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Messages - majorvices

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Going Pro / Re: kegs
« on: February 26, 2013, 11:14:14 AM »
A local brewery rep recently told me they no longer fill 1/4 bbl kegs.

For most of their draft accounts (and they are a pretty big Indiana brewery), they either do not fit in the kegging system or the customer doesn't want a 1/4 bbl in place of a 1/6 bbl or a 1/2 bbl.

Now that I think about it, I don't see the 1/4 bbl very often anymore.

Exact opposite of what we have been told, that people are moving away from 1/6 to 1/4. We have gone almost exclusively with 1/4 and 1/2 and only use the 1/6 for very small specialty beers that we charge premium for.

Kegging and Bottling / Beer Line Cleaning
« on: February 26, 2013, 07:28:51 AM »
I've gotten to the point where I just replace my beer lines every 4 months or so. Part of it is lazy, but it is just faster for me. I dissassemable faucets and couplers/taps/QDC and soak them in hot oxyclean and hit them with a brush and put it all back together with new lines. New lines don't need sanitizing, by the way.

Yeast and Fermentation / Barleywine vs Imperial Beer at 10% ABV
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:30:53 AM »
The difference between an IIPA and a Barley Wine is that an IIPA is a beer that is higher attenuated (or should be) than a BW and is meant to be a showcase for hops where as a BW is a beer the heavily emphasizes the malt. There are too many IIPAs out there that are way too much like a hoppy BW, but the difference should be very noticeable. Personally I think a IIPA is best when it is up around 8-9.5% ABV and a BW upwards of 9%. The amount of hops you put in a IIPA (especially finishing hops and dry hops) should be ridiculous and you would want to use a small portion of sugar (5-10%) to dry the beer out where as on a BW the amount of hops put in, while still pretty high, are no where near the craziness factor of a IIPA and sugar is optional.

BW do require a bit of age for the flavors to meld together and is one of the few beer styles that actually improves w/significant age while a IIPA peaks early and should be consumed fresh.

I'm not sure how true this is but I have a hunch that IIPA evolved out of American Barley Wine with a heavy influence on Belgian Tripel brewing as far as attenuation goes. At least, that's my approach.

Going Pro / kegs
« on: February 26, 2013, 05:19:42 AM »
we lease SS kegs. I can assure you, it's a racket. If at all possible own then. The amount we needed we could have bought a new 30bbl brew house had we had the cash up front. But it is going to bite us in the ass over the long term. We pay more on the keg lease than we do to lease the facility.

Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: February 25, 2013, 12:45:31 PM »
Trey - I think the first business loan was in 2011. Second one was last year.

Going Pro / Starting a brewery
« on: February 25, 2013, 06:31:07 AM »
I started my brewery with 3 other partners and myself. We each put in equal amount of money and started very small. Brewed for a year to build a brand and a concept then approached a bank for a loan. Grew for a year and approached the bank for another loan. We started as a single bbl brewhouse and now have a 15 bbl brewhouse with 30 bbl tanks.

It's not easy. I worked 40+ hours/week for over a year for free, still make far less than I did working in the business world and still have a long way to go to grow my business. But it has been a lot of fun and a great challenge and I love it.

15 years brewing is the experience I had under my belt when I went commercial. I think that is one of the most important things you can have to open a brewery. You really need to know how to make good beer and you need to iron out a handful of recipes.

Only other thing I will warn you of is everyone and their brother is opening a brewery now and the market is getting tight. You will be a year or two out from getting a hop contract unless you stumble on some good fortune. And this industry is in unsustained growth right now, especially in certain parts of the country.

The Pub / Babalu
« on: February 23, 2013, 04:09:45 PM »
As much as we want him to come back and post it may still be too big of a challenge for our old friend. Prayers and thoughts still with you, brother.

Ingredients / Polenta
« on: February 22, 2013, 08:00:20 AM »
yeah, I've never used corn starch but all you have to do is taste it - it doesn't have a corn flavor like grits or even flaked maize.

Going Pro / Combining Batches
« on: February 22, 2013, 05:33:51 AM »
You even can tipple brew.

Unlike Major I pitch yeast after first batch I double brew in one day and I am on verge to start tipple brewing. You should not put more wort in the fermenter after 24 hours from pitching. (well you could. Nobody will stop you).

Good Luck

Yeah, the reason I don't pitch right away is because I run off the first batch at about 75 or so into the fermentor and use the glycol to lower that temp down into a few degrees below the temp I am targeting, then I run the second batch over at 70-72 and the blending causes both to hit in the mid 60s. If I was to run both off at same temp I'd have to run pumps slower. Simply a way for me to run off faster into the fermentor, saving around 30-45 minutes or so off brewday.

Lots of ways to do it, not necessarily right or wrong.

Going Pro / Combining Batches
« on: February 21, 2013, 10:18:08 AM »
That's how a lot of breweries do it. I have a 15 bbl brew house and 30 bbl fermentors. I have to brew twice to fill one. usually in one dayt but sometimes I will mash and bring the second batch to 200 degrees or so and bring back to boil the next morning.

I pitch my yeast all at one time but some pitch after the first runoff. Like in homebrewing different breweries have different ways of doing stuff.

So are you planning on opening a brewery or are you just curious?

Ingredients / Polenta
« on: February 20, 2013, 06:10:20 PM »
I find corn to be a pleasant addition to a few beers. I like the way it "softly" lightens the body as opposed to sugar which lightens the body but doesn't leave anything but alcohol.

I'm working with some recipes right now with corn grits that I am fairly excited about.

i used instant grits in my cap last summer and was pretty pleased.  i don't know about commercial use of instant grits and if cost effective over non instant and having to cook, but i doubt you will be dissapointed in the product

Hard to find instant grits in bulk! But yeah, I used to use instant grits and I liked the results as well.

Beer Recipes / Barley Wine by Fal Allen & Dick Cantwell - Opinions needed
« on: February 20, 2013, 08:40:32 AM »
Champagne yeast has genetically selected to consume fructose, not maltose. In my experience it is less attenuative in a beer than brewer's yeast.

General Homebrew Discussion / Suggestions for Beer for Cinco de Mayo
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:29:39 AM »
I have been toying around with the idea of a "Mexi Lager" but made with Agave sugar and lime zest. Finally going to do it this year, but probably not by Cinco de Mayo.

Going Pro / Yeast Nutrient
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:27:45 AM »
Next big purchase (before microbiologist!) is DO meter.
You can't buy microbiologists dude! ;D


Ingredients / Re: Polenta
« on: February 17, 2013, 04:14:30 PM »
I find corn to be a pleasant addition to a few beers. I like the way it "softly" lightens the body as opposed to sugar which lightens the body but doesn't leave anything but alcohol.

I'm working with some recipes right now with corn grits that I am fairly excited about.
You should be able to source some quality local grits down there.

Edit - what do you plan to do for a cooker? Or are you going to go the instant grits route?

Yeah, there is a mill just north of us called Falls Mill. They are one of the only water powered mills in the states. Beautiful place, too -

I want to get a cereal cooker. Right now I'm working on 10 gallon recipes. Once I dial in and brew it commercially I'll be sure to pay my debt I owe to you and your friend. (I never brewed the StickeAlt this year. We screwed around and messed up our winter seasonals. Ooops).

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