Sunday 30 June 2024

A visit to Rye River brewery

After our distillery detours it was back to breweries. Rye River brewery was founded ten years ago, initially by getting their beers contract brewed, including in the UK. This didn't go down well locally but when they build their own brewery it was Irish made, possibly the first Irish built brewery in a century? 

The 25hl kit has been kept busy with production currently at 38,000hl/pa. This means brewing six times a day, 24/7 or in layman's terms a lot of human misery. They have had a lot of staff turnover. 

Head Brewer Bill Lauktis

But the hard work, and selling a minority share to Warsteriner, has paid off.

The old kit

A shiny new 100hl brewery was being put through brewing trials when we visited. It's a five vessel system: Mash Conversion Vessel, lauter tun, pre-run tank, kettle and whirlpool. 40-50% of the wort goes to the pre-run tank and then on to the kettle. There's a two stage calandria for wort boiling and it can go in reverse on to the top of the hat/spreader to flash off volatiles. The boil is 30-35 minutes. The whirlpool has a shell and tube heat exchanger for cooling on the way in to 70 to 85°C for hop additions or to avoid DMS formation in lagers. A Plate Heat Exchanger is used on the way out. They're currently trialling aeration instead of oxygenation (on the cold side). The mash vessel can raise the temperature by 1°C a minute. A sugar dosing station is used for sugar additions. 

The new kit

Over 30 beers are made, plus seasonals and several supermarkets are supplied. Four yeasts are used: Kölsch, Ale, Lager and Belgian. They are propagated in house. 
Sixty seven people are employed, 15 on the brewing team. 
There are two 26 tonne pale malt silos, a four roller mill capable of 2.5 tonnes and hour and a three tonne grist case. It only takes 12 minutes to mash in through a vortex hydrator. 

Water is Reverse Osmosis treated, going into a 240hl tank. The Hot Liquor Tank is 540hl and the Cold Liquor Tank (kept at 3°C) is 530hl. 
Spent grain goes to a 24 tonne silo with the trub from the whirlpool. The silo has to have heaters to prevent it freezing in Winter!
Fermenting vessels are 25hl  x2, 50hl x4, 75hl x3, 100hl x15 and 200hl x3. There are seven Bright Beer Tanks. A decanter centrifuge deals with the dry hops. 

They have a 24 head, 8(?) capping heads, 7-9,000 bph bottling line and  smaller linear can filler. 

See how happy CPD makes people! They love learning!

We had lunch here so there was time to give the beers a proper organoleptic assessment. 

No comments:

Post a Comment