Stegmaier Brewery – The History

18 December 2009

LionBreweryFermentationStegmaierBrewery Today’s photo shows the fermenting tanks at the old Stegmaier Brewery.  There look to be about 6 or 8 tanks in the room and they appear to be all wood or wood-clad.

14 comments (click to read or post):

leoorl44 18 December, 2009 13:35  


They are all wood. The interior of the wood was lined with a coating that had to be re-done every several years. This coating prevented the beer from contacting the wood. Workers would go in and scrape and heat off the old coating and brush a new coating on the wood. It was very labor intensive.

sam k,  18 December, 2009 15:30  

They would definitely be all-wood, probably cypress, lined with a pitch-like product called Mammut, and open-topped to boot. I'm surprised at how short they are, actually. Cool photo! I hope there are more to come.

mybeerbuzz,  18 December, 2009 16:47  

Any idea how large they are?

sam k,  19 December, 2009 08:57  

Hey Leo, my first visit to The Lion was when Phil Leinhart was a brewmaster, and you were still using cypress fermenters for 1857 if memory serves me right.

leoorl44 19 December, 2009 11:34  

Sam, you are correct. We used the open cypress tanks until 1990. We then sold the cypress to a local company that sold the wood to ship builders. We saved some of the wood. I have a piece of it somewhere in my house.

mybeerbuzz,  19 December, 2009 11:47  

What sort of capacity did these tanks have?

leoorl44 19 December, 2009 12:04  

I cannot remember what the capacity of all the tanks. Some were 175 bbls and some were over 350. I believe we had 17 tanks, but I cannot remember. I will have to look at some old paperwork. The one thing I remember was how dark the cellar was!

mybeerbuzz,  19 December, 2009 12:27  

Thanks Leo....amazing tanks. Just think what fun you would be able to have with them now.

sam k,  19 December, 2009 12:52  

When Jones Brewing got rid of their last cypress tanks in the 1960s, my Dad built a picnic table out of some of the lumber. Heavy as hell and would stand up to the elements like nothing else!

mybeerbuzz,  19 December, 2009 13:14  

I'll bet it smelled great too...

leoorl44 19 December, 2009 13:47  

On Monday, I will send another picture of the fermenters, which is a picture taken above the tanks and you can see the brews in high krausen! It is an awesome photo.

mybeerbuzz,  19 December, 2009 13:50  

Sounds cool Leo...can't wait to see it.

sam k,  19 December, 2009 18:30  

Hmmm,din;t remember the smell, but goo thought anyway! Can't wait for the high krausen, Leo!

mybeerbuzz,  19 December, 2009 19:57  

I did mean a GOOD smell!

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