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Messages - brewmanator

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Beer Recipes / Re: Critique this Am. Amber recipe
« on: May 22, 2012, 10:33:01 AM »
The grain bill looks solid to me.  Using such a small amount of pale choc is not going to add any significant roast character IMO.  Your plan for the hops will produce a nice beer as well.  I have done something similar with Magnum bittering and then judicious amounts of cascade as late additions (20, 10  and 0 min).  Makes for a tasty beer.  I have also skipped the bittering addition and went with larger amounts for the late additions to achieve the same amount of overall IBUs.  Really depends on what you want in the end. 

One of my favorite amber ales (Boont from Anderson Valley) has only 15 IBU.  For my next amber ale I'm planning to shoot low in the IBU department.

House IPA friday and Saison on Sunday. 11 gallons of each!

Bottling 10 gallons each of Kolsch, Imperial Stout, Oktoberfest, Baltic Porter, Witbier, ESB.

Gonna be a good weekend!

That is A LOT of bottling :o  I feel so inadequate ;D

We're using the yeast cake from Big Brew Day to brew an American Pale.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer Gun w/ highly carbbed beers...
« on: May 09, 2012, 07:58:28 AM »
+1 on cold bottles.  Also make sure the bottles are very clean - any residue in the bottles will create nucleation sites for the CO2 to come out of solution.  For super high carbonation beers I would consider using brand new bottles that have been rinsed and sanitized just before bottling.

The Pub / Re: Can a homebrewer get some votes?
« on: May 08, 2012, 03:02:28 PM »
I have a friend who's wife has Crohn's disease.  There are days where she can't do much of anything.

Pretty amazing what your wife has done under the circumstances. 

Several votes casted today.

Good Luck!

We're doing a double batch day, one ale and one lager.  Bucksnort Brown Ale (thanks again AHA for the honor  :) ) and then a Bohemian Pilsener.  Hoping a few friends stop by to hang out and celebrate Big Brew Day with us.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: May 02, 2012, 01:55:42 PM »
I judged the morning session of the final round last year and we had 7 judges for about 27 beers, so 9 beers per judging pair or trio.  This is pushing the limit for one flight. 

For each additional 1st round site added to the competition you add three beers to the final round for each category.  Using the minimum of 6 judges per category this amounts to one additional beer per pair of judges.  Not a big difference, but at some point you will need to add another pair of judges for each category, which might let you expand the number of beers to 36 or 39 (12 or 13 first round sites).

The question to ponder is whether we would have enough high ranking judges participate in the final round.  I've heard that we won't have much of a problem this year.  Maybe we could entice more participation if the AHA offered a discounted conference pass to those of us who plan to spend part or most of the first day of NHC helping out with the competition?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: May 02, 2012, 10:59:41 AM »
The biggest issue here is finding 5 more suckers... I mean volunteers willing to organize.

I think the biggest issue would be finding an additional 250 judges.

+250 on that one.  Got my score sheets back on Monday and was pretty disappointed in the quality.  One sheet had only 5 written words on the entire page, another had 1 or 2 entire sections of the score sheet completely blank.  One judges started a sentence and didn't even bother to finish it before skipping to the final score.  Lots of one line descriptions for Flavor and Aroma.  Not what I expected from our National Competition and certainly not worth the $10 entry fee.

I could see how spreading out to more locations might help , but you would need to keep the number of entries for the entire competition the same.  The certified judge to entry ratio needs to be improved before this competition even considers allowing more entries.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: To our Governing Committee
« on: April 30, 2012, 01:51:02 PM »
Not sure if it was this thread or a different one, but folks have discussed compensation for judges and volunteers.  Something to consider might be to give those of us who organize, judge, steward or help out the competition a discounted membership the next time we renew.  Sorry for you lifetime members.  It might help lower our Judge to entry ratio which might eventually help us expand the competition to a larger size.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: April 30, 2012, 01:38:36 PM »
How about this then?  Stagger the registration such that for the first 5 days of the registration you are allowed only one entry.  After five days free for all.  That should give everyone interested in entering enough time to get at least one beer into the competition. (Apologies if something like this has already been suggested.)

