Hi everyone, Neil and Mark here....
It's officially the home stretch now! For those who may have missed it, we passed all our inspections with the town. Construction is officially done! There are just a few more steps now until the doors of Varitage are swung wide open...
We recently hit another major milestone in the Varitage Saga. Construction is now complete. We have passed all our final inspections with the town and received our Certificate of Occupancy. Our team worked tirelessly getting this brewery ready. We're beyond proud with how it came out. Building a brewery isn't easy. Educating inspection officers on something they may have never seen is even harder. The town has been great welcoming us with open arms and helping us bring craft beer to Bloomfield. Inspections went off without a hitch. We had to explain a few details in the process of opening our doors, but it was a hurdle that was easily crossed with some constructive conversations.
This week we have been working with a handful of our specialized contractors on finalizing some equipment installs. The main piece of the puzzle was tied to venting our steam from our kettle. We initially had a condensation stack which vents the steam out of our space. We had to pivot at the last minute because given the layout of our space, in coordination with the apartment complex above us, a condensation stack wasn't going to be the correct solution for us. We had to go back to our manufacturer to come up with a new solution. It was a pretty easy fix.
We switched to what is called a condenser stack. Condenser stacks act a little different. Instead of venting the steam there are waterjets placed on the unit that cools the steam (a gas) back down to a liquid (water). We can reuse this water for certain cleaning applications and then properly dispose of the water after we're done. A lot of brewers are against this stack because of the water usage however, due to our size and proper coordination with our engineers, we believe we can mitigate this loss of water and it will be better for our overall operation.
Now that our new condenser stack is installed we can now move onto some more exciting tasks. The plan is to start running water tests on our system by the end of this week/early next week. It is the first stage of dialing in our system. We will test to make sure all seals on our hard piped system are secure, our pumps are in working condition and also start timing different stages of the brew day in order to optimize time and efficiency. Once those tests are complete we'll move onto starting to clean tanks.
There is a TON of cleaning to do. We will first have to passivate all our vessels as well as our pipes on the brew house. We want to make sure all manufacturing oils are gone before we start production. Once passivation is done we will then clean, sanitize and purge all of our fermentation vessels so they are ready to receive fresh wort once we get started on the brewing.
After today, (Monday 8/14/2023) our brewhouse is fully operational. The last piece of the puzzle was the installation of our CO2 and Oxygen (essential to the production of beer.) Even though everything is operational, we unfortunately are not able to start brewing the first beer in Bloomfield just yet...We are currently waiting on a call from our investigator from the state ABC to schedule our final inspection. Once we pass that inspection we can then start churning out beer and race to open.
Things should start getting really interesting in the next week or so. We think its the right time for everyone to start getting really excited. We'll talk soon!