Since starting construction on our brewhouse back in April, a lot has gone down. I've finally been able to take a step back and look at what the last couple of months of early mornings and late nights have produced, and it's a fine sight indeed. We're almost there! A few key things still need to happen, but all of our tanks are in place, our control panel, pumps and fittings are all set up, our mobile pump and heavy duty hoses are working excellently and our manual keg washing system and inline oxygen infuser are ready to be tested.
The next step will be to fire up the heating elements, circulate water through my HERMS (Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System) coil and to test the whirlpool port on the brew kettle. I look forward to experimenting with the whirlpool at the end of the boil to figure out how to get the best flavour profile out of my late hop additions, of which I'm certain the whirlpool will play a big part.
I was expecting a moderate learning curve with using the larger equipment, but to be honest, so far, it's been pretty smooth. That's not to say I haven't soaked the walls and ceiling a few times when my pump moved water faster than expected, but after a few laughs and ringing out of many towels, all was good. I've made sure everything in the brewhouse that involves electricity is GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected. Where water and electricity are in proximity of each other, you can never be too careful. Especially with said mishaps!
All we are waiting on are our final approvals from the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) and the AGCO (Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario). Canada Revenue was in the other week to inspect the layout of the brewhouse and to calibrate the final product vessel (kegs) for taxation purposes. They were very pleasant to work with and it looks like we were able to address all of the points that they required. Once we receive our Excise Duty License from them, we will pass a copy along to the AGCO which has approved our manufacturer's license pending receipt of our Excise Duty License. Once we have the final paperwork, it's go time!
A few test batches will be in order to assess our brewhouse efficiency, hop utilization and yeast management, but once we're confident that everything is where it should be, then it's time for some Muddy York Beer to find it's way to some eager taps and mugs around town!
Can't wait to start brewing!