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Messages - phunhog

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106
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash recirculation
« on: June 09, 2013, 08:43:04 PM »
I recirculate (at least part of the time) with a direct fired MLT. It does take some time to dial it in but now that I have....I don't really see the need to automate it.  You are only talking about an hour MAX...I found that I get almost all of my conversion in 45 minutes.  I usually have to turn on the pump and burner 2x during a standard mash. I do stir my mash about every 15 minutes just to make sure there is even mixing but in theory it shouldn't be necessary.  Now I look at my mash temps in relative terms....152ish ;D. I don't sweat a degree in either direction during my mash.  In fact I usually will start the mash 1 degree higher than my intended rest temp and won't turn on the burner/pump until it falls more than 1 degree below.  My theory is that it all averages out in the end ;)

107
There was/is a BJCP judge in the Midwest who was offering these services. Can't remember his name/website but I think he is a National level judge. Basically he charged 7 bucks a beer to critique them and email back the scoresheets.  I never did it but I thought it was a great service to offer.  Comps are great but it seems like the feedback and/or quality of the judging can be so variable that you never quite know what you are going to get. 

108
Whatever vacuum sealer you go with I highly recommend getting the Foodsaver Mason Jar attachment.  A quart size jar fits a pound of hops(pellets) perfectly.  Resealing is a breeze and much cheaper than buying the food saver bags. If you want to get really fancy you can even blow CO2 over the hops before sealing them up.

109
Going Pro / Re: Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery (2nd Edition)
« on: May 10, 2013, 08:24:29 AM »
Here's the book the guys on probrewer.com rave about, and it's only $20: http://www.lulu.com/shop/tom-hennessy/brewery-operations-manual/paperback/product-20402206.html

I have that book!! Very good....especially for small (under 7bbl) breweries.

110
Going Pro / Re: Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery (2nd Edition)
« on: May 09, 2013, 07:36:09 PM »
I thought about ordering it until I saw the price!! :o  75 bucks!! And that's the member's price!  I have a lot of brewing books and I don't think I have ever paid over 25 dollars.  I wonder why it's so expensive? I can't imagine any more research went to that vs. Daniel's excellent "Designing Great Beers".

111
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: An observation...
« on: May 09, 2013, 12:52:07 PM »
Why have a six pack when you can have a keg?!! ;D

112
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 29, 2013, 10:21:31 PM »
If we know some regions are a bit slow, why are we still sending our beers to them? Somewhat local and well organized are my requirements for any competition. If I wasn't allowed to enter my beers in KC, I would have picked either Tulsa or St. Paul because I know they can run a great competition.

Well, this doesn't work for first time entrants who have no idea about the regions.  It also doesn't work because the registration process was a complete disaster.  It also, also doesn't work because once the entrant registers they are unable to register elsewhere.

This has been my first (and likely last) attempt to participate in the NHC and/or anything AHA related.  Due to the size and prestige of 'The Worlds Largest Homebrew Competition' (and the exorbitant fees) I was expecting a certain level of professionalism and it has been anything but.  I feel like I participated in a hobby group that got out of the organizers hands.  Lesson learned I suppose.

I feel a bit of the same way...This was my first time entering the NHC .I don't know I was just expecting it to run more smoothly for the hoops I had to jump through and high fees I had to pay just to enter.  Thank goodness my entries got moved to Seattle.....I received my scoresheets literally within days of the competition. Of course I don't know if my high scoring beers even went to the mini BOS since nothing was marked and there is some confusion if judges were supposed to fill them out. I don't know if I will enter next year but either way I don't expect the AHA to change. There is no need when demand out strips supply.
From the perspective of a long time member, the NHC has changed for the better in my memory. The Governing Committee was a positive change, as it is made up of members like you and me, who hear member voices and try make changes for the better.

The problem is the rapid growth of the hobby, and how to respond to and manage the growth.
Don't get me wrong I think the AHA does a fantastic job by and large!!  I understand how homebrewing has exploded in the last few years and the problems dealing with that growth.  I think that at some point the AHA "might" have to realize that they can no longer put on the NHC in its' current form

113
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 29, 2013, 06:05:57 PM »
If we know some regions are a bit slow, why are we still sending our beers to them? Somewhat local and well organized are my requirements for any competition. If I wasn't allowed to enter my beers in KC, I would have picked either Tulsa or St. Paul because I know they can run a great competition.

