Author Topic: 1 BBL garage system with automation  (Read 19359 times)

Offline Jo Diesel

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2013, 07:36:02 AM »
Have you thought about hooking up with a local Pub? There are a lot of Brew Pubs popping up around here. As long as they are serving food and being inspected there is no other licensing required. Not sure what they are doing to retail as some are selling growlers. Personally I think there is a market for 5 gal kegs. Could sell premium beer and still be aforadable

Offline bentwood

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2013, 07:53:26 PM »
Have you thought about hooking up with a local Pub? There are a lot of Brew Pubs popping up around here. As long as they are serving food and being inspected there is no other licensing required. Not sure what they are doing to retail as some are selling growlers. Personally I think there is a market for 5 gal kegs. Could sell premium beer and still be aforadable

At this size there really isn't any money in it. You don't break even till you hit 7BBL and only if you serve food which means kitchen equipment and staff. Bottling or kegging the break even happens at 17 BBL. Tight now it's a hobby and I have a small but devoted following and all the beer I can drink. Life is good.

Offline micsager

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2013, 11:06:09 AM »
Have you thought about hooking up with a local Pub? There are a lot of Brew Pubs popping up around here. As long as they are serving food and being inspected there is no other licensing required. Not sure what they are doing to retail as some are selling growlers. Personally I think there is a market for 5 gal kegs. Could sell premium beer and still be aforadable

At this size there really isn't any money in it. You don't break even till you hit 7BBL and only if you serve food which means kitchen equipment and staff. Bottling or kegging the break even happens at 17 BBL. Tight now it's a hobby and I have a small but devoted following and all the beer I can drink. Life is good.

My wife and I are fully licensed by the feds and state for our brewery.  Right now, we are only brewing ten gallon batches, and the hobby makes us money.  Next month we'll be moving a 1bbl system, but still pretty manual.  And all our profits go right back into brewing toys.  We jsut recently build a walk in fermentation room with cooling and heating for good temperature control. 

Here is a samll brewery in Portlan, OR that brews on a 1bbl system and they've been in business for 20 years.  They must be doing something right. 

Depending on the salary of day your job, and your market, you've got everything you need to do it.  (except you can't brew commercially in your garage unless you block the door to the house, if connected. if that's a seperate building, you are golden)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2013, 01:11:36 PM »
Seems like overhead would play into it. Say a guy inherits his grandfather's old bakery, which is next door to great western malt, and his cousin manages Haas in Yakima. .. odds are it would be easier to show a profit than a guy you starts with nothing but a big loan.

In any event I will never make money brewing. That's a certainty.

Offline micsager

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2013, 01:21:43 PM »
Seems like overhead would play into it. Say a guy inherits his grandfather's old bakery, which is next door to great western malt, and his cousin manages Haas in Yakima. .. odds are it would be easier to show a profit than a guy you starts with nothing but a big loan.

In any event I will never make money brewing. That's a certainty.

No doubt you are correct.  We already had a 40X60 shop that we converted tot he brewery.  While not next door to Great Western or Haas, we are only about 100 miles away from either.  (for us, Puterbaugh Farms in Yakima is a better way to go)  And, a friend owns another brewery in town with a tap room, that has given us two "guest" taps.  (as long as we can keep them full)




Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2013, 01:52:30 PM »
Sweet! Washington rocks the beer world. I'm an hour and a half drive from both, but no daddy war bucks to support such a venture. Which is fine cuz I have no dream of turning my fun into work. Glad it works out for some folks though.

Offline micsager

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2013, 02:05:23 PM »
I have no dream of turning my fun into work.

I hear ya.  I'm brewing tonight, and cleaning 5-6 cornies.  Oh Joy.

LOL.  It's all worth when I see those two tap handles more active than the other guest taps, and those are full of Ninkasi, Langunitas, Stone, and Fremont.

 


Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2013, 02:09:43 PM »
If my day job was retirement, and I lived close, and someone wanted me to help out? That would be cool. But me personally, I have a big huge reality check when it comes to the fantasy of going pro. Not for me.

I should add that I like my beer and everyone who tries it says I should go for it. But, like auditions on American Idol, most of which are there because their grandmother continually praised their singing. Yet they never sought an unbiased pro opinion until Simon ripped them a new one.

