Join with us on our adventure as we build East Alstead's first brewery and what is quite possibly the only off-grid commercial brewery in the United States. We feel that what we brew and how we brew it are equally important. If you would like to help out with this project, contact me at:

The Belgian Mare Says Hello!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Concrete Stands Alone

In spite of blistering heat that turned me into a mass of sticky goo, I managed to remove the wood deck upon which the concrete floor was poured. All things considered, the operation did not take particularly long nor was it notably difficult. The key was to get the 2x8's out in such a way that a sheet of plywood did not land on one's head.

So far the concrete deck seems to be holding. So now I need to finish the foundation drain and fill in around the cellar. Then we can start on the building!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Final Pour

Greetings Dear Readers, I am happy to announce that we have poured the last of the concrete. I now have the biggest concrete box in the town of Alstead in my own back yard.

Regular readers will remember that the last time I left you, the cellar floor had been finished. The next step was for me to build a wooden deck on which to pour the concrete that would be the floor of the production area of the brewery. With some 2x8's from Woodell & Daughters, and bit of plywood from Home Depot, I managed to accomplish that assigned task. It was not easy to jockey those hemlock 12-footers into place, but I did it!

The wooden deck, almost.

With the wooden deck in place the next step was to put down some plastic to keep the concrete from sticking to the plywood. On top of that, steel reinforcements would be placed. "Rebar", as people call it, was placed in a cross-hatch pattern over the entire floor area. At each point where two pieces of rebar crossed one had to place a wire twisty to hold things in place when the concrete was poured.

At some point in time, some forgotten genius had invented and amazing tool for putting the little wire twistys in place. This tool resembled a bent screwdriver with a loose shaft. The genius of this particular tool lay in the fact that it was of simple design, simple to use, and greatly reduced labor. To illustrate the perfection of this device, I, who had never used one before, was able to effectively employ it in making a substantial contribution to the completion of this phase of the brewery project within minutes of being handed the tool in question. I hope that tool's inventor is enjoying a comfortable and well deserved retirement.

Plastic and 'Bar.

Once the rebar and plastic and forms for the various orifices within the floor were in place, it was time to pour some MUD! This time, the concrete truck arrived at nearly the exact moment we were ready for it. Given the height of the floor, the truck could pretty much pour where we needed it. I was amazed at how precise the driver could get. So for the next few minutes we engaged in the usual spread-and-wiggle routine common to both those who pour concrete and employees of adult entertainment establishments.

When all was said and done we had poured nine cubic yards of concrete, weighing 18,000 pounds on a wooden deck build by lil' old me. There are times when one feels a little bit satisfied with oneself.

The final pour.

The concrete is now done. A big thanks goes to Larry and his crew for all their excellent work. If you ever need some concrete work done, just call Valley Concrete of MA.

The next step is to get some lumber and start with the structure itself. It is amazing how far we have come, but we still have along way to go.

Last time we will see one of these for a while.

Cutworm Update

I am happy to report that the cutworm problem in our hopyard appears to be under control. I sprayed the hop bines with Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew. This is a broadly effective insecticide that is created from a natural bacteria and is approved for organic gardening. After spraying, we have suffered no further damage. Let us hope...