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Messages - macbrews

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46
All Grain Brewing / Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« on: February 18, 2014, 06:56:01 PM »
Thoughts:
1) If you have a pump, you can still filter the RO water - its a hassle but it can be done.  Maybe you should test the RO water - maybe its just from a garden hose out back? (I also assume you use food grade hoses in your wort transfer)
2) Are you using any particular equipment only for these beers that might be infected?
3) Do similar style beers by either other home brewers or commercial brewers have the same problems? - maybe you are a "super-senser" of POF
4) Has it always been this way, or was there a time when it started?  Could point to #2
5) Where does your controller sense the temp?  If it is a thermowell or taped to the side of the fermenter it will be accurate.  Anywhere else will be ambient and I have 8-10 degree differences in the 2 during vigorous fermentations - notably hefes.

Good luck,

Mac

47
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Financials
« on: January 22, 2014, 07:35:58 AM »
While transparency is always a good thing, put me on the list of those who are quite happy with the return I get for my dues.

Mac

48
Events / Re: NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: January 11, 2014, 10:07:15 PM »

That makes sense that they'd keep you from gaming the system.

It actually doesn't make sense. How is a member going to bring a spouse or friend that is interested in homebrewing? And how is AHA going to handle the fact that when a member gets through the lottery and their partner doesn't, that means that a whole flock of members are not going to follow through and register. This truly is the dumbest thing I've heard.

How is the system gamed by having the opportunity to obtain two spots?

Absolutely.  If my wife has to register and pay to be a member, then she should be allowed to have the same opportunity as I do or any one else. The fact that the cost of membership is discounted is moot.

49
Events / Re: NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: January 08, 2014, 12:34:49 PM »
But that's what I'm saying... You can bring her along... If she is uninterested in beer and brewing why would she even want to attend the conference?

I am fortunate in that my wife is interested in homebrewing (she became interested in order to spend more time with me).  I guess I have never seen the need to register her as well.

50
Events / Re: NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: January 08, 2014, 08:13:46 AM »
I attend with my wife who is also an AHA member.

You have it made with twice the probability of the typical member. Do remember that every attendee has the opportunity to include a guest, so you both can enter the lottery and if either gets selected...you both go.

I looked at the registration details and found this:  Each member who enters the lottery can register up to one additional guest. All attendees must be a member of the AHA, including guests.

Does that mean if I take my wife, she has to be an AHA member?  She wasn't last year.  If so, when would she have to join?   Before the lottery?  After an opportunity to register might be extended to me?  That's a new wrench thrown in.

51
The Pub / Re: What's the best hangover cure?
« on: January 02, 2014, 06:08:12 AM »
Actually Washington and Colorado will be the skinnier States because everyone knows that marijuana is a gateway drug. So they burn off those extra pounds once they start smoking crack, slamming meth, and huffing jenkum.

I hear that Jenkum is some pretty bad sh*t!

Literally - I had to look it up on Urban Dictionary

52
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC
« on: December 16, 2013, 10:53:34 AM »
I didn't expect everyone to agree with me, and i'm sure you're sick of hearing me spout off, so I'll drop that part. 


...but it sure would be nice to know when we're going to find out what the rules are.

Michael, I agree with most of your comments.  Hopefully they are reading them too.

Mac

53
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC
« on: December 16, 2013, 07:49:11 AM »
So when is this decision going to be made?

54
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 29, 2013, 07:15:19 AM »
Well maybe not......
You've made the right decision if nobody is complete happy right?
 

Compare that to a lottery
You're proposing a lottery for the 'open' 3000 slots right? I agree that a simple lottery for all slots would be stupid. There needs to be a way for great brewers to compete without relying on luck. To be fair though, we don't know what the plan is and what you've described could still be quickly descibed as a lottery.

I am against a lottery.  My comment was meant to compare my suggested method with a lottery for the entire process which has been suggested.  I don't know how many AHA sanctioned competitions there are a year, but there appear to be well over a 100.  Some of them are not full, 28 category comps, some are.  There are obviously of lot of details that would need to be worked out.  There is no magic number of pre-quals vs at large entries.  I just think it gives the NHC a structure to build upon.

