Thursday, February 25, 2010

Delayed at least another two damn weeks...

We have been pushing to get the taproom at our new facility open, and are so close. We have been going through final inspections on the taproom for most of the week, trying to get the approvals in before the beer board meeting last night. Well, the fire marshal inspector asked us to move an exit sign, and add some emergency lights, and provide some documentation on the sprinkler alarm system, and well, to make a long story short, we didn't get our fire inspection approval before the beer board meeting. Our application hearing for opening the new taproom was deferred until we can get all our inspections and documents to the beer board for their next meeting in two weeks, on March 11.

Firing up the boiler has been on hold as we wait for the vent stack parts to come in. When we get the boiler up and running, we can do some test batches in the brewery and then start moving equipment out of Marathon and over to the new place.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting closer...

Quinn and I got the two grain augers installed yesterday. One feeds from the grain mill to the grist hopper, which will hold a batch's-worth of ground barley. From the grist hopper, another auger takes the grain up to the mash tun to be mixed with hot water. Once we get these augers wired up, all we will be waiting on to start brewing is our boiler to be fired up (and all our final inspections, of course).

Our friends from Prism Systems and Advanced Engineering are also on site, testing and debugging the automation controls for the new brewhouse. Once done, we'll be able to control valves and motors from a central location, instead of manually opening and closing the valves.

We're shooting for a fire marshal inspection of the taproom today or tomorrow, and to hopefully go before the beer board tomorrow. We'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brewing our Spring Seasonal today ... Rye Saison!

Even though it's snowing outside today, and school is out for like the millionth time, we're busy thinking of Spring today. Yes, the time of year when young brewer's thoughts turn to ... fruity, juicy, slightly funky-but-in-a-good-way Belgian yeasts! Yep, that's how you spell L O V E to a brewer. Soon, Fed Ex will deliver an active culture of a Belgian saison yeast, to be pitched into a sweet concoction of pale, vienna, wheat, and rye malts. There, it will ferment at unbelieveably high temperatures (95 F instead of our usual 68 F) until the beer is infused with peppery aromas and a wonderful juicy-fruit tartness.

We'll be bottling this in about a month, just in time for Spring (hopefully it will remember to come this year!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stout infused with Olive and Sinclair

It really pays to follow us on Twitter. See that little icon over on the right side of this blog? Click on that icon to follow @yazoobrew on Twitter, and become one of the people who know the inside scoop on all the Yazoo happenings.

For instance, we tapped a keg of our Onward Stout, aged for a month with cocao shells from Nashville's local Willy Wonka factory, Olive and Sinclair! These are the shells from roasted cocao beans, still full of chocolate flavor. We announced on Twitter that we would be tapping a keg of this beer for Valentine's Day at 4 PM last Friday. It was gone in less than an hour! Thanks to all our Twitter followers who showed up en masse to sample it, and if you missed out, sorry - but follow us on Twitter to see when we tap a keg of Sue aged with the shells!

New location update...

We passed our health inspection! Rachael from the Metro Health Dept came by and inspected our new location (and commented on how much nicer, in her opinion, the new location will be!) She asked for us to add a couple of door closers, but other than that, we're good to go as far as Metro Health is concerned!

We'll be trying to get the Metro Fire inspection next, and if they approve, we can go before the beer board on the 24th! If approved, we could open the taproom up while we finish up in the brewery. All that is left there, on the inside, is firing up the boiler and finishing the mill auger hook-ups. That hopefully will coincide with our beer board meeting on the 24th, but then again I've learned not to get my hopes up about how fast construction goes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hop Project #26, out in kegs and bottles today! Plus other news...

Hop Project #26 was bottled 2nd week of Feb (look on the left side of the label for the bottled date). For this batch, we first wort hopped with Cascade and Nugget, and then added Amarillo and Centennial at 30 minutes left, Cascade and Nugget at 5 minutes left, and dry hopped after six days with about 1 lb/ barrel of Centennials. It has a wonderful floral nose, followed by rounded grapefuity bitterness, and finishing crisp and dry with a little bit of lingering chewy hop resins.

