By Marty Heckleman, Mr. SkiTips

From SkiTips.com

All the new shaped skis are designed to turn when you put them on their edges and apply some pressure to the skis. Thus to turn these skis, all you need to do is roll your feet and ankles in the direction that you want to turn. By varying the amount of edging and the amount of pressure that you apply to the skis, you can determine how sharp a turn you make. The more the skis are edged and the harder you press on the skis, the tighter will be the radius of the turn (that is, a sharper turn). Conversely, the less the skis are edged, i.e., the flatter the skis, and the less hard that you press, the turn will have a larger radius (a bigger turn).

These two variables, ‘edging’ and ‘pressure’ are essentially what put you in control of your skis, so it would be useful to consciously play around with different combinations while practicing turns and noting what happens each time.

Skiing Exercise:

Turning the skis uphill to a stop

Here is a good exercise to start with to get the feeling of how easily your skis will turn when you roll your feet and ankles.


On an easy intermediate slope, stand with your skis on a shallow traverse track. Be in a good traverse position with your skis spaced apart and very slightly edged (Picture 32C).


Start to traverse across the slope and gather some speed (pictures 32D).


When you are ready to turn, simply roll your feet and ankles up the hill and hold the ski edges gripping in the snow (picture 32E).

The skis will turn up the hill to a stop (picture 32F).


Repeat the same exercise and this time, when you roll your feet and ankles, hold them for a count of three and then roll them back to their original traverse position and glide again. Then roll them up the hill again. Try to notice how the skis turn when you roll your feet and ankles.

Special Tip: Don’t try to turn the skis by turning your feet in the direction of the turn! Be patient and try to feel yourself ‘riding’ on the edges of the skis as they turn. (The skis turn when you put them on their edges because of their shape and design).

ABOUT Martin Heckelman
Martin Heckelman is the author of the books “The New Guide to Skiing,” “The Hamlyn Guide to Skiing,” and “Step by Step Skiing Skills,” as well as the “SkiTips” video and DVD series, available on his site SkiTips.com, and the “SkiTips” Apps series.  Martin is based in Val d’Isere, France, one of the world’s finest ski resorts.

Meet Skiiers on Zenergo

Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around Skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports, as well as other sports and fitness activities, and health, social, group, family, civic, and hobbyist activities. Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn how more about how Zenergo can Activate Your Life.


Getting Started as a Youth Soccer Coach

By Kory Barrett

From Soccer For Coaches 

Congratulations on volunteering as a youth soccer coach! Though you may be a bit nervous at first and unsure of what you’ve gotten yourself into, you’ll soon find it to be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.

The first thing to do is relax, take a deep breath, and tell yourself you can become a great soccer coach. This site is here to help, and this section is where to start. The links to the left will guide you through the following:

I. Coaching Philosophy – Keep the critical goals in mind: for your kids to have fun, develop their soccer skills, and want to come back next season! Everything else will fall in place if you keep your focus on these three goals.

II. Suggested Equipment – As a coach there are a few things you’ll need to run effective practices. Here is a list of items I recommend, along with links of where you can purchase them. Note – I am not trying to sell you anything, and am proud to offer all the information on this site completely for free. However, if you purchase these items by clicking on the links you’ll find, I do get a “commission” from the vendor. This is an easy way for you to help support this website, which I greatly appreciate!

III. Organizing the Season – By planning ahead and taking a little time to organize yourself and your team before that first practice, you’ll give yourself a huge boost towards a successful season. This page helps identify what you need to do first.

IV. Running Practices – Practice can be the toughest part of your job, but with a bit of forethought, they are a lot of fun for everyone. Here you’ll find the issues to consider, as well as a “structure” or “itinerary” for your practices that works really well.

V. Game Day – The culmination of your and your players’ hard work. Game Day is a ton of fun, but there are some things for you to consider. Find these explained here.

Already you may be feeling a bit more at ease by breaking down your task at hand into these five easy sections. Coaching does take a little time to get used to, but after reading the pages listed above, you’ll soon find yourself feeling really confident.

Kory Barrett, licensed coach (NSCAA and U.S. Soccer), currently coaching U11, U9, and U4 teams.



Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around Soccer and other sports and fitness activities — as well as health, social, group, family, civic, and hobbyist activities.

Zenergo’s Group and Event features, with full privacy levels and the ability to create subgroups, make it a good place to organize teams and leagues, have coach discussions, and manage relations with team parents.  Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn more. Zenergo is free to use.

