Update: Good News!

So I’ve been tied up lately tuning up the equipment lately and haven’t had time to post anything. It definitely isn’t for lack of things to write about. The Department of Public Health inspected and approved today. I’m still waiting for the Fire Department and the DPD final inspections, which should hopefully come within the week. Official opening will hopefully be next Saturday, the 16th. Hooray!

So it turns out the moving to a completely new system means a cascading deluge of issues you’ve never seen before. I’m using a RIMS setup (stands for “Recirculating Infusion Mash System”), which involves recirculating your wort during the mash from the top to the bottom, creating a tight grain bed to filter your final runoff with. Well, I also made myself a kick-ass mill, if you’ll remember from the early posts. It turns out the Crankandstein’s 3 roller mill crushes more fine than one can use with a RIMS setup. Even on the coarsest grind setting I have been getting stuck mashes. I called Don, who makes them, and he is a fantastic fellow, offering to take a return if it doesn’t work out. He suggested removing the 3rd roller, so I’m going to give it a try. Nevertheless, I’ve stuck 3 mashes now, and I’m getting very tired of it.

It also turned out that I was running my mash burner too hot, which was creating air as it boiled the wort under the false bottom. That air would get sucked into the pump, slowing it down and creating wild temperature fluctuations as the controller inappropriately read the wort temperature. I think I’ve got it all figured out now, after tossing 3 batches. As a result, I may be a little shy on variety at opening time, but I’m working to crank out batches, so hopefully everything will even out when I run with 2 rollers on the mill.

Has everyone heard that Chuck’s Hop Shop is moving into the CD? Uhmayzing. I can’t tell you how great this is. They have the best selection in town, and they have permitting to allow drinking in the store. You might think I’d be bothered that there is somewhere else opening at the same time offering beer in growlers and on site drinking, but I’m not. I’m a firm believer that more is better. Bringing a critical mass of beer interest to the neighborhood can only get people out, being social, engaging in beer conversation. I also love the idea that the CD is working toward being a little hotspot for craft beer. Along with the CDBC, we now have a tiny cult of beer fanatics brewing away.

Lastly, the always awesome Ian Hunter is painting my logo on the wall this week, which will surely make it obvious to the neighborhood what’s been going on. Feel free to stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!