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Messages - nateo

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WY3711 Top End
« on: August 23, 2011, 10:41:54 AM »
75 *F and it was fine, though I prefer it in the 60's.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing in coolers what water ratio to use
« on: August 23, 2011, 10:39:36 AM »
What kind of malt are you using? Multi-stepped mashes should be based on your malt, not just on a recipe. For most malt, most of the time, protein rests won't be necessary. Excessive protein degradation can actually hurt body and head retention. Without know exactly what your recipe is, I can't comment more than just saying "it depends," but I probably would dough-in at the sacc. rest and add boiling water to mash out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cleaning Glass vessles?
« on: August 22, 2011, 04:58:20 PM »
Not hijack the thread, but I have an old "medicine" jug I was going to repurpose for starters and such. I have no idea what was stored in it, but it appears clean. I was planning on using pbw, but is there anything else I should do before using it?

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 22, 2011, 08:47:21 AM »
I read the rules, but not well enough apparently. I thought the concern was discussing secret wholesale pricing in a public forum, not discussing street prices, which are advertised on many sites and readily available to anyone who would care to look.

Without posting any numbers, the issue I was getting at is price elasticity. Something like Coke and Pepsi are relatively elastic. If Coke started charging double, everyone would buy Pepsi. Marketing can help change the elasticity situation. Good marketing can convince people to pay more for what is essentially the same product. Coke's elasticity in 2003 was -3.8, Mtn Dew's was -4.4.

If a good is relatively inelastic, you can raise the price by more than the demand drops. So increasing the price may reduce per-unit sales, but increase total sale income. A perfectly inelastic item would have a score of 0. If it's perfectly elastic, you could increase the price by any amount and not have any drop in demand.

The info I've found on alcohol elasticity gives beer a range of -0.7-0.9, wine at -1.0, and spirits at -1.5. So average beer is actually more elastic than average wine, by the numbers I found. I couldn't find any info on elasticity of super high-end wine, but I would guess at that end the marketing could further reduce elasticity.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 22, 2011, 07:38:46 AM »
On a 5 or 10 gallon system the beer was always worth way more to me to drink or share with friends than to sell. You put In hours and hours of hard work just to turn around and sell and barely break even and if you count the time and labor you'd actually lose money.

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes. Beer is a high volume, low value item. What's the most someone will pay for a bottle or glass? I don't think I've spent more than $x on a 12oz or $xx for a 22oz, ever, and very rarely at that. So even if you make the best beer in the world, there is a pretty low cap to the maximum price of your product, and a relatively small difference between the low end cost of "craft" beer (maybe $x/six pack) and the normal high end (maybe $xx/six pack), not counting the one-off or unusual or aged beers, which sell for more but cost a lot more to produce.

Hand crafted products seem to make more sense on low volume, high value items. A handmade bicycle frame usually costs between $2-4k, and may have 100 hours of work put into it. Material cost is about 1/4 of that price, so on a $2k frame you're making $1500 profit, or $15/hr. Even at that margin, no frame builders are getting rich. They may have $20k invested in machining and welding equipment, but that's a fraction of a brewing system.

I'd run the same numbers for a nanobrewer, but don't want to get in trouble with the mods. I might be wrong, but I'd be amazed if nanobrewers, or even most microbrewers, approached $15/hr, or even half that.

Mod edit:  We CANNOT mention beer prices in the ProThreads.

Equipment and Software / Re: Stainless steel braid for Mash tun
« on: August 21, 2011, 03:40:39 PM »
I use a 12" water heater hose that was the fattest one I could find. I think it was 1-1/2" diameter. Works really well. I had read somewhere that shorter, straight lengths of braid are better than long windy ones. Not sure if that's true. It sounds like they'll both work.

for free web-based:
for paid for, I'd say Beersmith is the single best homebrew purchase I've made.
Or, you could pick up Daniels' Designing Great Beers and he'll teach you how to write recipes with just pen and paper.

Ingredients / Re: belgium congac ipa
« on: August 21, 2011, 02:48:03 PM »
I strongly encourage oaking strong Belgian beers. I had a dark strong that scored poorly for being out of style, but in the comments the judges agreed it was their favorite beer from that category. I used French oak, fwiw.

