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Messages - MDixon

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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

Most people don't answer the question and certainly do not pay attention to the maximum score potential even though it is stated on the exam. When I look at a question and see 6pts, 2pts, 1pt, 1pt, where would it be most beneficial to spend my time? OTOH, most people forget if they don't answer the question, they don't get any points at all, not even partial credit. So they should focus where they can maximize points and be sure to answer every section. A nice dissertation of hops is impressive until the examinee figures out they can only gloss over 3 questions. Time management is key.

As far as Al's document, it will become moot as soon as the new exam rolls out since that strategy will no longer be useful. When it happens, no one should be taking the written exam without the aspiration, preparation and knowledge to become a National or higher judge. I suspect at that time the prep classes and strategies for doing well will change substantially. Taste will become more important since it will require an 80+ on taste in order to even begin to think about taking the essay exam.

Other Fermentables / Re: Hard Lemonade
« on: July 05, 2011, 04:33:02 AM »
If you really want to experiment, you can try to recreate what I did:

The Pub / Re: Read any good book lately?
« on: July 01, 2011, 09:03:13 AM »
(unlike the Chris Snow series, unfortunately).

 Actually I saw where he had another one coming out for Odd and I think for Chris Snow. An Odd movie is coming out in 2012.

I found the page I was thinking of again, appears the Snow book is still in limbo, but a new Odd is looking like 2012

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: West Coast is the Best Coast for Beer
« on: June 28, 2011, 05:12:24 AM »
We're at a little less than 10 million and 53 craft breweries with a few more set to open. Guess we need to be a shade darker as well  ;)

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