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How To Improve Vic Case Swaps

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Muggus

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The number 28 for case swap only really came to existence because 28 longnecks of beer fit comfortably in a standard milk crate.

As much as i'm sure Dairy Farmers hates us all for nicking them, milk crates are pretty handy for this purpose.

However, like alot of brewers, my fermenters are only around 25L and a 24L batch is as big as I could ever hope for it to be.
Minus trub, racking losses, gravity readings and late night "tasting sessions", it hard to knock out 21L into 28 bottles and expect a consistant clarity and quality.

This was one reason I loved the NSW Special Swap, Grant mentioned above.
14 longnecks, ie one crate worth, of a specific beer. So you can brew your 24L batch, bottle half and keg/keep the rest.
And hey, doesn't mean it has to be same style of anything either.
The idea of mini case swaps could mean you split up a larger number like 30-40 people, mix and match beers. 28 longies is alot to get through...I can back after a weekend with 56 the other day! The logistics of storing it all hurt my brain a bit.

Enough ranting, I think at the end of the day if you're not confident of being able to produce 28 bottles of decent quality beer...ie your fermenter is too small/you enjoy too many "late night tasting sessions", you may want to reconsider entering a case swap.
Generally it's not an issue, but this is why it's a good idea to make a backup beer.
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
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Hi All,

From someone who started the 1st Case swap on AHB many moons ago - participated in and arranged a few - may I offer some ......
- 1st off - you can't please all the people all the time.
- the original case swap was to put your best beer in - not some experimental/1st time I used XXX with YYY etc...but tried & tru - something you would be proud of to share/go in a comp.
- if your beer turned out not good enough - then it was accepted that you did not put your beer in & withdrew - I know of this happening to some over the years - those in the case swap then decided to leave/give beer to the them (of which most did) as it was just bad luck...but it was your choice.
- we used to accept 2 stubbies or one long neck - choice was yours - some would do 2 styles and put in stubbies.
- we did 24 longnecks or 48 stubbies.
- over the years as more people AG - you could segragate into AG Swap & K&B swap (please don't let the Kits vs AG war start again)
- those that keg bottle - you either accept their beer or not - don't whinge if you drink it 4 months down the track and it is flat..If the swap wants bootle conditioned - then keggers have to accept that.
- personnally, i never gave feedback in the forum on case swap beers unless it was positive.
- if bad i would send an e-mail - bad feedback onthe Open Forum in my books is bad form.
- at the end of the day it is about sharing FUN, Beer, Knowledge, Passion and FUN.

I have enjoyed many a case swap beer - met lots of fellow brewers - broaden my beer knowledge and tastiings and had lots of Fun.

Hope this helps out ....
 

browndog

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Hi All,

From someone who started the 1st Case swap on AHB many moons ago - participated in and arranged a few - may I offer some ......
- 1st off - you can't please all the people all the time.
- the original case swap was to put your best beer in - not some experimental/1st time I used XXX with YYY etc...but tried & tru - something you would be proud of to share/go in a comp.
- if your beer turned out not good enough - then it was accepted that you did not put your beer in & withdrew - I know of this happening to some over the years - those in the case swap then decided to leave/give beer to the them (of which most did) as it was just bad luck...but it was your choice.
- we used to accept 2 stubbies or one long neck - choice was yours - some would do 2 styles and put in stubbies.
- we did 24 longnecks or 48 stubbies.
- over the years as more people AG - you could segragate into AG Swap & K&B swap (please don't let the Kits vs AG war start again)
- those that keg bottle - you either accept their beer or not - don't whinge if you drink it 4 months down the track and it is flat..If the swap wants bootle conditioned - then keggers have to accept that.
- personnally, i never gave feedback in the forum on case swap beers unless it was positive.
- if bad i would send an e-mail - bad feedback onthe Open Forum in my books is bad form.
- at the end of the day it is about sharing FUN, Beer, Knowledge, Passion and FUN.

I have enjoyed many a case swap beer - met lots of fellow brewers - broaden my beer knowledge and tastiings and had lots of Fun.

Hope this helps out ....

