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Messages - micsager

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Hop Growing / Re: 2015 Hop season
« on: February 23, 2015, 09:27:33 AM »
I plant my hops in half wine barrels and have coir yarn stretching to the top eves of our brewery/man cave.  The little purple sprouts have already started.  But yesterday, the wife and dumped them all out, trimmed the crowns, put them back in some good new (conditioned) soil. 

If anyone is in the Port Angeles Wa area, I've got Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Fuggle rhizomes free for the taking.....

Equipment and Software / Re: Automated Brewing Systems
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:24:32 AM »
A friend just bought a Grainfather.  I'll be interested to see it.  For him, one of the attractions was the still.

One of my favorite on line disclaimers:

"Distilling equipment is sold for the purposes of water distillation, and the production of essential oils, herbal extracts and ethanol alcohol for use as a fuel." -

Yeah, pretty hilarious.  Gotta CYA I guess.

yep and water pipes and such are for "tobacco"  :o

Not in my state.  LOL

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA offers not honored
« on: February 18, 2015, 09:39:01 AM »
Some servers have not been informed it often seems. Our process is to have them ask the manager. If that does not work we don't let it bother us, we have the beer and move on.

You can contact the AHA about the establishment.

Keith is right, some states don't allow it. Look at Washington state, and the only places listed are homebrew shops.

I live in Washington. 

While it's illegal for the AHA or BA to advertise discounts to their members, many establishments do give a discount.  I'm sure many of you noticed that at NHC a couple years back.  It has something to do with the fact that the BA owns the AHA. 

But when in Washington, just ask. 

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Oh what a relief it is......
« on: February 18, 2015, 09:33:37 AM »
Well, I went to the meeting last Sunday, and the new folks did great.  Another guy like me (1bbl commercial system) gave a talk on hop utilization.  I didn't necessarily agree with every point he made, but I kept quiet, and let the group ask questions.  There were even three new faces. 

And they guy who's beer I really like brought a rye IPA (your recipe Denny).  Quite tasty. 

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Oh what a relief it is......
« on: February 12, 2015, 12:23:18 PM »
Thanks for all the nice words folks, I do feel good about the club and it's future.  The folks taking over the leadership are fairly new to the club, and like mentioned above, both SWMBO and myself have volunteered to mentor them in any way they see fit. 

This Sunday will be the first meeting for them to lead.  I'm sure I'll end up there to lend support, and heckle them from the back of the room. LOL

(Plus even though I sell my beer now, there's one guy in our club that brews much better beer than I do, and I love drinking his stuff)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing today
« on: February 11, 2015, 12:23:57 PM »

I see that you keep a paper-based log, which is a dying art.  That practice will pay off in spades in the years to come.  I have logs that date back to the early nineties.  I still keep a paper-based log.
I use an iPad app to build and manage my recipes. I use the notebook for brew day notes. Keeping the written notes just makes me feel closer to the process I guess. I'm old school.

I print the recipe out of BeerSmith, and use the back side for notes, and keep them all. 

Homebrew Clubs / Oh what a relief it is......
« on: February 11, 2015, 12:02:33 PM »
A pal and I started a club in our community back in 2008.  The next closest club was over 60 miles away.  He puttered out after about a year, and at some meeting meetings we had but 3-4 folks.  We considered shutting it down.  But stuck with it.  Then in 2011, a LHBS opened in town, and agreed to host meetings.  Our club now has about 300+ folks on the email list, and about 35 paid members.  Usual attendance is about 20 folks.  We are starting to outgrow the LHBS. 

Anyway, I have been part of the leadership from the beginning.  I don't think most folks really understand the work involved in running a club.  In 2014, I stepped down from any leadership role, but SWMBO was elected president, so that, of course, included my participation.  It's now 2015, and we have completely new leadership.  I haven't missed a meeting yet. 

But oh what a relief it is to know I don't HAVE to go to the meeting this Sunday.

