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Topics - smkranz

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Wood/Casks / Woodinville Whiskey Co. barrel
« on: June 04, 2012, 05:24:34 AM »
I ordered one of their 8 gallon once-used bourbon barrels. $183 including $38 shipping to Maryland.  Yikes, our club got a 53 gallon barrel thru our local micro a couple years ago for about $120.  But no one was ready to coordinate that kind of project again quite yet, so this barrel's all on me.

It arrived in one piece in spite of the barrel just being placed bare naked in an ordinary shipping box, i.e. no other packing materials, bubble wrap, etc. to protect it.  Kind of surprising.

I fashioned a rough cradle from two short pieces of 2x4 lumber and 4 triangle wedges cut from the same 2x4s.  Not knowing whether to expect leaks, the cradle & barrel are set up inside the pan from a rabbit cage.  But it has not leaked.

The barrel came with a little card that suggests rinsing and something else, maybe a sulfur stick.  Nah...I had a batch of fully fermented, hi-test Biere de Garde that was ready to go.  Our experience from our last barrel, and the advice from our micro brewer, said to just put the beer in as-is.  So after prying the wooden stopper out, I first flushed the barrel with CO2 to purge it of air (omg the aromas!), then into the barrel my Biere went.

I topped it off and stuck an airlock on it, and will start sampling in another week or so.  Happily, I have about a gallon of the original Biere to use for keeping the barrel topped off if my sampling gets a little heavy-handed.  8)


As a competition organizer, I tend to track the AHA's rules for the NHC, which includes a limit of one entry per brewer per subcategory.  The question has been asked of me why that limit is in place, and frankly I'm not able to come up with great-sounding answers.

I suppose the limit is in place to either somehow discourage cheating, or to discourage one brewer from monopolizing the category prizes, or...I dunno.  We could include a rule that says the *same* beer may only be entered once in a given subcategory.

If a brewer has two different Dry Stouts, or two different Wood Aged Beers, or even two different Fruit Beers using the same base beer but different fruits, or whatever else, it seems to me that he or she should be able to enter both of them in the same correct subcategory, rather than having to pick only one to enter.

I'm thinking of allowing brewers to enter as many beers in whatever subcategories they want, and if anyone has experience with any problems this has caused in the past, I would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks in advance.

Entry Period is September 1 - 15.

Judging will take place during the festival, September 29, on the grounds of historic Union Mills Homestead in Westminster, MD.  Winning brewer's recipe is brewed commercially by Dog Brewing Company for bottled sales and exclusive draught sales at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants throughout Maryland.

Categories: Big Beers 6-10% a.b.v., judged against BJCP 2008 Style Guidelines.

- No smoked beers or sour beers, please
- Maryland resident brewers, or
- Member of a Maryland-based club

Most current info:

No ad here, just a crazy happy user of Splashtop Remote Desktop.  You install the Splashtop Streamer program on your Mac or PC computer, and the appropriate app (iOS, Android, webOS, Mac/Windows, Kindle Fire, Nook, BB Playbook...) on your phone or tablet that is WiFi enabled.  The Streamer running on your desktop will give your mobile device full access to your entire desktop.  It's very cool and works great.

You do not have to be directly connected to the same network, either.  On my HP webOS TouchPad and a WiFi connection anywhere, including the WiFi Hotspot app on my phone, my TouchPad finds my dssktop by registering thru Google.  Then I'm off, running SUDS directly, with full control, on the TouchPad from my deck, or a buddy's house miles away.

Classifieds / GABF Saturday tix (4 members only, 2 evening) available
« on: August 31, 2011, 03:37:46 AM »
We bought the subject tickets before we knew we'd be attending on brewery passes.  Face value plus AHA fees, PayPal fees and Priority Mail cost.  Basically, my cost.  Tix are not in hand yet, but will ship to you as soon as they arrive from AHA.  

If interested, please reply via Private Message with which tix you want.  PayPal only.  Preference given to whoever first offers to buy all six tickets.  Will figure out the math when they are all committed.  


Events / Shipping Beers from Mid-Atlantic area to San Diego for NHC
« on: May 12, 2011, 12:23:56 PM »
Our club is shipping our beers and gear (jockey box, tools, etc.) from the Baltimore area out to San Diego.  One of our members works for a company that does a lot of shipping, has a shipping department, and shrink-wraps all the goods onto a pallet for us.  They get discounted rates, and just pass it on to us at their cost.  We have shipped beers this way to Denver, Oakland, and now San Diego.

If anyone from nearby areas is pondering if and how you will get beers out to San Diego, and you could get your beers and gear down (or up or over) to the Baltimore area, we are happy to share the costs of shipping our stuff together.  We won't have a lot going out this year, so there will be plenty of room on the pallet.

The shipping guys say it will be six (6) days from Sparks, MD (where they are located) to San Diego.  We're planning to have the beers arrive on Tuesday (when we will be getting there) or Wednesday of conference week.  The shipping destination is pending info from the Club Night coordinator.

You'd be responsible for sending or shipping your stuff back. (I fit two empty kegs in a big suitcase and stuff 'em with dirty laundry.)

If you're interested and want to talk, contact me here or through my email link that you'll find on our home page in my signature.

I am pleased to announce the style categories for the 2011 Maryland Microbrewery Festival Homebrew Competition, which will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2011:


1A. Lite American Lager
1B. Standard American Lager
1C. Premium American Lager
1D. Munich Helles
1E. Dortmunder Export


3A. Vienna Lager
3B. Oktoberfest/Märzen


5A. Maibock/Helles Bock
5B. Traditional Bock
5C. Doppelbock
5D. Eisbock

American & German Wheat Beers:

6D. American Wheat or Rye Beer
15A. Weizen/Weissbier
15B. Dunkelweizen
15C. Weizenbock
15D. Roggenbier (German Rye Beer)


16A. Witbier
16B. Belgian Pale Ale
16C. Saison
16D. Bière de Garde
16E. Belgian Specialty Ale


19A. Old Ale
19B. English Barleywine
19C. American Barleywine



The Maryland Microbrewery Festival is an annual event held at the Union Mills Homestead in...Union Mills (Carroll County), Maryland.  It features the best of Maryland Microbrews.  Consistent with this theme, a few years ago the festival organizers asked the Midnight Homebrewers' League to conduct a homebrew competition during the festival, to feature the best of Maryland homebrews.  This BJCP-sanctioned homebrew competition is thus only open to Maryland residents, or members of a Maryland homebrew club (including but not limited to any member club of the Free State Homebrew Club Guild).

The Best of Show winner gets to have his or her recipe commercially brewed by Dog Brewing Company of Westminster, Maryland, for commercial bottled sales in area liquor stores as well as draft sales at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants throughout Maryland.

The entry period for this year's competition will be August 20 - September 3.  Complete Rules will be posted shortly. Until then, please visit our Competition Page:


Questions about the forum? / Mobile view or portal for the Forums?
« on: August 08, 2010, 08:19:03 PM »
I read Tech Talk on my smartphone, and rarely on my computer.  Since Tech Talk is transitioning to the Forums, I would like to access the Forums more easily on my Palm Pre.

I am a member of other online Forums (and Moderator of one) which have either a mobile portal or simplified views for use on mobile devices like smartphones.  They present cleaner, simplified screens with just text, no or fewer graphics taking up screen real estate, and faster loading and screen rendering.  I'd like to request this functionality for the AHA Forums...and if it already exists and I am just missing it, please point the way.  Thanks!

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