Podcast Episode 233: Urbain Coutteau of Struise Brouwers shares a “peasant intelligence”

Today, the brewery operates with a brewhouse as unique as its beers – two mash vats, with internal vessels and screens that lift and drain the mash, to feed three separate kettles. The team brews four rounds a day on the system, filling a fermenter one quarter full when fermentation begins. Over the following days, subsequent infusions fill the tank as the carefully controlled fermentation progresses. By adjusting the brewing temperatures of each day’s brews, they are able to approximate a staged brewing regime without strict temperature control or automation in the brewhouse.

In this episode, co-founder Urbain Coutteau discusses the creative and the technical, in particular:

  • build a bridge to stout for Belgian beer lovers with Pannepot
  • control the use of simple sugars to avoid astringency
  • recreate the Pannepot recipe without spices but with a wild side Saccharomyces strain
  • the conceptual framework for their unique brewery facility
  • design a brewhouse to achieve specific flavor goals
  • control fermentation to allow tank fillings over several days without stressing the yeast
  • rely on ingenuity more than investment
  • the best brewery water treatment system that almost eliminates water waste
  • clever use of automation to create water profiles, reducing staff time
  • using a familiar beer yeast strain to ferment great Belgian beers

And more.

Launched on a shoestring budget, the Struise team has always had to rely on clever problem solving – what Coutteau calls “peasant intelligence”. That spirit is alive and well at the brewery today, scaled to tackle bigger challenges, in bigger ways.

This episode is brought to you by:

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