Monday, October 19, 2009

Some Assembly May Be Required


So another lesson has been learned from the discipline of brewery formation that can be transferred to stuff that might reasonably happen in the comforts of routine domesticity. The lesson being, that if you ever venture into the world of flat-pack furniture, then you only find the true value of the seemingly bizarre set of instructions, asking for cowl 4B to be inserted into slot F and so forth, in their absence. We learned this when we set about connecting the shiny brewing tanks by means of the various shiny hoses and clips, but alas there was no multi-lingual step-by-step guide sellotaped to the packaging. But as fortune favours those with the camera phones, as the updated version of that old phrase goes, we did have the advantage of the various pictures that had been taken of the brewery when it was a still an American resident. These were sprung from the bench as substitute for the instruction manual, and as fortune favours those with the foresight to print out in glorious technicolour the previously fortunately taken camera phone pictures, as that ultra-recently updated and peculiarly related to our particular situation, phrase goes.


Once again Bill was playing the part of our lovely assistant, which was a very happy occurrence as he is a man in possession of a good deal of practical knowledge and a variety of spanners and wrenches. Both of which were to be needed in abundance. So after quick reshuffle of the layout of the equipment, to better reflect the practicalities of the brewing process, we set to work. The first step, as anyone who's ever ventured into the world of extreme jigsawing well knows, is to lay out all the pieces and then start to see where they fit. Being ever the purists, we started working the fittings to mirror the beer production line. At each stage using the "so will this result in anyone sloshing about up to their ankles in beer?" rule of thumb to judge the accuracy of the component placement.


The brewing nomenclature was also out in full force, as there were numerous discussions as to whether "that twisty yoke fits onto the sticky-out bit, or do we need a bendy thing for the connection". The ins and outs of the mash tun seemed straight-forward, the ins and outs of the kettle and wort chiller, not quite so easy, being that there were many ins and many outs; much like cricket. We also had to rig up the pump that would be driving all this into the mix. Which was when we discovered a second pump, and hence the reason for the relative ease of the Mash Tun assembly became apparent. So with a bit more re-jigging the Mash Tun pump was hooked up too and hopefully a initial brewday embarrassment avoided.



The mini-triumph of having all the brewhouse components in place was tempered by the numerous pipes and fittings that we hadn't found a spot for. So suppressing the urge to dismiss these as "spares", and thus return to our previous self-satisfied sense of minor achievement, we figured them out as Cleaning-In-Place and overflow pipes and appropriate locations were found for these too. And thus our self-congratulations were fit to continue, personally I may have gone to far with this though, as when we took a quick spin to the local shops for tea and crumpet, (to continue the cricket theme), we found ourselves surrounded by numerous cars waving flags and beeping loudly. The lead car was even waving a trophy, so naturally I assumed the congregated masses were even more enthusiastic than ourselves about our successful assembly job just completed, which brought on some small worry, as I hadn't even prepared a speech. Or in fact even 'phoned ahead to say that we'd just finished; how had they all known? However, as some of the more realistic members of our crew pointed out, the celebrations were in fact for a cup winning team coming from the neighbouring GAA ground. Which I suppose in retrospect makes more sense...

Anyway we left the brewhouse that night, not with a trophy under our arm, but happy that one more step on our brewing journey has been taken.

9 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

Until you start making beer with it it's just sculpture, you know.

Trouble Brewing said...

Patience, thirsty one.

Barry M said...

Have you tested it with water yet? Jjust in case you end up pumping wort out of the mash tun back onto itself :)

Trouble Brewing said...

I'm quite confident that all is plumbed correctly - it really wasn't that difficult when you know what the steps are, but rest assured a water run will be carried out first once we get the electrics set up.

It was quite gratifying that a few years of all grain brewing at home and the some technically minded individuals could put the thing together in no time at all.

Saruman said...

Oooh shiny.
There will be an open day for ICB members right?

Trouble Brewing said...

There will indeed be a tour for ICB folk. The brewery wouldn't be here without the the interest generated in Irish craft beer by ICB, and, for me at any rate, the chance to discuss beer and brewing with like minded people.

The Beer Nut said...

The idea of discussing beer with an actual brewery conjures images of Knight Rider.

Trouble Brewing said...

Don't worry, I'm not nearly as camp as KITT.

Oblivious said...

Congratulations on the brewery :, I'm sure you will be look for people to help with product testing