How to Brew

Discussion in 'Articles & Discussions' started by Master, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Master

    Master

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    This is good. You going to force/keg carb it or bottle carb it?
     
  2. Michael

    Michael

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    Bottle condition it. I could keg it at work but I think I'd like to put some bottles away for a while, I really like bottle conditioned beer too. It's summer here, winter's a good 3 or 4 months away. This will be great in winter.
     
  3. Michael

    Michael

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    Anyone know anybody who has gone commercial with their brewing? I'm not serious about the idea , and I'm not a good enough brewer yet. I am interested in business ventures though - and I'm simple, I'm only interested in businesses where I *know* the product. Just toying with the idea at this point.
     
  4. Master

    Master

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    I work part time at a local brewery, do most of their welding and process machinery.

    I didn't know any of them before they went pro, but they started out homebrewing.
     
  5. Michael

    Michael

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    Assuming they're craft brewery, how did they get started - renting their own space (or a dude's garage) with a big 250l brewery, or piggybacking off a bigger local brewery's kit+fermenters?
     
  6. Master

    Master

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    The way the fucked up Alcoholic Beverage laws are in Virginia (varies GREATLY state to state here)
    1-Post $10,000 Brewers Bond
    2-Then get permit approval for a business space that can in no way be mixed use. Retail/industrial only. Can't have ANY residential on the property with a brewery or distillery.
    3-Buy a bunch of equipment
    4-Get beer approved by state. And it better match claimed ABV within 0.1%
    5-Get labels approved by Federal ATF
    6-Get a distributor deal unless you are only serving on site. See: Three-Tier System, and it's fucking of small breweries)

    about 100 more steps. Not much sleep.

    Theoretically profit.

    Business regs are the biggest killer of new breweries. People with shit products and good lawyers do better than premium guys who can't wade through the regs. Sad but true.
     
  7. Winbot

    Winbot Administrator

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    >not knowing about the homebrew and ammunition trading subculture
     
  8. Michael

    Michael

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    I'm not sure it's quite as stringent here, I know some places claim they started in a garage, perhaps that's just a little romantic or alluding to their homebrewing days.

    Excise tax though, it's a fucking killer. $28.438 per liter alcohol in beer. So for a 50L keg of 5.5% alcohol beer you would be paying....... (50x0.055)x28.438......$78.2045. Before you've even sold the fucking thing.
    Funny shit, I know one brewpub was underpaying their excise tax, they were using refractometer readings for both the OG and FG, not correcting the FG via calculations. You'd have think they'd wonder why their session beers were finishing at 1.020.....perhaps it was by design, although it's not actually that rare that in my job I teach craft brewers a thing or two.
     
  9. Michael

    Michael

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    So looking forward to getting home to try my homebrew. The APA is a bit meh, the kolsch was a decent lawnmower beer, and the porter was fucking delicious. Keen to try all 3 when I get back but especially the porter and kolsch.
     
  10. Michael

    Michael

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    @Master I bet you're missing the beers right now.
     
  11. Master

    Master

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    Yeah.. No carbs plus no booze = Angry Master
     
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  12. Michael

    Michael

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    Looking in to possibly getting certified as a BJCP apprentice (whatever the term is) and then a judge. Pretty sweet, would like more exposure to classic styles of beer. And it would be nice to have a network of people who can judge my beers and give me professional feedback.
     
  13. SimplyXY

    SimplyXY

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    It's kind of illegal to distil for sale here, so people do it as a hobby and don't sell much of it. Breweries probably suffer more from the hygiene inspectors who are corrupt as fuck than the taxman who is out to stop private enterprise for everyone.
     
  14. Michael

    Michael

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    A few Europeans and people around Russia seem to know their way around a pot still. Some said they weren't allowed to distill personally, but there was a legal arrangement whereby they could bring their fruit wine to a some commercial place with a still and distill it, possibly under supervision. To make fruit brandy, grappa or raaki.
     
  15. Michael

    Michael

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    Just tried my beers last night after a bit of aging. Yes, I'm patient, barely touched them til now.

    The Kolsch is really nice, crisp, very little hop flavor but discernible. It was a tad fruity from fermentation conditions but it's cleaned right up in a couple months in the bottle. It's essentially a lager with perhaps a bit more malt character than average, almost a munich lager but lighter and not as nutty/biscuit tasting. Next time I would possibly make the malt character a little more robust, probably taking it out of BJCP guidelines but who cares right?

    APA is ok, very drinkable, very light mandarin and passionfruit flavor rather than the hops being in your face. Session APA really. Not bad anyhow.

    Bourbon barrel porter, my pick of the lot.....it's delicious, it's smooth, but I'm picking up some fusel alcohols in there (you also notice it goes to your head very quickly, would give an awful hangover in quantity). I'm going to sit on this beer for quite a while, hopefully it will right itself in the bottle. Not sure how I got fusels with such a high yeast count but the fermentation did seem to struggle at the beginning, perhaps a bit of temperature shock, temperature differential from the starter at high ambient temperature to the 20C fermentation chamber.
     
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  16. Master

    Master

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    Brewed another batch of Bitter JO, an Imperial IIPA, today. The wort had a nice busicituty taste.

    Also made a batch of blueberry cider.
     
  17. Michael

    Michael

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    As part of the White Labs Freshness Certification program, my work now stocks 1 of every strain of white labs yeast I think 4 times a year, at a good discount. Looks like we got Scotch Whiskey, American Whiskey and Kentucky Bourbon yeast as part of it. Probably not super likely to sell them (liquid yeasts you guys in America purchase for probably ~$3 USD get sold for $15-$20 NZD after shipping and mark-up), might have to get some whiskey on the go! Have done rum before, can be a little rough right off the still but gets really really nice after some oak aging.

    Leaning towards making a heavily oaked Bourbon at this stage.
     
  18. Master

    Master

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    Liquid yeast has a $7-9 USD street price.
     
  19. Michael

    Michael

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    Oh, I thought it was super cheap for whatever reason. Anyway, I'll see if I can get a quiet day to do a bourbon mash on the grainfather at work. The flaked maize we get at work is super fine, I dunno how well it's gonna work....tempted to get a bag of animal feed cracked corn.
     

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