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The Belgian Mare Says Hello!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tun Of Fun & A Real False Bottom

The morning dawned cold and windy, but stayed clear.  I didn't mind the cold and wind as long as things stayed clear.  I had help coming over to move the mashtun stand into the brewery. The last thing I needed was rain and/or snow pelting us as we moved 300 pounds of steel up the ramp into the brewery.  Getting the mashtun stand moved inside and the mashtun in place were the last big equipment-related tasks the brewery needed.  I wanted to make sure they got done before the stand was frozen to the ground and buried under the snow.

Just before the crack of noon my help arrived in the form of my paramedic friend David and his teenage sons Connor and Devin.  David, being an old New Englander, was sporting his insulated Carhartt bibs and fleece jacket.  Devin was modeling his new winter shorts.  For his part, Connor was showing off his new high-tops with 80's RUN-DMC-style giant protruding tounges.  The memories came flooding back.

Not wanting to stand around and get freeze-dried, we went straight to work.  David's sons, being tough no-nonsense types, dispensed with gloves and stepped right in and grabbed the giant metal rack with their bare hands.  These are tough kids.  Slightly shamed, the two old guys in winter clothes each grabbed a corner. By this time Tracy had joined us and she held the door while the four of us wrestled the iron monster into place. Once we cleared the entry, we tipped the rack into the upright position then slid it to its new home next to the boiler. Success!

Now all that remained was to lift the mashtun onto its new rack.  The brewhouse has a good bit of room, but it was still a tight fit to get five people ranged around the mashtun and lift it into place.  I am not sure how we managed, but we did and the mashtun dropped into place on its new rack.  Actually, it didn't drop into place. It got wedged on the angle irons and we had to wiggle things a bit, then it crashed into place.  Success!

A tun of fun:  The mashtun and rack in place.

As David & Sons had not been out to the brewery in a while, they wanted to see the cellar.  So we headed around back. After a quick tour of the cellar, I noticed both Connor and Devin had turned a pale shade of blue that was deepening to an emerald hue before my eyes.  Aware of their immunity to low temperatures, I deduced that they were in an advanced state of hunger from having not yet eaten lunch.  Knowing I would probably require their services in the future, I thought it best to thank them and send them on their way before full on starvation set in.  David wished to stay a bit longer, enjoy the fresh breeze and sunshine, and discuss Aristotelian politics.  However, he too noticed that his two sons were looking a little hungry and thought it best to get them back home.

So with a round of thank-yous and a wave the Hogan clan went on their way.

Later, just before sunset, I would have some time to get started on the false bottom for the mashtun.  I am constructing this of top grade white oak with stainless steel fittings.  It is not done yet, I need to drill the drain holes, but it is already a real beauty!


The real false bottom, ready for drilling!

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