Smuttynose goes Bavarian as German equipment arrives at brewery
Smuttynose Brewing Co.'s new brewhouse on Towle Farm Road in Hampton features new equipment that arrived last week from Germany. (COURTESY)
The equipment traveled from northern Italy and southern Germany through Hamburg, Germany and Reykjavik, Iceland, to Portland, Maine, and was then transported by truck to the brewery.
Smuttynose has set up a webcam at www.smuttynose.com that allows those interested to watch the installation process.
The brew house was made by Steinecker in Bavaria, Germany, while the bottling equipment was made with German technology in Italy by Kosme. Both companies are part of the Krones group, which has been installing brew houses for more than 150 years.
Smuttynose also has a new labeler and said beer drinkers can expect some slightly new label designs that will go on straight every time.
In addition, a new centrifuge will help with the clarity of the beer without filtering it by spinning out the solids.
It also allows them to control turbidity.
"With the IPA, we still want a little bit of haze so we can dial in how clear or 'unclear' it is going to be," JT Thompson, "minister of propaganda" for Smuttynose, said.
"The Germans have the best equipment in terms of fully automated and level of consistency we wanted to bring to the process," Thompson said.
Baumeister said the CombiCube system is a creation of Krones that is used more for the Smuttynose kind of brew house arrangement, as it allows for extremely quick installation.
Baumeister said the Smuttynose installation should not take more than three or four weeks.
A more conventional installation Krones is involved with near New Orleans will take at least three months before it's up to get up and running.
Baumeister said Krones works with brewers large and small, and craft brewers tend to be very loyal customers.
He said coming from Germany, which has a purity law associated with its beer that limits what it contains in relation to hops, malt, water and natural ingredients, he also appreciates the craft brewers respect for the product.
The new fermentation tanks at Smuttynose came from Müeller, a company in Springfield, Ill., with each tank offering a 270-barrel working capacity, representing about three batches of beer each.
Thompson said this year Smuttynose estimates it will put out about 43,000 barrels of beer, and the Hampton facility will allow it to produce about 1½ times more, or between 60,000 and 65,000 barrels.
When visitors enter the building, they will be greeted with a view of the bottling line, with a retail store to the right of the foyer that features wood shelving milled from trees that used to stand on the property.
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