Virginia Morrison & Marty Mendiola: “Seize. Sip. Enjoy.” | Talks at Google

thank you to Brian so much and everyone at
Google for having us. As Brian said, I’m Virginia
from Second Chance Beer Company. We’re incredibly thrilled
to be here with you all. If you’d asked me
10 years ago, I’d be sitting here
speaking at Google today I would have been like, no way. So just a question. How many of you in here
have had our beer before? Sweet! Oh my god, that’s even better. OK, just for the record a
lot of people in the room raised their hand. Want to encourage you all to
ask questions at any time. Really want this to
be conversational. We’re going to tell you a
bit about Second Chance Beer Company. Yes, how the name of came about. A little about
brewing and then talk about some theories
about beer and food pairing, and then we’re going
to go in and just do it. Guess what? Marty and I’ve heard
of Google before. So you’re in good company. We each know each other. And as I said, we’re
going to talk about us, beers pairing and this
is our Second Chance family we call us. So you’ll maybe
recognize Marty and I. We do some fun photo shoots
at the brewery sometimes. This is our ’80s
themed photo shoot. Curtis, who’s in the Star Trek
get up, hot pink headband, is our third co-founder
and business partner. He’s our chief sales officer. He couldn’t be with us today. But kind of gives you a feel
for the culture that we try to cultivate at the brewery. My background is, I am a lawyer. Never had any intention on
working with my husband, but I’m really thrilled
to be the co-founder of a brewery now. I homebrewed when I
was in my early 20s, so I’ve been a big
fan of craft beer for most of my adult
drinking years. And then when Marty and I met,
he and our business partner Curtis had been talking about
opening a brewery for a while, and so I finally volunteered
that I could help. I had some background in
doing a business plan, and also knew how
to fundraise, and so offered to get them going. But really did not have
any idea at that point that I would end up
coming into the brewery. But lo and behold, I had my– I have my off site
office at the brewery, and slowly but surely I
got pulled more and more into helping out. And at one point it
became very obvious that we were growing a lot
more quickly than we expected and the behemoth that is Second
Chance Beer Company really required all three of us. So that’s how I
got to be involved, and I’ll let Marty give you a
brief bit about his background too. MARTY MENDIOLA: Thank you. Yes, I’m Marty Mediola, and
I’ve been brewing professionally now for I guess about 22 years. But I always worked for
only one other company. And so when we originally
came up with the idea to open our own brewery,
the idea of a second chance kind of came up, and that got us
really thinking about the name. And then as we opened
we learned more and more about how fortunate it is. You don’t always get a second
chance, but when you do it’s a fortunate moment. It reminds us to be
grateful for what we have and what we’re doing. And it all kind
of started for me was I went to school
at Chico State up in northern California. Sierra Nevada’s brewed
there, so in the early ’90s it was still kind
of a small brewery. That’s where I first got
the taste of beer other than like your typical
light American lager. So I really fell
in love with hops. Started homebrewing,
went back to UC Davis where they have a
master brewers program, and been brewing
professionally ever since. I come from big Italian family. There’s a lot of
cooks in the family, and so brewing is
a lot like cooking. You’re creating recipes,
you’re combining ingredients and tasting the end results
and then tweaking it, doing it again. A lot of trial and
error in brewing. And yeah, I just
fell in love with it. I love the beers
quick, you know. You’re talking maybe three,
two to three weeks for an ale, and six weeks for a lager. And so it’s faster than
wine, waiting years. So I got really– just fell in love with the
brewing process that way. VIRGINIA MORRISON: So a
bit more about our culture. It’s something
I’m very proud of. My background is
employment law, so I think a lot about how
we attract, retain talent and about even a future. So we have very
progressive benefits. All of our exempt employees
have unlimited PTO. We do gift cards, , and I should
say we do anniversary gifts at each of our anniversaries. We do not really a
formal bonus structure, but we do things that
surprise employees. So for example,
our head brewer was trying to buy his first home,
and he made mention of the fact that they were a little
short on the down payment, so we brought his wife
in and sat them down. He thought he was
going to get fired. And basically gave
them the money that we knew they
needed to in order to afford that down payment. Our ambassador of awesome was
our first salesperson, Alex, was going to Greece
with his girlfriend. So I reached out to
her and told her, hey, here’s this amount of money
that I’m going to give to you, and please plan
something for you guys while you’re in Greece. So she got them a really
elaborate wine tasting. And so just like to
do things like that that are kind of extraordinary,
