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Free (As In Speech) Beer, V2.0

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the brewed-awakening dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 266

AgentPaper writes "Three years ago we discussed an open source brewing project in which a Danish brewer made his beer recipes available for public consumption and alteration. The concept has taken off, first with the 'Free Beer Project' in Denmark and now with Flying Dog's 'Collaborator' Doppelbock in the US, which was created via input from home brewers across the world. One version of the Collaborator is commercially brewed and available for purchase (and is darned tasty), but you can download the same recipe and labels, brew it yourself, and submit your mods back to the project."

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Missed half the point! (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389204)

It's fine and dandy to have Free (as in Speech) Beer, but I would certainly be better off with Free (as in Beer) Beer.

Free beer is only free if your time is worth nothing.

Re:Missed half the point! (5, Informative)

Xiph (723935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389278)

When you make it yourself, it's close to half price of regular beer and often the result is better. For the experienced brewer often becomes almost always.

When you brew beer commercially, it becomes very important to make same beer every time, and to make something which easy to consume.
The consumer beer is lighter (in colour and taste), because that's what you can drink in large quantities.

If you want beer full of flavour, the price goes up, or you have to make it yourself.

Re:Missed half the point! (4, Interesting)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389466)

I have made beer for many years (extract and all grain), and I can tell you that most real ales and lagers, the best you can do is about break even. Meaning, on the high end side of beers, you can do allot better because their transportation costs kill them, but for many of the domestic beers its very close... I will admit that all grain brewing is cheaper than extract, but... Well you get my point...

Anyway, the reason I still brew my own beer is simply because I think the quality is better, just as I think OSS is as well. Most import beers ae oxidized quite heavily by the time you get them, just as with most commercial software (Vista comes to mind here) is as well, but if you brew it completely on your own, especially with natural carbonation, then that living beer can last for at least a decade. For OSS, it actually is allot longer... :)

Re:Missed half the point! (5, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389630)

eh, only break even? what the hell are you brewing with? hops for a single brew cost about $8, grain costs about $10 ( 5kgs). add in about $4 for CO2 and gas. that's $22 (AUD) for 20L of beer. in real terms that's a bit over 2 slabs which would normally cost up to $60 - $80.

there is an initial outlay, lets be generous and say you got a keg system with 2 kegs a filter CO2 regulator and all the bits and pieces. you can pick those up on ebay for $400. that gear would pay for itself after 10.5 batches. thats not even taking into account the fact you can resell the equipment later on, and most probably recoup 60% or better of the cost (kegs go up in price, not down)

Re:Missed half the point! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389896)

Well over here we pay like 6 EUR/10 AUD for a crate with 10 Litres of drinkable beer, double the price if you want a 10 Litres of really good beer. And thats after the prices rose by over 30%. Its hard to even reach the break even. The only reason to really brew yourself is for the taste. Selfmade Beer is always better. Thanks, Mr. Placebo ;)

But the next best thing to brewing yourself is taking a brewery tour, free beverages and food, yay :) And all that 20 Minutes away ^^

HICK! (2, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389910)

OOF! sho shorry... I loshed you after... after you shed 20litersh... of beersh... HAECK!

shay again pleesh... ...mmmmm...good head...

Re:Missed half the point! (1)

kaptron (850747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389918)

I've found this thread interesting because I've always been interesting in looking into home brewing; but I just wanted to interject that as an American living in Australia the prices for buying beer from a store here are drastically different (as in more expensive).

A slab -- or a case, or 24-pack -- of mainstream American beer (Budweiser, Coors, etc) can be bought for US$15, and even a microbrew might still only be $25 at somewhere like Costco. So 2 slabs would only be in the $30-50 range (rough estimate, it's been a while). And my German friends here, among others, have had the same reaction to the beer prices as they're used to having it be much cheaper as well.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with your math but that it would have to be a different calculation if you were using beer prices from somewhere else.

Re:Missed half the point! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390202)

Can you still qualify as a microbrewery if you do enough volume to sell at Costco?

