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Beer Keg's and Box Wine

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Sandor, Jun 8, 2006.

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  1. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I like Beer and wine, and so does 'da woman.

    Have been recycling the glass Michelob Ultra Bottles. But, it must still take quite a bit of energy to make the bottles, ship em, and plus the packaging.

    Checked out a keg setup... for about 200 bucks I can get the tap setup for an old fridge. Have an unplugged chest freezer and I can get a little box that will keep the freezer at 35 degrees or so. 5 lb carbon dioxide cylinders are a one time $90 dollar charge and $10 bucks to refill, about every 8 or so 1/4 kegs. Think I should go for it in the name of energy and money savings. And hey, they reuse the kegs. Should save about $6 bucks a case.

    Had a keg in my garage about 7 years ago, but sold it because I could not get rid of my friends, until it was time to go get another. Not an issue this time around.

    This small supermarket starting carrying a nice selection of box wines. 5 different brands in addition to the usual Almadan, Franzia and Peter Vella. Really like the "Black Box" Cabernet - would say its about equivelent to a $10 dollar bottle, and there are 3 bottles in the box for $17. Whoo woo, a $13 dollar savings. Plus, it doesn't go bad like an open bottle of Vino. Those glass bottles must take a bit of energy to produce and ship. I recycled them, and I recycle the carboard wine box too.

    You know, Red Wine lowers your cholesterol, and the flavanoids have cancer fighting properties.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    There was an ad for Glenlivet a few years ago that showed a guy pushing a whiskey barrel up a flight of stairs. The copy said something about how the Glenlivet distillery doesn't give their employees cash bonuses. I want one of those kegs for Father's Day.

    Not being a wine snob, I don't mind boxed wine. Like you say, find the right one and it's on par with Concha y Toro and the like. I've never tried Two-Buck Chuck, but have heard good things about it.

    Seriously, I question my ability to remain as sober as I would like with continual access to a virtually limitless supply of tap beer. The process of deciding to get some beer, scrounging up the cash, going to the store to get the beer and getting it home, sets up an obstacle course that I find somewhat useful. Here in NYS we have a bottle deposit bill that provides an incentive to return the bottles for recycling. I'm mystified, however, why they smash the bottles instead of refilling them. That bothers me.
  3. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I wasn't taken with box wines until recently. Big sale on the Franzia, 5L of 8.99. Couldn't pass it up. Surprised me that it was fair to decent. Better, it sits there for weeks on end not going bad. Wife and I would crack a bottle for dinner and not finish it, then go back a few days or week later and it would be pretty nasty.

    I go back and forth onthe keg-er-ator, and for me it comes down to diversity. I don't drink the same beer all the time, and I can't see having several kegs lined up. Strohs for mowing the lawn, Yuengling or a nice pale bock with dinner, the occasional porter or stout after dinner. Course, I homebrew too so that cuts some of the costs off the beer. But bottling by hand is a lot of labor.

    Steve
  4. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    It does seem strange, but I think the answer to that is the huge effort it would take to sort out each type of bottle or jar, and get it back to the manufacturer who filled it in the first place. All beer bottles are not the same shape. Imagine buying Bud that was filled in green heinekin bottles. Plus, from brewing and filling my own in the past, after a few used, they do sometimes get chips on the lip of the bottle - the only ones who would make out there are the lawyers from massive class action suits from a few people with cut lips.

    Probably less costly in the long run to crush all the same colors together, melt them down and start with fresh ones. Plus, at least that way you know that all of the "yuck" is burnt out of them.
  5. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Remember when you used to be able to get deposit bottles? Like real deposit bottles, the brown scuffed ones that were cheaper than the disposables?

    Steve
  6. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    We've got and old fridge hooked up with a tap system for beer. Sandor, your right, the friends don't go away sometimes. My roomate and I have didn't want to, but had to start asking our friends to start donating to the cause. They were costing us close to $80 bucks a week. We threw a coffee can on top of the fridge and asked people to throw a few bucks here and there to help cover the cost. Works well and when theirs a little extra after a fresh keg, it goes to snacks for card night. (How obvious is it that I'm not married?)