Well, this doesn't work for first time entrants who have no idea about the regions.  It also doesn't work because the registration process was a complete disaster.  It also, also doesn't work because once the entrant registers they are unable to register elsewhere.

This has been my first (and likely last) attempt to participate in the NHC and/or anything AHA related.  Due to the size and prestige of 'The Worlds Largest Homebrew Competition' (and the exorbitant fees) I was expecting a certain level of professionalism and it has been anything but.  I feel like I participated in a hobby group that got out of the organizers hands.  Lesson learned I suppose.

I feel a bit of the same way...This was my first time entering the NHC .I don't know I was just expecting it to run more smoothly for the hoops I had to jump through and high fees I had to pay just to enter.  Thank goodness my entries got moved to Seattle.....I received my scoresheets literally within days of the competition. Of course I don't know if my high scoring beers even went to the mini BOS since nothing was marked and there is some confusion if judges were supposed to fill them out. I don't know if I will enter next year but either way I don't expect the AHA to change. There is no need when demand out strips supply.

114
Pimp My System / Re: Speidel Braumeister...anyone have one?
« on: April 27, 2013, 08:12:18 PM »
Personally I think it is for people with more money than...  ::)  The size limitations(5 gal), power requirement(220v), and the brewing limitations (tops out at 1.057 without using DME), not to mention that it costs  almost 2k make it a novelty item IMO.

115
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 26, 2013, 05:04:08 PM »
I believe that all the 1st round judging has taken place right?  Does that mean maybe this week the AHA will post 1st round results?  May 4th is too far away!! :(

All of the regionals have to get their results to Janis and she has to process all of them. Be patient, young grasshopper.  8)

OK  the NHC says all results have been processed!!  Now can we get the results?....or do we have to wait another week?

116
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Observation
« on: April 25, 2013, 04:30:34 PM »
 I dont think your average homebrew is nearly as good commercial beer. But when I think of an "average" homebrewer I think extract, no yeast starter, no temperture control, etc.. Somebody who brews at most 4-6 times a year.  Pretty hard to make a great product with that.  However....there are more and more homebrewers brewing excellent beer that rivals and even exceeds commercial craft beer.

117
Going Pro / Re: Logo Feedback
« on: April 24, 2013, 08:55:19 AM »
I'm also not understanding the aversion to Facebook. It's certainly not my favorite website, and can be quite annoying at times, but used properly it can give you access to large amounts of people that other advertising doesn't (and cheaper also). For a brewery in planning, I think it would be instrumental. It helps you update your "fans" on your progress, while obtaining feedback. Most people probably aren't going to log onto your web site every week to see updates, but they'll sure go on FB and see what you have to say.

And if the updates are really that annoying, just go ahead and remove them from your status feed. It's quite easy.

This!!   I have a FB page for my home brewery that someday I want to make commercial. It gets my name out there and I have made many, many contacts this way.  Much easier to update with news, photos, stories than a traditional website. Plus people are already on FB vs getting someone to navigate to your website. I DO see why people don't like FB though for personal stuff. 

118
Going Pro / Re: Brewing Education
« on: April 23, 2013, 08:59:02 AM »
Something that I considered, when I had the opportunity to start a brewery: There are a lot of out of work brewers in the world. They don't make much money. So hire one to train you, pay them enough to cover relocation expenses, if necessary. If you guys work well together maybe keep them on, because if you're busy you'll need the help.

That's a really good idea!! Maybe you can even find an experienced local brewer who wants to make a little money on the side as a consultant.  Somebody who can teach you some bare bones brewery operations (CIP, kegging, filtering, etc..).  I would think that most of those practices are somewhat standarized throughout the industry. 

119
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: April 22, 2013, 11:51:00 AM »
I believe that all the 1st round judging has taken place right?  Does that mean maybe this week the AHA will post 1st round results?  May 4th is too far away!! :(

120
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The journey
« on: April 21, 2013, 12:11:39 PM »
I have been brewing pretty regularly for the last 5 years and I still feel the same way you do.  This hobby really is limitless!! Plus there are so many different facets of it that keep it interesting ( biology,  water chemistry, building brewing stuff/gadgets, political/business side of it, unique/historical beer styles, and on and on.  Glad you see it as a journey and not a destination. I think a  lot of people want to brew killer beer RIGHT NOW and don't understand that it is sometime a lengthy process to get to that point.

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