Mirror Twin Brewing - Lexington, KY

Mirror Twin Brewing - Lexington, KY

One of our very own brewers/design consultants, Jeremy King, documented his time at Lexington KY’s Mirror Twin Brewery as he helped with the first brew on their newest Craft Kettle 15 BBL two-vessel direct-fire brewhouse. Mirror Twin is already a staple in the craft beer community in their hometown of Lexington, KY. With in-house pizza ovens, an excellent cocktail bar, and a packed trivia night, we were thrilled to help them with their expansion. Check out Jeremy’s account of the Mirror Twin brew below. 

After an incredibly smooth install, our first brew at Mirror Twin was a wonderful experience. My assembly team and controls engineer made sure everything was ready to go by the time I showed up for the first brew. From the moment we started dough-in to the moment chilled wort exited the heat exchanger, things went without any major hitches. 

We’re onsite for every first brew both to make sure the equipment is running smoothly and to help train brewers on the innovative features of a Craft Kettle brewhouse. At Mirror Twin, my job was a little easier than normal, since Derek Defranco is such an experienced brewer. 

With this particular brew, I perched myself up on the platform for most of the brew so I could monitor Derek, only guiding him and providing suggestion when necessary. I'd occasionally peek into the mash tun during dough-in to see how it looked, nodding with approval. Within minutes of vorlaufing, the wort passing through the grant had cleared. This gave me a great opportunity to highlight one of the CK features I love, the sampling and lauter sink station that runs off our vorlauf line. After hitting our gravity, a simple pull of a valve and we were instantly lautering. It’s great to see the expression on experienced brewers’ faces when they realize they don’t need to run up and down the platform or fiddle with dangerous diverter panels to start the transfer into the kettle.

The Mirror Twin system is a direct-fire unit, which sometimes doesn’t live up to the expectations of steam systems. Luckily, my engineers do great work in designing every detail. With a few quick adjustments to the temperature offsets, we hit a beautiful boil. This particular beer was a nice looking blonde ale, and we ran full volume at target gravity to the fermenters! Hats off to my team for really sweating the small stuff to make sure every piece is properly sized and that our efficiency is through the roof. I’ve worked at a lot of breweries, and it sometimes takes years to truly hone in a system. I love giving our partners a good jump start when they first start up their CK brewhouse.

It seemed like the whole town of Lexington was celebrating the new Craft Kettle system. Many brewers visited from nearby taprooms and one even drove in from Louisville! I lost track of how many visitors came to congratulate brewer Derek DeFranco and to narrow their eyes at the new equipment. Meeting fellow brewers who are excited and enthusiastic truly makes what I do worthwhile. The camaraderie was refreshing and encouraging. Good things are happening out there in Lexington. I look forward to the next time I'm out that way.

Be sure to taste a few of Mirror Twin's brews. https://www.mirrortwinbrewing.com/

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