This part of the tour is designed to teach you about the delicate chemistry of the beer-brewing process. You will encounter the mash tun, where maize, malt and water are mixed and the lauter (German for “separate”) tun, where the malt husks are separated from the liquid.
The malting process involves the use of certified malting-grade barley that is specially grown by contracted farmers according to strict quality standards. The barley seeds are steeped in water so they can properly germinate, during which time the kernels becomes modified and naturally occurring enzymes are activated, converting starch to sugar. In the final stage of malting, the developing grains are dried in a kiln in a process that flavours and colours the grains and turns them into malt. The kilning temperature and contact time is critical. After this, deculming follows, the process by which the rootlets are broken and separated from the malt. The malt is then allowed to rest for three weeks.
Once the malt grains have been rested, the brewer will prepare them for brewing liquor in a milling process, before mixing the milled malt grain together with the brewing liquor in the mash tun and forming the mash. The mash is then transferred to a lauter tun that sieves and filters the rich, fermentable liquid called wort from the spent husks. The wort is boiled for an hour to create the ideal conditions in which to add the vital ingredient of beer, the hops, for bittering, flavour and aroma. Sedimentation is then used to clarify the newly hopped wort.
Yeast, added to cooled, clarified and hopped wort, converts the fermentable sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process is carefully temperature controlled to optimise quality and taste to produce “young beer”. Our young beer is transferred to our sub-zero lagering cellar where its taste quality matures and clarity develops through cold stabilisation. The process that follows, filtration, removes stabilised chill haze and any remaining yeast before the beer is dusted with natural carbon dioxide from our fermentation process. The final step sees the storing of the chilled, filtered and carbonated beer in our bright beer tanks prior to packaging.
The bright beer is packed into clean bottles and cans, pasteurised for shelf life stability, labelled for consumer appeal and packed for safe warehousing, distribution and trade presentation.