And so it begins…

It’s been a very busy two weeks for Enlightenment Ales.  So busy, in fact, I’m too drained of energy to write a witty post describing it all. Instead I’ll just throw pictures and words at you.  Good luck!

 

Let’s begin with the main event: Enlightenment Ales has officially brewed its first bath of beer on our system at the brewery. After cleaning all of the equipment, scrubbing it down, and pasivating the stainless steel with terribly dangerous phos-nitric acid, I ran a “water batch” test run through the system.  During this process it became immediately apparent that the kettle needed a bit more power behind it and that despite the high quality of water in Lowell an inline cartridge filter was needed. The filter and a barometric draft damper were installed Friday morning by my plumber and his minions.

It was then time to begin brewing. For a test batch I decided to brew something fairly simple, a nice hoppy West-coast style American Pale Ale, “The Awakening.”

The first brew day began at 3:00 pm on Friday…

My first malt order waiting to be used...

The mash! Note the high-tech mash stirring devise. Spare no expense.

The first runnings of wort hanging out in the kettle.

BOIL!

The oh-so-controversial burners hard at work. They remind me of electric blue sunflowers!

…and ended at 1:30 am on Saturday. It’s a hell of a way to spend a Friday night.  Despite the stress and frustration of a million and a half things going wrong I now have a fairly comprehensive list of minor and major adjustments, tweaks, and changes that need to be made to the system and the brewery before the next brew.  If all goes according to plan, which, let’s be honest, it rarely ever does, I should be brewing the first test batch of Enlightenment on Thursday! Stay tuned.

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