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Messages - majorvices

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4921
Going Pro / Re: First Steps
« on: August 10, 2011, 06:35:53 AM »
You can use just about any address to start the paperwork. You will have to have an actual, physical location to be approved by TBB and local ABC, and of course the local authorities such as building and health.

4922
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 10, 2011, 06:29:19 AM »
Sure, if you have the capital that can work, assuming you want to be a production brewery. We are talking at least 15 bbl brew house back to back to back brewing into 50bbl tanks. I've been to breweries that do this, Troeg's for one (though they are bigger than 15 bbl MT. Can't remember how big.)

Reality is, that's not what the OP is talking about with the amount of funds he has posited - not even close by a long shot. Surely you don't think you are going to hire 3 shifts on to fill carboys? That would be pretty funny actually.  :D

4923
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 10, 2011, 05:44:33 AM »
Well, if you can only sell 3bbls of beer a week you are in trouble. Our problem has never been selling beer, its been keeping up with demand. It has been a HUGE problem. Let me just say that again: a FRIGGIN HUGE problem.

That said, our philosophy was to start out to create demand first and then fill that demand. Still wish I started out at the size I am now and grew into a 7 or 10 bbl system. The fact of the matter is any size brewery smaller than 3 bbl brewery means you will be working lots of hours for free. In fact, I have a 3bbl system and I am working 40-50 hours a week for free now.

Or you do what some of the smaller breweries here did, hire another brewer and work 2 shifts to keep up with demand.  You have to figure out the cost of that and will it fit into your plans.  

If you can't afford to pay yourself, can you afford the brewer?

A bigger system allows one to spend more time on the business end, which is bigger than most homebrewers would think.



This is a very good suggestion. If you are short on equipment, hire someone to help you so you get the full use of it, IE 2nd or 3rd shifts. While everyone loves the thought of being totally independent and doing everything on their own, many times that's impossible with expensive and/or limited equipment. I've seen this happen and it resulted in a closed business. (Not brewing related.)

If you are short on equipment what are you going to be hiring people to fill? Doesn't make sense. Also, if you aren't making enough money to pay yourself a decent wage on a small system, where do you get the money to hire other shifts?

I guess it looks easy on the outside, but making it work doesn't happen by just snapping your fingers or inventing ideas. Hard work and dedication is what makes it work. That said, we are close to getting to the point where we could hire on a part time person at min. wage. There's no way I would trust just anyone to come in and brew though.

4924
Ya know, there are some good reasons not to try this regardless of the gelatin. Yeast is not as healthy after finishing a high gravity, highly hopped beer. The high gravity causes the yeast to be "tired" and the excess hop resins coats the cells causing further problems. Personally, I'd just pitch some fresh yeast.

4925
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 10, 2011, 05:19:20 AM »
Thanks Fred - read the rules and forgot. Also up drinking late after a long day so started to rant again.  ::)

4926
The Pub / Re: You should all be fired
« on: August 09, 2011, 07:16:40 PM »
"One financial industry professional was blunter in dismissing the downgrade. "Frankly, S&P could have delivered their opinion to me at my desk, printed on vellum, two weeks beforehand, hand delivered by a naked singing supermodel, and I would still have ignored it," he wrote in an email."

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/p-slammed-u-downgrade-160436799.html

That guy is a liar. Just sayin'.

Well, I bet he wouldn't have been paying much attention to what was actually delivered.   ;)

Ok, you got me there.  ;)

4927
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 09, 2011, 07:03:31 PM »
Yes, a bigger system allows you to clear a larger profit margin. A quick look at the math makes it clear. For instance, if you have a 1 bbl brewery that ends up being six 1/6 kegs you can sell for, say, $xx a piece for a low gravity beer. That's only $xxx for one work day and you haven;t even counted in the grain and hops costs, utilities, water, or other such overhead. On top of that you haven't even counted in the time that you spend cleaning, pitching yeast, managing fermentation and cellaring, let alone packaging and cleaning kegs.

That said, it takes about the same amount of man hours to make 7 bbls as it does to make 1 bbl (not counting packaging, though the correct equipment makes that go much faster). Now you are talking $x,xxx for one days work, not counting ingredients and overhead.

Speaking of packaging, you will most likely have to keg and kegs are not cheap and corny kegs are not useable by bars in all most every case. You are talking about a 5K investment in kegs alone just to get started off on a 1bbl brewery. And everytime you grow you need more kegs. Sometime you need more kegs all the sudden and you haven't grown at all. Cooperage is a HUGE pain in the ass.

