Box Social Brewing Blog
New Brewery, New Beer
Wednesday 6th February 2019
After a lot of hard work and effort we finally moved into our new brewery!
Last year we found ourselves in the lucky situation of needing to move on to a bigger brewery, as the six barrel kit we had been brewing on in Newburn, since 2015 simply wasn't able to make enough beer to match the demand. Every other week we would sell out of beer and after a few months, we bit the bullet and decided to find a bigger home.
Upscaling from a six barrel brewery to a 15 barrel brewery was full of challenges we never expected. The scale of the operation and getting to grips with the new kit was an exciting opportunity for us but took a steep learning curve. Little tasks, like understanding how long the hot liquor tank would take to fill, or how long a transfer would take meant we spent a lot of time rigorously testing and retesting our equipment before we even started to think about brewing a beer. We ran trial after trial, even testing how long the kettle would take to boil.
Learning how a new brewery works is almost like learning to use a new oven. Technically it would all work the same, but every baker will tell you that every oven works slightly different. Breweries are much the same. Each one has its own little ticks, foibles and idiosyncrasies. This is why often, even when brewers meet to do a collaboration, the guest brewer, outside of recipe design, has a small part to play as they have no idea how the home brewery may operate. There are exceptions obviously.
We won't lie, there were some issues when it came to working on the new brewery. Even after all the testing. Filters not filtering, pumps not pumping and more than one shouting match. At one point we're pretty sure we all had a strop. But eventually we felt ready enough to brew a beer. But then we had to decide what to brew. Common sense would say we needed to brew a less complex beer. The phrase, "single malt, single hop," was thrown around a lot. We then thought about brewing one of our tried and tested recipes. But we couldn't simply upscale the recipe and guarantee it would come out as it should. In the end, we decided to make the best beer we could, rather than play it safe.
Now, after a few run outs on the new kit and a few weeks settling in, we feel a bit more comfortable and have some exciting new beers coming out this month. We imagine this brewery will throw one or two more curve balls our way. But we feel ready to take em on and hopefully keep the good beers coming.
Cal Sugar +
Box Social Brewing