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Messages - bfogt

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2011 NHC
« on: June 23, 2010, 08:37:21 PM »
It seem like this derailed a bit anyway, but seems the right place to ask/comment...

It is really only 1500 people?  That's tiny, really.  We had 2000 Geocachers in Kendallville, IN, two years ago.  Look the town up.  Certainly not San Diego or Minneapolis.  Sure, half of them camped at our venue, but I would think that homebrewing and Geocaching would have the same size of base if not more to the homebrewers. 

So you're looking at 900 rooms and meeting space for 2k or a bit more?  I'd think it's just too small to be a huge mark on a city's calendar.  For NHC regional judging in Indy, we were priced out of hotels due to the Firefighters bringing 35,000 to town. 

Has the AHA considered moving to a 2 year planning cycle or more?  It makes facility concerns much easier to deal with.  Take it from someone who had an event for 50 mushroom to 450 the first year, then 800, then 1300 and 2000. 

Shoot, if we had more breweries in the area, I'd offer up my town.

Beer Travel / HELP!!! North side of Detroit and the World Cup!
« on: June 23, 2010, 08:22:20 PM »
About two hours ago, we decided that I was driving my wife to Farmington Hills, MI for a meeting in the morning.  I want to find a brewery or beer pub that will be open for the 10am kick off tomorrow.  (and that will have screens for the WC matches.)  We should land in the area at 9.

I'm prepared to call Dragonmead if nothing else pops up as a sure thing.

We'll be driving 3 hours to get up there, so I'm hoping for some luck.

Kai, I think decoction can make a larger difference in styles that aren't usually talked about as decocted but have a history dating to a time that they would have been.  I have had great comments about a Bierre de Garde that I triple decoct as well as a BPA.  Even with my stouts, I usually do some decoction just to build a richer mouth experience without using more caramel malt. 

It's a good tool to have, though.  Regular practice makes it possible to adjust temperature "quickly" when you're brewing a big beer, losing a lot of heat or experiencing a stuck mash and need to adjust without adding more water.  Sometimes I do it to make friends think it take a lot more work than they might otherwise.  They appreciate my beer more that way.  But it's always good to be able to have one more technique in your tool belt when things get out of whack.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Trellis 2.0 is up
« on: May 28, 2010, 08:52:24 PM »
As for the twine, I use about 10 feet of twine to connect to my sisal rope.  By the time the weight and wind are factors, the hops are firmly gripping the sisal and I could probably remove the twine.  The  sisal is necessary in my case because the pulleys sent to eat up anything thinner over a season.  I use a loop in the end and a nylon rope with a snap hook to lower them one at a time.  Saves me lots on sisal and seems to be working great the last two years.

Wood/Casks / Re: Plastic Firkins
« on: May 21, 2010, 05:45:08 PM »
these plastic kegs look interesting.
i have emailed them to ask a few questions about oxygen diffusion, cost, etc

but does anyone have any experience with them?

Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis has used them exclusively.  I thinkk they'd be happy to answer questions via email.

the Brewer's Cup is coming up!

PIcked up a CP filler this week partly for that same reason.

Cream Ale on Sunday.  My wife flies out for a conference on Saturday.  Unfortunately, it became a tradition for me to brew while she's out of town, even with two boys now (2 and 5 months).  Half of this 10g batch goes to a photographer who did a shoot for our family portraits and gave us everything for free.  It's the least I can do.

Wood/Casks / Re: Port Barrel
« on: May 19, 2010, 05:12:43 AM »
I saw a commercial Belgian Strong Pale that was aged in a red wine barrel.  It would be nice to spend less than $500 on filling the barrel.  But the Dark Strong and Barleywine do have advantages. 

I'm curious how much oak tannins are left in a barrel that's been through the bourbon cycle and then held port.  I guess I left out that before it went to Port, it had bourbon in it.  I think that's typical in the States.

Wood/Casks / Port Barrel
« on: May 18, 2010, 03:54:54 PM »
Anyone have experience with a port barrel?  I might be getting a couple (one for a solera cider and another for beer) in a month or two.  They've held a commercial American Port for a year and I'll get them when they're retired.  Lots about wine and bourbon barrels.  This seems a hybrid of the two. 

Initial thoughts are to age a Wee Heavy or Imperial Stout in it.  I don't know that a lighter beer would be bad with the port flavor adding more grapiness.  Like a mild or bready brown ale. 


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« on: May 07, 2010, 10:55:59 PM »
Don't forget that the number of judges is not infinite and giving up time and, for many, travel expenses puts a crimp on availability.  East and Great Lakes tried to use some synergy to get judges to do both regions, but that makes it two weekends in a row, likely with two nights in a hotel each weekend to do the whole contest.  Even with synergy, both regions were begging for judges up to the end, literally at the end of Saturday judging for GL.  Honestly, the judging points aren't worth it.  But some of us are addicts or owe favors.

And we don't want to lower judging quality, do we?

Maybe if no contests would be sanctioned in the month of April, more judges would be available or if the fee was increased to make travel stipends available, we'd have more judges available.  Dare I suggest asking Three Floyds to check the NHC schedule before scheduling DLD?

It's a conundrum.  I feel that they do an incredible job at running the contest.  If we've learned anything, you need to strategize and save up to go for some prizes.  No one's mentioned how much it takes to win the club prize and how some clubs make it happen and others don't. 

Thanks for being receptive to constructive commentary, Janis and AHA reps.

Fort Wayne, that "other" city in Indiana...

June 12th is the homebrew competition judging.  June 13th is the Botanical Conservatory's Brew & Q event.  Admission includes tickets to sample beer from a range of regional breweries. 


Judge Registration:

This is the first year that Fort Wayne's Foellinger-Friemann Botanical Conservatory is hosting a sanctioned homebrewing competition.  Registration ends on May 21st.  Judging is June 12th.  We will have a strong BJCP judge roster.  Entries are $8 for the first entry and $4 for each additional entry.  The first entry includes admission to the
Conservatory's Brew & Q event on June 13th when winners will be announced and the Best of Show judging will be done as part of the activities.

While our local club, Mad Anthony Serious Homebrewers (MASH) is not officially involved beyond some brewing demonstrations, we have worked hard to improve the event and competition.  The last several years, this competition was judged by radio personalities and there were no score sheets.  Last year we got them to use score sheets, to add a BJCP judge in the panel and to have a way for entrants to retrieve their score sheets.  This year, it's the real deal.  We hope you can help us convince them that it's the right way to go.

I had a problem with dropping off at a brewpub an hour from here.  When I got there, with my toddler in tow, I had to wait for a bartender to call the management because she didn't believe that they were taking entries for any contest.  Even the manager she called didn't know anything about it.  They let me leave my bottles anyway.  I notified the competition folks to make sure they got it straightened out.  Turned out that the manager who agreed to take entries, maybe the owner, didn't let ANY managers or staff know that they were doing it.  It's not likely the competition's fault.  They aren't going to search the premises for entries unless you tell them that you dropped bottles there and they track that sort of thing.

Hopefully you can at least turn that into a trade. 

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