Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pink Boots at Portsmouth and Drive to Hopkinton

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business." ~Michael J. Fox

August 29: Today I brewed at Portsmouth Brewery, the sister brewery to Smuttynose. Tod Mott has been Head Brewer there for four years. I've known Tod ever since I met him at the first Redbone's Northwest Beer Festival, which must be more than 12 or maybe even 15 years ago.
In the photo above, Brewmaster/ Owner Peter Egelston leads a worshipful Teri and Tod in honoring a graduated cylinder and hydrometer full of wort. If ya can't be silly on a blog, where can ya be?

Tod came to Portsmouth with a lot of brewing experience under his belt (and a lot of beer fans who love his beer), so Peter was very happy to bring a brewer of Tod's caliber and reputation on board.

Tod has made some nifty changes to bring Portsmouth Brewery into the modern age.

Portsmouth is a JV Northwest 7-barrel system built and installed in 1991. The brewery is built on two levels, and it's crammed into a pretty tight space. Somehow Tod and his Assistant Brewer, Tyler Jones managed to brew over 1,000 barrels last year, which means four batches per week all summer long.

One of Tod's upgrades is shown below right - a stainless chute for the spent grain. In the photo, recent American Brewers Guild graduate and current Portmouth Intern, Bart Ugorowski, is shown pulling the spent mash.

Photo at left, L to R: Tyler, Bart, Teri and Tod.

Although Portsmouth doesn't have a silo, Tod lessened the heavy grain burden by installing a chain-vey system and lowering the mill half through the floor so the 50-55 lb bags only need to be lifted about knee high. This scenario makes milling and mashing in a lot easier than it used to be.

Still, I say, "Get a silo!" You can read my opinions and dramatization of small efficient (and inefficient) grain handling systems in my 1993 article on Grain Handling here. You'll need Adobe Acrobat to download and read this article.

Portsmouth gifted me a t-shirt and a 22 oz. bottle of Tod's Blueberry Ale, made with real Maine blueberries.

Shortly after lunch I packed up my stuff and followed Tod out to Smuttynose where I revved up the minivan and trailer and followed Tod out to the highway.
Off I drove, heading south toward Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the starting place of the Boston Marathon. That's where my 7th grade friend, Allison lives with her family. Photo above shows Allison and me enjoying her backyard cabana.

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