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Controllong how much people drink from a kegerator

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robnog

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Since I've built my kegerator, I've been trying to figure out the best way to control how much people drink at parties. With bottles I could control this, but with the kegs I don't know what to do. I don't want to be a dick about it, but at the same time I don't want people to waste me beer.

The only idea I had was to post the following rules over the taps:

There is only a finite amount of each beer, so to make sure that there is plenty for everyone, please follow these two simple rules:

1. This beer is for enjoying. If you are trying to get wasted, there is other alcohol here that is better suited to your goals.
2. If you take it, drink it. If you don’t know if you will like it, take a small sample and then come back for more.


Do you think these will make any difference? Would anyone be offended if they saw these above a kegerator?
 

Soulive

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robnog said:
Since I've built my kegerator, I've been trying to figure out the best way to control how much people drink at parties. With bottles I could control this, but with the kegs I don't know what to do. I don't want to be a dick about it, but at the same time I don't want people to waste me beer.

The only idea I had was to post the following rules over the taps:

There is only a finite amount of each beer, so to make sure that there is plenty for everyone, please follow these two simple rules:

1. This beer is for enjoying. If you are trying to get wasted, there is other alcohol here that is better suited to your goals.
2. If you take it, drink it. If you don’t know if you will like it, take a small sample and then come back for more.


Do you think these will make any difference? Would anyone be offended if they saw these above a kegerator?
I think those rules are fair and well stated. Another thing I would do is use small glasses for serving. My pint glasses, especially the 20oz's, don't come out for most parties. Most of my friends won't waste it though if they know I brewed it...
 

ohiobrewtus

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I don't open my taps to all who come over. Certain of my friends know that they can pull a pint anytime that they want, but for the most part I don't even tell people that I have a kegerator.

I'm a stingy bastid.
 

maltMonkey

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I would be pretty put off if I were invited to a party and saw a sign like that over any alcohol that was for guest consumption. I would consider it being a bad host.

I think that if you're putting something out for your guests then it's pretty tacky to try to tell them how they should consume it. I understand your concern, but I would say either just put some small sampler cups with an easily visible sign declaring them as such, or make the kegs off-limits.

Just my 2cents....
 

bradsul

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I use 360ML glasses (basically enough to hold a commercial beer bottles worth) rather than pint glasses when I have people over. I make sure anyone new knows that if you pull a glass you have to drink it all, no partial glasses left laying around because it's all made by me over many weeks. Nobody has a problem with that and respects my hard work. If they didn't I'd probably have to wonder about having them as a friend frankly.

And I definitely don't see anything wrong with posting some simple rules. My friends know my HB is a limited resource and don't use it just to get drunk either.

Ultimately it's your hard work and investment they're enjoying, if you want to control how it is dispensed, that's your business and they should just say thank you for what you're willing to give them.
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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How about brewing more! :mug:
Seriously though...if you don't want it consumed, don't offer. Take the handles off, get tap locks, etc. Luckily I'm a loser and have no friends...my beer is MINE!!! HA HA HA. And SWMBO's of course.
 

EdWort

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Kilted Brewer said:
Luckily I'm a loser and have no friends...my beer is MINE!!! .
Here's to Losers with Beer! :mug:

I do most of the pouring at my house, so I see where it goes. I always give folks a tiny taste and let them ask me for more, otherwise there are some commercial craft beers available or they can drink wine.

I'm at the age where my friends are past the point of quaffing just to get drunk :drunk:. If they want that, I'll give them Apfelwein by the pint without the General Warnings.
 

KENTUCKYBREWER

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Well you got me thinking and I have invented a solution for you.

How about a remote control?

How you may ask?

Install a solenoid in to your faucet line and plug it into a Remote Controlled Switch Socket.

CLICK! Beer for everyone! :mug:
:mad: Bunch a drunk fukkers bogartin' your brew...CLICK!
NO BEER FOR YOU! :ban:


Here are your parts:

Solenoid: http://www.fieldcontrols.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=27

Solenoid Transformer: http://www.fieldcontrols.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=28

Remote switch: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=0843&cat=GDT

I only ask 15% royalties when you patent it :rockin:

Cheers!
J
 

abracadabra

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I agree with the small glasses for serving. And small sampling glassess for people who just want to sample.

I personnally would also feel insulted being invited to a "party" and see a sign like you suggested.

If your friends are greedy that says more about them than anything else.

I'd just monitor the situation and tell anyone appearing to be drunk or getting that way that I'm concerned for their safety and don't want them to drive drunk. Plus I don't want the potential liability of allowing my guests to leave the party drunk. Then ask them not to drink any more.
 

