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Hops and IPAs with Stan Hieronymus – BeerSmith Podcast #189

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Stan Hieronymus joins me to discuss cutting edge hop research, hop creep, New England IPAs and unique farmhouse ales.

Subscribe on iTunes to Buy Viagra 25 mg in Beaumont Texasor Buy Viagra 25 mg in Bellevue Washington or on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Berkeley California

Buy Viagra 25 mg in Billings Montana – Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file

Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:39)

  • Brad had a slight cold today – I apologize if my voice sounds a bit scratchy.
  • Today my guest is Stan Hieronymus. Stan is the author of Buy Viagra 25 mg in Birmingham Alabama, Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boise Idaho and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boston Massachusetts (Amazon affiliate links).
  • Stan shares some of the recent research done on hazy IPAs including the New England IPA style.
  • We discuss where the haze comes from as well as new findings about extensive dry hopping and active fermentation hopping.
  • We discuss Thiols and the role they play in hopping. We also covered this topic earlier in Buy Viagra 25 mg in Boulder Colorado
  • Stan introduces the problem of “Hop Creep” and how excessive dry hopping can lead to diacetyl and also carbonation issues in finished beer.
  • We discuss some possible solutions to “Hop Creep”
  • Stan provides his advice for the best hop schedule for a New England IPA.
  • Stan talks about his recent travels to meet Lars Gershol as well as the new book Lars is writing for the Brewer’s Association.
  • He talks briefly about some of the unique “farmhouse” techniques and yeast strains Lars has been exploring.

Sponsors

Thanks to Stan Hieronymus for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new Buy Viagra 25 mg in Carrollton Texas, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Buy Viagra 25 mg in Cary North Carolina. Also all of my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Cedar Rapids Iowa now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Centennial Colorado to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chandler Arizona online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chula Vista California (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Creating an Ingredient or Profile Add-on in BeerSmith 3

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I often get emails from BeerSmith 3 users and companies asking how to create an add-on for BeerSmith. It turns out it is relatively easy to create your own ingredients or profiles and export them to a BSMX file for use as an add-on.

Add-ons in BeerSmith 3

The add-on feature lets you download specific sets of additional ingredients or profiles to use in the program. Literally thousands of hops, malts, equipment profiles, even styles are available as addons. The add-on dialog was updated in BeerSmith 3 to make it easier to tell which add-ons are available

Add-ons are stored online on a BeerSmith server, but can be easily accessed from File->Add-ons from the desktop or the main Add-ons button near the bottom of the mobile version. The desktop version also lets you organize them by type so you can display a list of just hop add-ons using the drop down at the top of the dialog. To install or uninstall an add-on you simply click on it and click the Install or Uninstall button. After installation the new ingredients or profiles will show up in the respective list.

Creating or Updating an Add-on

If no add-on exists for a particular malster or equipment setup (for instance) you can create your own. The first step is to go to the Ingredients or Profiles view and enter the data.

For example if I’m creating a new add-on for a particular craft malt house, I would go to Ingredients->Malt and enter the new items there. Wherever possible, use the specific data from the malt house web site such as color, dry grain fine yield, moisture, etc…to fill in the ingredient dialog.

If updating an existing add-on you would follow the same process except you would want to download the add-on first, then update or add new items as needed before exporting.

The final step is to export the items needed for the add-on. You can do this by individually selecting all of the items. The easiest way to do this is to use the search bar (top right area) first to find all of the items first, then select them using either Ctrl+click or Shift-Click.

Once all of your ingredients are selected, use the File->Export Selected command to export the selected items to a separate BSMX file. You can then go to File->Open to open the file you just selected and verify that it is complete and has all of the items you intended.

While the example above was for malt, you can do the same for any ingredient type including yeast, water profiles, etc or for any profile type such as equipment profiles, carbonation or aging profiles.

There is one special consideration when creating beer style add-ons. After creating the first entry for your style guide, you need to go to Options->Brewing and set the style guides to be displayed. Unless you select the new style guide you are adding (after the first entry was added) you won’t see the new styles listed.

