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Messages - jwaldner

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shipping Beer
« on: January 28, 2013, 04:16:22 PM »
According to PA law, homebrew can be used for organized events and there is no specific limit placed on how much can be transported for such events. 

Prior to the law being changed in Washington, there was a prohibitively small limit on the amount of homebrew that could be transported.

Gary, is there anything being done about being able to ship through FedEx or UPS without violating their policies or state laws?

I know it's against their policies (FedEx/UPS) but I believe their policies are based on state/federal distribution laws prohibiting shipments. In addition, it creates a moral dilemma for some eventhough it's suggested someone either omit information when shipping or try and convince the shipper it's not actually beer but a yeast sample.

Regarding the upcoming conference and competition, according to this link (http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/cons/groups/system_internet/documents/webasset/000820.pdf) it appears PA forbids the shipment into the state. I think it would be great if the AHA looked into this for the benefit of it's members and to try and keep things on the up and up with all shippers and states. Cheers!

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shipping Beer
« on: January 25, 2013, 06:55:26 AM »
It is a bit sad that there seems no technically legit way to ship home-made alcohol in the United States.  This means that each time we do so, we are prepared to lie about it.

Like esheppy, I'd like to know of a way to ship homebrew without having to tell a lie.  This brings to mind something that's easy to forget.  It really wasn't that long ago that homebrewing was illegal in the US.

I don't know if that realization should make me feel grateful or pissed off.  Appreciation of the merits of homebrewing has come a long way in public consciousness, but unfortunately we still have to ship in secret.

I concur! I was just asked this yesterday by a FedEx employee and was turned away. There should a legal way to ship beer to competitions without having to compromise your morals. How do we get the AHA to work on this issue and get FedEx/UPS to permit shipping for analysis at homebrew competitions?

3
All Grain Brewing / Re: High pH (Alkalinity) Help
« on: July 20, 2011, 09:34:38 AM »
You can easily reduce the alkalinity by diluting your tap water with distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water.  If you use a lot of distilled/RO you will need to add some Calcium back in because the yeast need it.  Usually the added Calcium is in the form of Gypsum (i.e. Calcium Sulphate) or Calcium Chloride (both available at any decent homebrew shop).  The Sulphate or Chloride ions from those two Calcium sources have effects on flavor, so you choose which one (or both) based on that.  But it really helps to know how much Calcium, Sulphate, Chloride and a few other ions that you are starting with.

Thanks,

I have a Watts RO system with a 2.5 gal. tank and I tested that water and I get an even higher pH than the tap water at 8.6. I also had a bottle of distilled water and tested some of that and get a pH of 8.5. Shouldn't these waters have a lower pH than my tap water?

Thanks again

4
All Grain Brewing / Re: High pH (Alkalinity) Help
« on: July 20, 2011, 09:01:16 AM »
Here's where I get my phosphoric acid...

http://www.dudadiesel.com/choose_item.php?id=FGphos

Thanks,

That's a much higher concentration (85%) than I'm using right now (10%) which may mean why it's taking so much. I appreciate the link.

Thanks again

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: High pH (Alkalinity) Help
« on: July 20, 2011, 08:58:28 AM »
Just out of curiosity, what are you trying to bring it down to? I ask because I have to brew with bottled water (my well water pH is around 4.6), which usually has a pH that hovers around 7 +/- a few points. My mash pH is usually dead on from just the grains effect on pH. I may add some brewing salts to my mash to help drop it or raise it a bit if i feel i need it, or if I'm looking for a desired effect. But more often than not, it hasn't been necessary.

I'm trying to get it into the 5.2 to 5.5 range or would probably been even a little happy with up to 5.7.

Thanks

I'm not a brewing water pro by any means but are you by chance confusing your mash pH with your liquor pH? That seems a bit low for liquor pH. Although i've read Sierra Nevada drops theirs really low. If maybe you try dropping your liquor to around 6.8 or so, the grain in your mash should bring that down to the desired mash pH level of around 5.2-5.4.  it at least does it on my system.

On my liquor pH for sparge I'm shooting for less than 6.0, ideally about 5.5. I check my mash pH after I dough in and don't do any adjustments to my water prior to hopefully let the malt regulate the pH in my mash.

