Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.

Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby SpyGyrl007 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:00 pm

Hey there,

We're home brewing 4 cases of raspberry wheat beer to bring and gift on the Playa. Do we need to get a special permit to distribute it? Should we just distribute and gift it to the people in our camp to avoid the hassles of a permit? We want to keep this as simple as possible.

Thanks!
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby goathead » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:15 pm

You don't need any permit, just make sure they are not minors.
There are several HomeBrew camps, home brew is a wonderful gift to share with other camps/bars.
Just carry a few in a soft cooler pack when you head out.
People will Love them.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby FlyingMonkey » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:40 pm

goathead wrote:You don't need any permit, just make sure they are not minors.
There are several HomeBrew camps, home brew is a wonderful gift to share with other camps/bars.
Just carry a few in a soft cooler pack when you head out.
People will Love them.
:D


Like I said before I'm kegging & will have a couple 3 gallon kegs for easy transport. It sure would be fun to have a homebrew pub camp crawl where everyone picks a night & visits the homebrew camps to share what they have made with other brewers & everyone else. My first batch of Smoked Bacon Red Ale turned out so good that its definitely on my "take to the Playa list".
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby Fidget » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:51 pm

We stopped in Portland last year and grabbed a couple pony kegs from Hopworks. Great beer but we learned a tough lesson about pressurized kegs at 5000 feet. Nothing but foam, every time. We managed to keep them cool with enough ice and the right containers but we ended up having to pour foam into large 4 litre jugs and then let those sit long enough for it to be beer, which we then walked around and poured for people.
Seemed like a great idea in concept, but not so much in execution.

That said - Raspberry Wheat beer!? Yes pleeeeease! :)
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby FlyingMonkey » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:25 pm

Fidget wrote:We stopped in Portland last year and grabbed a couple pony kegs from Hopworks. Great beer but we learned a tough lesson about pressurized kegs at 5000 feet. Nothing but foam, every time. We managed to keep them cool with enough ice and the right containers but we ended up having to pour foam into large 4 litre jugs and then let those sit long enough for it to be beer, which we then walked around and poured for people.
Seemed like a great idea in concept, but not so much in execution.

That said - Raspberry Wheat beer!? Yes pleeeeease! :)


Do you recall what pressure the kegs were at? Once it's carbonated I would think that just enough pressure to dispense it would be enough. That is something to consider though, since I will be hauling it from around 860 feet.

Obviously bars in Denver serve beer on tap so pressurized kegs aren't the only culprit. I would think that it's just a matter of knowing where to dial in the pressure & everything should be fine.

I would much rather have good head foamy beer than none.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby Fidget » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:06 pm

I don't no, but I would imagine it would be whatever the standard is for pressurizing kegs. They were Pale Ale and IPA kegs, so not a low pressurized beer like a Stout or a Porter.

FlyingMonkey wrote:
Fidget wrote:We stopped in Portland last year and grabbed a couple pony kegs from Hopworks. Great beer but we learned a tough lesson about pressurized kegs at 5000 feet. Nothing but foam, every time. We managed to keep them cool with enough ice and the right containers but we ended up having to pour foam into large 4 litre jugs and then let those sit long enough for it to be beer, which we then walked around and poured for people.
Seemed like a great idea in concept, but not so much in execution.

That said - Raspberry Wheat beer!? Yes pleeeeease! :)


Do you recall what pressure the kegs were at? Once it's carbonated I would think that just enough pressure to dispense it would be enough. That is something to consider though, since I will be hauling it from around 860 feet.

Obviously bars in Denver serve beer on tap so pressurized kegs aren't the only culprit. I would think that it's just a matter of knowing where to dial in the pressure & everything should be fine.

I would much rather have good head foamy beer than none.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:14 pm

My second year we brought more than a hundred bottles of home brew. Various fruit wines and beers, all made and bottled at approx 200 feet above sea level. The plum and strawberry wines were intended to be sparkling, and boy did they sparkle! They were downright explosive. Made for a lot of fun and loud noises.

