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Messages - AmandaK

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap - Official Thread
« on: April 28, 2016, 05:23:28 PM »
My dad built me a "Lego table" that I kept all of my Legos on when I was little. It was awesome. It was just an old pink Formica countertop with casters on it that I could slide out from under my bed. I had a whole Lego city under there.  8)

Apparently the Lego table helped me keep my Legos off of the floor so my parents wouldn't step on them.  ;)

Why did you not turn around and ask the secretary to make coffee?

Because there's a whole giant raft of socialization that would put her in a bad position if she did. Men who would ask would be galled at the temerity she was showing and possibly label her with epithet attached to "difficult women". Aka sometimes it's just easier to take a big ole bite of a crap sandwich if the time/place isn't right.

Exactly. In my industry (and likely many others), there is a very fine line between "difficult woman" and "knowledgeable and respected woman". The latter involves knowing and being capable of 200-300% more than all of your colleagues and management, very carefully calculating when to show that knowledge (but not too much, lest you become the 'know it all'), being able to have a good sense about yourself in order to question authority at the appropriate time, and having a slightly crass humor to boot.

Amanda, that's a giant pile of crap to deal with and it sucks.

If you listen to the podcast at all, you know my feelings on these sorts of issues, so I'll leave it at that.

I am way behind on EB podcasts, but I'll be sure to give it a listen tomorrow.

...I can't believe you had to put up with that.

It happens everywhere. Neighbors making small talk over our latest yard project, the shed, go directly to the husband and ask about the plans. They just assume that he's in charge of it. They don't realize that I'm the one designing it, laying it out IRL, doing the material takeoff, and figuring out the schedule/cost estimate. I'll also be overseeing all the brute force work once it starts, making sure the project is built to my specs. Car salesmen (the worst!) go directly to the husband for negotiating, ignoring me in the process. They don't know that I handle all the finances and probably know more about the car than they do. Last time we bought a car, husband smiled at the guy and deferred to me. I decided to let the guy do his thing and then went in for the 'yeah, I know more than you and I'm not buying it' kill. I got so much out of him by the time it was all over and signed, the guy showed me the books on that car. We paid ~$2000 less than what he paid for it on trade in and we got a years worth of oil changes and a warranty (which would come in handy later when they replaced the engine for us for $0). He shook my hand and nodded as we left. Joke was on him! Hahaha. (I used all my knowledgeable/respected woman tricks mentioned above on him.)

Please know that I'm not singing a "woe is me" song here - I am just attempting to shed light on something that is typically unnoticed or unintentional.

Anyway. I don't think I am treated this way at this forum or in the majority of homebrewing. It happens sometimes. Can we all be better about it? Sure. Normally it doesn't bother me to much and I can make a crass joke about it (how else do you think I've advanced in the construction industry??). But I just don't like seeing reminders of it on homebrew stuff.

I am aware this post my be "too politicy" for this forum, so feel free to police it if you want.

My issue with the post is that it is a qualified woman's expertise is ignored in pursuit of something  related to the gender. Being a woman can really suck, especially when you work really hard to become respected in a male dominated field just to be ignored or marginalized. Unless you've experienced it in real life, there's no real way to explain it besides that.

I'm better at examples, so I'll give you one from my own life. To set the stage, I work as a Project Controls analyst in Construction. I have become an integral and respected member of our team (manager's words, not mine). Lately, I have worked my way into proposals. On a recent proposal, I worked directly with the lead estimator. I found tens of millions of dollars in errors, oversights, and general crap on a $50MM proposal. The VP of Construction requested that I be in the room when the "top brass" came in to review the proposal. I was excited to be invited, hoping to show my expertise and perhaps help answer questions about this subject that I was very familiar with. When all the upper management (all men) came in, they looked at me and the only other woman (a secretary) and asked why we hadn't made coffee yet. Queue the heart sinking. I went and made coffee. I could come up with at least 50 other examples of stuff like that, but that's the freshest one.

Anyway. My initial response had nothing to do with Annie herself or how she responded. It was more about how we (meaning women) are sometimes treated when all we want to do is to be taken seriously. I know that it is unintentional in many cases, but that doesn't make the action any less sucky. :/ Did the execs mean to belittle my contribution? Probably not, but it still sucked.

Well, now you guys know a bit more about me than is probably needed, but I had to say it.

Brulosophy had the opportunity to interview a highly qualified person, some who obviously knows a lot about beer, brewing beer, and educating people about homebrewing. So what do they ask her? About vagina beer.

Oh FFS. This is just ridiculous. You have someone sitting with you who you can ask anything of (and probably learn something) and then you marginalize that opportunity by asking that person about something that only vaguely relates to their gender. What a waste of time for both the readers and the interviewee.

Enjoyed reading about your experience Amanda. I will be in KC for the day on Saturday. I will need to see if I can swing by and grab a growler or two of KCBC beer to take back to St Louis.

