Monday, May 12, 2008

synergy now!

So our spring water comes from a local spring water company, Canadian Mist. They sell those big jugs, mostly under contract to retailers. They had been considering moving out of their location for some time now, and we finally were able to convince them to move in with us.

This works out so well for both of us, which is really awesome. On their side, they get more space, a better lease agreement and better facilities (loading docks, washrooms, etc.) On our end, we get rental revenue for some of our unused space, no more transportation costs for our water, and a few other fringe benefits such as use of their 5-tonne truck for deliveries a couple times a week.

Now we can deliver 3 days worth of cargo-van loads of beer in one day of truck driving. My brother-in-law Kevin has been promoted from growler-filler-extrodinaire to van driving and mystery solving. (yes, that is a 2nd Scooby-Doo reference in as many blog entries).

We have also now been able to brew two batches of beer in one day: the dreaded double brew. Before this was impossible, because we couldn't be sure of water coordination and we can only store enough water for one batch at a time. Between bringing on Mark, our sparkling new ass brewer, and getting the water onsite, we were able to do our first double brew in the place.

The double brew went pretty well. Matt started at 7am and Mark finished up at around 10:30pm, but neither had to stay too long (which is good, 'cause it was a Saturday).

For aspiring brewers, take note that if you want to do double brews, make sure your hot liquor tank is sized higher than the rest of your brew house. For example, our brewery is sized for 15 barrels (about 1650 litres final yield for Canuck brewers). Our hot liquor tank can only hold 2000 litres of spring water, so we have to wait until cast off to start the second brew, otherwise their would be no place for the cooling water to go after running through the heat transfer.

If we had an oversized hot liquor tank (or a second tank to divert the water to), we could start brewing the 2nd batch as soon as the first one was transferred to the kettle and the mash tun was scraped out. It would save a couple hours at least. Good stuff to know!