Here is my well water report from Ward Labs. I'm about 20 miles SE of Steve and I'd guess 60 miles NE of Jim. As you can see it's hard and alkaline.
PH 7.9 TDS 251 EC 0.42 Cat/An 4.8/4.4
Na 17 K 1 Ca 46 Mg 20 Hard CaCO3 198 Nit 1.3 (safe) Sulfate 2 Cl 4 CO3 <1 HCO3 249 T Alk CaCO3 204
This put my water in the "ok for stouts and porters" category. I use about 50% RO for pale beers and 100% RO for pilsners and lighter beers.
Jim, like Steve said your water is more than likely going to be closer to the west side's water, which is good for brewing. Kind of ironic that where 80% of the US hops are grown, we need to manipulate the water to properly utilize them.
I've had a Stout 14.5 conical for about 4 years. I have been very happy with it. I know there are better conicals out there for more money, but I'd do it again. I love the ease of dumping yeast and clean up with the tri clamps. As stated earlier, there isn't a lot of room under the dump valve but putting 2 X 4 blocks under the legs solve that. I can get a quart jar under it. At the time I bought mine pushing with CO2 was an option with this model so I put the conical in a converted freezer that sits on top a Harbor Freight scissors cart so I use gravity to fill kegs. This also allows me to wheel it around my shop.
Bend is about 200 miles South of here. I go there about once a year. As a matter of fact we spent a couple days in Bend last week. We had a great time. Deschutes has their Black Butte XXV Anniversary Imperial Porter out now. I thought it was already a darn good beer, but has a "best after 7/2014" on it. I bought 12 bottles of it. I still have about 6 Black Butte XXIV left from last year that I'll have to compare sometime.
I'll look forward to meeting you guys at brew school.
After schedule conflicts the past several years, I'm going to attend this year's class. I really have no excuse and after all it's only 20 miles away. The homebrewer class is being held after the pros class on September 12 and 13.
Should be informative and fun. Anyone else going to be there??
After about 20 years, my old Valley Mill got tired so I bought a new MM3. I got it set up with a 1/2 hp motor last night and ran about 5 pounds of 2 row through it. I'm impressed at how fast it ate the grain. Seems to be a nice crush at the factory settings.
Did you guys who have the MM3 leave yours at the factory settings? It's at little more complicated to change the gap than my Valley was.
Very nice view Jim. I climbed Adams a few decades ago when I was in my 20s. It was a clear day and the views were fantastic.
If I do some cropping, we have a great view of Adams and Rainier from the east. We have an "accumulator" who lives between us and the mountains that detracts from a sweeping view to the west. Should have bought that place when it was up for sale a few years ago.
My brewery however is in my shop east of our house. The shop is surrounded by our soon to be planted alfalfa field. Even if the brew doesn't turn out perfect, I enjoy the day.
Kolsch and Vienna Lager have been the two most popular of the beers I have on tap with the lite beer people. I am surprised at how some people who I thought were lite beer drinkers for life eventually come around to liking more flavorful beers.
I haven't found any connection with age and liking good beer. There are from my observation as many youngsters as there are people around my age (59) who are lite beer drinkers. I would guess the average age of people at the brew pubs that I frequent to be around 45. Would be an interesting study though.
Nice birthday gifts indeed. I'm sure you'll put them to good use. Thank you for your service to our country.
I also did well a few weeks back. I got the "Turtle" (for making black and tans), a couple carbonator caps, a gift certificate and some money from my wife to help buy pups to replace my two Golden Retrievers that I had to put down in the past few months. We got two little Goldendoodles. Been a while since we've had puppies around. They sure have lots of energy, but very loving little guys. Great birthday present.