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Messages - phunhog

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Fundraiser Question
« on: April 10, 2014, 06:41:36 PM »
The new California law is pretty straightforward and might be a model for other States to adopt.  It basically says, you can donate homebrew to a nonprofit and they can sell it at fundraisers (as long as they have a serving license), full stop.  It specifically says you CANNOT sell it as a benefit for your homebrew club (i.e. you can't get around the permitting laws just by calling your brewery a club!).

This is one of the primary reasons why I'm interested in starting a homebrewing club here.  Many local nonprofits would be happy to serve homebrew at their functions.

As an update there is currently legislation to change the law so that the non profit CAN be a brewing related charity.  This is being done so that AHA can have the NHC in CA.  But I do wonder if then a legally recognized non-profit homebrewing club (501c3) COULD have events where they sell their beer and all profits go back to the club.

Going Pro / Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
« on: March 18, 2014, 04:35:48 PM »
I plan to brew full time once I retire. I don't mind cleaning, but I'm not going to bother with regulatory, licensing, payroll, financial, contracts, distribution,  or customers. I figure that ignoring that stuff means that I can brew whenever I feel like it and not go belly up as fast as some of the breweries that do.

That's pretty much where I am at now.  I call it "semi-pro" brewing!   With the new CA homebrew law I am donating/pouring a ton of beer at charity events.  The tax deduction and t shirt sales make it a break even proposition for me  plus as you mentioned I don't have to deal with all the bs! 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 9 oz tumbler
« on: February 28, 2014, 02:34:10 AM »
Just like a lot of you I can stand to lose a few pounds but give up beer??.....Not going to happen!! I have been using this site  Basically you just track EVERYTHING you eat and your workouts and it calculates all of your calories for you. Working great so far...down 10 lbs over a month's time and I can honestly say I haven't given up beer at all.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Lottery Limbo
« on: February 14, 2014, 04:44:22 AM »
I will try not to get too pissy yet....the site said they have until the 19th to notify everyone.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Interesting Judging Phenomenon
« on: January 31, 2014, 09:05:42 PM »
I still enter contests but I wonder why....If I do well I second guess the judges and if I do poorly I second guess the judges.  Judging beer can be so subjective and as others have pointed out influenced by a myriad of factors.  Just remember the most important judge is YOU and whether you are happy with your beer!

Pimp My System / Re: As simple as it gets for a mash tun thermometer
« on: January 27, 2014, 03:25:45 AM »

It must be a lot colder where you are than where I am.  A cooler in my garage never loses more than 2-3 F over the course of a mash, even with ambient temps in the 20s.

Denny...So do you even bother to compensate for the 2-3 degree of temperature loss?  If you hit your mash temp of say 152 and after an hour you are down to 149-150 do you just roll with it?   Of course we all know it will make beer but I have always wondered how important it is to maintain the exact temperature for the full 60 min duration.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Being Water Wise
« on: January 24, 2014, 07:35:51 PM »
I have heard some of the larger breweries are going to use wastewater from their public urinals in the tap room as "grey water" for cooling purposes.

Not really but I am sure someone has plans to do something similar

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Financials
« on: January 24, 2014, 06:19:50 PM »
I would like to see the AHA financials. Not because I think anything is wrong but I think it is important for the membership to know where our money goes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Being Water Wise
« on: January 24, 2014, 06:18:05 PM »
Double batch!! The cooling water from the first back goes right into the MLT and HLT for the next brew. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: January 09, 2014, 04:10:32 AM »
I have always been interested in this subject.  I was keeping track of my OG with a refractometer throughout a 60 minute mash at 150-154.  My basic conclusion was that I was not seeing any increase in OG past 40-45 minutes.  Now I have a question...Is there a correlation between OG and fermentability....or anything else?  In other words if I mash for 45 minutes at 152 and have reached an OG of 1.060 is there any benefit of mashing another 15 minutes at 152 if the OG is still 1.060?   Are there other reactions taking place(other than starch conversion) that we need to be worried about?

Ingredients / Re: Best way to sanitize cocoa nibs??
« on: December 09, 2013, 03:09:17 PM »
I soaked mine in bourbon for 5 days.....probably not what you want in your beer though.

Beer Recipes / Re: American IPA recipe advice
« on: December 09, 2013, 05:22:23 AM »
Personally I like a little bit of wheat(2-3%)in my IPA's.....maybe sub out the carapils for wheat??

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Cold steeping specialty grains
« on: December 07, 2013, 04:14:38 PM »
I have had great results adding my dark specialty grains at vorlauf/'s a lot easier than cold steeping.

The Pub / Re: OK one more thread on the Brewery bubble
« on: December 06, 2013, 06:18:24 PM »
As was mentioned earlier, there is no way most of these nano and pico operations can last for long (no offense to anyone here that is running one of those). UNless you have a brew pub, I'm not sure how you can subsist on anything smaller than a 10 bbl system. I am filling 30 bbl tanks now and the amount of money I am making off a 30 bbl batch is not enough to make me or any of my partners rich by any means. I'm making about 1/3rd the salary I was when I left my job and working 2Xs as much. Granted, we are forced to go through a distributor which takes a nice, hefty cut and while we are permitted to have a tap room we can not sell growlers or other packages on premiss.

So in that case, I think there will be a bust eventually as many of the nanos and picos fail or simply get bored and quit. OTOH it's so easy to start a nano or pico now that I believe they will continue to pop up as other ones fail.

I'm sure there are exceptions across the nation but the picos and nanos operating locally are simply terrible. Most of these folks are people who got the idea to open a brewery before they learned how to brew or some of them obviously learned to brew and their friends and family told them how great their beer was and that they should open a brewery. What's amazing to me is, in some instances here in the south some of the latter are actually thriving because craft beer is so new here a lot of people think "that's just the way it is supposed to taste". But as people tastes evolve I think even these places will begin to fail.

FWIW I think there is money to be made in the brewery world and I think you can definitely support yourself and make a good living but it takes a lot of money and time and effort to get there and you have to be selling a lot of beer or have a very busy tap room or successful restaurant driven brew pub to get there.
Now everyone's situation is different but how long are you willing to keep making 1/3 less money and working 2x more?  At some point I think a lot of people are going to throw in the towel because there is no light at the end of the tunnel.   

The Pub / Re: OK one more thread on the Brewery bubble
« on: December 06, 2013, 05:52:12 AM »
I think the bubble will not so much burst as slowly deflate.  What's going to happen in a few years when all these breweries realize that they are pretty much "as big as they are ever going to be"?  Long hours with low pay is great when you are starting out but how about 10 years into it?  At some point I think a lot of people are going to get sick of it and go into other careers.  Like someone said...shelf space isn't infinite and you can only sell so much out of your own taproom.  Plus a small brewery IS competing against the big craft brewers who have the infrastructure, marketing, and money to make/keep customers.

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