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Messages - james

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermcap S
« on: May 10, 2011, 10:06:50 PM »
It's a simple decision for me. If it's not barley, hops, water or yeast, it doesn't belong in my beer.

No sugars, spices, fruit, etc.?

Don't forget wheat, rye, and other malted non-barley grains

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermcap S
« on: May 10, 2011, 03:58:33 PM »
I personally don't worry about it.  The amount I put in a 5 or 10 gallon batch of beer is less than a single dose of gas drops I used to give my kids.  That was dosed directly to the mouth where in beer it is probably dropping out or sticking to the sides of the fermenter

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP 670 American Farmhouse blend
« on: May 10, 2011, 02:37:53 PM »
If we assume everything you read is true, then maybe "it comes from Lost Abbey" means it is some combination that they use, not that they gave the yeast to WL.  I don't know though.

I was thinking that it happens to be strains they order but Lost Abbey doesn't want to reveal that.  I was really excited about picking this up to try but I decided against it.  I hate using blends of unknown things unless they are available all the time.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP 670 American Farmhouse blend
« on: May 10, 2011, 05:32:51 AM »
I sent them an email about it and they replied:

The strain info in the blend is proprietary. I can say though, that is comes
from Lost Abbey Brewery.

After getting this reply I dig some googling and there was a post on the babblebelt that had the same info but also that neither of the strains was new to white labs.  Someone also posted saying that Tomme Arthur said it had nothing to do with them.  I read it on the net, it has to be true

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Doctoring Beers
« on: May 09, 2011, 01:33:14 PM »
Hey, this is EXACTLY what I want to do with my club for an event sometime soon. Is there the option to pay for a kit if we're not doing anything BJCP-related?

I'd say that training homebrew club members to recognize off-flavors is definitely BJCP-related.

Get a club member who's a member of the BJCP (i.e., has taken the exam) to ask the BJCP Continuing Education Director for a kit (details here: Then, once you get it, have him bill your club for the cost.

If you want to get fancy, you could try to turn the tasting into a BREWS session. It's my experience, though, that 20 different off-flavors is just too much for one session. Break it down into 2-4 sessions over a couple of weeks or months.

Sadly we have no members who are in the BJCP. In fact I don't think there's anyone in this country who's a BJCP member. $180 for the kit is too much to be honest, I'm just going to follow the doctoring guidelines set out in the BJCP manual.

We did get our kit in time so we ended up using that.  We blind tasted 2 samples of each, one at the recommended dose and one at double dose.  Some of them worked very good, but some were just not there.  DMS was totally laking at both dosages, we had better examples of DMS in commercial and homebrewed beers.

I think you can home doctor beers almost as good or better in some cases than the kit.  It will take more work to put it all together though.

True, it will be very difficult to find a solution to please everyone.  But you can't please the entrants at the expense of the judges.  Doubling the entries for the second round would require either a LOT more judges or a second day of judging in the second round.  That has additional costs and puts additional strain on the judges.  There's 28 categories, 3 entries from each region, 10 regions . . . 840 entries.  You want to double that for one day of judging?  I don't see it happening.  And the MCAB format has its own implementation problems.

I'm not saying that things are perfect as is, so it's great to see new ideas coming out.  But the ideas have to fix more problems than they create for the competition as a whole.  As the conference grows so will the judge pool, and I think it might be feasible to add a region.  That can help.

But the competition keeps growing, creating larger challenges for the organizers.  What really needs to happen is people need to step up and volunteer to help get things done.  Every two additional judges is ~20 entries finished on a day of judging.  This is a hobby, and we all contribute what we can, when we can.  But you can't be sitting on your couch while the judging is going on down the street.  If you enter competitions, you should be prepared to judge.  If everyone who entered judged, we could finish all comps in one session.

Get some sleep man :)

With the upcoming changes to the test it should make it easier to get more recognized/certified judges in, but I bet a lot of them are already judging as non-bjcp.

I think this is just an interim time where the ratio of entries to judges is high.  In a few years I suspect that there will be enough judges in every region to bang through the entries in a day or two.  Then in a few more years it will Ebb the other way.

Props to all the judges, proctors, organizers, staff, etc. who are making this all happen.  It can be a thankless job but you are all making it happen

This would also double the number of entries in the second round.  That would cause real problems there.

I think it is going to be hard to come up with a solution to make everyone happy.  I've seen suggestions of a 3 tier round, but that is only going to increase costs.  Another idea is to go the way of MCAB and have all the registered competitions be qualifiers

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Doctoring Beers
« on: April 24, 2011, 02:18:29 PM »
A little late in the game for your study group, but the BJCP will provide a flavor evaluation kit to organized & registered study groups that are prepping for the exam. Sit down, and grab your beer....... these are FREE.

They are provided (in partnership with Siebel) through the BJCP CEP (continuing education program). This is an awesome resource and more study groups should take advantage of it. The kits contain enough of each  chemical to provide 20 samples.

Tried that.  Didn't get here in time, hence the last minute rush to find something.

General Homebrew Discussion / Doctoring Beers
« on: April 24, 2011, 05:13:04 AM »
I've seen the recommendations at for doctoring beers.  Does anyone have any additional suggestions for things that can be done quickly to prep for the BJCP exam?  We have one more study group session before our BJCP exam and I'd like our members to be as prepared as possible.

I got mine yesterday.  So far it seems very zen-like, as if I need to feel for and be the beer, but I'm not too far into it yet.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but here is a hint.  Vader is Luke's father.

I enjoyed the book, but I got a lot more out of the last Part than the first two. 

My copy showed up today.  Took a little bit to unstick the glue from the envelope that got stuck to the top.

Took part of my BJCP exam study time today to read some of it and I'm already over a third through it.  Good so far.  I always feel bad for authors when I finish a book.  Took them forever to write and I tear through it in a day, week, month, etc.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC First Round Results
« on: April 05, 2011, 08:35:55 PM »
If you entered in the NW (Seattle) then your score sheets went out this morning.

I can't take any credit for it at all, I didn't organize it or even get to judge.  I'm just passing along the info.  The organization and fast turn around credit goes to Tim Hayner and Peter Twigg, along with some others most likely.

They did an excellent job as always, kudos to Tim, Steve, Dan, Sean, Peter, WAHA, and all the other judges/stewards that helped out.  My scoresheets came today, so anyone else that entered in the NW region should be getting theirs very soon.

Equipment and Software / Re: Scaling up.......
« on: March 13, 2011, 09:28:27 PM »
I have the 55 # model that you can get here:

Add another $2 or so and you get free shipping

General Homebrew Discussion / Move general forum to top of list
« on: November 03, 2009, 06:53:59 PM »
It might be a good idea to move this forum to the top of the list.  People that are new to forums frequently just post a message in the first forum at the top which in this case is All Grain.

Just a thought.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast and Zip Lock baggies
« on: November 03, 2009, 06:50:06 PM »
This is a great idea.  I'm going to stash some ziploc bags in my car for when I end up at a brewery without planning to collect some yeast

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