Home brew packaging options

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chimmy23

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I have been a home-brewer for 6-8 years, and have a backyard half-barrel brew system, and I'd like to form a type of Community-supported brewery (CSB).

In short, the CSB will have 12 members, each of whom will receive one gallon of brew per month, get to select brew styles, "own" parts of the business among other things.

The brewing and fermentation stages are usually easy and understood.

My question for fellow brewers is how best to package and distribute the beer? One gallon containers, reusable, easy, etc. Crowler, pigs, mini-kegs, cans?

Each member will cover their associated packaging expenses, so cost is a factor.

Any ideas, insights, lessons-learned, pitfalls etc., are appreciated.

Prost,

Dan.
 

marc1

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The brew on premise place near me had counter pressure bottling stations where you'd package up 22oz bottles of already carbed beer. You'd purge with co2, fill, and cap.
 

matt_m

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Check out the Twistee can Crowlers. They officially aren't reusable but I've been reusing them a couple times with good luck. I mark the bottom with a Sharpie each time I clean one and have found that they are reusable up to 3 times +/-. With shipping to the Midwest, they work out to about $2/can. Figuring 1 reuse you are at $1/can assuming your labor to wash and inspect them is negligible. On the homebrew scale, they are great for handing out beer to friends--if they come back clean they get reused a couple times if not I'm not out much.
 

apache_brew

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Sounds involved. I would say it depends on how fast people plan to drink 1 gallon of beer. If you want to assume people are going to nurse 1 gallon of beer for 30 days, just default to mini kegs. The 1.5g Torpedo kegs are easy. As long as you're filing them with carbonated beer and with CO2, a handheld 16 g CO2 charge is all that's needed to serve that keg. Each "member" should know how to breakdown and clean/sanitize the kegs, in addition to how to use them. Consider how much hand holding you want to facilitate.

If beer is getting drank within a week, growlers seem simple to facilitate.

Telling everyone to buy a 12 pack from the liquor store sounds much easier to me 🤣
 

jseyfert3

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I've seen 4 station counter pressure bottle fillers, perhaps that would work well? Seems like cans on a small scale would have the same work as bottles to fill, but the added cost of $0.50 a can or so each time, whereas bottles are just an initial cost and then just require a cleaning before re-use. If the members rinse them immediately then cleaning should not be a big hassle.

Kegs would be the easiest by far to package, though a lot of up-front cost, and someone has to clean them. Would the members be willing to clean their own kegs?

Also this is not related to packaging, but I feel I should remind you that in the USA in most states it's legal to brew your own beer up to 100 or 200 gallons per year, it's legal to give that beer to other people, but the instant money starts changing hands for that beer it's illegal unless you have a variety of permits (usually federal, state, and local).
 

Golddiggie

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Those things SUCK!!!

Get either one of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088TSQ34S/
Or these if the people are set up for kegging already: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0777FF242/
The second option will require getting the cap that has ball lock fittings on it already.
Or you can go a bit larger and get the 1.5/1.6 gallon ball lock kegs to shift around. Assuming you're all going to be within driving distance at least. I wouldn't want to ship a gallon of brew to anyone, even in the items I listed.
 
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