So how do we make our beer?
For a pale beer just pale malt will do, but for other beers, we use crystal malt that has been stewed first before drying, or roasted malts that have been roasted after they have been first dried. Brown, amber, chocolate and black malt all add a dry biscuit flavour with the darker ones adding a roasted flavour too. If we’re making a stout then in goes some roasted barley, and some beers we may add some malted wheat or rye. A whole pallet of different flavours from which to paint our malty picture.
The brewing days starts with mixing the malt with hot water, for every 1kg of malt we use 2.5litres of water and are looking for a temperature of 66 degrees centigrade.
The mash stands for an hour and then we draw off the sweet sugary liquid called wort. As we draw this off we wash the and remaining sugar out of the mash by spraying it with hot water, a process called sparging.
Now we have a beery looking liquid that is very sweet very bitter and very hot, so we cool the beer down using a heat exchanger, and add the brewers friend yeast. Yeasts are single cell fungi we grow in the beer, converting the sugar to alcohol, water and carbon dioxide. After about 4 or five days the yeast has fermented almost all of the simple sugars in the brew and we cool the beer down. At the same time we scoop off the yeast from the top of the beer and save it for the next brew.
After 2 or three days cooling we transfer the beer to a tank for a further period of settling and conditioning and then we rack it into metal casks. At this point we add another natural product called finings. This is made traditionally from the swim bladders of fish, and helps the beer to become clear and bright. The beer is now ready to deliver to the pub. The landlord will store the beer and look after it to deliver to you across the bar a sparkling natural, flavoursome pint.