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Jim Jamison and the Story of His Grapes

Home wine makers have been able to buy fresh grapes from FH Steinbart for many years.  But where do those grapes come from? Like all the ingredients we stock at the store, we source our grapes from someone with a passion for the craft.  Jim Jamison of Richland, Washington has been supplying grapes to FH Steinbart customers since 2011. Jim is a grape grower and wine maker himself who grows grapes on two acres of his own land on the boundary between the Columbia and Yakima Valley AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) and manages four other small vineyards nearby.  Jim’s varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese, Grenache, Mourvedre and Malbec. Besides the varieties he grows, Jim can often find others that customers want because he works closely with several small grape growers in that area to market their grapes.

Jim and his wife moved to Richland in 1974 from the East Coast, where Jim was stationed while serving in the Navy on a nuclear submarine. He planted his first vineyard in 1982.  He built a house on the property for his growing family and as his first vines began to yield fruit, Jim was ready to try his hand at making wine from his own grapes. The wines tasted pretty good, and some did well when he entered them in the local County Fair.  Soon he and a group of friends were enthusiastically making wine on a barrel-scale in the garage and driveway.

In the 1990’s Jim and his friends toyed with the idea of starting a commercial winery, but when his interest in that waned he turned his energies to marketing his grapes to other winemakers.  As neighboring properties changed ownership and new owners showed no interest in growing grapes, Jim took over the care of the vineyards. He now manages several of these parcels, which he calls his “orphans”.

Beginning in late August or early September and continuing through October, Jim takes vineyard samples each week to monitor the changing pH, acid (titratable acidity), sugar and flavor qualities.  The analysis results are used to predict the best date for harvest of each variety. Many customers from Seattle, Spokane, Eastern Oregon and the Portland area visit Jim’s property to pick up their grapes.  In most years customers include a half-dozen wineries, several winemaking clubs and many individual home wine makers. For FH Steinbart, Jim delivers weekly. Winemaking customers who order their grapes from FH Steinbart can be assured that their fruit has been grown and cared for by someone with a real commitment to supplying the best possible ingredients.

Thanks to Jim!

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Meet Our Staff: Natasha Godard

What Do You Like To Make?

While I enjoy brewing beer & I’m looking forward to learning to make wine, my current fermentation obsession is vinegar. I had already decided to attempt beer vinegar long before I started at FHS, but this job definitely accelerated my experiments, since we sell vinegar mothers. It wasn’t too long before I’d started red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. Since then, I’ve been given other beverages to vinegar-ize, and those are definitely going strong too. I am most looking forward to my marionberry wine vinegar finishing up. For those who are interested and can make it into the shop, I leave samples of my red wine vinegar and my beer vinegar behind the counter.

What Do You Like Most About Your Job @ FH Steinbart?

It’s a tie between helping customers with their problem-solving, which is incredibly satisfying, or all the new knowledge that’s being crammed into my cranium just by virtue of being here. This is pretty convenient since one leads to being more effective at the other.

How Do You Like To Spend Your Free Time?

I have a number of pastimes. Some are rather seasonal. I love being outside in nice weather, for example, but the grey and rainy Portland winters drive me indoors almost completely. Luckily, things like reading can be done in both locations. I also enjoy board games, cooking, and engaging in new hobbies to see what sticks. As you can read above, vinegar stuck. I’m now eyeballing our cheese-making kits to see about that…

What’s the Life Arc That Brought You To Portland?

I grew up in New Mexico and find myself in Portland by way of D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago. I got myself a M.Sc. in Biology while I was living in D.C. and Baltimore, and landed in Chicago to continue that path. Somehow, though, I ended up a Certified Cicerone® rather than a biologist. Though, to be honest, that biology education comes in handy on a regular basis. I landed at FHS because Mark mentioned a job opening. I had brewed a little bit of beer back in Chicago, but I got out of the habit. I figured a good way to get back in the habit and learn more about brewing as I consider studying for Advanced Cicerone® was landing the job here. I had nooooo idea how correct that was, and I’m extremely glad I’m here now.

