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Messages - udubdawg

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: REally? A sweet IPA? please help
« on: July 26, 2011, 07:09:19 PM »
what kind of hops were used for bittering?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: this forum is awesome
« on: July 26, 2011, 04:52:24 PM »
Besides the civility here I like the fact that everybody shares interests not exactly related to homebrewing but definitely related to the "I am a homebrewer" mindset.  Smoking meat, roasting coffee, making things like cheese and soap are all part of this wierd lifestyle we find ourselves in.

I've noticed quite a few - like me - keep reef tanks.  I guess it's the chemistry that interests people?  pH, fancy controllers, thousands of $ worth of equipment that seemed like a good idea at the time, water profiles and additives.  And building a balanced, attractive display of coral and other sea life seems to have some parallels with creating a recipe.  (The "Limited Edition" side of coral is more like the whale hunters/tickers on BeerAdvocate though...)  

Montiporaweizen, anyone?   ;D


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: this forum is awesome
« on: July 26, 2011, 01:07:48 PM »
Hmm...I really expected to see "Here's the deal, we're the best there is.  Plain and simple.  We wake up in the morning and we piss excellence" on this thread by now.    :D

lots of knowledge on this board, and people willing to share it.  Yep, good place.


Jeffy is such a giver.  40  That's humanitarian aid right there.   8)

Looks like oatmeal stout and a bunch of kegging/bottling are on the schedule for me.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Poured out that old Belgian
« on: July 21, 2011, 05:22:50 PM »
I don't think the type of sugar matters much (I've used just about every sugar you can find at the health food store) but I have not tried the syrups that Denny seems to like so much (, I believe).  It seems that these syrups will add more character and flavors than simple cane or beet sugar.

Those are great, but I've found that I like the syrups from even better.  I'll be using their Simplicity (clear) syrup tomorrow for a tripel.  But whichever you use, you'll make a great Belgian style beer with them.

fixed...I've given her several page hits too.    ;D

Events / Re: No Ticketmaster next year....please?
« on: July 20, 2011, 03:41:57 PM »
maybe increase the time between the presale to members and when the general public is allowed to buy from a couple days to a couple weeks?  Just to give members a better chance to snap them up?

on the other hand, all those members-only session tix being resold at high prices had to have been bought by members, didn't they?  It's hard to try to help members out if they're part of the problem.

I guess if you want to make that session truly members-only people can show their membership cards along with their tix.  *shrug*

This will be the first one I've missed in a decade or more.  Dunno what I'll do with myself if I'm not crawling all around Denver for a week.  Is it possible to bank liver cells for next year?   8) 


Equipment and Software / Re: BeerSmith 2.0 reviews
« on: July 10, 2011, 07:32:00 PM »
is anyone else having trouble with bottling volumes and amounts of sugar to add?

Seems like the amount of sugar should be dependent on the "Measured Bottling Vol" box on the "Fermentation" tab.  Instead the amount of sugar only seems to change if I change the "Batch Size" box on the "Recipe Design" tab.

otherwise, few complaints.


oatmeal stout yesterday.  Dry stout today, then did some bottling, and I'm thinking strong scotch ale on Sunday.


One of the describe/compare/contrast 3-styles questions I had was the 3 beers in Category 8.  Best Bitter, Special Bitter, ESB.
It's the last question I've got left to answer, and I'm running out of time.

First of all, you should have had a blank grid made up before the exam started. The "compare 3 styles" question will always be on the exam in its current form.

thank you for the response.  For the record I started making grids as soon as they handed out paper after they let us into the room to sit down.  However there wasn't sufficient time to finish them before the exam started.

On another topic, I don't see why the exam really needs to be at all tricky.
What is the point of interrupting me with a beer while I am already writing?  It is not like a steward is going to come by while I am judging and hand me another beer.  And finally, why the extra 30 minutes for those doing split retakes?

Seems like these could be addressed at any time - even before the exam changes come about - everyone taking the whole exam or just the essay part enters the room and has 2.5 hours.  At the end of this everyone stops and those just taking doing the essay leave.  The others get a brief bathroom/whatever break.  Everyone taking the tasting portion enters the room and everyone judges beer for an hour.  You could split it up to 4x15 minute sections or keep it at 1 hour where people could go back to the first beers at any time.  I can live with a timed test, and I understand having it "closed book" though I certainly wouldn't mind having the guidelines available during the the tasting.

This means the same rules for everyone taking it, and less of the multitasking.  I mean, during a competition, who judges beer while thinking about how to boil the answer of a vague question about water down to 1 page?


OK, so this is probably the wrong forum but since some graders are obviously reading it...