I've been following this thread with interest and have to make a comment here Kenny. If someone happens to swap an infected or just plain bad beer, you feel it is bad form to tell them that on the forum? If it is done in a condecending or derogatory way then I totally agree, but if you are just stating the facts and offering a solution then I can't see a problem at all.

cheers

Browndog
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
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Thanks to those of your who've tried to get me to take part and I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can at the forthcoming grain bulk buy.
Normally this would have been a simple edit but I've been timed out on that: just had a quick look at the bulk buy list and many of those mentioned above aren't actually taking part in the buy. I look forward to meeting you at some point just as I do those attending the buy on the day.
 

Wolfy

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A few people were trying to coax me to attend the previous swap as a non-swapping attendee and I didn't as I felt it wrong to come to my first swap without actually participating (not saying it is wrong - just that I'd feel like I was coming "empty handed" and it would go against my ethics. I have no problem with someone else being comfortable doing that at all).
Having never hosted such an event and only participated in one, I can only give you the feedback I noticed from last month, but there were a number of no-swap-attendees at the meet, and (from what I could tell) all were welcome. If you bring a keg of beer (like many others did) and some food to share on the day - even if you are not swapping beer in the case swap - I'm pretty sure that welcome would extended even further.
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
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It's a day when people who are slightly obsessed and nerdy about beer can drink, talk and stuff around with like-minded folk. Pretty unpretentious, definitely welcoming.

Only things unwelcome are bad attitudes and aggression I believe.
 

Thirsty Boy

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I was part of a couple of vic case swaps... But have stayed away from the last few. My reason is that to be honest it's just too much work. Not to make the beer... To drink the beer!

I won't do the swap thing unless I fully intend to properly taste and give feedback on every beer I taste... And to be honest, drinking that many beers and sitting down to write feedback just becomes a chore. I don't drink a lot, and every time I have taken part in a swap, it's basically cost me the keg/fridge space and drinking time I would use to brew a batch of beer for myself.

If the swaps were limited to 12 beers, preferably stubbies, I would be in every one... But 24+ longnecks of beer is well more than a months worth of drinking for me

TB
 

browndog

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I was part of a couple of vic case swaps... But have stayed away from the last few. My reason is that to be honest it's just too much work. Not to make the beer... To drink the beer!

I won't do the swap thing unless I fully intend to properly taste and give feedback on every beer I taste... And to be honest, drinking that many beers and sitting down to write feedback just becomes a chore. I don't drink a lot, and every time I have taken part in a swap, it's basically cost me the keg/fridge space and drinking time I would use to brew a batch of beer for myself.

If the swaps were limited to 12 beers, preferably stubbies, I would be in every one... But 24+ longnecks of beer is well more than a months worth of drinking for me

TB

You have to admit though TB, it makes for excellent practice for those wanting to improve their judging skills.
 

therook

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I was part of a couple of vic case swaps... But have stayed away from the last few. My reason is that to be honest it's just too much work. Not to make the beer... To drink the beer!

I won't do the swap thing unless I fully intend to properly taste and give feedback on every beer I taste... And to be honest, drinking that many beers and sitting down to write feedback just becomes a chore. I don't drink a lot, and every time I have taken part in a swap, it's basically cost me the keg/fridge space and drinking time I would use to brew a batch of beer for myself.

If the swaps were limited to 12 beers, preferably stubbies, I would be in every one... But 24+ longnecks of beer is well more than a months worth of drinking for me

TB
+1 I'm with thirsty on this one WRT the amount of beer to try, before you know it you will have 30+ people swapping>
I'll keep attending but not swapping.

Rook
 

Supra-Jim

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My 2c,

At the end of the day I think we should keep this as simple as possible (one of the problems is people are busy with their lives and stuff esp as we get close to Christmas), whether it be 24 or 28 bottles, I'm not fussed (I can do double batches easily, but will bitch about bottling whether i have to bottle 5 or 50 bottles!).

As for restricting the styles or running concurrent swaps, I not such a big fan. We are all in the same boat, heading in the same direction (trying to brew better beer) and if it means we have a mix of experienced brewers with novice brewers, so be it. I wouldn't like to see this idea split into two 'classes' of brewers.

If you want to swap, get organised, throw in a beer as best as you can make it and approach every beer you receive with an open mind and be constructive with your feedback.

Cheers SJ
 

arthur

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another option, stubbies, each swapper does 2 stubbies of different brews. The way a 20 ltr batch will give you the swap and enough to test ?
How about just one lot of 28 stubbies?