Submitting an Add-on

Once you have the exported BSMX file containing your add-on data, simply use the contact-us page on BeerSmith.com to contact me and include the fact that you have a new add-on. I will send an email in reply and you can then attach the new BSMX file in response.

Once I’ve reviewed the BSMX file for completeness I will post it on the main add-on server for anyone using BeerSmith to use. I typically do this a few times each month to keep items up to date.

That is the basic process for creating an add-on if you either work with a smaller supplier or want to contribute to the BeerSmith community. Thanks for joining me on the Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Ohio. Be sure to sign up for Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chula Vista California or my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Coral Springs Florida(also on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Corona California…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Corpus Christi Texas…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Costa Mesa California) for more great tips on homebrewing.

The Economics of Opening a Brewery

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The excitement over hazy/NE IPA is the best thing that has happened for local breweries in a long time. They are expensive to brew, difficult to package, a nightmare to distribute long distances, and get beer drinkers excited! When we put a juicy Double IPA on tap it flies. Our recent 7-barrel-yield of Snip Snap lasted less than three days, while an IPA might last three weeks, and a pale ale five. Having a beer that draws increases growler sales, and helps sell all of our other beers as people end up trying other similar beers when they come in.

Here is a graph of the scores of 13 of our hoppy beers (pale ales, IPAs, and DIPAs) showing the Untappd score compared to the ABV. The formula for the trend line is y = 3.2008+.1392*x. That suggests if we brewed a 0% ABV hoppy beer it would score a 3.20 and to get a score of 5 would require 14.31% ABV. The R-squared value of the correlation is .71, so the most important factor in the consumer’s opinion of our hoppy beers is strength (granted that typically comes with a higher dry hopping rate, sweetness etc.).

Driving business to your tasting room is job #1 for a small brewery because that is where the profit is highest. When you buy a beer at a bar or restaurant, most of the money goes to them rather than the brewery. While a ½ bbl keg of a pale ale might sell to a bar for $150-175 (a portion of which might go to a distributor), at even $5 pint the bar makes $620 in revenue. At our scale, it is almost impossible to make a profit only  selling beer at wholesale. It requires a tight reign on expenses with a premium price point, not to mention low overhead.

It is no coincidence that local brewery booms seem to follow when a state or city allows production breweries to serve/retail their own beer. In the case of Maryland this has created backlash from distributors, and a lesser extent bars and liquor stores who see more consumers cutting them out.

Ingredient Cost

We aren’t doing a great job controlling ingredient costs. We don’t reuse our yeast nearly as much as we “should” (3-4 batches per pitch), we pay as much as $35/lb for hops that are difficult to get on the spot market, we buy our malt pre-milled by the bag, we use expensive “real” ingredients for our variants (and usually don’t up-charge over the base beers) etc. That said, having a tasting room that is busy covers all of those sins.

10 bbls – Pillowfort
$484 – 2-row
$137 – Malted Oats
$40 – Chit Malt
$50 – Milling Fee
$11 – Glucose
$.80 – Whirlfloc
$.06 – Zinc Sulfate Heptahydrate
$1 – Calcium Chloride
$1 – Gypsum
$.25 – Epsom Salt
$2.00 – 350 ml 75% Phosphoric Acid
$125 – Liquid yeast
$150 – Dry yeast
$77 – Columbus
$99 – Centennial
$396 – Citra
$264 – Azacca
~$100 – CO2/Gas/Electric/Chemicals
 ($1950/batch – $1.11/pour)

Let’s say we put more effort into yeast management and that gives us confidence to reuse the yeast for 20 batches. Bringing the proportional cost down from $125 to $25 per batch. The net savings to us would be $.05 per pour. What if we moved to a silo for 2-row, and cut our base malt cost down to a third and added a mill? $.14 per pour. That would make Pillowfort ~$.92/pour. Granted these recurring costs add up over the course of a year and both might yield improvements to the consistency and quality of our beer. But selling just one 1/2 bbl keg to a bar, even charging $250, loses us more money per batch then we’d save from making those moves. It also speaks to how important yield on these heavily dry-hopped beers is.

