HOMEBREW Digest #4595 Wed 01 September 2004

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  propane burner problem ("quinn meneely")
  Me? Rowdy?? ("Phil Yates")
  The Things We Do, To Make A Brew! ("Phil Yates")
  Re: Mashing with Steam (SIMM) (John Schnupp)
  corn vs grape ( ?) sugar ("Dave Burley")
  Beetles & Yeast/Color (Chip Stewart)
  re: grape vs. corn sugars (cboyer)
  Re: fresh barley (Jeff Renner)
  Questions re SIMM (Steam ...) (Bill Velek)
  Vancouver Brewpubs ("Bill Riel")
  Re:Mashing with Steam (SIMM) (Gary Spykman)
  Batch vs Fly Sparging ("Eric R. Lande")
  How to succeed in the microbrewery/brew pup industry ("National Midnight Star Brewery")
  Does anyone know if this is true? (brewinfool)
  How to succeed in microland ("Spencer W. Thomas")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 21:14:43 -0500 From: "quinn meneely" <qmeneely at hotmail.com> Subject: propane burner problem I have a camp chef style propane burner. My problem is that it takes forever to fire the thing up. I connect it up to the tank turn the valve and press the button. It seems that all that comes out is whats in the tube before the regulator, occasionaly it will light but will promply go out. So after unhooking the tank, opening/unopening valves, kicking, screaming, pleading, it will start. Any ideas on whats going on, cheap ways to fix it? thanks Quinn Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 16:56:13 +1000 From: "Phil Yates" <phil.yates at bigpond.com> Subject: Me? Rowdy?? Dave Burley writes: >Phil don't you also fly a plane? Is it the name that influenced you both to >become pilots or was that you masquerading? I thought the nickname >was appropriate for you also. Well it certainly wasn't me masquerading as Phil "Rowdy" Yates. Don't tell me there are two of us on the planet. Ray Kruse will tear his hair out! Dave, I spent 21 years driving people around the skies in airliners. Not much opportunity to be rowdy in that job. The only time I could sneak a barrel roll in, was in thick cloud, when the passengers couldn't notice. But when they started fitting FDR (Flight Data Recorders), even that little bit of fun was over. Well I did try a loop in the simulator one night, with all flight computers switched off, but ended in an inverted spin and crashed into the Ozzie desert. Not my fault! I blamed the co pilot. No wonder I took to brewing on my days off, this allowed me to do something creative and get away from the regimentation. I took to brewing with a passion. The last thing I felt like doing on my days off was going near an aeroplane. Funny thing, now I'm involved in the brewing industry, I've taken to flying light aircraft on my days off (instead of brewing). I sneak up from behind the pine trees and dive bomb "Maple Downs", scaring the crap out of that horse which dunked me in the dam last summer. I've got a long memory! Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 18:07:26 +1000 From: "Phil Yates" <phil.yates at bigpond.com> Subject: The Things We Do, To Make A Brew! Okay all you librarian types, I'm about to give you something to think about. This is how rough and ready the brewing can get here at "Maple Downs". Yesterday I was back in time from my rounds of the property, to keg my Pilsner and Boch. It's my practise, after primary fermentation is complete, to crank down the temp controller for my chest freezer and hold the ferments around 0 degrees for several days. I must have overdone the cranking down as the Pilsner had turned to sludgy ice for the top two inches. Undeterred, I ran what I could into the keg leaving about 2 litres or more of icy pilsner sludge behind. I poured another 15 litres of Pilsner wort into the icy sludge and left it to do its thing. I forgot about kegging the Boch. Well last night I reckoned this was the best Pilsner I'd had (and somewhat more alcoholic too). I was so impressed after having several, I stumbled back out to the shed in the dark and gave the temp controller a further nudge down. If an Ice Pilsner could be so good, imagine what an Ice Boch would be like? This morning, I rather wished I hadn't had quite so many Pilsners. My Boch was one quarter frozen solid. But a homebrewer is never beaten. I dug out Jill's hair drier and set to work. Half way through the exercise, Jill and a girlfriend wandered into the shed looking for a saddle. "What the hell are you doing?" asked Jill "I'm blow drying my beer, what's it look like I'm doing?" I retorted. Jill (and her girlfriends) concluded a long time ago that I am not the full 100 cents in the dollar, and they walked past me in utter contempt. Anyway, back to the Boch. The blasted thing wouldn't melt much so I ran what I could into the keg (about two thirds was all I got), gassed it and tried it. Well I don't think I'll call this one a Boch, this is a highly alcoholic stout - but not a bloody bad one at all!! I poured another 15 litres of Boch wort into the fermenter to mix with the 7 litres of left over Boch Ice and yeast. Now at this stage, I thought maybe I should add