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Messages - micsager

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1
Going Pro / Re: Question about Restrictions of brewery location
« on: June 26, 2015, 09:43:50 AM »
I think mostly it means the brewery space must be completely separate and the space can't be shared with some other use. I've heard you can open a brewery at your house if it's in a separate outbuilding, or at least a garage separated by a locked door. This probably depends on your local inspector, not to mention local regulations. State and zoning laws are often more restrictive.

Our brewery is in a separate building on our residential property.  We had no problem at all getting a Brewer's Notice. (federal license)  During our post-approval inspection by a TTB investigator, he was mostly concerned about how we measure our beer for tax paying purposes, and that all the doors, windows and such could be locked. (I'm guessing that the "effective administration" part) The first thing he said after introducing himself was "I am here to protect the revenue of the US Government."  Kind of says it all.  Although he also wanted us to get receipts from the pig farmer who picks up our spent grain.  I asked him for a regulatory citation for that requirement, and he couldn't do such. 

Another person in town is opening a cidery in his home.  The feds forced him to remove the door between the garage and the dwelling space. 

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« on: June 25, 2015, 08:03:28 AM »
Seems to me that most of the arguments about changing the rules can be summed up like this:

"What can we do to make it so the BN doesn't win next year?"

That kind of seems like poor sportsmanship to me.

The consensus in this thread, having just skimmed it, seems to be more along the lines of "What can we do to ensure that clubs of all sizes compete on a level playing field?"

True, but it's focused on the BN.  My local club has less than 20 folks.  We'll never compete with the likes of Quaff or the Falcons.  And I'm OK with that.  The thing that gets me, is the BNA cannot shoose what happens at their meetings, nor elect leaders.  All decision making is controlled by Justin.  Now, in my view, he does great things for the homebrewing community, and I wouldn't be where I am without his podcasts.  But most clubs, the members have a greater voice......

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« on: June 16, 2015, 01:21:39 PM »
I am a member of the BNArmy.  And always will be.  Justin has done some wonderful things to help folks become better brewers.  I refer all new brewers in my local club to The BN.  The archive of Brewstrong is just plain wonderful. 

The only single thing that makes them "not a club" to me is the members don't get to choose their leaders, content of meetings or such. 

But, I do think Justin and his crew deserve much appreciation from all of us.  They are an important part of our community.
It seems everyone on this thread is saying that BN is a good organization that does good things. Its the rules of this contest that people think need to be changed.

Agreed.  Folks hould be contacting the governing committee, and suggest specific changes. 

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« on: June 16, 2015, 01:07:12 PM »
I am a member of the BNArmy.  And always will be.  Justin has done some wonderful things to help folks become better brewers.  I refer all new brewers in my local club to The BN.  The archive of Brewstrong is just plain wonderful. 

The only single thing that makes them "not a club" to me is the members don't get to choose their leaders, content of meetings or such. 

But, I do think Justin and his crew deserve much appreciation from all of us.  They are an important part of our community. 

5
Hop Growing / Re: Trim back first shoots?
« on: June 11, 2015, 08:21:08 AM »
Good info. I don't have enough crowns to really do a good side-by-side test myself. I started growing hops after I got the book, so I trimmed from the start without knowing how much affect it had. I have been trimming when most of them were over 4" tall, but I'm interested to know how tall everyone else lets theirs get before cutting back. I'm in Eastern PA and am just starting to see the first shoots (maybe 1" tall) on my Brewer's Gold, and its still getting down near freezing so I want to make sure that the plants are protected.

you can eat those early shoots like asparagus. reason enough to cut them back right there.
Eat the trimmings? I will have to try that this year. How tall do you let them get when you eat them? I imagine they get pretty woody pretty quickly.

Puterbough Farms in Yakima actually sells pickled hop shoots on their website:

www.hopsdirect.com

(good source for hops as well) 

6
Hop Growing / Re: Hop Growning and Yellow Leaves
« on: June 11, 2015, 08:15:24 AM »
It the upper portion of the plants look o.k. and the yellowing is confined to the lowest leaves, that's a common occurrence.  I remember seeing a somewhat technical explanation suggesting the plants may begin to draw nutrients from the older leaves.  I don't know if this is accurate but it happens every year on mine, some varieties more pronounced than others.

+1  Also, once the vines are about 5 feet tall, I trim of much of the green (and sometimes yellow) leaves from the bottom foot or so.  Reduces bugs, and gives better airflow so mildowing is reduced.  Can't remember where I read this. 

7
Events / Re: NHC 2016 Location
« on: June 11, 2015, 07:39:04 AM »
Looks like my first NHC will be 2017
The AHA is looking at a West Coast (2015), East Coast (2016), Mid-section (2017) cadence.

Coming to flyover country, Jim?
But my experience in the states between Massachusetts and North Carolina was not good. Way too many people. Freaks me out!

+1  I love rural Washington.

8
Hop Growing / Re: Thinking about growing hops
« on: May 21, 2015, 08:43:25 AM »
I bought coir twine this year, $30 for 450 ft, and used most of it.

Homegrown hops are the most expensive ones I use.

