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Messages - dmtaylor

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Biscuit Malt in a Munich Helles?
« on: July 30, 2013, 04:16:23 AM »
I would advise against it as I am a bit of a style nazi, but hey it's your beer.  I might cut it back to like 3% for a more subtle appearance.  Biscuit malt can become very distracting even in small amounts.

Events / Re: Question about competition judging
« on: July 25, 2013, 11:33:19 AM »
So I got to thinking some more about this... Personally I disagree that scoresheets between different judges should necessarily fall within X points of each other.  With decent judges, they usually will agree, but this should NOT be forced to within X points.  Not ever.  Honestly... who's to say that one judge is "more right" than another?  I might only be Recognized but I've read scoresheets from National rank judges who claimed they could SMELL astringency in the beer... baloney!  Just because I haven't bothered to re-test in 6 or 7 years to attain Certified or National or whatever doesn't mean I should allow myself to be too easily influenced by a higher ranked judge's opinions.  If I think the other guy is wrong, I ain't changing my score, and I would expect the same the other way around as well.  I think there needs to be a place for bullheads like me.  Who's to say I'm wrong and another guy is right?  My opinions are just that -- my opinions.  I get mad when the comp organizer says I need to be within 5 points of Joe Schmoe who I don't even know when I think he's way off.  I'm sure the same is true the other way around when Bubba Gump with zero experience thinks he's tasted the best beer in the universe, gives it a 40, and I score the same beer a 21.  These are opinions.  We try to get as close as we can, and like I say, with good judges, we usually will.

Perhaps my real wish is that we could get a whole lot more feedback from any one competition.  One Recognized BJCP judge plus a Gump just ain't cutting it.  I wish we could get feedback from 3 or 4 BJCP ranked judges at every comp.  Perhaps not feasible today, but maybe in 50 years it will be common.  That'd be sweet.  Otherwise the only way to know if your beer is really REALLY good is to enter each beer into at least 3 competitions.  And that gets real expensive real quick.  So anyway...


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP category doubt
« on: July 19, 2013, 12:11:45 PM »
Amber ale can be highly hopped.  A lot of people prefer it sort of like a red version of an IPA, and I think it will score well that way.  Go ahead and consider it a Category 10B.  I think you're fine.

By the way... I figure about 95% of people out there have no idea what rye tastes like.  Including judges.  Rye should never be a factor in whether to consider something in style or out of style, until you hit perhaps 30% or more of rye in the grist.  Otherwise, no worries.

Events / Re: Question about competition judging
« on: July 18, 2013, 01:53:29 PM »
What I've usually seen is that the judges will complete the scoresheets independently, then at the end they'll compare notes to see if there's anything they missed or, you know, look for opportunities to learn something.  They're usually pretty close so only minor tweaks are needed if any.

I counted them up and it was worse than I thought, 57 beers, 6 meads and 3 ciders....I think I need an intervention.

...said Pope Jamil the Second.  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My first homebrew comp. score
« on: July 15, 2013, 12:42:32 PM »
I never take one guy's word for anything.  I always recommend entering at least 3 if not 4 competitions with any single batch in order to get a big load of scoresheets so that you can safely filter out the ones that are wrong.  There's always some judges trying to show off by using terms like "oxidation" or "astringency" when in fact they don't even know what the heck the terms even mean.  Happens a LOT.  No worries.  Enter a couple more competitions and see if the scores and comments stay consistent.  Then just throw out the scoresheets that are obviously wrong and don't look back.   8)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: July 15, 2013, 06:37:57 AM »
My homebrew club had a Saison Clone War competition last Thursday, where we faced off after all having brewed the same basic recipe but we were allowed to tweak it slightly in one small way.  One guy added raisins, another added a little black pepper, etc.  But most of us used the Danstar Belle Saison yeast.  My saison using Belle plus toasted oats scored the silver medal out of 9 entries.  Not too shabby.  And the gold medalist's secret ingredient?  An extra pound of cane sugar.  Doesn't get any simpler than that.  Anyway... just proving once again that this yeast is capable of great things.  And, simplicity is often not such a terrible thing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lagering -rack to secondary?
« on: July 14, 2013, 07:46:39 AM »
You only need to rack if the beer will be lagered for more than a couple months.  Otherwise you can safely skip it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« on: July 14, 2013, 07:27:54 AM »
The name "IPA" is too well engrained in popular culture now. What we need to do is change what the "I" means. Maybe Imperial Pale Ale would work and everyone can still say "Can I have an IPA?"

