Brew Day v3.0 – Now With More Variables!

Max Mahoney (Chemistry) and I spent a long day brewing a couple of batches of beer recently. Now familiar with the process and how to execute it in the makerspace, we were able to add lots of variables and processes and gear, building on our experience with Brew Day v2.0, and our original, somewhat less-than-successful Brew Day v1.0.

One of the biggest changes to the process this time around had to do with the water. Specifically, we started with deinonized (DI) water, and Max added various salts to create ideal water, which as I understand it is a big factor in the overall success of the end product.

Water Chemistry

We brewed two batches of beer, and one of kombucha, which we’re fermenting in one of the smaller fermenters.

From Brewer to Fermenter

Testing the pH using one of the new meters.

pH Checking

Improvised wort chiller, until our conterflow setup arrives.

RoboBrews Assemble!

Into the fermenters.

Two Brewers, Two Fermenters

We documented things more completely throughout the process this time. Timing notes are especially important, as we’re still working out how these brew days work as labs and activities. How many simultaneous batches make sense, and how many people can effectively work in the space at the same time.

Captain's Log

Meanwhile, batch the second looks and tastes pretty good, with some distinct and pleasant apricot notes.

The Color of Brew Day the Second

We’ve got both fermenters in The Spider Shed (a former chemical storage building that we’re repurposing as a nanobrewery) hooked up to a heating and cooling system, and they’re happily bubbling away.

Brew Day the Third

We’re still learning so much, and the process is becoming even more interesting. Max is especially stoked about tweaking the water chemistry, and has lots of ideas about wrapping class activities and labs around that process. A couple more days, and we’ll cold crash these batches and keg ’em up!

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