Most of our IPAs and DIPAs work out to $100-150 per ½ bbl keg. Self-distributing these beers for $200-250 there would be no way to make enough to cover rent, pay ourselves, and fund expansion. However, being a retailer of our own beers means we get $800-900 for that same keg sold by the glass and growler. It makes sense for us to charge a reasonable price ($7-8 for a 14 oz pour in a 17 oz glass) and have consumers return rather than charge a dollar or two more and end up having to self-distribute kegs (with the added effort).

When we do send kegs out, we try to get as much of a push out of it as we can (fests, tap-takeovers, beer dinners etc.). We don’t pay for any traditional advertising, but we view the “losses” from self-distributing as a form of marketing. That also means not always sending beer to the same bars, as we want people to feel like they have to come to us to try our beers regularly.

Most bars use a flat percentage markup to price their draft. If a beer costs twice as much for them to purchase, they’ll charge twice as much to the consumer. That means that they’ll make a much larger dollar-per-ounce profit on more expensive beers. The same isn’t true at most breweries, an IPA with Nelson Sauvin or Galaxy is easily twice as expensive as a session wheat beer (especially considering the lower yield with high dry-hop rates), but we don’t double the price. Still, charging $7 for IPA and $6 for the session wheat makes the IPA more profitable per pour. When you visit a brewery and buy beer, you’re allowing them to spend more money on the ingredients and make better beer. Not to mention that the brewery will care more about their beer and have better control over the product.

Overhead

After ingredient cost, our next biggest expense is rent. Scott and I debated where to open and toured spaces with a wide range of looks and costs. While a beautiful rustic plot with room for outdoor events and a small orchard was appealing… either running on a septic or paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a municipal sewer connection was not. Conversely, opening in a vibrant downtown with plenty of foot traffic would have meant easier retail sales, but would have tripled our rent. Brewing is a space-intensive manufacturing business (especially with barrel aging), it is difficult for me to justify paying $30+ sq ft for the parts of the business that aren’t customer facing.

If we are able to brew enough to outstrip tasting room demand, we’ll look into opening a small taproom someplace other than an industrial park. For the time being, our location is close enough to residential for the tasting room and inexpensive enough for 4,000 sq ft of production. Luckily the power of Google Maps, Untappd, and social media has been enough for us to draw people in.

In addition to the ability to sell beer by the glass, a tasting room opens up the way for merchandise sales, private events, packaged beer, and even food sales (working on that now). It has been essential for us to have a space and offerings that attract customers, even those who aren’t beer nerds. A fantastic staff, and enough of them working for short waits also improves the customer experience.

Salaries are the third big expense. Scott and I have done 100% of the brewing, tank cleaning, kegging, and keg washing up to this point. Financially speaking, our labor has been free, but we certainly could have kept our day jobs and paid less-per hour than our lost wages to hire brewers and cellar-people. That said, it didn’t seem right to trust something we’d worked so hard for to other people. As I learned from consulting, the people who are physically there have the biggest effect on the results. We’ll be looking to hire someone in the brewhouse soon, but we’re still trying to figure out what the role will be (cleaning and cellar duties, or someone who already has the skill-set to be a lead brewer eventually). We were willing to pay for front-of-house, as that is where we didn’t have experience (or the time to learn).

Other Income Streams

I Buy Viagra 25 mg in Elk Grove California a few months ago. As a brewery that didn’t take on outside loans or investors, the extra money we brought in from club sales was essential. It gave us the breathing room to buy more expensive equipment, ingredients, not to mentions barrels for beers we won’t sell for months or years, and dump most of a batch that we didn’t love. Padding in the bank account helped with our sleep those first couple months too.

We’re now “paying” some of that money back. We made it through the club holiday events, for which we created 16 sixtels of variants that we didn’t sell a drop of. Not to mention paid employees to work (and at $15 an hour as tipping was light without tabs). Most of that cost was in our time, but we’ll continue to incur costs as we give bottles, decanter baskets (below), and events that club members paid for last year. Not only do we want to ensure that customers (and many friends) are happy they joined, we’d like to over-deliver so many consider re-upping for 2020!

