Author Topic: Looking for feedback  (Read 1234 times)

Offline apietromonaco

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Looking for feedback
« on: March 02, 2015, 07:18:51 PM »
Fellow brewers,

My cousin and I are fairly new to the home brewing family and were looking for some advice.  Currently we have a VERY basic set up of a few 5 gallon turkey fryers, fermentors, carboys, and all the other basic essentials.  We are moving forward with the goal in mind of starting a nano brewery and eventually a micro brewery.  We have the ability to, right now, renovate our basement to hold a slop sink, have proper ventilation, and upgrade our brewing system to a 15 gallon professional grade set up.  Is this something that would be as beneficial as we believe or are we wasting our time and money?  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Andy

Offline pete b

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 07:30:06 PM »
Fellow brewers,

My cousin and I are fairly new to the home brewing family and were looking for some advice.  Currently we have a VERY basic set up of a few 5 gallon turkey fryers, fermentors, carboys, and all the other basic essentials.  We are moving forward with the goal in mind of starting a nano brewery and eventually a micro brewery.  We have the ability to, right now, renovate our basement to hold a slop sink, have proper ventilation, and upgrade our brewing system to a 15 gallon professional grade set up.  Is this something that would be as beneficial as we believe or are we wasting our time and money?  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Andy
The only way to know if it is a waste of time and money is to keep brewing and learning with what you have and see how you feel about it in a year or two. The pro brewers on this forum will tell you its no way to get rich, but I don't hear them necessarily saying they regret it. I would be reluctant to assume as a new brewer that I could produce great beer consistently enough to go commercial. I've been brewing for 5 years and don't assume that. I do recommend spending a lot of time on this forum and being open to feedback, which apparently you are. Welcome to the forum, and good luck.
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Offline denny

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 07:41:28 PM »
Fellow brewers,

My cousin and I are fairly new to the home brewing family and were looking for some advice.  Currently we have a VERY basic set up of a few 5 gallon turkey fryers, fermentors, carboys, and all the other basic essentials.  We are moving forward with the goal in mind of starting a nano brewery and eventually a micro brewery.  We have the ability to, right now, renovate our basement to hold a slop sink, have proper ventilation, and upgrade our brewing system to a 15 gallon professional grade set up.  Is this something that would be as beneficial as we believe or are we wasting our time and money?  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Andy

where are you located?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 07:41:44 PM »
Here's the hard truth from someone who opened a brewery in 2010. You will end up spending more money than you will make to run a 15 gallon brewery if you count how much money your time is worth. I have 30 bbl tanks (that's about 900 gallons) and I have a hard time making money at this size.

Also, whatever you do, make sure you really iron out the process and get some good beer in the pipeline before you go "pro" (and I put that it quotes because it is arguable whether or not a commercial venture at 15 gallons is really a "pro" set up.) I brewed for 15 years before I opened my brewery and had a several recipes pretty much perfected. Nothing makes me cringe more than someone getting the idea to open a brewery then learning how to brew. There are enough bad beers in the marketplace. Make sure you really master your recipes. Bad beer hurts craft beer everywhere.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 07:54:03 PM by majorvices »

Offline duboman

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 07:44:54 PM »
To the Mods: thread is posted in two locations, please consolidate
Peace....Love......Beer......

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Offline pete b

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 07:50:22 PM »
To the Mods: thread is posted in two locations, please consolidate
Just noticed that, and arguably both wrong locations, seems like "going pro"
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Offline apietromonaco

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2015, 09:12:52 PM »
Here's the hard truth from someone who opened a brewery in 2010. You will end up spending more money than you will make to run a 15 gallon brewery if you count how much money your time is worth. I have 30 bbl tanks (that's about 900 gallons) and I have a hard time making money at this size.

Also, whatever you do, make sure you really iron out the process and get some good beer in the pipeline before you go "pro" (and I put that it quotes because it is arguable whether or not a commercial venture at 15 gallons is really a "pro" set up.) I brewed for 15 years before I opened my brewery and had a several recipes pretty much perfected. Nothing makes me cringe more than someone getting the idea to open a brewery then learning how to brew. There are enough bad beers in the marketplace. Make sure you really master your recipes. Bad beer hurts craft beer everywhere.