Re:Missed half the point! (3, Insightful)

paanta (640245) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389962)

I agree that it's cheaper, but only if you drink a fair amount of beer and if you're not factoring in your time. It's a couple of hours of work to brew a 5 gallon batch, which with what I value my time, is a fair amount of money. Factor in the 10 square feet of floor area in my house taken up by all my brewing crap, at say $15/sf/yr. And the time spent reading about brewing. And worrying about every batch like it's my child. And the electricity used by your kegerator.

On the other hand, it's damn hard to find a better beer than what you make at home. Perhaps other homebrewers have had the experience of drinking almost solely their own beer for a year or two, then going somewhere and having a beer you used to think was the bee's knees only to find it a flavorless, depressing swill. Or going somewhere and drinking a beer that you used to find good-but-overwhelming (Dogfish Head 90 minute?) and finding it a whole lot more easy to drink.

Re:Missed half the point! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23390010)

It's a couple of hours of work to brew a 5 gallon batch, which with what I value my time, is a fair amount of money.
Its a hobby, if you dont enjoy it dont do it. Time is valuable but if you go through life punching a virtual timecard you will be miserable in the end.

Time is money! (4, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390272)

Do you go to the movies? If so, do you factor in the price of your time along with the tickets and popcorn?

When drinking beer, do you factor in the time it takes to drink it, as well as the cost of the beer itself? How about going out to dinner? Do you tack on an additional $100/hr for your time?

How do you pay yourself? It seems like it would get a bit circular. "Hey, Self, here's the $100 I owe you for the last hour. Don't spend it all in one place, you know you have payroll coming up in an hour!"

Re:Missed half the point! (4, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390120)

Listen, we might looking at this for a different perspective... Can you make beer cheap??? Absolutely.... Can you do that to match the exact quality of a true premium... That is allot harder...

Realistically, from my experience to get the same quality and consistency of true premium ales/lagers there are allot of things required. Excluding lagers, the cost of yeast starter prep work, mash tuns, water purifying/ph correction/mineral corrections... Even with ales you must keep the at the optimum fermentation range of 65F during the entire primary ferment. This takes equipment, time, and cost which all most be figured in. Also, keep in mind that the cost of time is a big one. Also, it must spend several weeks in the secondary being monitored for clarity, and depending on the type of grain might need additional clarification related items/procedures. Once again... Time and Expense... Third, the time and expense to bottle as I general do not like artificial CO2 because for most premiums it alters the unique living beer taste... I could go on, because I hope you are seeing my point... Making beer is easy... Making true high end beers (which is where the true savings is) is not...

In short... I do this because I do believe it makes a difference and I appreciate the added quality of taste, but I really do not pretend by saying that I save money by doing it. I am constantly reminded with the amount of equipment, and the space it takes up, that saving much money is unlikely...

Re:Missed half the point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389670)

>the best you can do is about break even.

How do you figure? Even with extract kits it's cheaper.... Go to Norther Brewer and look at their extract ale kits ( http://www.northernbrewer.com/alekits.html) They're all in the $25 to $35 range. I'll avg it at $30 for a kit, it makes 2 cases of beer. That's $15/case. You go to a store and get decent beer it's $15/12-pack. (roughly...most beers are in the $7.xx range for a six pack)

Re:Missed half the point! (0, Redundant)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390070)

Listen, we might looking at this for a different perspective... Can you make beer cheap??? Absolutely.... Can you do that to match the exact quality of a true premium... That is allot harder...

Realistically, from my experience to get the same quality and consistency of true premium ales/lagers there are allot of things required. Excluding lagers, the cost of yeast starter prep work, mash tuns, water purifying/ph correction/mineral corrections... Even with ales you must keep the at the optimum fermentation range of 65F during the entire primary ferment. This takes equipment, time, and cost which all most be figured in. Also, keep in mind that the cost of time is a big one. Also, it must spend several weeks in the secondary being monitored for clarity, and depending on the type of grain might need additional clarification related items/procedures. Once again... Time and Expense... Third, the time and expense to bottle as I general do not like artificial CO2 because for most premiums it alters the unique living beer taste... I could go on, because I hope you are seeing my point... Making beer is easy... Making true high end beers (which is where the true savings is) is not...

