Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Evolution of a Brewery

It's hard work (and messy work) building a brewery, especially when you offer to pitch in and help shift some gravel and sand. Progress is impressive so far and already the main drainage channel has been dug out....

....and the Fermenting room and Conditioning room have only got a few remaining courses to be laid before the malt floor can rest on top.

There is still plenty of work to be done, but it's nice to see the brewery actually starting to resemble the basic structure of a brewery, albeit a little one. No doubt some kind of snag will hit us at some point during the build, but for now the brewhouse is on target to be up and running in Nov.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Brewery Shell

Lease signed and keys in hand, the Redemption Brewing Company can now start to take shape. The rather nondescript, hollow shell opposite, is about to be turned into a fully functioning 12 barrel brewery. So what's actually involved in building a microbrewery?

1) Installing drainage and flooring. As you can imagine there is a large amount of water used in producing beer, both as a raw ingredient and as part of the overall production process. Where water is allowed to sit in stagnant puddles, bacteria can thrive and this risks creating an environment where beer can get infected, the end result being a poor quality pint. Good drainage therefore is important and makes brewing good quality beer a little easier.

2) Build a fermenting room. After wort has been boiled it becomes vulnerable to any infections, so anything which can help restrict airborne particles from getting near to the fermenting wort is critical. We will be using traditional open top fermenters so we want them housed in a relatively well sealed room surrounded by hygienic cladding. This will also help us control the fermenting temperature more efficiently.

3) Build a conditioning room. We will run our beer from fermenting tanks to conditioning tanks before we then rack to cask. The conditioning room is chilled and is essentially a bigger version of a pub cellar, which allows us to control the temperature and ensure maturation of the beer will enhance the desirable flavours and restrict those negative flavours we have all occasionally come across.

4) Build a Malt Loft. On top of our Fermenting and Conditioning room we will have a mezzanine floor which will act as our malt store, allowing us to keep the malt away from any water. Our grist box will also be up here so we can use gravity to feed the malt in to the mash tun.

That's basically the essentials and all relatively simple really. We hope spending a bit of time and money getting the layout right initially will help us make better beer.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Beginning

My name is Andy. Last year, in what was probably a mild sign of a mid life crisis, I left my job to start a small brewery in North London. One year later the lease is just about to be signed on a small industrial unit in Tottenham and a team of builders are ready to create the required infrastructure. The 12 Barrel plant, fermenters, conditioning tanks, chiller units, pumps and pipes are waiting to make their journey down south. We hope to be brewing some wonderful beer by the start of Nov.

Starting any new venture is exciting, but slightly scary at the same time. The statistics on new business failures never make comfortable reading, but hopefully with hard work and determination, a degree of common sense and a bit of luck, The Redemption Brewing Company will benefit from the ongoing rennaisance of the cask conditioned ale market.

We will use this blog to tell you about our beers, our brewing and the daily fun and games involved in running a brewery.