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Podcast Episode #07 – Beer Filtration

Podcast Episode #07 – Beer Filtration

In this episode of the BoozeWerks Podcast, Devin Mills breaks down the various types of filters you might find in a brewery, and what each stage of filtration brings to the final product.

Episode Highlights:
  • History of Filtration
    • Developed in Germany
  • Why Filter?
    • Clarity
    • Increase Stability
    • Prepare for Wider Exportation
  • Types of Filtration
  • Filtration Stages
    • Primary
    • Trap (Particle)
    • Fine
    • Final
  • Filtration Downsides?


Stone Brewing Sells Berlin Brewery

Greg Koch, founder of Stone Brewing, is a little heart-broken over the sale of the ‘Stone Brewing Berlin’ facility – but he knows it’ll be taken care of in new hands: Scotland’s Brewdog hands!

In this farewell letter/blog on Stone’s website, Greg goes into some detail about what happened, how bureaucracy played a role in the need to sell, and how glad he is that friends are taking it over. The Berlin project was announced in 2014, and has since been a catalyst for craft beer growth in the German capital city.

Stone Brewing will continue to distribute to Europe, and the facility there in Berlin will change hands beginning in May. Greg admits that the Berlin project may have been a bite that was a bit more than they could chew!


Podcast Episode #04 – Brewery Cooling Systems

In this episode of the BoozeWerks Podcast, Devin Mills gets into the details about craft brewery cooling systems and how to calculate what size & type of equipment you’ll need.

Episode Highlights:
  • Why Do You Need A Brewery Cooling System
  • Continuous vs. Instantaneous Loads
  • Boil Kettle Cooling
    • BTU Load Calculation
    • Water vs Glycol
    • Cold Liquor Tank Usage
  • Fermentation Control
    • Yeast Generate Heat
    • Room Heat Gain
    • Jacketing
    • Cold-Crashing
  • Brite Beer Tanks
    • Cold Room vs Jacketed
    • More Room Heat Gain
  • Total Cooling Needs Calculation


Fining/Filtration – Hands On, or Hands Off?

When it comes to fining and filtration there are as many options as there are opinions. Clarity vs. Natural, Shelf Stability vs. Fresh, Tradition vs. Modern. In both the wine world and the beer industry – this is a debate almost as old as the craft.

In Australia, the ‘fight’ over whether to fine and filter wines is heating up. This article in WineTitles Media gives a great overview discussion about the pros and cons each side sees to their argument.

My 2-cents on the subject comes down to a tradition-based approach (especially coming from the beer industry) that certain long-time ingredients for fining are ok to use, especially if they are true to style from a heritage perspective. In the brewery my family and I ran for a number of years, we focused on the British-styles of beer. In that tradition the old-school ingredient for finings and yeast control was/is isinglass (or fish guts – the swim bladders specifically). This element helped to settle yeast still in the beer column, and provided a clarity element without having to run the beer through any filters – which I think strip out too many flavor elements, especially ones having to do with hops and their oils. 

Other newer breweries would opt in favor for more modern additions (like Clarity Ferm and the like) which brings a laboratory enzyme element to the fining party. Those beers had a similar look and feel to ours, but – call me old-fashioned – I liked the traditional more so than the modern. In any case, check out the article to give you more of a feel for what the arguments really are.


UK Bars/Pubs Face New Music Fees

As the music industry still tries to figure out how to survive in the new digital age, one place they keep dipping back into is the Bar/Club scene. Though you might be thinking “This is a craft alcohol blog! Why do we care?” – because when you run a tasting room or taproom you fall under the same rules for live music and any audio you might have playing in the space.

In the UK, according to this story in Drinks Business, the bars, pubs, and clubs are facing a fairly major increase in the licensing fees they have to pay to continue to have live & recorded music played in the establishments. Upwards of almost 130% increase in fees! This is a trend we’ve seen somewhat here in the US as well, but not to that level – at least not yet. This is something to keep an eye on as you make plans for your taproom/tasting room and what the extra costs might be. (Tip: Remember that the fee the charge you is based on seats/capacity in the room, and not how many actual people are there or not!)

If you need to look up more info, here in the US you’ll want to checkout the 3 major music licensing companies: ASCAP, BMI, & SESAC. These groups do control some international areas too, but you’ll have to check with your particular country’s rules to know if there are others as well.


Raise A Pint To Charlie

Relax, Don’t Worry, and Have A Home-Brew

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 40-years since Charlie hit the American beer scene, bringing home-brew to all. But with his trademark phrase, he helped to usher in a revolution in American Craft Beer. The Brewers Association (the professional trade association that he headed, along with the consumer-side American Homebrewers Association or AHA) has put together a quick little tribute video to Charlie – and they went digging through the archives for some of this old footage.

As the charismatic President of the AHA since its founding in 1979, Charlie recently stepped down from the position in 2016 – but still remained the public face for so many in the industry. We here at BoozeWerks firmly believe that if it weren’t for Charlie leading the charge to bring Home-brewing back into the American households (after President Carter signed it into law in 1978), the Craft Beer industry that we are a part of now would not be where it is today. Charlie was instrumental in helping nurture the culture and inspire many of the major names in the American Craft Beer scene today.

So, we raise a Pint to you Charlie! And to many more to come!