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Messages - Steve

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Ingredients / Re: Long Cascade hops
« on: August 27, 2010, 02:05:03 PM »
Those who had long hops, what was your weather this summer?
In Central MA it was hot varying between 85-98˚F with dew points in the 75+ (very moist).  I watered by drip irrigation early and every other day for 20 minutes until the end of July and then watering just incidentally by the sprinkler for the vegetable garden.  I'm thinking that hot days, good watering early in the day and humid nights were the ticket.

Ingredients / Long Cascade hops
« on: August 25, 2010, 11:20:55 PM »
I just harvested some interestingly long cascade hops today.  These are four of the longest cascades at about 2.375". 
What's the longest you've ever grown or seen?
I know, I know. it's not the length of the wand, but it's the magic you create with it that counts.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Should the AHA Keep TechTalk?
« on: August 20, 2010, 07:19:15 PM »
Now that I've used both the Forum and Tech Talk I can weigh in on this. 

I'd like to pose an analogy.  Take your cellphone out of your pocket and look at it.  It's not big and clunky anymore or anything like A. G. Bell intended, but you can still talk to someone.  You can also use it to send and receive text messages, search the web and get your email.  Each generation of Smart Phone gets better and better with technology but you can still use it as it was originally intended... as a phone. 

So let's keep Tech Talk as a "phone" and the Forum as "texting!" both have advantages and disadvantes, likes and dislikes.  I want information and I like both methods.  There's room for both.

Steve Espach

Homebrew Clubs / Re: CSB Community Sustained Brewing
« on: August 18, 2010, 01:46:23 PM »
I read the artticle jrdunne linked.  The CSA farm which we belong to in MA drops off at halfway houses in our city and utilizes the residents as workers to keep track so the local government is very aware of the CSA.

RE: tygo's comment... I would also have to see of the head of the CSA and the board would be interested in getting a Farmers' Brewing license which is allowable by law in MA.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: CSB Community Sustained Brewing
« on: August 18, 2010, 01:36:11 PM »
I'm reading the link tschmidlin sent:   More reading and research is needed.

Homebrew Clubs / CSB Community Sustained Brewing
« on: August 17, 2010, 03:31:14 PM »
Has anyone started a homebrew club with the idea of Community Sustained Brewing as their mission, using the same ideas behind Community Sustained Agriculture? Please read the CSA mission I found at and let me know your opinions and if you think the tax "Man" would have a problem with this if the mission were converted to brewing purposes.

Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.

Homebrewer Bios / Starting my Homebrewing Experience
« on: August 07, 2010, 04:43:43 PM »
I began home brewing in 1991 while I was teaching at Southampton College in Southampton, NY.  In my night time Technical Theater class two of the seniors started to talk about how good a beer would taste after cleaning up the studio.  We began to discuss the beer we drank and the qualities that made it our favorite.  They discussed with me about how they started making beer in their dorm room after a bio class experiment and how good it tasted and how cheap it was to make.  After showing my wide eyed interest in their beer making, they asked me if I wanted to try some of their beer. I said, "Sure!" To the following week's class they brought in some bottled dorm brewed beer. After class and cleaning up the studio, we shared a few bottles surreptitiously in the parking lot.  I was amazed that the flavor was so good coming from a kit brewed in a cinder block dorm room.  While drinking their beer, they described the liquid malt extract and the sanitation process to me.  They said that fermentation was easy. It was boiling three gallons in their dorm late at night on a hot plate that was the hardest part.

Some two months after the term ended I was at one of those "new fangled" warehouse club and I spotted three Billington's Homebrew Kits on the shelf.  Each kit included one 3.3 pound can of Coopers hopped "Lager" ale extract, a five gallon glass carboy, a package of dried ale yeast, a bottle capper, caps and an instruction booklet. This kit cost $35.00. One like that cost $129.00 today.  "Well," I said to myself.  "If two bio students can do it in a dorm, so can I!"  I bought the kit.  When I got home, I began to brew my first batch by reading the instruction booklet that came with the kit.  Those instructions contradicted those in the ingredient kit.  So I went with the equipment kit booklet.  It was more complete and coherent.  I began boiling the water... adding the extract... boiling the brew, what I now know of as wort, ...cooling it down... adding it to cool water... proofing and pitching the dried yeast.  Later that night I sat next to the fermenter watching and listening to the bubbles coming from the airlock as if it were a television.  Apparently I was hooked and I needed more knowledge.

