Three point one four one five nine . . . around the world these numbers will be uttered as the preamble to the infinite digits in the mathematical constant pi on the fitting March 14th or 3.14 known as “Pi Day.” The Greek letter π, pronounced “pie,” is famed for use in circular and spherical calculations. Memorizing the irrational order of the constant pi is competitive; the reigning champion, Suresh Kumar Sharma, recited 70,030 digits in 2015!

We’re not going to make you memorize anything that long, but we think you will love our malt-inspired Pi Day recipe and you can try your hand at some fun Pi Day Briess Trivia!

Try our Creamy Pale Ale Pie created by Wiwid, our applications scientist and baker extraordinaire!


  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Corn Starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Briess CBW® Pale Ale Dry Malt Extract (DME); we think the delicate Pale Ale is fabulous, but if you are looking for something bolder try any of your favorite Briess CBW® DMEs!
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 prepared or pre-baked 9-inch Pie Shell
  • Whipped Cream


  1. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan (at least 2 quarts) combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and Briess CBW® Pale Ale Dry Malt Extract (DME) or your favorite Briess CBW® DME. Mix.
  3. Add milk, and stir until silky smooth and all lumps are gone.
  4. Cook while stirring over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. You might see some foam; this is from the addition of the Briess CBW® DME.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. While stirring the eggs, add a small amount of the hot filling to the egg bowl.
  7. Add the egg mixture back to the large saucepan of hot pie filling.
  8. Bring the mix to a gentle boil.
  9. Remove from heat again, and add the butter and vanilla.
  10. Pour into the prepared 9-inch pie shell.
  11. Refrigerate until the filling is set. While refrigerating, try your hand at the Briess Pi Day quiz below!
  12. Top with whipped cream once set.
  13. Enjoy and marvel in the glory of Pi and Pie.

While we love edible pie, it’s time to share the love with the mathematical pi, which definitely makes its appearance at Briess in many forms!

Check out the retro, spherical K-ball roasters which rotated over an open flame! The number of variables to control when using one of these nears the innumerable digits of pi — only a true maltster could achieve consistent batches with these vessels of roasting glory.

Pi Day Math: how would you calculate the surface area of the K-ball roaster where “r” is the radius or half the length across the center of the sphere? (Your high school teachers will check in to see if you remember these formulas!) The surface area of the K-ball roaster is what is heated by the open fames!

A. π r2

B. 2 π r

C. 4 π r2

D. 4/3 π r3

(answer below the K-ball roaster photo).

(Left) Tom Pfeffer (Red) empties the K-ball roaster, a very manual process. Now he operates a much more automated roaster with Briess. (Right) The K-ball rotates over an open flame to heat the metal surface and roast the grain inside. (Answer: C. 4 π r2 )

Spheres and circles aren’t the only shapes to utilize π, cylinders get to join in the fun too! This year, the iconic cylindrical Manitowoc silos got a facelift with a new Briess mural. The historical Budweiser bottle mural is preserved underneath three vinyl sheets that make up the new Briess artwork. Only three silos physically hold the mural, but those three silos are part of a 21-silo elevator. The entire elevator can hold many pounds of barley and malt — think of all the goodies we can bake and brew with all that!

Pi Day Math: how would you calculate the volume of one silo, assuming the silo is perfectly cylindrical where “r” is the radius or half the length across the center of the circle opening, and “h” is the height of the silo? Sneaky fact, our silos are not perfectly cylindrical but have conical bases! We’ll save that math for the advanced round 😉

A. π r2 * h

B. 2 π r * h

C. 4 π r2 * h

D. 4/3 π r3 * h

(answer below the silo mural photo)

The Briess Manitowoc Skyline mural brightening up a dreary early spring day! Can you spot the historic Eric Briess logo? (Answer: B. 2 π r * h )

Roasters and murals and mills, oh my! Your malt goes through a lot to deliver the Briess specialty malt flavor you can trust. Our Insta Grains® facility uses hammer mills to reduce whole grains to pre-grounds, grits, and flours, which allow brewers and bakers to more easily incorporate our products. Inside the mill, hammers rotate at high speeds, the impact of the grain on the hammer and with the screens, reduce particle sizes.

Pi Day Math: how would you calculate the length of one revolution of the mill where “r” is the radius or half the length across the center of the circular mill?

A. π r2

B. 2 π r

C. 4 π r2

D. 4/3 π r3

(answer below)

After all that math, I’ve worked up quite an appetite for pie! Or should I say our Pi Day Creamy Pale Ale Pie recipe? Enjoy!

(Answer: A. π r2 )