Amazing Camping Tips & Tricks


From Famly Tent Camping.com

Want to make the next camping trip really enjoyable and impress your camp mates with your incredible knowledge of outdoor tricks? Here are some amazing snippets of useful tips that will make them wonder how you acquired such information. Everything from starting a fire easily to cleaning a sooty pot. A warning though;.you have to swear to keep these things secret. Like a magician, you never reveal your sources.

  • Get a campfire started easily by preparing at home. An old egg carton and dryer lint is all you need. Stuff the egg carton full of dryer lint and carry it with you to your campsite. Place it under some dry boughs,light it and presto.
  • Rub liquid soap on the outside of pots and pans. The black soot will come right off after cooking over an open fire.
  • Keep the bottom of your pots that you use over the open fire clean by wrapping them in tinfoil.
  • Spray flies, wasps or bees with hairspray and watch them head for cover
  • Spray your garbage and trash with ammonia to keep animals away.
  • Sleep naked in your sleeping bag. It will reflect your body heat back to you.
  • Use baking soda to rid your clothes and hands of cooking odors so the bears won’t smell food on you.
  •  Take some warmth from the campfire or stove to bed. Keep a pot of hot water simmering on the campfire and when you turn in fill up water bottles and place them in your sleeping bag.
  • Buy orange juice in plastic bags and freeze it so it can be used instead of ice in the cooler. Then,when it thaws out you have refreshing cold juice for later.
  • Take a headlamp, instead of a flashlight,so your hands are free.
  •  When finished eating an orange, wipe exposed skin with the inside of the peel. Insects will stay far away from you.
  • To cut down on cooking time of baked potatoes, start the potatoes in your microwave and bake till half done before you leave. Wrap them in aluminum foil and toss in the cooler until you need them.
  • Old shower curtains make great ground tarps to pitch your tent on.
  • Waterproof matches by dipping them in nail polish.
  • Waterproof matches by dipping in melted paraffin.
  • Keep your waterproof matches in old prescription bottles.
  • To Dry wet socks, sleep with them around your middle. Your body heat during the night and your warm sleeping bag will dry them by morning.
  • Whenever you go hiking always have a watch, a whistle, a cell phone, a flashlight and a knife with you in case of emergency.
  • Bottles with sticky contents (corn syrup, honey, maple syrup) can get harder to open so before using the bottle for the first time, wipe the threads with a light coating of cooking oil. The lid will never stick and won’t be difficult to open or you can wrap a small bit of plastic over the bottle opening after you open it.
  • To keep warmer at night wear a hat to sleep in. You lose 80% of your heat heat through your head.
  • Use glow sticks for a bit of soft light at night.
  • To hang a lantern, get those lightweight metal rods that are used for hanging plants and stick them in the ground.
  • Boil water in a plastic drink bottle-yes plastic Make sure its completely filled and the stopper is off and place it on the grill over the fire. It won’t melt.
  • Make toast with a stick. Find a branch with a Y-fork in it,cut it to a length that is safe to use from the fire, and place your slice of bread on it. Hold it over the fire but not directly in the fire and make golden brown toast.

By now you have really impressed everyone and they’ll surely invite you next time.


Camping with ZENERGO

Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around such outdoor activities as Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, and Skiing — as well as health, social, group, family, civic, and hobbyist activities. Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn how more about how Zenergo can Activate Your Life.


By Jeff Galloway

From Jeff Galloway’s Blog, “Running and Walking Until You’re 100–Injury Free!

• Even after a difficult 13.1 mile (21K) race, runners can usually celebrate that evening

• Beginners who yearn to run a marathon see this distance as the first big step

• Marathoners find that the “half” keeps them in shape for their next “full”

• The distance is enough of a challenge to keep runners focused and energized

• Increasing long runs towards a half marathon race results in faster times at 5K, 10K, etc.

After studying findings of experts who specialize in ancient man, I’ve come to believe that training for long distances connects us directly to our roots. Primitive man had to walk and run for survival—thousands of miles a year. Through millions of years of evolution, the muscles, tendons, bones, energy systems and cardiovascular capacity adapted and expanded. A series of psychological rewards also developed, which make us feel good about ourselves when we run and walk at the correct pace in a consistent training program.

