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Messages - micsager

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Looking for feedback
« on: March 06, 2015, 04:15:05 PM »
Fellow brewers,

My cousin and I are fairly new to the home brewing family and were looking for some advice.  Currently we have a VERY basic set up of a few 5 gallon turkey fryers, fermentors, carboys, and all the other basic essentials.  We are moving forward with the goal in mind of starting a nano brewery and eventually a micro brewery.  We have the ability to, right now, renovate our basement to hold a slop sink, have proper ventilation, and upgrade our brewing system to a 15 gallon professional grade set up.  Is this something that would be as beneficial as we believe or are we wasting our time and money?  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,


where are you located?

We are up here in sunny Seattle

It sure has been sunny lately.  (I'm over in Port Angeles)

The TTB told us when we got our federal license that there can be no egress from the brewery to the residential space.  Meaning separate entrance, with no door between the brewery and the house.  We have a 30X40 detached building that we did get approved.  Luckily already zone light "home business."  Which in my County just means nothing can be stored outside.  As long as all operations are inside the four walls, we are good.  All the state really cared about was that we got approved by the feds.  And, we are about 3 blocks outside the city limits, so they have no jurisdiction. 

We started our commercial operation with a 15 gallon system, but now have a 1bbl set-up.  It's not a revenue generator.  But it does pay for itself, and we get to brew a lot.  (Although tonight is keg cleaning day, Oh Joy!)

Going Pro / Re: The most expensive ingredient in beer...
« on: February 25, 2015, 04:19:00 PM »
I get what you're saying Keith, but I don't think it's right to consider that a "tax" on a commercial brewery.  Home-brewers and distillers pay that tax as well.  In fact as noted above, we pay that as a part of the purchase price in everything from German Pislner Malt to an iPhone. 

And don't even get me started about the taxes on gasoline that are hidden in the purchase price.  Should we include that as a brewery tax as well? 

Going Pro / Re: New Building, looking for ideas
« on: February 25, 2015, 09:18:13 AM »
Double the electrical you think you will need, and you never, and I mean NEVER have too many floor drains. 

(I have none, and it's a PITA)

Going Pro / Re: The most expensive ingredient in beer...
« on: February 25, 2015, 09:14:20 AM »
Keep in mind we are still paying taxes on ingredients we buy. $7 a bbl plus the state taxes end up being a huge chunk when you add that ontop on everything else.

In Washington State, we do NOT pay sales tax on ingredients.  Anything that actually goes in the beer is taxed when the beer is sold to the customer.  Grains, hops, yeast, irish moss, other adjucts, even the Co2 I use to carbonate is all sold to me without the imposition of sales tax.  Co2, get's a little weird, because the Co2 for pushing beer, or purging tanks is certainly taxable.  Fed and state beer taxes are about 3% of sales price.  We're small enough we pay no business taxes.  There may be taxes on these products further back in the supply chain that I am unaware of.   

Hop Growing / Re: 2015 Hop season
« on: February 24, 2015, 04:18:56 PM »
You bet, just PM me.  But please give me instruction on how to pack.  I figure some wet newspaper, and an unsealed gallon ziplock. 

And of course I make no warranty as to viability. 

Hop Growing / Re: Potted Hops and Freezing Temperatures...
« on: February 24, 2015, 10:25:18 AM »
I've been growing hops in half wine barrels for about 5 years.  After harvest, I cut the vines to an inch or so, and cover with some leaves from the yard as a mulch. 

It's worked great, and this year I had to pull root-balls and trim lots of rhizomes.  Probably should have done it last year, as they were all quite root bound.  But they grew grew great last year.  It will be interesting to see how they do the first year after chopping up the root-balls. 

It should be noted that I live in the maritime northwest, and get probably 10-15 days of sub-freezing weather at the most. 

Hop Growing / Re: 2015 Hop season
« on: February 23, 2015, 09:27:33 AM »
I plant my hops in half wine barrels and have coir yarn stretching to the top eves of our brewery/man cave.  The little purple sprouts have already started.  But yesterday, the wife and dumped them all out, trimmed the crowns, put them back in some good new (conditioned) soil. 