Thanks

6
All Grain Brewing / Re: High pH (Alkalinity) Help
« on: July 20, 2011, 08:24:31 AM »
Just out of curiosity, what are you trying to bring it down to? I ask because I have to brew with bottled water (my well water pH is around 4.6), which usually has a pH that hovers around 7 +/- a few points. My mash pH is usually dead on from just the grains effect on pH. I may add some brewing salts to my mash to help drop it or raise it a bit if i feel i need it, or if I'm looking for a desired effect. But more often than not, it hasn't been necessary.

I'm trying to get it into the 5.2 to 5.5 range or would probably been even a little happy with up to 5.7.

Thanks

7
All Grain Brewing / Re: High pH (Alkalinity) Help
« on: July 20, 2011, 08:21:37 AM »
Have you calibrated your PH meter? Out of the box, you can't really trust what the meter reads.



Thanks,

Yes, I did the dual calibaration with the 7.01 solution and 4.01 solution. Although not entirely accurate, I checked against some pH test strips I had. I'm pretty sure it's calibrated correctly.

Thanks again

8
All Grain Brewing / High pH (Alkalinity) Help
« on: July 20, 2011, 07:51:51 AM »
I recently bought a pH meter and have been trying to watch/adjust my pH for brewing but am have a great difficulty adjusting it do to my water's high alkalinity. Typically, my water out of the faucet is anywhere from 7.4 to 7.9 pH.

I'm using phophoric acid to adjust based on some reading I've done and forums stating that it is the most flavor neutral. However, it's taking me on average about 10-14 tsp. to adjust my sparge water and about half that for my mash after doughing in.

It also seems impossible to buy this locally considering the quantities I'm using for each batch. Does anyyone have any recommendations or suggestions for reducing my alkalinity or where this can be purchased in larger quantities?

Cheers!

9
Equipment and Software / Re: Length of ferment in Fermentation Fridge
« on: July 07, 2011, 06:44:01 AM »
I do this as well, as long as you have reached your final gravity and see no further changes the yeast has done it's job and it should be okay to move it out and make room for the next batch.

Cheers!

10
Equipment and Software / Re: Help with Johnson Controller
« on: July 06, 2011, 09:10:38 AM »
I don't think the extension cord could cause this issue.

I have one hooked up to my keezer that has worked quite well. I usually can hear it click when I roll past the temperature on the dial.  You do have to be very careful with the thermostate leads on these since I understand the wire is a thin hollow tube and kinking or bending it significantly can effect the operation. I know the analog ones aren't as accurate as the digital ones and it took me a while to dial in the temp I wanted but that's about the most advice I can offer.

Good luck

11
All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil time
« on: May 31, 2011, 08:13:21 AM »
As I understand the boil process, the boil time can be dependent on the malt you're using to eliminate Dimethyl Sulfide or DMS.  For an American 2-Row, a 60 minute roiling boil should be sufficient.  However, if you're using a malt such as Pilsner with a DMS pre-cursor a 90 minute vigorous boil will work better to help eliminate any DMS.

There are also many other factors to consider in your boil time but this is one of the primary reasons I use to shorten/lengthen my boil time.

Cheers!

12
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« on: May 18, 2011, 07:08:50 AM »
Don't fret and be patient.  Good beer takes time to develop.  Just keep it in a warm place 68-72F for a few more weeks.  I've experienced the same thing and for me, my higer ABV beers typically take a little longer to carbonate when bottle conditioning.

Cheers!

13
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Perlick creamer faucet
« on: May 12, 2011, 07:51:05 PM »
I have these faucets and really enjoy them. When you're spending this much on a faucet I don't think four bucks is a lot to upgrade with the creamer feature.  You may not use it for all of your beers but it does a great job putting on a creamy head.

Cheers!

14
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP570 Belgian Golden Ale Yeast
« on: May 04, 2011, 06:24:04 AM »
My experience with this yeast is that it usually shows activity within 24-hours after pitching.  I would recommend sanitizing a racking can and agitate your beer to see if you can get some activity going.  You may also want to check the date on the vial if you still have it and see if the yeast was too far gone to be viable.

Cheers

15
Equipment and Software / Infrared Thermometer Recommendations?
« on: May 01, 2011, 10:20:46 PM »
Does anyone have any recommendations on an infrared thermometer?

Also, what are some of the pros & cons of one (reliability, accuracy, any trouble reading through glass/plastic/steam, etc)?

Thanks

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