an egg, or maybe some Tobasco sauce, I was feeling quite creative. What I really wanted to do was to try Big Steve Alexander's suggestion of chucking a chook in and stirring clockwise. But hang on, I'm living Down Under, shouldn't I be stirring anti clockwise? I was about to phone my good mate Eric Fouch who always keeps a good supply of chookless heads in his cupboard. Eric loves his chooks, but every so often they irritate him and he decapitates the lot with a blunt axe. He claims the heads are a throw away item. Eric is a lovely bloke, just don't irritate him! In the end, I chucked in a cup of sugar for good measure and left the over diluted sludge to start fermenting. Now that's brewin in the bush for you. There's no way you can learn these sorts of skills in a book! Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 01:20:12 -0700 (PDT) From: John Schnupp <johnschnupp at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Mashing with Steam (SIMM) cboyer at ausoleil.org asks us about the SIMM > Thanks much to Gary for taking the time to respond to my query re: steam. > The wallpaper remover idea looks like a very good one, and far safer than > a highly pressurized system. > > A couple add-on questions, if I may, Gary: > > What's a typical ramp rate for your temperature? > > Since it is a low-pressure (I am assuming) system, with what appears to be > a lot of condensate, are you adding much water into your mash? Charles, Back in 1998 there was a very nice discussion on the whole steam topic. I saved some of the posts from William W. Macher <macher at telerama.lm.com>. So without Bill's permission here is a snip from part 2 of this 3 part series called "A Primer on Steam". It was Jun 26 1998. WM>How much steam might I need to mash the grains for WM>a 10 gal batch? Well, let's see... WM> WM>Using round numbers, lets just work with plain WM>water, and assume that the extra water compensates WM>for the grain that would normally be in there. Let's WM>use 10 gal of water to represent the mash mix, for WM>simplicity. Let's also raise the 10 gal of water from WM>100 F to 150 F, and follow that by a temp raise to WM>167 F. (I know this "over simplifies" the real WM>situation, but it certainly does convey the basic WM>principles.) WM> WM>10 gallons of water weighs 83 lb. Temperature rise WM>from 100 to 150 F is 50 degrees. BTUs needed for WM>this temp rise is 83 x 50, or 4,150 BTUs. WM> WM>A pound of steam gives off 1,150 BTU when it WM>condenses. 4,150/1,150 = 3.6 pounds of steam is WM>required. Since a quart of water is about 2 lb., about WM>1.8 quarts of water would end up in the mash as the WM>result of the steam condensing there. Naturally, the WM>condensate would be at 212 degrees F, and it would WM>add some heat as well, but the condensate would add WM>less than 10 percent of the total requirement, the "seat WM>of my pants" tells me. WM> WM>Moving up to mash-out temp, is only a 17 degree WM>rise. 17 x 83 = 1,411 BTUs required. 1,400/1,150 = WM>1.25 pounds of steam. This equates to a little over a WM>pint of condensate that will be added to the mash. WM> WM>I know this is simplified, but I think it conveys the WM>point well. To heat 8 gal of water from 100 to 167 F, WM>using steam, results in an additional 2.5 quarts of WM>water condensing in the tun. Add something for temp WM>loss during the mash, and the net result is still less WM>than a 10 percent increase in liquid. Hopefully this provides you with some answers. You can find the full articles at ftp://hbd.org/pub/hbd/digests/1998/2753.gz ===== John Schnupp, N3CNL ??? Hombrewery [560.2, 68.6] Rennerian Georgia, VT 95 XLH 1200, Bumblebee Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 07:52:58 -0400 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: corn vs grape ( ?) sugar Brewsters: Alon Philosof asks about corn vs grape sugar. Well, I ask why bother using corn or grape sugar when table sugar will do just fine. Yeast have an extracellular enzyme "invertase" which will quickly invert sucrose ( table sugar) into fructose and glucose, just like the corn sugar. A lot of early mysteries date from those beginning beer brewing books and the use of invert sugar at the British breweries ( which may have been due to available and regularity of quality in the1800s?) . There is little to be gained in terms of rate of inversion by inverting sucrose outside the fermenter and if you use acid to invert it, as early books encourage, you will change the taste of your beer. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 05:51:35 -0700 From: Chip Stewart <Chip at stewartsplace.com> Subject: Beetles & Yeast/Color I occurred to me a good way to treat the barrels that seem to have powder post beetles would be with CO2. You could probably make an airtight enclosure around the barrel using sheet plastic and duct tape. Then fill it with CO2 and suffocate the bugs. Should work and without any damage to the beer. Regarding the effect of yeast on color, I often split batches and use different yeasts. Sometimes, I even brew half as an an ale and half as a lager. Now, I may not be brewing true to any style, but (1) it tastes good to me; and, (2) I get to drink half of it sooner. But I digress . . . . . I've often been amazed at the different colors that result. Sometimes one is darker and one lighter, sometimes one will have a straw color and another a more red hue, usually different levels of clarity, etc. Chip Stewart Hagerstown, Maryland Charles at StewartsPlace dot com http://www.StewartsPlace.