Green brewer uses new technology for age-old craft

Shannon Carter, of Shannon Brewing Co. in Keller, discusses how scientific knowledge informs his brewmaking techniques at a STEM seminar on Feb. 18.

Shannon Carter, of Shannon Brewing Co. in Keller, discusses how scientific knowledge informs his brewmaking techniques at a STEM seminar on Feb. 18.
Shannon Carter, of Shannon Brewing Co. in Keller, discusses how scientific knowledge informs his brewmaking techniques at a STEM seminar on Feb. 18. Photo by Braulio Tellez/The Et Cetera

By Courtney Schwing

Turns out, beer is more science than art.

At the first Science, Technology, Engineering and Math session of the semester, Shannon Carter, founder and president of Shannon Brewing Co., talked about microbrewing technology with an emphasis on chemistry, engineering, mathematics and microbiology.

Carter’s brew house, located in Keller, is a custom designed space that runs on wi-fi, cloud-based technology and storage. Shannon Brewery is also moving forward and leading the industry for rapid growth in sanitation technology.

“About 25 percent of our time is spent on actual brewing, about 90 percent of that 25 is dedicated to sanitation preparation,” Carter said. “We have been 12 percent up every year for the last 10 years, with 12 years of double digit growth.”

Shannon Brewery is also a “green brewery,” paving the way in water conservation for the beer industry.

“Brew with spring water, clean with city water,” Carter said.

The green brew house is built on a natural spring allowing the brewery to have two separate water systems.

“Our brewery is built on a natural spring in Keller that produces over 150,000 gallons of water a day,” he said.

This also aids the company in creating quality and wholesome beer by using spring water as opposed to more popular mainstream brewing companies.

Carter said the company’s recipe is based on his Irish family’s recipe that coincides with the ancient tradition of fire brewing as opposed to super-heated steaming.

“My great-grandfather was a brewer in Ireland, he had this brewing process and I was very interested in replicating it,” Carter said.

“Once we had these recipes replicated on my pilot, we went to my friend who has a steam system and we tried to replicate some of them on the steam system and we were unable to do so.”

After trial and error Carter had to abandon the idea of using current methods to brew these recipes.

“We wanted to recreate these old school recipes and the only way to do was to use methods from centuries ago,” he said.

In addition, Carter’s brewery imports Irish moss to clarify its beer and incorporates brite tank and kettle brewing over keg. This method is preferred over D.E., which filters virtually everything out of the beer, including flavor. This method is found in Budweiser, Bud Light and Miller, he said.

During the seminar, Carter mentioned that master brewer Peter Boettcher is working to develop and teach a master brewer certification on the Eastfield campus in April. Boettcher has over 25 years of experience in the science of beer brewing. The class would take six to 12 weeks.

 

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