how to make beer. I do not know the first thing about running a brewery for profit.

So is that to say if you had an angel investor and all the startup capital you needed, you wouldn't love to brew for a living?
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.

3268
Events / Re: NHC Direct links email
« on: February 26, 2013, 09:34:52 PM »
My wife pointed out that no one died today entering the NHC. At least that we know about.

I was about to say "whatever" and it started to work. I can go to sleep, and tomorrow I have to clear what looks to be heavy snow. That may kill me!

3269
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: February 26, 2013, 04:53:17 PM »
When people taste my beer and say you should open a brewery, I laugh. I know how to make beer. I do not know the first thing about running a brewery for profit.

3270
The Pub / Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« on: February 26, 2013, 03:36:27 PM »
The large BMC type brewers brew high gravity beer (for get the %, 6 to 8), and then add sterile de-oxygenated water to drop the ABV to what they need for the market it is going to.

For an MCAB in St. Louis some club members toured the AB pilot facility. They tasted the high gravity beer, and said they were very surprised a how good it was.

Edit - Kai was in first. Slow typing today.

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