Author Topic: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong  (Read 10755 times)

Offline duncan

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Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« on: October 01, 2013, 08:02:05 AM »
                                   

The next guest in the AHA’s Ask the Experts series will be Gordon Strong, author of Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers. For those of you who don’t know Gordon, here’s a peek at his biography:

“Gordon Strong is the only three-time winner of the coveted National Homebrew Competition Ninkasi Award. He is president and highest ranking judge in the Beer Judge Certification Program, and principal author of the BJCP Style Guidelines and the BJCP Mead Exam Study Guide. Gordon is the technical editor and a commercial calibration panelist for Zymurgy magazine and is a frequent contributor to other brewing and beer publications.”

Gordon is ready and eager to answer your homebrewing and BJCP questions, especially ones regarding topics from his book Brewing Better Beer. So start thinking of that one question you always wanted to ask Gordon!

Registered AHA Forum users can submit questions beginning October 21 until October 28. Register for free today. Please do not submit questions prior to this time. After the question submission window closes, Gordon will begin addressing questions and share answers by November 11, 2013.

Please note: We anticipate a lot of participation in this public Ask the Experts, so be aware that Gordon may have to selectively answer questions, based on the volume of queries. 
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 10:36:11 AM by duncan »

Offline duncan

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 07:39:22 AM »
The window is now open to ask Gordon Strong questions!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 10:40:53 AM »
Gordon,

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.

Thanks,
Jonathan Fuller
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 10:42:03 AM »
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.

Cheers!
Amanda Kertz
Kansas City Bier Meister
BJCP National

Redbird Brewhouse - Current Project: Full Basement Bar Build

Offline itsme_timd

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 10:46:50 AM »
Hi Gordon, thanks for the Q&A.

I don't mean to be too generic with my question but as a new homebrewer I ask this when touring breweries and have received some great info.

What is one tip that you would share with a newer homebrewer to improve the quality of their beer?

Offline macoracle

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 10:49:42 AM »
I know there is a lot of debate on Hot Side Aeration.

Would like to know your take and experience on this.

Thanks,

-- mark

Offline narcout

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 10:51:14 AM »
Mr. Strong,

There are several things I changed about my brewing process after reading Brewing Better Beer: I started brewing with reverse osmosis water, I reduced mineral additions, and I began adding dark grains during the sparge rather than mashing them.

I’ve found that, even using 100% RO water, I can hit my target mash pH without the need to add any alkalinity if I don’t mash the darker grains.  However, a lot of the water adjustment spreadsheets available to homebrewers suggest that bicarbonates are necessary.
 
In your opinion, if the target mash pH can be achieved with a water profile that contains little or no bicarbonates, is there any reason to add them?  Do they have any discernable or beneficial effect on flavor, mouthfeel, etc.?

Thanks for your time,
FH

Offline thebottlefarm

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 10:54:29 AM »
Hi Gordon,
I was listening to a recient podcast in which you spoke about first wort hopping adding hop flavor, I was wondering if you'd done any specific experiments that backed those findings, or if it was just your experience brewing recipes with FWH that provided the evidence.

Thanks,
Aaron
 

Offline funblock

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 11:15:43 AM »
Gordon,

Has there been any discussion regarding increasing the catagories for sour and wild fermentation beers.    It seems like Belgian Specialty and Catagory 23 are too broad for all of the great beers that can be made with wild yeast and 100% Brett fermentation.

Cheers,

Michael Crane

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 04:53:58 PM »
Gordon
Would the BJCP consider a method of getting good experienced feedback on submitted beers in a non competition format? It seems like it would be a great way for rural brewers to grow their skills and knowledge without having to take up space at a competition. I'm planning to send a couple to a friend who is a judge, but I think this would be great for all of us. Seems like BJCP could make a few bucks in the process.
Jim

Offline mankeb

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 09:30:45 PM »
Hi Gordon,

Three questions.

What is your take on the value of decoction mashing especially dark german lagers? Recently I tried a hybrid decoction starting with dough in protein rest at 130F for 20, another infusion to 142F for 40 min then a thick decocotion, rest at 160F, boil 15 and adding to get mash to 158F for 20 min then a thin decoction to mash out, drain then batch sparge. (I'm limited to mashing in a 10 gal cooler.)

Secondly, how long is too long for fermentation? Many suggest going a full month rather than after reaching FG. Does this negatively affect the beer? Would lager yeast differ than ale yeast in this regard?

Lastly, for my hoppy beers, what is the most effective dry hop duration? I read a study that says 1-2 days is all you need.  What dry hop method gives you the best aroma?

Thanks in Advance
Bob Manke -Kansasville WI

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 07:44:25 AM »
Gordon,

Has there been any discussion regarding increasing the catagories for sour and wild fermentation beers.    It seems like Belgian Specialty and Catagory 23 are too broad for all of the great beers that can be made with wild yeast and 100% Brett fermentation.

Cheers,

Michael Crane

piggybacking on Mr Crane's excellent questions...
what if any significant changes would you like to see made to the style guidelines?  Any styles in particular that need updating?  Any styles in particular that need to be added?  We know the cider guidelines are getting a much-needed update; anything else?

I keep seeing contests loaded with 16E entries that seem to have more in common with Cat 17, 18, 20, 23 than witbier or BPA.  Any ideas on what you'd like to see done with this category?

cheers--
--Michael

Offline surfin_mikeg

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 09:10:30 PM »
Gordon
Would the BJCP consider a method of getting good experienced feedback on submitted beers in a non competition format? It seems like it would be a great way for rural brewers to grow their skills and knowledge without having to take up space at a competition. I'm planning to send a couple to a friend who is a judge, but I think this would be great for all of us. Seems like BJCP could make a few bucks in the process.
Jim

This one is important for me as well.  The insight I get from people who really know both beer and styles is highly valuable.  I'm not opposed to competitions; I'm looking for ways to get critical feedback. 

Half my recipes are for fun (the house IPAs), but I am trying to land styles with my own recipes to see how well I understand and execute (say a kolsch or pilsner).  It keeps me in check with the learning curve.

Thanks Gordon!

Offline wickdawg

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 07:36:28 AM »
Gordon,

What goes into consideration when adding and/or modifying categories to the BJCP guidelines? What is the best kind of feedback from BJCP judges and competition organizers to help with the process of expanding and/or modifying the BJCP guidelines?


Offline denny

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Re: Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 08:46:29 AM »
So far this looks like a book advertisement disguised as a forum thread.

You'd be wrong there, Carl.
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