Q&A: Waiting on a Grain Silo for Track 7 Brewing

Track 7 Brewing‘s Ryan Graham is trying to be a patient man. The owner and Brewmaster for the Sacramento, brewery submitted plans for their grain silo to their local land use authority more than six months ago now and Graham still does not have the permit for construction in his hands.

“We have the silo built and sitting on the side of SR-99 somewhere in Modesto waiting for installation,” he told Brewer during an email interview for an upcoming piece of grain silos.

Graham said he is eager to get the installation complete, as he calculate the ROI on the at between 6-7 months at the brewery’s current grain usage.

“The numbers will change as we continue to add fermentation capacity,” he noted. “And that is for all of the construction, including conveyance and foundation/installation.”

BREWER: As your brewery has grown, what sort of steps have been taken to improve the logistics and efficiency in ordering malt?

GRAHAM: We have been ordering [a] truck full of BSG Bulk Rahr 2 Row. Our order frequency is up to every other week. Definitely in the need for a silo realm.

BREWER: How has malt storage on site changed for you as you have grown?

GRAHAM: We are fortunate that we have sufficient floor space to store our 18 pallets of bagged bulk malt each shipment date. Yet, the space can (and will certainly need to be) better used for other brewery related purposes.

BREWER: Do you have a base malt for the majority of your brands? Was that always the case? Did your portfolio change at all to be able to have a more bulk order of one base malt?

GRAHAM: We have used the same Rahr 2 Row base malt for the past four years now.  It is our workhorse malt.  We’ve talked about changing malt vendors if a better price and flavor could be found, but as of now, we have not found a better base malt for our current needs.

BREWER: How did you factor in things like weather, logistics and other such things when figuring out new storage areas?

GRAHAM: Being from California, nobody ever thinks about weather when locating their silo.  But we did have the fun added expense of earthquake proofing our silo with extra structural support as well as a design review examining the aesthetic fitness of a grain silo in an high cube industrial park. Mind you we already have a permitted bulk CO2 cylinder.

More on malt storage with Cape May’s Jimmy Valm here.

Read more about silos and malt storage in the March/April issue of Brewer Magazine.

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