Donasay

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I think most people who don't brew beer have no idea how much beer is in a keg, and assume when you say you keg that you have a big 15.5 gallon keg under the fridge. When I told one of my co workers that I fit two 5 gallon kegs in a mini fridge they said "yea right" because they thought big kegs were 5 gallons of beer. Additionally when you tell people I brew 5 or 10 gallon batches of beer their eyes light up, little do they know that 10 gallons works out to under 5 cases.
 

DeathBrewer

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lol, the remote idea is great!

hmm...smaller glasses might work, but how the hell are you gonna regulate an open tap just sitting there? if i came to your party, i would personally spend all my time next to that keg, getting wasted of lovely homebrew.

i bring a keg to every group party i attend now. the beer in that keg is not coming back. it's usually finished within a couple of hours and we have a full keg of something else ready to go. If you want some of my homebrew, come early.

the only thing that pisses me off is if i see half-empty glasses. other than that, i'm glad everyone enjoyed it.

but seriously...if you're that concerned, just save the homebrew for yourself. disconnect the kegs.
 
OP
R

robnog

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Thanks for all the replies.

Since there will only be about 20 people at this party and most of them are fairly close friends, I think I'll go with small glasses and then unhook a keg if a feel like I'm losing too much of a certain beer.

Donasay said:
I think most people who don't brew beer have no idea how much beer is in a keg, and assume when you say you keg that you have a big 15.5 gallon keg under the fridge.
I think that is one of the things I want them to know. I guess I'm just trying to find a polite way to say all of the following without sounding like it is a big deal for them to enjoy my beer.

a) There is only a finite amount of each beer.
b) It took about 6 hours to make.
c) It has been aging for 3 months to a year.
d) It cost me about $20 per batch.
e) I don't want to run out of any batch tonight.

Since it is a tasting party, I may start the evening off with a little 'lecture' on the brewing process. That way, if there is anyone that does not yet know what goes into brewing I can give them a better understanding before they get to the kegs.
 

Beerthoven

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Signage is OK, but make it less defensive and more festive.

You could post descriptions of the beer. For example, if you have an oatmeal stout on tap, post something like "Oatmeal Stout: very dark and heavy, with lots of roasted malt flavor." Or for an IPA: "IPA: Bursting with bitterness and hop flavor. For Hop Heads Only!" If that doesn't dissuade your BMC drinking friends from pulling a whole pint, I don't know what will.

Also, put out 3-oz plastic dixie cups and clearly label them for sampling, something like "Not sure you'll enjoy a whole pint? Try a sample first."

I think it would be in poor taste to post a sign like what you propose. As the host, its your job to make your guests feel welcome and at home, not uneasy about breaking rules.
 

rdwj

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robnog said:
Since it is a tasting party, I may start the evening off with a little 'lecture' on the brewing process. That way, if there is anyone that does not yet know what goes into brewing I can give them a better understanding before they get to the kegs.
Since it IS a tasting party, nothing wrong with a little intro on each beer. I don't think I'd get into costs, but the time it takes, the aging and the limited supply should make anyone respect the effort and take care in their drinking.

Most people that come to my house ask me questions about brewing, so they're all aware of the effort. Nobody really takes advantage either, but I guess you get that with an older crowd
 

Evan!

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I don't think you need to go into how much it costs you. I like to keep that to myself unless someone asks specifically. It's one thing to want people to enjoy your beer properly and appreciate it, and to let them know that you expect that---it's another to whine about how it costs money. You go from being a gracious hosts with minimal expectations to a tightass who doesn't wanna waste a drop of beer because he's trying to pinch pennies.

Tread lightly.
 

c.n.budz

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If you're having a tasting party, just ask people to bring a couple bottles of craft/micro brew. That way less of your stash gets drank and maybe you even get to try some good brews you've never had
 

maltMonkey

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How about hiring a "Kegerator Kop": "Sir, what are your intentions with that beer?"
 

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Buy a bunch of cheap 1/2 gallon jugs/growlers (my LHBS sells them for like 3 bucks). Fill these up and set them out for the party, like you might set out bottles of wine. When a growler runs out, it's gone, period (or you can refill it at your discretion). Then put a lock on the kegerator, remove the handle, or simply don't tell people it exists...

This way you're the only one touching the kegerator, rationing out what you are willing to give.

Personally I don't entertain very often so I don't worry much about my beer kegs getting finished off -- plus my kegerator is in the non-finished back basement, so guests don't generally venture to it -- when I share my homebrew I go downstairs and pour their glasses for them (or pour growlers for an evening). Nobody touches it but me.

chris.
 

Donasay

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robnog said:
Thanks for all the replies.

Since there will only be about 20 people at this party and most of them are fairly close friends, I think I'll go with small glasses and then unhook a keg if a feel like I'm losing too much of a certain beer.