I will soak up the friendly biased praise and leave it at that. King brewer of my garage!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 02:17:22 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline euge

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2013, 03:06:34 PM »
I'm thinking "retirement" might be pushing a broom in a brewery with opportunity to sample frequently.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline bentwood

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2013, 04:05:40 PM »
Have you thought about hooking up with a local Pub? There are a lot of Brew Pubs popping up around here. As long as they are serving food and being inspected there is no other licensing required. Not sure what they are doing to retail as some are selling growlers. Personally I think there is a market for 5 gal kegs. Could sell premium beer and still be aforadable

At this size there really isn't any money in it. You don't break even till you hit 7BBL and only if you serve food which means kitchen equipment and staff. Bottling or kegging the break even happens at 17 BBL. Tight now it's a hobby and I have a small but devoted following and all the beer I can drink. Life is good.

My wife and I are fully licensed by the feds and state for our brewery.  Right now, we are only brewing ten gallon batches, and the hobby makes us money.  Next month we'll be moving a 1bbl system, but still pretty manual.  And all our profits go right back into brewing toys.  We jsut recently build a walk in fermentation room with cooling and heating for good temperature control. 

Here is a samll brewery in Portlan, OR that brews on a 1bbl system and they've been in business for 20 years.  They must be doing something right. 

Depending on the salary of day your job, and your market, you've got everything you need to do it.  (except you can't brew commercially in your garage unless you block the door to the house, if connected. if that's a seperate building, you are golden)

Yes the garage thing is a problem and because I'm not commercially zoned I couldn't get a license from the city. The day job is also a factor an I live away from the brewery 4 days a week sometimes 5. Also a challenge as the commute is brutal. To seriously consider this it would have to replace my current income and it would take a big system to do that. Believe me I have considered it and maybe someday I will take that route but timing is everything.

Offline knafrancis

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2013, 12:25:13 PM »
Quote
I will soak up the friendly biased praise and leave it at that. King brewer of my garage!

There is a lot of wisdom in this.  I wish those "going pro" all the best of luck, and am always inspired of the years of work of "pimping" it took to get them there. 

For most of us, the best way to "go pro" is to support the small guys who really are going for it.

Offline bentwood

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2013, 04:22:42 PM »
Yes going pro would be interesting and its always on the back of my mind but I have a lot to learn about brewing off the stove top if you will.  So for now I'm enjoying the hobby gone wild scenario and having fun handing out samples.

I still have a couple challenges with my system. 
1) Cooling.  I think I have whipped this one by buying a second plate chiller.  I was 90 degrees into the conical on this last batch, still too hot but I think the second chiller will get me there.
2) Fermentation Temperature Control.  The temps are all over the place.  Anywhere from 65-80 on these last couple batches.  So after doing some research on the web I've come up with what I think will be a solution. 

I ordered two 55 gallon conicals to replace the 80 gallon I have now.  My plan is to build a 60"x72"x32" insulated wood box with cut outs for double doors.  Using a Coolbot and a 6K BTU window mount AC unit I should be able to control my temperatures within a few degrees and even crash the beer when it reaches target FG.  Here's a rough drawing of what I am planning.  Feedback is always welcome....  Has anyone tried what I'm doing using a coolbot and an AC?


Offline FLbrewer

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1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2013, 05:33:35 PM »
So how do you manage to keep big fermentors cooled in a garage? Also, can you give us a cost range?

Offline micsager

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2013, 07:40:37 AM »
I built a fermentation room in my brewery that is basically what you are talking about.  Outside temperature ranges where I am (Western Washington) range from 30 in the winter, to 80 in the summer.  Not that big of a range, really.  Plus the brewery itself, then the insulated walls of the fermentation room. 

A coolbot may be overkill.  I have my heater set at 71, and the A/C set at 75.  All my fermenters stay about 66-68 degrees.  New buckets do get up to 70 for a day or so when very active. 

This is a new set up for us, and our first two kegs fermented this way were delivered last Wednesday.  By Friday, the bar wanted two more kegs.  (1/6bbl)


Offline bentwood

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Re: 1 BBL garage system with automation
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2013, 09:28:45 AM »
So how do you manage to keep big fermentors cooled in a garage? Also, can you give us a cost range?

Up to now I haven't so this is the remedy for that. I estimate the cost for the enclosure and cooling system at around $650. I picked up the AC yesterday for $170, the Coolbot is $315 and then materials.