Saturday, December 29, 2012

Brewing Club

This year, for solstice, I asked for a beer brewing kit.

I've got all of these grand ideas.

Firstly, nerding it all up. I've got an Arduino, heat pad, waterproof thermometer to plug into the Arduino and a relay module (although, it probably would've been quite a bit cheaper to buy a relay and do up the rest of the circuitry myself).

I've also got the use of a sleepout out the back of the house (a guest house in American terms?) and in there are a couple of old wardrobes. What if I were to modify those wardrobes? Put shelves inside, insulate with polystyrene etc. Then I could use the bottom of the wardrobes to hold a brewing tank, and the rest of the space could be occupied by bottles - those that are in the stages of being bottle brewed.

I'm quite lucky to have access to the sleepout as it means I don't have to have the smell of beer throughout the house. A friend of mine no longer brews at home due to this problem and the fact that he's got kids. It's just not practical. BUT what if we could share resources? If I'm already going to have the smell of beer around, then I might as well have a couple of tanks on the go.

And if that's happening, other resources could be shared. For example, when doing ginger beer, I realised that the most time consuming part of the process is preparing bottles - though I've since learnt that this doesn't need to be all that time consuming. i.e. labels can be removed by leaving bottles in a water bath with baking soda overnight and wiped off the following day. Sanitizing is much the same process (except that you can use bleach or buy sanitizing tablets for this purpose rather than baking soda). This allows for the reuse of bottles rather than buying plastic bottles (which admittedly, do make life easier but then, why throw away perfectly good bottles if you don't need to?).

And what happens when someone goes out of town? Do they then have to abandon their brew? Having multiple people looking after it would allow you to arrange for a brew-sitter. And if I'm not using all of my equipment i.e. I can't give my beer away fast enough, then I could then allow someone else to use that equipment (like the tank).

Of course, there are costs. For example, water being used for dealing to bottles. And if you're not having to deal with rent, then you could then save up for things like filters (though I think I've got an old water filter I can use for this purpose) and distillers. Perhaps a gas hob and gas bottle. Kegging system etc.

And while we're at it, it could lead to a bar type set up. A pool table. A bar fridge.

I'm thinking all of this could be covered by say... $20 a month per person (per wardrobe?) to cover off the costs and save for expansion. What do people think? Would this work? Could there be a whole network of brewing clubs? How would you form the social gatherings and intermingling of brewing clubs?

No comments:

Post a Comment