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Messages - Crispy275

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Brewing 12 gallons of Belgian Dark Strong for Learn to Homebrew Day at Adventures in Homebrewing in Ann Arbor. Then, on Monday it is 12 more gallons of a Flanders Red for our annual dump/fill of a club barrrel. Finally, since my employer gives us Election Day off, I will vote then brew 12 gallons of Batch #59 of my Nearly Nirvana Pale Ale (Big Brew recipe back in 2000) to celebrate the last of the political ads! Time to make the doughnuts!

The November/December Club Only Competition is coming up. In fact, entries from participating clubs are due by November 10th, so if you are interested, here are the details:

The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild will have 14 different brewing systems going on Saturday. We will be meeting at Adventures In Homebrewing's Ann Arbor, MI. location.

Personally, I am brewing 12 gallons of a Belgian Triple, and then rinsing out 5-6 gallons of a Belgian Single with the second running's. With 35 pounds of grains and 4 pounds of candy sugar (and a 5th for the Single), I should get around a 1.100 starting gravity for the big beer, and then about 1.036 - 1.040 for the second. I have been building starters of 3787 and 1214 since Sunday, and I will likely crash cool them tonight, take them out tomorrow, and feed them one more time Saturday morning to ensure a ripping healthy starter.

National Homebrew Day / Big Brew is a chance to get the homebrewing tribes out in force and celebrate and demonstrate our passion to the public. Not only is it a terrific communal event, but it also allows fellow homebrewers to learn from one another and challenge each other to better understand why we brew the way we do.

Enjoy the day and be safe. I love to say that with a hobby that combines compressed gas, boiling fluids, electricity, alcohol, open flame, hey, what could go wrong? Don't perform any Stupid Brewers Tricks, relax, don't worry, and easy on the homebrew until you start chilling the wort :-)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: To our Governing Committee
« on: April 27, 2012, 08:02:06 PM »
As Denny stated, the process has been reviewed for several years now, and continues to be a challenge. Changes have been made to try and accomedate the increases in entries. Up until now, there has been a aversion to placing caps on entries, but as an option it is not off the table.

One of the primary hurdles has been the number of available qualified judges. While it is easy to say just add some more regions, or add more enteries per region, there are only so many judges in the available pool. The NHC is the largest homebrew competition in the world, and it had to be capped or the results would have been either rushed and/or incomplete feedback - an undesirable outcome.

I favor limits, and I have voiced this in the past. However, if I recall correctly, we learned last year that if the number of enteries were to have been capped to 10 per member, we would have gained something in the neighborhood of 2% - 4% more availablity. While thats an improvement, in the scale of things, it wasn't seen as a solution.

In the long run, I would encourage members who are not already BJCP certified to go to, look it over, and consider going through the learning process and becoming a judge. After 18 years of brewing that is what I did last year. I was likely one of the last groups to test out under the old method. Once I get a few points under my belt I will be Certified and I can become a small part of the solution.

And as an added bonus, I learned more about brewing, history of brewing, beer styles and general beer information last year than I had in several years. I believe by studying for and taking the exam, I have incrementaly improved my knowledge of the brewing process and how to make better beer.

Ha! Seeing those gothic looking gathering made me laugh! Yeah, somewhere between Animal House and herding cats is really closer to reality.

Seriously, the men and women of the AHA GC each comes with their own unique talents, insights and they all share the passion of learning about, and sharing their knowledge of homebrewing, and the common desire to ensure the hobby's health and the desire to make the AHA the best it can be.

I want to thank everyone that ran for this year’s AHA Governing Committee election.

By doing so, they demonstrated their desire to serve the greater homebrewing community. The candidate statements made it is clear that they already do this in a number of ways. From organizing and/or judging homebrew competitions, providing leadership to their local clubs, actively working to change onerous legislation to improve the legislative climate for homebrew legislation, providing retail opportunities for homebrewers and a myriad of other ways, they demonstrate their commitment.

In their candidate statements they shared their life experiences and how they could benefit the AHA GC.  From relevant technical experience and/or skill sets they have picked up over the years, Boards they have sat on, jobs they have held, charities they support, leadership skills they have demonstrated, they explained why they were running and what they felt they could contribute.

Collectively, all of them demonstrated their passion for the hobby and those involved. Along with the explosive growth in both the hobby of homebrewing and the craft brewing community, we have enjoyed an unprecedented slate of candidates filled with depth and experience. It is unfortunate that we couldn’t bring all of them on board and tap the collective wisdom and experience that they all bring to the table.

Debbie Cerda and Ron Price, welcome to the AHA GC; Denny Conn– welcome back. 

And to, Bruce Bueger, Terry Denham Dave Dixon, David Kidd, Terry Parker and Curt Stock - thank you for offering to serve on the AHA GC this year, and keep doing all the good things you do for the hobby and its community!

I concur with what Gary said. While it does require members to invest some time to review the candidate's statements, please take a few minutes this weekend to vote if you haven't done so already.

