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Keg Party

We’ll keg 105 barrels of beer this week. For perspective, we only kegged 60 our entire first year in business. Suffice it to say, things are

A sea of kegs
A sea of kegs. Photo by Carl Hudson

moving fastly and furiously at CMBC.

So it makes sense that our keg orders are massive. Take the last one — at the end of May, we received 246 sixtels and 648 halves. That’s a ton of tuns.

It took six of our guys to unload these bad boys from the delivery truck — Ryan, Hank, Bill, Richie, Carl and Matt. It also took some thick skin, literally — some of the kegs hadn’t been deburred yet, meaning they were full of metal splinters.

But after three hours, we’d rolled the cargo into place, and now they’re primed for sanitation. Our keg washer — which was converted from our original, 12-gallon brewhouse — can handle two, 40-pound halves at once and runs approximately eight minutes per cycle. Since we need to get through 210 kegs this week, we’re looking at 105 cycles and enough time to watch 28 episodes of The Wonder Years.

So, what, exactly goes on in the keg washer? First, the containers are purged of their pressure, washed with an acid solution, rinsed, the-wonder-yearssanitized, purged of air, and refilled with pressure. For new kegs, this removes any metal dust that may have been leftover from the manufacturing process. For used kegs, this removes any aggressive yeast strains that might be hanging on from an old batch of beer, just waiting to chew away at any less aggressive yeast strain when a new beer is poured inside.

So no, it’s not *quite* the keg party of your college years that we’re having at CMBC, but we’re pretty geeked up about it.

Photo by Hot Carl Hudson.
Photo by Carl Hudson.