Retooling Brands a Small Part of Belching Beaver’s New Pilot System

Production brewing is an offset of growth and for Troy Smith, yeah, it got a little tiresome and monotonous, so he’s been really reinvigorated in using the three-barrel pilot brewery that the Belching Beaver Brewery added about a year ago.

While speaking to Brewer, Smith was working on a new hop water concept. Previously, his experiments with terpenes as a whirlpool addition along with other fun ideas have been able to spring up.

“I lost some of that passion, not because I wanted to, but just because my ‘kitchen’ was a production kitchen and it wasn’t a playground anymore,” said Smith, the Brewmaster for the company.

“For a long time, I was just kind of running production and not really getting to brew much anymore,” he said. “We’ve got some people here in production, who have helped take over a lot of those duties and make sure that production is running in an adequate fashion and our quality is up to spec and beyond.

READ MORE: Finding Innovation in Pilot-Batch Brewing

“I’ve been able to get back into dabbling with beer to different products again, so that’s kind of where I’ve headed these last several months.”

Smith has been able to retool its No Worries IPA on the pilot system along with touching up Hazers Going to Haze NEIPA while working on hop water varieties and doing experimental IPAs.

“I just got a bunch of BarthHaas hop products for their liquid dry hop and their Incognito, Whirlpool edition,” Smith said. “I’m working with YCH on some new trials that aren’t out to the public yet. I just get to have fun and try new cool concepts.”

Smith started breaking the new system in by doing some extra piping and reworking some things to get it to the way he would want to use it.

“It was Chinese-ordered machinery and some of the stuff I didn’t really like so we rework some things,” he said. “It’s got automatic rigs, two pumps, and its own heat exchanger all on a rollable skid,” Smith said. “It’s a mash lauder and then a kettle/Whirlpool combo with a heat exchanger, all on wheels, so I can roll it in and out of the area when I want to brew with it or don’t want to brew with it.”

Smith uses a few three- and five-barrel fermenters put in between all of the large 120 and 240 fermenters where there is some dead space in between.

“It’s worked out pretty good and it’s fun to get back into my playground,” he said.

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