Falling In Love With Quality Control

At College Street Brewhouse & Pub we put a lot of pride, love, and care into the hand crafted Ales and Lagers we brew. Consistency and cleanliness is key to our process.

 

What is quality control all about in a brewery you may ask? It's not just drinking beer all day… ok well just a little bit, it’s much more than that. Let’s dive into the process that makes our craft beers clean and great.

You down with QC? (Yeah you know me)

You down with QC? (Yeah you know me)

Quality Control Part 1: Ingredients

 

Starting with wort production. Wort is liquid extracted from the mash process during brewing. It contains the sugars that will be fermented by the yeast to produce alcohol. What makes bad beer? Untreated water, old barley, stale hops and sick yeast. Our brewery staff works hard to make sure we have the finest quality of these 4 elements in check, before we start a batch of beer.

 

First, we make our own clean R.O. (reverse osmosis) water. It is then treated with various salts to meet our preferred our water profile.

 

Second, we order a wide selection of hops and barley through reputable brewery suppliers. When ordering hops we shoot for the newest crop of the year. This will insure higher alphas and betas depending on the hops, so they stay fresh, last longer, and provide better flavoring and stability for the beer. Through projections and growth we do our best not to overstock, always rotating fresh ingredients every quarter or sooner.

 

Soaking it all in at the CBC

Soaking it all in at the CBC

Third, our beer yeast high in generation making it unique. Yeast is what converts the sugars in the wort, producing alcohol and Co2. We naturally carbonate our beer through fermentation process. Natural carbonation helps to limit the chance for D.O. (dissolved oxygen) pickup, keeping our yeast clean, and free from off flavors and infections that could potentially ruin a batch of beer.

 

Alright guys, we went over quality control in our ingredients. What other quality control are we looking out for? Well, once that wort is being transferred from our Brewhouse into our fermentation vessels with our healthy clean pitch of yeast, what’s it doing? It's going through fermentation and condition this can take up to 2-3 weeks for our ales and 4-5 weeks on lagers. Our brewery staff is now checking temperatures on the vessels. Making sure our yeast is working, converting those sugars from the wort, producing alcohol and Co2. This is called Cellaring. Which is a whole other blog in itself. So stay tuned.

We make Healthy Beer!  

We make Healthy Beer!

 

Going Hopless: Gruit Ales

Sometimes it's not all about the hops. Hops are flowers that are used as a stability agent and give beer its bitterness and aromatics. There are hundreds of varieties of hops to choose from. Each hop provides different elements, such as lemon, citrus, pepper, garlic, onion, pine tree, and jolly rancher flavors. Besides hops, brewers have all sorts of different ingredients to source from, providing different flavors such as spices, herbs, fruits, maybe even tree branches. I'll get back to the tree branches in a minute.... 

Beautiful Gruit Ale

Beautiful Gruit Ale

A type of beer style known as Gruit utilizes an herb and spice mixture for bittering and flavoring. Gruit is brewed with a minimum amount of hops, normally in the 8-15ibu range. Gruit is generally not a hoppy beer. This style of beer draws its dominant flavors from whatever herbal spice ingredients that are used in the brewing process.

 

One particular gruit beer introduced by Brian Hunt, Owner and Brew Master of Moonlight Brewing Co., is Captain Cooker brewed by Mussel Inn out of New Zealand.  It is brewed with branches from the manuka tree:

 

Captain Cooker Gruit Ale, Mussel Inn:

Appearance: deep amber red body with a very thin white head.

Aroma: herbal/cherry.

Taste: bitter cherry wood, herbal cranberry, ginger spice, cinnamon, slight honey malt finish.

 

Even with a lot of flavor going on, this beer wasn’t overwhelming. The beer is very balanced, clean, refreshing, and tasty on a hot summer day. Brian was a fan of this particular ale. 


When we first brewed with manuka. We didn’t know how to go about it. So we just threw in the manuka tree branches and flowers right in the boil kettle. Literally tree branches sticking out of the kettle! Our assistant didn’t really enjoy getting the branches out later but the end result was a great tasting gruit beer.
— Brian Hunt

One ingredient I like using is hibiscus flowers. It has an earthy, herbal, dry, bitter and tart cranberry flavor.  When brewing, I recommend 1lb of dehydrated hibiscus flowers per 15gal of finish beer. Or use 15min end of boil or dry hop in fermentation.