I have served on the AHA GC since 2004, and I have learned the GC does provide valuable insights, creative inputs and really makes a difference with regards to the AHA direction, utilization of resources and a host of other decisions.

To accomplish this, AHA GC members volunteer their time participating in monthly conference calls, initiate and respond to a myriad of issues as they pop up via streams of emails, give up part of the day before the National Homebrewers Conference to deliberate and guide the AHA with the identification and delivery of key goals the next year, volunteer during the conference to introduce speakers, participate in the members meetings, participate in various sub-committees, moderate the Forum and take on other responsibilities as needed. 

And yes, as a volunteer group, we also like to have some fun, crack some jokes and share a few beers. Shocked? Come on...!

Voting for the AHA GC elections has increased considerably over the last several years, and that has been a positive development. But it still only represents less than 10% of the current membership.

There have been a notice in the most recent Zymurgy, postings on the Forum, mentions of the elections in two separate member email updates, discussions on BrewTechTalk, as well as the fact that it has been one of the lead stories on the website for several weeks. These are the "properties" that the AHA has at its disposal, and collectively they are the mechanisms available to get the message out. We sure would like to see more of the membership participating and letting their voices be heard.

So, spend 15-20 of your time and go to and take a good look at the candidates running this year. Then make a decision and vote for those whose message and/or experience moves you. And hey, one lucky voter will be eligible for an additional entry in the Lallemand Scholarship drawing for the Siebel Institute's two-week Concise Course. This is an uber cool and valuable prize (and one which AHA Governing Committee members are not eligible for :-(

For April Fools Day (Sunday), I will brew my 58th iteration of my house favorite - Nearly Nirvana Pale Ale. This was the beer that really got me deep into the hobby. Some 15 years ago I was enjoying a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and I first asked myself how I might go about cloning it. After 9-10 trys, I had it pretty dialed in and I then thought, how can I make this "my beer"? What would I like to change? So I started changing one facet of my brewing process at a time. Doubled the Crystal, removed the Crystal. Substituted Munich, then tried Veinna, CaraPils, Cara Munich. Or used a different mash temp, added more base grains, used different yeasts, etc. I learned more by doing this than a lot of reading.

This weekend it will 20 pounds Marris Otter, a pound of Munich, Vienna, Wheat and Crystal 60o. Perle hops for bitterness and Cascade for flavor and aroma. Likely dry hop for a few days with something playful (Citra? Amarillo?). I'll split a 12 gallon batch and use WYeast 1056 in one, and the new White Labs San Diego yeast in another. I will keg up one for National Homebrew day and likely bottle up the rest for gifts and club meetings.

Events / Re: NHC Guide and Tips for a Newbie
« on: February 14, 2012, 08:26:08 PM »
Yes, but it is a sacrifice we willing and knowingly make.

And indeed, the Vitamin B/Propel trick is one I learned from you, as you always seem so refreshed after these long evenings  ;D

Events / Re: NHC Guide and Tips for a Newbie
« on: February 14, 2012, 04:17:22 PM »
Fred is correct. The AHA Governing committee, in concert with the AHA, spent a fun week or so exchanging emails and building a document about lessons learned from what collectively is probably over 100 years of AHA NHC experience  ;D

Your email is on the right track on several key tips. Once the conference has started, one rarely needs to leave the hotel. Drink lots of water. Yeah, a big greasy breakfast sure seems to help. So does Vitiman B and asprin.

Anyway, it will be posted to the conference website prior to the actual event with these and several other good tips. See you there!

Equipment and Software / Re: How's your Thermapen?
« on: February 03, 2012, 09:45:39 PM »
Ancient proverb states that a brewer with just one thermometer always knows his temperatures, whereas a brewer with 2 or more never does.  ;D

Classifieds / Re: whisky barrels need homes
« on: December 17, 2011, 08:43:54 PM »
For what it is worth, I just emptied my 1st filling of the corn whiskey/single malt barrel and it was delightfully filled with vanilla, tannins and booze. Just rinsed it out with 3 gallons of pre-boiled water and added 5+ gallons of Imperial Stout. These are great little barrels, but you do need to order a pallette to make it worth their while...go through your LHBS shop.

Classifieds / Re: FS: Morebeer Hopback plus 2 male SS fittings
« on: December 17, 2011, 12:50:33 PM »
Still available? Let me know -

MI / Re: Ann Abor
« on: October 27, 2011, 01:31:00 AM »
Sorry - Saturday, November 5th - Teach A Friend to Homebrew Day

MI / Ann Abor
« on: October 26, 2011, 11:26:50 PM »
Members from the FORD Homebrew Club, the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild and the Monroe Muskrat Mashers will be brewing several demo batchs at the recently opened Adventures in Homebrewing on 6071 Jackson RD, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

Festivities will begin at 10 and should continue to 5:00. Feel free to bring a homebrew (or 3) if you feel so inclinded, and bring a friend that would like to see the process from end to end.

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