With this naming scheme Double IPA would still work, but IIPA would obviously be redundant not that its that popular to begin with, i doubt anyone would miss it.

Now these are great ideas that I could live with and more easily find inner peace.   8)

What a great question.  I always figured I've brewed most the styles that exist, but turns out it's only like 41 of the beers and 4 meads and ciders so that's 45 total.  As much as I love dark lagers, altbier, English brown ale, and Belgian sours (LOVE them), sadly, I have never brewed those yet, at least not on purpose.  This is all about to change based on this discussion.  I was already planning to brew Pete's Wicked, so that one's covered.  And I've actually made an English brown before, but I added smoked malt and shouldn't have.  Of course, I have brewed probably a dozen different Category 23 beers.  I suppose you could say Cat 23 is my "specialty"!

Now... time to go design that perfect altbier recipe!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« on: July 11, 2013, 02:03:22 PM »
APA and American "IPA" have evolved in the past 6-7 years to become one and the same.  Or perhaps we should just assign shilling ratings to them to designate the low gravity ones from the high gravity, ala Scottish ales.  Or how about X, XX, XXX, XXXX.  Heck, we've already invented the Double IPA / Imperial IPA.  Why not just rename them all to APA X, XX, XXX, XXXX.  Hey, okay, I think I've got it!!  Just call it an APA w/ X IBUs.  In other words, just name the beer with the number of IBUs it's got.  Me: "You've got to try this 60 IBU APA."  Another guy: "Don't be such a wuss.  My 5000 IBU APA blows yours out of the sky!"

Don't we already do this anyway?  Except we call it IPA instead of APA.

Or I guess we could just go the route of MTV, where the M officially doesn't stand for anything anymore.  Kind of like Ulysses S Grant.  What's the S stand for?  Exactly.  IPA?  Yeah, that's just the name of the style.  It doesn't stand for anything, other than really hoppy ale.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Got beef with "American IPA"
« on: July 10, 2013, 11:22:10 AM »
The USA is a melting pot of cultures, so we would often rather steal ideas from other places and bastardize it to make it our own rather than come up with something truly American from scratch.  We have our American "pilsners" that are nothing like Bohemian pilsners except that they are light in color.  Then we take India Pale Ale, which once upon a time was one of the most bitter beer styles known, and take it to the Nth level of bitterness but still continue to call it IPA, when it doesn't resemble the original at all.  Then we go even further and invent something stupid like Black IPA, which is neither from India nor Pale.  We should call that one something else... like, say, American stout?!?  American stout has been around for probably 30 years but it didn't get popular until we threw it into the IPA category, because Americans sure love their IPAs.  But stout... nah... stout's got too much flavor.  No, we'd rather add black food coloring to a regular IPA so it doesn't taste acrid.  Black food coloring!?  It's all such a joke.  It might not be so popular if we called it what it really is: American Very Hoppy Ale with Black Food Coloring.  Now that's a great style descriptor.  A little too honest.  No... we'd rather call it Black India Pale Ale.  Simultaneously oxymoronic, and moronic.

We Americans are just plain goofy.  At least we know what flavors we like if we can't be creative enough to come up with names for things.  Hops hops and more hops.

Beer Recipes / Re: what did I brew?
« on: July 09, 2013, 07:06:32 PM »
Thanks! A barleycorn wine?

Barleywine is a real style of beer.  Here's the details:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Science question
« on: July 09, 2013, 07:03:01 PM »
Frank is right.  Finished beer has more alcohol, and it is under pressure.  Both will impact the freezing temperature.  Also every refrigerator has warm and cool spots.  The thermometer is probably wrong for one thing, and for another thing, the temperature is not exactly 38 F or 32 F at every single point in the refrigerator but rather only where the sensor is.

Beer Recipes / Re: what did I brew?
« on: July 09, 2013, 03:38:30 PM »
I agree.  I did not pump this into my software, but at 1.100 this is almost definitely an American style barleywine.  And looks like a great one at that.

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