Hey Tim! Yeah, you should!  8)


I do most everything but the cold ferment and spunding. I'd like to get there and try it some day but need more equipment.

I was actually sourcing parts for a spunding this morning (cause a local brewery uses it to good effect and I wanted to tinker). :)

What range of final beer pH are you seeing in your German lagers? Curious about a therory I have about my beers...

Sorry to hear that Amanda, don't know why that is.

I'd say the best bang for your buck is a pre boil and 100mg/l dose of sodium metabisulfite and just do everything else like you've done before. The document is more or less a guide that was come up with over time that showed the best results. Varying away from this may or may not work as good. FWIW Im not 100% in line with that document yet but have seen a huge improvement in my lagers.

So what parts of the document are you using at this time? rule is to never disseminate any info found there anywhere else.

Lots of good questions, why not register over there and ask them?
Because they won't approve me.

Edit: I've tried. Not just speculating.

Those of us that were registered over there got the boot when they made it a closed forum.
At least you were "approved" from the beginning. I was ignored or rejected, not sure which.

Lots of good questions, why not register over there and ask them?
Because they won't approve me.

Edit: I've tried. Not just speculating.

Is Picobrew Zymatic a low oxygen brewing system? Would it be with a stainless wort chiller and SMB tablets added to the mash water?

Nope, it's not because it returns wort to the keg via the gas in, so it splashes.
Stick some tubing of the gas dip tube.

I haven't tried it, but I'm sure a liquid tube could be swapped in as well. I imagine it would work best if the inlet and outlets were moved away from one another.

Edit to add - would the steam created in the keg be sufficient to purge the oxygen?

Comments on the Z:
1) I would try and float the end of the attached tube (a la the Blichman Easy Sparge floatie) to prevent pressure on the Z's tiny little pump.
2) Or maybe I'd just put a 3 gallon dip tube into the gas post (if it fits) and run with it since the liquid level is typically around 3ish gallons while the system is running.
3) If I was to try this procedure on the Z, I would bring the whole system to boil with the lid off. Boil for 15'. Then let it chill in an ice bath down to initial mash rest, add the Campden, have it dough in, mash out, add FWHs and 60' hops, then proceed as normal (boil off is <4% already). The Z still fills from the top of the mash, but at least the thing is covered and no oxygen is introduced in sparging since there is no sparge. The anecdotal evidence of a "DO mash is far less aromatic" is something I experience anyway on the Z, so I would have to not smell the mash within 3-5' of the machine to get an improvement in that regard.
4) But I probably won't, because I'm happy enough with the freshness in my beers. And I think that final beer pH has more of a role in beer stability than DO anyway, so I'm busy worrying about that right now.

The thing that I don't understand about this white paper is that there is a lot of "we recommend" with no reasoning or explanation. I get that the main point here is DO, and it does an alright job of explaining the role of DO without the data (which I'd like to see because of bullet #1 below, but we likely won't :( ), but there are other things that receive no mention of backup at all.
  • What happens if I only follow parts of the procedure because of my equipment limitations? What parts are the most important?
  • Why pitch at 5-6*C? (What's wrong with 8-9*C?)
  • Why the hate for W34/70? (I don't like it too much either on first pitch, but why?)
  • Why those lengths and temps for the Hochkurz? (Where there others attempted? What happened?)
  • Why add 30% of the hops as FWH? (What does that gain me, specifically, over a 60' and 15'?)

We were ready to pull the trigger on a density meter but found out they are not approved by the TTB.

Hahahahaha... oh gov't. ::)  What is the reasoning? Too accurate? Not accurate enough? Something else?

Yes on the elusive German character. Although that is just  anecdotal from me and a few others. I would highly suggest a visit to KC to find out. :)

The hops were 3.8lbs of Perle at 60 and 3.3lbs Hallertau Mittelfrüh at 15'. 90' boil. I understand that the co-owner goes to Bavaria to purchase hops directly as he is fluent in German and is very particular about freshness.

This is really awesome, Amanda! KC Bier Co is one of the best breweries I have ever been too. I will be hitting it up next weekend in fact. It would have been cool if I had come in time for this one when it's ready. I bet it will be tasty.
Next weekend? As in 4/30 or 5/7? (I can never tell) If it's 4/30, you should grab tickets to Parkville Microfest. 7 homebrew clubs and 40+ breweries, including KCBC. :)

To me, it reads more like a recipe with a detailed guide on how to brew it than a scientific paper that requires peer review.

Yes, but it is a guide that pontificates about process while referring to readings and measurements without actually providing any readings or measurements. That strikes me as odd.

Wo ist die Daten?

I knew there were affordable digital refractometers (gonna have one eventually), but I wasn't sure that the brewery's density meter qualified as the same. Maybe it does.

Does a digital refractometer measure accurate FG readings without correction? The density meter does, which was the appeal. I mean, at this point, measuring the gravity day after day in our fermentations is probably the next step to tracking our beers.

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