Our brewery
Sparging
Sparging

I started brewing in 92. I started out on the stovetop boiling 2 1/2 gallons of wort and dumping it into 2 1/2 gallons of water. Well that lasted a couple of years but never produced the beer that I wanted to produce. I then went to the stovetop mashing of 5 gallons and using the tub as a wort chiller! It worked but not real well. The high point of that method was that it made way better beer! I figured if you spend 8 or so hours with chilling in the bathtub I might as well invest in some equipment and do it right. I procured a few (5 in total) kegs and turned them into brewing vessels. Now I did get them all in a legal fashion just to make the point that it is illegal to steal kegs!

Cooling down the wort
Cooling down the wort

I use 3 of them in the normal process of brewing. I use one for the mash, one for heating the sparge water (15 gallons) and one for the boil. I have 3 200k btu burners, fired by natural gas. They are capable of heating 15 gallons of 60-degree water to boiling in 45 minutes, serious heat! This is far more convenient than using propane tanks. I have a counter flow wort chiller that cools the wort most efficiently. Once the wort is cooled on its way into the fermenter, I oxygenate the wort with pure oxygen. The yeast that I pitch is Wyeast. It is by far the best yeast on the market for home brewers. On occasion I will cultivate yeast from a commercial beer for making special beers.

Keg fridge
Keg fridge

The standard beers that I brew are a pre-prohibition style pilsner, a very hoppy (IPA?) amber ale, Kolsch, Belgian wheat. Just to keep things interesting I also brew a Golden Ale, a hoppy Stout, Barley wine and Dopple Bock. I use food grade pumps to move the sparge water and wort from vessel to vessel therefore eliminating almost all of the lifting. I usually brew a double batch as that saves a lot of time. Once the mash tun is done with the first batch I start the second batch and so on. Using this method the brewing sessions last about 2 more hours and I get twice the amount of beer, about 22 gallons. Once the beer is fermented I keg it into 5 gallon soda kegs. I keep the kegs in a freezer that I converted into a refrigerator. The temperature is held at a constant 45 degrees. If you want to know more details about any of this feel free to email me here.

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