As far as the Ninkasi award, there should be enough people with multiple entries under this type of registration to keep the integrity of that award.  If 7500 people register within the first 5 days, Oh well.  I think it is more important to give everyone who wants to enter as good of a chance as possible to get in.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: April 30, 2012, 01:04:51 PM »
I saw that as a potential problem, but I suspect that we have less than 7500 members who are truly interested in entering the NHC.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: April 30, 2012, 11:33:45 AM »
Winning a medal from our National Competition is a bucket list item for many homebrewers.  I don't think eliminating any of the major awards (Ninkasi, COTY...) that come along with winning a 2nd round medal will do much to curb the number of entries.  The only reason we don't have 10,000 entries to judge this year is that we set a limit on the number of entries per region. 

From now on this competition will always be exclusionary in some shape or form.  It's just a matter of how many people do we want to shut out. 

One way to include every member into the contest would be to offer every single member one (or two) spot(s) in the competition just based on your membership into the AHA.  The AHA could set a date upon which each member could claim their entry(s) in the competition.  Once a certain date passes the rest of the entries go up to anyone who would like to enter more than one beer.

Based on the statistics Janis listed for this year we'd have 1800 entries locked in, leaving 5700 entries left to fight over.  This way no one can complain about not having the opportunity to enter. 


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: To our Governing Committee
« on: April 27, 2012, 12:59:06 PM »
I'm not sure I like the idea of "punishing" a person who has worked hard to have 70 entries.  I'd prefer to encourage an increase in the entry per region cap and getting more volunteers.  Not to mention getting the info out there to possible competitors that this competition fills up extremely quick and registration ASAP is important if you want to paricipate.

Some things need to happen first before you up the number of entries per region.  The main thing is you will need to train and certify a lot more judges.  Even at the 750 cap, I would bet that among the many pairs of people judging beers across the US and Canada this year, neither person was a ranked BJCP judge.  When I organize a competition I like to have at least a Certified or higher ranked judge in each pair of judges.  This was hard for us to accomplish the last few years with competitions in the 400-500 entry range. 

In my opinion, we should strive for quality not quantity for all competitions, but especially our national competition.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 1st round NHC results
« on: April 27, 2012, 08:48:03 AM »
I can't say this enough times.  Do not get rid of your reserve bottles until after the Official Announcement is made in May.  This excludes beers that scored lower than 30 or beers you plan to brew again in time for the second round judging.

The cover sheet is not official and sometimes does not get filled out correctly.  In past NHC competitions I've had beers with the Place Awarded filled out and found out later it was just for the flight and not entire category.  I've also had beers that did not have the Place Awarded filled out and found out later that it moved on to the second round.   We judges and organizers are human and make mistakes...

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Would you pay this much?
« on: April 25, 2012, 12:53:04 PM »
At one time I had 72 bottles of Westy 12 in my cellar.  We called ahead reserved a pickup time and drove away with 3 cases of Westy 12 for just under $150.  We estimated that it cost us $6/bottle to bring them back to the US if you included the car rental and checked baggage fees.  We have drank, traded or given away about half of the bottles. 

It is a good beer, but not worth all of the hype.  I do enjoy cracking one open every now and then, sharing it with my brother who was on the trip with me and my wife who is still jealous she was not able to go on the trip with us.  Just a reminder of a great vacation in a grand location.  It makes the beer priceless to me.

I concur with kylekohlmorgen, put that money toward a plane ticket...

We're doing a split batch Czech Pils with two different yeasts: WYeast 2124 and 2278.  We're also kegging and starting the lagering process for a Schwarzbier that we hope to serve at NHC Club Night.

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