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Messages - Slowbrew

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Equipment and Software / Re: Better Bottles or Glass Carboys?
« on: October 02, 2012, 01:14:35 PM »
I use better bottles for secondary fermenters but I have glass for primaries.  No reason other than what I happen to own. 

I have heard that if you are going age your beer for long periods (like months) it is better to use glass because glass has almost no oxygen permeability. For any typical lagering or secondary time frames Better Bottles work great and I leave my heavy 5 gal. glass carboys on the shelf.



Beer Recipes / Re: Potato beer
« on: October 01, 2012, 11:13:45 AM »
My first thought was "sounds like vodka". 

I have heard of people using "potato buds" type products rather than raw potatoes.  The same idea as flaked wheat.

I think you would have to precook the raw potatoes to get much out of them.  I don't see mash temps being able to do it alone.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Last three batches terrible
« on: October 01, 2012, 11:07:46 AM »
My wife typically brews with me and cleans along my side. Stuff is typically very clean
I got to convince my wife to do that.
When was the last time you changed your tubing?  I had a metallic issue a while back and after a strong cleaning of my carboys and kettles and replacing worn pieces of tubing and plastic equipment it went away.  Just a thought... :-\

I have gotten a metallic taste off my tap lines when I've let them go too long.  It might be worth a shot.


The Pub / Re: Credit cards
« on: September 28, 2012, 11:06:54 AM »
Part of your credit score is the amount of credit utilized vs available. So if you have like a $1000 limit and use 50% of that on a monthly basis and everything else is equal you will have a lower credit score than someone with a $25000 limit and using that same $500 per month.

It's the ratio between your balance and available credit it's true but if yo pay off your balance every month it doesn't really matter as the ratio between $0.00 owed and $1,000.00 available and $0.00 owed and $25,000.00 availabe is exactly the same. Now if you are carrying a balance on one card and cancel a different card then your score takes a hit because your ration has changed by the amount available on the closed card.

I just did this research becuase I finally got rid off all my credit card debt by borrowing money from family. (yeah family) one upside of the poor economic condition in the country right now is it actually makes good economic sense for my mother in law to take money out of her retirement investements and lend it to me at 5% interest over two years. She's going to make more on that couple grand than she would have leaving it in mutual funds.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one doing creative banking.  8^)

Last year when we suddenly needed to replace the high school car (but not the high school kids, thankfully) we were looking at financing part of the cost.  We didn't want to impact the "have money set aside to live on if you get laid off" plan but we decided to "borrow" the money from a savings account that only makes .2%.  We paid it back over 12 months at 8%.  It was the best return on a cash investment I made all year.


The Pub / Re: Credit cards
« on: September 28, 2012, 09:31:30 AM »
My high school age kids get $40/mo from Mom and Dad.  We cover the major expenses (gas, insurance, the car and such) so the allowance is so they have spending money for a movie, snack, date or some such.  I know kids who get 100-200 but they're folks expect them to cover more of the basic expenses.


The Pub / Re: Credit cards
« on: September 28, 2012, 07:25:58 AM »
CC companies don't want customers who payoff their balance every month since they make no money on them. 

Make less money.  they still ding a few percent on each transaction to the retailer that is usually somehow passed to the consumer.

That's true.  The numbers are not as big as the interest on the debt though.  That's basically what drove the regulations on debit card charges.  Banks were charging per swipe fees and %-take offs on debit that were highway robbery because they don't make any interest on the debt.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: tricks to kick into ferm mode
« on: September 28, 2012, 07:14:25 AM »
a little out of the topic...just wondering, how do you rouse the yeast on a 1 BBL SS fermentor without over oxigenating the fermented beer?


Stir slowly?   8)


The Pub / Re: Credit cards
« on: September 28, 2012, 07:12:36 AM »
Part of your credit score is the amount of credit utilized vs available. So if you have like a $1000 limit and use 50% of that on a monthly basis and everything else is equal you will have a lower credit score than someone with a $25000 limit and using that same $500 per month.

Another side of that little rule is that if you decide you don't want a card anymore and cancel the account, the rating agencies will assume that you can no longer afford the card and rate you a higher risk because you decreased your available credit.  So if you do the right thing for you, they will drop your credit rating.  Ironically, if you decrease your risk level they assume you are now a higher risk to creditors.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: White House Brew Recipe
« on: September 28, 2012, 06:57:00 AM »
You probably right on the weight difference. You are definitely right on the density difference.

I was going with the the statement that his quart of honey weighed 2.25lbs.  No other research or knowledge.  8^)


The Pub / Re: Credit cards
« on: September 28, 2012, 06:27:34 AM »
Very true Phil.  If you all remember back in the 70's you had to pay a yearly fee to have a credit card and you were expected to pay it off every month.  Only after people started carrying a balance and the companies started to collecting the interest did they realize the cash cow they had created.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: White House Brew Recipe
« on: September 28, 2012, 06:23:31 AM »
i'm brewing this tonight.

in the video on the white house website, it seems like i remembered them putting a quart of honey in there, which according to the quart i picked up at the farmers market, is 2.25 lbs.  plugging that into beersmith, i'm coming out with an abv of 8.5%.....  so, looks like i'll be adding the pound that came with the kit, which drops the abv down to 6.5%.

hopefully this will be ready to celebrate with the night of the election.

When I watched the video it looked like a pint jar to me so 1 lb. would be about the right amount.


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.


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