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Messages - MDixon

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The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: March 20, 2015, 11:47:45 AM »
MGP - Midwest Grain Products

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 20, 2015, 11:46:48 AM »
Austin is a heck of a lot more fun IMO than Houston.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 20, 2015, 11:07:10 AM »
Looks like a drive to Houston might be the only choice other than the NHC.

I had a buddy lined up to give me the Quarterly exam and it got shot down because he is not a current grader although he graded in the past so I grabbed another National and we pushed the date to the July offering.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 20, 2015, 10:11:59 AM »
You should find a seat at an upcoming Written exam, word on the street is the last one with the 2008 Guidelines will be the July Quarterly exam.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 20, 2015, 07:56:36 AM »
Have a solution devised which is easy to implement and more consideration will be given than simply airing perceived grievances. Also better to present that solution to the Exam Directorate than to wait for a members meeting later in the year. The former is try to solve a perceived issue, the latter is really just complaining, especially since the EDs might not even be there.

The proctor sheets will probably never be public so scratch that. It has been discussed in the past and discarded. The consensus scores are sometimes put aside so those will probably not be made for public consumption since they are sometimes just a starting point. I see no reason why the admin notes could not be available, but in truth you could probably just ask your admin for a copy or a synopsis of the beers.

We always go over the beers and the scores and perceptions following the exam. The last time our discussion went at least 90 minutes and the examinees who cared took notes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 20, 2015, 06:09:55 AM »
Thanks for the update, I was not sure how they are doing it currently. I do know people often screw up their email or change it. Here's the most current list of bad emails.

Jimmy - In your case you did not get the newer tick sheet RTP, your's basically had no feedback only the grids. I suggest you contact Bruce Buerger and ask, be sure to give him your Examinee Number. If you would like I'll be glad to go over your exam sheet and tell you what to improve upon, of course I'm not known for being especially touchy feely. ;)

The current basis for RTP is this:

The lead judge cuts in the grids and then I tweak the boxes and headers to convey where to focus for improvement. This is the sheet Toby received.

To do as you ask would require writing that information down. I personally make a consensus sheet using the NHC Second Round sheet, but you could not read it, it is for me during the grading to help form a mental picture and create a virtual beer. As I grade I continue to add to the virtual beer and tweak scoring as more information comes from the examinee sheets. To provide what you want would be the old RTP and would probably add another hour or two per examinee to the graders time. I know it's tough for me to get more than a single hour of down time here or there, much less another 24. Assuming 6 hours can be snagged per week for that level of feedback then a month at a minimum to the wait time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 20, 2015, 05:25:21 AM »
The goal is to evaluate a beer in 10 min or less including consensus as a BJCP judge. In reality with that goal in mind the time should be less, right? ;)

I honestly often find myself bored proctoring the exam because of the extra time. Some judges are incredibly slow, they evaluate the beers, but seem to take forever to get the words on the page. That is why, IMO, the time for evaluation is 15 minutes. I know two judges who have a difficult time writing due to health issues and they still can finish in less than 15 minutes. With practice, and you should practice before taking the exam, you should be able to finish each beer you are presented with time to spare.

As far as the beer changing, the aroma will begin to lessen in most cases making it more difficult to characterize. That is one of the reasons it is on the sheet first. The aroma and flavor may change as it warms, but a 2-4 ounce sample in your hand will warm very quickly. The key is to keep the beer in the weak hand and the pen in the writing hand and never set down the beer. You'll judge faster when you don't have to keep picking up the cup or glass.

The latest rumor was Pharrell was to be sued for Happy.

I could hear the Marvin Gaye similarities in Blurred Lines.

Somehow I see this one becoming an issue at some point in the future if anyone takes the time to listen.
Sounds like to me it takes from Natasha Bedingfield as well as Youngblood Brass Band (@2:31) with a bit of Fugees thrown in for good measure.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:48:01 PM »
You are given 15 minutes per beer to fill out the score sheet. The time really isn't constrained. I can pen a score sheet and reach consensus in 10 minutes or less. 15 minutes is not rushed at all for judging a beer. Often when I proctor (the sheets are longer), I have time to hit the head between beers if needed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 19, 2015, 05:37:33 PM »
The RTP will be uploaded to the BJCP website. Your pin will be mailed. I assume you are notified via email on your status.