The rest of this year our biggest focus will be on packaging. Direct sales of canned and bottled beer should give us the chance to increase total revenue, but it will also lower our per-ounce revenue. While many people are willing to pay $8 for a 14 oz pour of DIPA… $5 for a 16 oz can of the same DIPA is about the top of the market. Cans have higher costs associated with them as well, both in terms of labor and materials (especially when you don’t own a canning line). That really slims down the margins, and will dictate which beers are more likely to be canned (e.g., Pillowfort with Azacca rather than Snip Snap with Galaxy). The most important thing for us will be avoiding turning draft sales into can sales. Ideally cans are an add-on to tabs or an additional trip for a release rather than a replacement for draft consumption and growlers.

What makes sense for a brewery will depend on the types of beer they brew and their goals as a company. If you want to be a large production brewery, it may make sense to start fighting for draft accounts early. We don’t have any resources dedicated to outside sales, in fact we turn down most offers to put our beer on tap. We’d rather have an excess of demand, and be in strong position rather than fight for a limited number of tap handles with an ever-increasing number of breweries.

Having the huge catalog of homebrew recipes between the two of us has been a big advantage too. On Saturday we tapped a scaled-up version of Buy Viagra 25 mg in Eugene Oregon. As a result, I haven’t been doing much homebrewing or test batch brewing so most of my social media posting has moved to the Buy Viagra 25 mg in Evansville Indiana and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Fairfield California (Scott does Buy Viagra 25 mg in Fayetteville North Carolina because I usually avoid posting from my phone).

Designing Beer with John Palmer – BeerSmith Podcast #188

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John Palmer, the author of the book How to Brew joins me this week to discuss beer recipe design

Subscribe on iTunes to Buy Viagra 25 mg in Beaumont Texasor Buy Viagra 25 mg in Bellevue Washington or on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Berkeley California

Buy Viagra 25 mg in Fullerton California – Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file

Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:14)

  • Today my guest is John Palmer. John is the author of the top selling home brew book in the world Buy Viagra 25 mg in Gainesville Florida as well as Buy Viagra 25 mg in Garden Grove Californiaand Buy Viagra 25 mg in Garland Texas (Amazon affiliate links for books). He has an extensive web site on brewing at Buy Viagra 25 mg in Gilbert Arizona
  • John tells us his starting point when he is designing a new beer recipe.
  • He shares how to determine the right mix of grains for a recipe and also how to avoid overdoing it with specialty grains.
  • We talk about some of the flavor characteristics of different grains.
  • John explains the harsh zone malts and why they must be used sparingly.
  • We talk about malt balance and how you achieve a beer that is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • John discusses the bitterness ratio and why it is important to achieve the right hop-malt balance for a given style.
  • We also talk about why every beer should not be brewed as an IPA.
  • John shares his thoughts on a variety of hop groups and the types of flavors those groups share.
  • We discuss the extensive use of whirlpool and dry hopping in beer to preserve hop aroma and also how this can affect the balance of the finished beer.
  • John tells us about some considerations that come into play when working with water including overall mineral content, mash pH and the sulfite/chloride ratio.
  • John shares thoughts on yeast and how to choose the appropriate yeast for a given style.
  • We briefly discuss carbonation and packaging, and John provides his closing thoughts.
  • We also talk briefly about the upcoming Buy Viagra 25 mg in Glendale Arizonawhere John and I will both be presenting all day seminars. There are still a few slots left if you would like to attend in March.

Sponsors

Thanks to John Palmer for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new Buy Viagra 25 mg in Carrollton Texas, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Buy Viagra 25 mg in Cary North Carolina. Also all of my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Cedar Rapids Iowa now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Centennial Colorado to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chandler Arizona online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chula Vista California (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Cleaning and Sanitation with Rick Theiner – BeerSmith Podcast #187

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Rick Theiner, maker of the Eco-Logic series of cleaners joins me this week to discuss cleaning and sanitation for beer brewing.

