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Old 07-08-2009, 07:17 PM   #1
RJS625
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Default What professional breweries use

My brother and I are in the process of planing our first AG rig. I Just wanted to start a thread to discuss how professional microbreweries or brew pubs do things. For example, heat sources used, type of sparge performed, step mashing or not, etc.

From what I gather few if any breweries use a recirculating system and some use steam jacket vessels. Any other input guys/girls?

I've seen quite a few pics like this of microbreweries mash tuns:
http://www.millstreambrewing.com/images/r16.JPG

Low paddles turn at a constant slow rate or only every now and then? In either case they must stop them when they sparge for the grain bed to set right?

Input appreciated!

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Old 07-08-2009, 10:45 PM   #2
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From the breweries I have toured:

-About half use steam jackets and about half use direct fired. The bigger breweries tend to have the steam jacket set-up (with internal/external calandria), smaller ones tend to use direct fired. I think I might have been to one that uses electricity to heat their mash/sparge water.
-They all use a continues sparge method, I do not think anything else would be practical or efficient.
-Almost all micros use a single infusion, I know I have been to breweries that say they have done or could do decoctions but few do on a regular basis.

Yeah, those paddles mix the mash. I suppose they turn them off to sparge. I know some breweries have "rakes" in the latuer tun to aid in lautering.

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Old 07-08-2009, 11:48 PM   #3
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Keep in mind, some of the things commercial brewers do are aimed at reducing costs, not producing better product.

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Old 07-09-2009, 12:33 AM   #4
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The OP never said anything about trying to imitate the pros. Sounded to me like someone is getting into brewing, learning about all grain, matching homebrew equipment with what he has seen in pictures from pro set-ups. Trying to learn more about brewing.

Could be cool thread with pictures of equipment from pros taken by members here detailing every step of the process. Innocent enough question/thread, seems to be really poorly received.

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Old 07-09-2009, 02:37 AM   #5
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There are at number of homebrewers on this forum that I know of that use steam in the mash, maybe not in the same way that a Microbrewery does but the OP has a valid question.

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Old 07-09-2009, 02:54 AM   #6
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I'm with you.

I am surprised at the attitude taken here. I also read the topic and hoped to find some interesting ideas from the group. I'd like to see more helpful info.

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Old 07-09-2009, 03:05 AM   #7
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Please engage in a productive conversation or move away.

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Old 07-09-2009, 04:05 AM   #8
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I have brewed professionally on many different systems ranging from 7 bbl-50 bbl. All but one have used steam jacketed kettles. Most mash tuns in brewpub systems are just very large, stainless steel versions of a Gott cooler. No rakes, no mash mixer. I have used a system that did have a heated mash tun with mixer. The entire mash was then pumped into a lauter tun with rakes.

It took quite a bit longer to mash and lauter with that system. I cannot honestly say it made better beer.

I feel if you are willing to spend a little bit more to buy fully modified base malt, there is no reason to step mash. A Gott cooler and a direct fired kettle will make great beer.

For the hot liquor tank, it really doesn't matter what method is used to heat it. I have used both electric immersion elements and steam jacketed. Electric is easier and cheaper to build on a larger scale. Direct fire gives you a little more versatility.

Take a look at my brew frame build. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/brew...-today-117290/

I tried to incorporate most of what I had in my professional rigs in this build.

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Old 07-09-2009, 04:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne1 View Post
I feel if you are willing to spend a little bit more to buy fully modified base malt, there is no reason to step mash. A Gott cooler and a direct fired kettle will make great beer.
Wayne,

Thanks for speaking up and saying that. Last week I posted in another thread that I saw no reason to Step Mash with today's fully modified malts readily available here in the US. A few posters chimed in and said that I was absolutely wrong, and that step mashing was the key to better beer. If I lived in Europe, I might agree because fully modified malt isn't as available as it is here. I agree with you, there is no reason to step mash with fully modified malt.
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:35 AM   #10
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Guy,

If you take a good hard look at what the big breweries in Europe are doing, you will find that hey are asking their malt suppliers for more highly modified malt. It is less expensive to brew, energy-wise, with fully modified grains.

The green movement has had quite an effect on the German brewers. The maltsters have taken notice.

I have used traditionally modified German malts to make Pils. Taking the time to hit all the steps. There was no taste difference between it and a Pils made with fully modified malt with a single infusion process.

As homebrewers, we can use any method we wish. For me, my time is more valuable then the time and effort required to step mash. The end product is not able to be distinguished as any different.

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