but also completely unexpected from their point of view. Our whole family is also
beer cicerone certified. Does anyone know what that is? Kind of like the
sommelier for beer, so you can study and
get certifications. You can go all the way up
to a master if you will. There’s a couple I think
only in San Diego right now. So it’s serious
business, if you will. But we pay for our whole
team to get that first level certification, just to
ensure that everyone is knowledgeable about the
history of beer, various styles and has a reputable
level of expertise. We also do really
fun events together. We’ve done an escape
room kind of thing where we paired off into two
teams and had to challenge us who could get out first. We do bottle shares, and
we’re about to camp out at our brewery together. That’s going to be
our next outing. SPEAKER 3: Hey, Ben,
toss me a beer, bro! VIRGINIA MORRISON: Right? Impressive, huh? Second Chance. It seriously only
took them six times to get that can through
the basketball hoop. So our drinker, Alex, is
the ambassador of awesome that I was referring to earlier. And Ben is one of our
assistant brewers. So they started this idea too,
they say make beer fun again. And so they’ve been doing
this series for a year now. So literally every
Friday, 52 weeks, they’ve come up with 52
ideas of tossing a beer. Ben tossing it to Alex. So it’s almost the one year
anniversary, at which point they’re going to do outtakes. You can imagine what
that’s going to look like. It started in the
brewery, and then as you see it
eventually got taken outside to all places that
are legal to have alcohol. But yeah if you– we have
our own YouTube channel, so go check out Toss Me A Beer. These are all of our core cans,
so we have five year round beers that we produce. 12 ounce. Couple of them have won some
pretty significant awards. The porter over there, the
black can, is our Tabula Rasa. That’s Latin for blank slate. So again, your Second Chance. Has won back to back gold medals
at the Great American Beer Festival. That festival is essentially
the Olympics of beer and no other brewery
has ever won back to back gold medals
at that competition except for Firestone Walker. May have heard of them. And then our Mulligan Amber
Ale has won silver and gold back to back at the San Diego
International Beer Competition which, as you might
imagine with us having over 200 breweries here, is a
fairly reputable competition itself. It’s international there. I want to say probably close to
1,000 beers probably entered. It’s really intense. I’ve judged it a few years. It’s very, very high quality. So we’re really proud of that. In addition to
these beers we also do limited releases,
so at least two every quarter that
come out in package. And then we do probably
two to four draft only releases every quarter. Some of those are very small
batch, extremely small batch we call them, and you can only
get them at our tasting rooms. So with that said,
has anyone been to either of our tasting rooms? Yeah. This is totally making my day. So this is our Carmel Mountain
Ranch brewery and tasting room. So our first location, this is
our 12,000 square foot brewery and tasting room. 4,000 of it– less
and less each day– is dedicated to
guest experience, and I say less and less
because we continue to grow our production,
and that keeps encroaching on what
Marty fondly refers to as the most expensive
corn hole space in the world. But that private event space
is a big attraction for us. We do probably five to 10
private event per month. So we are available
for corporate events, we do a lot of
fundraisers in that space as well, where we donate
the space to charities. We’re family friendly. Actually to the right of
this picture on the bottom we have a kid’s corner,
so kids are welcome. Parents unfortunately
sometimes kind drop them off and forget
about them over there. And then we have daily
food trucks as well. We’re about to have our
own Second Chance food truck that’s going to join
us beginning in October. So we’re really
thrilled about that. In North Park we have what’s
called our Second Chance Beer Lounge. It’s on 30th Street
across from Tornado. So it’s a 2,000 square
foot tasting room. Has a really cute outdoor patio. It is both pet and
family friendly. We do things like
bi-weekly yoga there. Again, a lot of fund raisers. And we just started a
partnership with a food vendor here in town called Eat Your
Heart Out, so everything that you can eat hands free– or utensil should free. Be a little difficult
to eat hands free. But nevertheless, utensil free. So that’s going to be going
on Tuesday through Saturday. My belief is really every
day should be Earth Day, and that’s how we think
about it around here. Really we should all
be looking for ways that we reduce our
carbon footprint and treat our
environment better. What can we do
day in and day out to be kinder to Mother Nature? So second chancing here at
Second Chance Beer Company, giving things a second chance,
is the way that we do that. So all of these different ways
of up cycling, repurposing, reducing waste in our
operations and our brew house, and then the organizations
