Weizenbock

Posted in Brewing, on 29 December 2015, by , 1 Comments

As integral as building the physical space for our brewery is right now, so is keeping our sanity through constantly brewing to update my Brewing Catalog (Cookbook).  While I have more or less decided what beers we’re launching with, we’re looking to keep 10+ taps constantly rotating which means we can jump across international styles and offer everything from the standard IPA, Stout, and Amber to more exotic styles like a Lithuanian Porter, or a Pumpkin Peach Ale, or in todays pilot brew: A Bavarian Weizenbock.

The Recipe:

The German Beer Institute describes a Weizenbock as similar to a standard Bock (See our launch Doppelbock: Chewbocka the Masticator) except with far more wheat and fermented as an ale instead of lagered.  It is practically a stronger version of a more commonly found Hefeweizen, similarly made with at least 50% wheat.  The remainder of the malt bill is filled with Pilsen, Munich, and various crystal malts for additional sweetness and mouthfeel.  The goal for the flavor of this beer is to have a slight spice bite with a clove like flavor mixed with rich dark fruits and perhaps a slight banana aroma, but that we’ll wait a few weeks to truly see.

Malt Milling for WeizenbockIMG_20151228_181655547

The System:

We’re currently piloting on a 1.5 BBL (≈50 Gallon) System, which is a lot of beer for test purposes, but there are a lot of thirsty mouths out there begging for samples as we progress and we are more than happy to oblige.

Pilot System

The Brewday:

The brewday went as planned, hitting our expected gravity of 1.075 after a hot mash and a full hour boil.  We lightly hopped with Hallertauer, a US variant of a German noble hop known for its spicy characteristics but mild bitterness added.

IMG_20151228_161804039

Whats Next:

The yet to be named Weizenbock will sit in the Fermenter at 68°F for 2 weeks on top of the pitched yeast after which point we will naturally filter out the excess yeast to brighten the beer followed by carbonation, and then maybe a bit of celebratory tasting as we brew our next pilot batch.

Stir Plate Yeast growth for Pilot Weizenbock

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Construction November

Posted in Opening, on 17 December 2015, by , 0 Comments

Where We Were – Past Construction

When I was first sent out to look at yet another property our search had been one drawn out strike out after another, with town after town in Ocean County and Monmouth County from Toms River, Brick, Freehold, and Howell all deciding they just weren’t ready for us to open a Brewery.  But this was not true for Lakewood, which welcomed us with open arms.  The suggested location was nothing more than a framed out dirt pit when we first went to visit.  Just some piles of dirt, and a few beams holding what looked like a large aviary in place.  Didn’t take us very long to see all the promise in the aviary.

Prospective Building

Where We Are – Current Construction

As of today, our floors are in, the general underground plumbing is done, the ceiling is over our heads, and the brewhouse floor is pitched toward our drains which will make cleanup that much easier every brewday.  The concrete is being sealed as are the walls, making everything a little more resilient for the stress we’ll put on it with an active Brewery.  Eventually Demising walls will be put up separating these units (Our space is 4,000 sq/ft, there are 8 units totaling 32,000 sq/ft being constructed) as well as doors, and a gate, all of which can be helpful.  We went with a full 1/4″ per 1′ slope toward our drains, and used Polychampion drains, spending the extra money to hopefully never run into any drainage issues.  This stage of construction should be completed by the New Year, with just our personal construction to follow.

Floor Sealant

Where We Go From Here – Construction

Our next steps include taking the Architects designs for our Tasting Room, Bars, and Cold Room and applying for permits for “fit-out”, dressing up the building toward everything we dream of a Brewery including.  These tasting room visions include tall ceilings, plenty of glass to view the Brewhouse from anywhere, and enough space for every patron to be comfortable tasting our beer as well as having an ability to interact with our staff.  We have 1000 sq/ft of our 4000 sq/ft total dedicated to the tasting room, which will be heated and cooled, so we can have the room open 6 or 7 days a week 52 weeks a year, including on Brewdays so any interested patrons can actually watch us brew from the safety and comfort of the tasting room.  We will eventually have a second bar area in our warehouse for additional space which we are planning to have open when possible.

This stage of the build-out will also include getting everything prepared for the brewing process,plumbing water, plumbing gas for our direct fired Kettle, running electric for our Electric Hot Liquor Tank, and piping out our Glycol Lines for Fermentation.  Most of this construction will take place starting in January.

Tasting Room View November
Jason

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Icarus Brewing

Posted in Craft Beer, on 8 December 2015, by , 0 Comments

Who is Icarus?  What is Icarus Brewing?  Why Icarus?

Icarus is taken from Greek Mythology.  In this story Icarus and his father Daedalus (The Craftsman) were exiled to the island of Crete, with all land and sea routes blocked from escape.  Rather than living and dying in exile the two came up with a plan to escape through flight.  While our beer flights will be crafted from wood, their flight was crafted from feathers and wax.  When both were prepared for flight, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, because the heat of the sun would melt the wax, nor too low, because the sea foam would soak the feathers.  While Icarus failed to heed these warnings it is an important message we’ve taken to heart when we craft our beers: never too hoppy or it’ll taste like you’re sucking a pinecone, never so sweet that you might mistake the beer for punch, everything in balance and have the flavors compliment each other to hit all the right heights.  We will never settle for mediocrity though, just like Daedalus, and just like Icarus we’ll keep pushing these barriers, a little bit higher, a little bit stronger, a little bit hoppier, a little bit darker, always innovating, always exciting.

“Icarus flew too close to the sun, but at least he flew.” -Skullcrack City

-Jason

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