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 09:41:28 -0400 (EDT) From: cboyer at ausoleil.org Subject: re: grape vs. corn sugars Corn sugar, as used in brewing, is (supposed to be) 100% fermentable, so that is why you often hear it called for in bottling or other homebrew applications. As such, in small amounts, its effect on the beer is negligible: an ever so slight increase in the percentage of alcohol, as well as a negligible lightening of the brew, but at levels far below what should be easily perceptible. Now, grape sugars: not being an organic chemist, I am bound by what is generally available to me from winemaking tomes, and from everything I see, grape sugar may or may not be 100% fermentable due to varying compositions. Wines are often referred to as "sweet" from these residuals, and it is considered a flaw if there is not a balancing acidity. That leads me to believe that the composition of grape sugars is not entirely glucose. Another reason may simply be one of cost and/or convenience. At the end of the day, it is better to use a certain sugar when finishing a beer - especially one that the recipe author has taken some care in designing it to be balanced in terms of malt sweetness/dryness. I would suppose that is why you see corn sugar often called for in bottling, or in some cases, invert (candi sugars) depending on the recipe and style that is being brewed. Invert Sugar is supposed to be 100% fermentable as well, and in practice, is insofar as I can tell from the dubbels and trippels I have made through the years. In my Belgian style recipes, I use invert sugar, because it is the same as Candi Sugar, which is widely used in Belgian brewing. Invert sugar is a mixture of dextrose/glucose and fructose syrup. Further, it is simple to make it from cane sugars on the stovetop. The process for making candi sugar can be found at my site (link at end of article) by seraching for 'candi sugar', or quite a number of other web sites and of course the old standby, Google. More information about invert sugar, per BYO: "Invert sugar consists of equal parts glucose and fructose. When fructose is transported into the yeast, it's converted to glucose and enters the glycolytic pathway where it's used as cellular fuel and ends up as alcohol and carbon dioxide. When maltose from wort is transported into the yeast cell, it's first converted to two molecules of glucose and then follows the same biochemical pathway as the glucose from corn sugar. The only difference between wort and a corn sugar solution are the non-fermentable sugars, proteins and color compounds present in wort. These compounds are present in much higher concentrations in the original wort." There are those that say that using corn sugar leads to a cidery flavor, but this is often called a brewing myth these days, and as such, I have switched my priming operations away from the complications of malt extracts (even the best malt extracts are variable in their fermentability, and this leads to inconsistent carbonation, IMO) as well as krausening (storing some of the original unfermented wort to prime) because corn sugar will get me the levels of carbonation I desire, bang on, time after time. I have yet to detect the cidery flavors that have been attributed to corn sugar, and now believe that idea to indeed be one of those brewing myths of yore. But that is another subject for another thread. Your mileage may vary, of course. Cheers, Charles http://www.homebrewhelp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 11:00:15 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: fresh barley Darrell <leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu> is concerned that his home malted barley will have >so much protein ... that it will make a hazy, or in other ways, >dammaged batch of beer? Perhaps a Lambic is appropriate to this >"raw" aspect of Mother Earth ? High protein barley is what led American brewers to use corn or rice. Brew a CAP! I did this with home-malted barely and it turned out great. Only problem was lower extract than with commercial malt. