Monday, February 23, 2009

Bierdeckel from Kronen-Brauerei Laupheim

I didn't have anyplace else on the site to put this. It's supposed to be an animated GIF that rotates, but if it doesn't move, you'll just have to turn your monitor upside down.

New beers on tap and in the tank

Three brews last week: that's a lot, considering I brew on average every twelve days or so. Seven barrels each of All American Gold, Stüvenbräu Maibock (thanks to Tom for doing the hard work), and 1916 Irish Stout.

Papa Dale's Amber Ale got tapped last Friday. It's amber all right, and it's very hazy, and it tastes more like a Kellerbier than an Amber Ale. I guess that's not a bad thing, but it's not at all what I had in mind when I brewed it. They went through a whole keg of it this weekend, mostly due to our "buy one, get another for a penny" promotion. I'll have one out of the second keg with lunch today and see how I like it.

This morning, I took apart and scrubbed all of the beer faucets before cleaning the lines. There was lots of guck built up, so the beers should taste better now. And I'm just about done cleaning the three dozen or so kegs here in the cellar.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act

This arrived from the Brewers Association today:

With the introduction of HR 836, the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act of 2009, seeking a 50% reduction in the federal excise tax rates for all brewers, America’s small brewers have an unparalleled opportunity to influence policy and strengthen their businesses. We need to build as much support as possible for this bill to give it the best chance of becoming a reality.

Please contact your U.S. Congressman and ask that he/she sign on as a co-sponsor of HR 836.

Money freed up by this tax reduction could be used by small brewers to hire more staff, invest in more equipment, and increase production, all of which would result in a net increase in government revenues. This is a Good Thing.

Get more information at the Brewers Association web site.

Friday, February 6, 2009

SF Beer Week

This just in from the San Jose Mercury News, by way of

America's craft beer movement began in the San Francisco Bay Area. With Anchor Brewing's rescue by Fritz Maytag in 1965 and the founding of New Albion Brewing in 1976, craft beer grew into the Silver Age of American brewing, with over 1400 small craft breweries today.

SF BEER WEEK will be a ten-day celebration of that legacy, showcasing the Bay Area's brewing heritage with as many as 150 events.

SF Beer Week run from today through February 15. Go to for complete details and event schedules.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2008, by the numbers

Some statistics regarding Gottberg Brew Pub's 2008 production and sales:

  • Beer

    • 26 brews, down 25.7%

      • Malt

        • 10,420 pounds (4,726 kg) of barley malt, down 9.3%

        • 1,050 pounds (476 kg) of wheat malt, down 64.7%

        • Total malt cost: $6,136, down 7.1% ($0.535 per pound, up 18.9%)

      • Hops

        • 102 pounds (46 kg), down 63.8%

        • Total hops cost: $1,665, up 117.4% ($16.32 per pound, up 170.2%)

      • Total production: 182 barrels (5,642 gallons, 21,357 liters), down 12.2%

    • Removals

      • To Gottberg/Dusters: 163.67 barrels (5,074 gallons, 19,207 liters), down 7.4%

      • To wholesalers: 12.50 barrels (388 gallons, 1,469 liters), down 41.4%

      • Returned to the brewery: 2.50 barrels (78 gallons, 295 liters), down 24.9%

      • Net removals: 173.67 barrels (5,384 gallons, 20,381 liters), down 10.8%

    • Excise taxes

      • Federal @ $7 per barrel: $1,254, down 12.0%

      • Nebraska @ $0.3069 per gallon: $1,721, down 12.6%

      • Total excise taxes: $2,975, down 12.4%

  • Soda

    • Root Beer

      • 35 seven-barrel batches (7,595 gallons / 28,750 liters), down 10.3%

      • 8,750 pounds (3,969 kg) of sugar

      • 20¾ gallons (78.7 liters) of root beer extract

      • 21⅞ pounds (9.92 kg) of sodium benzoate

      • 17½ pounds (7.94 kg) of citric acid

    • Red Cream Soda

      • 2 seven-barrel batches (434 gallons, 1,650 liters)

      • 500 pounds (227 kg) of sugar

      • 1¼ gallons (4.5 liters) of red cream soda extract

      • 20 ounces (567 g) of sodium benzoate

      • 16 ounces (454 g) of citric acid

    • Orange Cream Soda

      • 1 seven-barrel batch (217 gallons, 820 liters)

      • 250 pounds (113 kg) of sugar

      • 0.6 gallons (2.25 liters) of orange cream soda extract

      • 10 ounces (283 g) of sodium benzoate

      • 8 ounces (227 g) of citric acid

I'm left wondering why I felt busier this year than last.