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Buy Viagra 50 mg in Augusta Georgia – Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file

Topics in This Week’s Episode (47:41)

  • Today my guest is Rick Theiner. Rick is the President of Buy Viagra 50 mg in Aurora Coloradoincluding One-step, Straight-A and San-Step.
  • Rick explains the difference between cleaning and sanitation and why they are separate steps using different chemicals. He also explains the more stringent disinfecting and sterilizing terms.
  • We discuss the cleaning process which removes dirt and biofilms and how the material/surface being cleaned makes a big difference.
  • Rick tells us why the soil/biofilm types also matter and it often takes a different combination of chemicals and action to remove them all.
  • We discuss the four basic elements of cleaning: Time, temperature, mechanical action and chemical action.
  • Rick also explains the many different phsio-chemical reactions going on when we clean a surface.
  • We talk about sanitizing agents and why they are different from cleaning agents.
  • Rick provides his basic rules for cleaning for home brewers.
  • Rick tells us why household cleaners may not be a great substitute for cleaners and sanitizers designed for home brewing.
  • He walks us through the products his company offers including Straight-A, One-Step and San-Step NS and how each are best used.

Sponsors

Thanks to Rick Theiner for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new Buy Viagra 25 mg in Carrollton Texas, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Buy Viagra 25 mg in Cary North Carolina. Also all of my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Cedar Rapids Iowa now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

Thoughts on the Podcast?

Leave me a comment below or visit our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Centennial Colorado to leave a comment in the podcast section there.

Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or BeerSmith Radio

You can listen to all of my podcast episodes streaming live around the clock on our Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chandler Arizona online radio station! You can also subscribe to the audio or video using the iTunes links below, or the feed address

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chula Vista California (or use the links in the sidebar) – to get free weekly articles on home brewing.

Correcting Imbalances In Home Brewed Beer

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Buy Viagra 50 mg in Charlotte North CarolinaThis week I take a look at various types of imbalances in beer as well as how to correct them. Imbalances are flavor, appearance and carbonation flaws in your beer not explicitly defined as an off-flavor.

A few weeks ago I covered the Buy Viagra 50 mg in Chattanooga Tennessee. These are the identifiable off flavors defined on the BJCP score sheet, used for rating beers in competition. However there is another category of flaws in your beer that do not have defined off-flavor labels, and this is what I’ll cover this week.

What are Imbalances?

Imbalances are flaws in your beer that are not tied to a specific defined off-flavor. Examples include problems with color, appearance, clarity, malt-hop balance, or even just the incorrect flavor balance in the finished beer. If you submit a beer to a competition for judging, these flaws will often appear in the overall impression, appearance or notes section on the score sheet rather than checking a specific off-flavor box on the score sheet.

Imbalances include:

  • Wrong Hop-Malt Balance – While recent trends have been towards ever-hoppy beers, for most beer styles the hop and malt flavor balance is critical. If you have issues with hop-malt balance you may want to consider learning more about Buy Viagra 50 mg in Chesapeake Virginia as well as review your hop and malt selections to make sure they are appropriate to the style.
  • Improper Carbonation Level – Carbonation actually plays a key role in the flavor perception of the beer. A flat beer will appear lackluster and dull in flavor while an over-carbonated beer can be sharp or difficult to enjoy. Fortunately this is one area that is easy to correct in subsequent batches by adjusting your carbonation sugar or keg pressure levels.
  • Poor Clarity – Clarity is a significant factor in the appearance of lighter color beers. While haze does not generally impact the flavor of the beer, it can ruin an otherwise perfect beer. If you have problems with clarity you might want to take a look at my Buy Viagra 50 mg in Chicago Illinois.
  • The Wrong Color – The color of the beer should be appropriate for the style. A pale ale should not be opaque, stouts should not be light brown, etc… Fortunately this is an area that is relatively easy to correct by adjusting the malt bill slightly. Software can also help you in Buy Viagra 50 mg in Chula Vista California in advance.
  • Flavor Imbalances – You can get the color, clarity, carbonation and hop balance right and still have a beer that does not taste right. Usually this comes down to your selection of ingredients. Either you picked some ingredients that are not appropriate for the style or used them in the wrong proportions. Some examples might be using an English ale yeast to make a light continental ale, or using an excess of Buy Viagra 50 mg in Cincinnati Ohio, or using the wrong hop variety for the style. If you run into this type of issue, go back and take a close look at your recipe and how it compares with recipes from the same or similar style of beer.
  • Improper Technique – Brewing techniques have an impact as well. Using the wrong mash schedule, hop techniques, fermentation temperatures or other process issues can have a significant impact on your beer. For example you probably should not be dry hopping your Bavarian Weiss beer, or fermenting your lager at room temperature, or rushing to bottle your barley wine after just a few weeks of aging.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it may give you a good starting point to correct flaws not specifically identified as a named “off flavor” in your beer. Thanks for joining me on the Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Ohio. Be sure to sign up for Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chula Vista California or my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Coral Springs Florida(also on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Corona California…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Corpus Christi Texas…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Costa Mesa California) for more great tips on homebrewing.

