There are 3 main things that every beer brewer focuses on mastering in the brewing process when making Craft Beer:
- The PH
All are crucial but the one we will talk about today is controlling temperature. Not in the brewing process itself but in the fermentation process where temperature is even more crucial and has an even smaller range of acceptance to produce the best tasting beers. Even a change of one degree C can change the flavor of a beer quite a bit. Sometimes its better sometimes worse but it is noticeable. (at least to quality obsessed beer geeks like us!)
In our first nano brewery we are starting out small and local and focused. Our small nano system allows us to brew smaller batches by hand and control quality as tight as we want. And the smaller size also allows us to keep our beers fresh and flavorful.
All Craft Beers have a maximum shelf life of less than 90 days for peak flavor.
It’s not that the beers go bad after 90 days but the flavors of all but really high alcohol strong beers (over 7.5% ABV) the flavors fade over short periods of times and can become quite faded after 90 days from its brew born on date. In Craft Beer fresher is always better. We will strive to serve all of our beer within a few weeks of brewing for maximum flavor and potency.
In order to make small batches of high quality Cerveza Artesanales we are using small fermenters as well and fermenting each batch separately. These small fermenters will be in our temperature controlled fermentation room. This chamber ensures that each beer is at the optimum fermentation temperature.
How do we do it?
We use these really cool digital temperature controllers do is use the attached thermocouple to read the temperature of the fermenting beer and then adjust the cooling or heating needed to maintain that temperature. (NO heating needed here in El Salvador!) The whole room is basically an insulated walk in chiller. The Johnson digital controllers read the temperature and turn on and off the cooling system as needed to maintain the temperature ti within the specified range. In our case that range is 1-2 degrees C depending on the stage and the beer.
For technical aficionados the Johnson does have a feature called Anti-Short Cycle Delay. Cycling is the rapid turning off and on of an electrical device. Over time cycling can harm your appliance. The Johnson controller allows you to set a time interval, in minutes, that keeps the controller from turning on right after it shuts off no matter what the temperature reading is. This can be very useful when you are using a 1 degree of differential setting for tight control but want your compressor or power supply to have a minimum time period of rest before it turns back on.
They work really well! they save a lot of hassle, and a lot of operating costs by minimizing over cooling and keep cooling compressors running at peak optimization. We highly recommend them if you are looking to take your brewing to the next level and want to make truly awesome Craft Beer. The secret we have found is temperature control during fermentation.
These controllers even allow us to precisely produce soak-ramp and down-soft curves to push the yeast to the flavors we want from each beer.
From one pair of Beer Geeks to another; Get yourself some temperature controllers and bring total control to your system today.