I've seen as short as 8 weeks recently, but 12 weeks is more the norm. The holiday weeks in November/December shouldn't really be counted, despite the best efforts IME it is almost impossible to get any grading done during that time.

I know on a recent set it arrived to us late and we were a pinch hit grading team. We finished on time and then there was a delay in the final grading. So issues on the front end and a delay on the back end and I would guess the examinees got their results back at about 16 weeks even though the meat of the grading was finished in time.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 19, 2015, 03:41:02 PM »
Scoring is a crapshoot, you will never understand why. The grading documents will make it clear what your variance was however. They are in the exam section of the website.

As far the timeline for grading it sounds as if it went off the rails somewhere, perhaps someone went MIA.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 19, 2015, 01:26:30 PM »
I'll probably bring up my concerns with the new RTP at NHC, though. 

Ask yourself how much long you are willing to wait for exam results with a different RTP. 1 month? 2 months? 3 months?

The old legacy exam took ~5 hours per exam for grading and RTP. The new taste exam takes me a little less than it took the examinees to take it to grade, reach consensus and complete the RTP. That equates to faster return times. I can write an RTP like the old one, but be prepared to wait. Would you rather have the results in a timely fashion or pages of verbiage after a very long wait. I suspect the answer would be the results.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:39:16 AM »
yeah I'm pretty happy. burns a little to know I would probably have done better if I read the instructions more closely but lesson learned.

Don't feel bad, NOBODY reads the instructions...everybody jumps in. For a short time the examinee was asked to initial each line that they read it, I wish we still had that.

When we gave the essay exam getting the examinees to number the pages correctly was like herding cats, all of a sudden intelligent adults became children with one of those big fat pencils and paper which tore as soon as you touched it with the lead. I'm not quite sure why that was, but eventually I made a template and gave it to every examinee. Several still got it wrong.

From Innovation March 14:
Yesterday, we offered Bell's another co-existence agreement to resolve this dispute, since Bell's management has indicated an interest in resolution via their many facebook and newspaper statements. We are going to sit back and wait a few days in hopes that cooler heads can prevail and an agreement can actually be reached. Fingers crossed.
To Clear Up Any Confusion:
Should this opposition have been filed? That is the question we encourage everyone to ponder. Public sentiment has forced Bell's into a defensive position advised by their consulting team: an outside PR firm, a New York City IP law firm and a Michigan law firm. And the result of their campaign insinuates that we are liars and that craft brew fans cannot muster the comprehension to stay focused on the merits of the action. We know better. This is the most intelligent group of consumers out there. So we want to take a moment to discuss the case itself.
A “run-of-the-mill” trademark dispute, to use Larry Bell’s own words, is one where a brand owner has a registered mark that clearly matches an infringer’s mark. Bell’s Brewery has 20 registered trademarks and 3 more in the same process as our mark. If someone files for an application for something like “Inspired Beer Co” we expect a run-of-the-mill dispute to be raised and resolved in a matter of days. But when an applicant files a mark that does not look like, sound like or mean anything close to “Inspired” then it’s not “run-of-the-mill” at all, in fact it is not even a dispute. As for an unregistered word used in a marketing slogan (see “bottling innovation since 1985”), the protection is almost non-existent. Think of how many words are used in a brewery’s lifetime in a marketing statement. There are probably thousands, over 30 years. If a brewery feels that it is part of its brand, it would have protected it. This is especially true when the brewery is adept at filing for trademarks, such as Bell's. That was not the case here. Like Bell's would do, we searched far and wide before selecting a brand name. And we are asking for the same protection that they have been afforded 20+ times.
In the early days of this dispute, when we were asked what our brand was worth, we told them a lot. We did not expect that to be used against us as proposing a settlement figure. Our brand was not for sale, and it's not for sale now. We fully believe we can come to an agreement with Bell's, and we will never ask them for compensation. An agreement would let both breweries use our existing brands going forward, because consumers are not likely to be confused.
Bell’s, we just don't think you should have filed it. We believe that it lacks merit, and the impact has been an unfortunate, costly, and lengthy heartache for all. Let’s settle it. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our most recent coexistence agreement and truly look forward to a resolution.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: March 18, 2015, 05:35:11 AM »
In case anyone wants to adulterate some Bourbon with Ginger I suggest you give Old Ballycaster a whirl. Nice and spicy and it only takes a splash.

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