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Messages - surfin.mikeg

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Hop Growing / Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:48:21 PM »

I like this option personally.  my friend and i just ordered 4 rhizomes from our LHBS and we will propably adopt something similiar to this, but instead of the conduit i will probably hang a piece of PVC pipe from the edge of the roof and run strings tot he ground for the hops to run on.  Ive read this on multiple piece of literature and it seems to work very well, you just need to teach the hop to loop around the string as i understand it.

Don't know if it would be an issue:  I'm told to avoid PVC conduit when possible because it flexes too much. I could see the vines getting heavy.  That said, I'm on this route as well. I'll will use some redwood and see if I can get it look good.

Hop Growing / Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:14:19 PM »
An aside:  could we get a 'hop growing' section in the AHA Forum?

Much thanks.

We'll talk about it, but I'm not in favor of it personally.  We've pruned off several sections in the past just to keep things easier to manage.  What about a sticky topic?

Was thinking about a child board off of Ingredients.  Up to you, thank you.

Equipment and Software / Re: hop rhizomes newbie
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:00:14 PM »
Surfin':  what variety did you buy?

From HopsDirect, they listed two for coastal climates, Cascade and US Tettnanger, grabbed one of each.  I use about 4 pounds a year, this would maybe replace half my inventory if I'm lucky.

I'm in an area where if the sun is out and it's over 70 degrees F, that's a hot day.

Hop Growing / Re: Hop trellis options and a few other questions
« on: March 06, 2013, 11:24:31 AM »
An aside:  could we get a 'hop growing' section in the AHA Forum?

Much thanks.

Equipment and Software / Re: hop rhizomes newbie
« on: March 05, 2013, 04:22:22 PM »
The bines are trainable and much prefer to go vertical. If you train them horizontal you will get less harvest but generally you get a lot anyway so it may be fine.

My Cascade plant goes about 6' up a deer fence, than horizontal across the top.  The plant is maybe 10-11 years old now.  My harvest averages about 20 lb. before drying from a single plant.

so you get ~4 lbs per plant dry, looks like the industry standard (whatever that is) is about 2.8 tons per hectare which very roughly works out to about 10 lbs per plant.

I'd be happy with 2-3 lbs from each.  What I'm really doing is planning ahead should there ever be a hot season.

Thanks again, the feedback is helpful.

Equipment and Software / hop rhizomes newbie
« on: March 05, 2013, 02:47:38 PM »
On a whim I ordered some rhizomes; planning to drop them on a hill that has vigorous plant growth without watering.  It's north facing, coastal, with some direct sunlight.

Asking for insight:

* what's a minimum depth for soil?  It's 1 to 4 inches of hard-pack on clay, all needing rework to make loamy.  Can I get by with 8 to 12 inches of depth?

* are hop vines trainable?  I can set them up to go 16' tall, but I'd rather have them run horizontally after a 3 to 6 foot rise.  Would it negatively affect the plant?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sharing my blog post FYE
« on: March 02, 2013, 02:11:08 PM »
+1. the more blogging like this the better; specifically the good photo & doing something different.

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: March 02, 2013, 08:11:38 AM »
I'm in the mood for love - Little Rascals.

click it!

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: February 28, 2013, 10:34:14 PM »
Too Much- Dave Matthews Band

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?  - RIP Patti Page of Encinitas, CA

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 01:04:27 PM »
We also considered the situation where only beers that qualified in other competitions could be entered.  Personally I think this goes against the spirit of the NHC, where anyone can win.  I think the inclusiveness is one of this competitions greatest strengths.  We rejected the idea of a dramatic increase in the cost for the same reason (+1 Kai).

We considered adding entries to each region, but many of the regions are already at the limit of what they can judge.  We considered adding regions, but lack areas with enough qualified judges to judge 750 beers who also have organizers willing to shoulder the burden, and this could lead to problems judging the additional entries in the second round.  We considered cutting the limit to 500 per region while increasing the number of regions, but this floods the 2nd round with too many entries to be judged effectively.  And on and on and on.

I see this with national sports, the model works.  You have to qualify in each individual sport regionally to compete nationally.  Sometimes it means a weekend away to make it happen, but it's been worth the effort. The amount of national competition "fodder" is greatly reduced, the national level resources are still a bit tapped out but not overwhelmed, and I see more networking on the local level to have a larger impact on the national level.

Personally I've never competed with brewing and look to do so soon, but really looking for good feedback.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:25:03 PM »
Coastside (south of SF).  clear, crisp 55's.  Warm in the sun with a cool breeze from the ocean.  Perfect swells coming in from the north, building.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: help motorizing grain mill
« on: February 19, 2013, 10:58:53 AM »
But that is not torque. Bench grinders are not designed to have torque- the stone wheel could become a shattered projectile. I have not encountered a bench grinder you couldn't keep from turning on with a slight amount of force from your hand. Grain could do the same thing.

As mentioned by others, inexpensive corded drills are great for this.  One thing I'll add is to use a router speed control (or "variable speed controller") to get the exact RPM needed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refactometer
« on: February 14, 2013, 10:41:01 AM »
My difference was always exceptional - like 8 points off or so. And I use the conversion as well. Not sure why it never worked for me.

Lately my refractometer has been giving me screwy reading on pre fermentation readings as well so I just use my hydrometer now for everything.

Same here.  I have 2 refractometers and they read different from each other and both are different than my hydrometer.  I've gone back to hydrometer for everything.

Good info.  Does calibrating have any affect?

Beer Recipes / Re: basic blonde ale
« on: February 03, 2013, 10:59:15 PM »
Honey flavor and sweetness

I've not used that, anyone else?  A data-point is that I've had good results when pouring honey into the wort when the boil is done.  Chill to 180, mix it in, continue chilling.

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