OH Yeah!

– Chris

Forgot to report that our ESB is by far the best thing we’ve made. So good, in fact, that we went through the five-gallon keg of it like lightning this past Friday. We did, of course, have to measure out this consumption scientifically:

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Our research confirms that it’s a light, easy-drinking beer with an ABV of around 4.2 3.2%. Nice hop notes, but not too much of anything overpowering. Best enjoyed without sleeves. It really did turn out well, broken thermometer and all, so well that we think it’s better than the 5 Seasons Copperhead ESB that we tried earlier in the night. The only problem so far in the kegged version is a noticeable lack of head retention, something that thanks to Bob at Beer Necessities we’re going to try and fix by throwing some malto-dextrose into the boil next time around. OR we could leave it alone…it works really well in a syringe as is.

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Back at it

– Chris

So, I know we haven’t really been posting much lately, as a confluence of other writings (business plan, completely) and the typically Georgian good/bad/decent/terrible/awesome/wtf weather cycle this time of year hampered our brewing motivation. So, that said, I have few updates on our brewing; last Sunday was our first since we started this thing that we didn’t brew.

We got our business plan to about 95% though, which was quite an undertaking but we feel pretty good about it right now, from both a content and goals perspective. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we’re getting there. We met with a guy from the KSU SBDC (see last post for acronym info) yesterday morning, and we began a walk through our plan with him. The SBDC is around, at least in part, to help in the formation and refinement of startup businesses, and it is proving to be a very valuable resource in our planning. They can help in gathering statistics and other data for our industry, honing our financial projections, and generally giving us a more accurate picture of what we’re getting into in starting a craft brewery. We’ve set up a string of return meetings throughout the spring, each with individual milestones for our business plan…I’m sure we’ll have more on that later. As for now, I can’t stress enough how important it is to let an outside party, like the SBDC, examine our plans. Doing this helps keep us grounded in reality, and points out strengths and weaknesses in our business plan that we might not otherwise see.

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Now, we did do some beer stuff this past Saturday, including, from left to right, racking last week’s extract batch of “Old Peculier” clone to a secondary fermenter, kegging IPA 2.1 (the one with brewer’s yeast in it) and bottling both of our wheat beer variants. The wheats are a little rough around the edges right now, but hopefully will smooth out with six weeks aging or so. The good news is that the IPA tastes pretty darn good, nice and clean, but with a fruity finish. Exactly what we were going for! I think our closer attention to sanitation lately along with better temperature control is really helping with this. Maybe strangely, IPA 2.1 has the same final gravity of 1.013 as IPA 2.0, even with the different yeast. I won’t complain.

Also, we still thought Saturday that we’d have time to brew on Sunday, so we went to the beer store and got enough ingredients for three new five gallon runs: a new attempt at an American Pale Ale, a revisit with Oatmeal Stout, and something brown-ish that Steve came up with on the spot that is supposed to involve honey, but who knows. We’re going to try and get all three brewed up by this coming Monday, !!!

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Crunchtime

– Chris

In the spirit of procrastination (the only way I function, I think it’s some sort of rhetorical efficiency thing) we’ve kinda put off the completion of our business plan until right now.  Right now, as in we’ve got a meeting lined up with the Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State this coming Monday to discuss our goals and objectives as a startup, and we really need to submit at least a semi-polished draft of the plan by, oh, tomorrow.  We’ve been about 80% done for months now, but this last 20% is proving to be UNPOSSIBLE TO COMPLETE.  Maybe it’s too early in the day.  Back to it!

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Back to Basics, the Old Peculier way

– Chris

Upon Jamie and Steve’s absence this weekend (and Eileen’s yesterday), in addition to some really nasty weather, I decided to revisit our roots a bit.  Not our roots as in doing nothing on a Sunday, but rather doing a simple batch of beer on the stove with standard kitchen equipment.  Me and some other regulars, Mac and Garrett, settled on an Old Peculier-ish malt extract recipe and got at it, but not before we put some of our IPA 2.0 to the test:

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This is the coolest thing EVAR.  You can keep a nice little supply of your favorite drink, whatever that may be, on tap in your golf bag, or in our kitchen, and then all over Garrett’s shirt.  The IPA displayed a vast improvement from a week ago, with a much more mellow (but nice and fruity) aftertaste, along with what I’d consider to be just the right amount of carbonation.  I’ll be interested to see how much our next batch, which is in the secondary as we speak, has improved over this one…sans baker’s yeast.

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The brew day was so short! Three hours start to finish, and a lot of that was spent changing out pots and waiting a really long time for the stove to bring the wort to a boil.  This is about half the time we’re usually investing on a Sunday on a five-gallon run.  I wasn’t working alone though, and thanks are due to Garrett, Marc, Whitney, and Dave for helping out, and then cooking dinner.  That’s Dave in the last picture.  As for the finished product, well, I’m sitting next to it right now in the office and it’s just starting to bubble.  Give us three weeks and we’ll know if our latest foray into malt extract rivals our fancy all-grain runs…

Oh yeah, and I should report that Saturday we successfully kegged and bottled our ESB from two weeks ago (a ten gallon batch split evenly between the two; 1.010 FG, right on the money), along with racking last week’s Hefewiezen and Witbeer to secondary fermenters…and I only broke one carboy in the process!  Apparently that’s our m.o. these days.

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Beertopia…

-Jamie

One night a few weeks ago, Mark and I were on the phone talking about beer and he told me about a little discovery he made shortly after moving to Brooklyn. We went there yestereday and it was awesome. It’s called BierKraft.

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I pulled the following directly from their website:

“Our collection of over 900 beers has been lovingly assembled by our handsome cellar manager, Timothy Ensor, and features brews from Brazil (Xingu), Harlem (Sugar Hill), Japan (Hitachino) and everywhere that makes great beers. Bierkraft carries over 250 Belgian beers and a thirst-quenching assortment of American microbrews in addition to an array of international ales, lagers, porters, stouts, APAs, IPAs, Double IPAs, lambics and every beer style in between. In addition to our stupendous assortment of bottled beers, we also feature 9 fresh beers on tap, available in our signature Bierkraft growler.”

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Yes Chris, they do sell ALL the beers that are not allowed in Georgia including the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. Wish you were here!

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