I think that is one of the things I want them to know. I guess I'm just trying to find a polite way to say all of the following without sounding like it is a big deal for them to enjoy my beer.

a) There is only a finite amount of each beer.
b) It took about 6 hours to make.
c) It has been aging for 3 months to a year.
d) It cost me about $20 per batch.
e) I don't want to run out of any batch tonight.

Since it is a tasting party, I may start the evening off with a little 'lecture' on the brewing process. That way, if there is anyone that does not yet know what goes into brewing I can give them a better understanding before they get to the kegs.

See the thing about people is that they don't want to be "talked at" about beer, just give them the opportunity to enjoy it and then those who are interested will want to hear absolutely everything about it.
 

Brewing Clamper

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I'm cool with people floating my kegs. My friends all know that when they come over they can head straight for the rator & pull. The faster the beer is gone, the more I get to brew. If I really want to have some of a particular beer I'll bottle a sixer and stash that. What's the point of brewing if you don't share? Let them eat cake... or drink it...
 

TexLaw

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It didn't sound like OP did not want his guests to drink his homebrew. He just wants them to drink it with some consideration for their host and the other guests. After all, you cannot put out only half a keg. Kegs do cause a particular problem because they have beer inside them and because they do not readily show how full (or empty) they are.

The sign isn't bad, but it is somewhat inhospitable for a party. If it were something that always hung, it might be a different story, but not much. I agree that it should have a little more positive tone, though. Maybe something like "Feel free to enjoy the beer on tap. If you do not know if you will, feel free to enjoy a sample first."

I subtly educate my first time guests on how to go about it. First, I don't put my glasses out. I keep them in the cabinet and get one for them if they say they want a homebrew or otherwise show some interest in it. Then, I take the glass to the keezer and ask them what they want. I pour a sample first while telling them about the beer. It's something of a sommelier thing. If they like it, I pour them a full glass and set them on their merry way. After that, they are usually good to go on their own, as they get the idea. Often, they will come back to ask me for another or a different sort. If I trust them on the taps, I can easily let them know they can help themselves. However, I also do not mind acting as a hands-on host.

While I am all for wide-open hospitality, I have no problem with rules for alcoholic beverages. People get a little crazy about alcohol. If I ever slice up a brisket and put it out, folks know that they should not take half of it on their plate or just stuff themselves in front of the platter. The same folks may get caught up with their own little party in their own little heads when it comes to alcohol, though. Sometimes, it's like kids when the pinata breaks.


TL
 

Beerthoven

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robnog said:
Thanks for all the replies.

Since there will only be about 20 people at this party and most of them are fairly close friends, I think I'll go with small glasses and then unhook a keg if a feel like I'm losing too much of a certain beer.

I guess I'm just trying to find a polite way to say all of the following without sounding like it is a big deal for them to enjoy my beer.

a) There is only a finite amount of each beer.
b) It took about 6 hours to make.
c) It has been aging for 3 months to a year.
d) It cost me about $20 per batch.
e) I don't want to run out of any batch tonight.

Since it is a tasting party, I may start the evening off with a little 'lecture' on the brewing process. That way, if there is anyone that does not yet know what goes into brewing I can give them a better understanding before they get to the kegs.
I know homebrew is precious and a lot of work, but you should give generously of your beer to your friends. Especially since you have invited them into your home for the express purpose of tasting your beer. It will be no fun for you if every pint they pull is a "loss", and they will pick up on your negative vibes.

If you love something, set it free! You can always brew more.
 

TexLaw

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And, for heaven's sake, do not talk about the cost unless someone is interested. Nothing good will come of it. Either you will look like a miserly host, or your guests will go nuts on your beer after they figure out that only costs you about forty cents per beer in ingredients. :)


TL
 

Donasay

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TexLaw said:
And, for heaven's sake, do not talk about the cost unless someone is interested. Nothing good will come of it. Either you will look like a miserly host, or your guests will go nuts on your beer after they figure out that only costs you about forty cents per beer in ingredients. :)


TL

Its really not the cost of the ingredients, but the cost of the equipment and the time it takes. But when people ask I tell them making good beer is cheaper, provided you stop buying new equipment.
 

Kevin Dean

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I'm also one of those losers with no friends and the brew is all mine (and SWMBO's).

That said, nobody comes in my home unless I consider them a friend and I don't consider anyone a friend unless I can comfortably say to them "Dude, this took me a LONG time to get right do don't waste it!"

If this is a general, friends invite friends party, I would personaly re-evaluate. Take limited supplies (bottle some up, take some growlers) because odds are doing things to consideration of others won't get much response anyway.
 

