Monday, January 23, 2012

Tanker Filling Station Revealed

Here's a wee shot of the back of a beer tanker. This one is filling up with Ossian along the red hose from Wednesday's transfer to tanker from Bigger Bertha, our 120 bbl conditioning vessel, and the 30 bbl FV5. The blue-handled valve controls the back or top pressure in the tank as it slowly releases the pressure built up inside as the beer fills up, with the released pressure (CO2/air) coming out to drain through the buff hose. We usually fill the tanker with about 1/2 bar pressure inside. The small red valve is for taking samples from the tanker. The T-piece on the inlet is to allow the first yeasty part of the beer flow to drain rather than go inside. The stainless steel valve to the right of the blue valve is the on CIP (cleaning in place) line which is connected to sprayheads inside the tanker.
When the tanker is full, fob or foam then beer comes out of the drain hose and it's then time to close all the valves and clean up! Filling a 150bbl tanker takes us about 2 hours, always checking and watching and listening...and looking forward to the finished bottles!
Slàinte, Ken

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Italian Job - part 2 - What have the Romans ever done for us?

Happy New Year to one and all! Let's hope it's good for all too!

Back at Brewery Mansions we've been very busy during the Festive period, getting beer ready to send off to Rome, Italy. Draught Beer, which is even more exciting than bottles and even more messy! And the two beers, Lia Fail and Ossian, are going in one-way 30 litre PET kegs, which are a great environmental boon as they save so much on transportation demands. Our Italian importer has been very pleased with our Lia Fail and Ossian in bottle and now has placed an order for the beer in keg. Which means cranking up the filter, shown below, with its filter sheets, bright beer-out sight glass and the side of the beer-out pressure gauge.

Keg beer demands extra attention for the beer, so we've been cold-conditioning the beers at -1 Celsius for two weeeks to encourage the precipitation of haze-forming proteins before running the beer through a plate and frame pad filter (at -1 C, hence all the condensation) to remove the yeast along with the haze, adjusting the carbonation to make sure it is at the correct level (4.4 g/l for the tecchies) and then, on the following day, racking the brilliantly starbright beer into the PET kegs. Here's a snap I took today of the flowplate with the 'rough' or cloudy beer flowing through - the glass above is my sample to ensure the clarity, of course...

What the Romans have ever done for us, is, indeed, to enjoy our beer! Grazie!
Slàinte + Salute! Ken