Firstly, an apology – I’m typing this having just watched Leicester get beaten 4-1 by relegation tipped Bournemouth, so if it feels like this has been typed with some furious keyboard taps, you’ll know why!
So – An update - We’ve been quite busy again since the last update with some seriously big items chalked off of our to-do list!
The big-ticket items that we’ve ripped through are:
WE’VE ONLY GONE AND GOT OURSELVES A BLOODY STILL! Anyone who follows us on Instagram will be fully abreast of our recent deliveries, but my enthusiasm about it hasn’t dwindled in the fortnight or so since it landed. Pictured below in one of the many boxes and packages being pushed down the street by a friendly delivery chap prior to being hauled through our new material storage area (formally filled with motorbikes) with no assistance other than a length of rope, some long pieces of wood and some very helpful family members fuelled by tea and bacon sandwiches. This all culminated in the second picture – a semi assembled Glass/Copper/Stainless beauty which is yet to be named – I’m secretly dubbing her Krystal although that may be too stripper(y) – check back for the final PG rated name.
A glimpse under the cover
Better than Christmas
And after some brute force and just enough ignorance – she has arrived in the distillery! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to capture an image of 4 blokes walking down the garden carrying a still with a piece of rope and a length of timber!
Bubble caps assembled and placed in the column
Assembly (almost) complete
This is a modular product from StillDragon which gives us some decent flexibility between products as we can add and remove plates and include an onion cap etc. as we extend our product range, although right now, I just can’t wait to let ‘er rip!
As you can see, we’re really cracking on with the distillery building itself having also given it a lick of paint and cleared the remaining gym equipment out. We’ve got our electrician lined up for the final wiring and commissioning at the start of August to coincide with Western Power carrying out their connection works. So all being well, we should be fully operational in early august.
We’re going to be automating as many of the operations as we can, in particular the operation of the still itself which is going to be driven by a software package which is yet to be chosen. This will drive solid state relays. My spare time this week has been taken up with designing and assembling this control box, which is nearing completion too – again this is waiting on the electrical connection to test properly. I haven’t photographed this yet as it isn’t finished – but I’ll get this pictured and the spec outlined on the next blog.
Aside from the shiny parts, we’ve hammered through the muck and bullets works too – which to be completely honest is almost entirely due to my old man’s hard graft. Thanks to him, we’re now complete in regard to the externals in front of the distillery, despite him having to almost entirely re-do the slabbing that I had done previously to tweak the levels! He’s also helped me crash in a trench the length of our drive from the electric meter box down to the footpath and lay the duct for the new 3 phase electric supply. Now a 500mm deep trench doesn’t sound a lot until you realise that the builder who built our house used aggregate that wouldn’t be out of place on the M1, let alone our drive!
Well on the way to 500mm deep!
1 of 3 sections excavated, duct laid, sanded and taped. On to the next one.
Backfilled and made good – 2 days hard graft and its good as new.
Now that we’re ducted up, we’re all guns blazing ready for western power to do their thing and for the electrician to give us some juice in the main distillery building.
Aside from the construction, seeing as we hopefully have an operational distillery on the horizon we’ve been hard at work on our rum. Although we haven’t got an operational still yet, we’ve still been able to start working on the microbial composition of our fermentations. Traditionally, rum has always been a product born from a unique blend of a multitude of microorganisms in addition to the yeasts that we've all (mostly) heard of, and ours will be no different. We’ve selected a yeast that we want to explore as our main yeast which we will keep under our hats, as well as some local wild yeasts which will be added to the wash at varying times as it progresses, so this will be a genuinely unique product that will be Leicestershire at its core. We’ve also got some other little critters that will be cultivated within the wash to give us some depth of flavour and some of the esters that we’re looking for to take our rum to the next level. For now, these little guys are staying under temperature controlled lock and key in our re-purposed mash tun.
Embracing the funk.
So, we’re inching our way closer and closer to being able to get cracking on our rum, and we cannot wait!
At least the Lazydog Distillery news is better than the Leicester City news – Still, Lauren tells me its only a game!