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Logistics

Shipping:

Consider GROUND transport first. Why? Because it is the most cost effective means to maintain long term results.

Most chemical parameters of clean, finished beer won't change significantly over 2-5 days. Microbiological populations might change, but we'll still get a good handle on numbers ( an order of magnitude) and types (Gram stain, API strips, visual observation under the microscope)

It is much more important to be consistent in sampling, packaging and shipping. Develop a habit that works in the day's schedule.

A good example is to pull samples in the morning, chill in the cooler until lunch and package up for afternoon pickup or drop-off at a collection point.

Or, consider pulling samples at the end of the day, chill overnight and package for shipment in mid-morning.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) can not accept beer samples, but contact us as we're working on details for wort shipping via USPS.

Carriers who do accept "Yeast Samples for Analysis"? (aka beer samples):

UPS (all levels of service)

FedEx (both Ground and Express)

DHL (both Ground and Expedited)

Things we've learned over the years about sampling, labeling and shipping.
  1. Use plastic bottles whenever possible. If it's not for the GABF or off your bottling line, it will go better for everyone (enrobe and in the lab) in plastic. PET water bottles, dumped and triple rinsed with the sample work fine. Label with a permanent marker (silver Sharpies work well right on the bottle over dark colored liquids).

  2. Secure the samples so they can handle pressure build up. TAPE THE TOPS with electrician's tape.
  3. Box the samples to cushion a beating: Use bubble wrap for single samples. We send out California Ship €˜N Store boxes for multiple samples. Ask us for a FREE sample kit

  4. There is only one Department of Transportation (DOT) or International Air Transport Association (IATA) labeling requirement for shipping:

    As a liquid, the box should indicate which way is up. An arrow pointing up is the best marking. THIS SIDE UP with an arrow to indicate direction also works.You can label the box "laboratory samples for analysis" "food samples" "yeast samples" etc. Any of these identifiers on the outside of the box are fine, but not necessary. Using the bottles that we send in the FREE sample kit, contact information is available in the event of a spill and the nature of the contents can be quickly identified.

  5. Think about how you want use the data, and then determine what to include in the naming on the sample bottle. All we need on the bottle is some means to log it in. A name/date combination, lot number, batch number all work for us. We'll report it as you label it, so think long term (i.e. database) of how you want the results to fit in with your other data collection efforts. Keeping it systematic adds power to the information and value to the investment you spend with us.

Receiving:

You're paying for results. Here's how we start.

We acknowledge sample receipt. Usually, the day after samples arrive, we send out an e-mail with an attached EXCEL log-in file. We can make a distribution GROUP to keep other members in your organization in the loop.

The attached EXCEL log-in file will look like this:




The sample receipt e-mail does three things:
  1. Informs you that we received the sample and when we received it.

  2. Indicates what we'e going to do with your sample, any questions we may have before starting.

  3. Predicts when we'll be done and when you can expect results

We spend time before starting to ensure that we're doing what you've asked us to do:
  • We have the right sample
  • We're running the right series of tests.
If something doesn't seem right, LET US KNOW.
We much prefer to reply to clarifying e-mails than to do the wrong tests on the wrong samples.


Reporting:

Samples are in and tested. How do we let you know what we know?

We e-mail an EXCEL workbook with results, like this:




The worksheet can be formatted to your specification. Review the results. Correlate them to what you observed in-process. Are the Apparent Extracts close? Do the results fall within Control Limits? Any trends emerging? We ALWAYS rerun for free to confirm. We are as interested in establishing confidence intervals as you are. Errors occur: sampling, measuring, recording, reporting and random; we do our best to minimize controllable errors, so you can see trends and cause/effect. We can maintain it as collection of results and include summary statistics, RUNS charts and any other graphical display embedded with the raw data.

Planning here pays off with rewards in exporting to databases or presentations to others.

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT THE DATA TO TELL YOU.
THIS IS HOW YOU ACHIEVE THE BEST RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT.

We also offer hardcopy reports in FILEMAKER. Hardcopy is useful for incorporation into correspondence. We bill a slight extra fee for hardcopy printout and mailing. Contact us with your needs.


Billing:

Consistent with our log-in and report communication, we default to e-mail billing. We attach an Adobe .pdf file of an invoice generated in QuickBooks.

If you need the Adobe Reader get it here:

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

We'll confirm at the outset that e-mail billing is acceptable to you. Mailing of the printed Adobe file is done at no extra charge.


NEXT STEP? CONTACT US

We'll discuss testing options, schedules, fees. We'll send out a FREE sample kit. We'll arrange for a FREE trial of our services. We'll do our best to meet your data acquisiton needs.