Competitively Brewing with Us
Brewing at Pilothouse starts with the Pilot Round on one of our 50L (13.2 gallon) Speidel Braumeister Plus brewing systems. These pilot systems are fully automated and even equipped with Wi-Fi, so you can monitor your Braumeister on your phone or tablet (mobile device) from anywhere that you have internet service, whether you are breaking for lunch at one of the many restaurants nearby or hanging out with your friends and family in either our taproom or on our beautiful outdoor patio while your Braumeister brews your beer.
Before your brew day, we will send you our Braumeister and related brewing equipment operating instructions that you must acknowledge that you have read before you brew with us. Our friendly staff will be right there with you during your brew day to answer any questions you may have as well as help you along the way, so you have nothing to worry about… we have you covered.
When you arrive the morning of your scheduled brew day, you will find that your Braumeister is all ready to go. We program your Braumeister based on your recipe. We help you gather your ingredients from our extensive inventory and crush your grains in our German-made Sommer grain crusher. Afterwards, all you have to do to get underway is fill your Braumeister with our six-stage filtered water and add your brewing salts (if any) to your brewing water before you start your pre-programmed recipe cycle and mash in as directed by your Braumeister. Mashing will take about two hours. Your Braumeister, however, will handle everything for you. Please note that high alcohol/gravity beers may require a second mash with the same wort that will add another two hours to your brew day with us. After your Braumeister finishes mashing, you will need to rinse (lauter) your mashed grains using hot water from our on-demand hot water heaters before removing them and starting your boil (we donate your spent grains along with those of your fellow brewers to a local-area farmer for use in feeding his livestock). Lautering typically takes about 45 minutes. During the subsequent boil, your Braumeister will alert you when it is time to add hops and other ingredients according to your recipe. The boil takes an hour once a boiling temperature is achieved. After the boil, it’s time to whirlpool and chill your unfermented beer (wort) before transferring it into one of our jacketed, temperature-controlled fermentors, and adding (pitching) your yeast. This process typically takes another ½ hour to complete. At this point, you have completed your brew day with us. Cheers! Now go and celebrate by enjoying a cold beer in our taproom on us. We take care of the rest, including the cleanup and any subsequently scheduled dry hopping. We also transfer your beer from primary to secondary fermentation if your recipe calls for that, i.e., your recipe calls for the addition of beer flavorings, spices, sugars, etc. We of course carbonate your beer as well before serving it.
When your beer is ready to be served in our taproom along with the beers of the other brewers you are competing against, the actual judging will begin. Judging consists of a simple measure, your beer’s sales divided by its time on tap (measured from your beer's first sale to its last) relative to the beers of the other brewers you are competing against. In this way, your beer is truly judged by the demand of the public.