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Messages - udubdawg

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151
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Best of the Northwest 2014
« on: December 11, 2014, 08:09:36 AM »
really great beers out there.  Always end up wishing I had more time for brewery stops on my all-too-infrequent trips back home.  Also wish I'd known about Wild Earth when I went zooming by on I90 on my way to apple country.   8)

(would like to see more lager categories in their list though.)
42 categories and only 3 lagers listed:
Best Beers: Lager
Best Beers: Pilsner
Best Beers: Dopplebock

152
Other Fermentables / Re: Cranberry Melomel
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:37:25 AM »
when I use cranberry in mead - and I do it often - I often add a little hibiscus.  it gives me tannin, tastes like cranberry (and sort of a raspberry/rhubarb too but more cranberry than anything IMO) and of course the awesome color.

the only real "secret" I have to any melomel is that it is usually two meads.  I go over-the-top on fruit, then blend with a straight mead to get honey/fruit balanced.  I'm happier with the results than when invariably I don't have enough honey/fruit from a solo fermentation.

cheers--
--Michael

153
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC 15
« on: December 09, 2014, 07:53:03 AM »
I think the problem is that the score sheet does not seem to match up with the style guidelines.  The score sheet shows 5 sweetness levels while the current guidelines only have 3, dry, medium & sweet.

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/ciderintro.php
That should be OK, although judges should be told that the entrant only had three levels to pick. Still, if they don't it shouldn't be a problem.
 
Having the term for 'medium' changed to 'semi-sweet' presents a problem though when 'semi-sweet' has a different meaning on the scoresheet.

exactly.

I could have also said:
4:  Allow entrants to add specialty information to all ciders and meads.  Currently there is no ability to add such information to 27A and 27D.  I've always thought entrants should be allowed to list apples/pears, especially if single-varietal cider.  "semi-dry Golden Russet SV, lightly carbonated" solves the problem...

154
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC 15
« on: December 05, 2014, 12:21:23 PM »
Thanks Janis!

small request:  is it too late for a software update?

the software makes us choose between Dry, Semi-Sweet, or Sweet for Mead/cider.  This works OK with mead, as they are judged on 3 levels.

however, for us cidermakers, we are judged on a 5-level scoresheet:
http://bjcp.org/docs/SCP_CiderScoreSheet.pdf
Sweetness:  Dry  Semi-Dry  Medium  Semi-Sweet  Sweet

Effectively, the only ones we are allowed to choose are 1, 4, and 5 on the 5-pt scale...

I would request one of the following in order of preference:

1. A software change that lets us enter all 5 sweetness levels present on the scoresheet.
2. A smaller change:  change the middle of the 3 from "semi-sweet" to "medium" so that at least we can enter the actual midpoint of the 5 levels: 1, 3, and 5.  Note this would fit perfectly with the mead scoresheet which uses  Dry  Medium  Sweet
3. A request that all organizers tell their cider judges that entrants were not allowed to enter 2 of the 5 sweetness levels. 

...it sounds like a non-issue but I've gotten hammered in each of the last two Finals for "You entered this as semi-sweet but it is really semi-dry."    ::)

thank you
--Michael

155
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC 15
« on: December 04, 2014, 07:08:47 AM »
most of the regions and dates are on the BJCP calendar, just fyi.

bummer no KC region, but they deserve a break.  Also sucks Easter is in the middle there and so many regions are on one weekend, but I suspect there's nothing else that could be done - the spring gets awfully busy with events/comps.  Still, those 4/10 regions are going to have to store entries for 5 weeks or so before they ever judge them.   :-\

cheers--
--Michael

156
Other Fermentables / Re: orange blossom honey online
« on: December 03, 2014, 08:15:29 PM »
I do love flying bee ranch - they introduced me to meadowfoam honey and I've made 4 batches of that mead with their honey, in addition to about a dozen batches from their other varietals - but for the orange blossom mentioned in the subject, I have been most pleased with Honey Pacifica.  On occasion the cold packed orange blossom has been a little maltier than I like but I haven't found any blossom aroma/flavor that I prefer elsewhere.  Makes one of those "I could share this, but then I wouldn't be able to drink it all myself!" meads.

