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Old 06-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Homebrewing in public (Wisconsin)

I'm planning a homebrewing get-together with my brewing buddies at a public park and am wondering if anyone has any experience putting something like this together and could provide some insight.

The plan is to get between 5-10 rigs together. I rented a pavilion so we'll have some shelter and the park has grills that we can use to cook food while we brew. We are bringing our own bottled water to brew with and have a plan to pump creek water through a pre-chiller and then to our ICs to cool down our wort. We are also going to bring brew to share with each other.

This is not a "public" event. It's not going to be advertised and we aren't serving random people beer. It's just for our group of brewers to bring their rigs to a central place and brew "together but separate" instead of all of us going to one person's house and watch them brew.

The other thing I thought is we would all pitch the yeast into our chilled wort once we got home. That way no one can say we have a bunch of beer that we're hauling around in public. The way I understand it is that it's not technically "beer" until there is yeast in it.

Does anyone have any thoughts, tips, or suggestions that would be helpful? I obviously don't want to get us all arrested, fined, or kicked out. I've seen a ton of these kinds of events from around the US but I've never been to one and there definitely isn't one around my area.

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Old 06-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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Definitely talk to the municipality about what type of permit you need. That way you won't have to worry about it.

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Old 06-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MetallHed View Post
I'm planning a homebrewing get-together with my brewing buddies at a public park and am wondering if anyone has any experience putting something like this together and could provide some insight.

The plan is to get between 5-10 rigs together. I rented a pavilion so we'll have some shelter and the park has grills that we can use to cook food while we brew. We are bringing our own bottled water to brew with and have a plan to pump creek water through a pre-chiller and then to our ICs to cool down our wort. We are also going to bring brew to share with each other.

This is not a "public" event. It's not going to be advertised and we aren't serving random people beer. It's just for our group of brewers to bring their rigs to a central place and brew "together but separate" instead of all of us going to one person's house and watch them brew.

The other thing I thought is we would all pitch the yeast into our chilled wort once we got home. That way no one can say we have a bunch of beer that we're hauling around in public. The way I understand it is that it's not technically "beer" until there is yeast in it.

Does anyone have any thoughts, tips, or suggestions that would be helpful? I obviously don't want to get us all arrested, fined, or kicked out. I've seen a ton of these kinds of events from around the US but I've never been to one and there definitely isn't one around my area.

It's not beer until yeast combines with wort.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
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I'm thinking the problem won't be the "brewing beer" part but the actual process and equipment required. Definitely talk to parks & recreation or whatever department handles parks for your city. I know ours limits what you can do (open fire, types of heating/cooking devices, etc) and what you can bring into the park (glass containers, knives, etc).

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Old 06-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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I would think the biggest issue would be bringing your own beer to the park. Here we're not "technically" allowed to but...

Other than that, it's basically a crawfish boil.

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Old 06-18-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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I'm thinking the problem won't be the "brewing beer" part but the actual process and equipment required. Definitely talk to parks & recreation or whatever department handles parks for your city. I know ours limits what you can do (open fire, types of heating/cooking devices, etc) and what you can bring into the park (glass containers, knives, etc).
+1
Always better to find out ahead of time. You never know how the random passerby might perceive your gathering, call the cops and get shut down.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #7
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We used to do plenty of crawfish boils at public parks with rented pavillions...40-gallon kettles and jet burners and all. I would just ask if crawfish boils are ok. It's the same principle and and asking if beer brewing is ok will just confuse people, because people don't know what that is. If anyone asks what you are doing, tell the truth and say that you are "mashing grain". The idea is to engage people's brain and interest before using words like "beer" that have a probability of turning brains off and jerking knees.

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Old 06-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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Sometimes its better to ask for forgiveness, rather than permission.

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Old 06-18-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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I don't see why it would be a problem. Like others mentioned, your basically making malt extract which isn't illegal. The only thing I can see anyone possibly hassling you about is the burners. Obviously were in different states and cities but our brew club does stuff like that about 4 times a year.

Good luck with the brew day!

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Old 06-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
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Sometimes its better to ask for forgiveness, rather than permission.
Hahahaha, but paying a fine sucks when ur wrong....

Only thing I see wrong is the "drinking in public" A, you are in the public.b, you have to drive after brewing. Now I understand a few beers an most likely you will be fine, but under the eye of the law ur not. C, who's liable for u on public grounds? The city/town? Not sure if they would be ok with it....

That **** wouldn't fly here in MA... Just my $.02 good luck tho!
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