One of the best times was on Monday after the burns when we realized that the tuna guys were literally right around the corner, we hauled over our last couple dozen bottles, left them on the booze table and proceeded to party. People loved em! They were almost more fun to open than to drink...
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby FlyingMonkey » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:57 am

A-RockLeFrench wrote:My second year we brought more than a hundred bottles of home brew. Various fruit wines and beers, all made and bottled at approx 200 feet above sea level. The plum and strawberry wines were intended to be sparkling, and boy did they sparkle! They were downright explosive. Made for a lot of fun and loud noises.

One of the best times was on Monday after the burns when we realized that the tuna guys were literally right around the corner, we hauled over our last couple dozen bottles, left them on the booze table and proceeded to party. People loved em! They were almost more fun to open than to drink...



:D
Sounds like the unexpected was a lot more fun then the plan.

I'm definitely going to need to look in to this. Like I said if it needs to be poured in to pitchers first so be it, but I would rather just tap & enjoy.

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby dragonpilot » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:34 am

Where, exactly, will you be camping? I am a member of the Burning Man Home Brew Jury...and in that official capacity must sample all such beverages.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby SpyGyrl007 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:55 am

We'll be at Barbie Death Camp this year. Come enjoy the fruits of our labor!
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:14 pm

Just as an outsider looking in, is there anybody who isn't camping with Barbie Death Camp this year?
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:24 pm

So now it's BDC not BRC!!! 8)
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:29 pm

"…after Czechoslovakia, we will make no more territorial demands…"
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:26 pm

So, Im not incredibly knowledgable when it comes to kegs, but I was under the impression that when you picked up a keg from the brewery it was unpressurized and then whatever tap you used pressurized it, like pumping in outside air or introducing CO2. Am I wrong? Or if a keg is filled at Hopworks at 400 feet and then driven to 4,400 (or whatever is playa level) it then becomes pressurized? This makes me wonder because I've drank tons of beer on tap at high elevations that was produced near sea level and it's been fine...

We regularly throw fund-raising parties for our local pirate radio and I'm usually in charge of the bar. I've just used a CO2 system and a jockey box, seems like that would be great for playa purposes as well.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby trilobyte » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:44 pm

It's basically a carbonated beverage. Even a keg that's unpressurized at purchase will become pressurized as more bubbles form/release. Just like cans of beer or soda. The more they get shaken and bounced, the greater the pressure that builds. Elevation changes cause an expansion of the air/gas that's in the container - just like the air in a bike tire.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:26 pm

While I'm nowhere near a keg expert, I do know enough to know that beer is actually not carbonated when it is in a keg. It gets carbonated as it leaves the keg through a CO2 system, or oxygenated by one of those cheap little pump dealies at college parties, or in the case of some dark beers the bubbles are formed by nitrous oxide, but all of this happens as the beer is leaving the keg.

Which is why I'm confused about Fidget talking about buying pressurized kegs...
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby chuckularone » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:32 am

A-RockLeFrench wrote:While I'm nowhere near a keg expert, I do know enough to know that beer is actually not carbonated when it is in a keg. It gets carbonated as it leaves the keg through a CO2 system, or oxygenated by one of those cheap little pump dealies at college parties, or in the case of some dark beers the bubbles are formed by nitrous oxide, but all of this happens as the beer is leaving the keg.

Which is why I'm confused about Fidget talking about buying pressurized kegs...

I am kinda a keg expert, Yes. Beer IS carbonated in the keg. You add serving pressure to the keg to push it out. Serving pressure is only 5-15 psi, not enough to carbonate the beer.

To reduce (not eliminate) foaming, a keg packaged at sea level will need to have excessive pressure (built up during the altitude increase) relieved a few hours prior to serving.

