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Topics - gsandel

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Hey Maryland and DC area brewers!

I am traveling to Bethesda starting on Friday for a week, and then again May 6 thru May 13, accompanying my wife who has been accepted into a hopefully life-saving clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health to treat her Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

I am wanting to know of local craft establishments and breweries nearby worth going to, or if there are any beer happenings going on in that time.  My days are pretty booked with fun hospital stuff, and I don't know how much time I will have to myself in the evenings, but I am only travelling via Metro and Uber.  I suspect that I will not be able to get too far afield in the first week, but in the second, I will have my kids (and my wife if she feels well enough for anything) with me as we do the DC tourist thing....I want to know if I happen to be near something weather or not it is worth seeking out (and dragging my kids into for a rootbeer).

I know my homebrewer brethren will have a wide and varied opinion, and I am eager to hear them all (even if I can only visit one next week), for this is in lieu of the pilgrimage to Baltimore this year.  I missed San Diego last year (for same reason), but have met some of you in Michigan and Philly two and three years ago.  I still have my MD homebrewing totebag from the conference in Philly.

Thank you in advance for giving me something to look forward to next week.

g                  18wJN.mailto

Equipment and Software / Zymurgy Mobile App question/help
« on: April 02, 2014, 10:17:00 PM »
Is there any plan to offer the Android version of the Zymurgy app for Amazon Kindle Fire users?

I have been trying in vain to get a software program to work on my PC that emulates an Android device so that I may access the Google Play App store to download the APK file so that I may side load it onto my Kindle Fire reader.

If I had an Android device it would be relatively easy (but I don't).  It seems silly to have a device that I do almost all of my reading on (Kindle), and not be able to have my favorite magazine.  Failing AHA's plans to offer the app for the Amazon ecosystem, would any fellow member or AHA staff member be willing to send me a copy of the Zymurgy APK file?


....followed by a couple malt liquors and then Bud Light.  Hmmm....Darwinism? Conspiracy? Marketing Effectiveness?

Equipment and Software / Death Knell for Keezer?
« on: June 03, 2013, 03:15:00 PM »
I think I know the answer, but you all can confirm.

My $80 craigslist bought chest freezer has been operating for 5 years.  Over the weekend, I lowered the temp from 42 to 39 for the summer, and it kicked on.  Later that day, I noticed it was running and at 41.  Later on, still 41 and still running.  I opened hatch, found 1 inch thick frost 3 inches below top of unit (below bottom of collar).  I set to 41, and frost disapated, but continued to run.  Never did that before.

Other symptoms, the exterior used to get warm to touch when the outside is only lukewarm in spots (near top where frost builds).

I set temp this morning to 50 to see if it can run and hold temp there (and perhaps thaw whatever problem it might be)...

is this a coolant blockage, compressor starting to (or has) fail(ed), or something fixable?

I am happy with the 5 year life for $80, but would fix if easy/cheap....but am considering paying more for new or newer next time....I have no plans on making it fancy.  Your suggestions are welcome.

General Homebrew Discussion / BJCP Tasting Exam: Wow! That was hard!
« on: January 22, 2013, 04:21:31 PM »
Took the tasting portion of the exam this weekend.

How'd I do?  To answer that question with a question: Does anyone know if you can re-take an exam before you get the results of your last one (especially if it takes 6 months to get results)?

I thought I was ready.  I thought I could pick out stuff in beer.  I thought I had a vocabulary.  I even thought I knew how to add properly.

What I learned is that I have absolutely no sense of smell unless it is overpowering...something that would kill the average person.

My ultimate impression was for the first beer (or two) I was seeing all kinds of phantom (real and imagined) flaws.  It turned out that there was at least one flaw to the first one, but I threw the book at it.  After that I settled down and could generally get the overall impression for each beer down, but couldn't describe (or detect) aroma...and I would assign points to each catagory and the beers would all score darn near 40 (or above) when in my head the beer should have been around 30 ....I ended up scoring in the mid-upper 20s and the upper 30s and 40s for just about everything (had to figure out how to deduct on the first one and last one).....and I didn't have time to go back and look at anything (at least one adding error).

With the 15 minutes and no reference guide, I couldn't pull a decent adjective out of my head to save my life (and what was with my handwriting...yikes)!

So, I will be surprised to pass.  And am looking to re-take...although I would rather have a root canal.

The Pub / Beer Connoissuer Mag
« on: August 31, 2012, 11:04:00 PM »
I just noticed the ad on the AHA page for this mag.  Has anyone read or subscribed?  How does it compare to the other general beer mags (DRAFT, All About Beer, etc.)?

I just ran into this article:

Maybe we ought to invite them to become AHA members?

Maybe they need to know about mead with the whitehouse stash of honey.

