First 2013 Brew Session

Written by Justin on January 16, 2013
frozen lawn
Icy grass is about as white as we get in the winter.

It’s been cold around here lately. A blast of arctic air has made it’s way down from the gulf of Alaska chilling our normal low 40’s down to high 20’s at night. On this particular morning when I woke up around 6:30 I checked the weather to find we were down to 27°. I chuckled to myself, today was going to be the coldest brew session we’ve ever had (it’s California that’s cold), but it would not stop us. The last time we had brewed was July 18th, 2012. Because of the craziness of the last year we just were not able to brew. Now two months after moving into our new home we finally finished our detached garage enough to fling it open and brew for the first time.

I got up and put on a pot of tea, Eryn soon followed getting some hot coffee together. We milled about the house a while watching the frost begin to melt off our neighbors roof. We knew it was going to be a cold morning so we weren’t planning on starting until about 11am anyway.

Our new barn star above the brewery.
Our new barn star above the brewery.

We had just started prepping for the day when our first visitors stopped by. Dianne and Ron are good friends and helped us with the move and the build. They weren’t going to stick around for the brew day but just wanted to drop off a house warming gift. They then handed over a red Amish barn star to hang on the garage. It was perfect, so perfect that we had literally been only a click away from ordering it ourselves, we just hadn’t done it yet. They had to take off but we took a few minutes before pulling out our brewing equipment to hang our new star. It is exactly what we were looking for.

Our first brew session.
Our first brew session.

It was time to get to work. We set about getting the brewery organized and the equipment fired up. On the schedule for the day was a new Kölsch recipe and our Dave’s Coco Brown. We struck water right on time at 11am and began measuring and cracking grain. The session flowed beautifully with only a few minor hiccups like not having a place to hang hoses while they weren’t in use. We made notes of everything and welcomed friends as they dropped by to join us for our first brew session. Katie and Pat dropped by and lent a hand measuring and cracking Dave’s Coco. Later Emily and Neil joined us bringing with them a few rare beers to toast to our first brew session here.

We finished up the session seven and a half hours later with 20 gallons pitched and fermenting away. My family came down and made us an amazing dinner as the arctic chill set back in. We all toasted to the brew session, the soon to be tap parties, and poker nights with a great glass of red wine. For me brew sessions are always rewarding work. They are long days but at the end of them I always feel energized. Since this was our first session in almost six months it felt incredible. We still have a little way to go before the taps start flowing again but we are almost there.

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