So I had to go into work on Sunday (boooo). It wasn't too bad though! The reason that I was summoned to help brew a batch of Headplant Pale Ale on a Sunday was because last week I took a few days off and drove home to MN. Thanks to my Twin, Derek (http://beerthis.blogspot.com), Mike, and Randall for showing up at Stub and Herb's to drink a few beers with me and have some fun! I know you guys enjoyed the Hopfest '09 Brown Ale.
Let's quickly jump back to Friday. After posting in the morning, I showed up at work at 9AM!!! (I love those days) and wasn't sure what we were going to do. Steve and I decided the best course of action was to continue the "get the old ass glycol chiller out of the basement" project, so we drove to the Madison River Brewing Co. in Belgrade for some free 55 gallon chemical drums (needed to store our glycol in from now on). Being a brewer and going to other breweries is AWESOME! We spent a good hour walking around the brewery with the owner, Howard, learning about their processes, how their business is doing, what is up and coming, etc. Then we hung out in the tap room for another hour and sampled some beers, talked more brewery stuff, and even walked out of there with a free growler! I also got to spend some time with the brewers while Steve and Howard were talking big boy stuff. They were brewing a batch of the Hefe on their 30 bbl brewhouse which had a mash mixer, lauter tun, kettle, HL tank, and whirlpool!!! (I was jealous).
After we returned, with our 6 drums, we figured out that we had to wash them. Luckily these drums came from a local dairy and previously held cleaner for the equipment. Because brewery and dairy cleaners are very similar... we didn't have a problem cleaning out the drums. The invention we came up with to clean the drums was a cannibalized CIP arm and spray ball, pointed at the sky, and we set the drums on top!
Here is the set up before a drum was on top....
And here is the invention with a barrel top!!! That was most of the excitement for friday. I spent the afternoon draining the glycol from our old tank into the drums, and then cleaning up my mess. I left work after milling in for the Headplant Pale Ale.
It has been snowing a TON in our region over the past weeks. Here is a shot of the mountain that I took on my way to work on Monday morning. Oh man I cannot wait for the ski season!!!
Here is Steve and Vicky's youngest daughter Sadie enjoying a warm cup of Buck Snort Porter wort as we were brewing it on Friday. Adorable.
Cheers, Prosit, and Skoal!