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Topics - nateo

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1
The Pub / Imported beer, German edition
« on: April 24, 2014, 11:56:26 AM »


Saw this in the Feinkost (fancy food) section of a local supermarket. A single can will set you back about $2.20, plus $0.35 for the deposit. Below are cans of Busch, also the same price.

For reference, a .5l bottle of something you'd actually want to drink runs about 0,65-0,95 euro here, with an 0,08 Pfand.

They do have a few good American beers here, but I haven't bought any. You can buy 750ml bottles of Brooklyn's Local 1 for around 20 euros ($27-ish). They also have 330ml bottles of Firestone Walker for 3 euros.

2
Beer Travel / Köln, Dortmund and Düsseldorf recommendations?
« on: March 11, 2014, 12:17:53 PM »
anyone have any must-try beers from the region? of the Kölschs I've tried Mühlen, Früh, Sion, Küppers, Gaffel, and Testers. The last was my favorite so far.

 of the alts I've tried Diebels,Hannen and Frankenheim. Hannen is the cheapest beer I've found in Germany, but also one of my favorites.

I haven't made it to Dortmund yet, but if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know!

3
Commercial Beer Reviews / Cornelius-Bräu Sanctus
« on: March 04, 2014, 02:19:55 AM »
I picked up a bottle of this the other day. It's brewed here in Aachen, but I thought it was a really good Belgian-style blond. I think the brewery is pretty low-tech. The bottles had uneven fill-levels, and I've read reviews where the carbonation level was off, either too much or too little. The bottle I had was perfect. It was pricey (3 euros per bottle), but if you're in the area I think it's worth trying.

4
Beer Travel / Initial thoughts on Munich
« on: February 06, 2014, 12:37:15 AM »
I've been in Munich for almost a week and thought I'd share some brief observations.

The beer stores (Getränkecenter) here are really cool. Most of the beer comes in the 0,5l bottles. I've seen a few 6-packs of the 0,33l bottles, but only a few of the biggest brands come in those. They cost between 0,75 and 0,95 euro, with a 0,08 euro bottle deposit.

So far my favorite Bierhalle was Hacker-Pschorr. It's on the Theresienplatz where they do Oktoberfest. The Weisswurst was great, and it seemed to be mostly locals there when I went. I didn't see any other tourists at Augustiner am Dom either. Schneider & Sohn was good too, but a bit touristy. Our waitress was an older lady, and she seemed very impatient with all the Russian tourists, but I speak a bit of German so she was very friendly to me. Hofbrauhaus was mostly tourists, and a few very drunk, very loud locals. The service there was pretty terrible, too, compared to the others.

The beer prices were typically 3,95 or 4,30 euro per 0,5l, and I think 7,60 for the 1L Maß in the Hofbrauhaus. As far as the quality goes, everywhere the beer was great. It definitely tastes different (and a bit better, to me) to drink it fresh, but it's not a night-and-day different from what you can find in the states.

Also, don't touch anything in the street-vendor stalls or you'll get yelled at.

It seems like most people in the city speak German. In the village I'm staying in there's a lot more Bairisch, which is almost totally incomprehensible to me. It sounds like Old English. Almost everyone can also speak German (or close enough), although I've run into a few old guys who either can't or won't speak German. Maybe half the people can speak limited English, but mostly the younger people. Most of the people over 30 don't seem to speak any (except for that waitress at Schneider, hers was very good).

5
The Pub / Pronunciation of "Saison"
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:04:51 AM »
Not sure why, but it really drives me crazy when people say "Say-sawn."

It's sɛ.zɔ̃, where s is just like s, ɛ is like the eh sound in "celery" or "men,"  z is like z, and ɔ̃ is a nasal vowel that sounds like "own" if you cut off the n on the end.

So it's kind of like "seh-zohn" with a nasal n on the end.

You can listen here, on the left-hand column, click the little play button next to saison: http://dict.leo.org/frde/index_de.html#/search=saison&searchLoc=0&resultOrder=basic&multiwordShowSingle=on

6
The Pub / A contest for people who like bikes and beer
« on: June 05, 2013, 10:52:31 AM »

7
Ingredients / 3 hour dry hop?
« on: May 17, 2013, 10:49:23 AM »
I was reading in the Hops book about dry hop extraction times, and how certain compounds are extracted very quickly, but then dissipate, while other take longer to develop. Has any tried to do a very short (3-6 hours) dry hopping? How'd it turn out?

8
The Pub / Reinheitsgebot craziness
« on: April 17, 2013, 03:25:21 PM »
I was describing how to brew Belgian beer to one of the guys I met on the German homebrewer forum.
rough translation:
Me  "Strong Belgian beers use between 10 and 20% sugar."
Him  "Sugar? Like, table sugar? White sugar."
Me "Exactly."
Him "But, that's against the law!"
Me "Then don't tell the police!"

