Barley background
Barley background

The BrewDeck Podcast is a brewing podcast featuring exclusive interviews with your favorite brewers, distillers, and suppliers.

We’ll cover topics from selecting and sourcing raw materials for production to innovative new trends and products; you won’t want to miss an episode. So mark your calendars, grab your favorite craft beer or spirit, and join us for some inspiration – Cheers!

WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

IN THIS EPISODE:

Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness is essential to brewing beer, and many brewers could produce a better product by taking sterilization more seriously.

Today we have Dana Johnson and George Allen from Birko on the show to share their expertise on best practices for sterilization in the brewing lifecycle. Dana is Technical Director of Craft Brewing and Distilling at Birko, and George is the Business Development Director for Brewing and Distilling at the same firm.

Our conversation starts with George and Dana giving listeners a window into their different careers the how they got to occupy their current roles at Birko. We then take a deep dive into brewing hygiene’s technicalities, talking about the other chemicals and processes for cleaning tanks, cans, heat exchangers, lines, and more. On the subject of passivation, George and Dana weigh in on techniques old and new and share their thoughts on the best method to use, especially considering the lower grade stainless that many brewers have to work with nowadays. George and Dana talk about using different acids, caustics, and surfactants in the cleaning process. They share their views on temperature and dose, how to best apply them under which conditions, and how flavor, longevity, and more will be affected depending on the choices brewers make in this regard. We explore some common mistakes smaller-scale breweries make and what they should consider as they transition into professional ones. So, for an expert briefing on keeping things clean no matter your process or scale, be sure to tune in today!

RECENT EPISODES

S.2, E.7 – Spring Cleaning

Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness is essential to brewing beer, and many brewers could produce a better product by taking sterilization more seriously.

Today we have Dana Johnson and George Allen from Birko on the show to share their expertise on best practices for sterilization in the brewing lifecycle. Dana is Technical Director of Craft Brewing and Distilling at Birko, and George is the Business Development Director for Brewing and Distilling at the same firm. Our conversation starts with George and Dana giving listeners a window into their different careers the how they got to occupy their current roles at Birko.

S.2, E.6 – Dextrin Malts, What’s up with that Chit?

Dextrin malts are specially made to boost your beer’s body, taste and mouthfeel.

To dive into the secrets of brewing with these malts, we’re joined by Mike Heinrich, Sales Manager at Great Western Malting, local expert Bob Hansen of Briess Malt & Ingredients Co, along with Dirk Schneider and Tom Lembrick of BESTMALZ in Germany.

S.2, E.5 – Breeding Hops & Growing Crops

The highest quality beer can only be made when there is a connection between farmers and brewers.

Today we talk about the importance of this connection while also hearing insights into hops growing and beer brewing from today’s guests; Yakima Chief Ranches CEO Jason Perrault and supply chain ‘hoperations’ manager Joe Catron, and Bale Break Brewery co-owners Kevin Smith and Kevin Quinn.

S.2, E.4 – Turning Rain into Whisky and Beer

Today we welcome Eddie Douglas onto the show to talk about the new Sassy varietal known as Malt 2.0. As the commercial director for Bairds Malt, Eddie comes with a wealth of knowledge and shares a variety of details on what makes Bairds’ barley so sensational. He tells us how care is taken from the very beginning of the barley’s life cycle, starting from the seed to its germination and beyond. The Sassy varietal itself came through demonstration plots in Scotland, which was a good testing ground where it proved itself to handle the tough climate.

S.2, E.3 – Life is Like a Bucket of Cholaca

Today we sit with Tim Matthews of CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective (Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Deep Ellum, Perrin, Squatters, Three Weavers, and Wasatch) and Ira Leibtag, founder of Cholaca. Tim and Ira teamed up to successfully create a tasty, refreshing beer with the addition of cacao, and later, coconut.

S.2, E.2 – Sucking Diesel

Today we sit with James Loughran from Loughran Family Malts to talk about the art of farming and preparing barley. According to some, this cornerstone ingredient of craft beer takes a tremendous amount of care, planning, and even magic.

We open the show by asking James about the challenges and rewards of farming this important grain. After learning about the finer nuances of the grain’s journey, James walks us through the history of his family’s farm, sharing stories about its evolution. James continues by explaining why the Irish climate is especially favorable to his farm and touches on harvesting months, frosty nights, and, of course, Irish mythology and local legend.

S.2, E.1 – This Juice is Worth the Squeeze!

With the ability to complement nearly every style of beer, crafting with fruit is how top breweries are creating some of their most innovative brews. Today we speak with Oregon Fruit Products Director of Brewing Sales Chris Hodge about the benefits of putting fruit in your beer.

S.1, E.10 – FREE BEER

Non-alcoholic beer is undoubtedly having its moment in the U.S. The Dry January and “sober-curious” movements have piqued many people’s curiosity about non-alcoholic beer. Athletic Brewing Company is a leader in this segment of the market. John Walker, the company’s co-founder, and head brewer, joins us to shed light on the business and non-alcoholic beer generally. We kick off by hearing about his transition from Second Street Brewery to Athletic Brewing and the world of non-alcoholic beers. We find out about his homebrewing adventures and the many batches it took to get a market-ready product. John then talks about Athletic Brewing’s culture and why it needed to go beyond convention branding. From there, we touch on the technical side of non-alcoholic brewing, diving into dry hopping and malts. As the conversation continues, John talks about some of the challenges and opportunities that come with being in the non-alcoholic market, how supply chain disruptions have affected them, and the food safety regulations specific to non-alcoholic beers. We wrap up by looking at the award that has meant the most to John and the people who have helped him along the way.

S.1, E.9 – Yeast Buds

Brewing great beer requires a combination of creativity and science, and a brewer’s dance with yeast is one of the most critical parts of the entire process. Today we speak with three experts in the field and discuss the intricacies of working with yeast. After introducing our guests and hearing about their backgrounds, we open the show by looking at yeast’s two primary forms — dry and liquid. Exploring further, our guests tell us about the difference between the two, their qualities, and shelf life, to name a few. We then hear about the common misconceptions of fermentation and propagation, learning their differences as we go. Talking about the process of propagation, we touch on topics including why labs have the best output, performing quality control tests, and how sugar impacts your brew. In the latter half of the episode, we focus on working with new yeast strains before looking at a modified, hybrid, and blended yeast and gathering our guests' opinions. Before putting a cap on the show, Pablo, Eric, and Marcelo share a catalog of tips for new brewers and veterans alike, with advice for best lab practice as a finishing touch. Be sure to tune in with us today!

S.1, E.8 – At the Table with Sierra Nevada

PODCAST GUESTSBart Whipple was a beer enthusiast and drawn to what Sierra Nevada was doing over thirty-five years ago when he applied for a job in the bottle shop. Perseverance for achievement and long-term endurance for the ever-changing craft brewing industry has paid off as Bart has worked his way up to the position of Assistant Brewmaster...

THE BREWDECK

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