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, September 22, 2013

Adventures In Boiling - It Works!

First smoke out of the new chimney!

Loyal Readers, you are well aware that I have been working with laser -focus on getting the brewery functional.  Only a few days ago we finished the chimney. Today we passed a milestone when we fired the boiler for the first time.  Our good friend Tom Coty came over and he and I fired up the boiler for the first time.  With no idea how this would work, we put match to wood and prayed...

Ready for the match!
Firing the boiler for the first time was an intimidating task.  What if something went wrong or an insurmountable flaw was found in the design?  Those were questions I did not dare to ask.  In my mind I knew I needed to focus and boiled down (note pun) the task to its essence:  can we get water to boil or not?

Nothing else means anything.  If we can boil water, we can brew beer.  If not, then we wasted a butt-load of money.  This was do or die.  Nothing less than the viability of our whole brewery venture was at stake.

To put things simply-It worked!  We managed to raise a boil and hold it for two hours.  There were a few glitches, but nothing we can't fix.  What a relief.  At this point, everything else is secondary.  We have a boiler and it works!

First fire under way!
It was such a relief to have the boiler work.  When designing it, I could find almost no information, so I based my design on sugaring evaporators.  In the end it worked and that is all that matters.  A big thanks to all who helped make this possible!  We are well on our way to being a real brewery.

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