Love The One You're With
We have had a few exciting weeks at our humble shop, thanks to our wonderful community of homebrewers and some friends of ours. First off, we added 12 new products to our lineup, restocked some favourites and brought in some unique ingredients we are excited to share.
Second, we were part of a collaboration with Picaroons General Store in the heart of uptown Saint John, allowing us to test our skills on the big system. It was like moving up to the major leagues for a weekend. Stay tuned for our release. We brewed a Vienna Lager from an upscaled home brew version, which is happily fermenting!
So to bring this all back down to earth, it is good to mention that we are more excited than ever to get back to our system and start brewing again. Through the pandemic we brewed so much beer that we are out of beer space, but we are very anxious to get back to our system and dial things in.
The biggest take away from brewing on a larger scale system is that even with the most humble or modern equipment, the brewer is the conductor that brings the beer together. Know your system and ingredients and how they come together.
Knowing your equipment is critical to maximize your brewing experience, get the most out of a brew day and to make sure you have great beer.
Christian and I are always discussing new equipment and how to improve our brew system, and admittedly we have purchased equipment in the past that we will likely never attach to our current system because we were overanxious or trying to move up too quickly.
To boil it down, your brewery shouldn’t be an ‘arms race’ where the next upgrade will make your beer better, or cut a few mins from your brew day. If you seek out equipment for upgrading you will certainly find it, but really do you need it? Could you do some more brews with what you have and learn something new? Knowledge is usually free, new equipment is not.
Even a simple pot and cooler set up can be dialed in for efficiency by becoming more familiar with the intricacies of the system. All of the variables that can be adjusted like water profiles and volumes, mash crush and thickness, recirculation volumes, etc, etc, etc – can all be dialed in on any system.
There are certainly times for upgrading, but to seriously hone in your brew-mastery you should focus on dialing in your system first, before hitting the internet and buying an upgrade.
If you think of some of the world’s most acclaimed, sought after beers, they are often produced by monks in century old systems that are inefficient and “klunky” by today’s standards, but they know how to use them.
So what we are saying…develop a deep knowledge of your system no matter the size and focus on quality and consistency. Modify your inputs to adjust to your system and make the most of every brew. The ‘best breweries’ make consistently good beer, and so should you! Be happy with your setup even though it could always be better. The grass may be greener in other pastures, but there is no place like home.