Brewing

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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Brewery Building

Posted in Brewing, Updates, on 14 January 2016, by , 0 Comments

What we’ve done (Fermenting Money):

Last time we talked we were bogged down in paperwork, and guess what?  That never ends.  While we’ve made some headway with our banks toward our full SBA (Small Business Administration) approval, we still have plenty of work to go.  Also since we last talked we have confirmed our Brewhouse design as well as placing our Cold Side (2 x10BBL Fermenters 2 x20 BBL Fermenters 1 x20 BBL Bright Tank + Glycol Chiller + Keg Washer) on order.  Not sure I’ll ever be used to writing checks this large, but at least our manufacturers (Bennett Forgeworks for the Brewhouse, and Premier/Prochiller for the Cold Side) are the best at what they do, so I can feel comfortable knowing they’ll allow me to brew the best beer possible.  We haven’t figure out the perfect recipe for fermenting money just quite yet, but having quality manufacturers on our side certainly can’t hurt.

 

 

Fermenters

Premier Stainless Fermenters – On Order

Fermenting a Beer

Our Weizenbock Pilot Batch is also nearing completion, it has been fermenting away for the last two weeks and is just about ready to be cold crashed so we can get it in kegs for carbonation.  So far every sample we’ve taken off the fermenter has been distinctly clove with banana, which is exactly what we were aiming for.

Weizenbock Fermentation

Spunding Valve for Pressurized Fermentation

Fermenting a Building

Not too much on the construction end, but we do have a door and a window, which is convenient because it seems winter is finally hitting.

Brewery Window and Door

Soon to Come:

In the next few weeks we should be Kegging the Weizenbock and getting our next Pilot Brewed (Coffee Rye Imperial Porter).  As the construction wraps up on the building we’ll start applying for our own building permits to get our Tenant Fit-out going, so we can build up the Tasting Room and have everything prepared for the Brewhouse arrival (End of February).  In addition to all of this we are starting to work on our Federal TTB forms so we can apply for permits the second the property is turned over to us, can’t do anything without the tax-mans approval.

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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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