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Messages - gordonstrong

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Ask the Experts / Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« on: November 07, 2013, 01:11:34 PM »
My question is this: what is the fastest/youngest to the National judge level and/or the Master judge level?

I ask because I am usually the youngest person around at any competition in the area at 26 years old. I also have realized that within a little less than a year and a half from my first exam, I had made National. At my current rate, I could be at Master by the beginning of next June. I'm sure someone has done it faster than me or younger than me, but I'm curious.


That's hard to say since the BJCP doesn't track a judge by age, gender, race, or other similar tags.

Anecdotally, I know Kris England made Master when he was 28, so there's a goal for you.  As far as soonest to Master, I took a look at some stats and it looks like the fastest was 431 days.  Points are more available now through more competitions, and they are also processed faster than in the old days.  There are also more study materials available, so that could help some people.  It took me 871 days, and that was the fastest I saw until around 2007 or so.

Master rank in the BJCP is a huge accomplishment since it is earned by less than 2% of judges.  It's a great recognition to receive regardless of age or time.

Ask the Experts / Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« on: November 07, 2013, 01:06:09 PM »

Are there any plans within the BJCP to institute a way for a judges ranking to be keyed to the on going quality of their judging?

I have seen in contests where I was stewarding or participating judges with quite high ranking sometimes make glaring mistakes throughout a flight, not simple disagreeing on a particular entry but misapplying guidelines or making comments to others at the table that they have no sense of smell etc.

I am sure this is a complex proposition and the big focus is increasing the pool of available judges but it seems like maintaining a pool of Quality judges would be even more important to the goals of the organization.

Jonathan Fuller

It's been kicked around a few times before, but nothing was ever workable.  There is currently a proposal under review for an outside party to develop something like this for judges and competitions.  We'll see how it proceeds.

There are several real problems involved with any kind of crowdsourcing app, mostly with making sure the data is actually valid.  If it's used for people to flag people they just don't like regardless of their judging skills, I'm not sure that gains us anything.  It's also not clear what the BJCP would do with such data, if anything, or if it would just be feedback to the judge.

We've looked at scoresheet review systems before, as well as disciplinary systems.  Again, none were really workable, but maybe we should take a new look since technology has changed since that last review about 6 or 7 years ago.

In the meantime, there are certainly other things people could do, such as emailing the judge directly about complaints, or providing them to the competition organizer or BJCP competition director.  Most judges include their email address on scoresheets, but I've heard very few actually say they've ever received feedback.  That would be a good start, IMHO.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freeze/Keezer
« on: July 26, 2012, 07:03:43 AM »
Make sure you have enough vertical space for anything you might attach to your kegs.  If you are ever going to put carboys in it, make sure you account for the air lock, for instance.

The Pub / Re: State Fair Food that just Screams Weaze 8^)
« on: July 26, 2012, 07:00:46 AM »
Not just any bacon corn dog.  A double bacon corn dog.  Deep fried twice.  :o

Must be state fair time if food on a stick is in the news...

Other Fermentables / Re: Pickles and Crispness
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:57:56 AM »
Pickle crisp is CaCl2

Fixed it for you

IIRC, CaCl2 is used in molecular gastronomy when they make those "caviar" drops of some liquid into a CaCl2 solution.  So the "firming agent" (insert joke of choice) use seems to fit.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Your Top 4 Hefeweizens?
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:55:02 AM »
A fresh Weihenstephaner is so far ahead for me that I don't even bother thinking of another three.  I guess I like Paulaner and Franziskaner if I can't find a Weihenstephaner, but I'm not happy substituting.  I like Schneider a lot, but it seems kind of dark.  It's a fairly unique beer, an amber hefe.

Ingredients / Re: Muntons Caramalt/Maris Otter
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:47:46 AM »
Maris Otter is a barley variety.  But when anyone in a brewing context says "Maris Otter" without any other explanation, they specifically mean "pale ale malt made from Maris Otter."  That's implied.  So tell your LHBS guy you want base malt, not crystal malt.  Caramalt is a 10-15L crystal malt, kind of like a darker carapils.  Maris Otter (pale ale malt) is a 3-5L base malt.

You could use Summit hops with your Durian fruit.  Wait.  How would you tell the difference?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermentation Temps
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:32:36 AM »
If you're not having problems, DON'T GO LOOKING FOR IT!

I can't count the number of people who were making good beer, read a bunch of stuff on the internet, overthought what they were doing, and drove themselves into the ditch.

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

Beer Recipes / Re: Recipe help please
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:28:39 AM »
So Summit is the saffron of the hop world?

I'd love to see someone do the experiment to determine the threshold of stankiness, or otherwise isolate that character.  Or if it is taster-dependent on some genetic basis.  I know people who say green bell peppers taste like gasoline and others who say cilantro tastes like soap.  So I'm willing to accept that some people will sense things differently, perhaps due to blind spots for certain chemicals.  I know the phenomenon exists; I just don't know if that's what's at play here, or if it's a simple concentration of chemical issue.

I like tangerines; I would use a hop that had that character.  Sweaty socks?  Not so much.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:22:53 AM »
What I meant to be asking, though, is if you intentionally underpitched specifically for Weizens.

No, I don't.  A normal pitch has always worked fine for me.  But this thread has taught me to be cautious of overpitching, whether by repitching from a previous batch or by getting yeast from a brewpub (both things I do often).

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Samuel Adams Cinder Bock
« on: July 25, 2012, 09:13:31 AM »
Deschuttes still make Cinder Cone Red?

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: July 25, 2012, 06:09:45 AM »
Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stuck Fermentation - Best Course?
« on: July 25, 2012, 06:06:08 AM »
You could do a forced fermentation test to see if you've reached the limit of your wort's fermentability.  But warming and rousing is likely much easier.

I agree with the comment about carbonation.  If you think it's too sweet, you can try carbonating it higher.  If it's too sweet, you could also blend in a little bit of a more bitter beer to help balance that sweetness.  You could also add other ingredients like hot peppers or oak that would balance sweetness.  Just don't pick all these things at once.  It may turn out fine on its own.

RDWHAHB, wait a week, and then decide if it needs tuning up.

Beer Recipes / Re: Amber/ESB Recipe- please critque
« on: July 25, 2012, 05:59:58 AM »
Half MO and half Munich as a base is worth trying.  I often use half MO and half Vienna as a base for malty beers.  Basically, think about the flavor contributions of each.  If you don't want the big bready, biscuity character of MO, then cut it with something.  If you want something neutral, go 2-row or pils.  If you want to add malty/toasty, go Vienna.  If you want malty/rich, go Munich.  Just try to understand the flavors each provides and visualize them mixed.  If you make some single malt beers, you can blend them post-fermentation to get an idea of what kind of ratios you might like to use.

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