Monday, November 9, 2015

Horse Barn Brewery Maiden Voyage

I put the finishing touches on the new brew room this past weekend and was finally able to start brewing!

For the most part the dedicated room improved my brew day. I'm not competing for the kitchen when people are hungry and I don't have to walk across the house for every piece of brew gear. Instead I just turn around and take two steps and have the room to myself.

As expected there are some kinks to work out. I originally planned on running a "T" from the water line and run water by the door where the burner's sit. Sometime during the build I decided this wasn't worth it because the sink is only 4' from the door, my mistake.

I realized during the brew that the faucet I chose for the sink does have a standard fitting so my faucet to garden hose connector won't work. This was OK for yesterday because it was still 50 degrees f but January in N.Y. is more like 0 degrees f so hooking to the hose outside is less appealing. Also it caused my burner area to become a hazard.

I've also recently started whirlpooling and cooling with a plate chiller which has come with some problems of it's own. I have a chugger pump and if you stop it during during whirlpool or cooling it doesn't like to start up again. Apparently the fix is to drill the impeller with a 17/64th drill bit. I hate to do this to a pump I paid $160+ for but I guess I don't have a choice, it's a super pain in the ass when the pump stops working. I have to switch to the immersion chiller and possibly finish the whirlpool by hand.

All in all brew day in the new Horse Barn Brewery was a success. I brewed an IPA because I'm completely out of beer after a 6 week hiatus to build the brew room and I wanted something grain to glass in a short amount of time. All the hops went into the whirlpool and they smelled amazing (Chinook, Cascade Centennial and Amarillo). I missed my numbers by .003 which I didn't think was too bad considering I ended up boiling for an extra 20 minutes (at a lower heat) while I worked out my pump/chilling issues. I was short by 1/2 gallon which explains why my gravity was high, no big deal and not bad for day 1.

Here's to many more happy brew days in the Horse Barn Brewery, Cheers!

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