It's really crazy to me how even German homebrewers take the Reinheitsgebot seriously. He also has a haze problem, (I suspect) because he never uses Irish Moss or any other clarifiers. He does have an amazing HERMS BK/MLT system with like, ropes and pulleys and stuff, though.

9
Hey folks,
I've been cultivating a "house" sour bug mix for just about two years now. It's cultured from grain, so it's probably a mix of lacto and other stuff. Anyway, I've maintained separate plastic goods (tubing, racking, bottling, etc.) but my last couple clean beers got infected. I guess the house culture is airborne? I'm not really sure how they got infected.

My main concern is how do I get rid of the bug in my brew buckets? I'd rather not buy new buckets. In the past I've used a vinegar/bleach mixed that seemed to work OK. I've thought about doing a concentrated PBW soak too. Starsan is worthless against these creatures.

Any ideas?

10
Going Pro / Free business planning resources
« on: March 24, 2013, 11:53:29 AM »
Hey folks,
I came across this today: http://www.planware.org/
Tons of Excel templates and info about how to create budgets, pro forma income statements, etc. A lot of free examples to get you started. Some for sale too, but you should probably just make your own.
Thought some of you might find it useful.

11
The Pub / Hellbender Meadery owners indicted on drug charges
« on: March 02, 2013, 04:31:33 PM »
http://southcountymail.com/news/owner-of-hellbender-meadery-indicted-on-federal-drug-charges/article_9f0ea230-331d-11e2-8dd8-001a4bcf887a.html

I know the guy who was going to be the brewer there. This totally sucks for him. I remember asking him how these people got so much money, and he said they got it selling fake drugs. At the time, I wondered how that was legal. Turns out, it wasn't.

12
Going Pro / Product costing and overhead application
« on: February 03, 2013, 10:40:49 PM »
I've read a lot of business plans for breweries over the last few years. I've noticed that all of them use a volume-based overhead rate, usually the number of barrels brewed. For a manufacturer like a brewer, who has a lot of overhead, but relatively little direct material or labor costs, using production volume to determine applied overhead will distort the cost of your products.

The main cost-driver in a brewery is the brewery itself and the equipment, not the labor or materials used.

I guess that makes intuitive sense, because you're paying for that brewery and that fermentor every day, whether it has beer in it or not. So the 21-day beer costs you a lot more to make than the 10-day beer.

I made a very simple spreadsheet to project the number of brews per month, assuming 4 fermentors, 4 beers, and only brewing on the weekdays.

(These are very rough figures, with some rounding, just to show how fermentation time affects cost per barrel in an activity (time) based costing system)

Fermentation time, # of batches per month
Blonde 10 days, 3
IPA 14 days, 2.2
Weiss 10 days, 2.7
Tripel 21 days, 1.4
4 days unused

Direct materials cost per bbl:
Blonde $21
IPA $34
Weiss $21
Tripel $42

Overhead per month:
Depreciation $2000
Salaries $2500
Utilities/maintenance/misc $1500

Total overhead = $6000
BBL per month = 93
4 FV * 30 days = 120

Cost per barrel (OH + direct materials) w/volume-based overhead
OH = $64.52 per barrel
Blonde $83.7
IPA $96.17
Weiss $83.7
Tripel $104.7

Cost per barrel w/time-based overhead
OH = $50 per day, per fermentor
Blonde $71
IPA $104
Weiss $71
Tripel $147
Cost of unused capacity (4 days) - $200

Why does any of this matter? If you can get your cost per barrel down on the blonde and weiss, you can lower the selling price, making it more competitive, and perhaps selling more.

This will also show you if you should be charging more for the tripel, or other beers that take a long time to brew.

13
Equipment and Software / Is hydrometer calibration linear?
« on: January 10, 2013, 05:35:36 PM »
My hydrometer (apparently) lost its calibration somehow. I know I checked it a year or two ago, and it was correct, but I checked it today in 60*F water and got 1.005. Do I just subtract 5 points off any measurement? Why/how would a hydrometer lose its calibration?

14
I was having issues with some medicinal blackberry mead from a while back. It was a split batch. One half is fine. The other had a pellicle form, and smells like rotten fruit and funk. I'm guessing it's Brett and maybe lacto. Is there any way this will age out, or should I dump it?

15
Ingredients / Any ideas where to get citron/bergamot peel?
« on: January 05, 2013, 07:32:45 PM »
I've found some bergamot marmalade online, and every sells bergamot essential oils, but I can't find anywhere that just sells dried bergamot peel. Has anyone seen this for sale anywhere?

Can you use just the oil to brew with?

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