In short... I do this because I do believe it makes a difference and I appreciate the added quality of taste, but I really do not pretend by saying that I save money by doing it. I am constantly reminded with the amount of equipment, and the space it takes up, that saving much money is unlikely...

Re:Missed half the point! (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389990)

You must have been using some expensive extract. I've been 'homebrewing' for years and must have saved a small fortune during that time. I've even made some cash a few times selling the odd gallon to mates and such. I sometimes use grain but most of the time I just use malt extract because I'm lazy.

All in all I reckon an average batch using purchased extract costs me around half that of the same amount of averaged-priced beer. A massive saving for someone who drinks as much beer as I do!

Re:Missed half the point! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390152)

Not if you live in Canada. Here in Ontario, the cheapest 24 is $24. Anything remotely decent costs $30 for a 24. Most good beers are at least $35. A case of Guinness costs about $50, last time I checked.

Re:Missed half the point! (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389470)

Well it all depends of the beer we are talking about. If you meant pils you are right. I'm personnally a fan of trappist beers (orval, chimay) or abbey beer such as Leffe. All are quite heavy (6% to 9% I think). Sure it costs slightly more but I don't drink much (one per week) anyway.

Re:Missed half the point! (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389842)

They don't have to cost that much more though. The last batch I did was 12 lbs of various light grains, which ran something like $20. The hops was like 5 bux (used a low alpha acid combo of Mt hood and hallertau), the yeast was a few more bux and it has come out to be a very light tasting belgian type. It hit around 8.2% abv by the time we finished secondary. So under $30 for what my friends decided as a "chimay you can keep drinking".

Re:Missed half the point! (2, Interesting)

Nitewing98 (308560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389520)

Mom always taught me that anything you could buy at the store or a restaurant could be made cheaper at home. In the late 60's and early 70's I watched her make cheese, can jelly and pickles, bake bread, and try winemaking.

Because of that, I sometimes bake bread, love to cook, and have started making my own pickles.

I think the idea of applying the FOSS method to recipes is brilliant!

Re:Missed half the point! (2, Informative)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389600)

I think the idea of applying the FOSS method to recipes is brilliant!

Especially since the idea of FOSS comes from recipes.

My father and my grandparents also can various foodstuffs at home, and the quality is vastly superior to anything you can buy in a store.
But it takes quite a bit of time.

Re:Missed half the point! (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389832)

My wife, who grew up in a Communist Eastern European country (yes, I bought her on the internet) spent most of her life with food and drink that is made at home. As an American IdiotTM, I grew up suspicious of any food that didn't come wrapped in plastic or aluminum.

I can even remember as a kid, wanting to go to McDonalds and my mom saying "I'll make you a nice hamburger here at home" and I'd be really upset because I preferred a skinny, greasy Golden Arches meat cookie to the fat, lovely fresh burger my mom would make. Needless to say, there's not much I wouldn't give for another burger (or anything else) made by my mom.

I can tell you, after the years I've spent married, that's changed. When I have that deep gnawing need for sustenance, I go look for an unlabeled jar in the basement first. There are few things edible or drinkable that I'm not certain could be done better at home, with love, than in a factory by workers in white overalls and hairnets.

Have you ever had home made root beer or fig preserves? Just thinking about all these things has me drooling on myself as I sit here at 7am.

Re:Missed half the point! (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390310)

My Grandfather used to make homemade rootbeer. From what I remember it was quite a bit better than the store bought stuff. We also make a lot of home made food, that most people would just get out of a can. Home made soups and sauces taste quite a bit better than what you get at the store, and are a lot more healthier. Even the low sodium soups at the store contain more salt than most people would put in a home made soup. Real home made food just tastes a lot better. Sadly, I think a lot of people don't realize, or forget just how much better home cooking is.

Re:Missed half the point! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389764)

The consumer beer is lighter (in colour and taste), because that's what you can drink in large quantities.
Yeah, for the most part, but that depends greatly on the brand. Sam Adams makes beers that are much closer in quality to so-called "microbrews": they're far darker, richer and more full-bodied than your typical Budwater^H^H^H^H^Hweiser, Miller, etc. I'm especially fond of their October Fest brew, which is only available about 3 months out of the year.

