Tag Archive: have you met ted

  1. Ted, Master Brewer: Celebrating International Beer Day

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    Bottles of beer and beer mug

    It’s international beer day, so grab a pint of your favorite frosty, delicious beer, kick back and let me tell you a tale. International Beer Day and acoustics… I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to tie these things together, but here we go…

    A long, long time ago, in east-central Minnesota, I found myself, a twenty-something-year-old doing what most twenty-something’s do – hanging out with friends, (responsibly) enjoying a few adult beverages and living life. Being more of a beer person than a mixed-drinks person, I found myself always looking through a beer menu for something that I had either not tried yet or had never heard of – and that was what I ordered. I would do the same thing when purchasing a few beers to enjoy at home – try something new. Variety is the spice of life, after all. A year or so passed and I realized that the list of “not tried yet” beers was getting smaller and smaller. Interesting.

    I remember sitting at home one evening considering the possibility of getting a starter brewing kit, and believe it or not, I posted something along those lines on Facebook. A long-time friend of mine chimed in right away: “Well, what’s stopping you?! My husband is way into it. Hit us up if you have any questions.” She was right – what was stopping me? Thank you, Rosanna! I was at the store the next day and the starter kit was in the trunk of my car. I was about to try my hand at brewing.

    Five years and who-knows-how-many dollars later, I have given away all of my starter gear, and graduated to the next level. I have planned, designed, welded and built my own custom, ten-gallon garage brewery, built a temperature-controlled fermentation chamber, and a modified chest-freezer for serving beer from a few taps. I grow and harvest six mature hops plants and have an extensive library of recipes that I’ve developed myself. I’ve also hosted two episodes of Brewing TV and one episode of Chop and Brew, so far. In addition, I have read five or six of the more well-known “how to brew” books a few times, subscribe to a few brewing magazines and have listened to countless podcasts from various sources. So, yeah – I’m into it.

    Brewing is an absolute blast and I use it as my time to relax. I tell my brewing friends that I work a stressful enough job – if brewing was stressful too, I wouldn’t do it anymore. There is a heck of a lot of science involved – most of which is quite over my head. I understand the basics and the big-picture version of most of it, but I really don’t concern myself with all of the super-geeky science-related stuff. My brew days are my down time: it’s my time to hang out in the garage, make some beer, sample a few beers and just let the beer happen. I once described myself as a “free-style brewer” – I just throw stuff into the kettle and see what happens. I have a solid grasp on what I’m doing so I don’t end up making un-drinkable beer, but I don’t worry about much.

    Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Why is he talking about this? What does beer/brewing/International Beer Day have to do with acoustics and soundproofing?”

    That’s a good question, and I have to admit, it took me a while to come up with the answer. After a bit of introspection, I realized that my outlook on beer and brewing is similar to the decade I have spent working in the acoustics industry. I’ll be the first one to point out that for both home brewing and working with acoustics, I do not have an extensive knowledge of the finest points of the science behind either. I have no degree in Acoustics or Physics, nor do I have a degree in the brewing science. I do not understand all of the algorithms and extremely complicated

    mathematical points of acoustics, nor do I understand brewing down to a molecular level. However, I DO have a very solid, tried-and-true understanding of how both work. I pride myself on my ability to explain both fields to people that have no education in either, and allow them to leave with a relatively accurate understanding of “how this whole thing works”, what’s involved and why. And, I’m pretty damn good at both, if I do say so myself.

    Beer and Hops

    So, there it is. Happy International Beer Day! If you are in the Minneapolis area and want to get together for a pint in a noisy pub, I can probably explain to you how the beer was made, the ingredients that were used, as well as how to reduce the echo, increase the speech intelligibility and make the space more comfortable and give you three or four different products that will accomplish that – along with the pros and cons of each.


    Ted’s Tropical Pale Ale – (American Pale Ale)

    A light-bodied, easy drinking yet complex pale ale utilizing the unique floral, tropical, fruity and earthy properties of a few different hop varieties. Makes a 10-gallon batch.

    16 lbs. American two-row pale malt
    2 lbs. Crystal 20
    2 lbs. Golden Naked Oats

    Hop additions
    (60 min) .50 oz. Amarillo, .25 oz. Simcoe, .25 oz. Mosaic
    (10 min) Wyeast nutrient and Whirlflock
    (5 min) 1 oz. Mosaic, 1 oz. Simcoe, 1 oz. HBC 336 (experimental hop)
    (3 min) 1 oz. Mosaic, 1 oz. Simcoe, 1 oz. EXP 6300
    (whirlpool) 2 oz. Amarillo, 2 oz. Simcoe
    (7 day dry hop) 1 oz. Mosaic

    Ferment with Wyest 1056 American Ale yeast @ 63 degrees

    Estimated OG: 1.048
    Estimated ABV: 4.9%
    Bitterness: 34.8 IBU
    Color: 5.9 SRM

  2. Introducing Ted, Our Acoustics Expert & Host of the Summer Sound Series


    My name is Ted and I have been in the soundproofing and acoustics business for over 10 years. Throughout that time I’m proud to say that I have helped over 6,000 people purchase products to help or fix hundreds of different kinds of problems. If you can think of it, and it’s some kind of acoustical/soundproofing/noise problem, I’ve heard it.

    My Background

    I have a background and a degree in education but events of my life have since put me into the acoustics/soundproofing industry. I have also been an HVAC contractor/installer, bartender, substitute teacher, pizza delivery driver, plumber, irrigation installer/service technician, mechanic, racecar driver and co-driver, bag boy at a grocery store, file clerk at a law firm and a landscaper. Although I have a pretty well rounded employment background, I have spent more time in my current industry than all of the others combined.

    So, Why Me?

    Throughout the years, I have greatly benefited from combining my understanding of the physics and mechanics of how sound works with my educational background and experience. I have developed a relatively lengthy set of every-day-life analogies that do a “close-enough” job of explaining how and why certain ideas of soundproofing and acoustics work so that people without degrees in physics can understand the “why” and the “how” of acoustical treatment. Do I have a degree in acoustics and/or physics? No. Can I take a relatively complex physics-based idea and explain it to you in a way that you will probably be able to understand? Not always, but probably, if I have enough time to think about it.

    My Approach

    I really enjoy talking to people, listening and learning about acoustical/soundproofing challenges that they are facing and figuring out the best way to treat and/or fix the problem. I pride myself on my honesty and forthcoming nature. If I don’t have the right or best product to use to fix the problem I will quickly suggest product from a different source. I commonly suggest not only approaches that have proven successful in the past, but have talked to enough people and dealt with enough situations that I almost always suggest taking the easy and low-cost steps first and then stepping back to assess the situation. Further, more intrusive and more expensive steps can always be taken down the road if they are needed. I have found that photos of problematic situations and/or Google Maps or street-views of different situations can also be extremely beneficial.

    The Summer Sound Series

    So now that I’ve given you the complete rundown on my acoustical know-how and how I enjoy sharing it, you might be wondering, “So, what does this have to do with me?” Great question! One of the things that I really like about working for Acoustical Surfaces is that we have literally thousands of products to help solve almost every noise/sound/acoustics problem under the sun. However, if you don’t spend every day selling them, like I do, the sheer number can be a little bit overwhelming. So to make it much easier, I’ve come up with a list of some of the most common acoustical scenarios that customers ask about every summer, and I’m going to do a blog post around each one, which will be called the Summer Sound Series!

    This is all about making it easier for YOU, so feel free to share, comment, or send me suggestions at [email protected]

    Keep an eye out for the first post later this week!