The Carolina Brewmasters has been a great club to join. Not only did we get to do a 5 brewery tour yesterday (for a mere $10) in the great city of Raleigh, I got to meet a bunch of great people in the club! We took to the road at 8:45am and headed to Durham to tour Fullsteam Brewery. There I was fortunate enough to meet with the owner, Sean Wilson.
Fullsteam had the most character of any of the breweries that we toured on this fateful Saturday that saw a little bit of everything. There was a bunch of mooching on the bus ride of quality home brews and snacks (thanks everyone!). I would have to say that full steam also had the most unique brew of anything that we tasted, a sweet potato based ale! Delicious! From there, we went to triangle brewing, and then on to lonerider brewery. Again I got to meet another owner. This time, it was Mihir, who with his partners brews on the side of his normal job as an IT guy (at least I think he was in IT - it was the 3rd stop on our tour so my memory is a bit hazy).
It seems like all of these breweries are bursting at the seems. Everyone is upgrading there systems...from a 1 barrel to a 7 barrel...lone rider was going from a 15 bbl up to a 60. Seems all of our friends are meeting with quite a bit of success, and we wish them well!
Sunday Is Brew Day!
There's nothing quite like the smell of a good mash to us brewers! To the non brewer, it bears some semblance to oatmeal, only 100x better.
I'm busy today trying my first batch of all grain brew. We're brewing an American Brown Ale in the garage with the thunder booming in the background. Naturally, with it being my first all grain batch, I've already screwed some stuff up. The amount transferred to the boil kettle is no where near enough, so I'm trying to rapidly bring about 3g up to temp to add to the grain bed to hopefully pull off some extra wort. I'm using propane, so it shouldn't take that long to get up to temp, but we'll see.
All in all, the first all grain batch turned out very well. The OG (original gravity) and efficiency of the system was surprising (and good). It means more fermentables for the yeast to consume. All we have to do now is wait a few weeks and carb the brew up and enjoy some great American Brown Ale!