Also, the colder the beer, the more CO2 the liquid can hold.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:50 am

Aha! Thanks for clearing that up!

How would one release excessive pressure before serving?
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby chuckularone » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:24 am

A-RockLeFrench wrote:Aha! Thanks for clearing that up!

How would one release excessive pressure before serving?


Most taps (and some kegs) have a pull ring to activate a pressure relief valve.
kegTap.jpg



If you have a keg with an integral pressure relief valve, I recommend keeping it upright as you gain elevation. If it's on it's side it will spray beer (instead of venting gas) as the pressure builds above maximum.
kegTop.jpg
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby Fidget » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:19 am

If only we knew....
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:45 am

All this talk of kegs at Burning Man have me thinking about bringing a keg this year...
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:54 am

All this talk of kegs at Burning Man have me thinking about drinking a keg this year...
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:03 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:All this talk of kegs at Burning Man have me thinking about drinking a keg this year...

I'd set up a "who can drink the most" event, but I don't want to be responcible for MOOPing corpses.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby Fidget » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:28 pm

All this talk of kegs is making me want to crack the one in the fridge before quitting time..
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby dragonpilot » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:49 am

Anyone remember the kegger game Thumper? Those were the days...
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby FlyingMonkey » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:39 pm

Brewing a batch of Smoke Bomb tonight to share with my Playa Friends. Even the ones that I haven't met yet.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/smoke-bomb-imperial-smoked-chipotle-porter-all-grain-kit.html

I'm thirsty just thinking about it. Tomorrow I'm making a Black IPA.

Now I just need an easy way to get it around on the Playa......

I'm thinking a custom beer trailer for the bike will be this weekend's project. Finally I have an aluminum project to weld up :-)
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby FlyingMonkey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:45 am

FlyingMonkey wrote:Brewing a batch of Smoke Bomb tonight to share with my Playa Friends. Even the ones that I haven't met yet.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/smoke-bomb-imperial-smoked-chipotle-porter-all-grain-kit.html

I'm thirsty just thinking about it. Tomorrow I'm making a Black IPA.

Now I just need an easy way to get it around on the Playa......

I'm thinking a custom beer trailer for the bike will be this weekend's project. Finally I have an aluminum project to weld up :-)


I had to overcome several "hiccups" brewing the beer last night but from what I can tell it will be a very interesting smoked porter with a slight chipotle bite. But you can be the judge of that in about 45 days.

Holly CRAP!!! 45 days!!!! That's good. No that's bad, I have way too much to do yet. Wait, that's still good.

WooooHooooo, I'm going HOME soon :-)
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby DT Time Machine » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:16 pm

I am also bringing kegs this year. And I am putting together a Black Rock Brewery tour for Tuesday around noon. Is anyone interested in adding their camp as a homebrew tour destination? So far I have 4 breweries noted.
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby FlyingMonkey » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:02 pm

DT Time Machine wrote:I am also bringing kegs this year. And I am putting together a Black Rock Brewery tour for Tuesday around noon. Is anyone interested in adding their camp as a homebrew tour destination? So far I have 4 breweries noted.


I'm just a guy on a beer bike but I can bring the suds on the road :-)

Where does it start on Tuesday at noonish?
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Re: Bringing Homebrew to Burning Man

Postby DT Time Machine » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:10 am

FlyingMonkey wrote:
I'm just a guy on a beer bike but I can bring the suds on the road :-)

Where does it start on Tuesday at noonish?


That is awesome. I was thinking of trying to do something similar last year, but I was not awesome enough to follow through. I was also having a hard time thinking of how to keep the brew cool and more importantly not pour only foam after riding around the playa. Great idea though! Have you got it to work out? What are you brewing?

I'm not sure where we'll start yet. I'm trying to get a list of homebrew spots and their locations then start somewhere and work the way around. At this point its looking like Orphan/Endorphin is a good starting point around 7:30 and B. I'll update when I know for sure.
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