Too busy to brew? Brew at work!

I have been really busy lately. The day to day running of the store takes up a lot of time. Generally on my day off I have chores that take precedence over brewing. Hows that for irony? I manage a homebrew store and I can’t even brew beer! Dammit! I want to brew beer.

Wait a minute, I’m the boss. I’ll just brew at the store! I’ll put on all grain brewing demos!

So it started, I lugged all my equipment to the store. Great huh? Nothing beats brewing at work!


Moving my entire brewery to the store was definitely a challenge. The logistics of my brewing process had to be adapted for a different environment. The good news is when you forget something for brew day and you’re at a homebrew store it’s not a big deal!

I wanted to brew a few batches to get use to the new location before making an official announcement. So I brewed up a porter, just for some practice.


Delicious sweet porter wort!

The brew day for the porter had a few glitches. I got started late and it was something like 90 degrees out that day. I miscalculated my strike temperature and mashed in too high. Instead of cooling it down I decided to just mash at a higher temp. Porters need body, right? The heat must have fried my brain because that turned out to be a bad choice. I completely missed my numbers for my preboil gravity. It was so bad that I added some DME  to get my numbers back up. Crisis averted!

The boil went well, no serious issues there. I’m proud to say that I have boiling wort, down pat! After the boil, even with the use of a wort chiller, cooling the wort took forever. I have since installed a pre-chiller.

Of course in my heat induced brain fog I never thought about how the hell am I gonna get 12 gallons of wort from outside to the kitchen in the back. I wound up using a bucket with a spigot and making several trips. The spigot was necessary so I could pump the wort into my conical.


Pretty sweet huh?

After a long brew day the wort was finally in the fermentor, but it was at 80 degrees! AAHHHH! OK I’m done, it is 9:30 at night I’ve been at work for 11 hours I’m going home! So I set the temperature controller and left. I’ll pitch yeast in the morning.

Well I learned a lot and the porter was fantastic! We served a bunch up tailgating at a Railhawks game. It was a lot of fun!

After that I brewed up a sour black ale with my friends from Sam’s Quik Shop. That brew day went a lot better. The pre-chiller was awesome and I learned that transferring wort in kegs is easier than buckets!

That should be enough practice so I announced the first brew demo. A German wheat beer. It was great, several folks showed up to help brew.brewdayKen even brought some homemade Sassafras Cider! It was delicious!

I learned a bunch about how to teach during a brewing demonstration. I hope that the participants learned a lot about all grain brewing.

The beer tastes pretty good, but the fermentor is empty now, so it’s on to make another beer….


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