December-January recap

It appears that I haven't written a "Brewer's Life" article since December 10, when I said that I'd be brewing the Weizenbock in a couple of days. Now, the Weizenbock has actually been on tap for a week, and it seems like maybe I should get the blog caught up. Not that a whole lot went on here, but here you go.

Thursday, December 11Brew Uncle Ivan's Dunkelweizen.
Friday, December 12Order malt, and do some general cleaning.
Monday, December 15Clean the draft lines, and do more general cleaning.
Tuesday, December 16More cleaning; there's a health inspection coming up. Received a new batch of yeast.
Wednesday, December 17Federal excise taxes. Clean and fill kegs.
Thursday, December 18Clean a fermenter for tomorrow's brew.
Friday, December 19Brew All-American Gold.
Monday, December 22Clean a fermenter. Fill kegs. Transfer 14 barrels of root beer, seven barrels of Uncle Ivan's Dunkelweizen, and seven barrels of Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen. Health inspector was here from 3:00 to 4:00pm
Tuesday, December 23Deliver root beer to Lincoln and Council Bluffs.
Friday, December 26Clean and fill kegs
Monday, December 29Clean the draft lines.
Wednesday, December 31Clean and fill kegs
Thursday, January 1Annual inventory. An utter waste of time that we have to do every New Year's Day.
Friday, January 2December state and federal taxes. Annual production report — I'll summarize this in an upcoming article.
Monday, January 5Clean a bright tank. Transfer the All-American Gold. Dump the Bugeater Brown that I brewed back in October. Harvest the yeast from the Gold's fermenter. Clean two fermenters. Pick up a pallet of sugar in Duncan, for all the soda I need to make this week.
Tuesday, January 6Brew Tin Lizzie Hefeweizen
Wednesday, January 7Brew Wrecking Ball Weizenbock. And since KJ came up from Omaha to help, we brewed a batch of Bugeater Brown Ale too.
Thursday, January 8Make seven barrels of orange cream soda.
Friday, January 9Clean the draft lines. Clean and fill kegs.
Saturday, January 10Leave for Germany.
Friday, January 16Return from Germany. I got home too late to attend the Winterfest Ales & Auction in Lincoln this evening, but the BrewCast.Net crew handled it for me.
Saturday, January 17Clean and fill kegs.
Monday, January 19Clean the draft lines. Federal excise taxes.
Tuesday, January 20Make 35 barrels of root beer.
Wednesday, January 21Work on recreating my brewery tax software that I accidentally deleted last week.
Thursday, January 22Clean and fill kegs. Meet with the owners of a new bar in Omaha about carrying our beer.
Friday, January 23Work on the tax software.
Saturday, January 24Gave a brewery tour to a group of 50 FFA alumni.
Monday, January 26Clean the draft lines. Clean a bright beer tank. Transfer the Weizenbock. Clean a fermenter.
Tuesday, January 27Work on the tax software.
Wednesday, January 28My dad had expressed annoyance that I had named a beer for his brother, but not one for him, so I brewed Papa Dale's Amber Ale.
Thursday, January 29Brewed Impromptu Pale Ale, with the help of the folks from the Brass Monkey in Omaha.
Friday, January 30Fill kegs. Tap the Wrecking Ball Weizenbock.
Sunday, February 1Fill kegs. Transfer 14 barrels of root beer.
Monday, February 2State and federal taxes. Deliver root beer to Norfolk.
Tuesday, February 3Deliver root beer to Lincoln and Council Bluffs.
Wednesday, February 4Clean a bright tank. Transfer the Bugeater Brown Ale.
TodayClean kegs. Write this article.
TomorrowClean a bright tank. Fill kegs. Drive to Duncan to pick up the malt that I ordered eight weeks ago. (It has probably been there for a month; they never tell me when it's there until it's in their way.)
Next weekWho knows.