Investment Update #2

Thank you to everyone that has been gracious enough to invest in the brewery so far. We know that these are interesting times right now, but we’re doing our best to make beer out of lemons (or limes as it were, given the season for Parched Lime Shandy). To everyone that’s thought about it, but has yet to commit, our investment campaign: is still going strong. Given what is being called our “New Normal”, we need you now more than ever and we would love for you to invest in Burning Brothers too.

All that being said, let’s get on with the update! This is some very exciting news because it’s the next step needed to facilitate growth and the continued improvement in the brewery. Our second update is to share with you that we installed our new Deionized Water Filtration System.

Why is our new Deionized Water Filtration System so exciting? Because it enables us to make some of the most consistently best tasting beer possible. Yes, we have always strived to bring you the cleanest tasting beer possible, but that hasn’t always been easy. So, let me give you a little back story to as why we decided that we needed a Deionized Water Filtration System and why it is so important to the brewery.

There’s a lot of different ingredients that go into beer, but water is one of the most important. Every month, we get a water report from the City of St. Paul that tells us the chemicals and minerals that get added to the city water during the treatment process. Some are good or even great for beer, others, not so much. We use this information to customize the water to the beer recipe that we want to make.

Unfortunately, about a year ago, the city drastically changed the level of chlorine (amongst other things) that they use to treat the water. While not a problem for ordinary drinking water, for a small brewery like us, without a means of easily removing the chlorine, that can mean big problems and potentially nasty tasting beer.

The way our brew house is set up is that we have enough water on hand, in holding tanks, to brew twice in one day before we must bring in more water. The water we have in the holding tanks will usually sit for a few days and off gas some of the chlorine and other additives found in our city’s water. Using that water to brew twice a day, allows us to make 15bbls (450ish gallons) of unfiltered beer. If you’ve ever been on our brew floor, that is enough beer to fill one of the smaller fermentation tanks we have. The real problem comes into play when we try to brew a 30bbl batch of beer into one of our big tanks.

In order fill a 30bbl tank with beer, we need to brew four times over two days. Because we only have the capacity to store 15bbls worth of water on hand at a time, the other 15bbls of water are basically coming straight from the city pipe. That means that all that chlorine, let alone all the other unwanted chemicals and minerals, is going right into the beer while it ferments. Guess what? Yeast hates excessive chlorine and it lets us know by producing some very unpleasant odors and flavors. Before you even taste it, stressed out yeast can make your beer smell like harsh chemicals. Something like ammonia or as Dane likes to calls it, “Cat Piss”. You can also end up with a medicinal or “Band-Aid” taste that coats your mouth and just won’t go away.

Once this happens, there’s virtually nothing you can do to save it and ultimately, you end up having to dump the beer. In a 30bbl batch of unfiltered beer, that’s 60 kegs or 300 cases of beer… down the drain. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of money that we’re just throwing away and it took more batches going down the drain, than I’d care to admit before we zeroed in on the problem. As soon as we realized what was happening, we had to stop brewing 30bbls of beer, because with no way to fix the water, there was no way we could keeping risking having to throw it down the drain. Ultimately, that shut down half of our production capacity last summer right before going into the holiday season. That hurt and without finding a viable solution, we wouldn’t ever be able to keep up with demand let alone grow the brewery. So, we couldn’t go into this summer with out being able to use our full capacity; enter our new Deionized Water Filtration System.

It’s a three chamber/canister system that looks kind of like some sort of Mad Scientist’s Dooms Day Device that gives us the ability to remove all of those added chemicals and minerals that’s used to treat the city’s water. First, water is drawn through a Carbon Filter that is most effective at removing chlorine, particles of sediment and some of the off tastes & odors. Next it goes through a positively charged filter that removes all the negatively charged Ions. From there, the water goes through the third, negatively charged filter, which effectively removes all the remaining positively charged Ions.

So, what does all that mean? While writing that last paragraph, I stumbled down a rabbit hole, trying to sound all smart when describing the how the filter works. What did I learn? In the end, it works because of science!… Big words, technical jargon and science… Actually, Dane is our technical guy and has the ability to talk more eloquently about these types of things, so if you want to, click this link: to watch a short video that Dane has put together. Otherwise, if you’re interested, please feel free to look into how a Deionized Water Filtration System works for yourself. Any Hoo, back to the question at hand; What does all that mean? It means that after going through the filtration process, we’re left with pure, unadulterated H2O.

As a side note because this is kind of neat. I mentioned earlier that we customize the water depending on the beer recipe we’re making. Well, when the water comes out of the filter, we’re given a blank slate. So now Dane can look up the water report from any city in the world and replicate it. If Dane wanted the same tasting water as the water from his wife’s hometown in Britain, he can do that and I think that’s pretty cool.

Any Hoo, with this newfound, pure water at our disposal, you’re going to notice that all of our beer is smoother, cleaner and the most consistent that it’s ever been. We’re going to be able to “open up” and utilize all our potential brewing capacity for the first time in quite some time; just in time for summer. By being able to utilize our full capacity, we can produce enough beer to expand distribution, not only in Minnesota, but into other states as well. And finally, having this water filtration system will open the door to us producing new products for your enjoyment.

What new products you may ask? Well, for starters, we want to start canning that Root Beer you all love so much, not just for the taproom, but for wide distribution… More to come on that later… What about more beer, an expanded soda line, hard soda, hard seltzer, hard coffee or even a kombucha? All these things have been discussed in the past, but up until now have been merely a pipe dream. However, with our new Deionized Water Filtration System, all those things that I mentioned are no longer just outside of our grasp, but now a very real possibility.

To Invest in Burning Brothers, please go to – for all the glorious investment details.
Burning Brothers
For the People 2014 – By the People 2020

Thank you very much and Cheers!

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