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Messages - garyg

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Zymurgy / Re: How long till I get my first issue
« on: February 02, 2015, 04:21:21 PM »
Welcome to the AHA! 

The March/April issue mails February 20.

You can find the magazine mail dates posted on at


General Homebrew Discussion / USDA Cites AHA & Homebrewing In Report
« on: January 23, 2015, 11:33:07 PM »
Check out this report from USDA on usage of malting barley:

Here's a quote:

In November 2013, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) released the results of its nationwide survey of homebrewers. The AHA survey found that there are an estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in the United States who collectively produced more than 2 million barrels of beer (Brewers Association, 2013). This is a small, though nontrivial, proportion of all beer brewed in the United States (approximately 1 percent). Notably, estimates of homebrewer production and ingredient use are not captured by the TTB monthly brewing statistics. Furthermore, the typical homebrewer is thought to be less efficient and more likely to use malt extract and a greater proportion of imported ingredients than the typical craft brewer. Estimates of homebrewer domestic malt use range from 1 to 3 percent of total commercial brewer use (as reported by TTB), depending on assumptions of relative efficiency and use of malt to malt extracts. The more conservative 1 percent augmentation to total ingredients use is applied here and serves to increase total malt and malt products use by 40.5 million pounds or the equivalent of 1.13 million bushels of malt barely in 2014.

Previously, USDA did not give much if any consideration to commercial craft brewers, let alone homebrewers, since the large brewers have traditionally used such a large percentage of the domestic malt production.  It's good to see homebrewers are getting some recognition and that the research the AHA does on homebrewing is getting this kind of use. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: what are cold crash and whirlpool?
« on: January 20, 2015, 09:00:21 PM »
The AHA does have a dictionary of brewing terms in the Homebrewopedia wiki:

I just checked and neither of those two terms are posted there as of yet.  It's a wiki so anyone can add terms to the list if you see something that is missing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: rehydrated dry yeast temperature shock
« on: January 16, 2015, 11:22:36 PM »
I've heard a wine kit rep argue that the loss of yeast to temperature sheer is so great that they recommend not rehydrating dried yeast at all.  I think that's a bit extreme and really assuming that most homebrewers/winemakers can't follow good yeast handling practices.  I'd think your best results would be from rehydrating with a rehydration nutrient like Go-Ferm and letting it cool to your wort temp before pitching.  With such a small volume, it shouldn't take that long to cool.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Recycling Plastic Kegs
« on: October 27, 2014, 10:08:26 PM »
Here is a message regarding PKA kegs from the Brewers Association:

To date, the Brewers Association (BA) has received reports from 21 breweries of explosive failures involving 47 kegs manufactured by Plastic Kegs of America. These kegs did not "fail safe" but rather created dangerous situations due to fragmentation of the kegs. Tragically one of these incidents in April 2012 resulted in the death of Redhook Brewery employee Ben Harris. To date, BA has not received reports of explosive failure of plastic kegs manufactured by other companies.

While the BA does not have first-hand knowledge of these incidents, or similar incidents in the past, we have been told of explosions involving brand new kegs, kegs being cleaned at pressure levels below the maximum recommended by their manufacturer or kegs that simply exploded while in storage.

The reports we have received have raised serious questions about the safety of these products. Accordingly, in early 2013 BA retained Bilfinger Industrial Services ("BIS") as subject experts to develop keg performance and safety guidelines for use by all US brewing industry stakeholders. BA anticipates that the first set of these guidelines detailing safety parameters and performance expectations of two way, or reusable, kegs will be available by the end of January 2014. The second set of guidelines, detailing safety and performance expectations of one way, or non-returnable, kegs is in development and will follow soon after. Ultimately, both sets (two way and one way) of guidelines will be updated to include quality issues including compatibility of materials and flavor impact on beer.

As an industry trade association, the law limits the ability of BA to force or require brewers to purchase, or not purchase, specific equipment. But the guidelines will provide BA brewery members with a basis to make their own educated and enlightened decisions regarding keg safety and performance when sourcing and purchasing kegs. The guidelines will evolve as flexible living documents, able to respond to rapidly changing technologies as well as the availability of technical information. These guidelines will be available to all US brewing industry stakeholders including all brewers large and small, keg, valve and chemical suppliers, keg cleaning and filling line suppliers, wholesalers and retailers.

The BA continues to collect relevant information from brewers, manufacturers, and others, and we urge you to provide us with any further information you may have that will help us in the continued development of the guidelines or the advancement of keg and brewery safety.

The BA and our third-party subject experts BIS remain engaged with all manufacturers of kegs and keg components.

Please note, any brewer or keg user with first-hand knowledge of keg explosion incidents can also report those incidents to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Questions about the forum? / Re: Just joined, what about my member card?
« on: October 21, 2014, 02:49:17 PM »
I just paid for a 2 year membership, and somehow the payment method found my correct address. I figure I'll start getting the magazine when available, but how can I verify that I'll bet my membership card? I can't find anything in the account settings for address or member number...

Thanks for joining the AHA!  You can contact our Member Services department at 888-822-6273 or to verify that we have the correct address information for you. Office hours are M-F 8 am - 5 pm MT.


Homebrew Clubs / Re: Accepting Donations
« on: September 03, 2014, 01:37:48 AM »
Accepting anything of value in return for homebrew is federally illegal, and is almost certainly against your state's law as well, though there are a few exceptions.

