I spent Saturday, August 24, hanging out in the park next to Central Street Farmhouse in Downtown Bangor, three local homebrewer’s got together to show off their talents and a variety of homebrewing techniques. Jerry Robichaud, Cory Ricker and Tim Wilson all packed up their homebrew gear and set up in the park, giving anyone who passed by the opportunity to stop in and chat about homebrewing.
Jerry Robichaud was brewing an all grain version of Central Street Farmhouse’s West Coast IPA, he was demonstrating the standard all grain mash teqnique with batch sparging. When I arrived at 10am, Jerry had already mashed in his grains, he was the first one of the group to begin boiling, complete his hop additions and begin the cooling process. I took particular interest in Jerry’s cooling process which proved to be considerably efficient, he was using a small pond pump to recirculate ice water from a cooler though his immersion chiller, this process cooled his wort quickly but also produced very little wastewater as he only used what was in the cooler.
Cory Ricker brewed a Citrusy American Porter and was trying a new adventure, his first BIAB (brew in a bag) batch. This method skips the mash tun altogether, the grains are placed in a mesh straining bag and placed in the brew kettle where it is allowed to mash. The bag is removed after starch conversion is complete and the kettle goes onto the burner to begin the boil. Two ounces of Motueka hops and ½ ounce of bitter orange peel will give this porter a citrusy kick. This was my first time watching the BIAB method, Cory used insulation and blankets to keep the kettle up to mash temperatures, not having to sparge kept the time down and Cory completed his brewday not long after Jerry.
Tim Wilson had the most ambitious brewday, he was doing a parti-gyle, this method starts off by mashing a large grain bill, in Tim’s case 22 pounds of grain went into the mash tun. The first running’s are collected and have a high sugar content which are brewed and become the first beer, Tim did an English Barleywine. The grains are then run off a second time, the wort collected has a lower sugar content and produces a smaller beer, Tim was adding a half pound each of crystal 60 and chocolate malt to produce a Pale Mild ale. Tim’s brewday was by far the longest, when I left the park at 3pm he was just beginning the Pale Mild, Aside from the fact the he was brewing two beers off of one grain bed his Barleywine needed a 90 minute mash and 105 minute boil, but I’m thinking the payoff will come when Tim gets to sample that 12.5% Barleywine in December.
I really enjoyed hanging out with these three homebrewers; I find it interesting to see the similarities and difference between brewing setups and processes, some examples:
- All three homebrewers used Immersion chillers to cool their wort but Jerry recirculated his chiller water though an ice bath with a pond pump, decreasing his chilling time and reducing the amount of water required.
- Tim ferments his beer in a glass carboy, Jerry uses plastic “Better Bottles” and Cory uses a plastic bucket.
- All three brewers displayed how diligent they are in sanitizing their equipment and caring for the beer which in turn will produce a much better product.
It was also fun to watch these guys interacting with customers of the store who popped in to see what was brewing along with the general public who stopped into see what was going on, all three of them are obviously passionate about their hobby and more than happy to chat about homebrewing and beer. This brewday in the Central Street Farmhouse Park is a fun way to show off a fun and rewarding hobby and allow some local hombrewers to show off their skills.
Check out More photos from this brewday on my Facebook Album