Just make a big ice bath and you will be good to go!! My biggest piece of advice is to put your carboy/bucket into a water bath to try and maintain fermentation temps. It WILL make a ton of difference in your final beer. Have fun!!
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No doubt to get that there is a lot of paperwork up front. Once you get going though I have heard that it isn't bad at all.I agree. That is why I suggested that if you want to open a pico/nano brewery to make your money somewhere else first. That way the brewery can essentially stay a hobby and not become a "job" since you aren't relying on it for your income.
I've often thought, whilst brewing, that a lot of local, state and federal paperwork would make my hobby so much better.
I think breweries better get used to getting a smaller and smaller piece of the market share. Part of the problem is that everyone thinks they are going to make money with a brewery....at least enough to support themselves. This is where I think we can learn from the wine industry. Many, in fact I would say most, wineries/vineyards are started by people who made their money somewhere else. I have looking at the plethora of new wineries in my general area and most, if not all, are started by people in their 40's-60's. Most are only open 3 days a week and have very limited distribution. I see this as the future of breweries.....not a 15bbl brewery that is trying to get their beer in every store, bar, and restaurant in sight.
I hear what you are saying except they are two entirely different business models. How many people are going out to local pubs and ordering local wines? How long does it take to produce a wine as opposed to a beer? I think there are things in both industries that can be borrowed and/or copied, but at the crux of the issue they are two different business models entirely.
IMO you have a lot of pico breweries who are either going to succeed because they have great beer and great passion to work for pennies or are going to fail because, regardless of the quality of the beer the brewers are going to decide the passion is not worth the loss of freetime and weekends.
That's probably not a typo. All the cool kids are starting severely under-capitalized breweries.
I wonder if all these new "pro" brewers will siphon off business from properly run breweries, ruining not just their own business, but several others as well. Hopefully they'll go under quickly enough that the good breweries who deserve the business can stay afloat.
Don't probrewers have their own competitions? It sounds kinda like those weird college guys who still hang out at their high school.
In collegiate cycling they let professionals compete. Obviously, they were really fast, and obviously, it really sucked to compete against them if you weren't a professional. So, I don't really think it's appropriate for probrewers to enter homebrew comps at all, regardless of what equipment they use.
In our case, Rogue bought a 30 gal. MoreBeer sculpture (top of the line) and put it in the basement of their local brewpub. They also bout a temp controlled conical for the system. Our people would go in and brew using ingredients supplied by Rogue. Generally, they were pretty good about getting ingredients that were needed, but sometimes we just had to wing it. The finished beer was owned and sold by Rogue. Even the club member who brewed it had to purchase it...no free beer for the club. They were supposed to have a tap handle available for us all the time, but often their own beer would fill that while ours sat until there was space. They did no identification kf the beer as being brewed by the club. Basically, we were just providing free labor. We recently decided to end our brewing on the system because we just couldn't identify the value to the club.I am hoping we can convince the brewery where our club meets to do something like this!! I think it would because they are not only a brewery but also a homebrew shop. It seems like it would be a win/win for the brewery. They get to put a "special" beer on tap for a day or two and get more people into the hobby.
That Zymurgy article also has syrup recipes that I am going to try. When sour mashing, how do you sanitize the mash tun following the souring? I would need to use a picnic cooler to hope to maintain temps....but I would hate to have a permanent sour only vessel.
Thanks you all for the continued input!You are absolutely right that it is up for interpretation!! There is a "mobile" brew pub in SF(Brewtruc) that was letting homebrewers pour their beer at various charity beer gardens. Everyone who attended could vote for their favorite beer and give feedback. Thus meeting, in their eyes, the letter of the law since it was a competition/judging. I guess CA ABC got wind of it and said that a contest could only have "5-7 judges"!! Talk about pulling something out of their arse...no where in the law does it stipulate the number of judges permitted in a homebrew competition.