    I make my own wine. Its so easy to do and very inexpensive. Other than a one time investment 3 years ago for equipment of about $200 bucks, it cost me about $1.75 per full bottle and is as good as any $10 bottle at the liquor store. The only waste that is produced are some "almost" wine soaked wood chips (some of which get used for smoking on the grill), some juice sludge, and a bunch of corks. Almost every piece of equipment is reusable. Oh, almost forgot, another thing that can get wasted if not careful - the person drinking it.

    These are the guys I get my equipment from and they know there stuff. Everything you need to make beer or wine or decorate you bar room. Their website has all kinds of great info on it if anyones curious.

    http://www.keystonehomebrew.com
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I have been homebrewing beer for over 15 years. I have an extra fridge in the basement full of homebrew in those 5gl soda kegs hooked up to co2. Fresh tap beer when ever I want. You can save money brewing your own if you keep it simple and buy bulk ingredients. But I have seen people spend thousands on their brewery set ups, and buy the most expensive ingredients. Lots of info out there on the web, just type in "homebrew"
  8. JAred

    JAred New Member

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    I need to stop brewing beer and start cutting wood for next winter:)
  9. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hmm we need to hook up. I need to stop cutting firewood and start brewing beer.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I just saw in the news today that one of the main ingredients in beer (hops) appears to thwart prostate cancer, according to findings released by US researchers. But you would have to quaff more than 17 pints to imbibe a medically effective dose ... Somewhere, Homer is smiliing.
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Well Sandor, once again we seem to be operating on the same frequency. I've been swilling down Mic Ultra for the last couple years. And box-o-wine is a permanent fixture on Mrs. Mo Heat's bakers' rack. We prefer Vella (in any flavor).

    When I met the Mrs., I had quite a collection of mostly California wines collected from wineries, wine stores, and Lucky's grocery. I would pull out a couple $8 - $20 bottles to impress my new concubine and she never failed to appreciate each and every one. I didn't realize until later that she had never drunk much of any wine before and I eventually weened her off the good stuff and onto the box-o-wine. Unfortunatealy, she had drunk up my entire collection by the time I realized what was happening. She still can't tell MD or Wild Irish from David Bruce or Kendall Jackson. Now, in retaliation for the loss of my prized wine collection, I am often heard to say at guest dinners at our place when a pricey bottle is opened, "Oh no Mrs. Mo Heat, this one is much too good for you...". She smiles and heads for the box-o-wine, while the guests look appalled at my audacity. Still, she agrees that it is pointless to throw pearls before the swine (speaking strickly of her pallet of course :).

    My brother-in-law is always after me to get another keg set-up. Man, that's a lot of beer and we already have 3 refrigerators cranking, so no thanks, and your children need their father at home, anyway.

    I've got an antique Coke machine. One that you pull the bottles out the little glass door. But it's in Texas under repair and probably will be until I die. At a friend's house. I'd love to have that cute little guy back. Only thing was, it only held shorty Coors bottles. Still, they seemed to taste better from that classic red box.

    About 3 weeks ago, when my wallet was running a bit low, I decided to stroll down the beer isle at my local liquir store. See if I could find something a bit less pricy than Mic Ultra. There they were. With a big Natural plastered all over the cube of cans. Natural Light. Less calories, less filling. And a heck of a lot less jack! I figure about half the price of Mic Ultra. I hate drinking from cans, but I snatched a cube and bolted for the checkout. When I got home I broke out the trusty Bud pilsner-like glasses and decanted one cautiously. Bubbly. Bubbly. Sippy. Sippy. MMMmmmm. Not bad. And what a savings. :)
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Carefull Mo Beer and meds do not always make for a pleasent mix.. I'm spoiled by Sam Adams Summer blend just hit the shelves
    I also do not mind a sliver bullit or two
  13. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Mo, too funny!

    When the women said the 1999 Alexander Valley Cab was "OK", I knew it was time to head for the boxes. Right now, she really likes the box of Sangria (!) 5 liters for 14 bucks.... OK!

