It's another blog published on the Sunday, not the Friday as I originally imagined all this would happen. If this wasn't the penultimate blog I would possibly make the Sunday publishing official. But yes, this is the penultimate blog, meaning the brewery is almost complete. We are so close, I can practically smell those late hops in the kettle.
So what is my excuse for being especially late this week? Well, it has been a hugely busy weekend. I have spent 25 hours at the unit Saturday and Sunday alone, and Friday I just couldn't make it to the brewery at all.
So what has been happening this week? We have had several truck loads of deliveries. More malt & hops, cardboard boxes, thousands of glass bottles and the all important casks. Meaning our nice new pallet racking that was erected last week is now pretty much full. It also had to be moved, due to the sheer volume of stuff we had to find space for.
I am very excited to have our casks. It may not always be cool in some quarters, but I love cask beer, and look forward to putting a good selection of our beers in them. I am less excited about having to find a home for 100 of them while we get to the point of putting something in them. Look out for them around a bar near you, our colours are BLACK GREEN WHITE.
This week, and I guess I should be including this weekend now, we had the installers in finishing off. Our welder finally got his bits finished on Saturday morning, leaving Saturday afternoon for some testing. Unfortunately during this testing, after filling both liquor tanks with 2000 litres each, we found the outlets at the bottom of the tanks just weren't up to the task, pissing water all over the place. The rest of Saturday, a large part of Sunday, and now dragging on into Monday, has been spent trying to fix the problem. But we need new bits, so have to wait for the shops to open again.
We didn't let this stop things on Sunday though, and pushed on with the testing, finishing off of the little jobs, and learning what the the valves do and where the pipes lead. We are happy to say that the actual brew house and pipe work is now all in and working to a point where we can brew some beer. There are a few changes and extras that will be made over the coming weeks, but it is ready. The thing holding us up now is the liquor tanks, which unfortunately we cannot brew without. But this is due to be complete Monday!
Better get on with this weeks pictures then hadn't I.
Forward view left and right, and the place is starting to look a little smaller. Due to all the storage that is now around the walls I am having to stand a good meter or so away from the sides. You can see the pallet racking is getting populated and the installers have made their usual mess. There is also a large red hose connecting random pipes. This was because we had to dump the water from the liquor tanks into the kettle and the mash tun, as we didn't want to just stick it down the drain. At this point we were refilling the hot liquor tank after we thought we may have fixed it. We need the hose, as this is not a usual circuit, as the water would usual come from the mains supply. We hadn't fixed the leak, so all the water quickly made its way back down again.
A few of our well thought out layout plans have changed, due to having so many pallets to store. This means the rear view is looking a little different, as the labelling machine has had to move round. The whole bottling line has been altered, but I'm sure it will still work fine. If you look passed the brew house, you can see some of the pallets of bottles.
Did I mention all the stuff we have to store? i did? Oh OK then, I'll just draw your attention to the extra pipe work connected to the kettle then.
As always, there is not a lot to see up on the mezzanine. If you look carefully though, you may spot some malt. A lot has been happening up here, as this is where the hot and cold liquor tanks live. But the malt kinda gets in the way.
Fermentation room is just a mess in this picture. I have to admit this picture was taken on Saturday, and things have changed a bit. You can see that on the left wall there is a large pipe, this is where the wort will appear after it has left the kettle via the cooling ready to live in one of the four fermenters for a week or so. All four fermenters now have their cooling fully fitting and working, and all attachments, just no beer inside.
That's it for another week. hopefully we will be using it all in anger this coming week. But I don't want to count my chickens and all that, so let's just wait and see. Keep and eye out on Twitter, as I'm sure we wont be quite about the first brew.
All opinions and grammatical errors are those of @WeirdBeardBryan and not necessarily the Weird Beard collective.