One of the describe/compare/contrast 3-styles questions I had was the 3 beers in Category 8.  Best Bitter, Special Bitter, ESB.
It's the last question I've got left to answer, and I'm running out of time.  I create a grid with aroma/appearance/flavor/mouthfeel/stats/ingredients/similarities/differences and one section at the bottom across all three with basically a history/description/overall impression of the 3.
12 minutes left...I speed up my writing and fill in each square for ESB
7 minutes left...handwriting is getting really bad now as I ignore the pain and write even faster...I fill in each square for Ordinary Bitter
3 minutes left...barely legible, smoke just about to start coming off my hands...I fill in all but two squares for Special Bitter.
For Aroma and Flavor I write in "similar to Ordinary Bitter" in the last few seconds.

I got a good score on this question, but the feedback I got is that it wasn't enough to just say "similar to Ordinary Bitter"

So I sit here looking at the guidelines, wondering if they really want me to write the same thing over again that I just wrote for Ordinary Bitter flavor and aroma.  It seems like the perfect opportunity to save a couple minutes and write just what I did.

So, graders, what is the appropriate way for me to convey that these two beers have the same description for these two attributes?  I covered the differences between these two styles in the stats and similarities/differences sections.

thanks in advance--

All Grain Brewing / Re: Efficiency drop
« on: July 06, 2011, 03:31:43 PM »
I see quite a bit of difference between maltsters on given malts.  Are you using the malt report or a default in BeerSmith/ProMash?

that said, that is a bigger difference than I would expect even by just using the default numbers.


Pick a quick drying pen...

I think for three hours of writing the extra resistance from a pencil is a suicide mission.

I honed my exam strategy on actuarial exams where we get paid study time and a lot of money is at stake. We tend to be pretty good at strategy. PM me if you want me to ask left handed actuaries what pens they use. We have 6 hour essay exams and I think around 99% of people use pen. You would be amazed at how hard people think about what writing implement to use :)

I don't think I'd be that amazed...I remember how much time I spent just on research on which was the most comfortable mechanical pencil.   8)
Thanks, I'll send ya a PM later.

ya know what I think will improve my score the most? - The feedback I got on the first exam.
At some level I really appreciate all the time they took to give me this in-depth feedback.
...but another part of me is annoyed that it wasn't clearer before that that's what was desired.  Feels like I wasted a lot of time studying.  So if I retake it I'll give them exactly what was asked for.  I won't have learned significantly more since the first, but I bet I'll score quite a bit higher. 
I'm glad to see the upcoming changes to the exam.  Seems like it will be a better indicator of skill at judging beer.

I also agree with John that it is easier to do with a pen.  Unfortunately for those of us who are left-handed, a full page of writing with a pen tends to turn into a full page of ink smears.


After speaking with some graders, I would advise against using BJCP for Dummies.  It is about gaming the exam and you will not get the best score possible using the methods outlined.  If it is clear to the grader that you studied and actually know things you will do better than someone who appears to have studied a way to score well without knowing much.

I was unfamiliar with BJCP for Dummies when we had the conversation and was surprised to hear that it contained this advice:

Easy way: “The malt, hops, and yeast used in this recipe work together to produce the aroma,
appearance, flavor and mouthfeel representative of a __________ style.” If you’ve got LOTS of
time at the END of the test, come back to this part and elaborate more, if you know it."

This "easy way" will get you 0 out of 3.5 points if I am the grader.  Saying essentially "the ingredients used fit the style because they fit the style" doesn't display any knowledge at all.  I think it is terrible advice.

The purpose of the exam is to see how well you understand the various beer styles, not how well you understand the exam.  Answer to display knowledge, not tricks.

Thanks.  Do you have any other examples of the Dummies guide trying to "game" the exam? 
My comment to that is it is a "dummies" guide.  I have several friends who got into the 60's with the help of Boyce's guide that wouldn't have made it otherwise.  If you're at 87 and looking to improve on a retake it really isn't for you.  But if you have trouble taking exams or formulating an answer out of the multitude of data out there or are on the edge of passing it can help.  As to the specific example you quoted, I don't know anyone who followed his example.  Everyone I spoke to said SOMETHING more about the aroma/appearance/flavor/mouthfeel of their recipe.  I really think a better way to say this would be "spend your time where you can get points."  Time is at a premium, and many people cannot even finish.  In that regard waxing poetic about a style and getting an extra half point or whatever and leaving an entire question blank doesn't make sense.  Using time wisely is certainly not gaming the exam.


Taking next week off from work - "staycation" - and brewing most every day starting Friday.  Originally was going to do a road trip next week and eventually head to Indy to judge at the Brewer's Cup but that's a really freaking long drive and I'm tired of spending all my money on hotel rooms/gas.  
Anyway, I've got a got a patersbier, southern english brown, hefe, and strong scotch ale that need to be brewed, and am about out of IPA and hoppy amber so I'll have to rectify that situation too.


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