The primary goal of ancient migration was to reach the next destination. Likewise, the greatest joy for half marathoners comes in crossing the finish line.  Finishing 13.1 miles is an elite achievement: only four tenths of one percent of the population does this each year.  The satisfaction and accomplishment are similar to that experienced from the marathon.

Bristol Half Marathon, by Steve GregoryImage via Wikipedia

There are quite a few lessons to be learned as one extends one’s endurance limit beyond 13 miles or 21K: conservation of resources, pacing, fluid intake, blood sugar maintenance, etc. But making a mistake during “half” training does not incur the injury risk or the down time experienced after marathon errors. If you find a way to enjoy a part of every run, your half marathon training can bring joy, satisfaction, achievement, and a positive sense of focus. For many, the challenge teaches individuals that they have unused hidden resources that can be used to deal with other challenges in life. Much of the success and joy comes from a unique endurance blending of body, mind and spirit.

I salute all who put themselves to a realistic challenge, such as the half marathon. If you haven’t done this before, you have one of life’s great rewards waiting for you as you discover that you have much more strength inside than you envisioned.



Olympian Jeff Galloway has helped over a million runners and walkers achieve their endurance goals and has written the popular books HALF MARATHON and RUNNING UNTIL YOU’RE 100.  Sign up for his free e-newsletter at www.JeffGalloway.com


Running on ZENERGO

Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around Running, Jogging, and Walking, and other sports and fitness activities — as well as health, social, group, family, civic, and hobbyist activities. Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn how more about how Zenergo can Activate Your Life.

Autumn: Time to Make Mulled Cider

by Danielle Charles

From The Teacup Chronicles

Basket of ApplesWhen the leaves begin to turn and the air turns chill, when the fields are full of pumpkins and browning cornstalks, then it is time for cider. It should be the official drink of autumn, if you ask me. When I see it arrive on the shelves at the store, then I know, beyond any conceivable doubt, that summer days are now behind me.

Last night we had our first frost warning, and the air turned brisk with the hint of winter on its breath. The wood-stove was lit for the first time, and to celebrate we put a pan of cider filled with spice on top to bubble away and fill the house with its comforting sweetness and warmth. I must say, the scent of wood smoke, the feel of a warm blazing fire, and the scent of apple marrying with cloves and cinnamon is one of the real pleasures of life. It almost (and I say almost) makes one excited about the cold.

Picture of some Spices for mulled cidarWhile plain ol’ cider is wonderful, mulled cider is a thing perfectly suited in all ways for a chilly day. To hold the warm mug in your hands, inhale steam laced with notes of apple and orange peel, taste sweetness and feel the spice in your belly – is warming in a deeply comforting way. We make it often on those brisk autumn evenings, sipping it huddled next the stove and listening the crackling of wood and wind howling down the chimney.  It is a yearly tradition, a ritual.

Aside from the usual warming spices, I like to throw in a handful of some rooty goodness as well: a little astragalus and Siberian ginseng, two roots that bolster the immune system and help the body adapt to the stress of seasonal changes. Both taste slightly sweet and mostly bland, so they lend little in flavor, but lots in goodness. Paired with all those blood moving, digestive fire kindling and antioxidant packed spices, mulled cider is not only delicious but a health-tonic as well!

A variety of spices can go into mulled cider, and it’s really up to personal preference (or for me, fishing around the spice cabinet and seeing what calls) what you will put in.  While the ingredients vary from night to night in our house, they most often include the following: a few thin slices of fresh ginger;  the zest of an orange; a few cinnamon sticks; a few cloves and star-anise pods; a bit of mace; a few juniper and allspice berries; a vanilla pod and a handful of astragalus and Siberian ginsing roots.  I’ve also been known to throw in some hawthorn berries, a few cardamom pods or even a bay leaf when the mood takes me.

The mulled Cider brothAll the ingredients are put into a pan with a half-gallon of cider, and left to simmer on very low heat (or perched atop the wood-stove) for a good 20-30 minutes with a cover on.  Once it’s mulled to your liking, strain it into mugs and top off with a bit of rum if it’s an extra cold night.

Cheers to the beginning of autumn!


Danielle Charles is a clinical herbalist living in central Vermont, USA.



Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around Cooking and the Culinary Arts, and other food and drink topics such as baking, barbeque, vegetarian cuisine, and chocolate, as well as wine and beer appreciation, fine distilled spirits and mixology, beer brewing and winemaking. Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn how more about how Zenergo can Activate Your Life.

