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Messages - MDixon

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Again, it all will be moot once the new exam strategy in in place. The essay and taste will be separate exams with different time limits.

As far as why a partial retake gets more time, I'm not sure. You really need no more time for the taste, when I did a taste retake I found myself twiddling my thumbs waiting on the next beer. The proctors do need a bit more time since they fill out an extended score sheet. Probably 15+ min per beer for them would be best.

You don't have to stop writing your thought, just flip a coaster over the beer. Generally it has been poured a few minutes prior to serving so if you need a couple of minutes before evaluating, no big deal. As far as the style guidelines, the examinees need to learn the styles. Sure they are generally available at competition, but when you sit on the BOS table you rarely have time to site and digest the style guidelines and under the new exam strategy the essay exam will determine who becomes a higher ranking judge and who does not.

Beer Recipes / Re: Wit Recipe
« on: July 07, 2011, 06:34:31 PM »
I've never done a cereal mash (wheat + malt) and have not found it to be a problem.

Beer Recipes / Re: Wit Recipe
« on: July 07, 2011, 05:15:28 AM »
Take the cracked/crushed/whatever raw wheat and boil with water (doesn't really matter how much so long as it is soupy) for 15 min or so. You can do this easily on the stove, and could even do it ahead of time. I then add that to the mash or start the strike with the water since it is hot. My first temp is pretty cool at 104F so it may take some adjustment to get the mash temp right for the first rest. If you've not mashed that cool before, be sure and taste as the mash progresses. It's pretty nasty (kinda acidic) at the cold temps and is interesting how things change over time.

(Keep in mind I kettle mash so I ramp up the temp instead of infusing the mash with hot water for the next rest.)

First of all, you should have had a blank grid made up before the exam started.

While you "feel" this saved you time somehow, I just cannot figure out why. It's three columns (two vertical lines) and four rows (three vertical lines). Drawing them ahead of time squeezes your answer into a confined space and saves no time.

Do this, take a piece of paper and draw the lines freehand (really, freehand, graders do not care a flip about straight lines). How long did that take? So whatever time you saved, say 5 seconds how much can you write on a topic in 5 seconds? Would those extra words have made the difference in score? I'll bet I could freehand grid a piece of paper as described above in 2 seconds or less.

I read in dummies about preping this and that and I tell my examinees to not number ANYTHING. I take time after the exam to have them number every sheet in a way which will be the same for all examinees who took that exam. Trust me, the graders like that.

There is only one piece of paper prep work I think examinees should do prior to the exam. Take a ruler and mark the margin 1" from all edges with a black magic marker. During the exam place that sheet under every sheet of paper you are using to take the exam and do no write outside that margin.

At the judging table one does not get forever to judge a flight. The competition must move forward. As a judge one should be striving to complete the judging of a beer in 10 min. Sure we could give everyone another hour, but we never have and IME the best judges convey information quickly.

FWIW - the new online exam will be even worse, timed and you cannot go back to a question.

You currently have 3 hours to take the exam, how much longer should be given?

It's no one's fault but the examinee if they do not finish. They know exactly how long they have and exactly the format of the questions. It's pretty easy to calculate - 10 min for 4 beers = 40 min max leaving 140 min for 10 questions or 14 min max per question. The first question is three fill in the blank, a series of multiple choice and a grid, but most people could figure out how to fill that out in less than 14 min.

Note: If one has a disability they may be given consideration for a longer period of time.

My water is prefiltered and then gets heated through an instant hot water heater to 170 degrees before going in my MT or HLT.

Tankless - yes...instant - no.  ;)

As far as the filtering, most of our local using the muni supply have carbon filtration. I find the flow though a whole house just cuts it, but not quite all the way. The secondary filtration for brewing gets rid of what might have been missed by the whole house.

Major - I believe you have to specifically test for Chloramine, from what I read, simply testing for Chlorine will not tell you anything about the Chloramine levels.

Beer Recipes / Re: Wit Recipe
« on: July 06, 2011, 02:45:24 PM »
I think it's all of the above and then how finely it is ground/crushed. Most experiments are done using flour. I think that old MoreBeer thread has some info I posted, lemme see...

Not the exact temp research I did, but demonstrates the range is higher than a standard mash temp. I use the boiled wheat to help mash in the rest of the grist.

Beer Recipes / Re: Wit Recipe
« on: July 06, 2011, 02:35:48 PM »
Actually I did quite a bit of research (the literary type) and found wheat gelatinization temps vary wildly. Some varieties do gelatinize at mash temps and others are a bit on the high side. Just boil it and you can be 100% sure it is gelatinized, easy...

To me writing "similar" would be akin to writing "malt, hops, water, yeast" for the recipe question. It simply did not provide a complete answer showing your knowledge on the subject. You could have skipped the grid and went for a compare/contrast response if that would have saved you time. It's how the exam was answered in the old days before the exam format you see now with explicit point scores.

The reality is time management was the issue, it's much better to convey the points of each style to some degree than to cover some completely and forget others. Think of your grid as 12 data points comprising 6 pts of the answer. Similar got little to no credit, while writing it out may have gotten high marks. So you lost a point for sure by using "similar". Had you put something, or a partial answer the loss would have been mitigated.

Beer Recipes / Re: Somersault Clone
« on: July 06, 2011, 03:54:47 AM »
Guess I'm just punchy this morning, feel free to clone what you wish, but I thought Somersault was pretty boring.

At any rate, I've never used Ginger in a traditional beer and 2 oz sounds too high. Definitely 1.5oz of orange peel ain't gonna be subtle in a 10 gallon batch. Looks like you forgot the Apricot, I'd suggest flavoring at packaging to taste.

While memorizing a recipe is not easy, the question is not all about the recipe. In fact, 1 point is on the stats for the recipe and 2 points for the actual recipe. I don't think of "logistics" as part of the recipe.

1 point    
Target statistics (starting specific gravity, final specific gravity, and bitterness in IBUs or HBUs) and color (as SRM or a textual description of the color).

2 points    
Batch size, ingredients (grist, hops, water, and yeast) and their quantities.

3.5 points    
Mashing, boil, fermentation, packaging, and other relevant brewing procedures.

3.5 points    
Explain how the recipe fits the style's characteristics for aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, and other significant aspects of the style; and describe how the ingredients and processes used impact this style.

All Things Food / Re: My Drunk Kitchen
« on: July 05, 2011, 05:53:50 PM »
She makes me giggle. My wife, not so much.

Beer Recipes / Re: Wit Recipe
« on: July 05, 2011, 05:51:33 PM »
I made a bunch of them trying to perfect the recipe. You may find that recipe good as a starting point: see Wit or Witout

Edit: Link was loading slow, here is a different link:

We have had Chloramines for many years and one month per year they switch back to chlorine. The trick with filtering is to filter SLOWLY. A garden hose full blast probably ain't gonna cut it and waiting for things to fill at a slow rate is gonna drive you nuts. I actually filter twice using a whole house filter and then a filter for the brewing water. The whole house filter seems to bring it to a tolerable level and the point of use (in reality another whole house or under sink filter) knocks out the rest and I don't find I have to slow the flow rate considerably. YMMV

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