Brewery Intern: Day 09 (Gettin’ in Tha Groove)

During my Certified Cicerone Exam yesterday (more on that in a separate post), Ashley and Karen had spent the day cleaning the brewery, polishing the tanks, detailing the floors and drains, etc. and there were no huge pressing tasks other than a meeting with the tap design company at 1pm.

Craig started by doing some rearranging of the lines and kegs in the Grundy Room.  We then cleared some space to mix up a keg of the Crabby Apple Ale and get it carbonating.  We swapped out a number of empty kegs in the Grundy Room and in the line kegerators as the morning and afternoon went on.  Taps, valves, fittings, etc. were taken apart for cleaning and reassembled.  I neatened up the big boxes of hops in cold storage and labeled them more thoroughly.

When 1pm came, we sat down with East Coast Taps to discuss the design of the new custom taps for Stark Mills Brewing.  The original concept design had proven to be both difficult to cast in a mold and a bit too thin in places, so a significant redesign had been done to the concept and carved out of plaster in a full-size prototype (albeit much heavier than the eventual castings).  We discussed size, colours, branding, etc. as well as manufacturing/delivery timelines and cost/billing agreements.  Finally, they revealed their concept drawing for the custom tap head for the Mt. U Ale.

Production Design Meeting with Wast Coast Taps, LLC

Production Design Meeting with Wast Coast Taps, LLC

After the meeting, we got back to work dumping the yeast and trub from each of the FVs in the room.  Some had a lot more to dump than others, but all had a gravity reading and a tasting done in the process, once the trub had cleared to liquid.  The new oatmeal stout from yesterday only had a limited amount purged, primarily to drop the hot/cold break materials.  Craig and I happily enjoyed our flat half-pints of nearly-finished Russian imperial stout while we swapped a few more keg taps for the bar.

Craig pointed out a keg of sour mild still in storage and we did a little bit of sampling.  Not able to find a brew sheet on the batch (a chunk of the records were apparently lost at one point), we had to go purely by taste.  My guess is it was dosed with one of the lambic-intended blends, as there is an interesting mix of sour and funk notes in such a light beer, but there is a prominent ascetic note.  From the level, I’m hoping that it is from lactobacillus and not from a direct acetobacter.  From the flavors involved, I’m hoping that I can convince the boss to let me try to blend a Flanders Red in one of the casks for future use on the beer engine.

We moved into our roles mingling with the public and enjoying a few pints (Craig had punched out) as some bands set up for a fundraiser.  We each took care of a couple more keg changes before heading home for the weekend.