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Old 05-29-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default Dorm brewing troubles

So, I've been brewing using the Brew House "All-Grain" kits for a few months now and last night I just bottled my second batch (a cream ale). While my first batch was made off-campus in a house, I am living in a dorm on campus for the summer. I checked the residence contract and it is against the rules to
a) provide alcohol to minors/drink underaged
b) have a keg in residence
c) play drinking games

So last night the people down the hall were using my closet door as a beer-pong table so I had to come and get it when they got caught. When my don walked me back to my room with my door, she noticed my glass carboy sitting on the floor and asked me if it was a keg.

I said no, and explained that it was a fermentation vessel. She says, "I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to do this. Isn't it illegal?" and I had to explain to her, "no, it's perfectly legal to brew your own beer."

While I disagree with the rules banning drinking games and kegs for people who are of age, I follow those rules (generally). They don't want people having keggers in their dorm rooms, which is understandable. I just feel like my don doesn't know the difference between a keg and a carboy. She came by later last night to let me know that she wrote up a report about it and submitted it to the Residence Life Coordinator.

As far as I can tell, I haven't done anything wrong. I keep the smell under control, clean up my mess, follow sanitation procedures, and don't distill or sell this beer. I'll be kinda mad if they try to tell me I'm not allowed to brew seeing as it was never mentioned in the residence contract (the rules are quite extensive) and I am bothering NOBODY.

Anybody else have experience brewing in a college dorm/dealing with dons?

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Old 05-29-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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Write up a letter explaining, with references, that what you are doing is legal and does not violate campus rules, and complain about the RA being unqualified and overzealous.

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:04 PM   #3
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I don't want to blow this out of proportion just yet. I'm not actually being formally "written up." I'm only worried about them telling me I can't brew anymore. Since it was bottled last night anyways, they can't really take it away from me. I don't think I'm in "trouble" but I would be annoyed if they made up a new rule for no apparent good reason (which judging from how pointless the no drinking games rule is, it just might happen).

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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There was a video posted on here (can't seem to find it) where police raided a guys house (albeit finding some pot plants) but confiscated the guy's homebrewing equipment, calling his immersion chiller a still, going on a rant about how doing this can create poison and kill someone. I want to say it was an episode of "Cops". Point is, folks in authority don't always have a clue what they're talking about.

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:28 PM   #5
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Didn't that guy actually have a whiskey making setup though...and he did have a still...so, in Alabama that is Illegal....in fact...I'm pretty sure distilling is illegal for purposes of consumption pretty much everywhere.

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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University campuses are full of self-important petty tyrants. I hope it works out for you but it wouldn't surprise me if you were told not to brew anymore. Maybe an off-campus friend will let you brew at their place for the summer.

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:29 PM   #7
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Wow talk about a type-A personality with that RA. I can just picture some douche bag saying "I'm just letting you know I wrote you up for violating policy" give me a break.

Luckily, in undergrad I got the cool RA who didn't care if we drank as long as we didn't get too crazy.

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Old 05-29-2011, 06:36 PM   #8
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IMO don't let this play itself out. You need to be proactive and at least send a letter stating and citing that what you're doing isn't illegal and you are following university policy.

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Old 05-29-2011, 07:27 PM   #9
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I have sent an email to my don talking about the legalities and health concerns (which are virtually non-existant, as I'm sure HBT is aware of). I asked her in the email if I should send a similar email to the RLC. I'll keep HBT posted!

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Old 05-29-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
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And for the record, she wasn't pissy about it. All she said was that she's "pretty sure you're not allowed" and that "a report has been made."

EDIT: A second read-through of the residence rules does indeed prohibit brewing in residence. Bummer!

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