How to Start Bird Watching So That You Keep Bird Watching

By Mike Bergin

From “10,000 Birds — Birding, nature, conservaton, and the wide, wide world.

Northern Gannet - Photo by Mike Bergin

Bird watching sounds simple, but for the beginner it’s anything but. Even the most barren habitat shelters enough stealthy, confusing, downright frustrating species to scare off newbies. Birding is exciting and fulfilling enough to sustain a lifetime of interest; but like anything else in life, first impressions are everything. Here are three simple steps to starting bird watching the right way

1. Consult the Calendar

Timing is everything. Unlike most outdoor activities, birding can be a year-round pursuit, but you’ve got to be attuned to the various seasons. If you look for ducks in summer or warblers in winter, you’re very likely to be disappointed. Figure out your quarry before you step out and you’ll have a better chance of finding what you seek.

In the United States, the best bird action pretty much follows this pattern, although your mileage may vary:

  • WINTER – waterfowl, owls, species from colder climes.
  • SPRING – migrants, particularly songbirds.
  • EARLY SUMMER – local breeders.
  • LATE SUMMER – shorebirds.
  • FALL – migrants, particularly raptors and songbirds.

Of course, your calendar may look a bit or a bunch different based on your latitude or longitude. The concept of observing the right birds in season, however, should hold true wherever you find yourself. Every season presents its specialty species in the full flower of their availability, diversity, and beauty.

BONUS TIP: The worst season in which to embark on your career in birding is probably early summer, that hot and humid period between spring and fall migration. Unless you’re a big fan of your local breeding birds, you’ll find that this is the most boring time of the birding year.

Caribbean Dove - Photo by Mike Bergin

2. Go Where the Birders Are

Notice how I didn’t say to go where the birds are. Get serious… birds are everywhere. No, if you want to see the right birds, go where the birders are.

The season should offer enough clues to figure out where avian enthusiasts are gathering. For example, in September on the northeast coast of the United States, you’ll find birders congregating at the shore for the last vestiges of shorebird season, hanging around migrant traps to pick up southbound songbirds, or situated atop mountains to partake in some quality hawkwatch action. Other times of year, you might comb old-growth forests or wetlands or landfills. Look for the folks decked out in earth-toned clothes and high-end optics and once you find them, don’t let go.

The ideal way to connect with bird watchers is to contact your local Audubon chapter or birding club. You may not realize it, but there is an excellent chance that some group in your area has a full slate of organized birding excursions open to non-members. Do yourself a favor and sign up for one of these trips. Not only will you get on the good birds and locate the right habitat, you’ll undoubtedly meet some very kind, very smart individuals. And, as a bonus, the trip leader will probably have an extra pair of binoculars on hand.

White Crowned Sparrow - Photo by Mike Bergin

3. Pay Attention

This final step may be the toughest for those of you who have a hard time coping with inexperience. Only the ignorant expect to hit a hole in one first time out on the links or to throw all strikes as a beginner bowler. Bird watching has a surprisingly steep learning curve. You’ll enjoy your earliest experiences of birding best if you allow the pros to do the heavy lifting for you:

  • Let them find the birds and, more important, identify the birds for you.
  • Be open to their descriptions of field marks, behavior, and habitat.
  • Marvel at how an experienced birder seems to conjure amazing new birds from the very air.
  • Look, listen, and learn.
  • Don’t pretend you know more than you do, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Getting started in bird watching is really as simple as this. If you have even the slightest predilection for nature or outdoor activities, but haven’t yet given birding a go, I challenge you to actually try these three steps for yourself. Once you experience a truly great avian display under the right conditions, be it a stream of raptors winging towards their wintering grounds, a thunderous flock of thousands of cranes, or a fall-out of jewel-toned songbirds where the warblers seem, for a brief time, to absolutely drip from the trees, you’ll be hooked!



Mike Bergin may be a leading authority in the field of college preparation, but he spends an awful lot of time focused on nature! Mike is the founder of the birding blog site 10,000 Birds and of the Nature Blog Network.



Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around Bird Watching. Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn how more about how Zenergo can Activate Your Life.

An Easier Way to Manage Your Running Group

By Mac McCarthy, Zenergo 

Runners in Marathon

Photo by Margan Zajdowicz

Coordinating your running group and keeping track of schedules and members  can get complicated. Emails, phone calls, text messages – and perhaps multiple bookmarks to group sites, picture sites, and each member’s calendar to update.

