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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 / 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?

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 / 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?

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?


Events / NHC Hospitality suite & Club Night -- How much beer????
« on: August 30, 2012, 12:26:00 PM »
I wondering if clubs that were participating at this year's NHC and provided beer could share how much beer they went though at club night, hospitality suite, etc.

How many taps did your club have at club night?
How much beer did your club go through?

How many taps did your club have at the hospitality suite?
How many hours did your club host the hospitality suite for?
How much beer did your club go through?

Any other beer needs?  How about for tasting during a presentation?  How much?

I had heard to shoot for 250 gallons and that seemed very prohibitive for a small club.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Commercial meads in PA -
« on: July 23, 2012, 12:44:46 AM »
A while back I posted a question about finding any good meads available in Pennsylvania. Since then I had the chance to taste some fantastic ones at 2012 NHC so I feel I can do a little amateur comparison.

Mt Hope Winery - I have enjoyed all of traditional and melomels.   They won a gold metal at the 2012 Pennsylvania Wine Competition for their Honey Mead.

Stonekeep Meadery offerings are also good.

Anyone else try any of these?  Any BJCP judges performed a commercial calibration on these?
Aware of any others available in PA?

Just wondering - as mead is more a wine than a beer, what is the history of it being part of AHA/BJCP? 

I did the old google thing and did not come across any of the history?

Same question for cider?

Pimp My System / Geek: linksys stir plate
« on: June 16, 2012, 01:37:09 AM »
(note edited 7/22/2012 as the old photo site was shutdown - same content, new photo source)

I built this from parts found around my house.  Had an old fan, hard drive for the magnets, and a power supply.  Was stumped with what I could use as a base - almost went pure minimalist with just attaching fan to a piece of plexiglas - and then I saw the linksys in the electronic junk pile (yeah, I'm a full time geek and part time hoarder.)

The concept/basic instructions for this is well documented at:

I pulled the router apart, removed any diodes/chips off the circuit board that were in the way, glued the fan on the board, and attached (just wrapped, did not even solder) the fan leads to the power adapter port inside the router. (I should of taken a picture of that, but I forgot, and I'm not pulling it apart now  :) ).  Trust me, it will be obvious, and you can use a volt meter to confirm the right points of contact.

I cut out out the top of the router, where the air vent is to allow clearance for the fan/magnet. 

Its not perfectly flat, but the flask does sit pretty stabile on it. 

I've used it for a few starters now and it has worked fine - and the price was right.

Yeast and Fermentation / First lambic - what to expect in fermentation
« on: April 06, 2012, 03:48:01 PM »

I started my first lambic -  the Brewing Classic Style recipe.
I intially pitched S-05 and then when krausen fell, I pitched 2 bottles of ECY BugFarm. I did not make a starter of the Bugfarm.

So what should I expect to see in terms of fermentation activity?  Is this a subtle process or should I be seeing air lock activity, etc? 

I know this is a year+ brew, but curious on what visible indicators of progress I can expect short  term.


Events / NHC - how much beer for clubs to bring?
« on: March 25, 2012, 11:19:40 PM »
Hi experienced NHC attendee's and hosts... how much beer does a club need to bring for something like club night or to be a hospitality suite host?

Homebrew Clubs / Looking for some diagrams on brewing process
« on: October 18, 2011, 09:22:31 PM »
Before I try to "reinvent the wheel", as they say, I'm looking for some brewing process graphics to use as for the upcoming "Learn to homebrew" event.

I'd like to have one set that represents the professional brewing process and another that represents home brewing version. Nothing  overly complex/detailed. Something like this (professional view):

I've googled and have a lot of raw material, but thought I would ask if there has been any that other clubs created that I could use.

In addition, as we would have brewing demo's and workshops, to use that graphic as a base to show "you are here" in the process as the brewing demo progressed throughout the day; and at specific presentations/workshops on brewing topics.

I have not found anything on the AHA site, but may be overlooking it.

Other Fermentables / Sulfur smell in a pear cider
« on: October 12, 2011, 06:04:05 PM »

Ah, my first pear cider and I'm confronted by a distinct sulfur smell, first noticed in day 10 when it appear fermentation is done and I racked to secondary, and still existing on day 25.  I'm guessing that I either I racked off yeast to soon, should have used yeast nutrients like I do for my meads, or simply need to wait until this clears up.

The pear juice is from a fresh pressing at a very good cider mill.  I used lalvin-47.  Fermented at 64f.
The OG was low ( a very wet year) 1.040, so perhaps not enough nutrients and yeast stressed?
A friend did a batch from the same source, used safale-05 and having same type of sulfur smell.


Homebrew Clubs / A 2-3 hour "How to brew all grain" class suggestions
« on: August 08, 2011, 09:47:02 PM »
I've been trying to come up with a 2-3 hour max all grain brewing class/demo/"teach in" for our home brew club.   Meads, wines and extract brewing can be done in that time frame, but stumped on right approach for all grain.

Given it takes me 6 hours to do a full al grain brew, anyone have suggestions on approach to "boil this down" (pardon the pun)?

Want more hands on then slide ware.  Perhaps use approach the cooking shows do were you show the mash steps in one mash tun, then have one another mash tun previously started that you would do the sparging on?

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