Well, it's been about a year since I wrote my last blog post. As head brewer at Broken Bow, I've been super busy. So many important things to do. So many important things to drink!
After this long of a blog hiatus, I have so many things to talk about! I feel like we haven't caught up in forever. So let's start with something super, duper sexy.
Not your common, everyday air. No. That would be boring. We're going to talk about compressed air.
Breweries rely on a variety of "fuels". They range from the natural gas that fires the boiler to the malt that fuels the yeast during fermentation. Compressed air is another type of fuel. In our brewery, we use it for a variety of functions, such as operating valves on the brewhouse, seaming cans, purging contents out of used kegs, and frothing our lattes. Just kidding - we use steam for the lattes.
So, imagine the horror on my face when I got a panicked call atÂ 6 amÂ from an assistant brewer who exclaimed "Mike, we have an emergency - the brewery is completely filled with air!"
After laughing a lot and making fun of the messenger, I faced the reality that we really did have a problem. Our air compressor had malfunctioned and was no longer operating properly. Instead of filling air tanks for use, it was shooting oil-laden air into the brewery.
After fixing the compressor countless times, we decided it was time to move on. Could it be fixed? Sure. After it's 20+ years of service, though, it was simply too inefficient and used far too much electricity. Plus it sounded like a freight train when it turned on.