Mac

55
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 28, 2013, 07:34:39 PM »
Unquestionably it would potentially increase the number of entries, especially in the final quarter of the year.  Since the FOAM cup has been a MCAB qualifier, it has seen an increase of around 350 or so to 750.  Part of the reason is that it is the second to the last qualifier of the year and people are trying to get in to the MCAB.  Each competition would just need to cap their entries at a level that they could handle.  If they were concerned that too many "outsiders" would flood the available slots, then have two entry periods.  One for club members and then open it up to all.

Mac
It wouldn't be right to have a qualifier that gave members of one club (or any other group) preferencial registration. It would provide them with an easier route to qualification than other brewers get.

Exactly. Exclusivity is not the goal here. Increasing the volunteer base is the only long term solution I see. More volunteers, more first round sites, more entries can be judged at both the regionals and the nationals, more people are happy.

I agree that increasing the numbers and quality of the volunteer base is critical.  I am not sure that I think that there is a need to open up the total number of entries.  Is 8250 enough?  How many bad beers did you taste in the 1st round?  I tasted a lot.  The answer involves a method to increase the quality of the first round entrants.  Having 5000, ...or whatever, pre-qualifying spots based upon that brewers performance during the year and still allowing 3000+ spots for those who either got robbed and didn't medal, didn't have time during the rest of the brewing season or just want an opportunity to compete is pretty fair.  I don't think that there is any exclusivity to such a system.  In fact, I think it is very inclusive.  It gives all those who are interested, several options to get an opportunity.  It also gives them the entire year to secure a spot.  The quality of the competition will increase.  Everyone will be happy....

Well maybe not......

Compare that to a lottery

Mac

56
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 28, 2013, 04:59:16 PM »
Unquestionably it would potentially increase the number of entries, especially in the final quarter of the year.  Since the FOAM cup has been a MCAB qualifier, it has seen an increase of around 350 or so to 750.  Part of the reason is that it is the second to the last qualifier of the year and people are trying to get in to the MCAB.  Each competition would just need to cap their entries at a level that they could handle.  If they were concerned that too many "outsiders" would flood the available slots, then have two entry periods.  One for club members and then open it up to all.

Mac
It wouldn't be right to have a qualifier that gave members of one club (or any other group) preferencial registration. It would provide them with an easier route to qualification than other brewers get.

If you have a 100 qualifiers, I don't think it would be an issue.

57
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 28, 2013, 11:24:09 AM »


I think your assumption that entries would not increase in these pre-qualifier competitions is not a good assumption. For example, we run a competition circuit here in the Midwest called the High Plains. If you (or your club) wins in one of those designated competitions you get points towards brewer of the year or club of the year. You better believe that A LOT of the entries in those competitions are because of the circuit it is attached to.

Let's say that my club's annual competition is already at 500+ entries. Imagine how many more entries we would have if it was one of only a certain number of comps to be part of the 'pre-qulaifying round' for the NHC. 100? 300? Yikes. There just isn't enough support/volunteers to run that big of a competition.

Unquestionably it would potentially increase the number of entries, especially in the final quarter of the year.  Since the FOAM cup has been a MCAB qualifier, it has seen an increase of around 350 or so to 750.  Part of the reason is that it is the second to the last qualifier of the year and people are trying to get in to the MCAB.  Each competition would just need to cap their entries at a level that they could handle.  If they were concerned that too many "outsiders" would flood the available slots, then have two entry periods.  One for club members and then open it up to all.

Mac

58
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 26, 2013, 10:06:34 AM »
There are some real problems and some good ideas, but so far no viable solutions to the problem presented.  The biggest problem is who gets in and who doesn’t and how many beers do they get in.  I know of a lot of people who tried to get in and couldn’t.  As we all know it is a crapshoot.  I was fortunate enough to win the light hybrid category this year, but what if all the top brewers got in?  The competition field would have changed.  Undoubtedly I would have still won ;), but it would have changed the level of the competition.  If I was limited to one or two beers to enter in the first round, I doubt if my wheat beer would have been one of them.  It just hit its prime – right beer, right judge, right time.

