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Messages - smkranz

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Chlorinated Water
« on: August 16, 2014, 11:59:56 PM »
I suggest you directly ask your municipal water dept. what form of chlorine they use. 

If they use free chlorine (as does my municipal water dept.), it is easily stripped out with a simple charcoal filter.

But if they use chloramine, which is a more stable compound, you should go the campden tablet route.

The Pub / Re: F Cancer
« on: August 12, 2014, 09:27:12 PM »
Thanks for bringing this up. 

Whenever my club participates in an event with an information table, I give out prostate cancer wristbands.  I buy them as give-aways, 50 at a time, from which is also a recipient of funds from

My personal interest is that five years ago today, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 51.  (No history in my family.)  Seems like forever ago.  But two surgeries later, plus radiation and hormone therapy :o, and my PSA level is now undetectable.  I get tested every six months.  Probably another 5 years to go before my doctor will utter the word "cured".  My cancer had already spread, but I probably would have never known but for early testing.  My doctors were amazing...they are my heroes.

The federal government, and elements of the medical establishment, claim that prostate cancer is over-diagnosed and over-treated.  F them in addition to cancer.  If those DBs had their way, I would never have been tested, never biopsied, never diagnosed, and for all I know I'd be sitting here now with incurable cancer in my bones.

So, get longer...drink more beer!

Homebrew Clubs / Re: AHA Club Insurance Program
« on: August 08, 2014, 05:40:22 PM »
I would think there is a need for better Club recognition, such as clubs required to provide yearly rosters of paid members, up to date by-laws.  The way it stands now a club could pay for 3-4 members, even though there are more than that in the club.  I would think that the Broker & the Carrier would want a more accurate count other than one done on the honor system.  The real test will be when the first claim is filed.

Misrepresenting the number of members in a club on an application for the purpose of paying lower dues would constitute insurance fraud, and would likely be grounds to 1) deny any claim and/or 2) rescind the policy on the offending club.  The homebrewers I know wouldn't behave like that.

That said, my club is not participating.  Maryland law does not recognize "social host" liquor liability if someone were to leave one of our club events at someone's home, and cause injury or damage.

Events / Re: 2014 GABF
« on: July 15, 2014, 02:52:10 AM »

From the link:  "American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Association members will receive a personal offer code to purchase tickets for this session."

Anybody know more about this?  I assume we will be getting an email with this code.  Any idea when that email will go out?  I get so much crap in my email, I don't want to miss it.

The code will only allow you to buy during the members-only pre-sale, if you can get through.  And hope that Ticketmaster doesn't botch it up with capacity issues.  In the past, the email with your member code arrived a week or so before the sale opens.  But if you really want to go at face value ticket prices, you'll need to be at your computer, with a good internet connection, at 10 a.m. mountain time.  Get yourself set up with a Ticketmaster account in advance.  Then at 10:00, be logged into your account, and start trying.  Click, and repeat.  After about 15-20 minutes it'll be all over.

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Boilermaker 10 Gallon
« on: July 15, 2014, 02:41:59 AM »
I'm not really looking to do larger than 5 gallon, it's just that my 7.5 gallon on 5 gallon batches is dicey sometimes. Plus, I'd love to upgrade to a pot w. a spigot and a temp. gauge. American made is a nice bonus as well.

Blichmann's Boilermaker are well designed and executed.  He stands behind his products as well.  I have 15 and 20-gallon Boilermakers and don't regret either purchase.  I do not believe, however, that they are made in the U.S. if that makes a difference to you.

Other Fermentables / Re: Mead recipe
« on: July 05, 2014, 03:17:58 AM »
Thanks Man, ill go with a teaspoon at day 0-3.  I have fermaid k so it should work perfectly.  Ill mix it with a little water to get the DAP dissolved and then pitch.  Should i aerate at the same time?   Also, i have 2 packages of dry wine yeast, should i re hydrate it in water the same way i do fermentis yeast or is there a different protocol?

De-gas (beat it up, don't just stir), *before* you add nutrients.  There is so much CO2 in the must during the first week that adding anything dry or granular and then whipping it up will result in a very dramatic "volcano" effect of CO2 coming out of solution, that can make one holy mess.  It's almost worth doing just one time, to see what happens.

Other Fermentables / Re: Mead recipe
« on: July 04, 2014, 01:18:39 PM »
Best to keep fermentation down around 65º.

The 2014 Maryland Microbrewery Festival and Homebrew Competition will be held on Saturday, September 27.  The site of the event is the beautiful and historic Union Mills Homestead just north of Westminster, Maryland.