Is American Homebrewing Dying?

Is American Homebrewing Dying?

Brewing beer at home changed the course of my life. At first it was merely a fun way to explore my drink of choice, and an excuse to hang out with friends. As time passed it became a larger part of my life, a side-hustle, a reason to travel, altered who I am. I always hated public speaking… unit I figured out that I’m engaging when I care about the material. I was never passionate about reading, researching, and writing, until they meant I could learn to brew better beer and share my passion. I met many of my friends at homebrew club meetings, through this blog, and homebrewing forums. I worked a boring government desk job for 12 years, until brewing allowed me to open a business!

That’s why I’m sad that homebrewing is on the decline in America. I see it at DC Homebrewer’s meetings, where there aren’t nearly as many fresh faces as there were five years ago. The closures of retailers, like the recent announcement from Love2Brew. The surveys from the American Homebrewer’s Association gives hard numbers: from 1.2 million homebrewers in 2013, to 1.1 million in 2017.

Anecdotally over the last 30 years, American homebrewing has experienced three similar dips. Roughly the early-1990s, early-2000s, and the last few years. These coincide with three pivotal moments in commercial beer availability.

By the early 1990s most parts of the country had a selection of bottled craft beer from the likes of Sierra Nevada, Boston Beer, not to mention a few local breweries. No longer were beer drinkers limited to macro lagers and stale impotrs, because hoppy pale ales, malty browns, and roasty stouts were available coast-to-coast. I’ve met a few former homebrewers who thought that was enough selection to make homebrewing superfluous. There were still plenty of people who wanted to drink a wider range of styles though, and that still meant brewing their own.

A decade later with the opening and expansion of breweries like Allagash, Dogfish Head, New Belgium and hundreds more, the selection and availability of craft beer had exploded. You could find wit, kolsch, imperial stouts, apricot pale, IPA and a multitude more everywhere. Most cities had stores where you could pick from hundreds if not thousands of bottles. Again, some homebrewers didn’t see the need to keep brewing when they could drink a solid example of pretty much any style. Still though, many homebrewers wanted greater variety, unique flavors, and ultra-fresh beer.

Now we’re in another slide. With more than 6,000 breweries spread across the country, most Americans can take a short drive to visit a different brewery tasting rooms every week for a few months without repeating. Not only that, but the old model of four core beers, four seasonals, and a couple special releases is  gone. Many breweries are producing 50 or more beers each year. The variety is staggering, and again many former homebrewers are happy to reduce their risk/effort and sample as many new beers as they desire. Not only is homebrewing suffering, but so are many of the breweries from those previous waves… Smuttynose, Green Flash etc.

In the chart below, the red line represents Google searches for “Brewery” the blue is “Homebrewing.” December 2008 is the closest they have been (29 to 13), while July 2018 was the furthest (100 to 5). That’s to say that while search interest in breweries has more than tripled over the last ten years, during the same time interest in homebrewing has dropped in half.

Where does homebrewing go from here?