Free (as in Beer) Beer (2, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389372)

Free (as in Beer) Beer.

Change your nick to GoodAnalogyGuy - there is no analogy that is not improved with a beer analoguy.

Re:Free (as in Beer) Beer (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389406)

Only if you promise to change yours to !Whiney Mac Fanboy.

Re:Free (as in Beer) Beer (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389788)

Hi, I'm a Mac [photobucket.com]

You have to promise to get rid of the link to that scary, scary picture in your .sig first!!!!

The first thing I ever got from the net ... (5, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389220)

... was free beer recipies. It was "The Jolly Brewer" in postscript format made by people on alt.rec.brewing some time in the late 1980's or early 1990s. It was certainly before the web came along in 1992.

Re:The first thing I ever got from the net ... (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389314)

I remember that! I had just gotten my start with homebrewing and I found quite a few of the free recipes a big help as I learned and grew my repetoire.

I've always thought of homebrewing to be a bit like Open Source anyways. The vast majority of brewers I know are more than happy to share their recipes and secrets with fellow brewers. It's an activity that lends itself to collaboration.

Re:The first thing I ever got from the net ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389876)

That was free beer v1.0, obviously. It wasn't concocted to boost a business under the guise of freedom. Get with the times, use your five minutes of fame to make someone else rich.

Not free for everyone (4, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389226)

In some jurisdictions you need a license to brew beer. I doubt that's included...

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389280)

Like where? A licence to mix water, sugar and yeast? That's just about the stupidest thing you could ever require.

Re:Not free for everyone (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389354)

Like where? A licence to mix water, sugar and yeast? That's just about the stupidest thing you could ever require.
My, my, what is the world coming to when people can't even get the ingredients in beer right.

Water, hops, malt, yeast. That's all it is.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389826)

The weird thing with that is that Carlsberg says they have "probably the best beer in the world" but the ingredient list only lists malt and yeast, no hops, what's up with that!!?

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

vraddict (653878) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390054)

Well that's only if you are abiding by the Reinheitsgebot of 1487 from Germany. These days with modern and creative brewing, many more ingredients are being used. Including cinnamon and nutmeg in Christmas Ales, Honey, coffee, and in Okinawa they make beer using a local black sugar, which has quite an interesting taste. And you could produce alcohol by mixing water, sugar and yeast, but it wouldn't be beer, and it sure wouldn't taste good. I think the definition of beer must include Water, hops, malt, and yeast, anything else will just make it interesting.

Water, hops, malt, yeast. That's all it is.

Re:Not free for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23390130)

That is if you follow the traditional purity law (Reinheitsgebot). It's possible to brew good beer while deviating from this recipe.

I remember my father brewing with added sugar and also soaking in junipers.

I can see it now.... (1)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389356)

Like where? A licence to mix water, sugar and yeast? That's just about the stupidest thing you could ever require.
Honestly officer. I was only making some bread for my poor old granny!

Re:Not free for everyone (3, Insightful)

popmaker (570147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389378)

As far as I know, all the ingredients required to make amphetamine are legal. Mixing them is not, though.

Re:Not free for everyone (4, Informative)

Faylone (880739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389400)

Utah seems to require one, even for personal brewing, although if you're wanting to sell it commercially, I think you have to register with the ATF as they will want to TAX you. http://www.atf.gov/alcohol/info/faq/beer.htm [atf.gov] has more info

Re:Not free for everyone (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389812)

In most U.S. states, brewing beer for personal/family use is okay without a license. What's considered personal/family use? In most states, it's a LOT of beer. Like 200 gallons per calendar year by ATF regs [atf.gov] -- this is the same for most U.S. states.

Re:Not free for everyone (5, Informative)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389500)

Think that's bad?
Ever since the English got control of Scotland, it's illegal to distill whisky without a (extremely expensive) licence.
And what is Scotland most famous for?

