It has been just over 4 months since we started construction at the brewery, but it has been well worth the time and effort. On Wednesday June 13th we finally got to brew our first batch of beer. We decided that this historic brew should be something with big, bold, hop flavors balanced with a strong malt presence... so we brewed a Rye IPA we've named Another Way to Rye. Andrew and Mike milled the 1000 lbs of malt needed to get the brew going.
The mash smelled amazing in the mash tun.
Once we transferred the wort to the kettle and added the hops, the hop aroma filled our warehouse and back parking lot. We used quite a lot of hops in this beer so the aroma was intense!
Alan from Premier Stainless Systems helped us with the mash out. All that grain went on to feed a lot of hungary hogs!
A lesser known fact about brewing is that after the brewing is done there is a lot of cleaning up. I've heard it said many times that about 80% of brewing is cleaning. This includes climbing into the kettle with a bucket of strong acid to scrub the beer stone and burnt on hops off of the walls. I'll also mention that it was about 100 degrees inside that tank when Andrew got in there to insure that the next brew was a clean brew.
The next day Mike took the first fermentation gravity reading. And we are thrilled to say that it was right on target.
We brewed four different beers last week: Another Way to Rye, Portly Stout, Aurumglass (Golden Ale), and At Wits End (Belgian Witbier). That means in a couple weeks we will have 120 kegs ready for drinking! I hope everyone is ready...