The 2014 Competition Registration site is now OPEN for Judge registration:  Please sign up early if you are interested in Judging.  We welcome Provisional Judges who have passed the online Entry Exam and are looking for judging experience prior to sitting for the BJCP Tasting Exam, as well as Novice Judges who are studying and practicing for the Entry Exam.

Last year's competition featured 200 entries.  Judging takes place indoors, in the historic Mill on the Union Mills Homestead grounds.  The competition is open to all beer categories with the exception of Sours.  We anticipate a full day of judging, with morning and afternoon sessions unless enough Judges sign up to do all entries in the morning.  The winning homebrewer's recipe is scaled up and brewed commercially (with the winner's help, of course!) by Dog Brewing Company of Westminster, MD for draft sales at Buffalo Wild Wings' restaurants throughout Maryland, and (at the option of Dog Brewing Co.) bottled sales in area liquor stores.  The winner will also qualify for the Pro-Am Competition at the GABF (also at the option of Dog Brewing Co.)

In addition to getting Judging Points and giving back to the homebrewing community, Judges will receive the following perks:

  • Judges receive free admission to the Festival, and a tasting mug.
  • The organizing club will host a complimentary Judges Thank-You Dinner the evening before the festival, on Friday, September 26 at Johansson's, our local brewpub.
  • Complimentary Friday night accommodations for out-of-area Judges may also be available on request from host club members...could be a spare room, or a fully-outfitted camper...please respond here or via PM if you are interested in taking advantage of this option.
  • Judges will receive what is widely considered to be the best Judges' Breakfast in the world (or at least in Maryland ;D), prepared by our club's fine cooks.  For those with more basic requirements, yes we'll also have bagels and cream cheese.
  • Judges' and Stewards' Lunch is sponsored and provided by Buffalo Wild Wings.

Cheers, please post back or PM with any questions.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2014 NHC broadcast???
« on: June 15, 2014, 12:58:53 AM »
There it is  :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2014 NHC broadcast???
« on: June 15, 2014, 12:54:05 AM »
Same here...

There is a lot of small-barrel info in various threads in the Kegging & Bottling > Wood/Casks child board.  I've used three Woodinville barrels (bourbon and rye), but not one that had syrup in it so I have no clue as to what to expect from that.

One easy way to get the bung out if it just won't give, is to drill a lag screw into it and give the screw a few taps.

Beer Travel / Re: Not going, stuck at home
« on: June 08, 2014, 09:21:03 PM »
Attended every NHC since 2005 (Baltimore), so it gripes me that I have to pass on this year's.

But I'll be there in spirit...and in mead!  I'm sending 3 gallons of a sparkling ginger mead out with the Maryland group for Club Night.

Beer Travel / Re: Not going, stuck at home
« on: June 08, 2014, 02:39:18 AM »
Got sick, on a 10-day antibiotic regimen.  Asked my doc about the tolerance of *any* alcohol on these two drugs, and he said "None.  You can't do it.". So I spent last night canceling the air, hotel, and car, plus my retake of the tasting exam and finals judging.  Made me even more sick.  Hoping I can get a credit for next year's conference ticket.

Thinking of making a therapeutic acquisition (T.A.) such as a Tower of Power with the $$ I would've spent.

Sent from my HP Slate 7 using Tapatalk

Questions about the forum? / Forum Errors This Evening
« on: June 04, 2014, 12:51:21 AM »
Going to the Forum this evening, I found that I was already logged in (recently, I have had to log in each visit).

When I try to mark a board as Read, I get the following error:

Session verification failed. Please try logging out and back in again, and then try again.

If click the Logout link, I get the same error.

Edit:  Well, never mind.  After posting this message, these functions seem to work properly again.

Equipment and Software / Re: BrewEasy
« on: May 28, 2014, 01:48:02 AM »
Here's a snapshot of my setup.  The top of the mash tun comes to about mid-chest high on me (and I'm 6"3").  I've had that little wooden stepstool for awhile, waiting to be deployed for a higher purpose.  With the pump and Therminator mounted to it, it is now a BrewStool.  It is awesomely portable, and I fitted the underside of the lower step with some V-shaped aluminum channels that let me just slide the pump on and off.  Shown in the second photo (chiller in operation), is a drip-shield I fashioned for the pump out of an empty 8 lb. P.B.W. jug.  It looks like a gaggle of hoses in this photo, but it really is a simple setup.

Since this photo was taken, I have added a switched power strip to the outside of the stool so as to easily turn the pump on and off.

And chilling...

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