Literally, if I pay a few thousand pounds, I can have a licence to make as much whisky as is humanly possible. About $10,000 I think.
Yet if I make 100ml of moonshine for my own consumption, I can go to jail for 10 years.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389622)

And what is Scotland most famous for?
Bucky [buckfast.org.uk] and binge drinking. [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389696)

If you think Buckfast Abbey is in Scotland then you may have been drinking waaaay too much!

It's in Devon - way down in South West **England**.

http://www.buckfast.org.uk/site.php?use=maps [buckfast.org.uk]

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389730)

The Abbey is in England but most of their production is drunk in Scotland - over 10% in Lanarkshire alone. It's the favoured drink of neds and schemies - including those that hang around on the road outside my flat, judging by the number of broken empties in the gutters.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389772)

Hi - was sneaking in a reply to my original but I see you've already covered it - I read the BBC article and note that the Scots are sending raiding parties to Buckfast!

I stand corrected!

Haggis and... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390190)

Presbyterians. Oh, and not liking England.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389736)

And what is Scotland most famous for?

Hang on I know this one... its inventing the Telephone? or is it TV? Anaesthetics? Hell I give up its a massive list [magicdragon.com]

In conjunction with alcohol however the Scots are most famous for drinking the brewing is just the process you have to do to get to being drunk. Waiting to distil a decent malt is just a waste of time when their are cans of Special available.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389828)

But now a Scot has control over England. So shouldn't you guys get revenge by outlawing ale or something like that?

Re:Not free for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389860)

Ever since the English got control of Scotland
Huh, that's funny, I thought that there was a British Parliment, with it's biggest party - labour - being run by a Scot, as well as a Scottish Parliment by way of devolution a few years back.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

zsau (266209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390276)

Actually, I think the only western country that allows distilling scotch whisky or, indeed, any distilled drink, without paying an expensive licence is New Zealand. People who come from colder climes can accidentally leave their brew in the snow if they want it a bit stronger, but if you want to do it properly, you'll be struggling to find a plausible explanation for it.

Re:Not free for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389584)

Yeah, what's next? Making it illegal to distill whiskey without a licence? Laws that forbid you from growing smokable plants in your own home? From carrying out other chemical reactions and synthesising certain substances [wikimedia.org] ?

Heck, they might even make it so that I can't make copies of this record I just bought for my friends, and require me to undergo a test (paid for by myself!) to be allowed to pilot an automobile, or anything else. It'll be a damn police state, I tell you.

Re:Not free for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389606)

Like where? A licence to mix water, sugar and yeast? That's just about the stupidest thing you could ever require.

I once got a 200 fine for having rye with mycelium growing on it. It would've been legal with a research license.

Re:Not free for everyone (4, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389616)

Homebrewing beer is illegal in Alabama, for one. It can even get you into actual trouble [freethehops.org] .

Re:Not free for everyone (-1, Flamebait)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389650)

That's crazy. Your laws let people run around with guns shooting at each other, but you can't brew beer? That explains a lot...

Re:Not free for everyone (1, Insightful)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389690)

I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure running around shooting at people is also illegal.

Re:Not free for everyone (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389846)

I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure running around shooting at people is also illegal.
Unless you're Bush's vice-president.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389792)

I assume this is the code that was quoted to the guy:

Ala. Code 28-1-1 - "In all counties of the state it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to have in his or its possession any still or apparatus to be used for the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage of any kind or any alcoholic beverage of any kind illegally manufactured or transported within the state or imported into the state from any other place without authority of the alcoholic control board of the state, and any person, firm or corporation violating this provision or who transports any illegally manufactured alcoholic beverages or who manufactures illegally any alcoholic beverages shall, upon conviction, be punished as provided by law."

May be less clear that it first appears. After all, if you're just making home brew, are they going to call your stock pot and plastic bucket "apparatus"? Seems like it would be a hard sell. Most of the rest is about transporting which wouldn't apply, since you're at home.

Plus, everything refers to "illegal" beverages. As long as you don't do any recipes that produce high ABV beer (prohibited in Alabama), it's probably not applicable to home brew.

