Our Process

sketch of 2 brewing tanks with pipes running from themLupulin Brewing 30 barrel brewhouse on the brew deck

The Brewhouse

At the heart of any brewery is the brewhouse. A quality brewhouse needs to be a workhorse, making thousands of gallons of your favorite beers every day. We custom designed and built ours with the help of the good folks at the W.M. Sprinkman company. Proudly built right here in the upper midwest, W.M. Sprinkman makes some of the best equipment in the industry. We designed our brewhouse to make the kinds of beers we like. Our state of the art custom whirlpool allows us to completely control at what temperatures we introduce hops. This allows us total control over our hop flavors and bitterness to craft the exact flavor profile that we want.

Dry Hopping

Every great IPA deserves a great dry hop.  Our Rolec DH90 dry hopping system allows us to capture more of those wonderful flavors and aromas from our hops, while greatly reducing how much oxygen comes in contact with the beer. This system grinds up the hops and shoots them into a constant flowing stream of beer, carrying them into our tanks where the magic happens. It does all this in a sealed, pressurized and CO2 purged vessel. What that means to you is you can expect only the freshest and boldest flavors and aromas in our IPAs. An added bonus is our brewers love not having to lug hundreds of pounds of hops up a 20 foot ladder to dose them in manually!

Inline Carbonation

Carbonation level in beer is a critical component of the tasting experience. Proper carbonation levels are easily and often overlooked. Getting it right is important to the flavor, mouthfeel, and aroma of finely crafted beers. It is one of the last pieces to the flavor puzzle, and we do not take the importance lightly. Our Probrew ProCarb Inline Carbonation System gives us complete control to hit our desired level of carbonation every time. Not only that, but carbonating inline saves us precious time in our tanks, allowing us to make more of the beer you love!

Carb-skid for carbonating beverages in a brewery
extracting a sample from a can of Hooey in the quality lab

Quality Lab

In order to ensure that your favorite Lupulin beers are consistent and that our new and exciting brews hit the mark every time, we built an extensive Quality Control lab that is outfitted with numerous types of testing and analytical instruments. We use qPCR and anaerobic plating to monitor our microbial stability in all beers, a UV-VIS Spectrophotometer to guarantee we have no diacetyl, and an ABV Analyzer to name a few. While fancy instruments are very helpful for precisely testing things and to eliminate human error we still need to make sure that the beer smells and tastes amazing, which is why we also have an off-flavor training program that all full time production employees participate in.


Have you ever ran out and bought the hottest, super-cool, super-fruited beer with the coolest label expecting to be blown away by how great it is only to find the flavor has gone off, or worse yet, you find a sticky mess in your fridge from an exploded can? Yeah, we feel you there. Our dedication to crafting the best quality beers doesn’t end when those beers leave our brewery. While we wouldn’t think of pasteurizing our IPAs, we also love making fun beers with big, pulpy fruit flavors and other creative non-traditional ingredients. We did extensive flavor testing to ensure that pasteurization will allow us to hit the exact flavors that we want. You can be confident that when enjoying our most innovative beers, the flavors you taste are exactly what we intended when it left our brewery.

Pasteurizer in a brewery
handful of spent grain

Spent Grain

Spent grain is the compact waste of malt and/or grains left after mashing and lautering in the brewhouse. Spent grain consists primarily of barley husks, embryonic remnants, protein, and minerals. When wet, water by mass comprises 75%–80%.  We as brewers consider this waste, but it is valuable to a farmer because of its many nutrients, and spent grain is an excellent animal feed, and most livestock find it highly palatable when it is fresh. We dispose of it while it is still damp, collecting initially in garbage cans, then to 250 gallon plastic totes and in 2023 will implement a new trailer for hauling the product to local farmers. 

The Spent Grain program at Lupulin has been a cooperative partnership with local farmers in the area since we started the brewery.  Over the course of time, our program has evolved and grown as we’ve increased our capacity along with more farmers wanting this for animal feed. Initially, we started out with hobby farmers stopping by and picking up garbage cans, then we migrated to 250 gallon plastic totes arranged through a partnership and cooperative of farmers associated with Iron Shoe Farms. With continued growth, we started working on another solution in late 2021 and at the end of 2022 we were awarded a grant by Sherburne County to purchase a trailer, heat blanket and portable dumpsters.  This program is expected to start up in Q1 2023.  

racks of barrels aging beer

Barrel Program

We started putting beer into barrels during our first summer open and those barrels became the seeds of a barrel program that fuels Big Beer Week, our largest annual event, and one of the marquee events for high-gravity and barrel-aged beers in the state of Minnesota. Lupulin’s barrel program typically consists of 100+ oak barrels (bourbon, rye, scotch, rum, etc.) housing a variety of beers from Imperial Stouts (i.e. Barrel God) and Imperial Brown Ales (i.e. Rye Nutz) to strong lagers and barleywines. Our extensive barrel inventory provides us with ample stock to create a variety of special blends, such as Barrel God Cuvée and our line of Demigod releases. While we have and will continue to use a variety of adjuncts (i.e. vanilla, cacao nibs, fruits, spices, etc.) in some of our creations, Lupulin’s barrel program focuses first and foremost on highlighting the unique contributions of barrel type coupled with the time spent aging.

Tap Handle wall in the Big Lake, MN Lupulin Brewing Taproom