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Messages - ghumphrey

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Events / Re: GABF Travel
« on: July 07, 2011, 06:12:00 AM »
I hope it doesn't turn out to be a zoo like most of the other beer festivals in the US nowadays.  I have fond memories of 1997 and 1998.

Tim, you're in for a big shock... Think 1998 X 100. Heck, possibly X 1000. My best advice as a local who goes every year: attend the Saturday afternoon session as your first choice and the Thursday night session as your second. Friday and Saturday nights are simply crazy. If that's your thing, more power to you. Otherwise, in my experience, you have more chance to actually talk beer and brewing techniques with a given booth-manning-person when there's not so many people around. Why? There's a greater chance that booth-manning-person may actually be an brewer/employee of the vendor instead of a random volunteer who may or may not know much about the beer they're pouring.

Just a few thoughts.

Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter in a Belgian Dark Strong
« on: July 01, 2011, 04:15:13 PM »
Do you mean candi syrup rather than sugar?

Right-o, Denny. Syrup. Late night posts aren't my forte...

Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter in a Belgian Dark Strong
« on: July 01, 2011, 04:52:18 AM »


Color inside the lines if you're going into competition..that's fun too...  but if not, fugheddaboudit...brew what suits ya. 
Who may stumble upon something great.

Here's what I've settled on - kinda the median if you will...

10 gallons:
22.00 pounds  TF Maris Otter
6.00 pounds    German Munich Malt
2.00 pounds    German Wheat Malt Light
0.50 pounds    Belgian Special B Malt
0.50 pounds    German CaraMunich Malt I
0.50 pounds    Belgian Caravienne Malt
0.13 pounds    British Pale Chocolate

1.00 pounds      Dark Candi Sugar Syrup
1.00 pounds      Amber Candi Sugar Syrup

OG: 1.094
FG: 1.014-6 or so
WLP530 Abbey (pitched atop cake from a Patersbier)

Brew 1 of a double brew day on Saturday. 100+ degree temps in the garage, here I come!

See it on my brewlog:

Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter in a Belgian Dark Strong
« on: June 30, 2011, 10:42:39 PM »
It's your beer after all, and it may wind up being a genius idea.  You may even wind up  liking the result better than if you used a more traditional choice for the style, or, depending on other factors, it may not make a bit of difference.

Good point. RDWHAHB, right?

Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter in a Belgian Dark Strong
« on: June 30, 2011, 10:40:38 PM »
That said, just looked over your recipe and there are a few things I would change. Definitely lower the crystal down. You want some chewy crystal malt but you also want the beer to attenuate to a lower gravity (what belgian's call "digestable"). I'd use some sugar in there for sure, simplify the recipe a good deal (no need for 3 different crystal malts, probably keep crystal around 5%) and consider some of the dark belgian Candi syrup - that stuff rocks. If you use that you won;t need any special B, which I don;t particularly care for anyway.

Sorry should have put in there that I plan to use two pounds of candi sugar. I've used table sugar successfully as well, but I agree, the dark candi sugar does bring a nice raisiny contribution.

As for the Special B - that's definitely staying in; I rather enjoy the raisiny flavors it imparts. Interestingly, the amount of caramel (Caramunich and Caravienne) malts do seem high, but in the finished product, you get this richness and not a sweetness particularly. Good advice, though - I don't think I'll go as low as 5% total for those particular malts just because I've had so much success with the recipe in the past, but a reduction, especially with MO introduced, is in order.

Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter in a Belgian Dark Strong
« on: June 30, 2011, 10:05:14 PM »
Absolutely. I wouldn't think of using MO in most Belgian styles. I think that BDS is the most forgiving.

MO Witbier anyone? ;)

Ingredients / Maris Otter in a Belgian Dark Strong
« on: June 30, 2011, 09:16:01 PM »
I've got some Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter laying around and I'd like to use it up. I know that Pils malt is the traditional base for a BDS, but what about MO?

Here's my recipe - the only thing that has changed is the Pils -> Maris Otter from the award winning beers I've produced with it.

10 gallons:
22.00 pounds  TF Maris Otter
6.00 pounds    German Munich Malt
2.00 pounds    German Wheat Malt Light
1.50 pounds    Belgian Special B Malt
1.50 pounds    German CaraMunich Malt I
1.50 pounds    Belgian Caravienne Malt
0.25 pounds    British Pale Chocolate

2.00 pounds      Dark Candi Sugar

OG: 1.094
FG: 1.014-6 or so

I'm thinking if I use it I may need to cut down a bit on the character malts - not much, though. Just enough to account for the extra character MO brings as opposed to Pils.

WLP530 Abbey (pitched atop cake from a Patersbier)

Any thoughts?



