Thursday, April 24, 2014

Last Day Before Graduation

Today was our last day of touring! It was a great day, starting off at Kaspar Schulz and finishing up with a tour of Hopsteiner. Kaspar Schulz was unique because they focus more on manufacturing brewing equipment that I could easily see myself brewing on one day. While GEA was cool, most of their equipment was far larger than anything I would want to brew on myself. Kaspar was a lot more interesting because their equipment was mostly for medium to large craft breweries and they also had equipment that would be perfect for a little nano-brewpub. While we walked through the warehouse, we were shown a brewhouse being assembled which will be going to Sierra Nevada as a brewpub brewhouse in Asheville. It looked like it will be very nice when it is completed and I think it was a 20 hectoliter brewhouse, which has an optional coolship and I think they might also have an open frame wort chiller as an option as well. Kaspar also manufactures micro-malting equipment, but I think if I told Mike that I want to malt our own barley he would likely strangle me, so I purposefully kept my distance so I wouldn't get all excited about toys that I can't have.
Afterwards, my favorite part of our whole tour was at Hopsteiner (most people are well aware of my hop craze at this point if you have had much beer that I have brewed or talked to me about beer.) We were given a presentation which included statistics for hop use... It is funny that USA craft breweries only account for a little under 1% of the beer brewed worldwide, but we use 15% of the total hops (measured as alpha acids) in the world. The average beer in the world has less than 4 IBU according to Hopsteiner and the average USA craft beer had 64 IBU in 2013. (For anyone that is curious, Weedy's Double IPA has a calculated 330 IBU, although that number is hypothetical and the calculation won't reflect real world alpha acid isomerization, the IIPA does use about 5 times more hops than the average American craft beer). I asked a lot of questions about hop extracts and hop storage while I was on the tour and I learned a lot from our tour guide. At the end of our tour, we got to smell several different hop varieties, including a few experimental hops that I hope to experiment with this year.
Tomorrow, we will be having our graduation ceremony at a Biergarten in Munich. I can't believe how fast these 3 months have flown by!

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