There have always been different types of homebrewers, different reasons they brew. There will always be homebrewers. Those who brew not to save money, or drink the “best” beer, but who love the process. Those who are passionate about recipe design, microbiology, botany, community. engineering, culinary techniques, and experimentation. For them craft beer is a source of inspiration, but not a replacement for the hobby!

I don’t view automated homebrewing systems as a threat to traditional homebrewing or a big boon for the hobby. If I hear one more new product that bills itself as the “Keurig” of beer… I’m going to lose it! It isn’t even like Keurig is synonymous with high quality coffee. I just don’t see any product that makes brewing that easy gaining a strong foothold because brewing beer involves more care than coffee and to-the-minute freshness isn’t as important. You can buy a six pack at the store for less than it takes to brew these, and enjoy a bottle each night. The automated systems will always make beer that isn’t as good as commercial, at a higher price-point. Not that automated wort production isn’t appealing (and useful) for homebrewers looking to devote less time to the process.

If this time is like the previous two lulls, homebrewing is due for another bounce. Maybe the continual push for novelty in craft brewing, extra-bold flavors, and lack of true originality turns people off. Lack of quality, high prices, poor quality control, beer that sits too long before being sold… honestly now that I know how good IPA tastes within a month of brewing, I rarely buy a six-pack off the shelf. Hopefully as more consumers become accustomed to really fresh beer at tasting rooms, they get interested in brewing it for themselves! Maybe the greater number of people drinking craft beer simply gets more people interested in brewing.

The second option is decline. As quality beer becomes more accessible the price will be pushed down, making it an even more attractive option for marginal-homebrewers. Homebrewing becomes an even more specialized/nerdy hobby, and we lose out on the vibrancy that new hobbyists bring.

My best guess is that we’re reaching stasis. There won’t be a return the levels of excitement and engagement we saw ten years ago. There will still be plenty of people who drink craft beer, and try their hand at homebrewing, but only enough to replace all of the homebrewers who stop to drink craft beer or join the industry.

Homebrewing Matters

Drinking beer wouldn’t have done the same thing for my life as homebrewing. An active engagement with brewing is the best way to really understand and appreciate beer. It caused me to learn and grow in areas that aren’t really connected to beer or brewing. I understand that drinking a beer and checking in on Untappd is no-risk (I wrote a couple hundred reviews on BeerAdvocate), but it doesn’t really lead to anything. Drinking beer is a diversion, brewing beer can change your life!

Sharing Beer Brewing Data Using BSMX Files in BeerSmith

Sharing Beer Brewing Data Using BSMX Files in BeerSmith

While the cloud features in BeerSmith are great for sharing data, there are times when you want to send some recipes, ingredients or profiles to a person via email or on a thumb drive. The BSMX file format in BeerSmith makes this easy to do.

Some web sites also provide BSMX files as downloads for their recipes, ingredients and profiles and the below tutorial will explain how to work with these.

Creating a BeerSmith BSMX File

Fortunately it is very easy to export recipes, ingredients or profiles in BeerSmith. I’ll start with a recipe. From My Recipes view, simply select the recipe, folders or recipes you want to export. You can hold down the Control (Cmd on Mac) key while clicking to select multiple items, or if you hold down the shift key you can select a range of items. You can also go to Edit->Select All to select everything.

Once you have the recipes selected, go to File->Export Selected which will bring up the familiar save dialog so you can give the BSMX file a name and save it to a location on your drive. This BSMX file is the one you want to mail or put on a thumb drive to share or import the data on another computer. You can also select the File->Export All command if you want to save evertying in the current view.

While I used the My Recipes view as an example above, you can actually export ingredients and profiles as BSMX files as well. The process is the same, except you need to start from one of the Ingredients or Profile views and select the ingredients or profiles you want exported. These also get saved as BSMX files and can be imported into the respective Ingredient or Profile view on another computer.

Importing a BSMX file in BeerSmith

After you’ve transferred the BSMX file you exported above to another computer either via email, a thumb drive or network, you need to open it in BeerSmith and save the data for further use.