Earlier someone suggested a pre-qualification like the MCAB.  For several reasons, I think this is the direction to go.

Currently there are 16 qualifying events for the MCAB.  Out of these there are the potential for 352 entries (22 categories X 16).  Over the last 4 years they have averaged around 210 entries, which computes to about 60% of the qualifying spots.  I would think some of this is due to multiple wins in the same category but some is just the lack of interest or information about the MCAB.

Maybe the AHA should look at taking a hybrid approach to the solution by setting aside a certain percentage of the entries into the NHC based upon the results of the AHA sanctioned events through the year. 

If we were to reserve qualifying spots for the medal winners of say….100 of the sanctioned events, at the MCAB ratio we have the following:

Each event gives 84 medals and potential spots (3 X 28)
100 competitions would give us 8,400 potential spots
At the 60% rate of the MCAB, that would be 5040 entries that are pre-qualified.  Open the rest to non-qualifiers - based upon last years entries that would be 8250 - 5040 = 3,210 open spots at a minimum.

Rules would have to be established – One entry per Sub-category won (this way if you make a great English IPA and medal 5 times, you only get one slot for that sub-category but could qualify for an additional spot with an American IPA), Max the pre-qual at 10  or so – as well as other rules that would keep the reserved spots at or less than 5000.  The rest are up for grabs once the initial slots are filled.

This would achieve several significant things.  Any good, interested brewer can be assured that he/she will have the opportunity to enter the NHC by medaling in one the sanctioned events.  Face it, if you can’t medal over the course of a year, should your beer take up a space?  It will spark additional interest in the smaller events by increasing the number of entries and promoting homebrewing.  Most importantly it really would allow the best brewers to compete against each other while still allowing others to join the field.  Everybody’s happy………

Well probably not, but I do think that this is a viable solution for the problem.

Thanks for listening.  I know this was kind of long.

Mac

59
General Homebrew Discussion / Blow-off Blues
« on: October 16, 2013, 06:46:11 PM »
I knew something was wrong when I got home from a trip and saw that the blow-off bucket was empty.  I had decided to cool the wort while I was gone, before I siphoned it to a keg. Unfortunately, I forgot one of the 1st laws of thermodynamics........ things contract when cooled.  When I pulled the carboy out of the fermenter and was ready to siphon, I noticed a clear layer on top of the Alt.  After letting out a cacophony of four letter expletives, it all made sense.  The drop in temperature in the carboy sucked all of the starsan and blow-off goop back into the beer.

My beautiful DDorf Alt that I thought was as tasty as anything I had made had been violated!

I very slowly siphoned the bottom layer of beer out from under the clear top layer.  It appeared that it did not get significantly disturbed.  No obvious off flavors.  Maybe a bit watery.  The FG is now 1010 - it was 1012 before I left.  It is now getting force carbonated.  I guess we will see what happens.

Moral of the story - I should be reading more of the forum and its wealth of info, and learn from the experiences of others (I would lay money that this topic has been discussed before), and not just the things that catch my attention. 

And get rid of the blow-off tube before I chill.

Mac

60
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: October 01, 2013, 12:16:29 PM »
Cash cow is probably a bit strong but it seems that it should be revenue positive.  What is the bottom line?  Is it self-supporting?  Is it a yearly fund raiser for other much needed but less revenue generating projects of the AHA?  Just doing some quick math - at ~$200+ a pop to attend the conference for 3-4K people, $12 per each of the 7.5K+ entrants and the revenue generated from the retailers - it would seem to be approaching a cool mill in total revenues.  Without knowing the finances I can only guess.

If it is indeed self-supporting, then don't raise the fees.  If it is in the red, then do what it takes.  Just don't borrow any money from China.......

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