Our tour today began at Krones. Krones is a manufacturer of brewing equipment: most notably, bottling lines. We started our tour with a presentation on different types of filling lines and business statistics. The first part felt a lot like a sales pitch, but it was interesting nonetheless. After looking at a lot of sales charts and stats, we talked about low pressure evaporation systems that could potentially revolutionize the brewing industry. The systems cut energy input by reducing evaporation temperatures and utilizing pressure to strip volatile compounds found in malt. After our presentations, we walked through the factory and observed engineers assembling bottling lines and boilers. We ended our tour with a lunch in the Krones cafeteria.
Our next stop was Schneider Weisse. They gave us the best tourer have had yet. They showed us their 5 vessel brewhouse and they even gave us just about enough information to recreate their recipes. They then took us to their barrel aging room and told us what types of barrels they use for which beers. The only beers they are barrel aging now are their weizenbock and their eisbock and they only use strong red-wine barrels from France. After the barrel room, we got to see their open fermenters. Wheat beers are typically fermented in shallow, open fermentation vessels. Typically, the only people allowed in the fermentation cellar are the 6 brewers at Schneider Weisse, so for our class to be allowed in was pretty special. I did take pics, but I cannot upload them right now on our bus. The last thing we did was drink 6 of the beers from their Tap series. The most popular one with the Americans was the hopfenweisse, but my personally favorite was the blonde weisse. All of the beers are fermented with the same yeast and very similar malt bills, but they were all very unique. It was a great tour. Now, it is time for a break from class. I'll be going to Cantillon tomorrow and then heading up to Amsterdam for the weekend. It's going to be great!