The idea for a transparent brewing system started in 2017. Brewing is about more than its final product. Brewing is a craft that inspires. We committed our team to designing and buiding a system that doesn't just make great beer, but also allows the brewer to become more than an operator. It took several years before the commercial system was ready to test but in the summer of 2022 it finally happened in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
After years of designing and in the middle of the supply chain crisis, the first transparent brewing system was built, rebuilt, and put to the test. Since then the system has brewed dozens of batches and has illuminated the brewing process to the thousands who have come through the doors at Outsider.
Glass has been one of most reliable materials in the food and beverage world for centuries. When cared for properly, the right kind of glass can be reused indefinitely, disposed of easily and sustainably, and cleaned to the highest standards. Outsider utilizes DURAN® borosilicate for all of our process glass. This specialty formula is incredibly durable, flexible, light, stable, and unmatchably clear.
The Outsider Process
Mill, Mash, Lauter
Our main ingredient (grain) takes a rough ride through a fluted roller mill where it is cracked into pieces. On its way, it mixes with hot water and ends up in the mash tun where is rests for an hour while the enzymes get to work turning solid starch into soluable simpler sugars. Our Recirculation Coil maintains a steady temperature for the duration of the rest phase. After the rest, a screen at the bottom of the mash tun allows us to drain off the good stuff (liquid) and leave behind the spent stuff (solids).
Boil, Hop, Whirlpool
Now that we have a bunch of sweet liquid from that mash, we'll have to put it somewhere. A giant glass tube will do. That is what our boil kettle is. When we finish draining off all the liquid wort into the kettle, we boil it with two 5,500 watt electric heat elements. Depending on the beer, we add hops like spices to the boiling wort to accentuate different parts of the flavor profile, promote bitterness to balance to the beer, and of course add a load of that flavor that we all love.
Ferment & Condition
Now that the wort is brewed, beer can be made. That's right, it is not beer yet at all. Yeast is what makes beer beer. We add yeast to the wort in one of our 65 gallon horizontal glass fermentation vessels for the primary (messy) fermentation. As the yeast eat all the sugar that we have made available for them, they begin to make alcohol and CO2, in addition to other flavor compounds. After this stage is done, we let the beer rest and take the time to round out all its character.