We took a little break on the Hop Project series, waiting on some varieties from the 2009 harvest to become available. We haven't used much Centennial in this Hop Project series, but I always remembered it fondly from homebrewing days. We like it, and hope you will too!

We're getting six-packs printed for Hop Project, and when they arrive, we will be transitioning the Hop Projects from our "Brewmasters" 4-pack packaging into its own six-pack. #26 will probably be the last Hop Project in the 4-packs.

Once the Hop Project is in its own six-pack, we will be releasing our Spring seasonal in the Brewmaster's 4-pack. We're bringing back the Rye Saison we brewed for our five-year anniversary! If you remember, it was a classic Belgian farmhouse ale, brewed with a spicy, fruity Belgian yeast. The addition of rye malt complements the fruitiness and peppery spiciness that comes from the yeast. Look for it in area stores in March!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

bet you didn't know this...

Meet one of our neighbors at our new location! I was driving by and saw Mackenzie Colt out front of her business, and stopped to say hello. Amazing story, and we're looking forward to being in the neighborhood.

Pretty cool - soon, the Gulch will be home to a bakery, a brewery, a chocolate factory, and once Bongo Java cranks up their operation, a coffee roaster! All your staples in one neighborhood!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Brewhouse powered up!

Thanks to the guys at Advanced Engineering, we now have power to the new brewhouse! We worked late last night testing out all the I/O and checking motor rotations. Hard to believe, but we only found one mistake in the wiring, one that is easy to correct. Next, the guys at Prism Systems down in Mobile, AL, will be up here on Monday to install the Siemens Braumat program that will control the automation on the brewhouse. It's going to be pretty cool, a touch-screen computer contolling air-operated valves, instead of the manual controls we've had the past six years.

We were all set to go before the Metro Beer board for our taproom beer license this week, but have not yet been able to repair our hot water heater that froze during the last snowstorm. When we cut the power off to the building so that NES could make their connections, our tankless hot water heater did not drain properly, and froze up and ruptured during the night. No hot water = can't pass a metro health inspection yet = no beer permit. Bummer. Now we are shooting for getting our beer permits on the next meeting, Feb 24th. And if you ask my opinion on tankless hot water heaters - so far less than impressed.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Yes, we are still open for tours and pints at our 1200 Clinton location

Sorry for any confusion the two news stories in the paper lately seemed to have caused. I thought they were great, well-written stories, but we have been getting a flood of phone calls this week, from people thinking that we had closed our 1200 Clinton St location.

No, we're still here! The taproom is open our normal hours, and we will be giving tours this Saturday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New brewery update

Wow, sometimes it feels like we are a glacier, moving an inch a day. But hey, global warming should speed us up soon, right? Here's what's happened lately:

1. We got approval from the fire marshal to not have to fire-rate the wall between the taproom and the brewery. Doing so would have cost us dearly in fire-rated doors and windows, as well as a fancy expensive fire alarm system.

2. NES finally hooked up our three-phase power! Thank you, especially for working this past Sunday in the snow! Now we can start testing the new brewhouse out!

3. We took down our Siemens Braumat controller at the old brewery and moved it over to the new, to start integrating it into the control system for the new brewhouse.

4. The boiler installation is almost complete, just waiting on the stack to arrive.

5. We've been doing the final trim work in the taproom, painting, hanging doors, installing baseboards.

6. We're having to wait on a break in the weather to finish our loading dock, it's been roughed in but we can't pour concrete until we get a slight warm spell.

7. Same thing on paving the parking lot, having to plan around all the bad weather.

8. Our grist hopper, which holds the grain after it has been through the mill and then feeds it into the mash mixer, arrived. In lots of little pieces and nuts and bolts! We're starting to assemble it today.

Update on the Yazoo beard contest...

Back around Halloween, all the guys in the brewery (well, all but two) decided to stop shaving until we were in and running at the new location. Here is a little before and after...

Let's hope, for our wives and girlfriends sakes, that we get in the new brewery soon!
(note: Brian got a head start about six years ago)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Great article in today's

Thanks to Dana Kopp Franklin for all her great articles about local businesses over the years!