Author Topic: Is the NHC for rich people?  (Read 6133 times)

Offline gail

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2010, 10:57:11 AM »
I agree with you, Bluesman.  I also know that Gordon is a great brewer and puts a ton of work into his entries, just like I had heard Jamil went about it in previous years.  Gordon definitely puts in the time and the hard work needed to really have a shot at the Ninkasi.  Anyone who works that hard at it really deserves some payoff IMHO.  If anyone ever gets a chance to ask Gordon about what effort he puts into his competition entries, I believe you will be amazed.  At least I was.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 11:03:23 AM by gail »

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2010, 08:59:12 PM »
Are people able to enter multiple beers per style?

No, you can enter at most 80 beers, one per subcategory. (And some people do.)

Do not forget the ales and ciders, which push it up to 98.  Jamil was rumored to have entered in all of those last year. 

I have no problem with that. 

Last year I entered 4.  Spent more on shipping than on the entry fees.  It paid off for us!   ;D
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Offline dean

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2010, 01:50:22 PM »
If somebody has the cash to pay for 50+ entries, go for it.   :D 

Offline markaberrant

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2010, 03:13:58 PM »
The Ninkasi award is for obsessive, consistent, quality homebrewers with enough free time and cash to devote to the hobby. 

All other NHC awards and medals require just a few bottles of 1 great beer and a $9 entry fee (plus shipping).

I don't see what the concern is, let alone see a need to make any changes.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2010, 06:33:14 AM »
Interesting topic. And as someone who tends to stay away from competitions I do still fill compelled to leave my 2 cents.

As I see it our hobby has grown a lot and it is no secret how to brew excellent beer. Most of us are very willing to share and as a result most experienced and serious home brewers can brew excellent beers. That pushes all of them into the region where it is not so much the skill as a brewer that matters but simply luck. At that point it does help to have as many entries as possible as much as it helps to buy as many lottery tickets as possible if you want to win the lottery. Just that in our case you increase your odds not only by entering more beers but also by brewing the beers as good as you can.

In the end you can definitely “buy” Ninkasi or BOS. The most extreme form is to have enough money that you can brew full time and enter in all categories. You still have to be a skilled brewer though but with the ability to brew that much the odds are definitely stacked in your favor.

And you don’t even have to brew a batch for each entry. There are a number of styles which can be created by blending. I think I could make a decent Maerzen out of a Helles and a Dark Bock, for example. Though it may not be a candidate for a medal it should still get me 30-40 points just for the cost of an entry fee. Maybe the tie breaker should not be the total number of 1st round points but the average score of 1st round points.

I think an entry cap per person is a fair approach to curb the number of entries in the future. Someone who brews a lot still has a leg up since he/she can select their entries from a larger pool. It would also be fair to keep this cap for only the first 3 weeks of the entry window. If there are still spots available after these 3 weeks they can be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Kai


Offline Janis

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2010, 07:59:35 AM »
Interesting topic. And as someone who tends to stay away from competitions I do still fill compelled to leave my 2 cents.

As I see it our hobby has grown a lot and it is no secret how to brew excellent beer. Most of us are very willing to share and as a result most experienced and serious home brewers can brew excellent beers. That pushes all of them into the region where it is not so much the skill as a brewer that matters but simply luck. At that point it does help to have as many entries as possible as much as it helps to buy as many lottery tickets as possible if you want to win the lottery. Just that in our case you increase your odds not only by entering more beers but also by brewing the beers as good as you can.

In the end you can definitely “buy” Ninkasi or BOS. The most extreme form is to have enough money that you can brew full time and enter in all categories. You still have to be a skilled brewer though but with the ability to brew that much the odds are definitely stacked in your favor.

And you don’t even have to brew a batch for each entry. There are a number of styles which can be created by blending. I think I could make a decent Maerzen out of a Helles and a Dark Bock, for example. Though it may not be a candidate for a medal it should still get me 30-40 points just for the cost of an entry fee. Maybe the tie breaker should not be the total number of 1st round points but the average score of 1st round points.

I think an entry cap per person is a fair approach to curb the number of entries in the future. Someone who brews a lot still has a leg up since he/she can select their entries from a larger pool. It would also be fair to keep this cap for only the first 3 weeks of the entry window. If there are still spots available after these 3 weeks they can be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Kai

Hi Kai,

Thanks for your thoughts on the NHC awards.  I'll keep these in mind when the AHA GC Competition Sub-Committee begins discussion for next year.  One thing that I don't think we'll do is to change from the First Round Points to the average scores of the First Round entries earning points.  There is enough variability of scores between flights of a category in one competition, much less from one competition to another, that I don't think that would be a meaningful way to do a tie breaker.

Keep the ideas coming!

Cheers,
   Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org
Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

Offline tankdeer

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2010, 08:44:08 AM »
Ninkasi is for people with money, Homebrewer of the Year is for people who brew great beer.  :D
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2010, 06:40:30 AM »
Curiosity made me look at the past Ninkasi and Homebrewer of the year awards.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/competitions/national-homebrew-competition/winners/past-nhc-winners

2 guys have won both in the same year (from what I could see).      This is a difficult feat to accomplish. 

As for the thinking that you can buy an award with many entries, I do not agree.  First you have to put in the effort making outstanding beer in many categories, which is a lot of planning, time, hard work, organisation, and ingredient cost upfront.  The money spent on entries is the price to play if you are going for it. 

We all have to decide to enter, and how many to enter.  No one is making us do it.  I don't see the angst over the number of enteries, be it 1 or 98.

