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Messages - micsager

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Coming....Now What?
« on: April 27, 2015, 07:22:19 PM »
I've never swapped a tank. Any place I've been will fill it on the spot, usually. I won't leave the tank or exchange.

I lost a nice new one the first time I exchanged.  But big deal.  I use the Co2, not the pretty tank.  Plus, if I want my own tank filled, it's a 70 mile drive.  To exchange it, is less than 5 miles.  Pretty simple.  The thing that gets me, is a 5lb tank cost me about $18.  A 20lb tank is $21.  That's why I have been slowly selling my 5lb ones.  Just need two for the kegerators.  But for carbonating, and such, the 20lb is the way to go.  (at least with a 1bbl system)

Equipment and Software / Re: Kegerator Thoughts
« on: April 24, 2015, 03:47:27 PM »
I have two, 2 tap homeowner style kegerators.  Costco was clearing them out many years ago.  They were originally single tower, but I changed that.  Two corny's in each one.  That's plenty of capacity for me.  They work great.  I bought them before I was even homebrewing.

If all you need is one or two taps, then go for it.  But as others have said, sometimes two just isn't enough.  I had a chance to buy a True commerical style kegerator about a year ago for only $200.  Nice little machine, but was very loud.  I passed. 

Hop Growing / Re: 2015 Hop season
« on: March 26, 2015, 02:42:19 PM »
Cascade about two foot, Willamette and Centennial are about a foot. Giving them a few more days then hacking them down. I don't trust that spring is here just yet.

Well, over here on the wet (I mean west) side of the cascades, mine have been sprouted, but only a few now have leaves.  But let me ask, I've always cut the first growth much smaller than 2 feet.  Why wait so long?  I've read somewhere, that once they have two set of leaves, it's time.  But you're much closer to Yakima, than I. 

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Our first commercial beer
« on: March 20, 2015, 05:22:44 PM »
I'm just glad I actually was able to get a photo to work! 

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Our first commercial beer
« on: March 20, 2015, 04:49:22 PM »
We have a 1bbl blichmann system.  Top tier and tower of power.  5, 42 gallon conicals. 

We have a great time.  And it certainly pays for itself.  But only because of some "strange" things.  Our brewery is an outbuilding on our residential property.  We are outside city limits, and the zoning was already in place.  Plus, the LHBS and I combine orders for some savings there.  Getting licensed was actually fairly easy.  It's the monthly reports to the state, and quarterly to the feds that's a PITA. 

It's a hobby, not a business.  We're still homebrewers really, just licensed to sell the stuff.  When I look at the "pimp my system" board, many folks have fancier stuff than we do. 

Going Pro / Re: Good Resources for Exploring Going Pro.
« on: March 20, 2015, 03:55:22 PM »
We're just up in Washington.  Port Angeles to be specific.  If you ever venture a little north, come by and say hello. 

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Our first commercial beer
« on: March 20, 2015, 03:49:08 PM »
Very cool.  (not so much the picture, but that it actually worked)

Homebrewer Bios / Our first commercial beer
« on: March 20, 2015, 03:48:20 PM »
Still trying to figure out how to post a picture.  If this works, it's a picture of me and SWMBO next to the tap of our first commercial sale a few years back. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Liquid vs dry yeast?
« on: March 16, 2015, 09:17:29 PM »
I believe folks can make great beer with dry yeast.  But, you have way more selection of differing strains with liquid yeast. 

I'm a Wyeast guy personally, but only because I live close to Portland, and it's never more than a couple weeks old at my LHBS.  I bought some 1056 once and it was only 4 days old. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Looking for feedback
« on: March 06, 2015, 11:15:05 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, 11:19:00 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, 04:18:13 PM »
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, 04:14:20 PM »
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, 11:18:56 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, 05:25:18 PM »
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. 

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