General Homebrew Discussion / Re:
« on: June 24, 2011, 03:20:27 PM »
I could see the Beer Judge Education program being useful for folks in the back of beyond who are prepping for the exam on their own, people who have access to test prep classes through their local HB club probably don't need it.

Exactly our thinking, Thomas. Each of us is fortunate enough to belong to robust, involved homebrew clubs that offer steady BJCP exam prep opportunities. In fact, my partner Jonathan has headed up at least two for his club over the last two years. His organization of those sessions were the impetus for our learning venture: instead of bringing people to the learning, bring the learning to to the people leveraging the Internet.

Equipment and Software / Re: Hardware for keg fermenter
« on: June 23, 2011, 10:36:53 PM »
The conversion kit is from Brewer's Hardware - - I have two of them and they are awesome. No more splitting batches into carboys. Also, I've rigged up a way to transfer from the keg fermenter into kegs using CO2 and some simple parts from Home Depot, so there's no lifting the heavy keg to siphon. I'll try and post a pic soon.

Yep, no cutting. Just remove the shank (or whatever it's called) from your keg. There are videos on YouTube on how to do that  - see Then it's just a matter of placing the O rings and using the tri-clamp to seal it. Easy peasy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Will YOUR brew be served next week?
« on: June 22, 2011, 11:56:17 PM »
I sent a keg of Belgian Wit that we sent through a Randall with Citra and Amarillo hops. Guess the novelty factor was at play because the keg kicked in the first hour.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re:
« on: June 22, 2011, 02:30:12 PM »
Wow, good luck to you. If the course is going to ultimately cost $250 your class size is certainly going to be self limiting.

Indeed, in crunching the numbers, the $250 price boils down to just over $20 per two hour class session over the 12 week course. In comparing to other training programs (e.g., professional development, seminars, and learning webinars), the per-session rate is quite reasonable. Some might say a steal.

My partners and I do not want to make access to this learning opportunity cost prohibitive. We are offering a refund to any participant if they are not satisfied with the program after the first three sessions. Additionally, we are exploring payment plans to make it easier on the wallet.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re:
« on: June 21, 2011, 04:07:19 PM »
Mike, thanks for the information - we will be ready for the switch to the new testing format. Actually, I believe that the new way of exam administration is long overdue and very welcome. We look forward to prepping people for it.

Our plan from the get-go was to be agile enough to respond to not only changes in the testing procedures, but also (and most importantly) to the needs of our students. "Reflective teaching" is what it's commonly called in the education world.

Truthfully, we (or at least I) didn't know that there was a 80-85% pass rate. That's great! We hope that we can help push that number up a little. :)

And Tim, thanks for giving us a chance. We're excited to get things rolling and will definitely be seeking loads of feedback from these beta groups.

Cheers all!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re:
« on: June 21, 2011, 02:53:28 AM »
Thanks Tim. There was a setting that I neglected to check allowing unauthorized users access to the contact page. I just spent the last hour verifying that all links work, all should be working now. Moving a Drupal site from staging to live can be a bit of a pain...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re:
« on: June 21, 2011, 01:46:02 AM »
Yes, I can unequivocally say that Beer Judge Education is indeed legit. I'm one of the partners and we are just getting started - in fact, the site was launched on the first day of the National Homebrewers Conference last Wednesday. I just verified that all links work as well as our contact page.

Let me give you a quick rundown. Like I mentioned, we're just getting started and have plans for more web-based beer and brewing related courses and webinars. Our first and flagship course is a study series called "Better Beer Scores" - live, interactive, two-hour webinars designed to assist participants in studying, and ultimately passing, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Examination.

The beta group of courses are slated to begin in August. We are offering participants in these first courses a 50% discount.

All instructors are experienced, BJCP certified judges and professional educators - culling experiences from public and private education institutions and business coaching environments. Each of us not only knows what to teach, but how to teach and how to help people study, especially in an online environment.

Our intention is not to simply slap some PowerPoints together and call it a class - our goal is to provide the best, in-depth course of study to provide our participants the tools they need to not only pass the exam, but to be first class sensory judges as well.

Needless to say, the Better Beer Scores course won't be easy and will take some dedication on the part of participants, but we believe that the payoff will be worth the effort. Plus, if students don't pass the exam, they can retake the course at no charge, providing that they participated actively throughout the 12 weeks of the course.

If you would like more information, please either contact me here, via PM, or via the contact page on our site. I would more than happy to answer your questions.

Thanks and cheers,

Geoff Humphrey
Beer Judge Education - Webmaster and Instructor

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Denny's Favorite 50
« on: April 26, 2011, 05:53:15 PM »
Sorry for the NOOB question - what does BVIP stand for? I've been trying to work it out for a few minutes now and my caffeine-starved brain isn't coming up with anything that I can say in mixed company...

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