Tim Schmidlin - You mentioned the club brewing at a brewery. Yes, this is what I had in mind. We have a brewery in town that is very homebrewer friendly. If the club could set up a nano within the brewery as a separate entity, then we could put one or more beers on tap at the brewery and/or a local pub, who also is very supportive of the club. This would be the so called "commercial" face of the club which would allow us to serve and donate beer to charity events, and recruit new members of course. Granted, the beer served at the events would have to be brewed at the nano. Might be a big headache and cost prohibative to do this, but I feel it's worth exploring anyway.
Denny Conn - Your club seemed to have done something similar. I would like to hear more detail about this if you can post about it.
By the way, here's how the California law is written (it's definitely up for interpretation):
Note: I removed a couple of paragraphs that dealt with wine making.
Code 23356.2 states:
No license or permit shall be required for the brewing
of beer for personal or family use, and not for sale, by a person over the age of 21
years. The aggregate amount of beer with respect to any household shall not exceed
(a) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults in such household,
or (b) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult in such household.
Any beer brewed pursuant to this section may be removed from the premises where
brewed for use in competition at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, including
homemakers’ contests, tastings, or judgings.
Maybe the best solution would be talk to festival organizers and have them add "Homebrew Competition" to the beer fest title. Then people attending could vote for their favorite homebrewed beer. Wouldn't this make it a "Competition at an organized affair"?
Very good points!! I have started down the BJCP path, currently a Provisional Judge and have judged in exactly one comp!! I think the BJCP is a hangup for a lot of would-be judges. I am scheduled for my tasting in August....3 hours from my house. The BJCP is only attractive to the hardcore homebrewers who are willing to drive hours just to take a test.....and wait six months for the results. Most comps attract a wide range of brewers with different levels of committment to the hobby. I look at the guys in my club.....most brew once a month if that and it is a hobby....not a lifestyle. Heck our President and BJCP Certified Judge hasn't brewed in over a year. He just can't find the time between work and family committments. I am interested in the BJCP because it will help me become a better brewer. I would like to say that once I pass the tasting exam I will judge all the time but that's not reality. The reality is that I will judge if the comp is within an hour of where I live. So that means 2-3x a year....maybe.I dunno - it sounds like, unless I misunderstood, that the real problem is the lack of judges overall. If you drop the BJCP requirement (and the categories), you could have anybody come in who had a reasonable knowledge of beer.
That's EXACTLY the root of the problem here. Not enough volunteers or judges to keep pace with demand.
Software/server issues are a simple fix. Increasing the amount of entries to keep pace with demand is not. (The way I see it, demand will continue to increase no matter the restrictions you put on entries or fees.)
If we all want to enter this thing, we should all help out. Steward, take the BJCP entrance exam, help in some way other than posting your opinions (while sometimes valid and helpful) to the forum. If we can't decrease demand, we need to increase the available supply. That "supply" is controlled by the amount of help a region can receive.
Is it easy, cheap or always a huge amount of fun to go through the BJCP training, exam(s) and judging throughout your region? Absolutely not.
Can you do it? Hell yeah!
Will you meet a lot of awesome people in the process? I've made friends all over the country through the AHA and BJCP - I bet you can too.
As an aside, dropping the BJCP requirement will not improve the quality of anything. I have stacks upon stacks of score sheets from non-BJCP "Experienced Judges" that say things like Aroma: smoke. Flavor: Smoke. Mouthfeel: Good. These are things I am not looking for when I pay upwards of $12 an entry plus shipping.
I know plenty of people with more money than skill, and they wouldn't not balk at throwing a bunch of money at $40 entries if they think it'll help them win some national awards. Raising the entry fees to an abnormally high price would just encourage wealthier people to throw money at it while pushing out people with less means and quite possibly more skill and/or desire.
If you want to limit the amount of entries per person, it would make more sense to just limit the number of entries per person rather than making it a question of your disposable income.