And things still get lost in the shuffle!

Try this, for a one-stop shop: a new site, Zenergo (pronounced ZEN-ergo) , a “Social Manager” that helps you keep your social and activity life organized, and all in one place.

Zenergo focuses on activities, not chatter — they’ve got 300 of them, including every kind of sport, hobby, craft, and social activity — and of course they have there’s a  Running/Jogging Activity.

The main advantage is that everything is in one spot — the Running/Jogging Activity; you can set up your running Group — it’s free — and running Events (also free). There’s  a calendar for each activity, shared among those you’ve friended on that activity — and a calendar shared among group members.

Zenergo has photo sharing, and also document sharing, like for signup sheets. And of course a chat ‘wall’ — but only for discussions among your activity friends or your activity group — about that group  or activity — not a general chat steam of everything and everybody!

You can bring your whole group on board — sign-up is free and simple. You can also recruit more members if you like — Use Zenergo to find other Zenergo members in your neighborhood who are interested in finding running partners or groups.

Here is an example of what you see when you’re looking for a running partner — they can check off details of their interests, so you know you’re both on the same  page, interests-wise.

An Example of a Zenergo Member's Running/Jogging Activity Page

It’s worth a try! — Free, easy to sign up, no spam, as private as you want to make it (each activity, group, and event has privacy levels right there when you set them up, not hidden somewhere). Take a look!

See you on Zenergo!

Cars–Annual Model Change, RIP


By Steve Schaefer
Test Driving Life

When I was growing up, the cars changed every year. Even if it was a new grille and taillights, you could tell one year from the next. This was all part of the marketing scheme known, somewhat cynically, as “planned obsolescence.” What this meant was, if your neighbor drove up in the new model, your car would look old and you’d go out and buy a new one. I thought it was great fun to see the new models and to find them in traffic. I still do.


Harley Earl of General Motors is credited with coming up with the annual model change, but it was a successful way of competing with Ford. Henry Ford saw no purpose in change for change’s sake, and the Model T sputtered along from 1908 to 1927 essentially the same.

Volkswagen is another example of staying the design course. Ironically, the Beetle may have looked the same, but every year there was some update, including a larger displacement engine, larger windows or new features. The “New Beetle,” introduced in 1998, is finally being replaced this fall with a new 2012 model. In its long run, the New Beetle had only one modest mid-cycle update, and looked essentially the same.

The annual model change was in its heyday in the 1950’s and 1960’s, when post-war prosperity kept the money flowing and aspiration was in the air. Compare the popular 1949 Chevy with the 1959 (see above) and you’ll see the result of new models in 1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1958, and 1959, with noticeable styling changes on each of the off years.

Two things happened to kill the annual model change. In the 1960’s it was still going on, but models proliferated. Where in the 1950’s there was one “Chevy” that came in different trim designations and configurations, the 1960’s brought about segmentation into large, midsize and compact sedans, for example. There was only so much money to go around. In the 1970’s attention turned to meeting U.S. Government smog and crash standards,and there was no money for frivolous changes.

Compare the old Chevys with the 2008 Malibu. This seventh-generation design will run through the 2012s with virtually no change at all, and be replaced with a new 2013 model. That’s the way things are done today. But with a range of cars, SUVs, crossovers, minivans, and so on, Chevrolet will have plenty to talk about.


About Steve Schaefer
“For me, life is a test drive, and I apply that philosophy not only to cars (weekly) but to music and everything else in life.” 

Zenergo for Auto Enthusiasts

Zenergo.com is the activity site where you can connect with those who share your enthusiasm or interest, create or host your activity club, post your events. Find friends linterested in exactly the right era of cars, manage the events calendar, photos, and documents of your car club and recruit new members from your area if you want, post you revent so others can find it.

Zenergo lets you be as specific as you want, with detailed breakdowns of specific interests in each activity. There’s Auto Enthusiast, Auto Racing, and also Auto Racing Spectator — and a separate Activity category for NASCAR. You can specify the auto era you love best, cars from specific countries, or make your own category. Here’s an example of an activity profile for the Auto Enthusiast Activity.

Zenergo Auto Enthuse Activity Example

Post your events, too, and make them private, or public if you want more people to come. Here’s an example.

Zenergo Auto Enthusiast Event Example

Look interesting? Of course it does! So what are you waiting for? Click over to Zenergo.com and give it a try — it’s free, and signup is quick and easy. See you there!

