Greetings from North Country. It's been awhile since we sent an update and there's a lot to catch you up on.
On January 25th, we successfully purchased and received our brewhouse and cellar equipment from Stout Tanks and Kettles. After a 1,600 mile journey from Portland, Oregon, all tanks, hoses, and parts have been accounted for. We want to give a special thank you to the Hidden Paradise Builders, Walker Lumber Company, and Dave's Painting for assisting us with the delivery.
We chose this 5 barrel brewery for a number of reasons, but wanted to share its single best feature. We'll be using what's called a HERMS (Heat Exchanger Recirculating Mash System), which allows us to control and step-up mash temperatures instantly. More simply, we'll have the power to run mashing wort (sugary liquid that yeast ferments) through a coil that's submerged in hot water, allowing us to elevate mash temperatures (rather than most breweries that have to pick a single infusion mash temperature). Grain starches and enzymatic activity do different things at varying temperatures (typically between 148° - 158°). A simple example of this would be wort that's mashed at 148° vs. 158°. The lower temperature will produce a highly fermentable wort, but leave it dry and unsweet (a lager would typically follow this mash temperature). On the high end, a more sweet and unfermentable wort is produced (some wild beers that need more complex sugars may benefit from higher temperatures). This process will give us more control over our mash process, and improve wort health and balanced beer profiles.
As we assemble and test our new equipment, completion of the taproom approaches. Our deck, walls, log supports, and tin walls are up - only needing to finish the floors and railing systems we plan to use.
As we progress, our plans to open in April are still on track. We'll continue to keep you updated on relevant updates. Please visit www.portagebeer.com to subscribe to our newsletter and get additional updates.
Portage Brewing Team