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 10:16:50 -0500 From: Bill Velek <billvelek at alltel.net> Subject: Questions re SIMM (Steam ...) Gary (and others), I finally have a moment to ask a few questions about mashing with steam, if you don't mind. 1.) I understand that 100C/212F steam has about 5 times the heat energy as boiling water, pound for pound. If I want to raise my mash a certain number of degrees such that it would require 5 liters (5kg) of boiling water, then I could alternatively use 1kg of steam, which comes from boiling 1 liter of water into steam. But even after water is already boiling in a pot on my stove, it just seems to take forever to boil away1liter; how fast does your wallpaper steam convert 1 liter of water into1kg of steam? Of course, you do have a valid point that when it comes time to boil, I will need to boil off 5 liters of excess water if added as boiling water versus just 1 liter from condensed steam, but then I'll be vigorously boiling for about 90 minutes anyway. 2.) Even though steam has about 5 times the heat energy, I presume that if it is only about 100C/212F when it is introduced to the mash, that it cannot raise the mash temp any higher than that, but will merely remain as steam until it comes in contact with more mash that it will also raise to 100C/212F. Please correct me if I'm wrong. At any rate, stirring is obviously very important to prevent denaturing of enzymes. Since I have an ice-chest instead of a round igloo-type cooler, I would plan to stir with a paddle, and I recall someone who injected the steam with the paddle itself. I'd appreciate any comments from you and anyone else about stirring with a paddle, including any methods for delivering the steam to the paddle. Also, does steam cause the mash to bubble and create any splattering of hot mash? Finally, because of the temp and energy content of the steam, would it be necessary to continually stir with a paddle for as long as the step takes -- let's say 5 minutes -- and can stirring be gentle, or am I going to have to kill myself doing it, and cause a degree of hot side aeration in the process? 3.) It might have been a very old post, since I've gone through the archives, but someone had expressed concern about the plastic of their mash tun being possibly damaged by direct contact with the steam and steam-delivery system -- although that _might_ have been because they were possibly using super-heated steam. But I'm wondering about that, and getting back to my point in paragraph #2, unless it were super-heated steam, I take it that regular steam is not going to be any hotter to the plastic than boiling water, right? 4.) Finally, I'm trying to understand the use of super-heated steam. First, I think I understand that the primary reason for superheating it is to avoid condensation of the steam in the pipes which will cause problems, rather than for carrying that much more heat energy to the mash. Someone ... (possibly old post in archives) ... expressed safety concerns when using superheated steam, mentioning how the wet steam could 'flash' (I believe that was the word) as soon as it hit the superheater and could cause dangerous pressures (implying, I believe, that the superheater could burst). Is such 'flashing' actually that 'explosive', because it seems to me (now that I have stayed at the Holiday Inn Express ;-) ) that there are still two openings from which to dissipate that pressure; one is to reverse the flow of steam back into the pressure cooker (or wallpaper steamer), which also have safety valves, and the other is out through the pipe that is sitting in the mash (although if this occurred at the very start when it is still filled with wort, then it won't help). Thanks for any info. Cheers. Bill Velek Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 13:16:06 -0700 From: "Bill Riel" <up883 at victoria.tc.ca> Subject: Vancouver Brewpubs Dave Burley wrote: >Brewsters: > >I was once again reminded of Bill Riel's knowledge and hospitality during his >response to Marc Sedam's query about Vancouver. [...] blush... thanks for the kind words Dave... It was a great pleasure to meet you and your wife, and we are thrilled that you've been able to find a solution to your health problems even if it didn't come from your trip up here. I have found that it's always a delight to meet beer geeks, and homebrewers tend to be some of the most interesting people out there. It's especially fun to meet someone who you know only through a medium like the hbd - I try to make a point of meeting up with locals anytime I travel, and I definitely try to be available for the same in my hometown. Speaking of which, if anyone is travelling to Victoria for the upcoming Great Canadian Beer Festival drop me a line. Cheers, Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 17:18:26 -0400 From: Gary Spykman <mail at gjwspykman.com> Subject: Re:Mashing with Steam (SIMM) I've gotten lots of questions about my Steam Injected Mash Mixer (SIMM) (http://www.gjwspykman.com/simm/simm.html), so let me see if I can answer some of them. First of all let me clearly state "I am not an expert on steam". That said, the beauty of my system is that I don't need to be (after all, one needn't be an automotive technician to drive a car, or a computer programmer to send email). My commercial-grade wallpaper steamer provides a safe and simple source of steam which works wonderfully for temperature control of the mash. Charles Boyer asks: >What's a typical ramp rate for your temperature? I can raise the