Thursday, November 27, 2014
Another Great Brew Day at Beaver Run Brewery
This year, working with a local farmer and a facility that could malt the grain down in Nelson County, a total of nearly 700 pounds was harvested and prepared for brewing. Last week Dan drove down to Nelson County to pick it up, and he told me he was going to brew with it this weekend. So I made plans to join him out in the brew-barn for part of the day.
They're calling the new malt 6-row Thoroughbred and I'll see if I can learn more about it in the future. On brew day, Dan had planned a 10 gallon batch of IPA, and he had milled 20 pounds of malt for that effort, matched up with a selection of hops from the backyard hop yard.
When I got back to the brewery, the boil was just getting underway. We walked through the hop additions - five of them, shown in order in the photo below. All of the hops used in this brew were grown on the property - so between the well-supplied water, hops, and Luray-grown barley, this was a mostly local product.
Our friends at Wisteria ferment one of their varieties with the yeast that comes in with the grapes from the field - so we know it's possible. And I've heard rumors that at least one member is working on it. In any case, there is a strain that has been isolated down in Richmond - we could brew with that one and have a Virginia-centric product, progressing gradually to our goal of a beer produced entirely from Page County ingredients!
Moving on to the true brew nerd portion of the post - Dan pulled samples of the wort as it progressed through the mash, all the way up until he started the boil. We tasted each of them, from the sticky sweet, oatmeal flavored first pull through to the light amber of the final bit.
He measured gravity after the boil, before pitching the yeast, and it read 1.060. Assuming the fermentation progresses normally, the target is 6.3% ABV. Calculated IBU measurement is 64.
Ready in five weeks, I guess!