On Monday, John woke up at 5 am to begin brewing. At 11 am he was logged in to work at Boeing. What happened between 5 and 11 was a little bit of magic, a little bit of science, a little bit of luck, and a lot of heavy lifting.
We’re currently brewing on the system that John made, which will be the pilot system for the brewery. The system is fully electric, and right now John brews in 5 or 10 gallon batches. When this pilot system is up at Trek, he’ll be brewing 1 barrel of beer at a time (a barrel (bbl) is about 31 gallons of beer). Eventually, when our big brew house gets moved into Trek, we’ll be brewing 15bbls of beer at a time.
Each brew day follows the same basic steps:
Step One: Clean and sanitize the equipment: It’s really important to make sure that everything is cleaned thoroughly, and then sanitized to ensure that the beer will come out correctly.
Step Two: Mashing: Grains are steeped in hot water to make a sweet liquid called wort.
Step Three: Boil: The wort is brought to a rolling boil. At this point the brewer adds hops. Hops are added early for bittering, in the middle of the boil for flavor, and at the end of the boil for aroma.
Step Four: Fermentation: Chill the wort and transfer to fermenter. Pitch yeast. We need more hops, right? Let’s dry hop for more aroma!
Step Five: Clean: Brewers spend a lot of their time cleaning equipment. Before, during, and especially after the brew day. Uncontrolled bacteria is the enemy of beer.
All of these steps take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to complete on a professional system. Sometimes brewers get super ambitious and do a double brew day where they’ll make two batches of beer to throw into the same fermenter. In fact, a lot of commercial breweries do this because their brew system can only brew a set amount at a time, but they have purchased fermenters larger than their system.
On Monday, John did steps one through five before clocking into work. We’re now in the hardest step; Step Six: Wait. Beers ferment and condition anywhere from one week to several months depending on the type of beer. All those yeast have to go to work making that wort into beer! Most of the beers John brews ferment from about a week to ten days. After fermenting, the beers need a few days to carbonate, and then they are ready to serve.
We’re planning on serving all styles of beer at Trek. We’ve been working on perfecting our recipes; we can’t wait for you to have a pint and dream up your next adventure.
P.S. TOMORROW (JUNE 30) is the end of our Indiegogo Campaign. Supporting the campaign helps us build an awesome patio space at Trek. It lets you be a part of the brewery from the very beginning. Get yourself some awesome perks or just donate because you love us: igg.me/at/trekbrewing