So we won a scale up at KC Bier Co
, a local German-style brewery with amazing German biers. We brewed 15BBL of Schwarzbier. Naturally, I asked a ton of questions.
Their system is a Specialized Mechanical system with a Mash Kettle, Lauter tun, and whirlpool. They follow the Reinheitsgebot (in fact, they are having a 500th Anniversary party for it today) mostly to the letter. I say mostly because they dry hop a couple of special release beers.
Here's some tidbits I found interesting:
- They don't check the mash pH anymore, but assume that it is around 5.4.
- Knockout pH for most biers is 5.0-4.9.
- The final beer pH for many of their lagers is about 4.1-4.2, which is lower than what I aim for.
- The final beer pH for their hefeweizen is 3.9.
- When asked what it the most important distinction for brewing German biers, the head brewer insisted on a very loose mash.
- They exclusively use "the Andechs strain" from BSI and pitch a metric ton of it. 4 full 1/2BBL kegs, harvested off the cone of another fully fermented bier, is pitched into a 60BBL fermenter. We pitched a full 1/2BBL keg of 2nd generation yeast ("the best yeast generation") into the 15 BBL fermenter above.
- Brewing on a pro system was surprisingly easy. I sure it had to do with our brewer being very professional and knowledgeable more than anything.
They let me take home a bit of their yeast, about 300mL worth. I put it in a starter and DANG look at that krausen!
I'm brewing another Pilsner tomorrow with the tips they gave me.
Also, I really, really want a density meter. Too bad they're $2.5k.