cheers--
--Michael

157
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A Poem on Homebrewing
« on: November 26, 2014, 03:28:27 PM »
that's really cool man...you have quite the talent there...please post more often

cheers--
--Michael

158
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Saving a bad beer
« on: November 20, 2014, 12:23:36 PM »
Package as slug eradication kit
??
Profit

159
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Flashback Brewday
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:26:30 AM »
got some LME among my prizes for medal win at NHC. 
I had planned to make starters, but maybe an extract batch is in order.

(note: if that sounds ungrateful, it was not meant that way.  it appears to be very high quality extract and I've kept it in my fridge since I received it.  My thanks as always to the competition sponsors.)

cheers--
--Michael

160
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Suppliers
« on: November 04, 2014, 06:16:29 AM »
I get at least half my equipment and 90% of my yeast from High Gravity.  The rest split between the usual suspect major online suppliers.

161
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Another reason to enjoy home brew
« on: November 03, 2014, 11:30:57 AM »
but...microwaves turn water into Satan!

[Seinfeld "I'm out" gif]

 ;D

162
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC 15
« on: November 03, 2014, 06:26:51 AM »
I had hoped we'd see the new styles, even if we were stuck with the existing 28 categories, or a similar number.  Going to 40 categories would seriously limit the number of First Round regions, and thus the size of the competition.

curious how they'll eventually switch to 2014 guidelines for 2016.  Combining some small categories?
hmm...

163
Amanda, will this competition be about the same time (Feb 21-ish) in 2015?  I'm trying to plan my competition brewing schedule for next year.

Thanks!

she says yes, that's the correct weekend.

--now Amanda's messenger, apparently  ???

164
The Pub / Re: American Fascination with HOPS
« on: October 21, 2014, 09:28:52 AM »
I take the ratings with a grain of salt (and a little coriander and lacto and pilsner and wheat). 

So you take your beer ratings with a side of Gose?

of course.  Gose, goes, uh, with everything.

165
The Pub / Re: American Fascination with HOPS
« on: October 21, 2014, 09:20:21 AM »
In my opinion, its part of the craft "backlash" against macro beer. The basic 3 ways you can go away from BMC is to be hoppier (IPA) Darker (Stout) and more ABV (Imperial). When a large part of the market is younger people who want to differentiate themselves from "the pack" or be rebels, they want to drink something that is as far away from "normal beer" as possible. This sets up the push for big IIPAs and RISs. I think as craft beer is getting more steam, and filling up more taps in more restaurants, there is more of a push for balance and drinkability. I have noticed that when I go out to a restaurant with a good taplist, there is always 3-4 IPAs, but there are a lot of browns, saisons, and other lighter, more food friendly beers available.

Secondly, when you look at RateBeer or BeerAdvocate, you see rarer beers get better ratings. Worthy Brewing makes a great Koelsch that is 4%, and if I am not careful, I can drink a sixer of it in one day. It will never rate highly, because I can pick it up at the local grocery store. The "top beers in america" are always the ones where the hype outpaces the flavor.

agreed.
so many bourbon-dominated "beers" and so many hop bombs and so many sours.  Mmm, can you taste the rare? 
I used to need bigger and bigger flavors to get excited too.  Just like I needed hotter and hotter peppers/food to call it "spicy."  But eventually I started to see nuance, balance, delicate characters.  Instead of writing "tastes watery"  ::) for everything that isn't extreme I started seeing the skill in some hand-crafted creations that were anything but blunt instruments for one ingredient or process.

I take the ratings with a grain of salt (and a little coriander and lacto and pilsner and wheat).  A combination of the "per style" rating from RB along with the thoughts of some BA revewiers I've come to trust is going to get much more attention from me than the total score from either site.

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