First Batch Released!

Hey y’all.  Just wanted to make a quick mention that our first beer will be released tonight at the Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park!  Come join us in celebrating with a pint of Solidarity, our Black Mild Ale.

Funny name, you say?  Well, look it up and maybe things will start to make sense.  For us it seemed apropos, given the bureaucratic battles we had to fight to bring the people of Los Angeles their own microbrewery.

Well, back to work cleaning kegs…See you all tonight, and thanks again for all your support and words of encouragement.  Cheers!!!

The First Brew!

Yes, you heard right!  After passing our Health Department inspection last week, then scrambling around to get ingredients ordered, we managed to pull together our first brew session this past Saturday, the 14th of November.

Being our first batch on this system, we figured it would be a very long, hard day of work, and we were certainly right about that…From start to finish it took us 19 hours!  Somehow though, there seems to be just a little bit less stress knowing that we have beer in our fermenters.

Here’s a few photos of the day.  We were scrambling around so much for the first half of the day though, we didn’t manage to get any pictures of the mash-in.  Oh well, there’s always next time….

Here’s my dad setting up to do some transfers.  The pump he’s working on is receiving the mash run-off and transferring it into the kettle.  The pump in front of him is pumping the hot water into the mash tun for our sparge.

You’ll notice most of these pictures look a little hazy…We were surprised at just how humid it got in there throughout the day.  Downright tropical even.

And here’s part of the source of the humidity…our sparge arm (on the right).  For those who don’t know, sparge is a German word meaning “rinse”, so we’re basically just rinsing our mash with hot water.

Here’s a better shot of the sparge arm in place and in action.  I’m looking on, getting a nice steam bath…

Actually, I’m just watching the sparge level to make sure the grain bed isn’t getting too exposed and dry as the wort flows out of the mash tun and into the kettle…

Ah, the first wort flowing into the kettle…a beautiful sight!

Ting watches as the kettle fills…

…and then…

…the boil begins!

Here’s the spent grains in the mash tun, after all of the wort has been run-off.  I know it doesn’t look like much…but remember this is a mild, so you really don’t need a whole lot of malt…

Either way, you’ll notice there is no “grain shute” from which to eject the spent grains.  So in other words, climb in and start shovelling!

Okay, well, skip ahead a few steps (because we didn’t manage to get any pictures taken in-between) and here’s our yeast pitch, ready to add to our chilled wort as it flows into the fermenter.  Pretty cool to have a giant package of yeast with our name on it!  7.5 liters worth of yeast in fact.  The homebrewers out there will recognize the 1098 number on the yeast package too…

And finally, here’s a picture of our finished wort!  Yeast pitched and ready to begin fermenting.

And the exhausted brewteam, ready to call it a day!  Until next time…

A Few Beers

As I mentioned in the last post, we’ve been playing around with a few new beers over the last several weeks, and trying some new ideas.  These beers aren’t necessarily the “main beers” we’ll be offering at Eagle Rock Brewery, but we were happy enough with these experiments that we’ll certainly be brewing them in the future, and tweaking the recipes as we go.

So here they are, along with some of our impressions…

Black Mild

“Mild” refers to an English-style beer that is malt-accented yet light flavored and low in alcohol.

Our Black Mild is dark and almost completely opaque, but has a surprising light body and an extreme drinkability.  We use a variety of roasted malts to provide toasty, nutty flavors and a bit of complexity, with notes of toffee, dark chocolate and a hint of smoke.

 

Color: 24 SRM

Gravity: 1.038

Bitterness: 14.5 IBU

ABV: 3.3% 

 

Lemongrass Wit

Belgian-style ‘wit-bier’ or white ale has a light wheat base and is typically spiced with coriander and orange peel. We’ve added a unique twist by adding lemongrass and kefir lime leaves instead.

Our Lemongrass Wit is pale straw colored and slightly hazy in appearance, with invigorating spicy and floral aromas. The light body and subtle sweetness of this beer accentuate the peppery citrus flavors. These lively flavors, combined with the slight tartness in the finish create a crisp and refreshing experience. 

Color: 3 SRM

Gravity: 1.045

Bitterness: 11.2 IBU

ABV: 4.7% 


XPA

Extra Pale Ale (XPA) is our version of American Pale Ale, a medium-bodied ale with a moderate alcohol content and a substantial presence of hops.

Our XPA is light copper-colored, with a subtle malt backbone and medium body.  A process called ‘dry-hopping’ delivers big hop aromas with the essence of citrus, freshly cut grass, and bold hop bitterness. These assertive flavors then give way to a subtle tartness and a hint of bread that linger on the palate. 

Color: 9 SRM

Gravity: 1.054

Bitterness: 52 IBU

ABV: 5.3% 

 


Unfortunately we haven’t yet figured out the ‘scratch-n-sniff’ feature on WordPress, and from what I’m told, licking the computer screen doesn’t work either, so my apologies…