After months of construction and inspections, Second Line Brewing finally achieved legally licensed status this week and immediately began brewing one if its anticipated flagship beers, an IPA. (Owners Mark and Karen Logan don't really believe in naming their beers, preferring to just let the style speak for itself.)
It was a long day of brewing - the grain was milled a bit too fine, resulting in a very long sparging process, which is when the liquid wort is removed from the grain. If the grain is too finely milled, it can gunk up the tubes and make that whole process go slowly. Happily, it doesn't affect the quality of the beer. And the team learned from it and will adjust the process for future brews.
Note: wort is the liquid created with water, grain, and hops before it's fermented with yeast and becomes alcoholic beer. As the old saying goes, "Brewers make wort. Yeast makes beer.")
The brewhouse has been under construction for the better part of a year. Mark Logan credits his vendors for high quality work - specifically WDG Architects Engineers, who took on designing the mechanical, electricity, and plumbing engineering. The plumbing work and the glycol manifolds in the brewing system was taken care of AJ's Plumbing, and the concrete floors (very important when creating a drainage system) were laid out by Raft Jones from Changing Lives Construction. "He's a chain smoking preacher, and does awesome work," Logan says with a laugh.
The IPA was brewed with "old school" hops, Logan says, including Centennial, Chinook, and some Cascade. "It's all about whatever we can get," he adds, noting that the most popular hops are locked up in contract to other breweries and not available to him at this point. That should change once now that he's able to enter into hop contracts as a licensed brewery, but for now, Logan is confident that these old school hops will translate into a solid, enjoyable, balanced, and tasty IPA. The beer should weigh in at 6.5% ABV, and based on the numbers when it went into fermentation, it should achieve that projected alcohol volume.
Logan and his team - head brewer Karl Menzer and assistant brewer Shane Glackin - meticulously monitored every step of the process. Logan, a former biochemist, was especially involved in ensuring the correct chemistry of the water and the wort with various salts, minerals, and tests to ensure the best quality product.
The next step for Second Line is getting its product out to area taps, which should happen in about a month. Menzer, Glackin, and Logan are brewing the brewery's other other flagship beer, a pale ale, next week, and will keep busy brewing both for the market as well as small batches on its 3bbl pilot system for testing and sampling.
Both Logans are currently involved in achieving ADA compliance so that they may open a tap room in the coming months.