Our WV State Brewer’s License has been approved!!! We are now filling up our fermentors, so our beers will be ready in a few weeks. Halleck Pale Ale and Your Best Hoption Imperial IPA will be the first two beers released, and Nate’s Nut Brown Ale and Class II Wheatwater should be close behind (their formulas and labels still need federal and state approval).
We’ll provide date and location updates on Facebook, Twitter, and on the “Where’s The Beer” page of this website.
Thanks again for your patience and all your support!!
Bill met the FedEx Freight delivery guy today to pick up our new fermentors. Without a lift gate, and with each fermentor individually bolted to the pallet, it made for an interesting transfer.
Freshly unloaded into our “t-rusty” pickup truck!
Each fermentor was individually unpackaged and wheeled down the ramps with a hand truck. The wet/cold weather made this into a fun game for Bill.
Unpackaged and assembled. The two fermentors on the left hold 75 gallons each and will be used for double batches (our ‘cooking’ equipment only makes 31 gallons of beer at a time). The two on the right are 37 gallons and will be used for single batches.
All the fermentors where they belong…in the fermentation room!
Now that we’re a federally recognized commercial beer brewery, Bill figured he’d better test out the equipment to work out the kinks.
The following pictures document the first “Commercial-sized” batch of beer brewed at the Chestnut Brew Works brewery. The beer brewed was Halleck Pale Ale, and it pretty much went off without a hitch. The final volume of the batch will be 1 barrel (1 bbl, which is equal to 31 gallons). The wort (unfermented beer) is now in the fermentor, and the yeasty-beasties are doing their business (turning sugar into alcohol, as well as other beer flavors).
Getting ready to make beer!!
Sparging the first batch! (That’s rinsing off the grain to extract all the sugars, for all you non-beer geeks).
At Chestnut Brew Works, we compost all of our spent grain, hops, and yeast. Once composting is complete, we will use it in the hop garden we are planting in the spring.
Two big things happened today for Chestnut Brew Works:
1. We brewed our first batch of beer in the brewery (it was a Class II WheatWater pilot batch…see pics below).
Brewing up a pilot batch of Class II Wheatwater!
2. Federal TTB Approval!! That means that we can now begin to produce beer for sale. We still need to get our labels approved by both the Federal and WV State governments, but we *HOPE* that doesn’t take more than a month or so. We’ll keep you posted.
Once we received the email stating Federal TTB approval, we had to celebrate with a finely aged bottle of The Mo-Bel Prize!
It’s been a while!! I’ve been so busy working on the brewery, I’ve had no time for updates!
The brewery is now renovated, cleaned, and ready for brewing (check out the pictures below)! I’m still awaiting notice from the Federal and State officials for permission to sell the beer that is brewed on the premises.
The next step is to brew some test batches to fine tune the process and equipment. We’ll be sure to post pictures of the brewery in action!
Walls are painted, lights are up, sink is finished, custom ventilation fan ready to go into window, and …… drumroll …… brew pots are in place!!
Propane tanks are installed and plumbed. Now we’re cooking with….I’ll spare you the cliche.
Fermentors in the fermenting room!
Well, the drywall panels are up, the sink is in place, and the doors are being put in. The door to the fermentation room has a nice window in it so I can see the yeasties doing their thing in the stainless conicals (which should be arriving shortly).
Framing out a counter/shelf/storage area for the commercial stainless steel sink. Cleanliness and sanitation are paramount in brewing good beer, so this sink will prove invaluable!
Access to the fermentation room.
I also recruited the help of a retired naval submarine worker for some pointers on welding together a stand for the mash tun, brew kettle, and propane burners.
The 55 gallon mash tun will go on the left side of the stand, and the 55 gallon boil kettle will go on the right side. The 30 gallon sparge tank is going on a separate stand. I am going to mount two 210,000 BTU buners underneath the boil kettle to achieve the rigorous boil necessary to make good beer.
Now, to finish the drywall joints with tape and mud…..when can I start making beer?
Last week, I submitted my Brewer’s Notice Application packet to the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB, formerly ATF). In addition to Federal Government approval, I must also apply for a license with the State of West Virginia, which I plan on doing within the next couple of weeks.
I’ve been keeping myself busy in the mean time, however, by working on the brewery!!
Fermentation room underway!
The contractors are making some real progress!!! As you can see to the left, the fermentation room is walled off. Insulation will go into the wall and ceiling, and we will be able to control the temperature for optimum ale fermentation. This room will fit all six of our conical fermenters.
Bill painted the ceiling black, which gave the brewery a nice industrial look. Also, you’ll notice….electricity and plumbing (the two white tubes running along the celing)!! Those will be helpful in brewing up some delicious beer!
Hello Everyone! Thanks for visiting the site. Renovations on the brewery are moving along. Please navigate the site to find out more about Chestnut Brew Works and our beers.