Sep 032008
Authors: Madeline Novey

Odell brewing donated a $5,590 “pilot” brewing system to the department of food science and nutrition, Thursday. The brewery announced its contribution to the program last week.

The new system will be used by students in Brewing Sciences and Technology, an upper-division food science class.

The small-scale professional system, ‘Brew Magic,’ is an original design produced and distributed by Sabco Industries, a company based out of Toledo, Ohio. The 750-pound system was delivered in a multitude of pieces to CSU yesterday afternoon; Sabco paid for transportation costs, which totaled almost $1,000.

The system, used by pubs, microbreweries and brewing labs, is a “mini version of a technologically high-end, commercial level product,” said Bob Sulier, president of Sabco.

Department officials and brewing experts agree that this new technology will give students the experience they need to be competitive in the industry.

“[Students] have a wonderful opportunity to use this new and innovative equipment,” said Lori Sims, director of development for the College of Applied Human Sciences. “No matter which way [they] go, I hope they remember this as one that will launch [their] careers.”

Doug Odell, founder and brew master of Odell Brewing Co., formed a collaborative relationship with brewing science professor, Jack Avens over twelve years ago when Avens invited him to speak in several food science courses. The symbiosis flourished when the college added Brewing Science and Technology four years ago.

“We asked ourselves how we could step up our contributions,” said Odell. “CSU really needed new equipment, and we saw this as an opportunity that we could help.”

Odell and other experts noticed at least two problems with the old university brewing system.

“In the current system, there is a lack of consistency and a lack of repeatability,” said Odell. In order to make a great brew, those variables have to be eliminated, he later explained.

Students were excited for the opportunities the new system could afford.

“It will be pretty amazing to see how advanced it will be,” said senior biology major, Dan Koogle. “[The system] will give me more knowledge of the brewing process and the science behind it, and then I’ll know if I want to do this in graduate school.”

Tomorrow, the class will be brewing 10 gallons of an American IPA style ale with the help of Odell and the ‘Brew Magic’ system on the Gifford porch. The initial brewing process is expected to take approximately six hours; the entire fermentation process is at least three weeks. They will brew the same recipe using a commercial, five-barrel system on location at Odell Brewing Co. on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The barrels, which each hold 31.5 gallons of ale, will be processed and sold to the Fort Collins and CSU communities in late October or early November. The Ramskeller, in the basement of the Lory Student Center, will have the brew on tap at that time.

Staff writer Madeline Novey can be reached at

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