Before I begin my story I would like to thank Chris and Kevin for coming in on their day off to help us. Thank you to Fullsteam and TRUB for providing us with the opportunity. Thanks to all the TRUB members that were there. It was an amazing experience.
Saturday Oct 19th I woke up at 6 AM as excited as a kid in a candy store. This is not normal behavior for me. No alarm had gone off, no dog was licking my face. I was awake because I was going to brew beer on a commercial system! This was the day I get to brew 12 barrels of beer! This is why I was up at 6 AM when I didn’t need to be at the brewery, which is 10 minutes from my house, until eight. I arrived at 7:30.
Chris, the head brewer arrived shortly after and began what I assume was his morning ritual of making coffee and moving things about the brewery. A few TRUB members showed up and we began to gather the grains for the mill.
We milled a total of 730 lbs of grain.
The grain gets crushed and moves via an auger up to a small grain silo.
Then it is move via another auger to the mash tun.
Here is what the inside of the mash tun looks like without all the steam and grain.
That cylinder in the middle is called a calandria, it helps heat the mash. If you look to the left of the calandria there is a propeller, this helps keep the mash moving.
Fullsteam has an interesting system. I’ll try to describe it the best I can. They have a hot liquor tank, I’m not sure of the size. The also have a mash tun, lauter tun and a boil kettle. The mash tun, lauter tun, and boil kettle are all in the same giant vessel. The picture above is of the bottom compartment. There is another compartment directly above it.
The mash is done in the lower section then the sweet wort and grain is all pumped up to the top section. This is where the lautering takes place. Once all the wort is drawn off and is back in the lower section the boil can begin.
After we started the boil we added the first addition of hops.
So at this point we had a little time to relax until we needed to clean out the lauter tun.
The rest of the day was filled with boiling, fermenting, and drinking. We got to push buttons and turn butterfly valves, we cleaned hoses and other equipment like the heat exchanger. It was awesome!
Lot’s of people from the club came and left. We had a few laughs and shared some beer. I was there until nine o’clock when the last hose was put away. Kevin and I had a beer and shared a conversation in the back lot of the brewery waiting for the CLT to fill back up with street water. It was an amazing day!
Thanks again everyone who made this possible!