Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The sound of beer

'You brew with your ears, not your eyes'.

That was one of my first, and most important lessons from Iain.

All of our brewery vessels, and the connecting pipework, are made of stainless steel. Quite clearly you can't see through this. Unless you're Superman... Everything is moved between the vessels through this network of pipes which are linked and separated by valves. We use a series of stationary and a mobile pumps to do this, so you've got to remember which valves to open and which pump to use.

Effectively, we brew blind and listen for key sounds.

When you first walk into the brewhouse, its noisy. There's the sound of several pumps, the copper burner, cask washer, hammering. Oh and the radio. The sounds which the brewers should be listening for are those which signal the end of a job - like transferring a volume of liquid, but also those of things which aren't quite right, like loose pipe joints or the sound of air being pulled into a pump.

When I started, I couldn't distinguish certain sounds, but I very soon grew used to it. When you give up looking or trying to work it out, the more you can hear - It's best just to give in, even if it feels unnatural.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know. Carry on.

Also, just watched Pearl Harbour which is a rubbish film. Fact.


  1. Sounds cool. At Daleside we have to assemble heaps of pipework most cases. Some fermenters are open toped as well so you can just look in.

  2. We've got two open top fermenters, and two closed cylindrical ones so we do see the beer sometimes. We have a digital flow meter which is brilliant - much improved from the old-skool dipstick used in the open top fermenters.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little blog. I look forward to more of yours.

  4. Thanks Mark, I like your blog and have seen that you follow other female brewers! It's exciting to see I'm not the only 'brewster' ot there.

  5. Aye, Sara the brewster (I'm not keen on that word either), at Triple fff Brewery is a friend. She comes along to our home brewing group.