    Whats really funny is the Natural Light sitting in my fridge now. A nice comprise is the Natural Light bottles that seem to taste better than cans. The bottles are not quite half price, but close enough. Her beer pallet is more descriminating than the wine, however. She has to have the Mic Ultra. Luckily, she doesn't have a taste for Elk's Sam Adams.
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Well, but that's Bud or Coors...With My homebrew, you get your daily dose of Hops in a single glass. I really like IPAs!! The hoppier the better. Hop Devil Hops infusion IPA, Middle Ages Impaled Ale...or for a nice lawn mower brew...Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
  15. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Warren we share very similar taste in beer. I mean if I was 21 and I had tried beer before. What I meant to say was......uh........I've heard from some friends that.....have.....told......me....those are really good beers you suggested.


    I've also heard great things about Sam's seasonal brew and look foward to trying one (*cough* twenty four *cough*) when I turn 21 next month. Move along folks, no laws being broken here.
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Two of my fave IPAs are Old Smuttynose and Harpoon, both from New England. The Seadog Brewery in Bangor, Maine has a killer IPA on tap.
  17. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Warren,
    You would love the IPA I currently have on tap. Golden, strong and highly hopped with Cascade hops. Oh yeah, and just a tuch of honey to smooth out the taste. Kind of simular to Sierra Nevada Pale ale.

    Firewood cutting is done, I will be brewing!
  18. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Ummm Corie... we all assumed you were like... uhhhh 45. People who are under 21 just aren't into wood burning.
  19. martel

    martel Member

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    LOL- yes, i thought at least over 30. a good poll: "how old did you think corie was before this thread??"

    Next thing Mo will be telling us he is excited to get his driver's license next month when he turns 16.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Corie has often mentioned still being in school. My bet is that he will open the Corie Stove Works when he graduates and turn the industry on its head.

    My stove will be ready for retirement about that time so who knows...
  21. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    Been homebrewing for quite some time now myself...my recent flare is wine and cider...in Mass, come fall, the apple orchards sell non-stabilized, non-pasturized cider pretty darn cheap...all you need is a 5 gallon bucket and a $2 pack of champaign yeast and 1+ month later you've got hard cider...and darn good hard cider at that! I've never been much of a fan of the cider, but 5 gallons of 10%+ cider for less than $20 is a no-brainer! The wine takes much more patience of course...and I'm still waiting...and waiting...
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm no expert on beer, but no doubt that a light drinker such as myself can afford the good stuff - after all, when you're not having more than one it hardly matters....

    That's why Elk is on target with the Sam Adams - the summer stuff is really tasty. And our own regional Berkshire Brewing (probably also available in NYS) makes Steel Rail, which comes in a minimum 22 oz bottle - so you actually have two when you have one. Still, you can tell the quality of both the water and the ingredients in both.
  23. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    We have an abundance of Saranac (FX Matt - Utica, NY) around here and I have found I really like their stuff. It's less expensive than, say, Red Hook or Sam Adams. I like a lot of the micro brews but I, unlike Craig, have about two or three at a time and it gets a little expensive. When funds are low I settle for Budweiser. Lately, I have been drinking more pilsners, such as Pilsner Urquel and Dinkle Aker. I got back into Pilsners when I was in Denmark. Loved that Tourborg. But IPA is still my favorite and I lean toward the British and Irish ales in general. Saranac IPA and Pale Ale are favortites, as well as Black and Tan.

    Sean
  24. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    You being a hearth store owner/operator, I'd think the above statement would go without saying. ;)

    This kind of talk is best left unspoken here in Bud-burbia. ;)

    Sean, do they do the crazy 'timing of the draught' in Denmark? I once ordered a Pilsner in Germany and everyone at my table was ready to order their second non-Pilsner by the time my first Pilsner had arrived. I was told that by law in Germany, you had to tap Pilsner for 'so many minutes', for some special beer reason or other. And of course, all beers in Germany must be served, by law, in their specified non-generic glasses. I suppose there might be some exceptions.
  25. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    seaken,

    I live in Utica, so of course I don't drink Saranac (anymore). Drank a lot of it when I lived up in the Adirondacks, however. Saranac Amber on tap is one beer you could sit around and drink all day. I never have, you understand, but I could.

    Now I stick mostly to Yeungling (sp), which is a better Black & Tan, IMO, than the Saranac. I never did acquire a taste for the Saranac PA, but some of their special summer brews are pretty adequate.
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