I'm not trying to scare anyone, just look at what you are getting into. This stuff is expensive.


modified to xx the proposed sale price of the beer.   We cannot talk about or imply the sale price of beer here.   Fred Bonjour

4928
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 09, 2011, 06:39:03 PM »
Well, if you can only sell 3bbls of beer a week you are in trouble. Our problem has never been selling beer, its been keeping up with demand. It has been a HUGE problem. Let me just say that again: a FRIGGIN HUGE problem.

That said, our philosophy was to start out to create demand first and then fill that demand. Still wish I started out at the size I am now and grew into a 7 or 10 bbl system. The fact of the matter is any size brewery smaller than 3 bbl brewery means you will be working lots of hours for free. In fact, I have a 3bbl system and I am working 40-50 hours a week for free now.

4929
The Pub / Re: Just have to say thanks...
« on: August 09, 2011, 06:32:35 PM »
You should post her number here so we can all cross reference it and make sure we have the right one.  :P

4930
Going Pro / Re: Equipment Laws for Brewery
« on: August 09, 2011, 06:21:42 PM »

Are we allowed to brew in open top keg systems like we homebrew now?

Yes, open top system is not an issue, least not in my location - but indoor propane very well might be. But if you are on well water you are going to have a huge issue if you ever grow past the homebrew size batches. You use so much water that you would easily fill a septic system very, very quickly. Perhaps you could manage some type of run off system on you acreage, I dunno.

I strongly encourage you to start with the largest brewery you can afford. Even at a 50 gallon size batch you won't even come close to paying for your amount of effort. At the very least you need a 3 bbl brewery or you are just spinning your wheels.
Quote
We would be starting small with a brewery, just as we started farming small, because we believe it's better not to go into debt and rather build up slowly.  

I hate to sound like a pessimist but in my experience sooner or later you will have to either go in debt or crack into your life savings or both (or find an investor). The numbers simply don't work out any other way. You are not going to make enough money on a 12 gallon system to float the boat and save up for expansion unless you plan on brewing for 100 years. Professional brewing is a venture with super high overhead and low profit margin.

4931
Going Pro / Re: Equipment Laws for Brewery
« on: August 09, 2011, 06:09:11 PM »
I certainly agree with the above, to a certain extent. Unfortunately you will find than much of the used market is either hard to come by or as expensive as new. Even the old used dairy equipment is going for a premium now. we started bidding for a used 7 bbl brewery and got outbid. We could buy it new for cheaper. OTOH we end up having to wait for the new equipment to be constructed. So you end up either paying a premium for used or paying for new and waiting 6+ months.

4932
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Wheat
« on: August 09, 2011, 05:29:54 PM »
First off.... never ever NEVER pitch any beer that warm. EVER! Bad idea for just about any beer IME. But especially not weissbiers. Generally you don't want to pitch until they are in the low 60's or high 50's for best results. Temp control - and even yeast pitching temps - is one of the single most important things you can do to improve the character of your beer. I never pitch any yeast over 70 degrees, ever.

As far as what happened. The yeast was working and generating Co2 which was trapped in solution. When you shook the carboy it was like shaking a 2 L bottle of soda. I've had this happen a few times as well.

4933
The Pub / Re: Just have to say thanks...
« on: August 09, 2011, 05:20:09 PM »
I'll just say +1. Amen brother.

+2. I lost her number as well.

4934
Going Pro / Re: Equipment Laws for Brewery
« on: August 09, 2011, 03:45:12 PM »
Oh yeah - one other thing to check is how much your lic. to sell is going to cost you. Depends on your state but it costs us $1000 per year just for the right to sell alcohol to our distributors. We can't sell our beer without that license.

4935
Going Pro / Re: Equipment Laws for Brewery
« on: August 09, 2011, 03:33:10 PM »
definitely check with your local health authorities first. For instance, I opened a brewery about a year ago. We were not allowed to use a mash paddle unless we had a three bay sink (one for soaking, another for rinsing, another for sanitizing) that was big enough to fit the paddle in. We had to spend $5,000 on food grade lights and another $5,000 for an interceptor out front to keep yeast, glass and grain from getting into city sewer. We also ended up hiring an architect to help get around all the city pit falls. By the time we were done with our facility we had dropped at least $50K and hadn't even brewed a batch of beer yet.

Also, just a warning from a guy who has been doing this for about a year now. Frankly, your just going to be pointlessly spinning your wheels on anything smaller than a 3 bbl system. I started with a 55 gallon kettle and that was foolish. I've now worked my way up to a hobbled together (nearly) 3 bbl system. I work about 40-50 hours a week basically for free - I take about $100 out of pettty cash to pay for gas and lunch. I am growing a business and we hope to have a 7bbl system installed by October but just realize how much work it is and ask yourself why you would want to basically brew for free so that others can drink it up.  ;)

Just be sure you know what you are getting into.

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