Brewery Construction

Posted in Brewing, Updates, on 19 February 2016, by , 1 Comments

Keys Please

After 6 months of lease negotiations, cautious optimism with approvals from Lakewood, and actual construction of our warehouse, the Brewery Keys are almost ours.  What this means is that we have a door, a window, four walls, a roof, and maybe some electric and heat.  While this might not seem like much as we still can’t brew, we still haven’t even started our own construction, and we still have months more of work ahead of us, its pretty easy to see where we have come compared to where we started.

Construction Framing

Where We Started, once the first of the framing went up.

Where these Keys Will Take us

Now that the building is officially ours (as the rent checks will show), we can finally get started on our end of the work.  Our first step is to finalize our Architectural and Engineering drawings so that we can apply for our Lakewood Building Permits as well as look at bids for the Tasting Room construction.  As soon as we have these bids we should be able to finally close our SBA Loan, which will be nice as it gets really hard to pay for all these fancy Stainless Steel Kettles and Fermenters without this loan.  Now that the building is ours we can also submit our Federal Brewers Notice to the TTB (Tax & Trade Bureau), which as of December 2015 had a 150+ day processing time (hopefully we bring down the average, hoping for around 100-120 so we can open by June).  While the Federal Permits are “In Process” we will be working with both New Jersey for our State Permits as well as ironing everything out with Lakewood to make for a smooth opening with minimal headaches from being the first Brewery they have approved.


What these Keys Will Do for You

All of this means that we should hopefully be on the process to open by Early Summer, which is of course behind our desired schedule, but very expected.  In the meantime we have plenty of Pilot batches in the works:

  1. Imperial Coffee Rye Porter – Just about ready to be Put into Kegs &/Or Oak Barrels
  2. Smoked Pilsner
  3. Ginger Grapefruit Witbeer
  4. Irish Chocolate Red Ale
  5. Chipotle Porter
  6. American Amarillo IPA
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Coffee Rye Porter

Posted in Craft Beer, on 1 February 2016, by , 0 Comments

With the Brewery construction is ramping up, so is the constant variables (aka Stress) that keep getting added to the process: engineers, lawyers, architects, bankers, and miles and miles of bureaucrats (municipal, state, & federal), forms for this, forms for that, etc.  To combat all of this, I did what I do best: Brew.  Todays batch was a Coffee Rye Imperial English Porter.  To double down, we double batched this massive beer (55 Gallons), brewing from 8 AM all he way til 10 PM, nothing says de-stress quite like a 14 hour Brewday.  Building off of our Intro to Recipe Development, we’re giving you an inside peak on what our Pilot brew days look like.

The Process

We tested out Wet Milling on this batch, to see what process changes and efficiency changes might occur.  This is done by lightly misting the grains prior to milling, which in theory should cut down on the amount of dust created as well as keeping the husks intact which would help with our lautering even as we tightened down our crush size (which should increase the amount of sugars we can efficiently pull from the grains).  While we definitely liked how the crush looked at the end of milling, our malt mill was not in love with the barley flour ending up caked in places it probably never should have been.  Consider Wet Milling a work in progress for us.

Milled Grain

Wet milled grain, husks mostly intact

This was also the second batch (and third batch) brewed on our borrowed Electric Brewing system.  Some of the advantages of Electric Brewing include increased cost efficiency as the Electric Elements can only heat the liquid it is touching, while Gas Burners tend to heat the entire room nearly as much as the vessel they should be heating.  This increased efficiency is then passed into increased speed on heating the liquid, which allowed for a sped up double brew day.

Electric Brewing

The Malt

Making an 11% beer isn’t easy, and it sure isn’t light work.  Each batch (Approx 27 Gallons each) of this Coffee Rye Porter took 103 lbs of grain.  As an English style I decided it would be best to go with Maris Otter as my base malt, something you’ll see commonly in my beers.  To make this a truly English Porter rather than a Stout I used a combination of Brown Malt and Chocolate Malt to provide the astringency and color that you would expect from a proper Porter.  For additional sweetness and complexity there is a substantial amount of crystal malts, providing those background toffee flavors.  But the real separator in this beer are the two flavorings I decided to top everything off with: Fresh Coffee Malt, and Rye.  The rye should provide a distinctive note of Earthiness and a slight “spiciness” that rye is known for.  The Coffee Malt tops everything off as an additional hint of fresh roasted coffee for aroma and flavor while not having the harsh tones that actual roasted coffee tends to add to beer when added early.


Milled grains

103 Pounds of Grain (Per Batch)

The Hops

While English Porters are definitely not known for their Hops, this is America, and we love our hops.  Almost a pound of hops went into each batch, with the bulk going in later in the boil to provide Aroma.  The majority of the bitterness in this beer was derived from Columbus and Phoenix which are typical high Alpha Acid hops known for their bittering qualities.  Throughout the boil additional Columbus hops were added for flavor and aroma complexity as hops added later to the boil isomerize differently, leaving more for Aromas, as well as Aromas that attach themselves to the beer better.  The last hop punch in this beer was a Flameout addition of Amarillo, which provides an aroma of citrus, melon, and stone fruits.  The final IBU will be approximately 45, which should help to balance the sweetness and alcohol burn that higher ABV beers can punch through.

Pouring Hops

90 Minute Addition – Columbus

Fermentation, Whats Next:

As of this morning the Coffee Rye Porter is oxygenated, and pitched with 3.4 trillion cells of yeast (US-05, American Ale Yeast).  US-05 is great at exemplifying the malt and hops added without adding too much of its own flavors leaving a clean beer as a result.  We’ll be leaving all 55 Gallons in the Fermenter for the next 3 weeks, deciding what to do next with it, whether it be adding cold pressed coffee, barrel aging, or maybe even both.



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