Currently Parallel 49 only offers tours during scheduled dates and times. You can always stop in to their Tasting Room to find out the next time they are offering them though as its open daily. On August 3rd 2012 they offer
When it hit 4pm sharp the Brewmaster rounded everyone up in the tasting room and started the tour. We started at the first station of the brewing process the Milling Room where they break down all the grains and malts. Once the grains are milled they are sent through a pipe up to the Mash Tun. This is the beginning of beer and is called wort at this stage. This stage takes about 60 minutes and breaks the starches into fermentable sugars. Once this is done the liquid is sent through pipes to the Kettle and the spent grains are gathered up and sent to a farm to be eaten by farm animals (you have to love recycling). Depending on the beer in the kettle it is boiled for around 60 minutes. This is also the stage where hops are added to the mix. Depending on if you add the hops early on or late in the process will change how bitter the beer is or hop characteristics act in the beer. The kettle used here is boiled by steam and not direct flame to evenly heat the wart. The boil reduces the PH level of the wart as well as sterilizes it. The beer is then wart is then spun into whirlpool in the kettle to separate the hops solids and the liquid is drained into a cooling unit. The wart is now cooled from 100C to about 19C for Ales and 12C for lagers. The beer is now transferred into their fermenters. Here the yeast is added to the wart and the mix can now be called beer finally. The yeast changes the carbohydrates and sugars to alcohol over an extended time. When the beer is ready the temperature of the Fermenters is dropped to -2C and the yeast stops working and drops to the bottom of the vessel. From here the beer may be filtered but is ready for packaging either in bottles or kegs. The bottling line they have can 4200 bottles in an hour wich is faster than their labeling machine. They also have a lab so that they can test the multiple strains of yeast they use to check for purity.
The brewmaster Graham also told us that they are currently fermenting a batch of 9% alcohol Imperial Stout (in their small fermenter) that will be sold in 600 ml bottles when ready. They are even going to age them in Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrels that they just purchased. Graham has not formal brewmaster training but was a big time home brewer and chemical engineer. Goes to show that you just have to try hard and you can learn to make amazing beer!
The Brewery currenty produces 4 main beer the Hoparazzi India Pale Lager, Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale, Old Boy Classic Ale and the Seedspitter Watermelon Witbier. The Seedspitter is a summer seasonal beer though and will be replaced by a Pumping Ale for the fall or winter.
PARALLEL 49 BREWING CO.
1950 Triumph St. Vancouver
BC, Canada V5L 1K5