If anyone is in the Port Angeles Wa area, I've got Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Fuggle rhizomes free for the taking.....

Equipment and Software / Re: Automated Brewing Systems
« on: February 20, 2015, 09:24:32 AM »
A friend just bought a Grainfather.  I'll be interested to see it.  For him, one of the attractions was the still.

One of my favorite on line disclaimers:

"Distilling equipment is sold for the purposes of water distillation, and the production of essential oils, herbal extracts and ethanol alcohol for use as a fuel." -

Yeah, pretty hilarious.  Gotta CYA I guess.

yep and water pipes and such are for "tobacco"  :o

Not in my state.  LOL

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA offers not honored
« on: February 18, 2015, 09:39:01 AM »
Some servers have not been informed it often seems. Our process is to have them ask the manager. If that does not work we don't let it bother us, we have the beer and move on.

You can contact the AHA about the establishment.

Keith is right, some states don't allow it. Look at Washington state, and the only places listed are homebrew shops.

I live in Washington. 

While it's illegal for the AHA or BA to advertise discounts to their members, many establishments do give a discount.  I'm sure many of you noticed that at NHC a couple years back.  It has something to do with the fact that the BA owns the AHA. 

But when in Washington, just ask. 

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Oh what a relief it is......
« on: February 18, 2015, 09:33:37 AM »
Well, I went to the meeting last Sunday, and the new folks did great.  Another guy like me (1bbl commercial system) gave a talk on hop utilization.  I didn't necessarily agree with every point he made, but I kept quiet, and let the group ask questions.  There were even three new faces. 

And they guy who's beer I really like brought a rye IPA (your recipe Denny).  Quite tasty. 

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Oh what a relief it is......
« on: February 12, 2015, 12:23:18 PM »
Thanks for all the nice words folks, I do feel good about the club and it's future.  The folks taking over the leadership are fairly new to the club, and like mentioned above, both SWMBO and myself have volunteered to mentor them in any way they see fit. 

This Sunday will be the first meeting for them to lead.  I'm sure I'll end up there to lend support, and heckle them from the back of the room. LOL

(Plus even though I sell my beer now, there's one guy in our club that brews much better beer than I do, and I love drinking his stuff)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing today
« on: February 11, 2015, 12:23:57 PM »

I see that you keep a paper-based log, which is a dying art.  That practice will pay off in spades in the years to come.  I have logs that date back to the early nineties.  I still keep a paper-based log.
I use an iPad app to build and manage my recipes. I use the notebook for brew day notes. Keeping the written notes just makes me feel closer to the process I guess. I'm old school.

I print the recipe out of BeerSmith, and use the back side for notes, and keep them all. 

Homebrew Clubs / Oh what a relief it is......
« on: February 11, 2015, 12:02:33 PM »
A pal and I started a club in our community back in 2008.  The next closest club was over 60 miles away.  He puttered out after about a year, and at some meeting meetings we had but 3-4 folks.  We considered shutting it down.  But stuck with it.  Then in 2011, a LHBS opened in town, and agreed to host meetings.  Our club now has about 300+ folks on the email list, and about 35 paid members.  Usual attendance is about 20 folks.  We are starting to outgrow the LHBS. 

Anyway, I have been part of the leadership from the beginning.  I don't think most folks really understand the work involved in running a club.  In 2014, I stepped down from any leadership role, but SWMBO was elected president, so that, of course, included my participation.  It's now 2015, and we have completely new leadership.  I haven't missed a meeting yet. 

But oh what a relief it is to know I don't HAVE to go to the meeting this Sunday.

(although it is a bit like you child going off to college, LOL)

Equipment and Software / Re: The ethics of keggles
« on: February 09, 2015, 01:56:01 PM »
If it says Budweiser I wouldn't give a flying eff.  They have so much power and lobbyist money that if it actually affected them, they'd bribe someone to change the deposit law.

Ethics and morals are not dependent on who you're stealing from.

+1 million.  Thanks Denny. 

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