and the charities we work with is how we do
our part day in and day out, not just on Earth Day. But we wanted to highlight
that because certainly on Earth Day and this weekend
and the days surrounding it, everyone else is
thinking more about what they can do for the planet. So as Marty alluded to,
initially the thinking behind Second Chance
Beer Company was he and Curtis had
collectively worked at Rock Bottom for 30
years, and it was, well, Second Chance is
their opportunity to be craft and independent,
call their own shots. But then it’s also this idea
that every moment can truly be a second chance,
but you seize it and you make the most of it. And so what that turned
into from the standpoint of business practice for us
was up cycling, recycling, repurposing. So about 70% to 80% of our
decor across both tasting rooms is basically living its
second chance, if you will. And then we also do
different business practices. We have a farmer come– he’s a dairy farmer
out in Escondido, comes and picks up our spent
grain, feeds it to his cows. We do like water
reclamation in our practice, and then we’ve even
sourced hoodies that are made from recycled
plastic bottles and cotton scraps. We try to think of
anything that we can to reduce our
carbon footprint in our daily practices. We’re very, very philanthropic. You may know that the brewing
industry generally is. But I think that we kind
of go above and beyond. We have a goal that we
set ourselves annually to do about 1% of
sales in beer and cash. We do write a lot of checks. Not a lot of breweries do that. It’s amazing when we give
beer, because charities can turn that around and make
a lot of money off of it. But we also write
checks from charities that have fundraisers
at our location. So this is just one of those
fundraisers right here. It’s what we’ve dubbed
a Parent Night Out. So a lot of public
schools have had a, if you’re a parent,
significant cuts to their budgets. And so they’ve had
to start foundations in order to fundraise for
laptops, technology, even art programs and whatnot. So we will host
fundraisers at our brewery, and the parents come
and they’ll do a ticket and we’ll sell the beer
to them for essentially like pennies on the dollar. And all the ticket money
then goes from the charity so that they can raise
money for their foundations. That’s about Second Chance. Now let’s talk about beer. MARTY MENDIOLA: Well,
as I alluded to, if you like to cook you’d
probably be a good brewer. If you like to clean,
you’d be a good brewer. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MARTY MENDIOLA: Yeah. Yeah, so you know it’s
a lot of it’s probably 60% cleaning and maybe even
more, which just preparations. A lot of it is as you can
see it’s all stainless steel. Very expensive. So yeah brewing is
capital intensive. So if you have $2 or $3 million,
it’s easy to open a brewery. It just get your equipment
and put it in place, and then you can work on your
like marketing and things like that. But you definitely
need the money upfront to have the right equipment. Everything needs to be cleaned. We’re dealing with yeast and
trying to keep bacteria at bay. And so we’re constantly
cleaning, sanitizing, and then we actually do
that the brewery process, whether it’s
brewing or a canning or kegging or
something like that. And then you clean
up afterwards. So it’s the actual
brewing process can be a little bit of a
minor part of the actual day. Mainly we’re dealing
with malted grains in brewing, mostly barley. But also sometimes wheat or
oats, rice and corn sometimes. And so when we’re dealing
with malted barley, we’re starting with the
most basic malt, which is in this glass which is
called pale malt. That’s kind of the base malt for all beers. So even if you’re brewing
a dark beer like a stout, still going to be 70% of a
pale malt with these other malts going into them. They do different processes that
these giant malting companies to create. in this case caramel
or crystal malt, which imparts red and
amber colors, but also some caramel
sweetness to the beer. So today we have
three of our beers– our Over The Line lager. It’s a Munich style,
Helles style lager. And so it’s mostly very light. A pale malt, so you have a very
light, straw colored color. Crisp, clean finish with
not a lot of sweetness. Then we also brought out
our Mulligan amber, which is an Irish style red ale. So using a lot of
crystal malts to impart that nice caramel sweetness. And then our Tabula Rasa
porter, which we talked about, has some darker roasted
malts, like chocolate malt. And they start off like this
like normal barley malt, but then they are typically
roasted like coffee beans to impart this nice dark,
rich roasty deep color. So some of the most famous
stouts like Guinness, it’s still 80, 85% pale malt
with the dark malts blending in to achieve those
nice dark flavors. And so you can see here on our
little one barrel pilot system where we’re mashing in with– is this one of our friends,
who’s a local chef. Chef Chewy. He has a restaurant
down the street here in the Miralani
district of Miramar. And he was over one day doing
a collaboration brew with us on our little one barrel system. So he’s– the malted barley is
