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Messages - Slowbrew

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The Pub / Re: Credit cards
« on: September 27, 2012, 12:45:33 PM »
I hate to say this (because I work for a bank) but people often mistake a credit card company for a partner and not a for profit entity.  Credit card companies make their money off of people who are not smart financially but are very honest and intent on "doing what is right". 

CC companies don't want customers who payoff their balance every month since they make no money on them.  The perfect customer is the person who makes $1100/mo and has a $5000+ balance on their CC.  These people will never pay off their debt but they will keep trying to because "it's the right thing to do". 

Financially smart people know that when you get in a hole so deep you can't get out by yourself, you look to bankruptcy to level the field.  "Doing the right thing" only keeps you digging in further.

Banks like B0fA are not your partner because to them you are a profit center.  It's sad but true.  Look at the business from the bank's perspective and you will understand why they do what they do.  You won't be happy about it but at least you will understand.

Happy shopping!


I think the biggest problem is using a two handle capper with them.  The capper can crush the neck of some twist off bottles.  I have had this happen to me a couple of times.  I have heard they work fine if you have a bench capper.  YMMV


All Things Food / Re: Looming bacon shortage
« on: September 27, 2012, 09:15:31 AM »
I'm not sure I see the "engineered" part of the shortage. 

Unless you're (correctly) suggesting that by reducing the ethanol requirement in fuel the price of grain could be lowered thereby reducing the cost of feed and reducing the number of livestock slaughtered this year thusly increasing the number available for slaughter next year and eliminating the shortage.  However, that would be engineer a solution to the shortage, not engineering the shortage itself.

Right now, the way I see it is that it seems to be a direct impact of the recent drought.

The impact of corn for ethanol on food prices and crops is something that's been an issue for years separate and apart from the current economic/environmental conditions.

Ethanol was an engineered solution to low corn prices.  Not so many years ago farmers had to raise livestock using the corn they raised as feed in order to pay the costs of raising the grain.  We produce so much grain in this country that the historic markets could not support a reasonable price for it.  Ethanol opened up a new market for some of the surplus.

Now that the surplus is smaller, the drought we are going through will cause farmers who were able to expand livestock operations while selling their grain on the spot market and buying feed stocks in the futures market can't make the numbers wash anymore.  Hence, downsizing the feedlots.

The last few years have been an anomaly in farm commodities.  High grain prices, high livestock prices, dramatically higher yields and lower overall chemical expenses have driven up profits all through the supply chains.  If things go back to a more normal set of circumstances the only group that will lose income is the farmers.


The Pub / Re: Global Bacon Shortage
« on: September 26, 2012, 01:43:52 PM »
Mort is absolutely correct on most of us eating too much meat.  It was how I was raised, what can I say.

I grew up on a farm (corn, soybeans, alfalfa, hogs, cattle, milking herd, sheep and 100 to 150 chickens/yr) and ya, we worked hard but it was a good life.  There is a difference between ranching and farming though.  Both are hard work.  Intense grain farming and concentrated livestock farms are very difficult ways to make a living today.  I don't have any experience ranching but it always seemed a bit more laid back.

I would have a hobby farm today f I could find the right piece of land for the right price but my wife (town girl) isn't nearly as interested in it as me. 8^)  The advantage of a hobby farm is that I am not trying to send the kids college on income from it.  Mother nature has a nasty sense of humor.


The Pub / Re: Global Bacon Shortage
« on: September 26, 2012, 10:02:46 AM »
What about all the members that have recently taken up
charcuterie ?  Sausage and hog jowles and bellies   :'(

I've known about the impending shortage since the end of July. Have been waiting for the initial decreased prices but so far they haven't materialized. I want to stock up... ;D

Our President ordered the Department of Ag to purchase $170MM worth of meat to support the prices. .  You will not be seeing a decrease in the retail meat market anytime soon.  Our homeless people will be eating high pork, beef and lamb (and that's okay, they need to eat too) but the folks paying for their own food will only see the increases next year.

My brother-in-law stopped buying calves last year already due to high prices for feeder stock.  Enjoy your meat now.  I fear that we will all need to cut way back on meat in the next couple of years.  I'll be happily surprised if I'm wrong though.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: CO2 bottle in the fridge?
« on: September 25, 2012, 08:05:12 AM »
I would keep the cylinder in the fridge with the beer.  That way the CO2 is the same temperature as the beer your are dispensing.

