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, August 30, 2012

A Quick Taste

Never one to leave well enough alone, I decided to try my latest my latest brew.  It has only been in the bottle for five days.  Not much, especially for a beer that was bottled without priming.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.

First off, the beer poured crystal clear.  The aroma is an enticing biscuit/malt.  The flavor is excellent.  It matches the best of any brewpub I have ever tasted.  Malt and bitterness are in perfect balance with a pleasant earthy aftertaste.  Believe it or not, the carbonation was pretty good for only five days with no primer.  I would like to see more carbonation, but that will come with time.

In spite of using a new yeast and base malt, it looks I got things right this time!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Whitbread Ale Yeast

I just finished bottling my first brewing effort with a yeast I have not previously used.  The yeast in question is Safale s-04 which is billed as a dry version of the famed Whitbread Brewery's in-house strain of yeast.

Like other Fermentis products, this yeast goes to work quick.  Just dump the envelop in the fermentor and you will see noticeable activity within the hour.   A large head of yeast did not develop and after four days the yeast had dropped. On day eight I bottled.  The beer came out crystal clear.  The final gravity was 1004!  This yeast had fermented my beer nearly to water! Further, in spite of not forming a large yeast head, a very thick yeast cake had formed in the bottom of the fermentor.  I probably could have saved some for repitching.

The flavor is excellent.  It has a almost lager-like tartness with a pleasant grainy base. Obviously, it is light bodied but did not seem watery.  I look forward to drinking this once it is fully conditioned.

What may pose a problem for me is carbonation. I had decided that with this beer I would once again go the traditional route and not prime the beer before bottling.  Just bottle it and wait three months for it to carbonate and condition naturally.  However, with a final gravity of 1004, I worry that there is not enough fermentable material left for it to carbonate. I shall find out. I will either have an awesome Real Ale, or some great tasting flat beer.

Deer Reader, I shall keep you informed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

7000 Hits and More!

So we have made it to 7000 hits!  Woohoo!  I am not sure what caused the recent flurry of activity, but I am glad that people are still checking up on us.  As you all know, progress has been slow.   I only wish it could go faster, but that is life.  However, if any of you finds a big bag of money and do not have any use for it, send it my way...

On to what progress we have made:  I have finished the bead-board and painting in the sales area.  The last bit I finished on my own.  Let me tell you, cutting those jigsaw puzzle-type pieces of bead-board is pretty scary.  I lived in fear of miscutting and ruining a whole piece.  But in the end, I was able to cut even the most contorted piece and get it to fit.  Then came painting, which was another adventure given that I am not much of a painter.  Things turned out pretty well in the end.

Progress on the sales area!
Lately I have been derailed from working on the brewery because one of the horses did some major damage to one of the sheds and it had to be torn down.  So most of my efforts lately have been on building a new run-in for the horses.  I wanted to make sure this new one would last so that ate into the finances a bit.  Then we had some vet bills, etc.   It never ends.

Still, I am getting ready to do some more brewery work.  The next step is building the boiler and firebox.  This is pretty exciting as it marks a step where we are creating a brewery and not just any building.  I have found a cheap source for firebrick so it will be much less expensive than anticipated. I also found a cast iron fire door that is not too expensive. The only hold up now is getting a welder to do the necessary modifications to the tank that we will use as a boiler.   If we can't get the welding done soon, I will start working on the boardwalk that will run along the south side of the building.

 Thanks for staying tuned in, I will keep you all posted on our progress!

We did manage a side trip to Salem, MA, and got to see the witch house!