coming in with hot water there to create a mash where
we extract all the color and the flavor and
sugar out of the malt. Our normal system is in the
previous picture a 30 barrel system, so when we’re
brewing on that one batch is 30 barrels, which is actually
60 kegs worth of beer. Kegs are typically referred
to as half barrels. So it’s a good amount of beer. We’re kind of a good kind
of a midsize brewery. We thought it was very,
very big but nowadays 30 barrels is a
mid-sized brewery. This is a– on the left
there that’s a Virginia and I visiting
Yakima Washington, where most of the hops
in the US are grown. Yakima Washington, some
in Oregon and Idaho. Hops are– hops need a lot of
sunlight and a lot of water. And so the farther
north you go, or south because New Zealand
and Australia also have very nice hop growing regions. So the farther away you
go, the longer your days are in the summer, and
the hops just love that and just grow, grow, grow. And they create these
beautiful hop cones that are basically like
the fruit of the hop plant. It’s full of all kinds
of essential oils, and very sticky resin. And that’s where we get
a lot of the bitterness but also a lot of flavor
and aroma from hops. AUDIENCE: No question, Jack? [INAUDIBLE] AUDIENCE: I’m just curious
where you get your malt. MARTY MENDIOLA: So
asking about the quality of our malted barley and
where we get it from. The bulk of our pale malt,
because we use so much of it and it comes in a truck load,
is grown in the US and Canada. And then we– a lot
of our specialty malts come in 55 pound bags. And so we do acquire
those sometimes from places like Belgium,
Germany, England, some of the big brewing
centers of the world. But a very small
amount of barley grown makes it the
quality for brewing. Most of it– I hesitate to say the
percentage, but most of it goes to feed, cattle, other food
products that might have flaked or rolled– like rolled oats. But they also have some flaked
barleys in cereals and things like that. But for brewing, it has a
pretty strict requirements on the kernel size and
other qualities like having a certain level of protein. Not too high. The fryability, or how
easily it’s crushed. Can’t be too wet or too dry. So it is pretty strict. A lot of times when
we make our IPAs, we want it to be fairly light
color, that kind of straw or golden color. So you can blend in some
more what I would refer to is like heirloom barleys. Things like some famous ones are
like Maris Otter from England, or Golden Promise. And these are just older,
more flavorful barleys that have a little bit more
character to them, a little bit more flavor. So it just depends. It just depends what
you’re going for. You’re going to– that’s the
cool thing about brewing is there’s– and that’s why there’s so many
breweries that have popped up, because there’s really
no one way to do it. You can blend different barley
malts together in a recipe, you can play around
with different hops, you can add them
at different times. You can play around
with when you’re dry hopping, for instance,
you can play around with how much you put in, how
often you put the dry hops in, if you circulate the tank
or if you just dump them in. There’s so much variable out
there that’s the cool thing. That’s why there’s
different types of beer, but there’s also different
qualities of beer. There’s some mediocre
beer out there, there’s some really
kind of outstanding beer that really makes
you like kind of say, whoa, that’s delicious. So there’s a lot of little
details throughout the brewing process because overall, it’s
pretty easy to make beer. You create a mash, you boil it,
you add hops, you add yeast, and the yeast eats
the sugar and kind of creates beer and flavors. So it’s pretty easy to
make a mediocre beer. It’s all these little details
along the way, the right time, the right pH, right
temperature, that’s really like can
elevate your beer from. And the same thing in other– that’s why there’s a $10 or
let’s say $3 bottle of wine, and $103 bottle of wine. There’s different
techniques, different grapes, different quality. But these– AUDIENCE: Quick question
going off of that– MARTY MENDIOLA: So in order
to take your home brewing recipes to kind of
like the next level or to not just be following
other people’s recipes, it’s kind of a balance. Because when I first
started I was really into duplicating beer styles. So I would really want
to make an Irish red, I really like studied
how they tasted, the kind of
ingredients they used, so I could duplicate that. Or a German– certain type of
German logger using the right malts and hops. But also the right
type of yeast, maybe adjusting the water
chemistry, because we have different waters
around the world. Some are soft some are hard. Ours is pretty hard
here in San Diego. So yeah, if you’re
going to really want to– if you’re really thinking
of duplicating a certain style, that’s how I would approach it. I would study the
history of that region, and if I like that flavor,
how to recreate that. But now we’ve entered
such a crazy time where style is almost
like beside the point. It’s like the flavor
and what’s new and what’s exciting
has become the thing, and it’s difficult to
