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If you visit the Deschutes Brewery taproom in Bend today, you can’t miss the innovation brewhouse. It’s right there in the front window to your left as you walk in, tucked beneath the towering fermentors that produce the brewery’s best-known brands. The system itself is remarkable—a seven-vessel automated system with two kettles and two whirlpools, so the brewers can split the wort stream after the mash. That is supported by a cellar of 13 nano-scale fermentation vessels and seven tiny brite tanks, all built with geometries that mimic the production brewhouse’s full scale vessels. Managing it all is Matthias, our guest on the podcast this week.
In this episode, he discusses the range of approaches to innovation employed by Deschutes, as well as some of the important lessons they’ve learned over the past year and a half of brewing intensively on the pilot system. The conversation includes:
- brewing low-calorie but flavorful IPAs
- dry hopping during versus after active fermentation
- the impact of pH on hops expression
- head-to-head hops tests
- the development process for beers such as King Crispy pilsner
- Deschutes’ cocktail-inspired approach to hard seltzer and its development process
- using alternative acids (besides lactic) in tart and sour beer
- the right applications for fruit juice, puree, and whole fruit
And much more.
“To commit to an expense as large as the pilot brewery definitely sends a message that we’re not just going to rest on our laurels,” Matthias says. “We know we need to continue to do things differently. We are continuing to deliver new products, and coming out with them faster and faster every year. (We) rely on emotion, passion, and gut instinct to come up with what could be the next disrupter in the industry.”
This episode is brought to you by:
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Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.
The founders launched Ss Brewtech with a very clear goal to advance brewing equipment design, performance, and quality to the very highest standards in the industry. With a team that draws upon strong functional backgrounds in brewing science, mechanical engineering, industrial design, supply chain, and manufacturing, Ss Brewtech has the people and skill sets you would want and expect from your supplier of pro brewing equipment. Head over to SsBrewtech.com for more information on their brewhouses and brewing gear.
Out of the west a storm surprised, swept down on Captain Pabst,
That mariner and gentleman, his actions swift and fast,
He sailed the seabird against the throes, routing twain wind and fear,
He took haste to protect his kin, but the port was far from near,
Pabst’s intuition proved him right, and bore a friendly coast,
The mighty seabird crashed aground, and to that we raise a toast,
For while the seabird indeed was lost, safe were kin and crew,
And without this mighty ship to steer, Captain Pabst... began to brew.
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