Here's a source for 4X that amount, for less money:

http://www.growerssupply.net/index.cfm?id=8&group_id=twi2226

(when they have it in stock)

9
Hop Growing / Re: Container hop growing
« on: May 20, 2015, 09:25:56 AM »
So after a couple years, what the best thing to do? Dig them out, cut the rhizomes back and replant a small rhizome?

The planters I've got are pretty large, each one took an entire 64-quart bag of potting soil, with room to spare. My wife and I are stuck in a condo for at least a few more years, hoping that the planters can work for a while yet.

I have four varieties, in four half-whiskey bbls.  After three years, they all become quite root bound.  What we did a few months ago was dump all barrels (1 at a time) onto a tarp.  cut out as many rhizomes as we could, then cut the crown in half, and replanted.  My fuggles are 4 feet tall at this point.  and the others are just barely behind that.  Last year, I got over ten pounds of dried hops.  Or at least what I THOUGHT were dried.  They became moldy, and I had to throw them out.  This fall, I will dry them well past when "I think" they are dry enough.  Maybe do that weight process to make sure. 

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Five Star acid wash #5
« on: May 14, 2015, 10:18:33 AM »
I have a 1bbl system with a Blichmann tower of power.  I think I'll give this a shot this weekend. 

(and thanks for the safety advice)

11
General Homebrew Discussion / Five Star acid wash #5
« on: May 14, 2015, 09:49:17 AM »
I've got a jug of this to try.  All the instructions talk about it working great on stainless steel of course.  Mostly in a re-circulation mode.  The only way I could do that is with my march pump and silicon tubing. 

Will it be ok on those non-stainless surfaces?  I would certainly rinse well as soon as complete.  I sent a note to Five Star yesterday, but thought I would post here as well. 

12
Events / Re: A favor to ask of the conference staff
« on: May 01, 2015, 01:34:08 PM »
I imagine a lot of people will be flying to San Diego. It would be a very nice touch if the conference could provide a scale to weigh our luggage at the hotel(s). I'm sure some folk on the conference committee would have access to one. While not 100 percent accurate of course, attendees packing beer in their suitcases could have an idea if they're over or under weight before finding out the hard way at the airport.

Another way to handle this is checking full cases of bombers as luggage.  Most airlines will allow.  When in the bay area last year, we strapped two cases of Pliney together, and it was only 48lbs.  Cost us $25.  Well worth it. 

13
Events / Re: A favor to ask of the conference staff
« on: May 01, 2015, 08:48:52 AM »
I imagine a lot of people will be flying to San Diego. It would be a very nice touch if the conference could provide a scale to weigh our luggage at the hotel(s). I'm sure some folk on the conference committee would have access to one. While not 100 percent accurate of course, attendees packing beer in their suitcases could have an idea if they're over or under weight before finding out the hard way at the airport.

When NHC was at the Town & Country a few years ago, I asked at the front counter, and they let me use the scale on their loading dock. 

14
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Homebrew + sanke + EV
« on: May 01, 2015, 08:41:15 AM »
Hello hive mind -

A local pub wants to put my beer on tap. Hooray! Of course, their bar draft system is all sanke fittings and I use cornies at home. I read through some of the threads here about the challenges filling, cleaning, pressurizing a sanke at home but didn't see anyone reference the EV Container kegs that seem to resolve some / all of those issues.

Who here has used their sixth-barrel option? Pros / cons?

We use EV kegs for one account that didn't want to convert a tap to cornies.  We are hobby brewers, and are fully licensed by the state and feds.  The EV kegs work well for us as we don't have the water systems to wash normal sanke kegs.  Initial purchase price is lower than a new corny, but the liners are single use.  So that does add some expense.  But for us, they are great.  (we have a 1bbl system)

15
Equipment and Software / Re: The ethics of keggles
« on: April 30, 2015, 12:49:41 PM »
Bump for input,
     At work today, I found 2 old Hudepohl brewing Company half barrel kegs. They are left over from a company picnic at least 10 years ago. One is actually still about half full and pressurized. I also found a 20#(I think) tank of beer gas: labeled "compressed gas, N.O.S."
    So I have a few questions, as the brewery is operated by a different company now than when these were used at the party. I know there is a link in here for returning kegs, but at this point, is it worth it? Is it ethical to keep them? The second part also involves the question, They are metal, with rubberized tops and bottoms. Besides re-filling with beer, are they functional for anything around a home brewery? They have a metal American sanke head, and may just be rubber coated(and that is my guess) Can this rubber coating just be removed? I already have a 15 gallon boil kettle and use either a 48 or 70 qt cooler for batch sparging, so really no need for a keggle anyways. Also, any thoughts on the tank of gas? Is looks like on the other side of the label it says "Ultra mix" maybe. Can it be switched over to CO2 when I start a draft system?
     Any thoughts or suggestions anyone has would be most appreciated. Not looking to game the system, just looking for suggestions. Let me know what you think...

The only thing I can tell you is that "compressed gas, N.O.S." only means that it is non-flammable.  It's probably CO2 but you can't tell from just that label.

As for the rest of your questions... I'll leave those to others because I'm not sure where "found" 15 year old kegs fall on the ethical scale.   ::)

Paul

I'm pretty sure that N.O.S. means nitrogen.  Not sure of the safety life of a keg, but my guess is it's past.  I'd contact the brewery and see if they even want them back.  If not, and given the rubber, I'd bring to my local recycle center. 

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