come out with a new beer every three weeks,
three or four weeks. And even for me I
after so many years, it takes me a couple batches
sometimes to really like dial it in the way I really want it. And it’s very, very
rarely do they– does the recipe
stay static, anyway. It’s kind of– The ingredients change a bit. The hops change every year. In fact cascade
hops from one field can be different from cascade
hops from the field right down the street, a mile
down the road. And so we’re constantly kind
of adjusting the recipes. But yeah, now we’ve
done things where we’re adding ingredients
I never would have thought of in the past. So far we use different types of
whiskey barrels and rum barrels from different companies, some
from Cut Water down the street here, some from Kentucky. And used to just let the beer
rest in these spirit barrels and acquire the flavor of
the spirit, but also the oak and after time you
start to break down the nice vanilla and
coconutty flavors that can come out of the oak. And that used to be it. But now we’re coming up
with all different ideas. We just recently made like
coconut macaroon version, where we toasted coconuts
and macadamia nuts, and then took the beer out of
the barrel into a small tank and let that soak
for a couple of weeks with some coconut
sugar, and it turns it into more of a pastry
stout at that point. But you have bourbon
and oak and it’s like this big complex flavors. But yeah, I think
the bottom line is a lot of trial and error. I mean I brewed an idea,
and then we taste it. We talk about it
and then we realize what could be done
to make it better. It’s kind of a– you gotta stop
that at some point, because otherwise
it’s just a sickness, and you can never
enjoy beer ever again. So yeah, eventually, even if
it’s the best beer ever brewed, I take a sip and I’m like, uh. I get the look from the
staff kind of like, oh, gosh, never happy. But I think that’s what drives. I think if you look at a
lot of chefs for instance, they are always
kind of just always like pinpointing
things and playing with things and flavors. And I find it as fun. I don’t find that it
doesn’t bother me. It’s not like work. It’s like it’s just really cool
to play with these flavors. The hops are kind of cool. It’s just so there’s
so much coming out now. When we were in Yakima
we went to see– they have– they have hundreds
of varieties that they are grafting together every year. But then coming out
with new varieties every year trying not only
to have like best disease resistance from pests and
things like mold and mildew, but also these flavor
attributes and aroma that we love so much when
you’re drinking IPA and all the hazy IPAs that are out now. And so we were in
a field here where these were like some of the
very few out of several hundred, they weed down to just a dozen,
and then they plant a row and then we’re able to
experiment with them. And then every year
only maybe two or three actually make it to market. They all have a name
at first, called HBC, it’s the Hop Breeding Company. And they all have
a name like 692. And eventually they become a– if brewers like it,
then it can actually become a commercial hop
like Simcoe or Mosaic or Citra all these used
to just have numbers and it’s quite fascinating. Most of the hops that we
use turn into the pellets you can see on the right. Craig is dumping that
into the brew kettle. And so what they
do is they harvest the field and all those
hop cones are dried. But then they’re ground
down through a pelletizing machine which compresses
them down into the pellets, and so it’s a lot easier
with shipping and handling. And a lot of us think
that by running them through a pelletizer you’re also
like ripping open the resins and allowing that to be more
easily expressed into the beer. Yeast, of course. Yeast is– so you have
flavors from the malts and flavors from the hops. But also about a
third of the flavor does come from the yeast. And– yes? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARTY MENDIOLA: Doesn’t need to. There– AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARTY MENDIOLA: Yeah,
nowadays most beers have some bit of hop. In ancient times all
kinds of different herbs were used to help with the– because otherwise the malt
can be very sweet and sugary. So they needed some sort of
bitterness the kind of balance that out, and there
was all kinds of– there’s an old beer called
Gruit that used to be made, which was made with yarrow
and all kinds of bitter herbs. But hops kind of won out
because they’re a little bit more pleasant,
and they’re bitter but also just nicer on the
palate, nicer aromas and nicer flavors. But you can have
some beers that have very low-low levels of hops. But for the most part that’s
our tradition right now. Scotland has beers made with
heather leaves, lavender, things like that. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARTY MENDIOLA: Well,
the different hops that changed
throughout the season. They all come with a lot
number, and nowadays we have what we call the
symbol, and just hit it with your phone and– the QR code, thank you. And use it with the phone
and the analysis comes up and it’ll tell you what it is. So we can– every time we
