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Messages - narvin

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Equipment and Software / Re: Hop Blocker/Stopper Mesh Size
« on: July 23, 2013, 01:33:35 PM »
That will clog.  Even a bazooka screen clogs pretty easily in a kettle unless you get a strong whirlpool.

Get this mesh from McMaster. I skipped the step where they sewed the edges with ss thread.  It's a PITA and crimping it twice works just as well.

Going Pro / Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 21, 2013, 02:41:19 PM »
The license here only says, "The beer to be sold and delivered under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be manufactured with an ingredient from a Maryland agricultural product, including hops, grain, and fruit, produced on the licensed farm."  That doesn't preclude using wheat or another grain as 30% of the grist.  As long as you aren't violating the spirit of the law by, say, adding one farm grown hop cone per batch, it seems like it should be fine.

Going Pro / Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 19, 2013, 07:53:03 PM »

Lots of states help ag businesses out, though I think a state supporting farm breweries is sort of dumb given that you'd need to malt any grain you grow and few areas are great for hops. It doesn't seem really reasonable. And I'd rather see them just support small breweries.

You can use almost any raw grain as an adjunct.  That's the epitome of farmhouse brewing!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge water dilution ? Lactic %88
« on: July 19, 2013, 04:52:41 PM »
+1 Bru'n Water

To reduce from 7.2 pH to 5.5 pH would take 0.09 ml/gal of 88% Lactic acid.

It's going to depend on the amount of alkalinity more than the starting pH.  In BrunWater, I put in 215 ppm for alkalinity in the sparge water acidification tab (263*50/61 to convert from bicarbonate ppm, according to Palmer).  For a desired water pH of 5.5, it calculates 1.21 ml / gal of 88% lactic acid.

You can also do this in Kai's water calculator; just set the sparge water volume to the desired amount of water to treat and scroll down to the "sparge water acidification" section.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: This is Why Tanks Must be Tested.
« on: July 19, 2013, 02:38:50 PM »
Holy moly.

Going Pro / Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 19, 2013, 03:04:08 AM »
The law in Maryland was introduced to promote the use of local ingredients and farming in general.  This used to be a big farm area before the suburban sprawl and Washington money, and anything that encourages the growth of industries that use Maryland agriculture is seen as a positive.  The current thinking is that local food is good for your health, your taste buds, and the environment.  You pay less for the license but otherwise will have to meet the same requirements as any other licensee.  An advantage here is that you can sell for on-premise consumption from 10am-6pm without a separate class D liquor license.  However, you can only serve your own beer and the restriction that you grow one of the main ingredients for the beer more than offsets the  benefits if you're just looking for a loophole / easy way to get into the business. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Cool trick
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:33:52 AM »
Alchemy!  Or witchcraft.

Going Pro / Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:27:16 AM »

Yes you can self-distribute in NJ and according to the Farm Brewery License you can sell 1.5oz samples on premises but it doesn't specify any amounts, so...

That's awesome, I wish more states allowed self distribution.

I'd check with your liquor board because the license says "sampling purposes only" and a nominal charge usually means a token amount, like $5 for a glass and unlimited samples.  I wouldn't count on making an awful lot of money from that.

Going Pro / Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 16, 2013, 09:36:08 PM »
It looks like you can't have a tap room (for selling pints, at least) without getting another liquor license.  Can you self distribute in NJ?  If not, then you're basically selling bottles or growlers to go unless you can convince a distributor to take on a nano brewery (and are willing to accept even less money for your labor of love  :) )

Local zoning will still apply, so I don't know if someone on 1/4 acre in a suburb with a HOA will be able to get licensed.  If you're not already zoned for commercial I imagine you're going to have to live in a permissive locality or at least get local community support.  If you live in the country it's probably easier, but that cuts down the foot traffic a bit.

Going Pro / Re: So you want to be a brewer
« on: July 16, 2013, 01:33:41 AM »
I'm going pro as soon as I figure a way to clear $50k a year on three 5 gallon batches a week. That's only about $10 a pint. Would need low overhead though. Hmmm, maybe a roadside card table and a picnic tap.

Just make a 20 bbl batch once a year and sell 750ml bottles from your tasting room for $20 a pop.  Profit!!!

Ingredients / Re: Anyone use the Pur Mineral filter?
« on: July 16, 2013, 01:26:23 AM »
You're not going to filter out any of the minerals that are important to brewing, or the alkalinity.  A house water softener or a reverse osmosis system will, but not a charcoal filter, Pur, Brita, etc.

Ingredients / Re: Anyone use the Pur Mineral filter?
« on: July 16, 2013, 12:12:42 AM »
You should definitely do something to treat chlorine/chloramine if you have city water.  This can be campden or a charcoal filter.

If you're doing anything other than small batches, I'd skip the pur filter and go for one of these:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: PH and yeast ( fermintation)
« on: July 11, 2013, 12:11:59 PM »
The English strains, including that one, flocculate really well.  Try raising the temperature by a few degrees after a week to make sure the yeast isn't dropping out early.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat malt...poor extraction
« on: July 09, 2013, 03:11:18 PM »
The ProMash estimate for German wheat malt is 1.039 ppg.   Looking at some of the lot analysis for Best Malz wheat on the Country Malt site (, enter BZW and you'll get a list), the average is only around 1.037.

The Pub / Re: Another pet safety tip
« on: July 05, 2013, 02:12:50 PM »
This dog got his revenge.

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