A good quality product starts with four main ingredients. First and foremost would be a quality water source. Were very fortunate to have a well on the property. Because our property used to be an old ice production facility. They needed extremely large quantities of water to produce their ice. The city was not able to supply it to them. So they dug their well which we are able to use for our beer production. That water comes into our building. It’s not filtered and it’s not treated. There are no additives and it’s not stripped. It’s pristine. As close to perfect brewing water as you can find.
For brewing beer at home you can read our Home Brewing 101: How to brew beer at home
Start of the beer-making process
The second ingredient that we need for beer making is malted barley. In fact, we source that from the Canadian area. To get a quality malted barley that comes into our building we need to mill it. Milling is the first process in beer making. We will run the barley through our mill and the idea is to simply cut the husks off without crushing the barley kernel.
After the barley is milled we will weigh the exact amount needed to equal what the recipe required for that particular brew. From that point were going to move into the collection of tanks that we call the brewhouse. The first vessel is going to be the mash mixer. When we decide to start with the brewing process, we will move our milled malted barley to that. After it is added to the tank, we will also add hot water. Stirring it up you will get something similar to oatmeal that we call a mash. That process is going to allow that water to get into those barley kernels. It will add flavor, color, sugar and starches to our beer.
Lautering and the Boil
We will take that entire mixture and move it into the 4th vessel in our brewhouse which is the lauter tun. It’s a tank that has a false bottom. Mash gets moved in there as a whole liquid and solids combined.
We allow the liquid to run through the bottom and we take that liquid and pump it back over the top. We will do this repetitively until we’ve built up a grain bed in the bottom. That creates a natural filter that will filter out the husks or any milling solids from the barley.
The rich sugar liquid we at this point call liquor and move it to the last vessel called the kettle. Once in the kettle, we will bring it to a boil. During the boil, we also add hops. They are sourced out of Pacific Northwest for more American-style hops. We also get a large influence of hops from European hop producers as well. We add them at the very beginning of the boil. They are going to contribute to those bittering characteristics that you want. Hops that we add at the very end of the boil will give flavors and aromatics.
Fermentation and Packaging
At the end of the boiling process, we send the entire wort mixture through a whirlpool process. That will pull together any hop particles or any solids that made it from the water tun to the center where we are able to discard them. After passing through a heat exchanger to cool it down we move it into our fermenters.
We want the temperature to be between 68 to 70 F as we are transferring into our fermenters. When the yeast has been added fermentation will start almost instantly. The byproduct of fermentation is carbon dioxide and alcohol. The primary fermentation takes between 5 to 10 days. At the end of that period, we will let the yeast start to condition the product. After 10 days of fermentation and another 5 days of conditioning, this product is called beer. But it’s not carbonated yet.
We send the beer through a centrifuge which will pull any of the solids that are in the liquid. It gives us a very consistent and uniform product that we’re able to package and send to the market. We carbonate through forced carbonation using a carbonation stone.
There are two options for packaging. Draft using clean and sanitized kegs and bottles which are also sanitized and dried. After packaging, we move the product into our cold room. There is ready to be shipped and delivered. Cheers.