Archive for the ‘Brewing’ Category

CO2 Consumption in a Brewery

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

A barrel is 4.2 cubic feet. So at sea level and 70 deg. F a 5 barrel tank will have 21 cubic feet of gas in it when the gauge reads 0 psi. The volume of gas required to take that tank up to 14.7 (1 atmosphere) will be another 21 cubic feet.

In other words, the volume of gas used (assuming no waste) is 4.2 cubic feet per atmosphere of pressure. The math looks like this: number of barrels x 4.2 x atmospheres = total volume of system. Remember that when the gauge reads 0 at sea level the pressure is already at 1 atmosphere.

Source: Dan @ McDantim

Categories: Brewing, CO2

Is the craft beer bubble about to burst?

April 4, 2014 Leave a comment

EVERYONE in the beer industry is talking about the damn bubble.

They’re either worried that it’s going to burst, or vowing that it will continue to grow.

Like the earlier dot-com and housing bubbles, the craft-beer bubble is the product of what pessimists say is unsustainable growth, with about eight new breweries opening nationwide every week.

The bubble can’t help but explode, they say. Here are three reasons we’re all gonna get soaked:

1. There are too many breweries

There are about 2,800 breweries nationwide, with as many as 1,000 more on the horizon.

Meanwhile, BudMillerCoors are glomming onto the sector, either with specialty brands ( Shock Top, Leinenkugel, Blue Moon) or acquisitions (Goose Island, Blue Point). Other established operations, including Stone, Victory, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas, are in the midst of aggressive expansions that will increase capacity.

There are not enough slices of the pie to go around.

2. There are too many brands

Wholesalers gripe that there are too many SKUs, or stock-keeping units, the unique ID for every brand and packaging type. Consider: Most breweries produce at least 10 separate brands – that’s nearly 30,000 separate SKUs, and that doesn’t even count imports or the variety of 12-packs, 30-packs, bombers, cans, etc.

Even if stores could cram it all onto their shelves, wholesalers can’t possibly devote sufficient sales effort to promote every one of those brands.

3. There aren’t enough craft-beer drinkers

Craft beer’s economic model is based on premium pricing, which by definition is affordable by only a small percentage of consumers. Craft beer accounts for barely 10 percent of all beer sales.

The portion won’t grow unless craft brewers drop prices and begin advertising during the Super Bowl, and that’s never going to happen.

Pop goes the bubble!



Producing Traditional British Cask Beers

November 20, 2013 Leave a comment

by Dick Cantwell, Fal Allen, and Kevin Forhan
Republished from BrewingTechniques’ November/December 1993.

Although equipment limitations and cultural differences make exact replication of traditional British cask-conditioning practices all but impossible in the United States, attention to detail and a commitment to quality puts top-flight cask beers within the reach of American brewers. Pike Place brewers tell the story of their quest for the gentle pint.

Producing authentic versions of traditional beer styles poses a complex challenge to small American brewers. Equipment limitations, availability of appropriate raw materials, and lack of awareness on the parts of both publican and consumer present distinct challenges. After learning to deal realistically with the boundaries drawn by these three and spending time experimenting, we feel that we have achieved a successful balance. The following case study describes what we at Pike Place Brewery in Seattle have done to try to produce traditional British cask-conditioned ales.


When Pike Place Brewery was founded in the fall of 1989, its objective was to brew British-style ales using traditional methods and the finest ingredients. A floor-malted English two-row barley malt was selected, a London ale yeast procured, and a mixture of imported English and Northwest-produced English hops was chosen to balance authenticity and freshness. The brewery was fortunate in that its parent company, Merchant du Vin (also of Seattle), provided sufficient British contacts to make it possible to implement these choices. Also fortunate was the fact that the principal owners, Charles and Roseanne Finkel, were committed to the traditional British plan despite the substantially higher cost of raw materials. They had a small (4-bbl) brewhouse designed and constructed, assembled a conscientious staff (headed by Jason Parker), and released the brewery’s first beer, a reddish-amber pale ale, in late October 1989.
Practical challenges arose from the start, most of which involved product delivery systems and consumer expectations. In keeping with its traditional British objectives, for example, Pike Place Pale Ale was conditioned at first to a relatively low carbonation level of 1.9-2.0 volumes of carbon dioxide. We received complaints about “flat” beer, so we raised the level of carbonation to 2.5-2.6 volumes. At about this time a couple of local ale houses embarked on a plan of their own and began requesting cask-conditioned beers. We continued to produce brewery-conditioned beers at the higher level of carbonation but saw an opportunity in the budding market for cask beers. This is the story of how, over the following couple of years, we sought to satisfy this demand and at the same time realize our original objective of producing traditional ales.

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Categories: Beer, Brewing

10 Fastest-Growing Craft Breweries In the U.S.

September 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Written by: Jason Notte 09/11/13 – 8:30 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) — Just 30 years ago, there were 80 breweries in the United States — the fewest since prohibition. Today there are more than 2,500 and the numbers keep growing.
According to the Brewers Association craft beer industry group, breweries have opened at a pace of roughly 1.15 a day over the past year. The number of breweries in the U.S. now exceeds the previous record of 2,011 set back in 1887 and has leapt by nearly 1,000 breweries since 2009.

While overall beer industry sales grew 1% last year, sales by brewers that the Brewers Association defines as craft — or 2,483 breweries out of a total of 2,538 — jumped 15% by volume and 17% in dollars during the same span. Through July, craft beer sales are up 15.2% in volume and 17.5% in dollars, while overall beer sales are down 1.1%.

With the Washington, D.C.-based Beer Institute industry lobbying group noting that slow economic recovery has taken its toll on large brewer sales and dragged down overall beer sales, there is still a question of just how long craft beer’s growth can be sustained. There’s been a lot of speculation, but continually changing beer and distribution laws and a lack of leveling in craft beer sales numbers have made that unclear.

Continue reading at: The Street

Categories: Brewing, Craft Brewers

Many Benefits to joining the Brewers Association

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Brewer to turn spent grains into energy

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

By John Roach

The U.S. government is giving a nearly half-million dollar grant to a beer maker in Alaska that aims to install a first-of-its-kind boiler that is fueled entirely by spent grain.

All brewers are confronted with mountains of spent grains — mostly barley. Many get rid of the waste by routing it to farmers for animal feed, a noble service that can help grow a steak to accompany your fine ale.
For the Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau, this has involved an added step, since the closest market for its grains is a long-distance, boat-ride away in Seattle.

To keep the grains from decomposing during transport, the brewery first dries them in a machine that is heated by a biomass burner that uses about 50 percent of the spent grain as a fuel source.

Now, with the help of the $458,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America program, the brewery is installing a machine that will use the dried grain to power a biomass steam boiler.
“The new boiler will eliminate the brewery’s use of oil in the grain drying process and displace more than half of the fuel needed to create process steam,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Brewers use process team, for example, to boil the sugary water called wort, created when sugars are extracted from the grains, a key step in brewing beer.

The boiler will cut the brewery’s overall energy use from oil, and corresponding carbon emissions, by more than 70 percent, according to Alaskan Brewing Co.
The system also eliminates the need to ship the grain south to cattle around Seattle, Ashley Johnston, a company spokeswoman, told me.

The grant is one of eight announced Thursday by the agriculture department, all of which are aimed at helping rural businesses to lower energy costs so that they can stay competitive and, potentially, hire more workers.
In total, 52 projects received over $31 million in grants and loan note guarantees through the program this year. The grants can finance up to 25 percent of a project’s cost.

Source: MSNBC

Categories: Brewing