How To Taste Beer Like a Beer Judge

By Paul Marshall 

The more you know, the more you enjoy…

You don’t have to be a beer snob to increase your enjoyment of beer. But a lot of work went into creating that frothy beverage with a history that dates back 10,000 year. A little knowledge can help you get the full enjoyment of the glass of whatever kind of beer you drink.Under the Reinheitsgebot, or German Beer Purity Law, beer should consist only of barley, hops, water, and yeast. German Wheat beers were somehow a tolerated exception. Craft brewers occasionally use rye as well. Many of the large brewers increase their profits by using corn or rice as a barley substitute.

Beer can be divided up into two categories: Ales, and Lagers. Ales are created with top-fermenting yeast at higher temperature while Lagers are made at a cooler temperature with a bottom-fermenting yeast that is a step-brother of the ale yeast.

Lagers ferment slowly in a cold environment, producing a delicate beer with the sweetness of the malted barley balanced by the slight bitterness and herbal spiciness of hops. Ales ferment faster, producing a beer that is bolder; it also expresses the sweet and bitter characters of malted barley and hops, but with fl

avors that are fruity and spicy, derived from esters that are a product of the ale fermentation.

Judges evaluate beers using the following categories: Appearance, Aroma, Taste, Body or Mouth Feel, and Aftertaste. First I will go through Appearance and Aroma, using the examples of three general beer styles: Light Pilsner (Lager), India Pale Ale (IPA), and Dry Stout (Ale). I will then talk about Taste, Body and Aftertaste; these involve the best part of the beer experience: drinking it!

A beer’s appearance (with the exception of wheat beers and some others) should be clear, even i

f the beer is too dark to see through. (Your cell phone can double as a small flashlight behind the glass.) The beer should have good carbonation, with fine bubbles and a long-lasting head. A light Pilsner should be the color of straw or gold. An IPA can range from a gold to amber in shade. A Stout should be dark, almost black, but can have some reddish hues as well.

Aroma is possibly my favorite quality in beer. It can be damaged by heat, light, and age. Certain smells can tip you off that a beer may not be quite right. If your beer smells like a skunk, it means that the bottled beer has been exposed to light. If your beer smells like cardboard, it is oxidized. This can be the result of age or exposure to heat or multiple temperature changes. If your beer smells like butter or butterscotch, then it has Diacetyl due to incomplete fermentation. A beer that smells like

cooked corn has residual Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS). (A major brewery in the US makes their beer with perceptible DMS. They do it on purpose, it is part of their recognizable smell and taste.) These are the most common aromatic flaws in beer; there are others, but they should not be common in professional beers.

Enough about the

bad smells, now for the good aromas. Aroma in beer is a product of the ingredients and the fermentation. In a beer, you can smell the hops and malted barley, and the results of the fermentation process. For example, a Light Pilsner should have a slightly spicy floral smell from the hops, and a slight bready sweetness from the malt. An IPA should have some sweet malt character that is often toasty, bready, or can have a slight toffee or

caramel smell if it an English-style IPA. These sweeter aromas are counterbalanced by spicy, citrusy, floral aromas from the hops. Generally, English IPAs tend to emphasize the aromas of the barley, while American IPAs favor higher hopping rates showcasing the hops. The dark roasted grains in Stouts can give this beer a coffee or chocolate aromas.

The flavor of a beer should be a balance between the sweetness of the malted barley versus grassy, fruity bitterness from the hops. Depending on the beer styles, this can range from very sweet to very dry and bitter, but the hops and malted barley should both be present. Body and Mouth Feel refer to the texture of the beer based on its density, carbonation, and ‘warmth’ due to the level of alcohol. Aftertaste is the

final experience of the beer: Was the final taste sweet, dry, bitter? Did you want more?

A Pilsner should balance the bready sweetness of the malted barley, and the spicy citrus character of the hops. The beer should be very clean, crisp, and fresh. It should have a light to light-medium body, with effervescence. The finish or aftertaste should be an expression of the sweetness of the malt, balanced with a crisp dry minerality.

