Manufacturing alcoholic beverages is very temperature-dependent and requires well-functioning commercial HVAC in Eugene, OR. Distilleries are no different as, although the steps for making spirits are very linear and clear, there is still a need to maintain temperatures at the early stages and ensure equipment and environmental controls work well. Here is an overview of the distilling process and how hiring an experienced commercial HVAC provider will help you produce the best whiskeys, vodkas, gins and anything else you hope to manufacture.
The process of making spirits
The making of grain spirits dates back to 1172. While this time period did not enjoy the same temperature control technology we do today, they still figured out that there would be three steps to the process: malting, fermenting and distilling. Up until the mid 1950s, most distilleries carried out all three of these steps at their facilities. Now, malting normally occurs offsite, with the final steps performed by the manufacturer.
Malting soaks the grain for 48 to 72 hours. During this time, it germinates and releases heat. It is essential during this process that temperature is maintained at around 60 degrees with few deviations. Otherwise, the grain decomposes completely from its own heat. (A combination of heating and cooling helps this, so you need to make sure your thermostat is working.)
Once malted, it goes into the malt kiln, which draws heat from the soaked grain. The peat furnace often gets involved here, creating high temperatures to bring the grain to its required form. Malt is eventually dried and roasted for the next step.
Depending on the liquor being produced, it is now time for mashing, brewing and distilling. A cheap whiskey will go through fewer steps than a prized scotch. Once the beverage goes through its required number of stills, it is stored in casks for maturation.
The role of HVAC
Your commercial HVAC system needs to be well-tuned to maintain temperatures during the malting process. Temperatures too warm or cold can spoil your supply of grain and make the distilling process start over again. This wastes time and money.
During maturation, you may also want temperature control in order for your spirits to adopt the character you seek. For some liquors, wildly fluctuating temperatures may cause effects you and your clientele will not enjoy.
Refrigeration can also prove helpful if you have grain you won’t be able to use right away. Keeping it in a commercial refrigerator also protects it from rodents. While you will not want to do this for a super long time, it does make for a good solution if your production starts backing up.
Distilling is a fairly new activity here in the Pacific Northwest where beer and wine reign. Many people are learning on the job and keeping your HVAC system in good repair will prevent many production-killing ordeals.
If you want a service provider for commercial HVAC in Eugene, OR that has experience repairing, maintaining and installing distillery equipment, contact American Refrigeration, Inc. today.