Roak Brewing Co. has a cool, sleek demeanor. The façade of the Royal Oak, Mich., brewery almost looks like a nightclub. Inside, the brewing operation is similarly high tech. Roak’s state of the art brewery and bottling plant opened in 2015 and boasts approximately 20,000 barrels (bbls) of annual production. Now, it will be the next location to install hop extraction equipment featuring the ShockWavePower Reactor — a futuristic piece of hardware aimed at both significant cost savings and exciting new flavor possibilities in brewing.
You might remember we were crushing on the ShockWave Power Reactor back in November, and not just because it sounds like the name of world-conquering super machine made by Cobra to destroy GI Joe and rule the world. ApoWave ShockWave Power Reactor Technology (SPR) can increase the amount of alpha acids that get extracted from hops in the brewing process. Its maker, Hydro Dynamics, claims that by controlling cavitation in the hopping process it can save brewers money.
Cavitation is the creation of a low pressure zone in a fluid that essentially vaporizes a small amount of the fluid creating small vapor bubbles. These low pressure zones are unstable and eventually the bubbles collapse releasing a “shock wave” as the energy it took to create them has to go somewhere. This process of bubble formation and collapse is the heart of cavitation. When the SPR technology is applied to the different processes within the brewhouse, especially with expertise in hop utilization, a brewer can control that cavitation to produce craft beers with 50 to 90 percent less bittering hops and 50 to 75 percent less aroma hops for dry hopping.
Roak Brewing is known for its highly creative special release beers that should benefit from the capabilities of the ApoWave technology.
“This is a great opportunity to advance not only Roak but the entire craft brewing industry,” said John Leone, co-owner and co-president of Roak.
Check out more about the ShockWave Power Reactor in this previous article.