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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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4111
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: January 01, 2013, 07:07:04 PM »
One of the things I've learned, talking to German people, is that "Germany" is kind of an abstract concept, while the historically independent regions (Bavaria, Thuringia, Saxony, Franconia, etc) are very much still how Germans think about their country. "Germany" is a fairly recent invention, so "German" lager flavor is a bit of a misnomer.
Deutschland is how they think of it. Germany is what we call it.

Of course, the Franconians will tell you they are not really Bavarian.

4112
Kegging and Bottling / Re: co2 tank filling
« on: January 01, 2013, 05:04:04 PM »
We fill propane tanks by weight.
Is that a common thing in MO?  I've never seen that, all of the places here and any other place I've gotten a tank filled charge by the gallon.

I swap all of my CO2 tanks, I really prefer it.  Very fast and easy.

In MI it is by weight. The tank goes on a scale, they set it for the tare and fill weight from the table they have posted on the filling shed wall.

Edit - there are few that charge by the gallon, but those are more expensive in my limited experience with that fill charge schedule.

4113
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« on: January 01, 2013, 01:56:53 PM »
I tried really hard to make the numbers work for a 1.5 bbl system and just couldn't figure out a way to pay myself a living wage. A lot of that has to do with locality though: rent/mortgage, utilities, taxes, compliance costs for health codes, etc. If your location is on the low side as far as costs, then 3 bbl is probably workable. In a place like Southern California it would probably be a struggle to break even at 15 bbl.

There are a couple of 3 barrel breweries in the UP, the rent is pretty low in Calumet on the Keweenaw Peninsula, or in Sault Ste Marie.

There is a 1 barrel place in Marquette named Blackrocks that has a good reputation for good beer, but they are only open Thurs-Sat, and sell all the beer they have ready on those days. 

4114
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« on: January 01, 2013, 01:49:01 PM »
I thought I read once that to make a brewing business worthwhile a person needs a minimum of a 7 barrel system.

Generally, that's true, but I think 3bbl is the absolute minimum. I can't think of any situation where anything smaller ever makes sense. There is a cafe in Michigan that does like 1bbl extract brews, in addition to selling other beer and coffee, but I think most nanos are vanity projects more than viable businesses.

You must be thinking of Sue's Coffee House/Bella Casa di Vino.

There is also Patchwork in Decatur MI that brews on a half barrel set up. A Bravo! restaurant in Kalamazoo brews on a small system maybe 1/2 barrel to 1 barrel. Paw Paw started off with a half barrel system, now has a 7 bbl. Odd Sides started at 1 bbl, but now has 7 barrel tanks, not sure on brewhouse size now. There are many in the 3 to 5 range in MI. Witches Hat in South Lyon started at 4, and he can't keep up with demand - his beers are usually good - and he is looking to expand.

It is a way to get started, but soon you will need a bigger system. Just so you know, Larry Bell started with a 15 gallon soup pot, and now will be in the 250,000 barrel/year range for 2012.




4115
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: January 01, 2013, 12:53:21 PM »
Thanks for posting, nateo.  That was an interesting read.  I used to decoct a lot of my German lagers.  I stopped doing that last summer, opting for single-infusion mashes instead.
Any difference? I did a Vienna a couple weeks back, just an infusion. Will see what I think in a few months.

4116
Ingredients / Re: Water Check - not Happy with "Pale Ale" profile
« on: January 01, 2013, 11:23:28 AM »
I am tempted to try Stone's water profile (with adjustments for pH if necessary) as stated in Koch's book:

30ppm Ca
12ppm Mg
85ppm Sulfate
40ppm Sodium

The low Ca and high Na are scary though.

When we toured Stone, the guide said that the tap water was blended with RO, 50:50. I am too lazy to look up the water profile for that part of the country, but they get a fair amount from the Colorado River, which is full of minerals. The profile above may be what they have in the HLT.

There was also a shipping pallet stacked high with a 50 Lb bags of Gypsum and Calcium Chloride. I assume they use those minerals to adjust for the beer they are brewing.


40 ppm sodium is not that high.  Don't worry too much about that.

The Colorado River water quality is not too good for brewing.  Ask any Las Vegan or Los Angeleno.  Diluting with RO is a reasonable alternative. 

Hmm??? I have no idea what a brewer would do with bags of minerals!  ;-)

Having bathed in Colorado river water for 15 days once, I can say it is wet in a grimy way. The drinking water was run through a .2 micron filter, IIRC. Not good for bathing and was not the best drinking water either.

