The dark side of brewing

Organised chaos. Or chaotically organised. Take your pick. In the midst of phone calls to a hop supplier, you could be simultaneously checking on the mash temperature, updating the brew sheet, pointing frantically at the stack of boxes that are meant to be moved and nodding emphatically at some question you couldn’t make out but are sure a nod of approval will sufficiently answer.

The later in the day it gets, the more goes on – orders, deliveries, phone calls, emails, texts, tweets and a request for a fax number that heralds a bout of nostalgia for long lost commodore 64 days.

Which is why we’ve taken to the dark side of brewing – brewing at night time. Or at least early morning brewing. And you know what? Its fantastic. Almost zen-like quietness and absorption. As a small brewery starting up, there aren’t enough hours in the day for a two man operation to get round to everything. The way we figure, nothing should distract us from the brewing cycle so…

Our brew days start early – The mash could easily start at 3 or 4 in the morning with pre-brew preparation going on since 2am. Aside from the sleep interruption, there’s something becalming about being able to focus on what’s important. Generally by 7am as most people are brewing their tea or coffee, we’re well on our way to brewing beer. The sparge will have already begun and the kettle elements will be turning on to begin heating the wort. By 11am, we’re probably organising the whirlpool and cold break and getting the yeast ready for pitching.

Blackguard - From Grain to Glass

Blackguard – From Grain to Glass

It mightn’t work for every brewery but it works for us at the moment as we grow. There’s no Zzzz inducing news bulletin on the hour every hour and no repetitive adverts to wade through. Some stations even pump out a truly bangin’ array of uninterrupted tunes on their play list during the twilight hours. Did we mention zen-like?

One thing we did notice however is sometimes you lose track of time. Whilst sparging and having a tea break, we’d often start answering some emails from people meaning those who hadn’t turned off their instant notifications were getting 4 and 5am pings on their phone notifying them of a new mail. Still though, at least they know Munster Brewery were thinking of them….