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We are brewing a unique Centennial Fresh Hop Harvest Helles

By Fred | September 19th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

bestfred-200x150

Just having a bit of fun checking out our latest arrivals for a little side project. We are brewing a unique Centennial Fresh Hop Harvest Helles. We are using a pound of fresh cut Centennial Hops per barrel along with Bravo, Mt. Hood, and Willamette Hops for a targeted 50 IBU Helles-style Lager. It is these small one-off brews that allows Jaime and the team’s creativity to shine. I know it can be frustrating that they are only available on draught. Unfortunately, it’s the design and production of packaging that takes so much time.  When Jaime gets a good crop report, sometimes you just have to let him run with a great idea.

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Explaining PDX wort boiling to the public

By Jaime | June 18th, 2012 | No Comments »

Scratching my head. We have a unique British-engineered technology that boils the wort in our German brewhouse. It is very energy-efficient. We’re the first brewery in the world to be designed with it from initial planning…though much larger breweries in South Africa, Germany and England have retrofitted it in to retire their legacy wort heating systems. Explaining it to anyone outside of an engineer is a bit of a challenge to me, because you have to paint a picture for them of a more traditional internal calandria and its operation and then contrast PDX for a mostly qualitative explanation. I’ve told the PDX team that I have a simpler way to explain what’s occurring, pictured here. They are not amused. But this way I can talk about the nice stuff that make our brews what they are in production protocols and special malts and hops, and our guests have a humorous impression how the PDX reactor works than my crude invocation of fluid mechanics and heat transfer. (Photo Courtesy Prof. Sheryl Ehrman, who is Chair at the familiar and old halls at the department at the University of Maryland… and who might smile that the two subjects I spent the least time working on haunt me). The Brits have kindly supplied a beautiful graphic that we’ll display so everyone can appreciate the elegant beauty of PDX. And elegant is the right word. Visit us Mon-Friday at 3:00 or 5:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00. We’ll show you the thing.

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Today we will brew our 14th brew

By Jaime | May 7th, 2012 | No Comments »

gearbox inspection

Today we will brew our 14th brew. It’s been a good three weeks of brewing, adjusting, checking…and refining our processes. The photo shows Mark Finarelli (Lead Brewer) and John Gibaldi (Maintenance Brewer) inspecting the lauter tun gearbox. John has subsequently  inspected and lubricated the mill-related components again, too. We’ve been using Goldencold Lager to explore and contrast the fermentation performance of Suffolk, UK-grown Pearl barley ( a winter barley which is malted for us by Munton’s Cedar Maltings in Stowmarket) vs Canada Malt (Montreal) blend of Metcalfe, Copeland, and Newdale barley grown and harvested in Eastern Saskatchewan and to a limited degree Western Manitoba. Under the same mashing conditions, the UK malt does not ferment down as far as the more enzymatic Canadian malt…but we can adjust mashing to bring them closer. Pearl is part of the Stock Ale recipe along with venerable Maris Otter. In brewing operations, we have commissioned the filter and today hope to do the same for the Westfalia centrifuge. Then we can focus on our M+F keg racker. The bottling line arrived a bit over a week ago and is in place and being wired-in by Justin of Apollo Electric.

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CO2 Tank

By Kevin | January 25th, 2012 | No Comments »

co2

Almost the end of January, things are really moving. Today another important piece of the puzzle arrives, the CO2 tank!!! The tank holds 6 Tons of CO2 and is filled as-needed by Liquid Carbonic Corporation. With the tank installed, it is just a matter of plumbing-in the distribution network so that we can vaporize liquid CO2 and have pure CO2 at the filler, the centrifuge, the filter, the bright beer tanks and the fermenters.

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I Have to Pinch Myself

By Jaime | January 20th, 2012 | No Comments »

It seems to be a common refrain around the brewery.

Mark and Ed say that sometimes when they go look at the progress that Pickett Construction is doing, as well as the welding going on under their supervision. Fred says he enjoys seeing what once was a perfectly fine and clean beer distributorship become transformed into a brewery. In a very short time it will be extremely hard to envision it as a beer distributorship and not see it as a custom-designed and engineered brewery. And I have to pinch myself when I see that the founding families trusted me and embraced directions I recommended, including buying hardware from vendors I asked them to buy from. In my past, it was always “doveryai, no proveryai” (Доверяй, но проверяй), “Trust but Verify,” where there is independent financial scrutiny by skilled professionals who challenge assumptions and separately perform cost-benefit analysis and determine payback.  Fine and skilled professionals who may not have any responsibility in plant operations or fully understand beer production complexities at the plant floor. The fellows here have been, “we have known you forever Jaime, we know where you’ve been…we trust you.”

I have to pinch myself.

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