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Messages - dougdever

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Liquid vs Dry Extract
« on: April 22, 2010, 02:23:55 AM »
I switched over to DME only quite a while back.  It keeps better than LME, and I'm more concewrned with quality than ease of use.  Which is not to say that it's all that difficult to use.

Interestingly, I made the opposite switch - from DME to LME.  What I did for LME was to start ordering from a homebrew shop that I knew goes through a lot of it and I order no more than 2 weeks before I plan on brewing.  Which is fine if you are ok with "just in time" delivery.  But sort of limits one from buying in bulk. 

Although I was intrigued to see the article in the recent Zymurgy where the author used cans of 10 year old LME.  No thanks!    :D

Doug, that's a great, thoughtful analysis!  Thanks for chiming in and I'll bookmark your site for future reference.

I can't take credit for the website... it is not my site.  I ran across it while investigating starting a brewery some time ago and this thread reminded me of it.  Thanks though!

Why not pursue a dream?  I think this line says it best: "Debt kills small breweries."

If I had an extra $500,000 just sitting around, I'd be more than happy to pursue the dream.  That is sort of the problem with this industry... You can't just open a storefront and start making and selling small widgets.  There is significant capital required to acquire property, purchase a brewhouse, a mind bending amount of red-tape (although with the explosion of craft brewing, most state agencies are really good about getting you pointed in the correct direction and walking you through the process - unlike say 10-15 years ago when the people working there didn't know the process either), and you will be operating at a loss until you can build a distribution channel.  So, if you were leveraged with $450,000 of debt at 8% on a 10 year commercial business loan, you're looking at something like over $5400 in debt service each month.  If you are serious about doing this, you have to ask yourself, how long can you sustain that and draw a salary for yourself until you start turning a profit? 

So on a 15 bbl system, you're brewing about 35 kegs at a time.  Assuming you can sell those out regularly, you have a new problem: your choke point - how many fermentation vessels do you have and how long your beer is going to sit in them.  Should you have spent the money for a 30bbl system initially instead - instead of going through the whole capital improvement process again to upgrade your brewhouse.

Anyways... I might be rambling a bit - but you get the idea... lots of things to think about and a lot of risk. 

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