Well we visited this new little brewery in Mckinney, TX Franconia Brewing
We showed up just in time for the tour. I must say I was very impressed!
We were asked by Brent's brother-in-law to not ask a lot of questions or hog up the brewer's time. We both said ok no problem. Well we go inside and Jeff, Brent's brother-in-law, pays for the tour. Cost was $5 a person which included a glass for the beer tasting.
We start the tour with a nice kolsch. Very tasty! The brewer, Dennis, takes us outside to show us the grain silo. I can't recall how much grain it held.
Next stop the grain mill, I love the smell of fresh milled grain. Dennis talked about the milling process. He explained how the grain is separated from the husk and crushed. The husks help form a bed for filtration. Also he explained that you wanted your grain crushed just right. Not to big and not to small. From the mill room we go to the brew room.
He had a 35 gal. brew kettle. They add another barrel of water to the brew kettle! That is 31 gal. of water that is lost due to evaporation.
Around the room was his fermenters. These were all double walled. He had chilled water running through the walls to help maintain fermentation temps. A few were bubbling away! It was awesome.
Next came the walk in cooler. 1800 sq. ft. of R50 rated cooler! In there he had his conditioning tanks and kegs. Dennis explained how they built this cooler by hand to achieve what he wanted.
Dennis explained the whole process very well and was very entertaining. How he knew we were home brewers I do not know. Maybe it was all the head shaking and eyes popping out of our heads. He even put us on the spot to answer a couple of questions from him. We answered correctly! But Dennis added more color to our explanations!
Dennis brewed his first beer at age 12! His family is very involved in brewing back in Germany. You can read more in his site.
Last night I was watching a show on the History Channell called "Sliced" The episode "APA Style
Saloon. (2010). The History Channel website. Retrieved 11:22, May 14, 2010, from http://www.history.com/shows/sliced/episodes/episode-guide"
Well as the show starts I see a familiar logo on the glass they are pouring beer into. It is the Franconia logo! All I could think of was I was at that brewery last weekend!!
Our hats are off to Dennis of Franconia Brewing. For sharing his knowledge and giving us encouragement and fuel for our dream!!
Ich möchte einen Toast auf Dennis ausbringen!
Erst mach' dein' Sach dann trink' und lach!