Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rabbit Hole aims for cleaner Kölsch with new filter

The most recent batch of Mike Modano's 561 was run through
the brewery's new lenticular filter (Tait Lifto).

New equipment installations aren't something I usually write about, what with a shiny new this or a shiny new that seemingly being delivered to a brewery in North Texas virtually every week. Occasionally, though, something will hop into my inbox that catches my eye, and this morning just such an email arrived from the Rabbit Hole Brewing Company.

Rabbit Hole's new gadget filters beer
during transfer from the fermentation
vessel to the brite tank (Tait Lifto).
As for why this particular piece of equipment sparked my interest, ask yourself if you've ever thought Mike Modano's 561 Kölsch-Style beer was a little more bitter than you'd like. I'll admit it, I have, and it's something I noticed the very first time I tried the beer back on its debut night. Rather than being hop-like, my take on the bitterness was that it was more along the lines of a mild astringency. It wasn't anything off-putting, mind you, and as a matter of fact it's not an uncommon characteristic of an authentic Kölsch. Still, I've always kind of wondered what Rabbit Hole's version would be like if it were just a little bit cleaner.

Enter the brewery's new lenticular filter. Not only does it eliminate more bitter by-products by removing yeast that doesn't drop out during lagering, it also improves product clarity and extends a beer's shelf life by getting rid of residual spoilage bacteria.

According to Tait Lifto, Rabbit Hole's Chief Sales Sensei, the latest batch of 561 was the first to utilize the new device and you can see the results in the image at the top of the page. He says the hope is that lessening the bitterness will make the beer "even more popular with everyone than it already is," and he adds that "even if you've tried Modano's 561 in the past, we encourage you to try it again and note the subtle differences as we've continued to add equipment designed to [continuously] improve our overall quality."

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