brew we just double check because even though we
have many boxes of hops, they might not all come from
the same exact location. When you’re small,
you don’t really get to go up and pick
the hops that you like. This year I’m kind of lucky
I got involved with nine other breweries, small. Including like Gravity
Heights down the street, you probably have been to. And several others around
San Diego and LA, and we’re teaming up to go up as
if we were one company. But it takes 10 of us just
to be big enough to go and that way when
we select Citra hops we can sniff them and
smell them and look at them and then decide, OK,
we like number three, we want to buy all number three. So that’s something cool
that’s going to happen for us. So we will get a little bit
more consistency that way. And we’re getting
the better quality because otherwise when you’re
small, you may be getting– when you order
you may be getting the batches that no one– lots of hops that no one wanted. And so then you have to
get what they give you. But yeah, I think the flavors
from the hops, the malt, but also the yeast. Yeast is very important. We’ve been very fortunate to
have White Labs here in San Diego, and now some
many other companies have popped up
around the country, but Chris White very
instrumental in making yeast accessible to small
breweries that didn’t have major big laboratories. And it’s called Pitchable yeast. So when you add yeast
to the fermenter, we call that pitching the yeast. And the yeast typically
has this look on the left. It’s a liquid slurry. The yeast is a single
celled organism, it likes to eat sugar, which
we extract from the barley, and it gives off the alcohol,
which we like and keep that in the beer. The CO2, which blows off
some, we trap some as well, to get some natural carbonation. But also many other
esters and aldehydes that contribute to the
flavor and aroma of a beer. So when you cut a green apple,
it smells acid aldehyde, yeast produces that as well. And so there’s many
different types of yeast. Some are very clean yeast. Meaning they don’t
impart a ton of flavor. Some are much more
aggressive yeast, like a lot of Belgian beers if
you ever have a Belgian beer, like a Chimay, it’s very
complex, lots of pear and apple and all kinds of things going
on that came from the yeast. Super important for me, I think
that’s what differentiates a lot of breweries from
mediocre beer to great beer is really taking
care of your yeast. Yeast needs to be
clean and healthy. You need to have like a really
nice strong fermentation. You don’t want a slow
sluggish fermentation. It’s not– it’s just like us. When you’re healthy and happy
you’re performing much better. When you’re sluggish
and half dead, you’re not going to do too well. So. So yeah, we keep
everything super clean and really take
care of our yeast. And it’s just a fun– and also water. We forget about water a lot. But water chemistry
can come into play. We don’t get too crazy
about our water chemistry. You can have a full on
reverse osmosis system, and then build your water
back up to where you want it. It’s also very expensive. So we do some
extensive filtration to get rid of chlorine and heavy
metals and things like that. But it’s difficult for us
to brew all styles of beer, especially lager. You have to be very
careful when we’re burying like our
Over The Line lager, because we want a lighter,
softer water for that. And we don’t have
it in San Diego. So we have to be a little bit
creative how we deal with that. That being said, even though
that we do have hard water, we add a lot of
calcium chloride, calcium sulfate to our beers,
especially with our hoppy beers to really impart that
nice hoppy bitterness, and the yeast also
uses a ton of calcium to be healthy and reproduce. So yeah, I chatted a little
bit about some of this– typically the two main styles
of beer are ales and lagers. And it’s mainly due to the
type of yeast that we use. There’s slightly different
varieties and strains. Ales will ferment
around room temperature, so around 68 Fahrenheit. But they won’t ferment
below into the 50s, whereas lager
yeast will continue to ferment down into the
48, 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And basically the
warmer you ferment beer, the more flavors, the more
esters and aldehydes are going to be produced, and
you’re going to have a more fruity, flavorful beer. The lower fermentation,
fermenting a lager at 48 or 50 degrees,
you’re going to have much less
fruitiness from that, and the malts and
hops are going to be playing more of an
important role in the beer. That takes a lot longer
with lagers, too, to make a proper lager because
of the cold temperature or the whole metabolism of
the yeast is slowed down. So instead of taking 15
to 20 days like an ale, a good lager is going to
take 35 to 40 days at least. Some companies even
pride themselves on having much longer
maturation times. The barrel aging on the right,
you can see some of our barrels in the background. And they just rest in
there and we get them wet after they remove the
spirit from the barrel, the inside is still wet. We get them right away. We try to get them
