A few odds and ends in brewery construction...

August 18, 2010

Here’s an update on a few random odds and ends as we get closer to firing up the brewing system for the first time…

This is our diatomaceous earth (DE) beer filter. It’s five square meters and should filter about 50 barrels of beer at a time. We’ll filter the beer to strip it of saccharomyces cerevisiae (cultured brewers yeast) after primary fermentation prior to the beer being transferred to oak barrels for secondary fermentation with wild yeast. The filter will also play a roll in the bottle conditioning of our beer. Jester King beer that’s bottled will go through a second fermentation in the bottle to create naturally occurring carbonation. We’ll use the filter to remove the weak, stressed out yeast from primary fermentation and add fresh yeast at bottling along with priming sugar to carbonate the beer.

We purchased the malted barley we’ll use for the first beers we’ll brew. The base malt for our beer will be Great Western Organic Two-Row. Our specialty malts tend to be largely English, Belgian and German such as Simpsons caramalt, Weyermann malted rye and Belgian caramunich. I’m personally a huge fan of the rich malt flavors from UK maltsters such as Simpsons and Crisp. These malts are more expensive than others, but are very worth it in terms of flavor.

We purchased a 1996 Roskamp SP650-6 grain mill with 6.5 inch diameter rollers. The grooves are in good shape and shouldn’t need re-corrugation for a few years. Roskamp mills are big and heavy with a good reputation for durability.

We got the rain water collection tanks we recently blogged about in place and upright along side of the brewery.

Michael welded this support structure for our grist case above the mash tun. The milled grain will be augered up to the grist case prior to mashing, which will allow us to “mash in” the milled grain fairly quickly.

Our first order of kegs arrived. They’re 50L stainless steel, sanke kegs purchased from Magic Hat Brewery in Vermont. We actually did a combined keg order with our friends at Circle Brewing Co. in Austin.

We’re slowly finishing construction of the building that houses the brewery. Our focus has been mostly on setting up the brewing equipment.