Jeff Rankert
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Offline lostralph

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #53 on: April 29, 2010, 10:24:51 AM »
Instead of limiting the number of entries a person can enter, why not figure out a way for more entries to be handled?  From the sound of it, 750 is the maximum that can be handled at one location, so why not split the judging centers.  After all why do Belgian Beers need to be judged at the same place as American Lagers, except for logistics?  If two places can only handle 500 each, that would still provide a 33% increase in capacity.  Even if you limit the number of entries per person, as the AHA grows you'll still have to handle over 750 entries per region.

As for the number of beers needed to win the Ninkasi, anyone could have beat the person who won the Ninkasi with 5 gold medal beers.  Even with Gordon Strong and Jamil Zainasheff entering their entire collection of beers on tap.

From the website, points are awarded in a weighted system for medals, and first round points are only considered in case of a tiebreaker.  Gold - 6 points, Silver - 4 Points, Bronze - 2 Points

So five gold medals would give you 30 points.

2003 Curt Hausam:     2 Gold, 12 points total
2004 Jamil Zainasheff: 2 Gold,  3 Silver, 1 Bronze,  26 Points
2005 Paul Long:          2 Gold, 12 Points
2006 Joe Formanek:    2 Gold, 1 Silver,  16 Points
2007 Jamil Zainasheff: 3 Gold,  0 Silver, 1 Bronze,  20 Points
2008 Gordon Strong:    2 Gold,  12 Points
2009 Gordon Strong:   2 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze, 28 Points

So if all you can submit is five entries, it they are all worthy of gold medals, you can win the Ninkasi.  Even withpout other people  being limited to five entries.

Sorry for the book, but I don't like placing limits on competitions.
The High Plains Draughters - OKC

Offline Janis

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2010, 12:42:23 PM »
Instead of limiting the number of entries a person can enter, why not figure out a way for more entries to be handled?  From the sound of it, 750 is the maximum that can be handled at one location, so why not split the judging centers.  After all why do Belgian Beers need to be judged at the same place as American Lagers, except for logistics?  If two places can only handle 500 each, that would still provide a 33% increase in capacity.  Even if you limit the number of entries per person, as the AHA grows you'll still have to handle over 750 entries per region.
<<SNIP>>

Sorry for the book, but I don't like placing limits on competitions.  <<UNSNIP>>

Hi Ralph,
On the surface, expanding the number of regions would seem to be the easiest solution.  Unfortunately it isn't that simple.  Currently we have 10 regions that contribute 3 beers each in each of the 28 categories.  That's a potential 840 entries in the Final Round of the competition that we have to judge in one day at the National Homebrewers Conference (HBC).  For every new region created, the potential entries in the Final Round increases by 84.  Currently the Final Round judging is done on Thursday of the conference and the seminars that are offered that day are repeated on Friday and Saturday so that judges are able to attend any/all of the seminars for which they have paid.  Even with the judging innovations of the last 3 years in the Final Round, I think we'd be pushing it to get the judging done in a day if we added more regions.  Not to mention the non-trivial amount of work associated with having another First Round site to organize and manage.

Of course, it probably wouldn't be as bleak as all that, but you get the idea--it's not as easy as it looks.

Cheers,
    Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org
 
Janis Gross
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AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

Offline tygo

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #55 on: April 29, 2010, 01:03:44 PM »
If you only allowed the 1st and 2nd place winners in each category to advance to the second round you could add 5 more regions and keep the overall number of second round entries the same.  That doesn't solve the problem of organizing more first round sites but would address the problem of numbers in the second round.
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Offline lostralph

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #56 on: April 29, 2010, 01:16:53 PM »
Bleh, yet again I fail at explaining one of my ideas.

Thank you Janis for the reply, and the reminder about how at there are limits as to how many can be judged at the final round.

What I intended is that more than one site in a region can be used to judge entries.  For example Site 1 could judge Categories 1-13, and Site 2 could judge categories 14-23.  The same number of beers would be passed to the next round.  Just that more beers per category could hopefully be judged at the beginning, since hopefully it would provide separate groups from which to draw judges, and other personnel to handle the load.
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Offline Janis

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2010, 01:21:36 PM »
Hi Ralph,

Oh well, now that's different.  Never mind.....  LOL!

That's a good idea, and I will propose this to the AHA GC Competition Sub-committee when we meet to discuss the NHC.  The only downside to this scenario is that it basically doubles the expenses for the competition in that region.  Still, we may figure out how to make it work.  Thanks!

Cheers,
    Janis
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Offline bfogt

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Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2010, 10:55:59 PM »
Don't forget that the number of judges is not infinite and giving up time and, for many, travel expenses puts a crimp on availability.  East and Great Lakes tried to use some synergy to get judges to do both regions, but that makes it two weekends in a row, likely with two nights in a hotel each weekend to do the whole contest.  Even with synergy, both regions were begging for judges up to the end, literally at the end of Saturday judging for GL.  Honestly, the judging points aren't worth it.  But some of us are addicts or owe favors.

And we don't want to lower judging quality, do we?

Maybe if no contests would be sanctioned in the month of April, more judges would be available or if the fee was increased to make travel stipends available, we'd have more judges available.  Dare I suggest asking Three Floyds to check the NHC schedule before scheduling DLD?

It's a conundrum.  I feel that they do an incredible job at running the contest.  If we've learned anything, you need to strategize and save up to go for some prizes.  No one's mentioned how much it takes to win the club prize and how some clubs make it happen and others don't. 

Thanks for being receptive to constructive commentary, Janis and AHA reps.