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Messages - beerrat

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3rd Annual Crystal Lederhosen Homebrewed Beer Competition!

Judging 8/26-27 in Scranton PA.  Entry registrations accepted through 08/19/2016.

Best of Show Beer brewed by local craft brewery 3 Guys and a Beerd!

The best mead gets a 5 gallon pail of honey from Dutch Gold.

More info:

Homebrew Competitions / Re: BCOE&M help
« on: September 17, 2014, 11:09:07 PM »
Had same issue as you this past Sunday.  Anyone else out there?

We used entry numbers not judging numbers.  Perhaps we will use judging numbers next year, but adds to cnace for errors when putting labels on bottles.  I like the entry number matching from entrant bottle label to small label we have for the judges that only has style/entry #.

We resorted to pen and paper.

I'm gonna file a request with the open source folk to add this feature.
Also wondering how to have cider and mead show up in BOS pull reports with beer.

Homebrew Competitions / Scanning setup recommendations for competition
« on: August 03, 2014, 02:05:53 PM »

Looking for recommendations on value/effort to provide electronic scoresheets back to participants. And if worth it, what scanning setup to use? -- equipment/process/software for scanning in scoresheets and then getting them emailed to participants within a reasonable amount of time.

First, is this really needed and worth it to folk?  Paper based good enough?

Try to scan them after scores being entered?   Thinking this adds too much additional effort on event day. 

Enter scores in BCOE&M competition site, place scoresheet in participant's pre-labed name/address envelope, scan over then next week and email.  Or just stick them in the mail the next day and don't even bother with the scan and email?

Care to share experience anyone?

Events / Any good graphics or signage for Mead Day
« on: July 26, 2014, 06:56:27 PM »
Big Brew and national Homebrewer's Day have some nice graphics we have used for signs to promote events. 

Anyone have anything to share for Mead Day?

Thank you all for the input.. I love the AHA forum!  :D

First, if this is not place to ask about this software, forgive and please point me correct location.

I am setting up a beer competition using Brew Competition Online Entry & Management (BCOE&M) system.

We want to accept all BJCP styles, but have predefined categories of awards.  How best to set this up? (note, this is an example, so not looking for debate on how I assigned styles to award categories, just how to set up in software  ;D ).

Award 1- Pale Ales: includes: 16B Belg pale , 10A amer pale, All of cat 8 English pale
Award 2 IPA  All of cat 14 IPA
Award 3   Lagers –1A Amer lt, 1B Amer standard, 1C Amer Premium, 1E Dort export, All of cat 2 pilsners, 3A Vienna lager, 4A dark american, 4C schwartz, all of cat 5 bock
Award n  Fest/ Fall Beer  1D Munich Helles, 3B Oktoberfest/ Marzen, 4B Munich Dunkel, 21 A Veg Beer –MUST USE PUMPKIN, Anything can be entered in here but must specify why it is a fall or fest beer


Is this how tables are used - I would define the tables for each award I would want, and then assign flights of the appropriate styles to the tables.


Other Fermentables / Re: How to add balance to a sweet pyment
« on: June 27, 2014, 02:50:52 AM »
You can balance sweetness with acid or tannin.  A merlot is typically pretty tannic as well. Some of the tannin in a merlot come from the grape skins and done comes from the oak.

Hmm - so if I added some oak chips and let age, I wonder if that would help?
I'll have to redo and split 3 ways - same recipe, on oak, and with tannin add to experiment with.

Thanks all!

Other Fermentables / How to add balance to a sweet pyment
« on: June 26, 2014, 01:45:01 AM »

At club night I served a merlot pyment.  As well received it was by the crowd, a comment from a pretty high ranking BJCP judge was that it needed some tannins or something to balance out the sweetness.  Not that it was too sweet, but needed more (tannins? complexity? balance?) I believe (hey, it was club nite, I'm lucky I remember anything ;-).   I did not have opportunity to drill down into the comments or potential resolution, but do recall him asking about if I used crushed grapes.  I used juice from a winery.

Any thoughts on either post fermentation or recipe options to correct?

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Homebrew Competition Presentation
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:18:44 PM »
How many judges do you think you can get? Also how many Sessions are you planning for Friday and Saturday?

Planning 1 session with 30 judges, so assume 15 tables with worse case 10 beers per flight would be 150 max.

Really trying control as much as possible to ensure first one goes off smooth, so if we get 150 entries and it goes perfect, we happy.

Part of an event were we have to be done at set time for an awards ceremony.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Homebrew Competition Presentation
« on: June 20, 2014, 11:18:14 PM »
Any thoughts on a new completion starting and putting boundaries on number of entries or styles - even if have enough volunteers -  just ensure first one gets well executed? 

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Homebrew Competition Presentation
« on: June 18, 2014, 11:20:46 PM »
Thank you!  I attended and really learned a lot, and enjoyed it.  It really tempers the overly optimistic and avoids embarrassment.  Nice job!

