Our Brewing Process
Our process ensures that the finest ingredients are transformed into the finest beers. Want to learn more about how your beer ends up in your glass? Read on.
The brewing process begins with malting the barley. At the malt house, the barley is steeped in water until it germinates. Next, it’s kiln dried to produce pale malts, chocolate, black, and specialty malts.
The malted barley arrives at our brewery in bags from the malt house. Here, pale malt is blended with various crystal, roasted, and specialty malts according to the recipe for the desired brew. A light ale might be brewed with only pale malt. Darker beers, while brewed primarily with pale malt, would require different blends of the other malts according to style.
The malt is put in the mill until it becomes the texture of coarse grits or larger. The purpose is to expose the starch inside, but still be coarse enough so water can flow through. Next, the flex auger (pipe) carries it to the next part of the brewing process. The milling usually takes about 45 minutes.
The flex auger brings the milled grain to the grist case. The grist (what malt is now called) stays in the grist case until the brewer opens the two slides on the chute. It mixes with hot water as it falls into the mash tun, and the hot water along with the enzymes created in the malting process converts the starch in the barley into sugar.
After about an hour of the barley steeping in the hot water, the conversion process (turning starch into sugar) is complete. The liquid is now called wort. The liquid wort is separated from the grain by a screen at the bottom of the mash tun, and run off into the kettle through the pipe that connects the two. In a process called sparging, more hot water is sprinkled onto the mash to further rinse out the sugars created during the mash.
At the beginning of the runoff the wort is very sweet and malty, and at the end of the runoff, it’s very weak. Our brewer uses the same amount of water for each batch of beer brewed, but changes the amount of grain to produce the desired amount of sugar in the kettle. The amount of sugar desired changes depending on which type of beer is being brewed. The more malt used, the more alcohol, the more malt flavor and the more sugar - which sometimes means a longer fermentation.
Recycling the grain. We take all of our spent grain from our beer making process and give it to local farmers for their livestock feed. It's just another way we participate in sustainability.
WE LOVE GUESTS! Come tour our brewery on beer release days or special occasions. By appointment only. Contact us at 650.728.BREW