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Thread: Brewing Schedule advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    2

    Brewing Schedule advice

    Hey just seeing what others are doing to schedule and communicate their brews. Is there a rule of thumb for when to brew a core beer again? How far in advance are you scheduling brews? What medium are you using to communicate the brews? Our methods are need improvement and I want to come back to the group with some ideas instead of just bitching about scheduling. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,278
    Hi Pigskin,
    My brew schedule is based off of my inventory levels. I have the luxury of several years of history to know when my market spikes will come. I have certain inventory levels of 1/2 bbls, 1/6 bbls, and cased beer for each beer and soda that,when reached, I know it is time to brew that product again. You need to determine which products sell faster than others and when and get ahead of that curve. A lot of this comes from experience. Bottom line is fill your cold room and tanks.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    2
    That makes sense, and thanks for your reply!! I think we have a handle on when beers are getting low. Are you scheduling brew days in advance and then brew what beer you need when that day comes closer? Are you tentatively forecasting brew days and changing them if needed? I am trying to figure out the best communication method.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nevada City, CA
    Posts
    313
    I'm almost two years into our 7bbl brewpub and find myself still trying to anticipate and not run out of a tap. We have 4 FVs, and in truth, the yeast availability (we have two house yeasts), an empty FV, and what needs to come next pretty much schedule brew days for me. As soon as I have the yeast, and an empty FV, I brew. What is on hand dictates this. I don't typically schedule brew days more than about a week or so out, but have not really had to as paying close attention to what is moving, how much, when it will empty, and when I can get the next ready dictates my schedule for me. After a while you can pretty easily look at the cadence for each regular tap you brew. For example, as soon as I put a new IPA on tap, i better immediately brew the next withing several days. For my Pale Ale, the interval is about every 5 weeks. Ditto for the Double.

    As for vacations, they're right out.
    Dave Cowie
    Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company
    Nevada City, CA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,278
    Quote Originally Posted by PigskinBrewery View Post
    That makes sense, and thanks for your reply!! I think we have a handle on when beers are getting low. Are you scheduling brew days in advance and then brew what beer you need when that day comes closer? Are you tentatively forecasting brew days and changing them if needed? I am trying to figure out the best communication method.
    I do forecast about a week and a half out BUT this is a rubber forecast that can bend and stretch and change. I have three of my seven beers that are my huge sellers so I'm brewing those about 3:1 compared to the rest of my lineup. I would suggest to start on a regular schedule, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, brew, then Thursday, Friday, and maybe Saturday transfer, filter, clean, rack, etc. until you recognize which brands will be dominating your Brewhouse and vice versa. Luck to ya'.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    132
    Always write your schedule in pencil and have an eraser handy

    What are your numbers? There's really no set formula. The more flexible you and your team are, the better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    248
    Google calendar is great for a rough schedule. It can be shared with others at the company as well. I will loosely schedule out stuff for the month on the calendar and then I can simple drag and drop things around as changes need to be made, all the while anyone that the calendar is shared with gets live updates of all the changes. We have multiple calendars running that I can view with a click, such as events and tastings, crew scheduling, production...etc. They can be viewed all together or individually. Its like having a live action dry erase board or magnet board.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Posts
    746
    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBrewing View Post
    I do forecast about a week and a half out BUT this is a rubber forecast that can bend and stretch and change. I have three of my seven beers that are my huge sellers so I'm brewing those about 3:1 compared to the rest of my lineup. I would suggest to start on a regular schedule, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, brew, then Thursday, Friday, and maybe Saturday transfer, filter, clean, rack, etc. until you recognize which brands will be dominating your Brewhouse and vice versa. Luck to ya'.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Bingo. I call this our "Burn Rate". Based on the past three or four weeks I can see X kegs a week in the taproom, y kegs local wholesale, z kegs based on distributor par levels, and xyz special kegs needed for upcoming events like holidays and festivals. From that I get so many kegs per week needed, compare to inventory, and predict when we run out and then try to have more ready before that date.