Why do you think the temp of the CO2 matters?

Also, IME, CO2 comes out pretty damn cold on it's own.  I believe it cools as it expands from liquid to gas, thus the freezing/frost that can sometimes form on a cylinder.  I may be wrong, as I am not a physicist...

This was my first thought too.  The amount of CO2 that enters the keg to dispense the beer is minimal per pour and the gas will cool (if not already cooler than the beer) if a very, very short time.  I may be wrong and will willing admit it if I am but I don't think temp gas temp is much of a consideration.


All Things Food / Re: Looming bacon shortage
« on: September 24, 2012, 02:32:01 PM »
I know you are joking, at least a little, but pork isn't the only product this will affect.  Beef will be going through the roof too.

**** I decided to censure myself.  I went off on a, soon to be political tangent, and didn't want that to happen.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew Day Results
« on: September 24, 2012, 04:52:57 AM »
Saturday went very well for me.  I made a Rye IPA and a Winter Warmer and both came out well with no issues. 

I also have 2 LP tanks for that very reason.  I need to get one of my tanks recertified so I can get it refilled refilled when it runs out.


The Pub / Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« on: September 21, 2012, 11:41:08 AM »
I just picked up 3 bags of grain at the Minneapolis store a couple of Saturdays ago.  I was in the Twin Cities for my kid's marching band competition and thought I'd take advantage of "free" shipping, the AHA discount as well as something to do for a couple of hours while the band practiced. 

I have to say that I have never seen a busier LHBS.  At least not here in central Iowa.  Two cash registers with 3 and 4 customers in line at each.  They had a brewing class going on as well.  If that was a typical Saturday afternoon I think they are doing okay business-wise.

Good luck with your brews when you finally get the shipment.


The Pub / Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« on: September 21, 2012, 11:22:54 AM »
Back in April I got a full sack of pils from NB because of the flat-rate shipping. I'm pretty sure they lost money on that deal, and I'm not surprised they discontinued the program.

Not that it matters now, I thought bags of grain were excluded from the flat rate shipping.  Probably would have ordered some from them if I had know sacks were included.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew Store in Alabama Raided
« on: September 21, 2012, 07:03:33 AM »
Sounds like the opposition to passing home brewing legislation is trying to build support.  I don't live in AL so this is just me talking but it wouldn't surprise me to hear this used as reason to block passage of the bill that almost made through the next time it comes up. 


Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: green beer one can live with
« on: September 20, 2012, 08:37:00 AM »
He only had a minute-thirty to explain the whole process so it makes sense that skipped a few details.  If he believes the gas produced by fermentation can be burned it would be fun to watch him try and light it.   ;)

Every livestock farm on the planet produces methane.  When not managed properly they become extremely aromatic.  The basic concept behind the bio-digester is compost in a contained environment.  If you have ever seen the big eternal flame that burns at your cities waste treatment plant you have seen this process in action.  They are burning off the methane from the waste.

It's a great idea actually.  Japan has been building methane capture systems into their landfills for decades.  If you have ever played a round of golf in Japan you probably were walking around on one.


Events / Re: ARRRR, Mateys
« on: September 19, 2012, 11:49:39 AM »
Shiver me timbers!  Thanky you for the reminder.  I twould of completely forget 'cept for ye.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Canning/Bottling in mason jars??
« on: September 17, 2012, 11:45:52 AM »
Canning jar related question here: I've got a couple yeast starters going in gallon jugs that I want to put away inthe fridge and not worry about for a while. Probably going to put them in jars but what's the best way to sterilize jars/lids? Just boil, cool and pour the yeast in? I obviously can't get the yeast hot enough to vacuum seal it.


I used to keep yeast slurry in 1 pint mason jars and never had any problems with pressure.  Apparently sloppy sanitation some where along the line is why I stopped using them.  I got some bug in my yeast bank and had to pitch it all out.

I've never played with mason jars as growlers.


According to

A person who supervises the brewing process in a brewery.

So technically, we are all brew masters in our own brewery.  I think most people assume the name is an earned rank of some kind.  I don't refer to myself as a brew master but rather as a brewer (or hack with dumb luck  ;) ).  If others call me a brew master while drinking my beer, I don't correct them.


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