mash temperature by one or two degrees (F.) a minute. >...do you have drawings or blueprints of this system? I hadn't thought of that, I designed the unit "on the fly" so there are no drawings. I do CAD drawings for all my furniture, so I guess could "reverse-engineer" some drawings if there was enough interest. Alan Davies asks (via email): >Is the steam delivered under pressure, if so any idea of what pressure? The label on the steamer calls it "the pressure wallpaper steamer", then in the operating instructions label it says "11. When the steam pressure drops a few pounds, the pilot light will turn on. 12. When the pressure rebuilds to 12 psi, the light will turn off." You can actually read these labels in the pictures on the web site referenced above. >I take it the steam is saturated, does it increase the water volume? I'm not sure what the definition of "saturated steam" is, so I will leave that for someone else. Here is what I know: the temperature of the steam coming out of the hose reads 212 degees F (plus or minus the accuracy of my digital thermometers); the steam is delivered at approximately 12 psi; the label on the steamer says "CAUTION-LIVE STEAM"; over the course of a two hour mash the water volume increases by one or two pints. Daniel Chisholm asks (via email): >I must admit I hadn't heard of a steam wallpaper remover before, >though the idea makes sense. What do they cost? I bought mine for a hundred bucks from a rental company that was going out of business. I think it would be upwards of $500 new. You could also rent one by the day from a rental business. >When you limit the flowrate with your needle valve, does it >compensate its steam production so as to not blow off a relief >valve, etc? It appears to be completely self regulating. >I assume that when it runs out of water, it shuts down (i.e. without >burning out its heating elements)? That's right. Again, read the labels in the pictures. Michael O'Donnel writes: >Just looking at the steam gun, I'm thinking that it must be quite >the hot ticket for blasting crud off the inside of corny's, >sanitizing the inside of a CFC, etc.... most anything needing to be >clean and sanitary. Does it work for these sort of applications? At 12 psi I don't think it could "blast" much, but for sanitizing things (or frothing milk for your cappuccino) it would be great. One more thing, at the top of the web page there is a link to my step-by-step instructions for using the SIMM. I hope this is helpful, - -- Gary Spykman G.J.W. Spykman, Furniture & Design 47 Victoria Street Keene, New Hampshire 03431 phone: 603.352.5656 fax: 603.352.5455 e-mail: mail at gjwspykman.com web site: http://www.gjwspykman.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 18:09:33 -0400 From: "Eric R. Lande" <landeservices at juno.com> Subject: Batch vs Fly Sparging Hi all - I have a question for the collective. I have read in the past that batch sparging will boost extract efficiency because...(I don't remember the exact reason and it would take too long to explain if I did). I've now seen at least two references, over the last week or so on the HBD, to fly sparging being more efficient. At the risk of starting a fight between the proponents of both methods, can someone give me a good explanation comparing and contrasting the two? Thanks for the help. Eric Lande Doylestown, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 18:16:05 -0400 From: "National Midnight Star Brewery" <nmstarbrewery at charter.net> Subject: How to succeed in the microbrewery/brew pup industry The queue has been a little low so I thought I would throw out a discussion point. Here in Michigan, we have experienced quite a few openings and closing of Microbreweries and Brew pubs. While some of it can obviously be attributed to the screwy laws in Michigan, I have often wondered why some of these places have gone under. There is the usual bad food or bad beer or poor management but can that be all of it? I have no intention of quitting my job to try my hand at it but I figure that if I keep at the hobby for another twenty years, I may take a shot after I retire (or have learned that it is not worth it). Specifically I am wondering if the best avenue is to start/buy a local watering hole and then slowly add your beer in (yeah, clear all the Michigan laws first) or dump everything into a first class place with food and entertainment/whole nine yards. Once again, I have no intention of following up in the next 15 years but I am sure others have their opinion on how to pull it off and I would like to hear them. Thanks in advance for reading this far! William Menzl Midland, Michigan [99.8, 344.8] Apparent Rennerian National Midnight Star Brewery nmstarbrewery at charter.