Permissions for brewing at home in Germany

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I've searched the site a bit and found a couple of threads on people asking about homebrewing supplies, but I was wondering if you need some sort of permission to make beer at home in Germany? I'm assuming you do considering there's a rule aout pretty much everything there :D

 

And before people point out how cheap and "good" the beer is in Germany (I know I'd be hard pushed to make beer as cheap as you can buy it there), it's a great hobby, and I plan on continuing it when I move. Besides, I'll have to make IPAs, Porters and Stouts to keep my taste buds in practice!

 

Thanks!

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Indeed, technically as YL6 points out you're supposed to inform the authorities before you make what is essentially a hop tea and add yeast to it. I must admit I didn't bother. Useless fucking law it is too. It's essentially a statement that you're not selling it or brewing large quantities rather than a permission, although as usual in Germnay it's dressed up in lots of frightening language.

 

German beer is fine as far as it goes but it's rather homogenous and as you point out the best way to drink an ale, stout, porter or anything other than a German style is to brew it yourself or go to Alsace and check out the artisanale breweries there.

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Thanks guys. Reading between the lines am I sensing that you could just go ahead and not make a statement?

 

I reckon I'd make 20 litres every month, which brings me over 200 :D

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IIRC strictly speaking you're not even allowed to transport the beer off your own premises, even if you give it away. In essence this means you can't brew beer and take it with you to a party, although AFAIK you could brew your 200l quota and invite your friends round, and next day brew your Mrs' quota, if you felt like it. It's batty, obviously done to protect the big German brewers, but quintessentially German.

 

I have lots of links and random crap on my brewing blog http://billbrau.blogspot.com/ but owing to commitments of the female kind I haven't brewed for ages. For an online shop I recommend http://www.brouwland.com/ who are very good and have a huge selection of brewing related toys.

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Now that's good, you can have a quota for the missus too?

 

I've been using Brouwland for most of my supplies for the past year. Fantastic selection. And the good thing is moving to Germany will drop the delivery from €50 to about 7 or something. Not that that's one of the reasons I'm moving mind... *ahem*

 

I set up www.irishcraftbrewer.com nearly a year ago with a mate (I have a different nick there as I was going undercover here ;)), so that's something I'll be keeping involved in after my move. Maybe a germancraftbrewer will be on the cards after a while :D

 

So, did you guys bother getting this permission/making htis statement?

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I guess you get a 200l quota for each person (perhaps adult) in the house, or to be more accurate - for each adult who has filled in the forms ;). To answer your other question: I haven't bothered, it's probably important if you enter competitions or otherwise attract attention to your craft but otherwise a waste of effort. There are better things in life to be worried about and I just can't stand the thought that my taxes are being spent on paying some monkey in the KVR who files these forms away somewhere, and it makes me feel rock-n-roll anti-establishment rebellious to break laws sometimes B)

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Also remember that unlike in the states, you can buy malt directly from the malt factories. Buy your malt and yeast from brouland. 20 euro will got you a 50kg sack. A lot of them don't even charge you tax, as this is such a small amount for them they just put it in their 'kaffedose'. Remember that most malters here only make pilsner malt, which is a fantastic base malt, you can pick up you cara malts at brauland or roast the pilsner malt in your oven.

 

BTW hops are getting fucking expensive! I plan on growing my own next year.

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You have contact details for local maltings Flannery? I'd be interested to visit if nothing else, and a 25Kg sack of base malt would always be useful.

 

Ironic about the hops, a few years back farmers were stopping growing them as the prices had fallen so much!

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I see that you are in Munich, I buy mine closer to home in the Mainz area. Here are a couple of links. You should call them and make an appointment with them before you go to pick it up.

 

BTW that's one of the main reasons hops have gone up so much, farmers were sick and tired of getting such shitty prices so they switched to other crops.

 

http://www.branchen-info.net/hassfurt/mael...mbh_3303555.php

http://www.bayernfuehrer.de/Bayern_und_sei.../unbenannt.html

http://www.hotfrog.de/Produkte/Maelzereien-und-Malz

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hops are getting fucking expensive! I plan on growing my own next year.

Hops take a couple of seasons to establish themselves well. Dunno what quantities you are after, but you are welcome to take mine off my hands next autumn. I am not going to use them.

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Flannery, would you have any contact details for maltsters in the Muenster area? Might as well get planning now! :)

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Malzfabrik Friedrich Weissheimer

Hafenstr. 14

45881 Gelsenkirchen

 

Zargoz, this one is not too far from Muenster AND they have the most excellent munich malt. I'm still using some that I picked up last year. A little goes a long way for a malty beer. I'm thinking they make and sell it as the malter is located close to an 'Alt bier' area. They even give you a malt analysis sheet. Just call ahead and they will have it all sacked up for you when you arrive.

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**Hops take a couple of seasons to establish themselves well.**

 

This will be my 2nd year so I hope to get a better crop than 2007 was. BUT I gave my neighbor one of my plants and his went gangbusters. It was really embarrassing as mine looked whimpy and brown and had a VERY low yeild but his were FULL of flowers. We bittered 150 liters of beer with his hops alone! What part of Germany are you located in? I may be interested in picking some up.

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Thanks for that Flannery. Actually, my new boss was saying he wanted to have a stab at making whiskey, and he reckoned as I make beer I'd at least know the first steps in the process! If he is going to go for it, he'll probably appreciate the contact with the maltsters too (woohoo! brownie points already! ;))

 

I'd love to give the hops a go, but it'll be well after we get settled and have a place of our own. Unless the dwarf varieties will fit in a windowbox of course...

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Just a quick addition to my original query:

 

Can any of you brewers point me to some online brewing supply stores in Germany, or an walk-in stores in the Muenster area. I'm going to be leaving alot of my stuff behind as moving costs are getting insane :(

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I reckon I'd make 20 litres every month

Uh, at that rate I would get something protecting my ass if I were you.

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Uh, at that rate I would get something protecting my ass if I were you.

Meh, 20 litres per batch isn't much. Having said that, it'd be the absolute maximum I'd be able to make when up and running regularly. More often than not it'd be 20 litres every 5-6 weeks. I know guys here in Ireland who make more than that easily (but they don't have small children).

 

But still, who'd really be checking? :) That's a serious question now that I think of it. If you make a statement they know you'll be brewing, and I suppose they could spot check if they were really bothered. If you don't make a statement wouldn't it be down to someone ratting you out?

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