After almost 8 years, the time has come to upgrade our brewhouse and some other crucial parts of the brewery. While our old brewhouse has served us well it is moving on to a new home, not a million miles away from us.
The vessels and crates have all been shipped directly from the manufacturer, PSS in Slovakia – via four oversized articulated trucks – taking 6 days to reach us here in Sligo. Some parts and elements arrived just in time for the 4 weeks installation and commissioning period.
The installation required a team of 7 engineers in total working constantly over 4 weeks. We captured the process to showcase what’s involved in the entire brewhouse build.
The new brewhouse filled out every inch of space we prepared for it. If you’ve been to the brewery before, you’ll notice that we’ve demolished the old cold room and office mezzanine to make way for the brewhouse; even digging out the old floor and setting down a new pharmaceutical grade polyurethane floor and drainage system to allow for an easy to clean and manage surface in and around the vessels.
Assembly of the new brewhouse was a hell of a lot more complicated than the previous system. We have over 280 meters of new stainless steel piping, 30 tonnes of stainless steel vessels and a complex set of automated sensors, valves, switches and pumps to install. The PSS team spent over 3000 hours welding, adapting and installing all necessary pipework, ensuring that while the install is permanent, we can also access all parts of the brewhouse for maintenance, cleaning and repair.
The tanks vary from 40 hectolitre to 60 hectolitre in size, all designed specifically for the styles of beer we make and want to bring to the table in future. The large work platform allows us to monitor all stages of the wort production, allowing easy access to each tank for our multiple hop additions.
The new four vessel, fully automated system manages everything from grain milling, pre-mashing, mashing, wort filtration, wort boiling and wort clarification. This means that we now have standard and reproducible processes that guarantee consistency across every brew. Quality and consistency is the major focus for us, and we can already see how we can dial in the exact attributes we want from each beer.
We reckon we were only utilising 85% of the malt potential previously but the new system is getting us closer to 95% utilisation and we are still fine tuning. This reduces our consumption footprint and also increases the standard of the beers brewed.
In between the shiny, new system we are still working from our classic old school brew sheets and using traditional brewing skills and methods to create beer recipes that excite.
We’re gonna have an open day pretty soon for you all to come and see the new kit, and we’d love you to join us. More about that soon…
The White Hag Crew