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Old 09-30-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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Default How much does it cost to brew at the 3bbl level?

Well, I've reached that point in a young girl's life when she starts daydreaming about opening her own brewery...

I'm sitting here looking at 3bbl systems on the web, and wondering what the costs would be in brewing a 3bbl batch. I currently spend about $30 to brew 5 gallons AG.

About how much grain would you need for 3 barrels? How many hops? And does the cost of cleaning and sanitizing get pretty high at that point?

Just fun to think about....

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Old 09-30-2009, 07:53 PM   #2
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Well

scale everything up by a factor 18.6 and you will know how much of everything you will need.

Most people will tell you that a three barrel system is too small to bother with on a commercial scale.

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Old 09-30-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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One thing to consider to is the legal requirements for your locality. I was surprised to find that in California to get a license to run a brew pub, you have to have a minimum 7bbl system and have to brew a minimum of 100bl/year and a can not exceed some thing like 15,000bl/year.

Not that I run or plan on running a brewery, but I like to day dream too.

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Old 09-30-2009, 09:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared View Post
One thing to consider to is the legal requirements for your locality. I was surprised to find that in California to get a license to run a brew pub, you have to have a minimum 7bbl system and have to brew a minimum of 100bl/year and a can not exceed some thing like 15,000bl/year.

Not that I run or plan on running a brewery, but I like to day dream too.
where'd that minimum come from? I think there's a place in town that plans on installing a 2-3 bbl system. He knows his stuff, too, so I can't imaginw that he'd be wrong...
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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Ouch, a minimum quantitiy would suck! And yeah, I'm sure it doesn't make sense to brew 3bbl's commercially, unless you charge a lot... I wouldn't want to be a "commercial" brewery, though. I envision something more like a neighborhood bakery, where I brew whatever the heck I feel like making, without worrying too much about making each batch exactly the same each time, and people who are interested in unusual beer can stop by and pick up a few bottles. Very low-key. I wouldn't want to *lose* money on each bottle, though, so I'm curious how much I'd have to charge to cover the cost of the consumables and packaging and still make a little profit.

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Old 09-30-2009, 10:06 PM   #6
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Search "nanobrewery" or "nanobrewing". You might find a few threads on the subject.

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Old 09-30-2009, 10:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnevoodoo View Post
where'd that minimum come from? I think there's a place in town that plans on installing a 2-3 bbl system. He knows his stuff, too, so I can't imaginw that he'd be wrong...
I'm sure could be wrong, and any one who is in the process of actually opening a brew pub, must have better idea then me about this stuff. I was doing a quick search to see what requirements in California where and came across this, but the current laws might be different and from where I found this was not the ABC, but i could not find much there. I think if I where going to open a brew pub the first thing I would do is find a lawyer that works for beer.

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(a) A brewpub-restaurant license is an on-sale retail
license which may be issued to a bona fide public eating place, as
defined in Section 23038. The licensed premises shall have a minimum
seven-barrel brewing capacity, and the licensee shall produce not
less than 100 barrels nor more than 5,000 barrels of beer annually on
the licensed premises. The license authorizes the sale of beer,
wine, and distilled spirits for consumption on the premises, and the
sale of beer produced by the brewpub-restaurant licensee for
consumption on the premises. The license also authorizes the sale of
beer produced by the licensed brewpub-restaurant licensee to a
licensed beer and wine wholesaler, subject to the requirements of
Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 25000). A brewpub-restaurant
license does not authorize the sale, furnishing, or exchange of any
alcoholic beverages with any other brewpub-restaurant licensee or any
retail licensee in California.
(b) A brewpub-restaurant licensee shall purchase all beer, wine,
or distilled spirits for sale on the licensed premises from a
licensed wholesaler or winegrower, except for the beer produced by
the brewpub-restaurant licensee on the licensed premises.
(c) A brewpub-restaurant licensee shall offer for sale on the
licensed premises canned, bottled, or draft beer commercially
available from licensed wholesalers.
(d) The fee for an original brewpub-restaurant license shall be
the same as that specified in Section 23954.5 for an original on-sale
general license.
(e) The annual license fee for a brewpub-restaurant license shall
be the same as that for an on-sale general license.
(f) The limitations provided in Section 23816 on the number of
licensed premises shall not apply to a brewpub-restaurant licensee.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:47 PM   #8
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Hey there. I'm a lawyer with my own licensed and bonded brewery in my garage with a 1bbl brewhouse. I've been legal and selling as a nanobrewer for over a year and a half. There's no legal minimum amount or minimum sized equipment.

In terms of cost of a 3 bbl batch of beer, wholesale grain prices are around $0.70 a pound and hops are $14.20 a pound. A hypothetical respectful 3 bbl batch would have a grain bill of about 150 lbs of grain and roughly 3 lbs of hops. That's $147.60 in materials. Then figure in the cost of running the system (utilities, etc.) and the brewer's time and whatnot. A slightly high estimate would be that you could produce 3 bbl of beer for about $200 - $250.

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Old 09-30-2009, 11:54 PM   #9
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Awesome, thanks Gordie! I was reading your thread earlier today, awesome stuff! And thanks for the numbers, this'll give me something to play with when I'm daydreaming.

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Old 10-01-2009, 12:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
wholesale grain prices are around $0.70 a pound and hops are $14.20 a pound
Guh? I can get both cheaper than that and I don't pay wholesale. My LHBS will sell me a 50# bag for $38, and if I'm willing to drive another 10-15 minutes farther, I can get one for $35. I know some guys who have a local brewery here and they say they pay a bit over $27 for a 50# bag shipped which comes out to around $0.55/pound by my calculations.
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