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Messages - afunk2

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sierra Nevada 30
« on: March 23, 2010, 11:54:57 AM »
Fritz & Ken's Ale is going on tap at the Falling Rock in Denver on Friday.  Incidentally, the one weekend I am going to be out of town. 

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The Pub / Re: Well that will certainly keep you awake.
« on: March 16, 2010, 01:18:14 PM »
I grew up in Pasadena, just north of Washington Ave.  I remember as a kid actually sort of enjoying the earthquakes (young and stupid).  Moving to the midwest when I was 7, I then adopted a much more severe fear of tornadoes.  Somehow the advance warning made them a bit scarier.  Sort of like zombies...if zombies just snuck up on you and struck they wouldn't be as scary, but when they move slowly and relentlessly towards you the fear builds.  I hated tornado season as a kid.

I could shoot at zombies, though, or perhaps use a chainsaw to stop them from eating my delicious brain.  Shooting a tornado ain't gonna do a damn thing.  What would be really scary is a tornado made entirely of zombies. 

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Favorite Scoresheet Comment
« on: March 09, 2010, 01:27:46 PM »
Two comments, sources to remain anonymous:

Great, now I'm going to get diarrhea.  Thanks.

This beer reminds me of my parent's divorce.  I was ten. 

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Pimp My System / Pimp My System
« on: March 05, 2010, 04:33:13 PM »
Folks, Aaron the Intern here.  There are some seriously cool set-ups out there and people have responded to the Pimp My System feature on the website very positively.  As Gary has mentioned, the forum is a great place to show your stuff off, but it is only seen by registered members of the Forum.  Two things come to mind:  1) More registered members means more people who get to admire your genius.  Why not get a buddy or two to sign up?  It's free, it's fun, and the content that YOU provide is first rate. 2) Use this forum to show off not just your brewing apparatus, but cool brewing gadgets you may have created or designed.  A sweet single tier system with all the bells and whistles is cool, but the guy who creates a unique sparge device will get his system featured over the next guy.

Also, we absolutely love the build out shoots.  If you are planning to build a new system, document it.  I want to see it, your peers want to see it, and even though they don't know it yet, the public wants to see it. 

Cheers,
A the I

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Pimp My System / Re: Three Tier System
« on: March 05, 2010, 04:00:00 PM »
I gotta tell you, brother, I can't wait to hear how the third beer turns out.  I'm torn between morbid curiosity and genuine enthusiasm.  Here's hoping for the best!

Also, post some more photos of your system when you get your picture issue figured out - a potential Pimp My System feature on the AHA website could be in the makings...

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Homebrewer Bios / Dan Listermann
« on: February 19, 2010, 11:49:26 AM »
Aaron the Intern here.  Here's a sneak-peak at what will be going up on the AHA BOTW feature in a week or two. 

This edition of Brewer of the Week comes to us from Dan Listermann, of Listermann Manufacturing and Listermann Brewing Company.  If we seem to be using “Listermann” a lot in this feature, it’s because Dan and his family have had quite an impact on the homebrew arena.  With a warehouse full of brewing supplies and a newly formed brewing company, Clan Listermann is living the dream. 

Dan, you have the con.  Take her to sea…

I was fortunate enough to be born into a large extended family of German decent in a German dominated city, Cincinnati.  Beer was always a big part of any gathering.  As a child, I cannot remember ever being reprimanded for getting myself a little taste of beer at picnics.  It was just beer.

College was Miami University which, in those days, held the world’s highest consumption per capita of 3.2% beer.  Luckily, students were not allowed to have cars so I learned to drink car free, something I am highly grateful for.

It was at Miami, in 1973, that I brewed my first beer.  I was in a drugstore and noticed a kit for brewing.  It was like nothing available today, consisting of about a pound of crushed malt, an ounce of leaf hops and instructions.  I bought a new plastic garbage can, five pounds of sugar and a pack of bread yeast.  Brewing consisted of:  bring the crushed malt, hops and sugar to a boil.  After cooling, the yeast was added in the garbage can.  While it was fermenting, I found a shop in Cincinnati where I bought a hydrometer which had a red “B” on its stem.  When the reading fell to “B” you were to bottle, which I did in quart bottles using my great-grandfather’s capper.  The resulting beer was wildly over carbonated and tasted (how should I put this) terrible.  I made another attempt with the kit and it was not improved. 

