I just wrote about refrigeration, and hopefully that is under control with the new freezer (controlled to cool to our specific temperature). But more importantly, the little yeasties that ferment the beer and make 1) ethanol and 2) their favorite byproducts, require specific temperatures. We hadn’t appreciated how cold it got in the brewery and the temperatures that we would be fermenting at. Think growing a coconut tree in Seattle. It just wouldn’t be fruitful. … That is what happened when we tried to make ales at 56 degrees.
So we made a “hot room” at the brewery. More like a little fermentation room that can regulate to the proper temperature. It’s enclosed (with large doors), insulated, and fitted with a space heater. Now, we’ll be able to control the temperature within the “hot room” where fermentation will happen. We’ll also be able to ferment outside of it at cooler temps, when we want to do lagers. With that said, we’re excited to brew again because the low temperature in Seattle has caused fermentation of our ales to go from a typical 3 days to 3-4 weeks with various other consequences.
In the end, the room will be large enough to hold three conical fermenters (we only recently received our first one). Hopefully expansion will occur relatively quickly allowing us to procure and use 3 large primaries.
Details: a 4’x8’ “room” 6’high using an existing wall opposite the 8’ side. We constructed studded “walls.” The front is 2 x 4′ doors (loosely speaking). We attached them to the sides with hinges, and roughed everything together. We tacked down some sheathing on the top to finish the rough outline. We added some insulation and some plastic to enclose the insulation to finish it off. Unfortunately we weren’t looking for aesthetics, just functionality, which is what we got. No we can ferment at the proper temperature (and pseudo control it), to get the desired attributes from fermentation.
With the cooler and now, the fermenter under temperature control, hopefully we’ll be brewing on a regular basis in an acceptable timeframe. Yes, the brewery is taking shape.
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