Wednesday, March 18, 2009

First Wort!

We have had the brewhouse off-line for the past two weeks as we upgrade it to accommodate the demand of the thirsty Schlafly fans. We have added a new, larger kettle that will utilize an internal calandria to provide a more efficient and effective boil.

We are also automating much of the process utilizing Siemens technology and their Braumat Compact software. It will allow our brewers to focus on producing the best beer possible with the new tools, rather than juggling valves and connections.

Well, the first batch of beer has made its way through the new brewhouse yesterday (Saint Patty's Day, appropriately enough). Here James "Otto" Ottolini, our production manager and resident engineer, and brewer Eric Roy examine and taste the first batch, sampled from the whirlpool. This is just prior to being transferred to the fermentation cellar.

I am happy to report the first batch is happily fermenting away...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Schlafly Photo of the Day

The ultimate in last minute dry-hopping; or how to make your beer pals jealous.

*Note: a small vial of isomerized hop extract may be easier to transport than a bale of whole leaf hops. But a hope head must do what a hop head must do....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Schlafly Photo of the Day

Nalgene sculptures.

All you need is an autoclave and Nalgene bottles that refrain from indicating whether they are autoclave-friendly polypropylene or the more pliable polyethylene.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Schlafly Photo of the Day

A look at the brewhouse as it once was. This photo is actually from this past summer. We are beginning the final phase of our brewhouse upgrade this weekend. The upgrade includes: a new, larger kettle with an internal calandria; an integrated CIP system; and automation provided by Siemens and their Braumat software.

The kettle is actually in place already, it was installed after the above photo was taken. It's located between the whirlpool and the existing kettle, which will become a hot wort receiver, allowing us to collect sweet wort from the next batch before the prior batch has finished boiling.

By integrating a wort receiver, automating the remaining mechanical systems on the brewhouse (most of the valves are already run using air-powered actuators-and using the Braumat computer control system to seamlessly drive the process, we hope to increase our efficiency greatly, allowing the brewer to produce more wort per shift.

This will help us keep up the growing demand for Schlafly beer. We thank everyone who made this upgrade necessary. Cheers!
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