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Keep Beverage Lines Clean With Desana

What’s the payoff if dispensing equipment is kept in its cleanest possible condition? Customers obtain quality beverages, and the supplier saves money

Desana MaxTM is the smartest heavy duty alkaline beer line cleaner in the world. During the cleaning it changes color from its original purple to green or yellow if residual organics are still left in the line. If the color changed from its original, it’s a reliable sign that the lines were still dirty. As simple as that.

Line cleaning & hygiene check with TM DESANA MAX IC using the recirculation method (with electronic pump).

Desanacid ICTM is a powerful acid line cleaner and descaler designed to clean all kinds of water dispensing systems and ice machines. Breaks down oxalates during deep-cleaning procedures in beer dispensing systems. Learn more. . Desana Max has been successfully used and tested by satisfied customers and institutes for more than 10 years. Check out these videos to see how the process works.

Line cleaning & hygiene check with Desana Max using the static-soak method (with pressurized pot).

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Install Peace of Mind with GovReg Secondary Regulator System

Imagine a world without huge banks of secondary regulators mounted in a long line along a wall of your walk-in cooler, with gauges that can fail or get damaged and dials that at any time can be adjusted or re-set without your knowledge. The GovReg system is one that brings some peace of mind. Seamlessly insert your regulator right before your keg coupler, set at the perfect pressure that you want. Thread it on with a hex nut and let it do the rest!  Here’s a look at some of the equipment to make it happen.

Secondary Regulator

Must run in-line behind a primary regulator. Never connect directly to a CO2 tank. Made of  durable stainless steel. Its patented technology accurately maintains desired pressure. Tamper-proof. Set it and forget it! Convenient design saves space. Attaches direct to 5/16″ gas line and standard threaded keg couplers without any adapter. No mounting on cooler wall, so no drilling necessary. Swift installation time saves effort and expense. High precision and lasting durability.

Starter Kit

Adjuster tool & 2 secondary regulators. Set your primary to higher pressure. Each secondary is preset to 12 p.s.i. Maximum inlet pressure 150 p.s.i.

Adjuster tool

Adjuster tool with gauge comes with easy to read instructions. Have your primary set to higher pressure. Connect secondary regulator to open end and secure with standard hex nut. Adjust to desired pressure. 0-45 p.s.i.

Call the Draft Equipment Department at FH Steinbart now to discuss your application.

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Tri-Clover Fittings Are Easy to Clean and Install

Tri-clover (or tri-clamp) fittings are a 3-part clamp system. They are stainless steel sanitary fittings used in breweries, dairies, and certain other food processing industries. Their design makes them easy to clean and sanitize, are easy to use, form a great seal and seldom leak when properly installed.

Sizes include 1.5 in, 2 in, 3 in, 4 in and 6 in. for large scale operations. By connecting two equally sized hose ends with a gasket in between, and secured with a clamp, they can then be threaded tightly by hand to ensure no leaking.  Here’s a look at some typical applications:

 

Commercial Breweries & Wineries

Tri-clover fittings are perfect for moving high temperature liquids with little risk of contamination. They’re commonly used because of their versatility. The chore of connecting hoses to various vessels, fermentors, or other tanks makes connecting easier, and they can also be easily removed for rigorous cleaning, inspection and repair if needed.

 

For Homebrewing

They’re far less likely to leak & easy to clean, because they contain no “o”-rings, sharp edges, springs, internal cavities, or other nooks and crannies that can resist your cleaning efforts while trying to maintain sanitation. Other quick release fittings can harbor residual wort which may generate off flavors.

FH Steinbart Co. currently stocks EPDM gaskets, PTFE gaskets, silicone gaskets, clamps, caps, butterfly valves, beer thread connectors, ¼, 3/8, ½, ¾, & 1-inch hose barb connectors., 3/8 mnpt, 3/8 fnpt ½ mnpt, ½ fnpt, and larger for 1.5 in. size fittings.  Contact us to talk about your application.