Basement—The Beer Cellar
Don’t keep your Belgians and bottle-conditioned real ales in your coat closet! With the Wine Mate 1500 from Vinotemp ($1,195 at www.vinotemp.com), you can store 100 big bottle beers in peace and security.
Closets are a perfect place to keep your stash of Bud Light.
It’s time to get your lager on: keep the chill on your homebrewed pilsner with a cooled stainless steel fermenter from those crazy sons of fun at MoreBeer.com ($2,150 for the 24 gallon tank). You can get hoses at Micro Matic. Worried about the cost of all this high-end homebrew equipment? Hey, you could buy a boat…but a boat don’t make beer, baby!
Build-your-own all-house tap system (Taps All Places System—TAPS): Go shopping at Micro Matic’s website (www.micromatic.com) for everything you need—and we do mean everything—to build a freezer-based cold room and run draft lines to every room in your house. Don’t forget the cleaning supplies! (If you don’t feel like doing-it-yourself—we sure don’t—your local microbrewer might be happy to pick up some extra bucks putting it in for you: support your local brewer!) The house beer in the TAPS lines? Your beer, of course!
When you’re cleaning your brewery, you need hot water right away, and plenty of it. The Noritz N-069M provides 6.9 gallons of hot water per minute, immediately. At $1,300 list price, it’s not cheap…but it’s as much as 50% less money to operate than a standard water heater. (www.noritz.com)
Storage: store your homebrewing supplies in the basement, that’s what it’s for. Get the Edsal Muscle Rack Heavy Duty shelving at Lowe’s. It ain’t pretty, but it’s reasonable ($70 for the 5-shelf unit), it’s strong as a bull moose, and it’s Lowe’s—you can get it anywhere.
If you’re going to be drinking all the beer this house has, you’re going to have to work it off. One of the best single workout machine going is the Concept 2 rowing machine, a full aerobic burn with real work on the gut and legs. The Model D ($850 + shipping, www.concept2.com) folds up for storage and is made in the U.S.
The beer for the basement? Gotta be draft, and if you’re working out, it’s gotta be light and quenching, but with enough flavor for the geek in you: Schlenkerla Lager. Light and golden, with just enough smoke to be delicious.