To open a BSMX file in BeerSmith, go to File->Open File and navigate to the file you want to import. When you open the file, it will open in a separate tab within BeerSmith with the name of the file shown on the tab. Within that open file tab you can view and edit the data, but if you save changes they will only affect the BSMX file.

In most cases you want to copy the recipe or other data into BeerSmith for later use. To do this, navigate to the open tab with the name of the file on it. Next select the folders or recipes you want to copy from that tab and use the Copy button to copy the data to the clipboard.

Next navigate to your own personal My Recipes view and Paste the data. This will create a permanent copy of the recipes you just imported. Once you have copied the data over you can close the BSMX file tab. BeerSmith will ask if you want to save the data back to the BSMX file, which you rarely need to do unless you are trying to edit the BSMX file itself.

The same process works for importing Profiles and Ingredient BSMX files. Simply open the file, select the data you want to retain, and copy it to the appropriate Ingredient or Profile view for that data type. So if I was importing a BSMX file containing hops data, I would want to open the file, select the hops I want to keep in that file tab, and then Copy/Paste the data to my Ingredients->Hops view which would store it permanently for future use.

Directly Editing a BSMX file

Though rarely needed, you can actually open a BSMX file in a separate tab and start editing items in that tab. So, for example, I could open a BSMX file (using File->Open) and then copy/paste another recipe I forgot into it. Keep in mind that changes made in an open file tab will only be saved to that BSMX file. Also when you close the file tab you do need to tell BeerSmith to save the data back to the BSMX file (it will prompt you) or it will be lost.

I hope the above tutorial gives you additional options for sharing your BeerSmith data. I also encourage you to read this article on cloud sharing which is a simpler way to share data with other BeerSmith users via the BeerSmith cloud.

Thanks for joining me on the Buy Viagra 25 mg in Columbus Ohio. Be sure to sign up for Buy Viagra 25 mg in Chula Vista California or my Buy Viagra 25 mg in Coral Springs Florida(also on Buy Viagra 25 mg in Corona California…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Corpus Christi Texas…and Buy Viagra 25 mg in Costa Mesa California) for more great tips on homebrewing.

The Craft Maltster’s Guild with Jamie Sherman and Jen Blair – BeerSmith Podcast #186

The Craft Maltster’s Guild with Jamie Sherman and Jen Blair – BeerSmith Podcast #186

Dr Jamie Sherman and Jen Blair join me to discuss the Craft Malster’s Guild, their upcoming conference and the craft malt industry in general.

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Download the MP3 File – Right Click and Save As to download this mp3 file

Topics in This Week’s Episode (47:47)

  • Today my guests are Dr Jamie Sherman and Jen Blair. Jamie Sherman is a barley breeder at Montana State University since 2014 where she oversees the newly created malt quality lab. Jen Blair is executive director of the North American Craft Malster’s Guild, and also a member of the AHA governing committee. She is also an advanced Cicerone and certified BJCP beer judge.
  • We start with a discussion of the definition of Craft Malting and what makes it different from traditional large malsters.
  • Jen, who is Executive Director of the Craft Malting Guild, explains what the Craft Maltster’s Guild is and what it does for its members.
  • Jamie discusses craft malting in Montana as well as the work ongoing between Montana State University and both barley growers and malsters.
  • Jen explores how growth in craft malting is following the craft beer industry’s needs for unique products and focus on locally grown ingredients.
  • Jamie tells us what features craft brewers are looking for in new malts.
  • Jen explains how the craft malting guild works to connect small barley growers with craft malsters.
  • Jamie tells us about the research efforts ongoing at Montana state in barley breeding to product new barley breeds with unique characteristics and flavor.
  • Jen tells us about some of the challenges that craft malsters face when trying to compete with large malt houses.
  • Jamie tells us a bit about her presentation with Hanna Turner at the Craft Malting conference next month.
  • Jen tells us a bit more about the craft malting conference to be held in February as well as the guild.
  • Both guests share their closing thoughts on where craft malting is going in the future. We also briefly discuss how home brewers can get craft malts.

Sponsors

Thanks to Jen Blair and Dr Jamie Sherman for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
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