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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Vignette #7, Jim Bicklein (Anheuser-Busch)

Brewer vignettes feature quotes from brewers I picked up in my travels around the world.

 “There are six of these mash vessels per brewhouse, so I have 18 mash vessels. Those mash vessels, because we long-brew Bud Light, right?—we’re in the cooker for three hours—so to maintain that mashing cycle we had to have more mashing vessels. We long-brew the Bud Light. This is designed to make light beers with long brewing mashing cycle for the enzymatic activity to break down the starches. In order for the process to break down the sugars in light beers, it just takes time. In light beer, more of the sugars are being broken down. So for Budweiser a conversion cycle might be about 45 minutes; it’s about 210 minutes for a Bud Light.”

“There’s three brewhouses, six of these apiece, and each brewhouse has two lauter tubs, so we have six lauter tubs and six brew kettles. And that will support about 50-60 brews a day depending on production demands. It’s nice that the brewhouses are broken up, because technically I can do three different products at a time. I’ll mash in a Budweiser, and then I’ll mash in a Bud Light, and then I’ll mash in a Natural Light on the other brewhouse; so that’s commonly how we run.”

(Bicklein here is describing the process at the St. Louis brewery; he was the brewmaster at the time I recorded him in 2013.)

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