Today was a huge day for Skull Coast! When Kate, Alexa, Meredith and I arrived at the Brewery the Applied Industrial Service team was working hard to install our kettle condensing unit (pictured below).
For those that have following our blog, they'll remember how we can't vent the vapor from the kettle up through the ceiling, since there is a restaurant above us.
The Kettle condenser will take the vapor from the boil, convert it to water, and then send it either to the drains or back to the boiler (another option that we are working on). Sorry the photo is a little bit blurred, but this was kind of an action shot since the Kettle condenser was being swung into place and quickly attached.
It should be noted that the images above and below still have the protective white wrapping still over the stainless steel.
With the Kettle condenser unit attached and the Mash Tun and Kettle/Whirlpool levelled, the Applied Industrial Services (AIS) team moved the four 30bbl fermenters and 30bbl bright tanks were all moved into their spaces.
While today was certainly a milestone, we still have much more to do.
The image to the right will show you all the piping that still needs to be connected (in the background).
Besides all the wonderful equipment that has already been installed into the Brewery, one of our most prized possessions is our automated control panel (seen in the foreground).
This one single piece of equipment is a huge investment!
While the automated control panel costs more than a luxury car, it's well worth it! It was a very tough choice to add this to our equipment purchase, but it does two things for us:
(1) It gives our Brewster, Alexa Long, the ability to control the entire brewing process from one station, and
(2) It gives Skull Coast the ability to consistently produce the same brewing quality every single time.
With this single piece of equipment, we are on par with some of the larger boys. Not the Big Boys, of course. With the Big Boys, everything is computerized. But this piece of equipment gives us the ability to create the perfect brew, and then dial it in consistently every single time in the future.
Alexa, from the platform, can move the malts from the mill to the mash tun. Add the exact desired amount of water at the exact temperature. Keep the temperature at an exact level. Then, with one click transfer to the kettle. And so on, and so on, and so on! Everything exactly the same every single time!
With the equipment now towering over us and completely in place, we decided that it was time go get some food and a few beers at Cresent Moon in Hickory -- which was fantastic!