Surprise, we are in the midst of another expansion! It's even kind of a surprise for us, as we swore we wouldn't even think of another expansion for about a year after having just gone through a big one a few months ago! But it was inevitable, being such a small brewery to start, growth is a constant.
Lifting the fermenters upright.
The difference with this expansion is that we are upping the size of our brewhouse from the itsy bitsy 3 barrels (bbl) that we started it all off with, to 7 bbl. Past expansions have always been about getting more fermenters and brewing more often, but this time it's the mash tun, brew kettle and hot liquor tank that are getting bigger (2.3 times bigger). So with each batch of beer we brew, we're making more than twice as much beer as before (same pain = more gain!).
Admiring the new brewhouse.
Don't get too excited though. We are actually going to be brewing less often to start off, so we'll only be making about 40% more beer than we are now. However, with this step, we will have set ourselves up better for more production in the future with the addition of more fermenters. After this expansion we will be using our current four 7 bbl fermenters as well as two new 15 bbl fermenters (which look huge compared to our original 3 bbl).
While the new toys arrived last Monday, we are still waiting on a control panel so everything won't be hooked up till the spring. Matt and Alex will just have to stare at the new equipment for a few months before they can actually brew on it. We also need to build a bigger cold room, yet again, in anticipation of having to store more kegs and bottles.
Easy does it!
Once we make the switch over to the new equipment, we'll be shipping all of our old 3 bbl brewing equipment (brewhouse and fermenters) down to Nelson Brewing Company in BC. They've purchased it to start up a pilot brewing system for their new tasting room and growler filling station. It's nice that the equipment will be staying in Canada, and going to a well established brewery in the Kootneys. Maybe we can even go visit it sometime in the future and check out Nelson Brewing's new tasting room.