The Colorado picks up minerals through the Red Rock country, as it goes through the Paradox basin (salt), Gypsum from deposits in Canyonlands NP, and of course the Red Rock gives it the calcium carbonate that binds the sandstone together. There is also a little radioactive run off - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moab_uranium_mill_tailings_pile




4117
Ingredients / Re: Water Check - not Happy with "Pale Ale" profile
« on: January 01, 2013, 10:51:18 AM »
I am tempted to try Stone's water profile (with adjustments for pH if necessary) as stated in Koch's book:

30ppm Ca
12ppm Mg
85ppm Sulfate
40ppm Sodium

The low Ca and high Na are scary though.

When we toured Stone, the guide said that the tap water was blended with RO, 50:50. I am too lazy to look up the water profile for that part of the country, but they get a fair amount from the Colorado River, which is full of minerals. The profile above may be what they have in the HLT.

There was also a shipping pallet stacked high with a 50 Lb bags of Gypsum and Calcium Chloride. I assume they use those minerals to adjust for the beer they are brewing.

I think you have to experiment and find what works for you.


4118
All Grain Brewing / Re: first AG questions
« on: January 01, 2013, 07:49:26 AM »

2. cleaning my mash tun was quite the endeavor how do you guys go about doing it?


If you ever have to scoop out the spent grains from a 7 bbl mash tun with no manway on the hottest day of the year in a hot brewhouse, the amount we deal with is "no problem". Just saying.

4119
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« on: December 31, 2012, 09:34:35 PM »
I see the same thing happening here - I'm wondering when the slide will come.  I hope never, but that seems unlikely. :(

I think a contraction is inevitable, but I'm not sure it will be as bad as the statistics make it seem. The number of new breweries opening in the past couple years is enormous, but it seems to me that relative to previous years, a lot of them are nanos. A lot of the dollar growth is coming from already-large breweries getting larger.

At least, for my own sake I hope so. ???

If you have a niche in your area, and make quality beer, you will be OK. That fits your situation, no? Hope to visit in a few years.

The ones that will fold are the mid sized ones that have poor quality, or bad financial situations. A couple of those went under in MI last year. There will be more. Then again, more are opening than closing.


4120
The Pub / Re: Shortshipped grain from AHS
« on: December 31, 2012, 09:29:03 PM »
I should know Austin Homebrew Supply?  I'm sure they are awesome, but the only thing I'm in contact out that way are the DirecTV satellites.
They are a fairly big online supplier. Should you know them in Hawaii, probably not on your radar there. I have never used them, as I have a good LHBS.

4121
The Pub / Re: Shortshipped grain from AHS
« on: December 31, 2012, 02:36:08 PM »
What's AHS?
Austin Homebrew Supply.

4122
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Growth of Homebrewing/Microbreweries
« on: December 31, 2012, 10:32:10 AM »
There is a very real possibility of a bust happening in the next year or two. While we don't have any signs of slowing as of yet tap space is starting to get really crowded and while the demand for my beer is still high other much larger craft breweries like Bells and Sweet Water are taking over taps with much lower priced products. The bigger you grow, the scarier it gets!

It is looking like the 90s again, everyone who has brewed a couple batches of beer wants to open a brewery. The quick buck people are getting into it. At the same time, all of the established breweries here in Michigan are expanding. Bells has their 200 bbl system on line, and has 250k barrels as the target this year, and the capacity (with more tanks added) is said to be in the 800k range.

If the sales slow down, and the big breweries are set to increase, that will be trouble for the ones that have quality or financial issues. Just like the 90s.

4123
Did an Old Ale yesterday with a friend who is fond of Old Peculier, and we split the batch.

4124
Ingredients / Re: Combination of hops to create an "orange" flavor
« on: December 29, 2012, 08:02:24 PM »
It has been said that the Bells house yeast is responsible for the orange flavor in Oberon. I might agree with that, but have never tried to do an Oberon. It is a fruity yeast.

Just wanted to say that yeast is something to consider.

4125
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Ballsiest beer ever...
« on: December 29, 2012, 07:48:01 AM »
Larry Bell had a Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout at his talk, 2003 NHC in Chicago. It was drinkable, it was a stout, not sure what the RMOs brought to the beer.

Some could not drink the sample.

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