September 16, 2009 12:00 AM
The scent of spent grain wafted through the open spaces of Kinston’s Mother Earth Brewery on Monday as the operators began their first full day of brewing.
“Mother Earth Brewery is putting Kinston on the North Carolina beer map,” said Josh Brewer, the company’s Brew Master.
Kinston native Trent Mooring and his father-in-law Stephen Hill — both passionate lovers of craft beers — hatched their idea for a local brewery last summer.
“Trent and I said, ‘Let’s start a beer company so we can brew beer the way we want to,’ ” Hill said.
Demolition of the interior of the building at Herritage and North streets — which housed Pulley’s Barbecue, Stroud’s and Suddreth’s drug stores, the Smart Shopper grocery store and many other Kinston businesses over the years — began during February, followed by construction of the brewery within its walls.
“It’s a very exciting day, extremely exciting” Mooring said Monday, looking around the brewery.
He, Hill and Brewer mixed grain, water and hops together, running it through a series of mixers and tanks, to create their first batch of their Dark Cloud-brand beer, a Munich Dunkel dark lager.
“That takes the longest to ferment, so we decided to do that one first,” Mooring explained.
Mooring and Hill sifted through trash barrels filled to the brim with damp grains left over from the first part of the process, during which grain is mixed with hot water to create wort, the basic building block of the beer — the leftover grain is donated to local livestock farmers.
Once the wort is complete, it moves to the kettle, another tank in which it is boiled and hops are added.
The mixture’s next destination is the whirlpool, where it is spun rapidly to allow all the sediment to settle to the bottom.
The refined mixture is then sent through a heat exchanger, where it is immediately cooled down and piped into a fermenting tank.
Mooring said the Dark Cloud will sit in a fermenter for about two weeks, and will then be moved to a storage tank and from there to the on-site bottling line or a keg.
Hill and Mooring said a grand opening will be held during October; the brewery will then be open for public tastings and tours.
“I’m very happy to see this all come together as planned,” Hill remarked.
David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original article from Kinston.com