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Old 12-22-2007, 07:01 AM   #1
GuateBrewer
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Default Small Scale Commerical Brewing (600gal/mo) on "Beer Budget"

I have read several threads in the past where someone has posted about selling their beer and most of the responses are legal issues why its not possible as opposed to getting the root of equipment issues etc.

I am not in the USA - and my personal lawyer is a congressman here, so he will file all of the papers for my permitting and I only need to collect a 5.3% excise tax, plus our standard 12% VAT. I can than choose to pay 5% of my gross as income tax or 31% of my profit after expenses and depreciation. My legal setup fees with be a trivial amount of money.

I have delivered a few corny kegs of extract based beers to some of the local bars here and the response has been we want MORE. Additionally two recent parties has left most everyone asking how much does it cost. (We live in beer hell here with only to brewing companies selling overpriced, corn adjunct beer). Additionally I play poker, and my father in law, has his boat moored next to the boat of the family of the national brewing company and I have been told as long as I am under 5,000 gallons per month they will not take issue with my brewing and my selling price must be double there selling price.

My agreements sets me to a minimum price of 95 dollars per 5 gal corny keg, and I have sold the last 4 for $125 which is pretty close to the 95 after taxes are paid. No one has counter offered this price.

I am running my cost calculations with everything imported at a cost of 4 dollars per cubic ft from my freight forwarder. That cost could go down by at least half I I brought a full container in, but that would be around 4000 gal per month based on 2000 lb pallets and 24 pallets per 40ft @ 12 lbs per gallon. Casually browsing the briess price list and averaging up a few prices I figure my grain bills should not exceed 70 cents per lb for the blend. I am figuring on a 10% import duty, and a 12% VAT which I will fully recover since its not like sales tax where I am tax exempt on purchase and just collect on sales, everyone pays and subtracts what the paid from what they owe in this odd system. Tax and shipping should put my grain costs just around $1 lb with my forwarding company. Hops, Yeast Propigation, water filtration, and energy I have not calculated out yet, as I am seeing plently of margin to move forward depending on the capital costs.

I really do not see having the time to brew or sell more than 2000 gallons per month. I have another business which is profitable and eats up a bunch of time with travel back and forth to China. If have someone else do the work the quality will suffer. Fact of life in this part of the world.

I have 5000 SF of space which is currently unused at the moment for putting the brewery. Power costs at the location are 20cent kw/h, water is so cheap its free, and plumbed for bulk propane delivery.

I do not want to make anyone sick, but there are no real sanitation rules about how things must be done. I cannot spend more than 1 day per week playing with this.

Energy costs are high so I need to consider that with my equipment roster. Import duties are a bit high on stainless so if I can source something locally that is better than just chomping off on a used set of equipment state side or in having something fabricated in China.

A 50 gallon batch size is the bare minimum I think I would consider, and 150-250 being more along the ideal size.

Steam jacketed equipment would cost more, but I could run it will a diesel powered boiler which would be cheaper than propane, not sure about the cost savings though since it would not be continous operation and a large propane burner would not have the fuel wasted on start up and and shut down.

Fermentation and Settling tanks I can have fabricated locally.

Anyone have a lead on a good deal on a container load of cornies? Everyone I have talked too likes that footprint better than a 1/2 Barrel keg.

Any ideas on the best way to design a brew kettle and MT for an operation of this size?

Thanks for any feedback!

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Old 12-22-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
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Wow, I think there is a board that has the most help for this size would be http://www.probrewer.com/ although I would go with the 5 gallon sized sankey kegs unless the corneys were very cheap. I am sure you could get the proper cleaning equipment for them too

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Old 12-22-2007, 09:59 PM   #3
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I have no idea how to help you figure things out...but I spent several months in Guatemala in 1994 and have thought about returning.

What part of Guatemala?

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Old 12-23-2007, 02:51 AM   #4
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I live in Antigua.

Sounds like a fun project in design just gotta do some husting for equipment and see what I can patch together after the holidays.

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Old 12-23-2007, 02:34 PM   #5
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Look around for used dairy equipment. Several brewers I know use half cylinder "creamer" tanks for mashing and fermenting.

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Old 11-02-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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Used dairy equip is the way to go in most parts of the world, but you do have to fab some type of glycol jackets for the fermenters.

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