Brew Team Confidential
A day in the life of our brewers…
Ever been in the middle of something and suddenly thought, ‘I wonder what the BrewDog brew team are up to right now?’
Don’t worry; we’ve all been there which is why today is your lucky day - we’ve dedicated this entire blog post to finding out exactly what our crack team of brewers have been up to!
Cue brew team…
Franz: “Today I’ve been manhandling the lauter tun – the piece of machinery that’s responsible for separating the grain from the liquid. We didn’t have this in Fraserburgh so it’s great to have it here. Then again, it also means it’s one more thing for me to clean which is what I’ve been doing all day.”
George: “I’m taking Paradox out of Jura whisky barrels and putting the beer into the tanks for filtering and bottling. Getting the beer out of the barrel can be quite tricky because we have to create a syphon, which means lifting the barrel to head height using the forklift. Things can get messy.”
John: “I'm transferring I Hardcore You from its tank to the filtration vessels, ready for re-dry hopping. We do this with a massive hose. Yay! All in all, we’ll move 6,000 litres of Hardcore into the same volume of I Beat You which are both brewed separately. We dry hop them individually, then blend them together, then re-dry hop. All these shenanigans take about 6 weeks to complete."
Charlotte: "I’m checking the Original Gravity (OG) at the end of the boil on a batch of Hardcore. We need to make sure that we’re consistently producing wort at the correct gravity, to ensure the ABV of our beers remain the same. So we regularly check the progress of the brew using hydrometers."
Stewart: "I'm checking on a batch of Cocoa Psycho in one of our 100HL conditioning tanks. Taste testing is really important at every stage, from brewing through to fermenting and conditioning. Here I am checking that the right aroma and depth of flavour are present in the beer, and also checking to ensure that the flavours have married together in the best way. I have to say, this batch of Cocoa is tasting awesome!"
Omar: “Today I’m managing the yeast, specifically trying to increase the biomass. I’ve added a small amount of yeast to some wort (unfermented beer). We then give the yeast sugar to get it to an optimal condition. Ideally we need 10 hectolitres of biomass for the next beer we want to brew. During this process I need to check on things like the PH levels and cell count to make sure we have healthy yeast, otherwise no beer!”
Stephen: “I’ve been doing a rather glamorous job of removing dead, sedimented yeast and spent hops from the bottom of the tanks. When we dry hop, the matter settles and this needs to be removed before the liquid goes into the centrifuge. Today I’ve been working with Cocoa Psycho which contains oak chips, coffee beans and cacao - all make the beer taste amazing but are difficuly to clean out of the tank afterwards!"
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Got any questions for our brewers? This lot will be keeping an eye on the blog comments today and will do their best to sate your brewhouse curiousity.
- How do you get your beards to be so luxurious? Hystrix Cristata05.03.2013
- Hey MrGiblets,
Nothing I've seen to suggest we'll be trying some gluten free beers anytime soon, but who knows what might happen in the future!Charlotte05.03.2013
- Hey BrewDog fan,
Our fermentation takes about 4-6 days depending on the yeast strain.
10hl would be propagated, but most likely split across several brews. We can re-crop yeast from completed fermentations to re-pitch in a new batch, so we like to have a good supply of healthy yeast to ensure the fermented beer has the flavour profile we're after.Charlotte05.03.2013
- Hello radm4,
We do use a house yeast, which gives use a good clean finish so we can let the hops and malt shine. Wyeast have an excellent selection of different yeast strains, http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_yeaststrain.cfm and you can get the smack packs from homeberew shops around the UK.
You'd want something with a low and clean ester profile, American Ale 1056 could be a good one to start with.Charlotte05.03.2013
- Any plans for a return of Imperial Red Wheat ... or something like it? Messiah05.03.2013
- 10hL of yeast sounds a lot. What is your brewlength? Brewdog fan05.03.2013
- Do you guys use a house yeast? If so what would be the closest avaiable to homebrewers?
Also carrying on the homebrew thing I'd like to see a book with some all grain homebrew recipes like Stone's book "The Art Of Stone Brewing".radm405.03.2013
- Have any of you talented people had an attempt at making a decent-tasting gluten free beer? I'm pretty sure that if anyone can do it, you can.
My wife would be forever grateful if you could pull it off.MrGiblets05.03.2013
- Yess, Allgrain kit's to reproduce some of your beers!! that would be really nice Tommaso05.03.2013
- More Paradox Jura and I Hardcore You. Excellent. I hope they will both be ready by the time that Jackhammer and My Name Is Ingrid run out.
Keep on hopping' in the real world ......
Pete H., Notm05.03.2013
- George says open the shivehole and shout really loudly into the cask, "GET OOT NASTIES GET OOT!" and usually you're ok after that.
Though the low ph of the beer (less than 5.0) and the high ABV of the beers we barrel age usually prevent infection. Hops are a good anti-septic and beer itself is not a good medium for microbes to survive in (wort on the other hand is). The casks have also had 60% ABV spirit in previously which is also not a good medium for microbes.
George & Charlotte05.03.2013
- gb .......
I was and still am a Homebrewer. I don't think we will do extract kits but maybe in the future we could do malts and hops in a recipe kit for homebrewers and sell them in bars or online shop. I will put it forward :0)Stephen the Brewer05.03.2013
- How many of you were/are homebrewers? Any chance of Brewdog producing extract kits? gb05.03.2013
- Hey S,
Bramling cross is a great hop that can stand alone by itself. Has some nice spicey/fruity characteristics thats not quite as common in other UK varieties so can be add another flavour dimension. Works especially well with darker beers.John the Brewer05.03.2013
- Blimey, I hardcore you, Paradox Jura and Cocoa Psycho all being brewed. You guys really do spoil me. Yorky bloke05.03.2013
- when putting beer in barrels for aging, how do you make sure there's no nasties in there? sherwicf05.03.2013
- Hey S,
If I were doing that I'd probably go for Bramling Cross as it can give great blackcurranty aromas, and as a dual purpose hop can be used for bittering, aroma and dry hopping.
The classics I'd say are Fuggles and East Kent Goldings, but these are better aroma hops than bittering (they are both quite low in alpha acids), but First Gold is a good dual purpose hop.
That's just my opinion though, Id say read through a hop guide and see which have characteristics you'd like in your beer, then experiment away!Charlotte05.03.2013
- Where do I sign up??? Crownradnage05.03.2013
- Hey guys. Are there any plans to get Nanny State into the supermarkets? Elpaulio8205.03.2013
- What ridiculously handsome brewers you have there a Brewdog HQ Wow05.03.2013
- If you were to brew an English single hopped beer what hop would you choose? S05.03.2013
- I HARDCORE YOU.....
This has made my day. Thanks!rdoyle05.03.2013
- I fond of breweries with human faces! Great! Yuri ORM Katunin05.03.2013