AMA Levi Funk

Discussion in 'TalkBeer AMA' started by nodamagedone, Jan 28, 2014.

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  1. shelf_turd_ferguson

    shelf_turd_ferguson

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    I don't know much (let's assume anything) about commercial brewing. I would think that barrels would bring the risk of bugs floating into/onto other vessels... Can you elaborate?
     
  2. JoeLikesBeer

    JoeLikesBeer

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    Unless you're using open fermenters, the beer is in a closed vessel and transferred from one closed container to the next via tubing all the way to the kegs/serving tanks. After it goes through the chillers, it doesn't really have an opportunity to be innoculated by anything floating in the air. The risk of infection would come from something getting on a connection/hose/fitting and said fitting not being sanitized prior to use but that, of course, would not be sound sanitation practice.

    If you had vigorously fermenting barrels (they can spray) next to an open fermenter, then you would be risking it, but again, that would be a bonehead move.

    Breweries also have their fermenters in a brewery with an HVAC system that is (hopefully) filtering at least some dust and pollen that could transport wild yeast and bacteria. Spoilage organisms don't fly, they need to hitch a ride on something. Coolships are purposefully exposed to unfiltered outside air so little dust/pollen bits carrying desirable microbes can land in the cooling wort.

    On top of all that you have to realize that the billions of cells it's going to take to spoil a large batch of beer just aren't going to float into a fermenter. Infections in breweries typically come from a fitting/tank/valve that has not been sanitized and has a significant population of spoilage organisms that have been allowed to establish a sizeable presence in said fitting/tank/valve.
     
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  3. stupac2

    stupac2

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    Tim from Sante Adairius told me that clean barrel aging in his facility was impossible because of all the bugs. This is far from my area of expertise, but I trust him on it.
     
  4. JoeLikesBeer

    JoeLikesBeer

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    meh. Can't fault the better safe than sorry strategy I guess. Lots of breweries keep their barrels in separate rooms/warehouses too. I think O'so does this actually iirc. levifunk can confirm.

    To me it doesn't make sense how certain brewers will absolutely freak out about having wild beers around their brewery but then age a beer with a belgian strain right next to a beer with an english strain. Seems like an equal risk or maybe even more of a risk since you are probaby using the same transfer pumps with all your non-wild brews.
     
  5. SeaWatchman

    SeaWatchman

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    The barrels at O'so are hardly quarantined
     
  6. stupac2

    stupac2

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    I think it's less likely that different strains of Sacc will outcompete each other, right? I mean, an issue with Brett is that it ferments stuff Sacc won't, so it's in its own little universe competition-wise. But if you inoculate with trillions upon trillions of cells of Sacc1, and 5 cells of Sacc2 get in there, it won't really do anything, right? Whereas any Brett that gets in there will go to town on the random sugars and multiply more effectively. Could also be issues wit flavor thresholds, maybe it takes a while for those Belgian-y esters to be noticeable, but we can pick out sour flavors really quickly, I dunno.
     
  7. drgarage

    drgarage Not a real doctor. Lives in garage. Contributor

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    This is more or less correct. Brett (and the other bugs) can eat sugars sacc can't. Every brewer that thinks they can mix clean barrels with wild barrels soon learns otherwise. The bruery would be happy to tell you all about how that goes wrong. My favorite being that Brett will eat wood sugars in barrels. Good luck out-competing that!
     
  8. KWilk

    KWilk

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    Is that while beer is in the barrel or is that more after the barrel is emptied and the bugs are still looking for omnomnoms?
     
  9. JoeLikesBeer

    JoeLikesBeer

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    Keeping barrels next to each other would be another story, especially if there was a chance they'd spray. I thought the question was about wild brews in your brewery contaminating your main production in the steel tanks.
     
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  10. levifunk

    levifunk

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    Sour blond is a relatively simple environment, where lambic wort has a lot of long-chain sugars for brett to eat long term. Also, a sour blond isn't going to have the AA level from hops that a lambic does. Essentially, this means sour blonds don't hold up as long while aging in the barrel, nor would I expect them to hold up as long in a bottle. Sour blonds will also be less complex due to the simplicity of the sugar source.
     
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  11. levifunk

    levifunk

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    There is an understandable fear of "introducing" wild yeast into a brewery, but in actuality they already exist in every brewery. All of the same precaution still need to be taken, but its not as if the presence of a wild barrel means your brewery is contaminated (at least not any more than it is naturally).

    Prior to going into the barrel, there is no real cause for concern. Wort is still made on the same equipment, but once fermentation starts, the equipment is separated. The main thing is bottling equipment, which they have a 6 head filler for their 750's. While brett is resilient, it is still a yeast and can be killed just the same via pasteurizing. Hoses/pump/tanks are "burned" by running boiling water through them from the HLT and then everything is swabbed and check in their lab before using again. Personally, I would probably have dedicated hoses, but with their lab Marc is able to check everything.

    The biggest source of infection is probably not from equipment, but operator error. If you have someone on the bottling line that didn't wear gloves, or sanitize something properly, they are much more likely to cause infection. Keep in mind, bottling crews are typically far less knowledgeable than the brewers who are handling tanks/pumps/hoses.
     
  12. jparkanzky

    jparkanzky

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  13. gregkoko

    gregkoko

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  14. degardebrewing

    degardebrewing

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    Just out of curiosity, but what kind of hops are you using that you expect much AA contribution from?
    Also, where's my beer?
    ;)
     
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  15. levifunk

    levifunk

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    First batch was 38 pounds of 5 year old Liberty hops. Last year was 30 pounds of 5 year old Willamette hops. Into what amounts to 26-29 bbls.

    I should ask the same!
     
  16. degardebrewing

    degardebrewing

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    Leaf? Warm aged? Jeez, how am I supposed to get indignant without specifics?
    As a professional question (because we don't) have you had your hops tested? Im curious!

    Also, touche. Touche.
    You first? ; )
     
  17. biglobo8971

    biglobo8971

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB

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    I thought the Sikaru was very interesting, to say the least. Took me a while to really get my taste buds ramped up to handle it. The dates were definitely present, and gave it that "jammy" character.

    I'm glad you're doing this kind of stuff. And not to sound all oozy and shit, but as a business owner, a dreamer, homebrewer, and fellow bearded man, I applaud your ingenuity. Bravo good sir! It's amazing what you can do with heart, passion, and fortitude. You should be proud of yourself!
     
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  19. levifunk

    levifunk

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    Thank you.

    A buddy of mine in college had a thing he called "the 50/50 sweater". It was a sweater so unique and odd that when worn to parties he theorized that 50% of the girls would think it ugly and him an idiot, but 50% of the girls would think it brilliant and bold. I think Sikaru is a "50/50 beer". ;)
     
  20. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB

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    So was your thought process: buy a coolship and approach breweries to contract/use their system, or was that something that you and Marc kind of arrived at after time in your basement and after?