If you subscribe to Brew Your Own magazine, you’re already familiar with the tear-out recipe cards found in each issue since October 2007 – 120 in all to date. The recipes represent the combined efforts of staff at Briess and White Labs to continually generate new recipes and artwork.
A big shoutout to White Labs for making the cards look so great. And another shoutout to the person who’s been creating the recipes the past several years – Dan. He’s in the Briess tech services dept and can usually be found in the pilot brewery instead of at his desk. About 3 times a year, armed with a deadline from BYO and the malts and yeast that Briess and White Labs want featured, he goes to work creating recipes – usually enough for 3-4 issues at a time. At two recipes an issue, he needs to churn out 6-8 recipes at a time.
That’s pretty good coming from a guy who never considered brewing beer until he started working at Briess.
Dan was hired in 2007 with a biology degree and experience as a chemist. To make a long story short, Dan is now a passionate brewer and solid R&D guy in both the pilot brewery and our 500bbl extract plant. And, of course, he creates recipes for homebrewers. Many of Dan’s recipes evolve from his work in the pilot brewery…with a nice dose of creativity. Consider for example “Crystal Brewed Persuasion” or “Saison du Soleil” or “Oktobe®fest“. That last one is Dan’s tribute to the eight trademarked malts in the Briess portfolio.
Here’s a video of Dan brewing a batch of Goldpils® Vienna Export in the pilot brewery. The pilot brewery is under the same roof as the extract plant. It’s tricked out to mimic any style of brewing—single or multiple step or decoction—and is a mini-version of the 500bbl extract plant, designed for easy scale-up.
Recently I found Dan at his desk and asked him to show me some of the more unique features of the pilot brewery. So, here’s a viral tour of the Briess 1bbl pilot brewery which, like many home and small brewery setups, wasn’t a turn key system but pieced together to meet our unique needs. It’s also equipped with some great gadgets that Dan showed off too, so scroll all the way down to see them!