Doesn't mean the ABC won't go around intimidating people if they are flaunting their home brewing, but if they have to check they ABV of a homebrew to determine whether someone broke the law (I think they would), they are probably not really interested in enforcing it. Which is why there are plenty of homebrew supply stores in Alabama that are left alone.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389728)

No, that's crazy. You don't need a license or anything to brew beer in your home for personal use. Federal post-prohibition laws specifically allow for home breweries, and some limits to the amount (200 gallons per year).

Due to this specific Federal law, there is not state or local jurisdiction that can get away with outlawing it.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

meadwizard (1136767) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390022)

Not so true. In fact the post-prohibition laws granted the states almost complete control over alcohol. State laws have been past in most states to permit the brewing of about 100g/adult/year but these are mostly over the last 20 years and before that it was most definitely illegal to home brew.

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390256)

Not quite. The Federal homebrew law was passed in 1979 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not free for everyone (1)

meadwizard (1136767) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390298)

That federal law only deals with Taxation. The states still control the legality of the brewing itself. "States remain free to restrict, or even prohibit, the manufacture of beer, mead, hard cider, wine and other alcoholic beverages at home."

I am glad I don't have to... (5, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389240)

... listen to the bug reports for this one.

"*slurrred* We've been waiting on RC2 for years now and you still haven't fixed B..b..bug #272 Sporadic Bubble Popping. Lazy bastards, I'd fork if I could tell the difference between a fork and a spoon right now."

Re:I am glad I don't have to... (4, Funny)

eastlight_jim (1070084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389340)

You wouldn't need to tell the difference if you used sporks [xkcd.com] more often. Although dangerous cross breeds and alcohol probably shouldn't mix...

BETA TEST (2, Insightful)

vraddict (653878) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390080)

But wouldn't you just love to be the beta tester?

All quiet on the northern front (1)

pacroon (846604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389244)

Nice to see a fellow kinsman on /. The beer was also featured on a BBC documentary a while back.

Nice, but where can you get it (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389260)

Much like Free coke & Linux, i love the idea but they haven't managed to break the OEM monopoly(ok Linux is doing it slowly) meaning that unless you want to make your own, which can be tricky and may not work/taste as well/good as a premade one.
Unfortunately it looks like its just for enthusiasts, unless they can make it significantly better than the competition and get OEMs to offer it (e.g much better performance/usability on small systems). Unfortunately for beer/coke there is no metric as its down to taste, the only metric that can be used is popularity, which means that they cant be better than coke until they are better than coke. There only hope is that universities will offer it as an ethical alternative to their shelves of coke-cola & drug company products (such as the way my uni offers one water along side evian, etc & fair trade chocolate next to nestle and mars)

Re:Nice, but where can you get it (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389276)

Disregard that it seams sleep deprivation has kicked in and i switched threads from beer to coke half way through that post, I dont think that there are any ethical issues around beer companies, but my point stands that there is no way to get the beer easily (e.g at your pub)

Re:Nice, but where can you get it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389322)

Suggestion: join CAMRA or whatever US equivalent there is which is interested in craft beer and organising beer festivals, or patronise your local pub which specialises in craft beer. Get in on organising the beer festivals. Talk to a local microbrewery about a festival special - provide the recipe (making sure they know how it all works). Go there and brew it with them. Drink draft beer at festival and stock up on the bottle-conditioned product. Start process again.

We did it (http://www.s-mart.net/freebeer/) and the second batch is one of the nicest beers I have ever had. Go do it! NOW!

Re:Nice, but where can you get it (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389288)

I'm waiting for the LiveCD brewery.

Re:Nice, but where can you get it (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389384)

I love getting my free Ubeertu liveCD.

Re:Nice, but where can you get it (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389514)

You ask for one and this Shuttleworth guy sends you a six pack, and ask you to give them to your friends (yeah like that's gunna happen *burp*)

Re:Nice, but where can you get it (1)

joelstobart (1238490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389324)

Linux and coke, must be the fair-trade Ubuntu Cola [ubuntu-trading.com]

Re:Nice, but where can you get it (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389546)

Actually I was going for OpenCola [wikipedia.org] I dont think the ubuntu cola is open source :(

Ok, good start! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389272)

Now someone fork this project and bring me what I really need:

Free (As In Speech) Sex, V1.0

I've got an old beta program, but my single-user license isn't cutting it anymore. Perhaps my suggestion and the article would work together well in a plugin system?