    Our brew schedule is a whiteboard, divided into five calendar weeks and seven days a week. It's revolving, so as things recede into history they get erased and new days written in. I usually keep a week or two of past days (so I know when and what we brewed, helpful for knowing when to crash, dryhop, fine, etc.) and then three to four weeks out. Each tank gets its own color dry erase marker so for example FV1 is purple, FV2 is orange, etc so you don't mix up tasks on the wrong fermenters. Each week's Sunday is on the far left. It has a list of all the fermenters, in their colors, and what is in them on that date, top to bottom. So generally both color and position in the box indicates which tank it is (FV1 is above FV2, above FV3 etc.). Brites are at the bottom of the list, so transfers to them are a line like "Filter (color 1) -------> Brite (color 2)". Brewdays are a rectangular box with the beer name in the middle. So if say we double brew IPA into FV6 it's two black rectangles with 'IPA' in them, or if we brew a single into FV1 and another into FV3 it'd be box color 1 "Amber" box color 2 "Stout". Important events (holidays, key personnel days off, beer festivals etc) are noted on the days they happen. Doesn't do to schedule a brewday when nobody's here!
    Russell Everett
    Co-Founder / Head Brewer
    Bainbridge Island Brewing
    Bainbridge Island, WA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    823
    I just started playing with brew planner and I think I'm going to implement it. 14fv's, 8bbt's and 7 sv's are too much for a white board. The ability for the whole crew to view and edit remotely sounds great but I haven't tried it yet.
    I am worried about getting hooked and then they change to a paid service...
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Florence, CO
    Posts
    2

    Pretty Neat...Do you want feedback?

    Sooo....I already like this thing because it is layed out pretty simple (once you get the hang of how it was engineered) and it's cloud based! I played with it a bit and I too think I am going to implement it. I did run across some things that I think can be improved upon if you are interested. It's definitely the right price so who am I to complain? I'm also a sucker for new toys so it has the whiz bang factor for me as well. Good Job!
    Cheers,
    Hans Prahl
    Owner/Head Brewer
    Florence Brewing Company, CO

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Briggs View Post
    I just started playing with brew planner and I think I'm going to implement it. 14fv's, 8bbt's and 7 sv's are too much for a white board. The ability for the whole crew to view and edit remotely sounds great but I haven't tried it yet.
    I am worried about getting hooked and then they change to a paid service...
    Well it's been a year since you said you were going to give it a try. What were your results? Are you still using it? Let us know. Thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    823
    BREWPLANNER-
    I thought it worked great for scheduling. I didn't get the crew on it though, and still needed a white board to post the schedule. I found some dogs just wont learn new tricks, which is funny cause I'm the old man. I though you millennial types loved your "devices" ha!
    I'm at new digs now and wasn't going to use it for a 3FV/2bbt/6ST brewpub but I've found it helps the owner relax because he can see whats up in the brewery anytime he wants.
    Still waiting to see what upgrades the paid version will have. I really want a 4th section, ie. Brew/ferment/package/+serve. And it be nice if it split batches better - 15bbl fv into 2 8bbl brights, 2 brights into one ST -rest kegs, ECT. There's workarounds, but workarounds make a system seem wonky.
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Plainwell, MI, USA
    Posts
    91
    I am the brewer at a smaller brewpub. I run a 3bbl system with three 6bbl unitanks. I run 10 lines at a time - three are year-round, 3 are from a regular lineup of house seasonals I choose from, and 4 are whatever I'm in the mood to make.

    I am scheduled out roughly 12 weeks in advance. I don't understand how people run week to week.


    I keep a white board with the last three week's inventory. I take a keg count (to an approximation of full or half-full 1/2bbl keg - the only way I package) every week at the same time (between lunch and dinner service on Thursday). This allows me to follow trends as the seasons progress.

    I keep my complete schedule (including planned keg washing, line cleaning, kegging, brewing, cellar days, paperwork, research, etc) at 12 weeks out. I update this about once a week, though very little changes in the near 2-3 weeks). This allows me to keep about a month ahead on yeast orders, and anywhere from 5-10 weeks ahead on grain orders (I always plan my orders to include an extra batch of my two most popular beers, just in case).

    I also keep a seasonal beer calendar that helps me plan for when I'm going to need seasonal beers brewed. I use the trends from the last three weeks as well as my weekly inventory to plan out 18 weeks in advance, and updating +/- during my weekly inventory, and then totally redoing the calendar every 3-4 weeks to reflect actual inventory levels, and to plan my new "in-stock" dates for my upcoming regulars and seasonals that I've scheduled since I've last redone this calendar.

    I keep a very tight ship.

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