The Nitty Gritty
Malts are ground into grist, bagged and readied for mashing.
In a Mash Tun, grist is mixed with hot water (liquor) to form a mash. The malt’s natural enzymes break the malt starch into sugars which dissolve in the liquor and form sweet wort. This wort is next run into the boiling kettle.
The wort is heated up to a vigorous boil in the kettle. Hops are added to the wort to add beer’s customary bitter flavours.
Wort Separation & Cooling
A large amount of protein and tannin is precipitated during the boil. These, along with spent hops, must be separated from the now bitter wort.
A whirlpool separator creates a vortex in the wort, allowing the solids to settle out. Aroma hops are added at this stage. The wort is then cooled from around 90°C to around 18°C, and then pumped into the Fermenting vessel.
Cooled wort is run into the Fermenting Vessel (FV), at a temperature between 18 and 20°C, depending on time of year. Yeast is added and fermentation begins. The yeast breaks down the worts’ sugars extracted to form alcohol and CO2. After 7 days, the wort is beer and ready for conditioning.
The beer temperature is brought down to just above 0 degrees and kept there for a minimum of 10 days. Additional protein and tannin, precipitates out of the solution. This is a critical part of the process—the shelf-life of the final bottled beer depends on successful cold conditioning.
Next, the beer passes through a filter to remove the chill haze that forms during this phase, as well as any other particles of yeast that might still be present. The clear, bright and stable beer is then passed on into the Brite Beer Tank (BBT). CO2 is added in the BBT and various parameters of the beer are checked. The beer is now ready for kegging and bottling.
The beer is pumped from the BBT to the filling machine where it is filled into bottles that have been rinsed with sterile water and examined, for any sign of damage or foreign material.
The filling process is obviously critical, in so far, that all the care to get the beer to the state of perfection in the BBT, could be lost if the filling was not carried out under carefully controlled conditions of temperature, pressure and sterility. As soon as the bottle is filled it is sealed with a crown, labeled and placed in a light proof box.