National Homebrew Day 2015

Saturday (May 2) was National Homebrew Day and a local brewery hosted an in-house brew day for homebrewers.  It was co-sponsored by our LHBS.  For anyone local to me, the name of the Brewery is Draft Line and they have the best Scotch Ale I have ever tasted.  Their head brewer, Jamie, was with us all day and really has a passion for brewing and sharing his knowledge about brewing.  We had a great time talking with him all day, asking questions, and just having normal conversations.

Please check out their website, and if anyone local wants to check it out, do so.  Hell, leave a comment below and I’ll meet you there!

Draft Line Brewing

Adam is the owner of the LHBS, Homecrafted, and he made sure to have any parts and equipment that might have been needed.  He’s a great guy with a nice shop.  His prices are really good, too.   Of course, if you have followed this blog at all, you know that I am always looking for deals, so for me to say that a LHBS has really good prices, you know I’ve shopped around!  Again, please check him out if you’re local to the area.  Here’s a link to his website:


On to the Brew Day!  Draft line opened up their brewery to us homebrewers at 9:00 AM to set our equipment up and brew right alongside their equipment, it was quite a humbling experience.  So…here’s my setup I was the first to set up.

You can see my orange Mash Tun next to the brewery’s HLT.  They have a 30 barrel system (930 gallons).  The guy in the black shirt looking back toward the camera is Jamie, their head brewer.

Fermenters and Brite Tank:

A closer shot of our setup next to their HLT:

Of course, I had to give our propane tank a new paint job for its day out…

One of the considerations for taking our system elsewhere to brew on is that we had to have everything measured out and pre-pre-planned.  I was really worried about forgetting something.  In this picture, I have the hops measured out and in separate Ziplocs according to their timed additions.

Same with the Lemon Zest.  We brewed a Summer Wheat using Hallertau for bittering and flavor, with a 5 min addition of Citra for aroma.  We added the lemon zest at 15 minutes.

We filled our HLT from theirs, using a 1.5″ hose.  The water comes out at 160 degrees, so we were ready to mash in no time.

Up to the tippy-top for the mash

Dual  purpose hole in the lid.  Monitoring the temp of the mash

Replaced the thermometer with the sparge arm to begin the sparge.  You can see in this picture how well the anti-kink coil works.

Since we fly sparge, we are transferring the sweet wort at the same time. The thing that struck us is the strong honey taste to it.  We used 12.5 pounds of Rahr 2 Row, 7.5 pounds of Pilsen, and 10 ounces of Caramel 40.  It isn’t a cloying sweet, but rather nice.  We cannot wait to try this brew!  Yes, we ALWAYS taste the sweet wort during transfer.

Hot break just happening, what a glorious sight!

Boil achieved!

Hops in and boil finishing up.

While I was transferring the wort to the fermenters (2 6.5 gallon buckets), everyone else was setting up for the homebrew competition that was to take place as soon as brewing was finished.

I have to say, after tasting the ESB and hybrid ale (that was the only thing on the label), I wasn’t too sure about this.  The ESB was really good.

We ended up taking the win, 1st Place, with our Caramel Porter!!

This was our first competition and, of course, our first win so we are pretty stoked now.  The prize for winning is to be able to brew the winning recipe on the brewery’s pilot system and they will sell it on one of their Small Batch Tuesdays.

Brew on…

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