If you’re a brewer in the industry or a home brewer try something else out. It’s BEER! Enjoy what you love drinking and brewing!

-Mark

It’s That Time of Year Again!

How many parents are gearing up to get the kids back to school? Whether our children are ready or not, the first day of school is right around the corner! Time for new backpacks, new shoes, new teachers and new friends!

 

We understand how difficult it can be for parents and teachers alike to gather up supplies for the beginning of the year. Parents have to provide pencils, highlighters, pens, markers, lined paper, copy paper, bleach wipes, Kleenex, glue, binders, erasers, pencil sharpeners, spiral notebooks, the list literally goes on and on. (If you think I’m kidding, I’m not. I was using my son’s 5th grade supply list for reference.) That’s just for one child for one class. And that’s just a fraction of what the teachers provide for our kids all year long. Talk about overwhelming!

 

Many of us in our community know how underpaid and undervalued our teachers in Lake Havasu are. They make less than they should, and work 2, sometimes 3 jobs, all for the love of educating our children. I don’t know about you, but that sure means a lot to me. Without teachers, our community would have no future.

  

College Street wants to help our kids and our teachers. We will be holding a school supply drive in our restaurant until August 5th. Spread the word to help our community! Also- if you bring in a supply item you get $1 off a draft beer. So not only to you get the warm fuzzies from helping a kid, you also get your favorite College Street beer for $1 off! Sounds like a deal if you ask me!   

Spent Grain is Fun!

Have you ever gone to a bakery before, or a brewery with an in-house kitchen and seen ‘spent grain’ bread for sale? Have you ever tried it? Do you even know what spent grain is? Have no fear, I’m here to lead you on an adventure of innumerable proportions through the amazing world of spent grain (cue the church choir…)


Spent grain is essentially the used byproduct of what we make our beer with. It’s all the grains, oats, rice hulls, and various adjuncts that are left over after we have taken what we needed out of it. When the beer making process starts, the grain for the specific beer recipe is milled into a mash tun. The grain is then mixed with water- allowing the fermentable sugars to come out of the grain. Once we have all the fermentable sugars out of the grain, the sweet sugar water,- called wort- moves along the rest of the process to eventually turn into tasty beer. (It’s a little more complicated than that, involving enzymes breaking down sugars, but for the sake of moving this little blog along, we will get back to the grain.) What we the brewers are left with after the wort moves on is several hundred pounds of what is called "spent grain".

Yes, spent grain is a byproduct, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s trash. There are many things that breweries can do with spent grain in order to retain sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint. One way to reuse the grain is to donate it. College Street donates 100% of their spent grain to a pig farmer in Mojave Valley. Mark, the pig farmer raises Russian Cross Boar and his piggies benefit from the nutrient rich grain that we are all too happy to give away!

Doggie Goodness Right There....

Doggie Goodness Right There....

Another way to use spent grain is in your own recipes at home. It can be milled down into flour and used in virtually any recipe that calls for flour! It has a great texture and a nutty taste. I took some spent grain home and made dog treats out of it for my dog family, and I’ll tell you something, they loved them! It was the easiest recipe to follow, and my dogs loved the crunchy nutty taste. 

If any of these fun grains of knowledge (yuk-yuk) has piqued your interest, all you have to do is call College Street and ask to have a little spent grain reserved for you on our brew days, and we would be happy to share!


Recipe for Spent Grain Dog Treats

Ingredients:

4 C spent grain from your local brewery or homebrewer

2 C flour

2 large eggs

1 C natural peanut butter

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together with your hands in large bowl, then roll out on flour coated surface and use cookie cutter to make desired shapes. Put onto cookie sheet and pop in a 350 degree oven for 30 min and then reduce heat to 225 degrees for 2 hrs to get longer lasting treats. Your pups will love ’em!!

 

 

 

How its Made (sort of)

Ever wonder how the 32oz growler came to be? This episode of "The Brewery Wild" will tell you everything you never needed to know.

Check out our YouTube channel and keep an eye out for more videos