Thanks so much for the feedback, this was really useful!  It sounds like the general consensus is that a 15 gallon system in a basement is NOT a good idea to start a business with but would you say that its worth the investment for the learning process to get a really advanced home brew setup? My thought is that having such a system would make it a lot easier to repeat processes once we come up with a recipe that we like and would put us in a better position once we are ready to take the dive into the Nano/Micro world. 

Offline majorvices

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 09:25:49 PM »
It's going to be up to you. There is a huge difference between the jump from the small scale homebrew size stuff to the real commercial breweries. A 3 bbl system (about 90 gallons) is about the smallest you could start with and even approach breaking even. But running a 3 bbl brewery and a 15 bbl brewery are still a lot different.

The best way to study up for running your own brewery is to 1) homebrew all the time on whatever system size you feel comfortable (I still brew on my 12 gallon homebrew system) AND 2) work in a brewery for a few months somewhere to see what it is really like and learn what it actually takes to be involved in a production brewery.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 09:29:18 PM »
I suggest you guys dream huge and enjoy the obsession. Meanwhile, before I spent any money on the dream, I'd suggest you develop several brews that not only you like, but friends like, and competitions like enough to give you medals.  Actually,  medals aren't vital, but I wouldn't consider going pro on my own unless I had a dozen beers that consistently scored over 40 by certified or higher ranked judges. Multiple score sheets, not just a couple from some guy I know. Then I would build a thorough business plan and have a trusted business leader friend give their honest opinion.

Offline apietromonaco

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 09:47:14 PM »
Fellow brewers,

My cousin and I are fairly new to the home brewing family and were looking for some advice.  Currently we have a VERY basic set up of a few 5 gallon turkey fryers, fermentors, carboys, and all the other basic essentials.  We are moving forward with the goal in mind of starting a nano brewery and eventually a micro brewery.  We have the ability to, right now, renovate our basement to hold a slop sink, have proper ventilation, and upgrade our brewing system to a 15 gallon professional grade set up.  Is this something that would be as beneficial as we believe or are we wasting our time and money?  Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Andy

where are you located?

We are up here in sunny Seattle

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 03:04:15 AM »
If this thread survives long enough then you'll get that one guy who comes along to tell you nobody else knows what they are talking about because he made it on a fifteen gallon system under some unique circumstances and casually ignores that for every one of him there are a thousand homebrewers who tried it and couldn't make it happen. It is very difficult to find success manufacturing a heavily regulated product on a near hobby basis.

Spend some time learning to brew on the system you have, learning about brewing and perfecting a business plan. See where you are in a few years.
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Offline gman23

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 02:22:50 PM »
I started down this path a couple of different times. I would do as most suggest and start to brew and learn as much as possible. If you really think you are serious then start getting a business plan together which will make you start to consider everything you may not have thought of. As someone noted, it isn't lucrative to start a brewery with smaller than a 3 barrel system. Also, you may consider getting a brewing education.

I am not a very business minded person. I basically got to the point where I realized that I would rather brew on a small scale for myself as a hobby. Just after getting to the first couple of steps, I realized that me and my potential partners weren't really on the same page. I was more scared than excited.

Now if I had someone financially backing me, that would be a different story...
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 02:25:56 PM »
I started down this path a couple of different times. I would do as most suggest and start to brew and learn as much as possible. If you really think you are serious then start getting a business plan together which will make you start to consider everything you may not have thought of. As someone noted, it isn't lucrative to start a brewery with smaller than a 3 barrel system. Also, you may consider getting a brewing education.

I am not a very business minded person. I basically got to the point where I realized that I would rather brew on a small scale for myself as a hobby. Just after getting to the first couple of steps, I realized that me and my potential partners weren't really on the same page. I was more scared than excited.

Now if I had someone financially backing me, that would be a different story...
yeah walking into some of the smaller breweries and seeing all that equipment and $$$ start appearing. There must be a hell of a lot of volume and years to pay for all that capital investment.
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Offline denny

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 05:56:56 PM »
We are up here in sunny Seattle

Hi from sunny Eugene!

In that case, definitely no.  You'd be much better served to go work at a brewery up there, either as an intern or volunteer if you can.  That will get you much more practical, applicable experience than a homebrew setup of any size.
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Offline apietromonaco

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Re: Looking for feedback
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2015, 07:44:50 PM »
Thank you everyone for the responses!  Lots of great information and feedback to mull over.  It just gets me more excited to be part of such an awesome and supportive community!