Another Malt+Brew Workshop in the books.

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49 brewers from 30 breweries across the country attended this year’s event.

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August 10-11 we hosted our 7th Annual Malt+Brew Workshop, 49 brewers from 30 breweries across the country attended this year’s event. Brewers came from as far west as Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, from Kona Brewing Company and as far east as Portland, Maine, from Allagash Brewing Company, and everywhere in between.

The two-and-a-half-day event kicked off with Wisconsin hospitality of brats, burgers, beer and bowling at Pla-Mor Lanes in Chilton.

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But it wasn’t all just fun and games. The next two days were packed with seminars and tours.

Joseph D. Hertrich, Retired Group Director of Brewing Raw Materials at Anheuser-Busch, Inc. opened the event with his presentaion on "Mallting Barley: Production and Acquisition".

Joseph D. Hertrich, Retired Group Director of Brewing Raw Materials at Anheuser-Busch, Inc. opened the event with his presentation on “Malting Barley: Production and Acquisition.”

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Joe’s lecture was followed by “A Tour of the Briess Barley Supply Chain” presented by our new COO, Ryan O’Toole.

As we dove deeper into the day, brewers received a full dose of malting knowledge including “The Art of Malting and Handcrafting Specialty Malts” presented by our Technical Services Manager, Bob Hansen, “Understanding a Malt Analysis” given by our Quality Manager of Malting, Betsy Roberts and Bob Hansen, and a guest presentation on “Formulating Multiple Varieties of Stout” by Andy Farrell of Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Andy Farrell, Head Brewer at Bell’s Brewery Inc., gave an insightful presentation on "Formulating Multiple Varieties of Stout".

Andy Farrell, Head Brewer at Bell’s Brewery Inc. gave an insightful presentation on “Formulating Multiple Varieties of Stout.”

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And what would a presentation on Stouts be without some samples?

After a morning of presentations and a hearty lunch prepared by Three Guys & A Grill,  it was was off to Manitowoc for the first tour.

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Tour bus ride to Manitowoc for the first tour.

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During the Briess Manitowoc Barley Operations Tour, brewers had the opportunity to see the malting process firsthand at our largest facility . First stop of the tour: Steep tanks, where the malting process begins by submerging the raw barley kernels into water so that they absorb water and begin to germinate.

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Base of the Manitowoc Steep Tanks. The layered piping down the sides of the tanks allow for water and air flow to gently turn and cleanse the raw barley while soaking.

Base of the Manitowoc Steep Tanks. The layered piping down the sides of the tanks allow for water and air flow to gently turn and cleanse the raw barley while soaking.

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Then it was off to step two, the germination compartment. Here the chitted barley goes through modification. Germination is controlled by drawing temperature-adjusted, humidified air through the bed. Turners keep the bed from compacting and rootlets from growing together, or felting.

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After the kernels have gone through germination, the next step is drying. At our Manitowoc facility, malting barley is kilned dried to produce unique colors, flavors and physical properties.

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The Manitowoc Barley Operation is run by a control room with sophisticated technology that controls the barley through each step of the malting process.

The tour included a few elevators rides to get to each level.

The tour included elevators rides to get to each level of the 244-foot, 12-story Barley Workhouse.

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The Manitowoc Barley Operations cycle also includes the Barley Workhouse, where railcars and truck loads of barley come in from the fields of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas. In the workhouse, the barley is cleaned, graded and stored for further use. Pictured: a tour group walks down the alleyway to their next destination, the barley workhouse, building on left.

Atop of the the workhouse, above all the storage bins, is the "gallery floor". Here malt is designated to a bin for storage.

Atop the workhouse is the “gallery floor.” Here malt is designated to a bin for storage.

On the grading floor of the workhouse, raw barley is separated in to A, B, C, D, and Dockage grades.

On the grading floor of the workhouse, raw barley is separated into A, B, C, D and Dockage grades.

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Brewer examines the different grades of barley.

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In addition to the Malthouse and Barley Workhouse is the Manitowoc Lab. Here, on a daily basis, raw and malted barley is sampled and tested for various quality assurance checks.

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It was time to get back on the bus and head to The Golf Course at Branch River for dinner.

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But, not before a few pours at Briess’ very own historic Rathskeller to sample a Caramel Rye Beer made by the Briess Technical Services Team.

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Enjoying camaraderie in the Briess Rathskeller.

Dinner included plenty of time for networking and sampling of local brews.

Dinner included plenty of time for networking and sampling of local brews.

Day two opened with a presentation on "Malt Considerations for Sour Beer at New Belgium Brewing" by Employee-owner and Brewer/Wood-aged Beer Specialist at New Belgium Brewing Co.

Day two opened with a presentation on “Malt Considerations for Sour Beer at New Belgium Brewing” by Employee-owner and Brewer/Wood-aged Beer Specialist at New Belgium Brewing Co.

And of course, you need sour beer samples from New Belguim Brewing Co. to be pair with a great presentation on sour beers.

And of course, you need sour beer samples from New Belgium Brewing Co. to pair with a great presentation on sour beers.

Day two also include a presentation on “Briess Malting RnD” given by Vince Coonce, before the group headed off the the Chilton Malthouse for the second tour of the two-day event. At the Chilton Malthouse, brewers would see the specialty malting process at our smallest and oldest malthouse. The 115-year-old Malthouse, where many of the processes today are still done manually, is drastically different from the large and much newer Manitowoc Malthouse. The Chilton Malthouse also has two drum roasters where we can make a variety of roasted malts, from our Caramel Malts to Dark Chocolate malt and more.

115 year old wooden grain elevator.

115-year-old wooden grain elevator.

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One of two specialty malt drum roasters at the Chilton Malthouse.

Brewers see hands on the different stages of the barley in the germination compartment, from day one where there is barely a chit, to day four where rootlets have begun to grow.

Brewers see hands on the different stages of the barley in the germination compartment. From day one where there is just a chit, to day four where rootlets have begun to grow.

After the Chilton Malthouse tour, it was back to the classroom for Sensory Breakout sessions.

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Specialty Malt worts were prepared by both the Chilton and Manitowoc Labs using the Congress Mash Method.

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Brewers broke into four groups to evaluate worts and beers made from the same malt.

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Brewers broke down each malt by aromas and flavors such as nutty, biscuit, caramel, chocolate, roasted and more.

The last tour of the day was to the Chilton Extract Plant, Brewhouse and Pilot Brewery.

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The Briess Extract Plant is home to a 500-bbl Brewhouse.

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Dan Bies shows brewers equipment in our pilot brewery.

 

A Special thank you to our three guest speakers: Andy Farrell, Ted Peterson, and Joe Hertrich.

A Special thank you to our three guest speakers: Andy Farrell, Ted Peterson, and Joe Hertrich.

On a closing note, we would like to extend a BIG thank you to all our guests for taking time out of your busy schedules to travel to Chilton and spend time with us. All of you make this such a wonderful and successful event and we couldn’t do it without you.

Posted in Events, Facilities, The Briess Beat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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