Advancing to extract from the shop, Pabst Blue Ribbon hopped malt extract was all there was and legally, this product was for baking purposes.  After two or three tries, my efforts were getting worse.  I gave up, only using the beer in my fraternity’s fire extinguisher.

Fast forward to 1988.  My old college roommate called one day and suggested that we make beer again.  I said “Johnson . . . .”  He assured me that things had improved and he was buying, so my brother and I went to his house and worked our way through William’s Old American Ale kit.  The next week we bottled and, after another week, I found a fantastic beer!  I located local suppliers and quickly went about becoming a homebrewer, having a ball!

One supplier put me in touch with the Bloatarian Brewing League – a pivotal contact.  The next year, I attended my first of many AHA conferences at the nearby Oldenburg Brewery.

Gradually I became aware that I did not care for the standard bottle filler’s habit of sucking about two inches of air into the bottle when withdrawn.  Sitting in a bar one night in late 1990, I designed a filler that did not do that.  The next day I bought the parts necessary to build one.  Finding that it was not complicated, I made a few others, simplifying the design.  My loving wife let me invest a bit in raw materials and very quickly we were in the bottle filler business out of our basement. 

There was at that time very little in all grain brewing equipment on the market, a few more designs and the business was expanding.  We moved into a business incubator after a year and, after another year, I quit my engineering job, in the face of a raise, to take the business full time. 

At that time, 1995, Cincinnati’s best homebrew shop was operated out of a guy’s basement.  It was primarily canned extract based with only limited grain.  Much had to be special ordered.   It occurred to me that if I could find the right building, in the right place, I could manufacture our products and open a proper homebrew store.  Using the incubators contacts, we found a building not a bit more than a mile from our house.  The price was right and we used the equity we had in a four family to buy it.

The homebrew business, being very countercyclical, was not doing well then.  We struggled a long time.  When the economy turned down, we finally did very well. The retail store eventually came to dominate the business over manufacturing to the point that most manufacturing has been halted. 

In June of 2008, we received our commercial brewing license.  We launched a mild ale, a cream ale, a malt liquor and an IPA.  They are all bottle conditioned.  It has been a steep, hard learning curve and far more work than anticipated but things are coming together.  We hope to open a tasting room and see where that takes us.

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Homebrewer Bios / Brewer's Bios - How To's and What For's
« on: February 18, 2010, 04:08:02 PM »
Friends, Brewers, countrymen, lend me your ears…

Aaron the Intern, here.  This is an addendum to what Gary has already posted regarding this topic.  What we have is a great feature on the www.homebrewersassociation.org/ webpage called Brewer of the Week (www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/community/brewer-of-the-week).  What we don’t have is a backlog of brewer profiles with which to fund this amazing and entertaining scene. 

We want your profiles, we want your friends’ profiles, and we want the profiles of the weirdest, wildest, most dedicated brewers we can find.  Personality counts for a lot, but so too does content.  Thus, we have compiled a list of questions our members may use to build their profile.  Think of it this way, if your friends and fellow brewers are sick of your stories, we have a way to introduce you to a whole new audience. 

We reserve the right to exercise editorial discretion in terms of size, content, format, and what we choose to publish.  What follows are some questions to provide some basis for your profile.  You do not need to answer every question nor should you feel confined to the format we have put together.  Brewer profiles should be sent to: [b]ahaintern@brewersassociation.org[/b]

Who Are You (please include a picture): 
Home Town (City, State):
Homebrew Club:
I've been a homebrewer since:
Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?
What is your favorite style(s) to brew?
What style(s) will you never brew?
What was the first beer you ever brewed?  How did it turn out?
Have you ever had a homebrew mistake that turned out great?
What is your favorite beer recipe?
Are you a BJCP Judge?  If so, what is your rank and how long have you been judging?
Do you have a good beer judging story you'd like to share with the rest of the homebrewing world?
Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?
Describe your brew system.
How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?
What is your favorite malt?  Why?
What is your favorite hop? Why?
Do you have a favorite or house yeast? What qualities do you like about that yeast?
Do you have a good homebrew club story you'd like to share?
What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer?
If you could serve your homebrew to someone famous, who would it be and what would you give her/him?
Can you send a picture or two of some labels you've created for your homebrew?
What's the most unusual ingredient you've ever used in a brew?
Do you have any pets or kids named after beer styles or ingredients?
How many medals have you won from homebrew competitions?
Do you brew alone, with friends or with someone you live with?
Are you an indoor or outdoor brewer?
List some of the names you've given your beers. Which is your favorite?

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