Construction continues as we focus on the big 4 items needed by the brewhouse: electric, water, steam and glycol (pre-chiller). People routinely ask us when we’re going to open but we really can’t say for sure until the brewhouse is operational. The real answer is 4-6 weeks after we start brewing assuming all our inspections are done/approved.
Today, we finally had both our steam and glycol folks working! As mentioned in previous posts, one of the things we’re doing to ensure we can make the best beers possible is using steam to heat all 3 of the brewhouse kettles. While this common on breweries larger then ours, its unusual for 15 barrel and smaller systems. Having a steamed hot liquor tank (HLT) means we can heat up the water much more quickly while the steamed boil kettle allows us to envelope the wort with heat rather then just creating one hot spot on the kettle bottom which happens for fire-based burners. On the mash tun, we can apply heat to change the mash temperatures allowing different enzymes to be activated to convert the starches to different types of sugars enjoyed by the yeast. This give us maximum flexibility in mashing so we can heat the mash to affect dryness of the final beer plus the amount of body/mouthfeel without fear of scorching the grains.
The boiler has the job of creating the steam used by the brewhouse. In case your like us and have never seen a new boiler (normally they are covered in spider webs and dust), take a look at ours before its first use.
Our boiler has multiple components that are now connected by pipe and run across the brewery area to the brewhouse. Of course their is venting as well and once complete we will build a room around the equipment thus it won’t be a primary stop on our future tours .
On the brewhouse side, at the moment only 1 of the 3 kettles are connected to the steam piping. Our 30 barrel hot liquor tank (see below) was fully connected as of this evening. We are hopeful the other kettles will be connected later this week.
Once the steam installation is complete, the installers will insulate the pipes to help hold their temperature and avoid burning us when we bump into one of the pipes.