This morning I recieved this e-mail:

Congratulations on passing the BJCP Entrance Exam; you are now a BJCP Provisional Judge!  You will be emailed a passing certificate that you will need to show to the administrator of the BJCP Beer Judging Exam.  You must take the Beer Judging Exam within one year of passing the Entrance Exam or start over.  Good luck!

Which is strange because I took the exam in early April (on a whim) during my lunch hour, without studying or without reference was hard and as I expected, I failed (what I thought was miserably).

Then I got this explanation:

Hello, You should have received an email informing you that you passed the BJCP Entrance Exam.  This may come as a surprise, so let me explain.  We did some detailed statistical analysis that led us to make a final tweak of the passing threshold, and all exams were rescored against this target.  You were just below passing when you took the exam, but that score now passes.  Congratulations!

So, it is official.  I am a Provisional Judge (now looking for a tasting exam seat in Denver area) with the distinction of passing with one of the lowest scores ever!  I am the opposite of Gordon Strong!

Thanks BJCP for lowering your standards just enough to let me slide by to continue my unbroken streak of mediocracy!

Mr. C-

Equipment and Software / Star San goes really bad?
« on: April 02, 2012, 06:27:25 PM »
I didn't see this, so am reporting second hand, but want to know if anyone has clue as to what is going on.

I had stored Star San in my emptied/cleaned keg under a little co2 pressure to ensure seal (although I may have not remembered to use CO2, so it could have been air.  It sounds like a sound business practice from reading this forum.  When my brother opened the keg expecting to dump and fill, the keg smelled sour and the star san solution inside was skim milk white.

Of course and thankfully, he stopped, rinsed thoroughly with hot water and re-sanitized.  To my knowledge, the star san was mixed at an appropriate solution with clean (probably hot at the time) water from the tap.

Does anyone know what conspired here?  Only things I can think of are reaction to something in Denver's tap water or a reaction with CO2 or some sort of oxidation.  Does Star San go really bad like this?  Is there anything else I could unknowingly have done to make this happen?

Does long term exposure to star san (bad or good) do any damage to non stainless parts (o-rings, connectors, etc.)?


Events / NHC sold out - any other way?
« on: February 06, 2012, 07:33:14 PM »
After being out of pocket for last 6 days (and truthfully, not paying attention), I went to sign up for (my first ever) NHC this morning....The first time I had both the time and the means to attend and....DOH!  Epic Fail. :'(

As a result, I have a number of questions:

1. How many people are on the wait list, and really, what is the turnover rate, and what are my chances (where am I on the list)?
2. Are there any plans to increase capacity to the event (thus due to or affecting question #1)?
3. Is there any opportunity to volunteer for the event (similar to GABF)?

Kegging and Bottling / beer leak
« on: July 14, 2011, 04:47:37 AM »
I wonder if any of you have this problem.  I use the ball lock flare (threaded) quick disconnect (beer out, black).  I try to crank the nut nice and tight when connecting, but twice now, moving other kegs in or out or disconnecting for some reason loosens it...two days later I open the discover a couple of pints (or more) in the bottom of the is so much fun to waste beer and you know how us brewers like to clean.

Has anyone had this problem?  Has anyone devised a solution?  I was thinking of using some silicone tape on the threads to insure against this...


Events / I am declaring right now!
« on: June 16, 2011, 04:48:59 AM »
as I sit here feeling sorry for myself for not going to NHC in San Diego, Seattle Beer News announced that NHC 2012 is in the Seattle area.  After 18 years with this hobby all alone, I have decided to announce that I am attending my first NHC in 2012.

Please join me.


Denver, CO.

All Grain Brewing / new lessoned learned
« on: May 01, 2011, 03:41:28 AM »
made a marathon 2 batch day (24 gallons total)....the beers were both easy drinking summer brews...but I learned that remembering all the lessons learned from last time could be easily be applied....I think I actually became a better brewer by meticulously planning a two brew day and applying what I learned in brew 1 to brew 2....I internalized a lot, stayed focused, and actually had an easy day (oh, and everything worked, too).

I am set for summer....or the first third, at least.

Kegging and Bottling / new bottle of CO2....regulator issues
« on: April 21, 2011, 04:29:05 AM »
I got a new bottle of CO2 (my first trade in) and all of a sudden, I can't seem to dial in the pressure on my regulator.....I have gotten to the point of it being two psi low or two psi high....luckily it only gives a little more head (who of us would complain about a little more....).  I bought my regulator used (really, really used) and it has me shopping for new regulators....

is this normal or is there some other factor (like the higher pressure in the bottle)?  Should I relax (not my style, although I try)? Should I buy a new regulator?  If so, what is the best regulator (or what to look for)?


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