An IPA will be hoppier than a Pilsner, but this bitterness from the hops will be counterbalanced by sweetness from the malted barley. Common flavors are of caramel, toffee bread, and fruit. The beer should be medium in body, lower carbonation than a Pilsner, and with a higher presence of alcohol. The aftertaste should be a balance of the grains and the hop bitterness, with more emphasis on the Barley in an English IPA, and more on the hops in an American IPA. Dry Stouts will have the roasted flavors of coffee along with chocolate and dried fr
In describing Pilsners, IPAs, and Stouts, I am using generalizations. While Pilsners are  much more specific in style, IPAs and Stouts come in many different styles. But rather than reading a boring article about drinking beer–wouldn’t you rather have one? I know I would.uit. They are generally low in carbonation, but the best have a creamy texture, and like a Pilsner will have a dry minerality, but with a roasted-coffee-chocolate finish.


PS For more good information about judging beer, go to the Beer Judge Certification Program at http://www.BJCP.org  .

About the Author

Paul Marshall is, among other things, a professional beer judge, a member of the Celebrator Beer News Tasting Panel, and Co-Founder of the wine-appreciation group The Pompous Twits. 

Join Zenergo for Beer Appreciation!

Zenergo is your new activities-oriented social manager — find others in your area who enjoy exploring the worlds of beer as much as you do, let others know of your exact interests:


Form a beer-appreciation group on Zenergo — it’s easy, and it’s free. Manage your group calendar, post and share snapshots of your beer adventures, store your beer scorecards — it’s all here on Zenergo. And find local beer events for your group to attend.


Tips for Boating With Rover (or Kitty)

From CaptainWiki.com  Doggie

Two-legged sailors are definitely in the majority, but the four-legged (or more) variety shouldn’t be forgotten.

I’m talking about boating with pets of course. For those that share a passion for both boating and being a pet owner, it would be unthinkable to try to separate the two. So here are a few thoughts on how to make both Rover and Rover’s owner happy boaters.

* Pets aren’t totally different from owners, in that we both like being surrounded by familiar and favorite items. So, bring a few of your pet’s favorite toys, sleeping gear, and food to the boat. Be sure to establish a special place on the boat that belongs to your pet, to help them feel as if they belong.

* Set up a safe area outside of the boat where your pet can go when they don’t need to be on the boat, or if the water is a bit rough and they would feel more comfortable being off the boat.

* A small shelf for your pet’s food dish is a good idea. Elevate it a little off the cabin floor to avoid stubbed toes, and place a lid around the edge to keep the food where it belongs.

* If your cat’s a little clumsy, and there’s a chance she could go overboard, she’ll need a way to help her get back into the boat. Hanging a piece of carpet over the side should give them something to claw into and climb back on board.

* If your puppy is getting a little odorous on that extended cruise, there are a couple of ways to clean him up. A dingy full of rain water makes a great impromptu bathing tub. Waterless shampoo, grooming powder, or even baking soda sprinkled over their fur and brushed in, will make do when the rainy season has passed you by.

* Pet toileting while boating provides some interesting challenges. Cats with a litter box have a definite advantage over dogs in this category. Just make sure the litter box gets a very frequent cleaning. Apparently some smaller dogs can be trained to use a litter box. That’s got to be kinda funny to see. One rather creative boater suggested using a doormat sized piece of that fake plastic grass for your dog. Simply rinse overboard after use. If all this fails, of course there’s always the “pee dingy express” for a quick ride to shore.

Bring Your Boat and Your Pets On Board Zenergo!

One great thing about Zenergo.com, the Web site that acts as your social activities manager, is that you can do so many things with it, all in one place.

Boat lovers and pet partners alike can track their activities on the Zenergo Calendar, post pictures and documents, and chat with fellow enthusiasts. You can find others who share your passion for the water — and find those specifically who want to bring their pets on board. Find groups for sailors, or for pet owners, or for the combination — or start your own group — it’s easy. Use the Events feature to invite people over, or to join others. Everything is in one spot on Zenergo — and everything can be specified in as much detail as you need. Here’s an example of the Boating interests checklist on Zenergo:

You can be really specific, or keep it wide open, it’s your choice.

Likewise, here is the interests checklist for the Pets Activity:

Zgo Blog-Pets Interest page

We have 300+ such activities covering everything from hobbies to crafts, sports of every kind to social activities from poker to winetasting and beer appreciation — from travel to community service, parenting and painting. Find activity partners, groups, and events, or just keep your own social activity life under control, with Zenergo.

Go to Zenergo and give it a try! It’s free and easy to sign up — look around, try a few activities, enjoy!

Have you taken your pet on board? How has it worked out? share in ‘comments’.