A few weeks later, I found Arbor Wine and Beermaking, a homebrew shop in Islip, NY, about an hour west from my home.  Homebrew shops were far and between in the early 90's, especially in a small town like mine.  The trek was worth the time to enhance my new passion.  Jim and Carol Whitley, the owners, and I chatted for quite a while.  Jim introduced me to Charlie Papazian's book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (1st Ed.), which still sits on my shelf today all dog eared and stained.  And after a considerable chin wag, I found out that Jim knew my dad’s family’s and their hardware store when he was a kid.  

I was hooked for good. Thanks Charlie! Thanks Jim! Thanks to the those two students!

Many years and numerous recipes have been made and enjoyed since my first exposure to homebrewing. Despite living in various cities with an assortment of varied sized kitchen spaces, I have continued to be a passionate zymurgist and beer lover ever since.  I've combined my love for cooking and brewing: trying new and various recipes, which has brought me a greater appreciation for craft brewed and commercially brewed beer of all types.  I've also begun growing my own hops and writing about my process on my website

Classifieds / Re: I'm looking for used/old/antique draft beer faucets
« on: July 08, 2010, 05:13:32 PM »
Beer Art – an exterior summer and winter brewhouse interior fountain is the thing.  I've had a good sized pump and some pond liner for a while, which was just waiting for a design. 
My design so far consists of a medium stained oak frame with a vinyl board covered with copper flashing running across the top with several faucets in a row like a tower. Then have the water run down from the taps into items like a drip tray, a stein, a pint glass, maybe an old carboy supported by a fake bar top and front.  From there the water will flow out of those items and into the trough to be pumped up again. If I find some old taps, or age some new unwanted taps, it'll gussy it up. Working taps will make it interactive.  I'll also make a couple of tap handles that go with the theme.

Classifieds / I'm looking for used/old/antique draft beer faucets
« on: July 08, 2010, 01:42:42 AM »
If you have some old draft beer faucets of any kind that don't work so well or your not using anymore I'd like to buy them.
Anything is okay as long as liquid will pass through them. Even if the shank is frozen on, that's cool. 
Just about anything's okay except for cobra head/plastic picnic faucets, tap handles (unless they're stuck on), Sankey or keg connectors.
These faucets will never touch beer again!  Let me know what you have. Attach a photo to your reply and make me an offer for your old faucet.

Questions about the forum? / Is there a way to sort the members
« on: December 09, 2009, 11:45:58 PM »
Is there a way to sort the members, for instance by state and city, so you can see members in your home area?

Questions about the forum? / Has this forum taken over Teck Talk?
« on: December 09, 2009, 08:32:41 PM »
The last Teck Talk I received by email was Vol. 09-1204 and then I received a message from the list serve administrator "The list administrator has unsubscribed you from 'techtalk'. At no time did I unsubscribe from that forum.  I then noticed that there is a link on Tech Talk to this forum with the last major topics written about.

Has this forum taken its place?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership
« on: December 09, 2009, 08:20:52 PM »
I've used my Pub Discount card at a few places: Southampton Publick House in Southampton, NY; Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH; CH Evans in Albany and I've tried to use at other places (with great embarrassment) at some places, like John Harvard's in Framingham, MA; Northampton Brewery in Northampton, MA; and the Gardiner Ale House in Gardiner, MA, which aren't members of the program.  I mentioned to them that they should join the program. 15% off here and $5.00 off there really helps and promotes their brewery by word of mouth.  It's a great perk!

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