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Messages - brewmanator

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: To our Governing Committee
« on: April 27, 2012, 07:59:06 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, 03:48:03 PM »
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, 07:53:04 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.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Big Brew
« on: April 25, 2012, 07:35:06 PM »
My brother and I are hoping to have a few people over to help us brew Bucksnort Brown Ale.  When the AHA bestows such an honor to you and your recipe you've got to oblige.  It should be at its peak when NHC Club Night rolls around.  I hope to share some of this batch with as many of you as possible in June. 

Thank you Gary and Janis for picking our beer! 


Beer Travel / Re: San Diego Beer & Brewery
« on: April 24, 2012, 07:47:01 PM »
Stone, Lost Abbey, Pizza Port - Solana Beach, Port Brewing (Carlsbad or Ocean City), Green Flash, Alesmith, Ballast Point...

I'm sure there are others, but was just what I could remember from my last visit (NHC last June).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wedding favors
« on: April 18, 2012, 10:22:00 PM »
I am getting married next spring and I've been asked by a number of my friends if I'm going to "brew something" for the wedding. My initial response is, "Yes" but I am a little reluctant. I think a lot of people like the idea of craft beer more than they like beer. For instance, I did a cranberry IPA for Christmas called "Hoppy Holidays" and it came out great. My dad, who is a Bud drinker, said, "That's not real beer."

My point is this: I don't want bottles of something I spent time and money on perfecting to be discovered the next day half full.

Am I being too cynical?

I think you are being too sensitive.  Unless you think comments like the one from your Dad are going to ruin your wedding day, you need to brew a beer for your wedding.  You will regret not having that special beer to share with those who actually appreciate it.  Even if it's just for you and your spouse.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wedding favors
« on: April 13, 2012, 03:53:48 PM »
I can relate.  We did our house amber ale for a friends wedding two years ago.  The groom came over and helped brew and they both came over and helped bottle the 10 gallon batch.  They served it at their reception along with some commercial beers.  We got lots of nice compliments throughout the reception.  It was great to see people pass over old standby commercial beers to try the homebrew.

It was quite stressful throughout the process though.  The last thing we wanted was to ruin their wedding reception with a contaminated beer.  They saved a couple of bottles for their 1st anniversary and let us know that the beer was still pretty tasty a year later.


Ingredients / Re: Hops for Pilsner
« on: April 13, 2012, 03:28:57 PM »
If you want to make something similar to Bitburger (German Pils) try US Tetnanger.

Brewing 10 gallons of Wood-Aged Strong Scotch Ale that we hope to serve at NHC in June.  Planning to add pressure-cooked, medium-toast oak chips to the finished beer.   

We made the mistake of getting rid of our reserve bottles last year and had to rebrew in order to send in our second round beers.

Don't count on the cover sheet to let you know if you have advanced.  We had two entries last year that advanced, neither were indicated on the cover sheet. 

It is much more subtle than your typical fermentation.  You might see some airlock activity once the new microbes adapt to their new environment.  I would not be worried if you don't see any airlock activity.  I did something like what you did with a Flanders Red but with the WYeast Lambic Blend.  I did not use an airlock though, just a carboy cap loosely attached.  I wanted oxygen to slowly seep into beer to mimic barrel fermentation. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer of the Week
« on: March 15, 2012, 02:57:21 PM »
I've seen this recipe or something very similar in BYO, and the ferment temp was 50 oF with a DA rest at 55 oF.  I'd be really sruprised if he fermented such a big beer like an Eisbock at 35 oF.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Gelatinizing Raw Wheat
« on: March 06, 2012, 03:23:23 PM »
We just did a lambic as well.  I detailed our brewday on another forum, but have placed that post below.  We used ~1.4 quarts of water per pound of grain and the cereal mash turned out just right.  Very little scorching.


A while ago we were given a 5 gallon bucket full of raw wheat. The only beer styles that I can think of to use this in are Witbier or Lambic. Well we went with a lambic yesterday. Here is the recipe and procedure we used. It is based on the recipe for Gueuze-Lambic in the Classic Beer Styles book Lambic

Beer Name: Hope
Style: Lambic
Batch Size: 11.5 gallons (10.5 gallons in the fermentor)

14.5 lbs Pilsner Malt (Gambrinus)
7.75 lbs Wheat, Raw
1.0 lbs Crystal 40
6.0 oz Willamette (Aged warm for 2 years)
2 pkg fresh WYeast 3278 Belgian Lambic Blend (dates: 2-22-12 and 2-29-12)
2 pkg of old WYeast 3278 Belgian Lambic Blend (dates: 7-2011 and 10-2011)

Mash: Did a cereal mash with the wheat (7.75 lbs), 1.5 lbs of pilsner malt and 13 qt of water (168 oF). The initial temp was lower than the rest temp we desired so we heated this with stirring to get up to 158 oF. We let this sit for 10 min and then slowly and with constant stirring brought the CM to a boil. We stirred constantly for 30 min and it thickened up to the consistency of thick oatmeal. We then added the near boiling CM to the main mash ( 13 lbs pils malt, 1 lb crystal malt and 14 qts of water) which was resting at 120 oF. This got the temp of the main mash up to 150 oF. We added some rice hulls (~3/4 lb) and hot water to raise the temp of the main mash up to 153 oF and let this sit for 30 min. No mash out.

Vorlauf/Sparge: We vorlaufed with a pump for 15 min and then continuously sparged with 180 oF water to obtain ~13 gallons of wort. No stuck sparge!

Boil: We boiled for 90 min, and added the hops with 80 minutes left in the boil.

Cool/Aerate/Pitch Yeast: We circulated 1-2 gallons of hot wort before sending it through a small Shirron plate chiller. After running the cooled wort (66 oF) into two carboys, we pitched 2 pkgs of yeast (one old and one new) into each carboy. We then slowly bubbled oxygen (2 min) using an aeration stone into each carboy.

Fermentation: Started a controlled fermentation at 66 oF, bubbling away nicely...

We forgot to get a hydrometer sample of the chilled wort, but were able to get a refractometer reading of 14.4 Brix. Which suggest around a 1.058 OG.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: American Brown Style Guidelines
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:37:11 PM »
I would say you could expand this discussion to include American Stout.

Question:  How would perfect clones of Deschutes Obsidian Stout or Rogue Shakespeare Stout fair in competition as American Stout?
I think the feedback on these "classic examples" would very often include that they needed hops... 

Agree?  Disagree?


Only DH mentioned low hop character as an issue...

As far as American brown ales go.  We got a silver medal with an Am Brown in last year's NHC.  It was hopped with Willamette and Mt Hood and scored in the mid to high 30s in each round, but somehow rose to the top during the mini-BOS rounds.  Don't cave in to the American citrus hop bias for this style!  You can make an award winning American brown without them.

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