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Old 09-14-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Denver/Boulder Brewers: Stomp them Grapes and Hop To It

Just wanted to share some feedback as I'd be bummed if I ran into these problems without knowing about them.

Recently, these two sister shops have been having some major problems.

Starting in about July, people who purchased milled grains from Stomp them Grapes started complaining about a bad crush. It turns out STG had a bad mill, but didn't tell anyone for a while. Eventually, they put up a sign that they were ordering a new mill, which I understand is now on its way. Unfortunately, for the last couple months people were purchasing grains which were improperly ground and so were reporting unusually low efficiencies. Please note that this info is based on the experience of several people from my local homebrew club and not my own experience, so take that for what it is.

I was in their Boulder store (Hop to It) yesterday, and their hops refrigerator was completely down. I spoke to the guys about some hops options and they didn't mention this, but of course I noticed once I pulled a bag out of the fridge. I asked whether they knew the fridge was out and they said they did, but they didn't mention any plans to fix it. Unfortunately, once they do fix the issue I presume they'll just power up the fridge and sell all of the hops which have been super warm for several days as if nothing happened.

I hate to come down on any LHBS as I know it's a tough industry, but these issues are unacceptable and really hurt their customers. Hopefully they'll improve their efforts in the future, but in the mean time the folks in my club and I will be shopping more at Beer at Home + the Brew Hut.

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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Dude, great avatar! Del! Was that taken at rockygrass?

I used to shop at STG. great guys, but it seems like they have trouble keeping up with demand. Good prices, too. Sounds like they just had some bad luck.

Shameless self promo - my Bluegrass band will be playing strange brew the friday OF GABF. stop by!

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
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You think that hops at room temp for a few days is a big deal that really hurts their customers? How do you think they get shipped all over the country?

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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Thanks! I took that photo at TBF. I'll certainly try to check out your band at Strange. It's pretty close to my house!

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Old 11-27-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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I bought grains for an RIS from Stomp on 11/09 and didn't pay attention to the crush until I had my steep in strike water ready to go and loaded my mash tun with the grains, which was 8pm on that Sunday night. Over 50% of the grains were still fully intact. I ended up drawing 9 gallons of wort and boiling two different brew kettles for 2 hours to concentrate the wort. I was still able to hit my target 1.100, but was not happy about how I had to do it. So they still had not fixed the problem almost 2 months after this thread was started.

On a positive note, I went to Tom's Home brew supply in Lakewood for my old ale for this week end's brew and they have a class act mill and the grains look perfect.

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Old 11-28-2013, 12:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
So they still had not fixed the problem almost 2 months after this thread was started.
Except this thread was started 09-14-2012 so they actually have been lazy business owners for over 14 months now. Bummer.

I live around US36 and Sheridan and have been more than pleased with Do Your Brew west of 88th and Wads. Their prices are spot on. The guys who work there can be a little dry but I'm not there to talk about the weather, I'm there for supplies/ingredients. I highly recommend that place.
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jitteringjr View Post
I bought grains for an RIS from Stomp on 11/09 and didn't pay attention to the crush until I had my steep in strike water ready to go and loaded my mash tun with the grains, which was 8pm on that Sunday night. Over 50% of the grains were still fully intact. I ended up drawing 9 gallons of wort and boiling two different brew kettles for 2 hours to concentrate the wort. I was still able to hit my target 1.100, but was not happy about how I had to do it. So they still had not fixed the problem almost 2 months after this thread was started.
Zombie Thread...But for what its worth, I've done plenty of brews with grains crushed at STG within the past 6 months, and have had fine efficiency, nothing out of the norm, and definitely not with grains still fully intact. They have some other issues here and there, but a bad mill is not one I've ever noticed. Not discounting your experience, just may be that it was an outlier
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:34 PM   #8
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Whoa I totally missed that this was that old of a thread. Obviously my problem was a different issue than the OP's. It sounds like the home brewer mills that many brew shops use just aren't cut out for the type of use they see in a shop. Figure for a home brewer that makes 10 gallons a week tops, that is around 30# of grain a week. Where as a brew shop might average four times that every hour. No idea just guessing there btw.

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Old 12-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #9
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I had two brews in a row where the crush was terrible at Hop To It, too. I used that as an excuse to buy a mill and start buying grain in bulk. I would imagine it's a problem at a lot of shops.

The bigger problem I've had is that they have serious issues keeping track of their inventory. I went in six times in a row over the course of a few months and they were out at least one thing. The last time I went in, they were out of 13 different grains, 3 of which I needed, and one was put in the wrong container (though they did figure out the error and fix it after I asked about it). I've just stopped shopping there. There are plenty of other stores in the area that have it together.

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Old 12-04-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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Never had a bad experience with STG. Been a customer since 2007

shop mills are so heavily used you always run the risk of a poor crush. Always inspect your crush be it done on your mill or others. If it isn't your mill some bloke before you may have misadjusted it or ran Belgian candy sugar through it!

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