Thursday, October 4, 2012

Brew Day with Beer Hound Brewery

A few weeks ago, I was able to attend a brew day with Kenny Thacker, owner of Beer Hound Brewery.  We featured Beer Hound Brewery in a previous post.  Beer Hound Brewery is a nanobrewery with a 1/2 barrel electric-fired brew system.  The brewery intends to sell pints and growlers directly over the bar at the brewery, which also features a homebrew store, The Fermentation Trap.

When I visited Kenny, he was in the process of brewing a Belgian Blonde called Teufelhunde (all of the Beer Hound Brewery beers are named after dogs).  The brew system includes three vessels, a mash/lauter ton, a hot liquor tank, and a boil kettle.  The system uses pumps to recirculate the mash liquid through the grain bed and into a stainless steel coil in the hot liquor tank.  This allows the mash temperature to be maintained exactly by heating the water in the hot liquor tank.  When the mash is complete, the water in the hot liquor tank is used to sparge the grain bed.  This process is called a recirculating infusion mash system (RIMS) in the homebrewing community, and the version closest to the Beer Hound Brewery system is documented on The Electric Brewery site.

Watching the Beer Hound Brewer system in action makes me a little envious.  While Kenny is still working out the kinks, it performed very well and has a compact footprint.  The electric heating elements appeared to work very efficiently and regulated the mash within a degree of the desired temperature.  Perhaps someday I will attempt to build a similar brew system that for my homebrewery.  I have included some pictures of the brew day at the end of this post.

Kenny has all of his permits in place and plans to open on October 13, which should allow plenty of time for conditioning and aging his first beers.  I look forward to trying them and reporting back on the brewery's early success.  If you are in the Central Virginia area, please pay Beer Hound Brewery a visit.



 Brewing system heating water before start of brew day

Control panel with PIDs set to heat to mash temperatures

 Adding grains to strike water 

Mash recirculating

 Beer in conical fermenter in the fermentation room

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