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Old 05-13-2011, 11:39 PM   #1
DoubleFisted
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Default New Nano Brewery Hobby

So I have been brewing for sometime now and have been hurdling the hoops of starting a small brewery in my back yard. I know there are a lot of people out there that are going to say that ABD will not allow it. Well tough I have already got approved to do it.

This is merely just a hobby as I would keep my full time job. I work three days a week and have the rest of the week to ponder thoughts as I do not have any hobbies besides brewing beer and flying. I built a 25 foot by 20 foot building and will be putting air and heat in there as well. I have recieved many grants mainly because of my service time in the Air Force. So what I am going to do with this money now is buy a brew magic system and their chill wizard. I also plan to buy around 30 kegs from sabco to start off. I have 17 bars in this area that already said they would buy my product. I probably won't be able to keep up with production but I have around 4-5 grand to spend on fermenters. So my question is does anybody have any suggestions about fermenters, I have seen nano breweries using the blue 55 gallon plastic drums. Do you think this would work efficiently? Also pitching yeast on a larger scale, I have always just used WYeast vials, and this probably isn't a good way to go with a small brewery. Should I start trying to yield my own yeast ? or try to get an account with WYeast?

Any suggestions would help, and no naysayers please. Like I said it is all just a hobby I am really not losing money with the amount of grants that I have got.

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Old 05-13-2011, 11:53 PM   #2
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I'd hardly call it "just a hobby" with the ambitions you just described. You are definitely going to be in it for the long haul with the money and time you are going to invest. I don't have any suggestions or anything since I do 5g and 2.5g batches about once or twice a month. I would never try to explain fractions to Albert Einstein.

But for the love of all that is holy we would LOVE to see some pictures of your backyard brewery. Don't worry I'm not a naysayer, but I do wish you luck my friend. Multiply your quantity for everything by 2. For some reason it seems like 30 kegs and 55 gallon plastic drums won't be enough to support 17 bars with backups.

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Old 05-14-2011, 12:38 AM   #3
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Sounds cool... especially if you've cleared licensing which seems to be the biggest hurdle for most. As you go pro, I'd probably ditch Jiminy from the logo ... Disney has hordes of laywers looking for things to do.

If I were you, I'd try to find some sort of fermenter with temp control. The drums could work if they are food safe and contained in a chilled room ... although I imagine that much beer will get hot pretty quick. If you're going to be pitching successive batches of yeast, a conical is the way to go for ease in harvesting.

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Old 05-14-2011, 04:07 AM   #4
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My advice would be conicals at the very least the big plastic ones. http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...5197&catid=513

However if you plan on doing this and all the cleaning. I'd be looking at buying some SS conicals as soon as you could get them. That way you can do CIP with caustic after a batch and then rinse with sani before you throw more beer in for a new ferment.

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Old 05-14-2011, 05:23 AM   #5
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Hi Muscatine, Iowa! Congrats on getting approved! We are a restaurant/brewpub in Ottumwa, and brew on a very small scale (200 gallons per month). We had someone else set up our brewing area, and they got us the 30 gallon plastic conicals. They are very unwieldy to clean, and get scratched easily. We ditched those, and debated between stainless conicals and Better Bottles. Because we are so small, I went with the Better Bottles, and love them. It sounds like the stainless conicals might work better for the volume you are planning on.

We also have the Sabco Brew Magic, and it is OK. I use it in two ways. One, as designed for all grain, which is about a 5 hour process for 15 gallons. Two, as a three burner system for extract brewing, which produces 30 to 35 gallons in about 3 hours.

And I agree about needing more kegs for 17 bars - we only service our own restaurant, and have 40+ kegs (5 gallon).

Nice meeting you here, and good luck!

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Old 05-14-2011, 05:19 PM   #6
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Yeah I know once it completely becomes official I am going to change my logo. I have a really good rootbeer that I call hairy sasquatch so I thought it would be cool to have a sasquatch double fisting some beers but i am not completely sure what to do with a logo and not completely sold on Double Fisted Brewery either because so many people look at it in a sexual sense. Also appanooserapids I would love to come see your brewery if it were possible? I actually fly there quite often and they have a courtesy vehicle. Would you allow me to do some brewing with you sometime? I would love to see the brew magic in action. I see you say you are brewing maybe Sunday? I would love to come Sunday if you would have me?

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Old 05-14-2011, 05:40 PM   #7
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Awesome that you can do this as a part time gig. I'd personally steer clear of plastic for a commercial operation as the other poster mentioned. On a home brewing level they are easy to clean without scratching, I would imagine when you get to the larger sizes they would be difficult to do without wasting tons of water and cleaning agents.

Also from all my reading and building (finished my second system recently) I think the Brew Magic is not as magical as it once was. I think for less money you can build or buy systems that will do more for less.

Good luck with your venture - sounds like a blast!

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Old 05-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #8
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You, sir, are my new hero. Keep us posted on your progress/hurdles as I could see myself doing this several years down the line.

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Old 05-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #9
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ABD and the county doesn't care to see homebuilt systems and will mostly not give you the approval or license. Do you have any other suggestions for a brew system?

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Old 05-14-2011, 06:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleFisted View Post
ABD and the county doesn't care to see homebuilt systems and will mostly not give you the approval or license. Do you have any other suggestions for a brew system?
http://conical-fermenter.com/products/ - seems to get great reviews and I'd consider combining that equipment with a BCS Control which is easy to program and extremely flexible for growth purposes. If your not good with that kind of programming, the owner will configure the system at a reasonable price. I like this kind of front end because you can replace the vessels with larger ones and still keep the BCS controlling everything.

I can't imagine brewing for 17 outlets using only a 3 keggle system, it will wear you out pretty fast IMO and you will be looking for a new system within a few months of production. Do the math, how many kegs does each bar/outlet go through in a week? How many hours a day can you brew?
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