Continuing our educational quality spotlight about the equipment and processes that we invest in to ensure the highest quality of beer from tanks to shelves, we wanted to spend a minute with Matt Allen, our Quality Control Manager, to discuss a piece of equipment that most consumers haven’t heard of – but makes a big difference in how our beer turns out – the rolec.
Simply put, the rolec is a hop doser connected to a recirculation pump that we use to dry hop our beers. It allows for more of the actual surface area of beer to come in contact with the hops, which extracts more of the coveted hop oils. This should lead to more defined hop aromas in the beers – with the possibility of more pronounced flavors in some cases, as well.
2. Last time, we talked about the centrifuge, a piece of equipment that has a very definite impact on customers. What’s important for customers to know about the rolec?
There is some overlap between the centrifuge and the rolec in terms of the potential for increased hop aroma, but each piece of equipment’s functions are very different. The centrifuge extracts solids and unwanted materials from the beer, which ultimately can result in more pronounced flavors. The Rolec is designed specifically to circulate more hops into beers, which can be especially advantageous for dry-hopped beers (although it’s not limited to them). Customers should know that some of our beers will have an enhanced aroma, even though on our side we’re using less overall hops. Batch consistency should also increase, because we’re ensuring that we get as much of the oils out of the hops as possible each time. It’s similar to the centrifuge in the sense that it’s increasing efficiency in our process and ingredient usage while bringing a tighter overall finished product to customers.
3. What does it mean for a brewery to prioritize investment in equipment like a rolec?
At Bent Water, we’re constantly finding ways to maintain and even enhance the quality of our product, and this investment is no different. We always want customers to walk away with the best possible version of any of the beers that we brew, and the rolec will help with that. Additionally, we’re also looking at ways to improve safety conditions for our production staff. Traditional dry-hops are done by pouring hops right into the top of a fermenter, and the tops of those 120 BBL tanks are pretty high up. The Rolec allows our brewers to keep their feet on the ground.
4. Which Bent Water beers do we use the rolec on?
At this point we’ve used the Rolec on the Shaka, our new flagship West Coast style Pale Ale, Jill of all Trades, our Pink Boots collaboration, and the Common Hope pilsner that we brew to help benefit Parkinson’s Research with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Ultimately we anticipate using it on many of our core brands, as well.
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