In most states it is illegal to serve homebrew to the public, so if the fundraiser was a public event you may have been operating in excess of what the law allows there as well.  Most likely this would not be as much of an issue for you or your club members, but it might be for the venue or whomever holds the license for the event.

As you may have seen posted elsewhere, Governor Brown signed California AB 2609 yesterday, meaning homebrewer organizations like the AHA and the California Homebrewers Association can once again legally host homebrewer events in the state. 

Thank you to all of the California homebrewers that reached out to their legislators and the governor's office.  This bill did not have a single "no" vote at any point in the process, thanks in large part to all of the communications from homebrewers.

Thanks also to Christy Elshof and the California Homebrewers Association board for really driving this issue.

I hope to see you all at the AHA National Homebrewers Conference in San Diego next June!

The California homebrew bill AB 2609, which allows for homebrewer organizations to host homebrew events, like the Southern California Homebrewers Festival and the AHA National Homebrewers Conference, has now cleared the legislature and is awaiting Governor Brown's signature. Yesterday, the Assembly concurred with the Senate amended version of the bill. The bill passed all committee hearings and votes in both the Assembly and Senate unanimously, thanks to all of the contacts with legislators from homebrewers.  Thank you to all of the California homebrewers who have contacted their legislators!

The Governor's signature is the final hurdle.  The bill sponsor, Assemblyman Brian Nestande, has requested that the state's homebrewers contact the Governor's office (mail or fax are best, emails are not actively counted, so have much less influence).  See the action alert we sent to all California AHA members on Friday for more details:

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Insurance
« on: July 23, 2014, 03:19:49 PM »
It is official, the AHA has a signed agreement with West's Insurance, which is now providing a package of General Liability ($1M/$3M) and Liquor Liability ($1M/$3M) insurance for AHA Registered homebrew clubs, covering meetings and events with up to 1000 attendees. The cost to clubs is just $3.50/member (paid in one lump sum to West's).  The initial enrollment deadline is September 1, though clubs will be allowed to enroll at various times following that deadline.  The program is dependent on getting enough clubs signed up by September 1 for the underwriter to justify moving forward, so we are hoping to have several clubs enroll before the deadline.

We have a post on

Details on coverage can be found on the West's Insurance website at  Questions about the coverage should be directed to West's, as they are the experts on this program.

The AHA has opted not to receive any financial compensation from the program, as we wish to keep the enrollment cost low and maximize the number of clubs that can take advantage of this great insurance product.  There was clearly a need for an affordable, nationwide insurance option for clubs that includes liquor liability and we are very please to assist clubs in meeting that need.


Gary....I am glad that so far AB 2609 been passing easily. However I am confused by a recent amendment (7/2) to AB 2609.   It reads.....Beer or wine produced pursuant to this section may only be provided or served to the public pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3) within a clearly identified area, that includes, but is not limited to, a physical barrier with a monitored point of entry. Beer or wine produced by a beer manufacturer or winegrower as defined in Sections 23012 and 23013, respectively, and licensed by the department, shall not be provided or served to the public within this area.
It seems to me that homebrewed beer/wine has to be served in a seperate area than commercial beer/wine and you have to have a "hall monitor" watching people go in and out?   Is that true?
The problem I have with it is I am currently donating homebrew to various charities/non profit events.  These events also feature commercial beer/wine to some degree.  It is highly doubtful that anyone is going to set up a special area complete with a physical barrier and monitored point of entry just because there is homemade beer/wine.  So any idea why this ridiculous amendment was put into AB 2609?
I really have no idea where that amendment came from.  We didn't get any forewarning on that one.

My reading of it is that it is intended to differentiate commercial beverages from homemade beverages.  Some rope stanchions or something similar to differentiate the space would probably be sufficient.  This amendment only applies to events open to the public.

We just sent out an action alert to our California members about an up-coming Senate hearing for California AB 2609, which would allow for homebrewer organizations to host homebrew events, in particular events like the Southern California Homebrewers Festival and the AHA National Homebrewers Conference.  The bill recently was passed unanimously by the Assembly and is now scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Governmental Organizations Committee.  We ask California homebrewers to write to the committee chair in support of the bill.

You can see the alert at:

General Homebrew Discussion / Baltimore Homebrew Shop Flooded
« on: May 01, 2014, 07:18:24 PM »
I heard from an AHA member who indicated that the Nepenthe Homebrew store in Baltimore, Maryland was flooded and causing devastating damage to the store. Local homebrew club Baltibrew, which had been planning to participate in a Big Brew event at the shop this Saturday, has been rallying its members to get together on Saturday to help clean up the shop.

If you live in the area, I'm sure Nepenthe and the Baltibrew club would appreciate all the help they can get with the clean-up effort.

The address of Nepenthe is: 3600 Clipper Mill Rd #130a Baltimore, MD 21211.

KS bill signed April 17th and published and official April 24th.  For the last 4 days we've finally been able to legally remove beer/wine/cider from the home and give it to others beyond immediate family.  We can legally hold a competition now too.

I'd like to thank the AHA for their help, the Kansas Homebrewers Alliance, people all over the state who talked to their representatives to educate them, and with a special shout-out to Steve Cook, who spearheaded this effort.


Congrats to all involved in this effort!  Thanks to all of the Kansas homebrewers that contacted legislators.  I know there will be a ceremonial signing of this bill with the Governor later this week.

We just posted an Action Alert regarding a Florida bill that if passed would be very bad for Florida's craft breweries:  If you live in Florida, please contact your state Senator.

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