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Old 09-10-2012, 08:35 PM   #1
Skullfingr's Avatar
Aug 2012
Manitou, Colorado
Posts: 104
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Hello everyone!
I wasn't sure where to put this so I hope it's in the right place. I was thinking today about how beer breweries acquire and deal with their malts and hops and waste products and it got me wondering..

1. How much would it cost to have enough land to produce it's own malt?
1. How much malt would a small, local commercial brewery use per year and how much land would be needed to sustain it?
3. Are there any ways to reuse or dispose of hops in a "green" way, besides composting?

My idea, as hypothetical as it is, is to see a brewery through that supplies it's own malts and hops on it's own and reduces waste by almost 100% by recycling, composting or feeding livestock.

I'm curious how much it would cost to do something like that and if such a thing could really be done. It's a neat idea, anyway, right?

"Be water, my friend."

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Old 09-10-2012, 09:55 PM   #2
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
Liked 508 Times on 470 Posts

It's an interesting question you pose but I'm assuming it would not be the most profitable way of operating. A small commercial brewery start up could be $250-500,000.00. A 7 BBL system could use 300-500lbs of grain per batch and obviously pounds of hops.

You could conceivably use the spent hops and grain to fertilize your own land as many breweries provide this material to local farmers as it is. Land size and cost would really depend on where you are and would probably require a boat load more money than that for the brewery, not to mention the farming equipment and labor to malt the grains,etc.

IMO, while interesting I think it would be a losing concept.
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

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Old 09-10-2012, 10:04 PM   #3
Wayne1's Avatar
Mar 2008
Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 1,079
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Check out Oskar Blues Hops and Heifers

It does not come close to producing enough hops for their production. Barley would take up a lot more room, but it is nice to see them do their bit.

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Old 09-12-2012, 02:08 PM   #4
Apr 2009
Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 285
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts

I would siggest a brew-pub concept, less barley and hops needed because you are only brewing for locals, and you can feed the grain to cows/chickens/pigs to produce your own meat. I looked up average barley yields for an earlier thread and I think it was like 60 bu/acre which works out to 2880 lbs per acre at 48 lbs per bushel. Actually, just looking up colorado yields are higher at 140 bu/acre which is 6720 lbs per acre. So if you planted 5 acres you'd get around 33,000 lbs and guess 210 - 270 lbs per batch for a three barrel system you'd get 122 - 157 batches off of that much grain or 366 - 471 barrels of beer a year. Ask some brew-pubs to see how much they go through. Add another 20-40 acres for some intensive livestock production and another 5 acres for hops and you could offer in house grown and processed food and drink. All of that aside, would you make money? maybe, maybe not but if it is a lifestyle more than a career you could do it. There is a restaurant in Maine that grows 90% of the food cooked in the kitchen and they are making money. You have to decide if you could sell it as upscale and charge higher prices like they do.

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