Building a Brewery

Building R.Shea Brewing: Week 5, Sept 1-7, 2014

Sep 9, 2014


It's been a busy week to say the least.  I put in an order for three 3.5 barrel fermentors.  Unfortunately they won't hold them for longer than a month so I need to get this floor done in the next several weeks.


Where the fermentors will be going.

The brew side is a little more tricky as it has from 1-2 layers of linoleum and half of it covered with leftover concrete from the tiles.  My dad and I figured out how we want to do this and there are a few good tools to accomplish this easily in the coming week.  I'm still back and forth between tile under the brew system or a raw concrete look.  I better figure this out fast.


Seeing how easy it is to remove this linoleum…on top of linoleum.


After we spec'd out the bar in Week 4, I came to the conclusion to eliminate the three kegerators behind the bar as they take up a lot of length, and width.  I will instead run glycol-chilled beer lines from the cooler to the bar.  This will save nearly two feet of space behind the bar and brew area - that is huge.  Plus it will be an overall easier system to clean and deal with.


I needed to provide a little more information and run through some annual production calculations to figure out the amount of bond I need.  It took a little while piecing that information together on the federal website but in the end, I was under the minimum amount.  Honestly, I will write the Feds a check for that amount directly - getting a bond seems very time consuming.  Not sure if it's my guy or the process.


I have to thank my wife for the Shandy formulations that you will all love.  She worked on a new one using the Amarillo IPA that we just made.  It was a fabulous pairing.  It is citrus based and complements the hop bitterness well. We're finding it interesting how different styles of beers can make or break a type of shandy.


This is a new style I am falling-in-love with when it's hot outside and I'm working.  My wife and I went to Mustard Seed to assemble a 6-pack of them.


Session beer tasting.

I started with Founder's All Day IPA - simply excellent.

JUST what the doctor ordered after working hard on a summer day. Grapefruity, easy drinking, little hop bitterness. More please.

Next was Mosaic's Session IPA

A little more initial biterness vs. Founders All Day IPA. Slightly hazy, hoppy-citrus flavor and aroma. Very good.

I followed this by the Sunshine Daydream Session IPA by Fat Head's

More hoppy in bitterness than many session IPAs I've had making it a little unbalanced to me making it no-so-easy drinking. Definite hop aroma.

Then it was Lagunitas DayTime Fractional IPA

The palest of the session IPAs I've had. Nice hop nose and flavor...needs more body. Though this would be very good working outside hot.

I thought I saved the best for last, Stone's Go To IPA

Don't like it. About my fifth session IPA I've been trying. I was really looking forward to it. There is some flavor that bothers me.  Supposedly there are 9 different hops in it - that may be the problem there - it ends up being 'muddy' with unintended  hop effects.

Founders All Day IPA was the clear winner.


The Winner!


I brewed of course.  I just emptied a fermentor of the Amarillo IPA made two weeks ago and had exactly a week to make and ferment a session IPA before I needed both fermentors to brew again - could I do this?  Of course.  This is R.Shea Brewing where we can kick out the freshest beers in seven days from conception to kegging.

As I have learned in some previous brews, late hop addition for aroma are tricky.  You don't want to leave them sitting around too long before pumpout or it will get too bitter.  This recipe was similar to my pale ale, though with less crystal malts.  The big difference is that I used no bittering hops - all hop additions were in the last 15 minutes.


That’s a whole lot of Cascade!


That’s a whole lot of aroma hops!


Keeping a watchful eye on the boil.


A new leak! This one I couldn’t fix during pumpout.


I need to expand, it’s getting tight in here.

As of this writing, the beer is done fermenting (4 days) and I'm chilling it.  I missed my assistant brewmaster Jesse.  A major kudos to my Dad and John this past week for the help at the brewery.


Floors.  Getting them fully stripped and prepped for tile.

Bond.  This better get done this week.

Brewing.  We will be brewing a Pumpkin and an Octoberfest.

Food.  Starting experimentation on brats and hot dogs.

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