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 17:19:16 -0500 From: brewinfool at juno.com Subject: Does anyone know if this is true? Hi all, I heard something interesting that I have not seen mentioned anywhere, and I was wondering if it might be true or if anyone has heard this information. I am located in the State of Wisconsin, and I just had a person inform me that brass beer taps ( anything that is a copper alloy ) has technically been banned for use in food establishments or with contact with acidic food by federal law that is currently being ratified by the states. Brass is not allowed for contact with food (beverage) that has a pH less than 6.0. Said person was able to state all the regulatory code numbers off the top of his head ( rather impressed with his food codes knowledge) and he stated that inspections were coming soon ( in WI ) to verify compliance. NSF compliance was not sufficient as that did not cover food service regulations. Federal law was passed last year and states ratification is ongoing. So did I just get a buttload of buffalo stampeding me? Is this possibly for real? Said person wore a shirt for a well known stainless tap faucet manufacturer but when I asked if he was associated with his shirt's name, he stated no, but knew who I should talk to at said company to purchase taps ( along with pricing/qty info). Not to mention, he had nothing good to say about a Milwaukee manufacturers stainless taps other than they got sued for copying their tap. I think he was probably an employee of his shirts name. Well if this is true, you heard it here at HBD first. Sounds like a promotion of ss beer faucets to me, but.... Mike Teed Republican County, WI, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004 21:55:33 -0400 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <hbd at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: How to succeed in microland William Menzl asks: >Here in Michigan, we have experienced quite a few openings and closing of >Microbreweries and Brew pubs. While some of it can obviously be attributed >to the screwy laws in Michigan, I have often wondered why some of these >places have gone under. There is the usual bad food or bad beer or poor >management but can that be all of it? > I've been observing the Michigan brewpub/micro scene for a long time (well, since the first one opened in 1995, not counting Bell's, of course). I've seen places succeed that were straight breweries, and places succeed that were mostly restaurants, and places fail that were in both categories. Some of the successes are tiny, extract-based breweries and some have huge, shiny, automated brewhauses. And there were spectacular failures over the whole range (although it's more "spectacular" when a multi-million-$ brewery goes under than a $20K brewery.) Here's what I think, and others may disagree (should say "will disagree"!) A brewpub (basically a restaurant that brews its own beer, in Michigan law) has to be a good restaurant. It helps if the beer is good, but most of your customers are not coming for the beer. In a brewpub, at least 50% of your sales must be from food. If you've got a full bar, maybe 50% of your bar proceeds are from beer, and some fraction of that is your own beer and the rest is guest beers. So less than 25% of your revenue is from your beer. You will live or die on your food, not your beer (and intangibles like service and atmosphere). A microbrewery, which in Michican *can* serve food but is not required to, on the other hand, survives only if the beer is good, and you get the right distributor, and... Any brewery is not going to survive if the owners and management are not totally committed to its operation, although that's probably not sufficient. Ann Arbor, where I live, has 3 local breweries -- 2 brewpubs and one micro. The brewpubs opened within a few months of each other in 1995 and both are still going strong. Both have good, but different, food and good, but different beers. One is managed by a corporation, the other has onsite, local owners who are involved in the community. One is "upscale" and the other is "homey". The micro has a German beer hall style "tasting room" (what the law calls it), and started out with no distribution, and no food other than chips and salsa. They're now distributing locally and have added a small "cold" menu. They've also added a distillery. The owners are young, involved, and committed. They've been open for almost 5 years, now. There was another microbrewery, which was open for about 2 years, closing in 1999. They were making great beer, had committed, onsite owners, and closed because one of the investors needed to take his money out. Oh, well. I think the record across the state has a similar ratio of successes. I haven't kept track, but there are over 60 brewpubs and micros in Michigan, and I could believe that, over the last decade, another 20 have failed. Some failed because they were making bad beer. Some failed because they were just in the wrong place. Some failed from bad management. And I'm sure that some failed from plain bad luck. The perhaps scary thing is that the failure rate for plain restaurants is much higher than that for brewpubs. (Scary if you've ever thought of opening a restaurant, anyway.) =Spencer Return to table of contents
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