It’s Electric!

Homebrewers, take note. Today’s Beer Diary is all about our experience brewing a new set of beers (“RyePA Two Ways”) on the Electric Brewery. It is as awesome as it sounds. Boogie woogie woogie.

Now that you’ve got The Electric Slide stuck in your head from now until eternity (I’m sorry I’m not sorry). This is the coolest, most badass homebrewing set up I’ve seen. Ever.

You see, recently Mike made friends with a co-worker of his, Sean, with a similar passion for homebrewing. Little did we know that this “passion” was really more like an obsession. In a good way. Basically what I’m saying is, we have a new best friend.

Boiling the mash water
Boiling the mash water

Sean built his Electric Brewery in the past year so it’s still all shiny and gorgeous. So far he’s brewed four batches on it. Personally I’m a huge fan of his IPA, it’s stellar. He also makes a nice, biscuity malt amber, and a fine pale ale. Did I mention he has a tap system that comes out of his wall? Yea. It’s awesome.

As soon as our mutual love of beer was discovered, we made plans to brew together on his gorgeous system. I’ve been wanting to brew a Rye IPA for the past couple months, and, after my experience at Revolution Brewing in Chicago, I had started to dream about Belgian IPAs as well. One day I realized, why not try a Belgian Rye IPA? For the recipe, I wanted to go for a really clean, simple malt profile to let the yeast and rye shine through. Mike further honed this idea by suggesting that we split the batch into two, one with a standard ale yeast, and the other with a Belgian yeast.

Makes sense, right? What made this idea even more perfect was the final execution, aka, making this magic happen on the the Electric Brewery system. Working with Sean, we could actually do a FIFTEEN gallon batch, split it into three five gallon batches, and try three separate yeasts! One that Sean cultured, a purchased ale, and a Belgian wit.

The Electric Brewery is some serious business. The most amazing thing about the setup is that it is almost completely automated (I realize after some feedback that this is a poor choice of words, maybe idiot-proof is more appropriate). Once you’ve got the basic orientation to what each button does, it’s smooth sailing. Set the temperatures you want and get moving. The system was designed by Kal in Canada, who amazingly put every single step by step instruction online, which is great, because this thing is not cheap. If the online instructions aren’t enough, you can also buy the complete, step by step book for just $20.  Not to say this is an easy project, but they provide every bit of information you could ever need to create this beauty, mostly for free, which is kind of incredible if you think about it.

The Electric Brewery

The other genius thing about the EB is you can brew indoors year round. While it’s a pretty cute story that our Vanilla Porter got the name “Vanilla Storm Porter,” because a few cups (at least) of rain water got dumped into the boil, being indoors is way better. We’ve been brewing outdoors ever since we started brewing all grain because our giant pot didn’t fit, nor boil very easily, on our stove top. It was such a treat to brew inside, enjoying a comfortable, temperate beer cave, with new friends.

RyePA Two Ways bubbling away after only 12 hours. Reasons to use a yeast starter!
RyePA Two Ways bubbling away after only 12 hours. Reasons to use a yeast starter!

Brewing is most definitely an activity to be shared. It was especially nice to share the experience with Sean and his lovely wife, Becky, who is wholey supportive of his crazy hobby. I can only foresee lots of collaboration beers with these two. Mike and I are already planning out our summer beer recipes, so I hope they’re prepared for visitors soon.

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