Some of their flavor comments: Oaky Chilean wine character, currants, spicy/peppery, vanilla oak, hot, malt sweetness, finish has low bitterness.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 21, 2011, 01:56:24 PM »
Somehow people do not want to listen.
Let them learn hard way.

It is like talking about water for BoPils.

It's a basic economic issue we learned in Micro 101. It's all about opportunity cost. Unless you're really hurting for money and working in a field or a sweatshop somewhere, there is a point where your free time is more valuable to you than any money you'd make by working more. Some people would rather work 100 hours a week as a nanobrewer than work 40 hours a week and make more money, and have more free time for homebrewing.

Also, what's the deal with bopils water?

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 21, 2011, 11:24:35 AM »
Course, as soon as you sell your first bottle of legal beer all of those expenses associated with brewing become tax deductible!

Hobby loss rules are actually pretty strict. The IRS may decide your "business" is actually a "hobby" and therefore you can only deduct up to the amount of revenue generated by said hobby. The "hobby" losses couldn't be used to write off losses from your main source of income. "Craft businesses" run from the home frequently fall into the "hobby" category, regardless of business structure or licensing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First brewing-related injury
« on: August 19, 2011, 10:16:00 AM »
My worst brewing injury was from slaked lime I was using for pH adjustment. I got some of the powder on my hand and didn't notice right away. It turned red and hurt for a week or so. My hand is still numb in that spot, and that was like 2 months ago. Needless to say, I now wear gloves and goggles when I handle lime.

Ingredients / Re: Is dark candi syrup gluten free
« on: August 18, 2011, 11:21:47 AM »
I've been doing a lot of research about candi syrups, and commercial caramel syrups in general. The bad news is something I've come across on the FDA website about "process aids" not needing to be disclosed. Sugar by itself can't darken the way those syrups do. Maillard reactions need a nitrogen source and a reducing sugar. Since the nitrogen is consumed, and the acids, bases, and (usually) ammonium compounds used to make the syrup are "process aids" they don't have to list them on their ingredients.

But I haven't come across anything in my research to suggest they use gluten in their process, although it would certainly serve as a nitrogen source and probably could be used.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 10:53:15 AM »
Tim - I understand the concept. Since it's free, you don't lose anything but your time, so there's no reason not to do it, but how do you turn worldwide interest into cash in your pocket? Your long-lost out-of-town friends won't just send you money for nothing, will they? They still have to go to you establishment to buy your product.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 10:39:36 AM »
[I do not necessary agree with you that brewing is just another business. We all know that it takes the same amount of hours and man power to brew 10 Gal batch or 10 gallon batch.
I do agree that brewing beer is food manufacturing thou.

I just meant that if you can't run a business successfully, how are you going to run a brewery successfully? Regardless of your business, you have to deal with permits, licenses, inventory control, improvements, maintenance, labor, taxes, customers. Now add in the fact that food spoils and breweries are very labor intensive, and running a brewery ends up being a lot harder than running other kinds of business.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 10:30:56 AM »
This is actually a good marketing idea.  By branding items and getting the word out well in advance, people are anticipating your product in the market place before it arrives.  This is why most companies pre-annouce products.  The inability to get a well-branded product actually increases demand.  It a strategy heavily employed by Apple Computer.  They announce something, it goes on sale, it sells out and you can't get one for weeks.  People line up outside the stores just to get one on opening days.  Regardless whether you like Apple's products or not, they get a massive amount of free publicity because of the demand they create prior to and during product launch.

I would think there's some baseline minimum of potential customers for that to work. Apple has hundreds of millions of potential customers, if not billions. So a scattershot marketing strategy that converts 1/10th of 1% into customers would get them a serious amount of money.

With the crazy alcohol regulations in this country, such as prohibitions on self-distribution and the problems in getting your product into consumer's hands, I don't think the same kind of marketing strategies would work for beer. You would probably start off with the only potential customers being people in your town, or within x miles of your town.

I think the only reason those "breweries" market everything BUT beer is because it's impossible to make terrible beer if you don't make any beer at all. I've seen one brewery marketing themselves as "the best beer you can't buy," and I laughed out loud.

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