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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Outdoor Brewing Smell
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:30 AM   #1
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Default Outdoor Brewing Smell

Alright, this may sound like a strange or idiotic question, but bear with me.

I'm about to order a propane burner and a nice big pot so that I can finally go all-grain. Problem is, I live in an apartment complex that likes to call the cops for just about anything, and a visit from Mr. Policeman about homebrewing would not be fun. Also, I'd hate to piss off a neighbor because of my "smelly cooking" (personally, I love the smell, but some don't agree).

I'll be brewing on what you might could call a back porch, although I'd liken it to more of a stoop. I know that the brew-smell can linger in my house for quite a while. Has anybody ever had any neighbor problems while brewing outside? And how bad is the smell when you're in the wide outdoors?

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:31 AM   #2
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Well, the cops shouldn't be a problem. It's not like you're firing up the ol' still.
Do your neighbors drink beer? A few well placed gifts might be in order.

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:34 AM   #3
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Well, the cops might be an issue if called. I believe that Alabama has not legalized homebrewing yet. That could be a problem if the cops are called, but I doubt it.

My neighbor thought I was cooking meth, so was thrilled to find out it was "only" beer. A couple of them made him even happier that I brew beer.

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Old 01-29-2010, 02:37 AM   #4
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You may want to check with the rules of the apartment complex to make sure having an open flame in that back porch area is kosher. When I lived in an apt., I couldn't even have a grill.

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Old 01-29-2010, 03:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies everybody. So apparently my neighbors will be aware of my activities? I'll try my best to bring gifts of beer and make everyone happy. As for the cops, homebrewing is illegal here, but I think that will change soon (by the way, everything I say on this site is hypothetical ). Not to mention that the cops love to make it hard on college students.

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Old 01-29-2010, 04:54 AM   #6
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Of course, it could be a semantic gray area, since its not beer until yeast is pitched, you could be making a malt and hop stew. But Im sure, like all things in the legal gray area...its all good till someone complains.

Or you could go by the philosophy, "its easier to ask forgiveness than permission".
-Jefe-

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Old 01-29-2010, 08:00 AM   #7
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So long as it is legal to homebrew in Alabama, you are within your rights. You can do the friendly thing and let them know, but you aren't required. The worst case scenario is that you turn into a story in the news about people trampling on your rights.

There was a guy in Virginia who was a WWII vet and a Medal of Honor awardee, who erected a flag pole in his front yard. The home owners association told him to take it down, and eventually filed a lawsuit. In the end, the lawsuit was dropped not because the HOA was out of their legal rights, but because it gained so much media attention and made them look bad.

Now, there is one little catch. I am a huge BBQ/grilling fanatic and when I was living in my old apartment, they informed me that any grilling had to be done at a certain distance from the building (can't remember how far exactly). Because I lived on the second story I was screwed. The fire department could fine me just for having an open flame. There could be something similar in your contract...

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Old 01-29-2010, 08:12 AM   #8
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Now, there is one little catch. I am a huge BBQ/grilling fanatic and when I was living in my old apartment, they informed me that any grilling had to be done at a certain distance from the building (can't remember how far exactly). Because I lived on the second story I was screwed. The fire department could fine me just for having an open flame. There could be something similar in your contract...
This will be your biggest worry right here, not your neighbors. We could only use "gas" type bbq's on the first floor patios, but when a fire was set to an apartment building the next city over they made everyone stop using any and all bbq's and had to grill down by the pool with the built in ones. That was the only apartment I ever lived that even said you could grill on the patio before taking it away. I hate apartments... even some Condo HOA's wont let you grill.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:16 AM   #9
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As far as grilling, I don't need to worry about the fire department or such. Keff, I'm pretty much in the same situation, except they took our grills away because they want to make it look better to prospective buyers. They pretty much said that we could just drag our grills inside while we weren't using them, although I sold mine (a grill, inside? really?).

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Old 01-29-2010, 10:18 AM   #10
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As far as grilling, I don't need to worry about the fire department or such. Keff, I'm pretty much in the same situation, except they took our grills away because they want to make it look better to prospective buyers. They pretty much said that we could just drag our grills inside while we weren't using them, although I sold mine (a grill, inside? really?).
Yeah we weren't supposed to keep ours outside either. There was a closet outside that was attached to the porch that was fairly good sized, that you could keep a grill and chairs in. Still I'm happy that I bought a place so I can grill whenever I want
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