Subscribe to the Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast:
Breweries making barrel-aged beer tend to lean heavily on romance. From name-checking the origins of their barrels to weaving stories of long, laborious boils and careful searches for the perfect ingredients, there’s no story today’s brewers can’t embellish. But for Shaun Berns and Phase Three Brewing in Lake Zurich, Illinois, it’s the quality of the end-product—and not the romanticized mysteries of barrel-aged beer production—that matter.
In this episode, Berns walks us through their barrel-aged stout process, from base malt through barrel selection. Along the way, he touches on contrarian choices such as using dried malt extract in lieu of long boils, fermenting with dried yeast, weaning off higher finishing gravities, and not overthinking barrel selection. He discusses the challenge of forecasting consumer trends several years out, the benefit of debittered malts such as Carafa Special II, using malted oats more than flaked oats, selecting lighter crystal malts to control the expression of dark fruit flavors, the challenge of scaling when using low-efficiency ingredients, and more.
“It’s not romantic, it’s the truth,” Berns says, while behind the curtain of a market niche full of fancy beers. These stouts don’t need fantastic tales to sell. The proof is in the glass.
This episode is brought to you by:
Like your flagship beer you can rely on G&D Chillers for the same quality and consistency. G&D guarantees that every chiller they build will hit 28 degrees without breaking a sweat. They never stop. They draft, they craft, they service each and every brewery – big or small. All in an effort to build one hell of a chiller. For nearly 30 years, G&D's been committed to cold. Reach out for a quote today at gdchillers.com
Meet the latest in the BSG Hop solutions portfolio, Citiva. Strong expressions of stone fruit, floral, and resinous/pine flavors and aromas define this blend, crafted specifically for use in hazy IPAs, and other hop-forward beers. Citiva is ideal for aroma, whirlpool, and dry hop additions to Hazy and Juicy IPAs, or for any other hoppy styles where a combination of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine aromatics are desired. Go to bsgcraftbrewing.com to learn more, or call 1-800-374-2739.
A brewery might have 99 problems, but your fruit supplier shouldn't be one. Old Orchard is already known for their quality concentrates, but they also pride themselves on consistent product and reliable supply. When brewers need assistance, Old Orchard is just an email, phone call, or even a text away. Based in Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan—better known as Beer City, USA—Old Orchard is core to the brewing community. To join their fruit family, learn more at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.
Are you ready to Brew Like A Pro? ProBrew has the equipment, systems and technology to take your brewery production to the next level. Check out www.probrew.com for ProCarb inline carbonation technology, ProFill rotary filling & seaming can fillers, the Alchemator inline alcohol separation system, 7 – 50bbl Brewhouses and more! ProBrew offers the craft beer industry innovative solutions to help you Brew Like A Pro! Go to www.probrew.com for more info!
When it comes to brewing, nobody has your back like Clarion. Because their food-grade lubricants are formulated to help make your brewing system 100% food safe. That means, when you switch to Clarion, you can put the costly potential of contamination and recall out of your mind. All you need to worry about is brewing great beer. And since you already do that, well, it’s more like focusing on business as usual. Go to clarionlubricants.com to learn more.