Pilot Brewery

February 9, 2014 at 2:28 AM

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The pilot brewery is up and running!

We decided to go with Stout Tanks for the pilot brewery. It’s a 1 BBL HERMS system. We have yet to hook up the HERMS, but we are tweaking things to get ready for it.

A HERMS is a Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System. Wort from the mash tun is pumped into the HLT which has a temperature controller switch controlling the gas burner, flicking it on and off to maintain the temperature of the water in the HLT. This type of system is beneficial for doing step mashes and having clear wort go into the boil kettle when you sparge.

The brewhouse consists of a 55 gallon boil kettle, 40 gallon mash tun, and 40 gallon HLT with the HERMS coil. We have 3 stainless 40 gallon conical fermenters that fit into a refrigerator. We are using our kegerator trailer as a fermentation trailer at the moment. We have 3 more fermenters on order as well as 3 bright tanks.

For chilling the wort after the boil, we chose to go with a two stage chilling process. The wort goes through a Duda Diesel 60 plate, 18 inch, heat exchanger, which is cooled with tap water. 200+ degree wort goes in and 75 degree wort comes out! This plate chiller is a beast. Then the wort goes into a Blichmann Therminator that has ice water circulating through it. Depending on how much ice we use, we can chill the wort down to 40 degrees! It only takes 30 pounds of ice to get the wort to 55 degrees which is our pitching temperature.

We are building a keg washer out of a three section sink based on the design by Colorado Boy Brewing.

Upgrades to come:

Blichmann Tower of Power – to control the HERMS

Burners Р we have cheap Chinese jet burners right now and they are inefficient.

Oxygenation – inline oxygenation stone with regulator.

Sanitary pumps – we are currently using March 315HF pumps. They work great, but they are do not use sanitary fittings. We have to clean the pump head and valves after every brew to avoid contamination.

We hope to have the brewery entirely ready to rock and roll soon. When we find a location we will be able to set up right away and submit our paperwork to the TTB for licensing.

Pictures to come, cheers!