Man, time flies. The last four months seem like a blur. Beer making came to a screeching halt on August 1 while we moved into the new facility and prepared for the arrival of the 15bbl system. Although we budgeted pretty well for equipment costs there was a lot of stuff we hadn’t counted on. They were mostly a list of stainless steel bits and pieces that continues to add up but one large cost that blindsided us was the steam installation. The steam lines were already run from the steam boiler and stopped two feet from brewhouse. Should be an easy installation, right? Well, evidently getting it hooked up required an impressive web of copper pipe, steam traps, and solenoid control valves. I have to say, despite the sticker shock, the installation is totally professional and works great. Thank you to Brent and the crew at Mechanical Masters.
After four months of playing painter, plumber, electrician, sign hanger, mover, and janitor I can finally concentrate on brewing again. We managed to get our first brew going on November 13 with the help of David Meadows from Premier Stainless, Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave, and a team of friends and family. Despite some hiccups throughout the day, we were within 0.001 of hitting our original gravity. That first beer, Casper, is loosely a grissette or a light saison. That beer was followed by our White and our Saison effectively filling up our fermentation capacity. Look for those in the taproom over the next two weeks.
We had planned on having a soft opening of the taproom on Thursday to work out any kinks but due to media exposure turnout was larger than expected. We also were under the gun to get Casper to clear in the fermenter in time for opening. I literarily was kegging the beer 10 minutes before the taproom opened. As busy as the taproom was, our new employees Jean and Laura had everything under control. I must say there was a huge feeling of satisfaction to look at a taproom full of people enjoying our beer.
We are brewing an interesting beer on Monday but I’ll tell you about that next week.