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Messages - udubdawg

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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?

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.


she says yes, that's the correct weekend.

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

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.

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.

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.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Conditioning in flip top growlers
« on: October 18, 2014, 05:33:22 AM »
I cannot speak to the strength of your personal bottles, but I've been bottle conditioning in swingtops for years, and have put 3V hefeweizens in them, and out of thousands have never lost a single bottle (knock on wood). Have never bottled anything "wild" or any saison in them, but pretty much everything else.

The Pub / Re: I now officially hate UPS
« on: October 14, 2014, 09:54:39 AM »
+1 to have an account and print beforehand.  I drop off with a wave and a "have a great day!"
also, "Gifts" is my standard answer but I haven't had to say it in a long time.
and finally, for anyone running a homebrew competition, I prefer putting things on the label that are less overt than "beer competition"... ya know?

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider Making 2014
« on: October 12, 2014, 01:40:04 PM »

+2. Not contrarian to me. All of your ciders sound awesome.

well, they're not.  Mostly yes, but just today I confirmed a problem.  You guys familiar with "mouse"...? 

my first mousy batch; not bad for well over 100 total.

I decided not to dump it all immediately.  There will be one other guy in attendance on Thursday; I'm going to have him taste it before/after an alkaline mouth rinse and describe it to the ladies.  Drinks AND entertainment.  ;)

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider Making 2014
« on: October 12, 2014, 11:20:39 AM »
I'm gonna be contrarian; deal with it.

I dry hop my cider and it is awesome.  YMMV.

I've been known to use some Belgian yeasts too, with good/gold results.  As for how overtly Belgian they are, that's not my point.  If I like the flavor profile, success.

This Thursday I am serving 6 of my ciders to a group of 60 women.  Off-dry New World, semi-sweet that is sort of between New World and French, peach with just a touch of ginger, tart cherry, dry-hopped sweet cider, and a ridiculous ~15% monster that started as a batch of Fall's Bounty Cyser from Schramm's book and is slowly being blended and nudged towards New England Cider.  With everything that has been blended together over the last couple years there's at least 10 yeasts represented there. 

I'm not expecting everyone to love everything, but I'm betting I go home empty.


Other Fermentables / Re: My First Judged Mead - A Berry Melomel
« on: October 11, 2014, 07:09:46 AM »
I like it....

well then, it's a success...

Beer Recipes / Re: Peach, Habanero Kölsch
« on: October 10, 2014, 07:29:25 AM »
hope it turns out for you.
Mango Magnifico is a flavorful 10% beer and the base can handle a lot of "stuff" added to it.  I wouldn't personally put something as strong as habanero with something as delicate as Kolsch, but perhaps it'll be amazing.

good luck--

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider original gravity
« on: October 04, 2014, 05:58:17 AM »
I'm much happier with the cider I make in the upper 50's and above, so that's what I aim for these days.
With all the sharps and bittersweets I gravitate towards I end up also using a lot of Golden/Roxbury Russets to get there, but they're great apples anyway. 

I like a nice acidic off-dry cider (1.004 for home consumption, but usually compete with 1.008) with a moderate amount of soft tannins.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Hoppy Halloween 17 – TIME FOR DOOM!!!
« on: October 02, 2014, 05:51:14 AM »
unique medals (first ones everyone that visits my basement gravitates to), awesome swag, and generally excellent feedback. 

you weren't really going to drink all that awesome beer anyway; you should ship some to Fargo.   8)


*edit* - post 666!

Other Fermentables / Re: My First Judged Mead - A Berry Melomel
« on: October 01, 2014, 06:42:19 AM »
Overall Impression was 4 out of 10 - "Nose is raspberry flavor and strawberry, dry and astringent with upper fruit sweetness. Light alcohol"

sounds like Overall Impression was a re-hash of what they had already said... 
Did they give anything that was an actual, you know, overall impression?  Talk about balance?  Acidity?  Did they say any of the characters were unpleasant?  Note how it might be improved?

Sounds like you have a bit of a honey/fruit balance issue, but that is common.  Also, note that dry meads do not necessarily have a lot of honey character, so it can be especially difficult to get good honey/fruit balance with these.  Astringency...well, they apparently didn't really say whether it was unpleasant.  Strawberries are not the most tannic fruit.  Metallic is not good, but let's tackle that later. 

when dealing with similar balance issues on something fairly dry, I will pour myself some of the melomel and slowly start blending in some sweet Traditional Mead in the glass, something with a nice wildflower or orange blossom aroma.  It usually doesn't take much.  I can't speak of the tannin level you've got and whether it is appropriate...

Homebrew Competitions / Re: First HB Contest
« on: October 01, 2014, 04:50:55 AM »
Thanks.  Yeah Jim, I think the only positive post I read about Wyeast 2112 in an Oktoberfest was from you.

you should read more of my posts then.  ;)

I use it in my schwarzbier, with good results.
(and, congrats!)

Events / Re: NHC 2015 Location in San Diego?
« on: September 24, 2014, 12:03:43 PM »
OP seems satisfied, but just in case anyone was alarmed, it appears San Diego Comic-Con is 1 month after NHC; you don't have to choose which to go to.   ;D

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