It being a new year, we’d like to start a fresh tradition around these parts: Beer Fact Friday. Each week, we’ll share a bit of info about beer—the ingredients, the equipment, the history—so that you can get to know beer a little better.
We’ll kick things off with a piece of brewing equipment we’re especially fond of. The device you see spitting tasty wort all over the place is called a calandria, and it’s an important component of the kettle in which we boil our hops. Wort is usually brought to a boil via direct fire (heat applied to the bottom of the kettle) or steam jackets (heat applied via an insulated jacket that surrounds the kettle). With a calandria, convection forces the liquid up through vertical tubes, where it’s superheated by steam as it continues flowing upward. The dish on top of the whole contraption helps mix the wort, drives off unwanted aroma particles, and keeps foaming to a minimum. Calandrias are usually able to achieve higher temperatures than other methods, which can reduce boil times (important when you run multiple batches in a day, like we often do) and help draw more flavor and bitterness from hops.
Plus, they look *sweet* when that boil is rolling.
Got any topics you’d like us to cover next week? Send us a message, drop a comment, or put up a post of your own with the hashtag #beerfactfriday.