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Piloting a Brewery

Today’s craft beer drinker is always looking for something new. Breweries are always trying to create that next great beer. Unfortunately, beers don’t always turned out as planned. When you are testing and experimenting on a large brewhouse, the ones that don’t turn out can be pricey to send down the drain. Enter the pilot system. A pilot system is a smaller brewhouse that lets the brewery experiment with less risk. Right now our pilot system is being used to fine tune our recipes to be ready for opening the brewery.

We’ve mentioned how we are expanding John’s homebrew setup to be Trek Brewing’s pilot system. Our pilot system is a highly efficient electric brew system. We are expanding it to produce 1BBL batches in kettles made by Spike Brewing. The system has three kettles. One is a hot liquor tank to heat water for the mash. One is the mash tun to mash the grains to convert the starches into sugars. The final kettle is the boil kettle where the wort is boiled and hops are added. The pilot system will have three 1BBL fermenters from SS Brewtech. Having all of these fermenters will let us have many different experiments at once.

When we receive our licensing from the state of Ohio, the pilot system will transition from being used to perfect our initial recipes to being the workhorse to supply you with delicious beer. Each batch on this system will be enough for two kegs. We know you are all very thirsty so we’ll have to brew a whole lot on the system to keep the taproom stocked. Thankfully we are already putting an expansion in place to 15BBL so the pilot system will get relief sooner than later.

With our expansion in place, we’ll be able to go back to using the pilot system for its intended purpose: charting the course for the brewery. The pilot system will develop our future recipes and produce fun one-off beers that will only be available in the taproom. We’ll get to experiment with new ingredients, ideas and processes all in the name of making the best beer possible.

Whether it be our delicious vanilla stout, or some crazy recipe that we just have to try, we look forward to sharing many delicious brews from our pilot system with you.