Have you heard the regular kegging swappers whinge about how hard bottling is?
You want to double their work now?
You will bring new meaning to the word 'sook'.
And spend the entire case swap day listening to everyone bitching about having to clean 1 million stubbies, no thanks. ;)
Same or less amount of work.


If the swaps were limited to 12 beers, preferably stubbies, I would be in every one... But 24+ longnecks of beer is well more than a months worth of drinking for me

TB
 

SpillsMostOfIt

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+1 I'm with thirsty on this one WRT the amount of beer to try, before you know it you will have 30+ people swapping>
I'll keep attending but not swapping.

Rook
That supports someone's (forget who) idea that you have a smaller swap. Say, bring 12 bottles of beer. Everyone goes into a draw and you get 12 random bottles of beer.

GMK got it dead on when he said that you cannot please all people. But, I think that if the concept is to grow, it has to be allowed to grow. Finding a way to accommodate most (if not all) of the things people want to get out of swapping is important.

The swap day (not the swap itself) will always be subject to the manifold issues around having a bunch of steadily drunkening strangers in your wife's home.
 

Leigh

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...and in the past we used to run 2 "small" swaps of 6-12 people in between the big swaps...

No reason keen people can't do that ;)
 

Supra-Jim

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Hey Spills,

The flip side to the your 12 bottle beer raffle, is the potential for some people to get 12 (or a majority) of less than great beers (not digging at anyone at all here, but sometimes sh&t happens), while others may get the cream of the crop. The chances of this could hurt attendance/participation in future events.

Also the beer raffle idea would (IMHO) work better if you restricted the style of beer being offered.

Cheers SJ
 

barls

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Having never hosted such an event and only participated in one, I can only give you the feedback I noticed from last month, but there were a number of no-swap-attendees at the meet, and (from what I could tell) all were welcome. If you bring a keg of beer (like many others did) and some food to share on the day - even if you are not swapping beer in the case swap - I'm pretty sure that welcome would extended even further.
having hosted a few of the nsw case swaps, there are always the non swappers attending and as you have said they bring food and beers but are always welcome to any of the ones i organise as they generally see how it functions and are a part of the next one.
 

Siborg

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Look, some good suggestions.

Going to the swap as a non-swapper is no biggie... just bring some beer/food.

I personally like the idea of 640mL bottles, and I like to buy new ones anyway. At least that way you know the bottles are all resonably sanitised (wouldn't hurt to give em a quick one too). Personally I think thats what happened with mxd's batch, as some bottles were good, some bad. Maybe a couple weren't completely cleaned (sorry if not the case, I don't know your process)

Back OT, though. I think the main thing is if you go into the swap with the mindset that everyone is bringing their best efforts in, so you should be returning the favour by doing the same, it should be fine. I was a little skeptical about my own beer as I hadn't brewed that recipe before, but I brewed a little more than I intended and had a couple of bottles as testers. No off flavours, tasted like beer and was certainly drinkable. If I had have tasted anything off, I would have pulled out not wanting to put in a bad beer.

But I think the most important thing is to focus on the positive aspects of the swaps:

You get to talk and drink beer with other like-minded brewers all day
A batch (or two) is usually brewed which most are welcome to participate in if necessary
You get to show off your beer to other brewers and recieve compliments, feedback, constructive criticism etc.
You get to have experience tasting and making tasting notes, even if it takes you a while to do. (I know I'm taking my time)


Obviously, there are a few flaws with the general swap process and it is important to focus on areas of improvement, but I think it is equally important to focus on the things that are good and really emphasise them as stand out features for a swap.

My 2c worth
 

Siborg

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...and in the past we used to run 2 "small" swaps of 6-12 people in between the big swaps...

No reason keen people can't do that ;)
You putting your hand up, Leigh?
 

SpillsMostOfIt

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The flip side to the your 12 bottle beer raffle, is the potential for some people to get 12 (or a majority) of less than great beers (not digging at anyone at all here, but sometimes sh&t happens), while others may get the cream of the crop. The chances of this could hurt attendance/participation in future events.
Any change to the way things are done could hurt attendance/participation in future. It could also be argued that the current method is doing likewise. Have a look at the lists of participants in either of the swaps held at my place in Collingwood and who is participating in the proposed next one. See if you can draw the same conclusions that I do.. ;)

It was never my intention to start an argument about this. I simply think the current situation could stand improvement.
 

bum

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Are those people still posting?
 
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