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I have a three tap system in my garage and several neighbors do help them selves to the brew (with my approval). Once in a while I would notice half empty glasses lying around and did not like it. My fix was to purchase a pony keg of Bud and put it on one of the taps. I don't seem to see any wasted home brew anymore and the cost of the bud is not that bad. A couple of ponies a year equals $80.00 or so.
 

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Half empty glasses lying around is just wasteful! I suggest taking an active approach to any glass that looks even slightly abandoned...
1. Drink it yourself (I am prone to do this)
2. Combine and Re-assign (Howdy, new guest, want a homebrew!)
 

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I only have a two tap kegger and my beer goes pretty fast when I have parties. I like to host though so I enjoy seeing my friends drinking my brew, and having a good time. What I have done is put a small "beer tips" jar on my kegger and just hope to get some tips for the batch. Most people that come over either know I brew, and know how much money and effort is put into a batch or ask. Does everyone give a tip? Heck no, I'd be rich! However, I've had a small handful of people tip to where I've probably paid for 3-4 batches of the eight I've served out of the sucker since I made it. This coupled with the fact that I split a lot of batches with my roomies makes me think everything is just fine. Plus, honestly if they didn't bring anything to drink I'd rather have them drinking my HB. All the commercials I buy now are much more expensive and I can always make more HB when the freaking weather gets nice. ;)
 

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IHMO, if you buy a couple cases of beer to supply a party, you don't tell the guests, "The bottle to guest ratio is 5:1. Please don't drink more than your share. These cases cost $35 each." If you're going to serve homebrew, I don't see why that should be treated any differently...it costs less, ounce for ounce, and time doesn't cost anything. Cut people off if they're getting drunk, but let people make their own decisions about how much they drink. If you're worried about supply, make sure you have enough on hand, or augment with commercial bottled brews. If people can't show up to a tasting party in time to at least try some of each homebrew before the kegs are kicked, well, they should have gotten there sooner.

Regarding half full glasses, sure, it's a waste, but if you were at a party, and you didn't like something or felt like you were getting too drunk, would you want to feel obligated to consume more anyway? If people are made to feel bad about half full cups, they're probably just going to pour them down the drain instead.

I understand what you're getting at, but being a good host means making sure there is enough *whatever* for your guests...not limiting your guests so that everyone has a fair share.
 

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This probably won't help anyone, but since the idea of a remote was suggested... what about a kegbot?

I had a housemate in college (computer science major) who said there was some open source code and schematics for turning an old computer into an adjustable keg regulator. Supposedly, you could hook up a credit card swipe machine, the computer, and a kegerator. Anyone who wanted a pour would need an ID card to swipe; you could then program all sorts of things like who gets unlimited pours, who is allowed just one or two, you could even enter a person's body weight and have the kegbot cut them out after they reached an estimated BAC. It's really perfect for college because everyone already has swipeable ID cards, but you could program anything that swipes.

Like I said, might have been just a fantasy--needless to say it never worked out for me--but my friend was certain he could do it and we even got an old computer for it. If only we weren't so lazy and poor.
 
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I don't think the sign was a bad idea at all. It's not rude...just straight forward, and that's how I like people to act with me. Smaller glasses are also an excellent way to make sure that someone who pulls a beer he/she doesn't like doesn't wind up wasting much.

I find that many of my friends enjoy a few homebrews, but since I usually brew stronger flavored beers, they switch back to a tried and true BMC or mixed drink after a few pints. Those that would like to continue enjoying homebrew are welcome to keep coming back to the tap.

Also, I try not to serve homebrew at a party when I know the supply is low. I make sure I have nearly 30 gallons before I throw a bash where the kegerator is in full operation.
 

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I have a glass jar in front of my taps that says "Help support the cost of making more BEER" Most parties yield enough cash to double the amount of beer on hand or buy more equipment. When friends come over, they might drop a $20 in one visit but then not donate for the next 5 visits. With the average glass of homebrew only costing about $.30, I am not concerned about the cost. I'd much rather have them waste a $.30 glass of Homebrew as opposed to wasting a bottle of craft beer that cost me $1.70 per bottle.
 

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I dont' think a sign is a bad idea, but I'd hate to sound stingey if'n I were to put on up. Maybe remind them to "waste not, want not", and I do like the idea of sampler glasses. I also like the diea of tip a tip jar. That's just cool!

I think if I were hosting a tasting party, I'd consider any beer I put out as already been drank. If there is any left, then it's a bonus. If they like your beer so much that they drink it all, then maybe you can convince them to let you help them brew a batch for themselves. Of course they'd buy all of the ingredients. That way they can see what all goes into the process, including the price.

My problem is that I don't know enough people who like good beer. Not sure what I'll do once I get a kegerator and learn how to make some real good stuff... I might have to drink it all myself.
 
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