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!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Keg It!

I have been asked to brew up a beer or two for a friend's picnic, so I have decided to take the plunge and buy a kegging system.  I got to thinking that a picnic might not be the best situation to introduce people to bottle conditioned beer.  Having a kegging system will simplify things:  I won't have tons of bottles to clean and won't have to keep explaining why there is sediment in the bottles.

I figure that a kegging system is a good investment.  I can use it at various functions to help promote our beer and it will be much easier to move about that cases of bottles.  The only problem is that the corny kegs are rapidly becoming obsolete so I will need to secure a few as soon as I can.

Now the question is what to brew for the first beer...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monster Chickens

While I have little to report on the beer and brewery front, there is much to report on the chicken front.  We have been raising chickens for about four years and have kept several different breeds.  Each spring we would order a new batch of peeps and make sure to get some in at least one breed we had never had before.

The first batch in the brooder.  The infrared heat light played heck
with the camera's focus.

This year we decided to take things to another level. I got Tracy an incubator for Valentine's Day and we started collecting eggs.  Our only full-sized rooster is a Buff Brahma, so we figured he would likely be the sire of any hatchlings. However, given that we have hens of several different breeds, what the final results will look like is anybody's guess. 

Socrates checks out the new arrivals.

The first four peeps hatched out about ten days ago.  They were all brown but their color patterns varied.  All have feathered legs, indicating that they are indeed the offspring of the Brahma rooster. Yesterday and today each saw one more peep hatch out. These little ones are both yellow.

The first peeps are growing very quickly. They already have most of their wing feathers and starting to get their tail feathers. I do not remember having chicks grow this fast in the past.  We can hardly wait to see what they will look like as adults.

A brooder is a nice place for a nap.  The chicks do not seem to mind.

Brewery Update

Keeping an eye to the weather, I am hoping to get back to work on the brewery soon.  After having much time to think about things and visiting a sugarhouse, I have decided to plank the roof of the brewery.  The sugarhouse had a planked roof.  It looked very nice and in 25 years had never had a problem with rot/mildew etc, and that was without a steam hood.  The rafters are literally dripping wet for three weeks every year.

Given that we will have greater clearance over our boiler and will not be boiling off like a sugarhouse would, I anticipate that we will not have any problem with a planked roof.  The big advantage to planking the roof is that it will allow me to work alone on the roof on days when no one else can help.  It will also look much nicer when finished.