Hi all,

Can my fellow Pennsylvania Clubs share some insight on what is and is not allowed to be in terms of homebrew samples at beer festivals, and other public events.  I know we can not sell, or seek a donation homebrew.

What about being samples from a booth, or as part of a separate workshop on home brewing - as part of a large beer fest?

Also, are there rules for whom can pour the samples?  Do we need our volunteer pourers RAMP (Responsible Alcohol Management Program) certified?


Other Fermentables / Re: Still semi sweet mead taste like pyment?
« on: May 20, 2013, 12:19:13 PM »
I've made a lot of meads, but never with WLP007.

When you say "like a pyment" what do you mean - many different pyments, so what is it you are tasting or smelling?
4 months is early for a mead to find itself, think 6-12 months.

What was start and end gravity?  What temperatures do you ferment at? 

I like to use wine yeast like Lalvin D47 or 71B and have had success with wyeast sweet mead yeast also. Suggest follow Curt Stock/Michael "Moonlight Meadery" Fairchild's protocols for nutrients and temperature.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Do other clubs have this problem?
« on: May 08, 2013, 09:05:22 PM »
Apathy?  I know we'll never have a club like, say the Maltose Falcons, and I can live with that.  But I'm so frustrated with the apathy.  No one has any initiative. The officers have tried to encourage membership with discounts at LHBS, events, educational presentations, apparel, etc...  We're a stone's throw from the AHA conference this year.  I desperately wanted us to participate in club night.  There was no interest.  We have some great homebrewers, but my wife and I weren't about to single-handedly run our booth.  Sometimes, it seems like we're little more than an organized drinking club.  I've offered to put homebrewer bios and recipes on our newsletters and website to drum up interest and participation.  Crickets.  It's so frustrating.  We have annual dies of $15 and about 25 paid members.  We have a lot more who haven't paid. Our last meetings have had five and six attendees respectively.  Do I need to accept the reality that our club is what it is?  I'm grasping at straws here, folks.

Ah, the joys of volunteer organizations.  I am on the board of a number of non profits, and also involved in a couple local brew clubs.  With an older club, you will have members who on the surface seem apathetic, but really are folk no longer as passionate because they "been there, done that" stuff for years and time for new blood to help and energize.  Other passions replaced home brewing somewhat, and that's ok.  There is room for simply having a few beers with some old friends as part of the club. 

So when I joined, I asked myself, "what do I want to get out of a club?" What is the club I want to be part of, be proud of?  Then make it so.... with 1-2 others in the group that felt the same way we began executing.  You cannot make someone feel as passionate about something as you do, they have to come to it on their own.  So build it and they will come.  Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm - disappointment and frustration will not attract folk.

It sound like your group was similar in terms of actually having a good foundation  2-3 key events that have been going on for years, and a monthly meeting place with damn fine beers.

Building on those and see what the mix is for all these elements at every one: education, fun, social, club awareness and growth.

Monthly meetings - Still a social beer tasting event, but with an educational topic at every/every other for the first 1/3 of the meeting, then sharing home-brews - providing/getting feedback from experience brewers is a big perk to new folk; while socializing for the remaining portion. 

Brew day events - either at a member house or at a local homebrew shop - a way to introduce hobby and the club. Invite the press to attend it, new members or just interested folk, and have someone be there to engage them and explain what going on.

Competitions -good for internal bragging rights, or against that other local local brew clubs. Malt madness and War of the Worts two good ones for the PA clubs!  Enter comps yourself - start bringing back ribbons and you get enthusiasm from others.  Leads into education session on styles, what makes a good beer per BJCP, process discussions, etc.  Our club judges at a local country fair's homebrew contest and that is always fun and engaging for new and old when you talk about the winners and the rival clubs you beat ;-).

Road shows - demo's/speaking at local homebrew shops, beer festivals, historical, rotary, lions club etc about how to homebrew usually draws a few new people to the hobby. Sampling even more compelling.

Not sure what radio, press, or local TV you have out there, but makes friends with them.  They make good celebrity judges and will promote your events and hobby.

For any any of these you just need 2-3 folk to do it, other will jump in when it looks like fun.  Don't try to do more than what you have volunteers for, that will lead to frustration and burn out.  Do small things really well.

We been executing on this for the past 4 years and our member growth and event turn out has been very good.  A number of new faces at our meetings that have been engaging the older members for feedback bridges the gap you have.

Hope this helps.  Perhaps we'll see you at Club night.

Good luck!

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: May 05, 2013, 03:39:43 PM »
Did folk that entered Atlanta get your judging sheets yet?  I have not.

I can see my scores online.  What does Mini-BOS being checked mean on the online entry page?

Thanks all for the feedback and education on min-BOS means! 

I receive my score sheets from Atlanta on 5/4.  I had some good beers and bad beers, and the comments for both were very helpful on how to make them all better.  Nice job!

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