Other Uses for Your Yeast Brinks

Last week, Joel Mahaffey of Portland, Maine’s Foundation Brewing shared that during the height of the pandemic the brewery switched to dry yeast pitches for brew days to help cut down on manpower for maintaining yeast brinks.

An issue with the dry yeast had the Portland, Maine brewery scrambling to switch up ideas and opted to now do cone-to-cone transfer of yeasts. That means the 13 or so brink tanks the brewery was using — which took up a lot of cold storage space — were out of a job.

Instead of selling them all off, the brewery has found new uses for the tanks and Mahaffey gave a run down of how they can be reused for other projects around the brewhouse.

  • CIP: “We’ve got some transfer pipes that go from where our fermenters are over to our bright tanks,” he said. “We will set up one of our yeast brinks on one end, and make a loop on the other end of the two pipes. And we basically use our brinks as a little chemical reservoir for CIPing our process piping. So we’ll fill it with caustic, hook the pump up to the bottom port of the brink and have the return pipe, we have a short hose dropping into the top of the brink. So it’s just kind of recirculating caustic, and holding it in that brink.”
  • Line Packer: “We will fill them full of sanitizer, and use those to pack our transfer lines in advance of transferring beer,” he explained. “We also use a brink for CIP and sanitizing our canning line. So we use that as a chemical reservoir to push chemicals through the Wild Goose.”

READ MORE: Solving Oxidation Issues During Key Carbonation Points

  • Fruiting Vessel: “So when we make fruit beers, they come in kind of like wine in the box set up with a spigot on them, and they’re approximately five gallons per box,” Mahaffey said. “You can fit three boxes into one of those brinks. And then we push it into the tank using pressure into the bottom of the tank. And that kind of helps to rouse the fruit into the tank at the same time.”
  • …and Sold!: The rest were sold off to be used by other breweries, which is always helpful for those that are in need as well.

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