Brewing Adventures 2.0
1 very large batch of beer, made on an automated system that pretty much does everything for you, with help from another employee and the brewmaster.
Do you know how donuts and beer are alike? They are both made VERY early in the morning. So in true style, I brought us donuts to help us make the beer. While the brewmaster was loading the recipe and setting up the system for our American Lager, my co-worker and I studied the recipe and started to gather the ingredients. Of course our progress was also shared on the Facebook page. There is another brewery near us that brewed a similar lager called Two Women. Well since this brew is also made by two women we thought we would have fun with the name and call it 2 Chix (like chicks but also having fun with the spelling). We have had many requests from customers and family members for a light drinking beer. This will make the masses happy.
So starting with a whole bunch of ingredients, just shy of 700 pounds of grains. All milled on site (my shoulders are not use to lifting 700 pounds in the early morning hours) and transferred then dropped straight into the brew system! This process was also repeated the next morning, although not so early, and not for as long, as we did much of the work this day.
We used 2 row malt, corn and wheat for the main grains, 1 pound of Hallertau hops and 4 packages of yeast. Pretty easy process, once the system took over. The video is of the milling process, to the tank, soaking, then transferring to rest for about 90 min. A mash-in song is always helpful to make the beer happy, so since this is also a beer my husband hopes to drink (it is very similar to his favorite Labatt Blue from Canada) we mashed-in to Rush's greatest hits.
Milling, mashing, and resting.
After all the resting, sparging, mixing, it was then transferred to the boil kettle for 90 minutes, during which we added hops, a conditioner, and a yeast nutrient. Leftover mash goes to the co-workers family farm to feed the Angus cows, they are happy cows, cause happy cows come from Wisconsin, not California, contrary to popular belief. In the meantime the pH was tested after the initial mash-in, and the original gravity and a taste test prior to the 90 minute boil to check progress.
So after waking up at 5:30 am, purchasing donuts and bringing enough coffee for an Army, my co-worker and I made it through our first large batch of beer. Many of the processes were the same as the small pilot system, but having them automated to move 100+ gallons of beer over the course of 8 hours was mind-boggling. The next day brought the same methods, topping off the fermentation tank and will age for 21 days. Will follow up with further taste tests and the final result in the month to come!