(although it is a bit like you child going off to college, LOL)

Equipment and Software / Re: The ethics of keggles
« on: February 09, 2015, 01:56:01 PM »
If it says Budweiser I wouldn't give a flying eff.  They have so much power and lobbyist money that if it actually affected them, they'd bribe someone to change the deposit law.

Ethics and morals are not dependent on who you're stealing from.

+1 million.  Thanks Denny. 

Equipment and Software / Re: OxyClean vs. PBW
« on: February 05, 2015, 04:34:47 PM »
Is one step the same as oxyclean?

In the same family, but different.

I was just sent samples of 3 products from Craftmeister, a part of the company that makes BTF iodophor.  There are keg and carboy cleaning tabs, powdered alkaline brewery wash, and powdered oxygen brewery wash.  I'll report after I have a chance to use them.  You can check them out at

I got that same sample pack Denny.  (made contact at last years NHC)  IME the ABW works just a little better than PBW.  And a 40lb bucket delivered is only $120 vs $220 for PBW.  I just ordered my second bucket.

Equipment and Software / Re: Submersible pump keg cleaner
« on: February 05, 2015, 04:26:07 PM »
I have seen some builds for a keg cleaner that uses a submersible pump, but I am wondering what temperature those pumps can handle. I have a Northern tool 1/8 hp submersible pump that I can use, but I am concerned about ruining it with hot temperatures. Anyone know the max temp for one of these pumps? It wasn't mentioned in the manual that I found.

I've used the one that many homebrew suppliers sell.  I use as hot as water as I can.  In 3-4 years, never a problem. 

Equipment and Software / Re: The ethics of keggles
« on: February 05, 2015, 04:20:31 PM »
I bought a couple of kegs off a liquor store years ago... yea, probably 'stolen'. I don't feel guilty about it, they were a bit dented up and from budwieser. I didn't hurt any craft brewery in the process. I don't know why there always has to be ethics around buying used kegs... there is so much illegal stuff going on everyday, much much worse than this and we want to accept the guilt of buying a possibly 'stolen' keg... there are bigger threats out there to worry about.

I don't even know what to say. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: How do you know what mash/sparge volumes to use?
« on: February 04, 2015, 10:16:24 AM »
For fly sparging, you want to mash as thick as you can work with.

Can you explain this more?  I brew 1bbl batches, and the grain bill is between 65 and 90 pounds depending on recipe.  I almost always just add 20 gallons for mash, then roughly figure each 10 lbs of grain will retain a gallon of water, and fly sparge the right volume to hit 36 gallons.  Most sessions, I hit the 36 right on.......

Equipment and Software / The ethics of keggles
« on: February 04, 2015, 10:07:17 AM »
8-10 years ago, before I knew what I know now about kegs and such, I purchased a used home brewery system that included 3 keggles.  I used it for many years, and as I learned these were probably stolen kegs (I really have no clue) I began feeling bad about using them.  But of course, not bad enough to stop. 

3 years ago I did stop using them, but only because we got some bigger boilermakers from Blichmann.  Those three keggles have been in storage ever since.  The thing is, now what do I do with them?  I have no clue if they were purchased legitimately, but I rather doubt it.  The system was 5 years old when I bought it.  So it's been close to 20 years.  I'd like to sell them, but somehow that doesn't seem right to me.  but then, I don't want to store them for all eternity either. 

Any thoughts?

The Pub / Re: Elysian Just sold to Anheuser-Busch
« on: February 03, 2015, 03:37:57 PM »
To people like us, beer is important.  Craft beer, homebrewing, quality, etc.  In all honesty, most beer drinkers probably don't care what they drink.  We struggle to understand that because we are passionate about beer.  The average beer drinker is probably fine with BudMillerCoors products.  That is beginning to change more and more thankfully.  If Elysian beer still makes a high quality product, I will buy it again.


I say we give them a few years, and see what happens.  The Friday night this news broke I was serving beer at a local beerfest, and the guys from Elysian were a couple booths down.  They indicated lots of folks were flipping them crap about the sale.  (and then asked for a beer)  From what this guy said, the employees had no clue until it was public. 

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