Milling. It’s one of the main aspects of the brewing process, but it’s not nearly as talked about as the more visible and popular mashing, hop addition, or boiling aspects.
We’ve been working with a pretty small mill for a while, and it was high time for an upgrade.
“Our mill is what processes the grain into the brewhouse by crushing it down,” says Brewery Operations Manager James Fox. “The new mill gives us a much better sampling ability and more control over the fine adjustments for how our grain or grist, the milled grain, looks.”
“The upgrade was primarily for quality and consistency, but this new mill is also significantly bigger than our old one,” he says.
We’re not quite done with upgrading that section of the brewing process just yet, though. Production is currently working on installing a flaked product hopper.
“It really just makes the brewers’ lives easier when it comes to adding flaked products into our beers,” James says.
“Currently, the flake wheat and flaked oats, you don’t want to mill those—you want them to stay flaked. In order to put it into our system, you have to open up the mill, open the rollers, and let it go through the mill without getting beat up too much,” James says. “Then it goes into our grist silo and goes into the brew house. They can’t mill grain while they’re doing that, so they have to stop milling, open it up and make those adjustments.”
The grist silo is essentially this plastic conical that can hold an entire batch’s worth of milled grain.
Now, instead of adding flaked products and milling grains separately, this new hopper system will allow both to happen at the same time.
“They can have their normal grain milling and toss all their bags of flaked product into the hopper and it’s just goes directly into the grist silo for them, they’ll pull from there for the brewhouse. That will save a ton of time and energy and help ensure more consistency for our flaked product,” James says.
Not only does that give us even cleaner wort upstream, but it also means cleaner beer downstream!
For each brew, bulk grain comes in from the outside, goes through the mill, and an auger takes it up into the grist silo.
We start our brews pretty early each morning, so grains are milled the night before, and then we mill in for each batch following that.
“When we’re ready to brew, we can hit a switch over on the brewhouse, and it opens up and turns on an auger that feeds that grain from the grist case over into mash tun at the brewhouse,” he says.
~The more you know.~
We’re pretty stoked that our brewers will have a much easier time brewing heavy-hitters like Cape May White and Tan Limes, and we’re even more excited to make a process that we’ve dialed in even more accessible and consistent.
Curious about what else goes on behind the scenes? Let us know on social or send us a message below in the comments!