How are GNU's definitions... (1)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389274)

...going to cope with this? They are going to change the front page to say

you should think of "free" as in "free speech", not as in "free (not as in speech) beer"

Re:How are GNU's definitions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389326)

They're definitions are pretty messy already. Free beer causes free speech

Re:How are GNU's definitions... (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389334)

Yeah, it's a MS plot to make people's heads explode at the FSF.

Beer isn't software (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389310)

There are many of us who brew beer as a hobby. We have competitions. We help each other. We trade recipes and equipment. Some of us are a bit stingy with our beer though.

There are university courses on beer making. Beer making is well understood. It is not at all like programming. All of the effort is in the programming, once the program is written, that's it, you're done. Beer recipes are fairly simple programs that don't change all that much between beers that are quite different. The goodness of the beer is determined by the skill of the brewer. Given the same recipe, two of us will produce different tasting beers.

How you heat and cool your beer determines how the different enzymes will work and that determines how the beer tastes (in addition to the obvious hops and barley). The exact temperature profile is a function of your equipment. Beer made in a large batch with steam heat and water cooling will be different from my five gallon batches.

Beer is a craft. It isn't the same as software because the same program (recipe) won't always produce the same result. The program I wrote yesterday will run the same any time of year. Beer, on the other hand, cares when I make it. Around here, we don't brew between May and October.

Creating an open source beer project ... I don't see the point.

Re:Beer isn't software (5, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389368)

Beer is a craft. It isn't the same as software because the same program (recipe) won't always produce the same result. The program I wrote yesterday will run the same any time of year. Beer, on the other hand, cares when I make it. Around here, we don't brew between May and October.

The conditions under which the brewing occurs are part of the "program", and the same program certainly should always produce the same results. If you don't have control of some of your initial variables, then you will get varying results, whether you're talking software or beer.

Re:Beer isn't software (5, Interesting)

wrook (134116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389416)

As an avid brewer, I agree with your points, but not your conclusion.

One of the biggest challenges to improving your brewing is brewing to style. But style definitions are imprecise and very subjective. That's why all the style definitions come with commercial beer reference points. Dry Irish Stout - Guinness. Bohemian Pilsner - Pilsner Urquel.

With these references, anyone who has access to commercial beer can learn more about the style. They can try to intentionally brew a beer in that style. However you're still in a bind. Let's say Fuller's London Porter is considered a reference for "London Porter" - how would I go about brewing that specific style? What grain bill should I play with? Is roast barley appropriate? Where on the hop scale should I be?

The more information I can get about a commercial beer, the better off I am when I try to make beers like it. Sure, I'm not likely to be able to make a clone without a huge amount of work. But it's a good starting point for learning.

A commercial brewer that gives up this information is inviting the amateur brewer to share in the creation process. They are saying, "Please try to make something like this." And while not the same as the 4 freedoms in free software, I find the sentiment similar.

Beer Recipies & Water (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389802)

Here in the UK there are amny book available with recepies for many 'Commercial' brews. My local Brewery will even sell you some of the very same yeast thay they use. With a bit of arm twisting, you can sometimes even buy some of the Malt they use. Hops are easily come by in any Home Brew shop.
On trips around many such establishments, you can easily glean what ration of hops : malt : etc goes in a particular beer.

So why can't you make beer with the same taste?
Water.

IMHO, this has a big effect of the actual taste of a beer. This is why regional breweries in the UK ( and other plaves) produce ales with such distinctive tastes.
Even the brewers of that apology for beer in the USA (Bud) treat the water so that wherever it is brewed it tastes the same. Then they go and ruin it by adding rice. It is not beer. I digress.

The differences in the water for beers is as important as it is for proper (Malt) Whiskies.
The peaty soft water of an Islay Malt makes a very different drink than a Highland Brand.

Re:Beer isn't software (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389870)

Beer is a craft. It isn't the same as software because the same program (recipe) won't always produce the same result. The program I wrote yesterday will run the same any time of year. Beer, on the other hand, cares when I make it. Around here, we don't brew between May and October.

