There I was at 8.00am, driving along quiet country lanes to my newly acquired brewery and, despite it being nearly the longest day of the year, I had my headlights on! I was surrounded by a dense fog, it might just as well have been November.
Even though the fog was beginning to clear by the time I arrived, it was being replaced by a steady drizzle. Great!
Here's the view of my brewery on this beautiful June morning.
Much is still to be done, but the fermenters are in place
and the mash tun is looking pretty smug
and the coppers are safely installed in a fireproof surround all ready to be filled with hot sweet wort and brought to the boil using propane gas burners.
We have spring water (as yet never used for brewing), heating form a log burner (being tested for the first time) and uncommissioned, reconditioned brewing vessels - what could possibly go wrong?
Stay with me on this one - it's going to be great!
So, the next day (slightly better weather with just a little mist this time) I decided to test out the propane burners. Four hours later the temperature of the liquor had been brought up by about 40 degrees Celsius. Hmm... I think we need a bit more power or brew day could be a very long one.
While the water was slowly getting warmer I set up my small pilot brewery alongside the fermentation vessels. The idea here, is to get a trial brew underway to see how my recipes are affected by the spring water and whether any adjustments need to be made. I should get to brew on the pilot kit early next week so we should know how the water performs within the next couple of weeks. Exciting!
The last thing to happen yesterday was my first delivery of ingredients, cleaning products and sterilising agents. The lorry driver arrived cursing the narrow country lanes and with a vehicle festooned with bits of foliage from the verdant countryside. Guess what - he'd used a 'sat nav' to get here... I gave him directions to return on much more suitable roads.
Well, that's it for this week, I can't do any more in the brewery until Monday. So the weekend will be packed with planning and paperwork to make sure I can get the brewery up and running as soon as I can.