Brewing the first batch...
After a week of test brews, we pulled the trigger and brewed the first batch of beer with our new system.
For one of our lead off beers, we wanted to keep with our philanthropic roots and are excited to have partnered with the Piggy Bank Charity for our Piggy Back Pale Ale. At AHB, we believe in supporting other small businesses in our local supply chain and promoting the growth of safe and quality ingredients available in our agricultural industry. Piggy Bank is an organization that breeds heritage pigs and gifts them to small businesses, farmers and culinary schools while also fostering a network of open access agriculture (OAA) so these groups can develop their business plans and contribute to a safer culinary landscape.
We are brewing on a new 3 barrel brewhouse, double batching into 5 barrel fermenters, combined with some pro-sumer components. Our pumps and our chiller are the same ones we’ve been brewing on for years so we were interested to see how they would work with our new system until we can upgrade them. During our test brew, we had to make a few adjustments and we didn’t have our glycol system setup yet. We were anxious to see how it would all play out once we got the whole system in action.
We crushed the grains the night before and mashed in the next afternoon. We then boiled, chilled and pitched the yeast for half a batch and brewed the second half the next day to fill the remainder of the fermenter. Brewing in two batches allowed us to make further adjustments to the system as needed. We also conserved water by chilling it in an unused fermenter and then used it to cool the wort.
It’s all a learning process during these first few batches. As we continue to get to know our brew system, we’ll adjust our equipment, procedures and recipes to tailor for it. In just brewing the first batch, we’ve already learned a ton and are finding ways we can be more efficient. We’ve already reduced our brew time!
We were so excited for our first brew day so the whole team could see the fruits of our labor in action. We feel like the brewery is now really getting started. But mostly importantly, we’re proud to say that we at last have beer sitting in our fermenters!
More news to come on our opening soon. In the meantime, we’ll be brewing : )
If you want to learn more about the Piggy Bank Charity, visit their website.
AHB will also be serving the Piggy Back Pale Ale at the upcoming Cochon555 event in Los Angeles on March 12th.
Visit their website for more information on ticket sales.