Much to our excitement, this was the week we finally fired up our production brewhouse and made our first beer. If you've been hanging with us for awhile, you've heard us say we're sooooo close to being up and running. Maybe just another two weeks - cue the echo effects - two weeks, two weeks, two weeks....
Finally, this was the week!! The first thing we needed to do was to decide WHAT SHOULD BE OUR VERY FIRST BEER? I know what you're thinking... "you guys keep saying you want to build a foundation on New England-style IPAs and fruited sour beers. It's gotta be one of those!!". Yeah, that's what we were thinking too, but then we thought otherwise.
Given this is our first run through a system completely new to us, we thought the most important thing we could do is measure EVERYTHING, so we can quickly dial in our understanding of the system and tailor our recipes to it. So, instead of brewing what we really wanted to serve y'all, we decided to brew our Explorer Series Pale Ale, this time with Citra hops. We'd recently brewed this beer on our pilot system, so we have a good, recent benchmark. Also, the recipe is really pretty simple, because the malt is a straightforward platform to allow the selected hop to shine.
Basically it came down to math, math, math, blah, blah, blah, math, math, math.
All in all, it was a very successful brew day. We learned a lot about how to wield our system so we can start to build process muscle memory. Awhile after mashing in the grain, we started to recirculate the sweet liquid through the system. Here's the golden amber color as it ran through our site glass:
Here, you can see how clear the liquid was. This recirculating step has a fancy name in German named 'vorlauf'.
Once the starch conversion was complete, we moved the wort into our kettle for a 60 minute boil.
While the boil is in process, we get to start the clean up of the sticky spent grains.
The next beer we're brewing today is our Following Seas Golden Ale. Again you might ask, WHY?!?! And again, I'd have to admit math, math, math, blah, blah, blah, math, math, math. We've just finished and feel like we have a really great understanding of how to run the brew day on this system. We're brewing again on Monday and it'll be the first fruited sour in our PlioSour line.
Before we let you go, you might be asking yourself "who's the handsome devil doing all the work?" That's a story for next time... Until then, we're celebrating a second successful brew day with a pint of Jolie Rouge, our red ale on tap now in our taproom