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!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Tomorrow,  I finally have a day with nothing planned. So today after dropping off the kitten to get spayed, I went to Hamshaw Lumber and bought some bead-board panels.  My hope is to get the interior wall paneled and the door into its final position.  You may remember me mentioning the interior door whose construction cost me several valuable hours of my precious life. In the end it turned out quite nice.  It is very rustic looking and opens and closes smoothly.  Currently, the door is tacked into place awaiting final positioning once the paneling is in place.  Every little bit moves us closer to a real brewery...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yeast Quest

Those of you who know me well know that while living in Alaska I was a big fan of the White Labs liquid yeast cultures.  I was pretty bummed out when I moved down and could not find a source of White Labs products, though I have found some amazing dry yeasts.  So you can imagine that I was pretty excited when I recently managed to get my hands on some White Labs cultures.

Unfortunately,the joy was short lived.  The first culture I used showed no activity after 24 hours.  So I pitched a dry yeast in the wort but it was too late.  Bacteria had taken hold and the beer was terrible.  To avoid a repeat, I tried to make a starter with the next one.

Once again, the culture proved completely nonviable.  Literally, nothing happened.  Out of curiosity, I let the starter sit for over two weeks.  Still nothing!  At least I know I was properly sanitizing my glassware.

Happily, since those failures, the next two cultures have worked well.  What the difference was I cannot say.  The only factor I cannot account for is temperature. I did let the wort cool longer on the third and fourth tries. Perhaps, I pitched the first two cultures at too high a temperature.  At the very least, perhaps the difference between the temperature of the wort and the yeast was too great and some sort of thermal shock killed the culture.

I hope I can figure this out as I really like the results I get with White Labs yeasts.