within a few days, and then fill them with beer. It’s said, I’ve
heard rumors, there’s something like two gallons
of the liquor still absorbed in the wood. And so with the beer
sitting in there, slowly pulls that out of the
wood, and it typically increases the alcohol
content of the beer that we put in there by 2%. So we put in a 10%
imperial stout, like that coconut
macaroon there, and it ends up at
12% from the increase in the whiskey content. AUDIENCE: Do you only
use the barrels once? VIRGINIA MORRISON:
Typically only once. We do occasionally if
the timing is right, because if it’s just
left dry it’s going to– bacteria is going to
start getting in there and then you’re
asking for trouble. But we will do a second
fill once in a while. In fact next week our fourth
anniversary is coming up, and we’re celebrating
at the brewery. We’re releasing a brown ale
that we did a second fill in. So this is a small beer
that’s only 4.8 percent, but we put it in a whiskey
barrel for a second fill, and just worked out in time
that we were emptying the barrel and we had this beer available. So we’re like let’s try it. So much less whiskey
flavor, but a lot of caramel, kind of
butterscotch flavor from the residual beer that
was in there in the wood. And so it turned
out really nice. But no, not like typically
with wine barrels where they can steam
clean the barrels and maybe use it–
sometimes they use sulfur strips
in a wine barrel to preserve them before
they refill them again the next year. So no, yeah, not too much. AUDIENCE: So this might
be a dumb question, but why put the [INAUDIBLE]? MARTY MENDIOLA: So why not put
the wood into the tank of beer? Well, the outside
is pretty dirty. Yeah, they’re filthy,
really, on the outside, because they’re sitting
in a warehouse and dust and the rings are– but you can. Yeah, there’s companies
that do chips, wood chips. There’s some companies that
come up with this– some method of making these spirals
so you can actually stick the spirals down and
into a tank or keg or something like that if you have. So yeah, it is possible. It’s technically
it’s illegal to– you we can’t add liquor to beer. But we can add beer to a barrel
that previously held liquor. AUDIENCE: Loophole. MARTY MENDIOLA: So that’s what. That’s probably the main reason. Yeah, so the specific
gravity is just a measurement of the density of a liquid. And so we typically use
like pure distilled water is kind of like your zero point. And there’s a couple of
different scales as well that makes it kind of confusing,
because the English I’d like to use the specific
gravity scale, which pure water is 1.000. And then the more dissolved
stuff you have in the liquid and it makes it thicker, that
number is going to go up. We like to use. There’s a couple other
scales ones called the Brix, B-R-I-X scale that
used mostly in wine. And I like the Plato scale. It’s called. And they’re very, very similar. They basically
0.0 is pure water, and then as more dissolved
stuff is in there the number is going
to go up, and we use what’s called a hydrometer. Where you drop it into a test
tube of your liquid sample, and it floats. And so it would float
at zero, and then when you have a liquid or a
beer with more dissolved stuff, more dissolved sugars
and proteins in there, then it’s going to rise up and
it’s going to float higher. So we use it as a
way, this is how we– it’s part of the recipe
formulation asked earlier. So if you want to make a 5%
beer with 5% alcohol, or beer with 7% or beer at
9%, you have to have a different starting
gravity or original gravity. So when we’re using the
malts to create a mash, you can think about it. Think about it as we’re always
using the same amount of water. So in our case, we’re using
it’s a 30 barrel mash ton. So we’re typically
using about 31 gallons in a barrel, so roughly
900 gallons of water. So we’re always using
the same amount of water, but we can add different
amounts of grain. So the more grain
we add, the higher– the more sugar we’re
going to extract, and so there’s going to be a
higher percentage of sugar, so the original gravity
is going to keep going up. So a typical light beer
that’s going to be 5% is going to start with an
original gravity in the about 10%, 11%, 12% range, meaning
about 10% or 11% or 12% sugar. A 7% IPA is going to just
start Browning 15% sugar, or 15 degrees Plato
is the terminology. If you want to make a
big 10% imperial style, you’re going to start
at like 22 Plato. And so we monitor that, because
as we are filling the brew kettle we’re also spraying hot
water over the top in a process called sparging, and so
the gravity of the liquid, what we call the WRT,
W-R-T, the WRT coming out of the mashed ton into the
brew kettle it starts out high, but then as we spray
more water, it’s getting more and more diluted. So this drops and
drops and drops. And so we have a cut off
where we will not sparge below three Plato or 3% sugar. Because then you’re
starting to extract all the undesirable
things out of the grain that you don’t want. You don’t want to get
all the last runnings. You want to get all
the good sweet stuff. And so that’s one method. Then we know once the