Creating an open source beer project ... I don't see the point.
A good beer recipe will often include things like how much to make (large vs. small batches), what type of equipment is known to work best, how much and how quickly to heat and cool the brew, etc.

Even armed with all of that information, no you won't necessarily get identical results -- you're talking about brew made from natural ingredients. It's like cooking. Just as you would follow a recipe for baking a cake from scratch, no cakes will be identical, but two cakes baked from the same recipe will be pretty similar. The same is true of brewing beer -- follow the same recipe and use the same or similar equipment and two brewers will get similar, but not necessarily identical results.

Sure, skill plays into it. Like cooking, it's part art and part science. But the science part is what you can open source. The rest is just up to the brewer.

And, yes, as a matter of fact, I have brewed my own beer.

Re:Beer isn't software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389872)

The program I wrote yesterday will run the same any time of year.
Not if you hard coded daylight savings time.

microsoft (4, Funny)

mapleneckblues (1145545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389328)

waiting for someone to bring microsoft into this discussion... its not a matter of if, but how and when
"1 pint ought to be enough for everyone"

Re:microsoft (4, Funny)

popmaker (570147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389422)

I think it's when they start offering "Microsoft beer (TM)", that tastes suspiciously like Open Beer, although not quite the same. And it has a small dog on the label, and every fourth can explodes when you open it.

Not to mention that the newest beer only comes in ten-liter cans and you need to buy a larger fridge to store them.

Re:microsoft (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389548)

And when you try to make your own beer, they hire Steve Donkeykong to throw barrels at you.

Re:microsoft (4, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389964)

and there's a confusing license scheme for the various degrees of crippledness:
MS Beer Home Edition -- available only as a six-pack.
MS Small Beer Server
MS Beer Enterprise Edition
MS BeerCE -- tastes like water but at least it's potable, er, portable.

And don't forget MS Trace, for counting the number of hops.

The true spirit of FOSS (1)

pythonhacker (898864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389348)

Talk about the true "spirit" of sharing code and ideas...!

Free speeches (1)

popmaker (570147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389364)

In other new, I have a number of free (as in beer) speeches I'm willing to share with you guys.

Re:Free speeches (1)

chriscoolc (954268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389504)

I stay away from the free (as in beer) speeches, especially those after which you're likely to wake up the next morning with a headache, stuck with an ugly-ass timeshare you won't be able to get rid of anytime soon.

first p0st? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389398)

as the premiere baby...don't Fear balance is struck,

strange brew that's good for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389402)

That would be Kombucha.

There are many more (3, Informative)

ebbe11 (121118) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389456)

Many if not most Danish home-brewers share their recipes using beercalc [haandbryg.dk] . There are over 8000 recipes here. Unfortunately for most of the readers on /. comments are usually in Danish.

Nothing to see here (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23389588)

I've been home brewing for nearly 20 years.

In my experience:

1. Most brewers (home and professional) have always been willing if not eager to share their recipes with other brewers.

2. Those brewers who do zealously guard their secret recipes usually don't make very good beer, and you wouldn't want their recipes anyway.

Free as in beer (1)

pbaer (833011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389602)

Now describes both freedoms of open source programs.

License (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389672)

How long before bottles say "Brewed Under License" referring to the GPL (GNU Pub License)?

--
Open Source Beer requires old boots...

Already Avaiable in Brazil (2, Interesting)

famazza (398147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389706)

Since November, a brazilian brewer, Germania, is offering bottled free (as in speech) beer. The version is 3.4, and it seems to be good.

Now What Do We Do? (1)

Prototerm (762512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23389834)

We'll never be able to explain the GPL, now that "free as in beer" is the same as "free as in speech". This is a disaster, I tell you! Dido and Enterly will be all over this, and we'll never hear the end of it.

Next thing you know, they'll open a bazaar in the local cathedral, and it'll *all* be over.

When you are makeing all don't put to much yeast i (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23390208)

When you are makeing all don't put to much yeast in like the 3 stooges did.
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