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Messages - brewmonk

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Going Pro / Re: New monastic beer in Italy
« on: August 03, 2012, 07:54:36 AM »
Thanks for y'all's support (yes, I lived in Texas before coming here).

Yup, really a monk.

Yes, we're only about an hour and a quarter away from Assisi and less than three hours by car from Rome.

Starting a brewery is hard enough, but doing it in another country adds to the challenge, especially when it is not a beer country ... yet  ;)

I do have to say though that our building workers, architects, plumbers, electricians, and painters, and commercial lawyers have really worked hard for us, and they were especially helpful in helping us understand the Italian red tape we needed to deal with.  Much like in the States, don't guess, ask someone who knows.

The best advice I can give for starting a brewery is find others who know what to do and are willing to help explain things to you.  Even though every brewery is unique in its story, there's a lot of hula hoops that everyone has to go through.  Finding informational resources will speed things along nicely.

The monks of Cascinazza (the first monastic brewery in Italy) and the guys at Birra del Borgo and at Vecchio Birraio were also really friendly and helpful with advice.  8)

Going Pro / New monastic beer in Italy
« on: August 02, 2012, 07:16:58 AM »

We just received our brewery license from the Italian state!  :)

We're the 2nd monastic brewery in Italy.  Over half of our community are Americans, so we have the international spirit.  Belgian style beers, slightly modified for Italian tastes, brewed by Americans and Italians, Belgian brewing consultant, etc.
Talk about a crash course in learning about opening a brewery.  :o (the research in Belgium was fun though)

We've started with a Belgian Blond and a Brown.

Sadly, we will have an almost Westvleteren scale distribution.  Our brew system is really small (nano brewery), so our market at the moment is only our town which get's a lot of tourists, and maybe some special requests within Italy.  But the craft brewing movement is growing in Italy much like it did in the US in the 90's, so we hope we'll be able to grow too.

I've wanted to post this earlier, but wasn't able to until everything was official.

Who knew all my years of tasting beers would come in handy in a monastery!  ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer and ice
« on: July 11, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »
It's been sweltering in Italy  :o .  I just turn the beer fridge down lower  :).

For all you beer geek tasters out there  ;) , what's a good infrared thermometer for checking the temp of the beer for serving?

It's still DE over here.

Thanks.  I usually see that a "dust mask" is needed, but I wasn't sure what grade.  I'll see what the safety sheet says (I hope they have those in Italy ;)

We will be using a DE filter in our brewery, and I am trying to get safety things together.  I have read that you should use a mask when working with diatomaceous earth.  Is there a certain type of mask, and do I need anything else like safety glasses or goggles?

Going Pro / Re: Bottle cap graphics
« on: April 28, 2012, 06:42:09 AM »
Thanks for the bottlemark link, but I'm in Italy, so that won't work for me.

Found out our local graphics print company can do them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Coors Light Iced Tea
« on: April 23, 2012, 11:21:33 PM »
Don't  laugh, the last report I saw said that Boston Beer Co's top selling product was Twisted Tea.
It must be the marketing.  "Hard iced tea malt beverage"  sounds so much better than the concept of mixing iced tea and Coors Light.
Although I have to admit, I also get the mental picture of rapper Ice-T holding a can of Coors Light.  :D

Going Pro / Bottle cap graphics
« on: April 15, 2012, 02:21:41 AM »
What is the process for getting bottle cap graphics.  Does the bottle cap company do that or do you have to go to a graphics company?

All Grain Brewing / Re: metric nerdery please: calculation question
« on: April 02, 2012, 06:10:08 AM »
The easiest way to add fun to your brewday is to do calculations in hexadecimal  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: On This Day in 1989...
« on: March 18, 2012, 07:48:36 AM »
June 2010.  Coopers Stout Kit.  Making it I was the antithesis of RDWHAHB.  But the relief of trying it and being pretty happy that I had brewed my first beer and it I liked it was a great feeling! \o/

And I did it in Italy of all places.  Not bad for a Texas boy!

Now if I can just get into all grain.  8)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is homebrew craft beer?
« on: March 17, 2012, 11:17:44 AM »
I've never been wild about the phrase "craft beer". (Though that didn't stop me from using it about seven hundred times in a 27-page business plan.)

It just seems to me that all beer is "crafted". Why not just drop the pretense and call it "good beer"? "Artisanal beer" has a nice ring to it too.

But to answer the question, hell yes. ;)
Here in Italy, craft beer is called "birra artiginale"

Of course homebrewers are craft brewers.  Until some homebrewer has over 50% of the world's beer distribution, I'd say they fit right in with the rest of professional craft brewers.

(Who replaced Denny's picture with Howdy Doody?  ;) )

Ingredients / Re: Coffee Addition into Secondary
« on: February 20, 2012, 09:10:55 AM »
I did Randy Mosher's cold infusion from Radical Brewing, but I used a fine espresso grind (it was all I had) and it ended up being a thick sludge that was almost impossible to filter.  I only ended up adding half of what I wanted to, but I also ended up getting some grounds in the coffee, which I think made it a bit bitter.  However, after a few months it mellowed to a decent flavor.  But I would maybe do a coarser grind if I did this again.

Ingredients / Re: Be afraid....
« on: February 20, 2012, 09:03:50 AM »
That looks absolutely bizarre, but then the first time I heard of a smoked beer I thought it sounded awful, then I tried one and my eyes were opened.  Let us know how this turns out.  I'd be interested in the tasting notes.

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