brew kettle is filled and it gets boiling, then
we’ll take another sample check, the gravity, and see
how close we are to our target. And then sometimes we
have to add a little water to kind of blend it down. And so then the work
goes into the fermenter and we add the yeast, the
yeast starts eating the sugars, creating alcohol, carbon
dioxide, all the other stuff. Alcohol weighs less
than water, so we have to do a little
bit of a calculation. But we essentially
we check the gravity throughout the
fermentation, and so if we make a beer with
15 Plato, next day it’s going to be at like
12 Plato and it’s going to keep on going down
until it finally finishes out somewhere in the low
range, two to three Plato. So if you’re– so yeah,
specific gravity is very, very important. We’re constantly checking it. And if it also just depends
what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to make a light
lager, like our Over The Line Lager, we want that
to be very dry, little very little
residual sugar. We want it to be light and
crisp and easy drinking. So we want that to finish real
low at like 1 and 1/2 percent sugar. Whereas a beer like
the Porter, that’s– [INAUDIBLE] it’s got a lot
more flavor, a lot more body to that. So that beer will typically
finish around 3.8 or 4 Plato. So it’s got a lot more
residual sugar, more body, more mouthfeel. So, yeah great question. Thank you. So yeah, we love– we love beer and food. Combined together. Always– I just I’m
just fascinated by beer, because there’s so many– I think there’s over 100
official beer styles now. And it just fascinates me that
you can have a super straw– light straw colored beer,
a sweet red colored beer, a stout, a hoppy IPA, and
it just fascinates me. Sometimes when we like– we
have some friends in Napa we go up there and we’ll do
some wine tasting sometimes. And there’s lots of
different red wines, a lot of different white wines. But you know, red wine. Like Zinfandel,
Marlow, Cabernet, they all are kind of grapey. You can always– you can
always you can always make up the description like
without even tasting it. Oh yeah, hints of cherry
and blackberry, you know. I think they think I’m an idiot
when I’m at a tasting room and I’m like, yes, that’s
really grapey, I like that. They’re like, OK. I’m just playing. But it just fascinates me the
amounts of flavors we have. And we also enjoy
a lot more variety. I think like you really can’t
do a lot with mustard and wine. But mustard and
beer can be great. And so we are just
fascinated by it, and luckily we have a lot
of friends around town with a lot of our chefs
that can do wine and– wine– beer. Beer and food pairings with. Now I want a wine. Because bad mouthing. But the three main
ideas that we have come across when thinking
about beer and food pairing is the ideas of complementing
and contrasting and cleansing or cutting. Because they’re all–
sometimes that can happen in the same dish, so we’d be
interested in after we would go and try what
we have prepared, it’d be interesting to
hear your thoughts on what complements what contrasts. And it could be the same. But complements
typically happen when, as you might imagine,
when the similar flavors and intensities of the food
combine to find each other, enhance each other. Typically like a
light, light fish, maybe a porter or stout is
maybe not the best thing. Maybe a lighter beer
might be along that– a better pairing. Contrasting is
kind of interesting because it can be
when elements can contrast they can accentuate
or heighten each other. Like when you have like salt
and sugar, a lot of our foods have both to
heighten both senses. But they can also be noticed– they can also cut each other
and be noticed separately. So IPA is kind of a
cool one, because you can pair an IPA with the hoppy
bitterness with something spicy, and it actually
makes it more spicy. And it’s not like a
refreshing combination, it’s more of a
contrasting combination. Those are kind of fun. And then cutting or
cleansing is kind of when– that’s kind of displayed when
carbonation, the bitterness, the acidity of beer can kind
of wash away and cleanse the palate from oily
or heavy or rich foods. And it’s one of the reasons
why beer and cheese go so well together,
because it helps to wash that fatty
cheese off your tongue, and make you ready
for the next bite. So with that being said,
I think we are about ready to give it a try. Do we have one? We do have one. So we thought they
would start with a kind of a more of a cleanse
with the bruschetta with the an olive tapenade
out and then the lagers like light, crisp, bubbly,
a lot of carbonation. And it’s going to be
a refreshing pairing. Things like a fresh cheese
with our Mulligan, is an amber. It’s an Irish red. It’s got a lot of caramel
malt and toasty flavors. I think those pairings should
complement each other really well. And then kind of a fun
thing, when I think meatball, I’m thinking, you know,
Chianti or something like that. But the rich roasty
flavors of our porter with the higher specific
final gravity, more richness and body. And the flavors of
the meatball are going to be very
interesting together. [APPLAUSE]

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