Brewing Big

Posted on 02.12.08 7:29PM under Brewing, Cottrell

I want to take some more time to reflect on what I learned at Cottrell yesterday, helping to make the Old Yankee Ale.

Amazingly, it takes just about the same amount of time to make 40 bbl as it does to make 5 gallons. Some things take a lot longer, like transferring wort from mash tun to brew kettle and then to fermenter. But some things take a lot less time, like mashing, which is pretty much done as soon as the mash tun is full.

It’s just a totally different world. But yet at the same time, it’s sort of pretty much the same as the brewing world I already know as a homebrewer. The processes are about the same, but the implementation of the processes is a lot different, in some cases.

If you live anywhere near a brewery, and you’re the least bit interested in brewing, you should contact the local brewery and offer to volunteer. It’s purely awesome to be a part of a day at an actual production brewery, if you’ve never done it.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by BobbyO on 02.12.08 11:01 PM

    Some processes can scale up or down in an almost perfect linear fashion, while other things only work well either on a large or a small scale. As you’ve seen, brewing is one of those scalable items; make everything bigger and you can brew a whole lot more in one batch. Other things just don’t scale. For example: if one woman can make a baby in nine months, does that mean that nine women can do the same in one month?

  2. Posted by Keith Brainard on 02.13.08 8:24 AM

    This must be why they don’t have industrial scale baby-making operations, and leave it all up to the home baby-makers.

    But…you could get an effective throughput of one baby per month with nine women over nine months.