American style India Pale Ale

Transferred last weeks fresh hop ale to secondary while brewing an IPA yesterday. The fresh hop ale has a nice malt back bone with a hoppy nose and flavor. The Vermont grown hop flavor is pine-y and herbal. Really, the flavors of the hops in this ale are truly unique to the small cluster climbing up the side of a house in Essex, Vermont. Terroir is what is being tasted. The beer provides a sense of time and place and that's what Burlington Beer Co. is striving to brew. I had no idea what the hops were going to taste like and it's fun exploring new flavors. Just like Almanac Beer Co. states, "Beer is Agriculture".

Onto yesterday's batch of India Pale Ale. Basically brewing the same recipe I served in April at Burlington Beer Co.'s first tasting event. I also entered the beer served at the tasting event into the 2012 National Home Brew Competition and here is the score and review

Grist bill of Pale malt, Vienna malt, Victory malt, flaked barley, and Honey malt. I substituted the Munich malt from the recipe to Vienna malt because I have a crush on Vienna malt right now and dropped the caramunich all together. Bitter (:60) and flavor (:20) hop additions was an experimental hop variety HBC-342. The end of boil, aroma, and flavor hop addition (:1) was equal parts whole leaf Centennial and Cascade hops. The wort was knocked out onto the fresh hop ale yeast cake at sixty eight degrees Fahrenheit and visually started fermenting within half an hour. Set point on the fermentation chamber is sixty five degrees Fahrenheit to keep esters (fruity yeast flavors) at bay. 

Next week I'll be brewing an Autumnal Squash Ale with Blue Hubbard, Acorn, and Butternut Squash. Lightly spiced with the flavors of cold nights, changing leaves, and pumpkin pie, but brewed with winter squash.

Here's a picture of a barn foundation restoration taking place down the street from the pilot brewery that I think looks pretty cool. Have a good day!

Inaugural Fresh Hop Pale Ale

It felt so good to brew again! Seriously, I haven't brewed since June, professionally or at home. So much of what I missed was the timing of a brew day. What needs to be done, the order of operations, the windows of time that you have throughout the day to accomplish all the tasks for a blissful brew day. Building a recipe, milling the grain (by hand still), heating the water and mashing in. Mash rest. Fill out brew sheet. Mash off to one hundred and sixty eight degrees. Vorlauf. Runoff. Fill out brew sheet. Sparge with sparge arm. Collect kettle full sample and measure gravity and volume to later calculate efficiency. Boil. Weigh and add hops. Fill out brew sheet. Clean (pbw) knockout loop. Clean fermentation vessels. Add more hops. Sanitize (star san) knockout loop. Sanitize fermentation vessels. Whirlpool. Knockout. Pitch yeast. Fill out brew sheet. Clean kettle. Clean knockout loop. Rinse knockout loop. Clean up. I seriously love the process and art of brewing beer.

This was my first time home brewing at a new location in years. I had really developed a rhythm at my previous residence. I brewed almost one hundred and sixty batches over the three years I lived at "the federal". Currently, I'm setup in my families old horse barn (but my wife and I have a house under contract and I'll move brewing operations to the garage if all goes well with closing). The barn has a floor drain, which is very helpful in any brewery space. My old setup was very basic. I had one nice stainless vessel with a false bottom (later added a keggle for multiple batch brew days) that acted as mash tun and kettle. A cooler hot liquor tank that held the water that was heated up in the one stainless vessel on the one burner (added a second burner for multiple batch brew days). I'd mash in then runoff into buckets. Clean out the mash tun and it would become the kettle. I loved this setup. It worked and produced some great (and not so great) beers. During this time I would double, triple, and even quadruple brew (in fourteen hours) in a day. It was insane, an obsession, a time of focus and creativity. Nearly everyday, either before or after work (which was brewing professionally) I would either brew, rack, bottle, keg, or check gravity and carbonation on what was at least a dozen batches in process at one time or another. Part of me misses those days while I am starting a brewery. I'd much rather be brewing than writing business plans, projections, and proforma's. Alas, it all has to be done so that one day the creative chaos at the federal will become the beers of Burlington Beer Co.

The new pilot brewery equipment for Burlington Beer Co. is an upgrade. Larger mash tun and kettle. A new third burner. March pump. Heat Exchanger, In-line aeration and temperature gauge, and fermentation temperature controller. It's crazy having all this equipment at home. It's standard operating equipment at commercial breweries and I used them everyday to brew commercial beer, but it was kind of weird to use it all at home. I definitely carried less water with the new equipment compared to my old setup. Overall I'm very happy with the new pilot brewery. No real issues with the equipment. It all worked well and how it was supposed to. I'm really excited about dialing in this setup.

Upcoming beers will be: Autumnal Squash Ale, Another IPA, Peasant Bread, Mason Jar Mild, Belgian style Pale Ale with Peaches, a DIPA, a smoked Porter, a coffee Stout, Dark and Dank, Foggy Notion, Amber Alternative, Session IPA, Summerfield Pilsner, Munich Dunkel, Imperial Stout, Single Hop Pale Ale.

Today's Wet Hop Pale Ale: Pale Malt, Rye Malt, Vienna Malt, Honey Malt, Flaked Barley. Apollo for bittering. Vermont grown fresh hops added at thirty minutes, fifteen minutes, and one minute. Fermented with US-05.