Join Us At
The Gnarly Barley Brew Festival
Saturday, August 3, 2013
1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
We’ll Be Serving Some Great Beer
and Some Special Treats
Find Out More at
What a year!
About nine months ago we decided to increase our staff to help off load Aaron and my load a bit. The problem is, as soon as we did this we got bored and decided it was time to expand!
It has been about nine months since we got this bone headed idea of expanding the brewery, and now nine months later (with very little sleep) I am excited to be finished with our expansion.
I would like to thank all of our employees who have worked so hard with me to get this completed, all of our family and friends of the brewery who helped make this happen.
For an overview to our fans, we have increased our production by 2.5x, we have added two 30 barrel fermentation vessels and one 30 barrel bright. We have brought in a new bottling and labeling line and will now be releasing all of our beers in bottles as well as specialties throughout the year. We have expanded our cold storage space and have built a new taproom where you can enjoy our beers.
So with that, here is to a successful 2011 and anticipation to a great 2012!
We just filled 5 (new to us) barrels.
One of my favorite aspects of brewing is playing with barrel aged beer. The wild yeast and bacteria in the barrels can create such wonderful flavors. When I first describe to people the flavors achieved from these as being “barn yard”, “horse blanket”, or “goaty”, I either get a look of pure disgust or a look of curiosity. It usually isn’t until people have the chance to taste this wonderful beer that people begin to understand why these are good flavors.
It is ironic, that as brewers, we spend the majority of our time trying to keep these wild yeast and bacteria out of our beer. Then, we go right ahead and break all the rules by throwing them back in.
This beer will now remain in these oak barrels for up to a year while the flavors begin to develop. Once the beer decides it is ready, we will package it up and start all over again.
My last home brew batch was about 8 months ago; I had decided to brew as much beer as I could in one weekend so it would last while we were opening the brewery. One of the batches brewed that weekend was a 10 Gallon batch of what has now become “Snow Drop”. As I look back at the differences between that 10 Gallon system and our current 10 BBL system I am amused at the results. Most of the things that would keep me up at night, and I thought would be a huge adjustment turned out to be minimal to nothing at all. On the other hand, some of the menial tasks we do now, turned out to require much more thought than I had anticipated.
Probably the biggest change on our commercial system is getting the malt into the grist case. As a home brewer, this was as simple as loading up a bucket with the malt, milling it and pouring it into the mash tun. Now, we have to hoist all 800 pounds of malt up to a grist case using a glorified bucket and pulley. This does give us the desired results, but the effort and time that goes into this makes me look forward to the day we get an auger.
A typical brew day at the brewery takes about as long as a brew day on my home brew system. From start to clean up, we are running about 6 hours. Our mash, sparge, and boil all take just as long now as they did then. When I counter flow now, it is a jet of wort emptying 310 gallons in 30 minutes, compared to 10 gallons in 30 minutes on my home system. And most importantly our fermentations take just as long, the yeast will make the beer, just let it do its thing.
As I think about the old home brewer’s mantra, “Relax, Don’t Worry, Have a Home Brew”. I have to remind myself, to have patience. This is my dream, and while I may hit stumbling stones along the way, I need to be flexible and adapt. Most importantly, at the end of a brew day, I just need to relax, don’t worry, and have a Snow Drop.
Another notible milestone for Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, today we completed our twentieth brew!