The brewery is where our award-winning house beers are brewed, fermented, and stored. We brew on a 3-barrel, 100% electric brewing system. There are several advantages to brewing using electricity instead of natural gas. Electric systems provide more energy efficiency, more fine-tuned control, and a higher level of automation. Scroll down to learn more about the brewing process and how we brew our award-winning beers.
In essence, the brewing process starts with water (the main ingredient of beer). We start with a predetermined amount of water and begin to heat it in our hot liquor tank. We utilize a tank-less water heater to heat our water to a high temperature, about 150 degrees Farenheit. The heating elements in the hot liquor tank then heat the water to our strike temperature. While it’s heating the water, we’re carefully measuring our grains and running them through our mill to expose the inside of the grains, which is where the good stuff is.
Once our water is at the proper temperature and our grains are milled, we mix the two in the next tank which is called the “mash tun”. In the mash tun, grains are mixed with water at a very specific temperature. At this specific temperature, certain enzymes from the grains go to work to convert starches to fermentable sugars. Specialty grains also contribute colors and flavors to the beer, as well as non-fermentable sugars that help give beer its special character.
After the mash, the “wort” (water and dissolved sugars) are separated from the wet grains. The wort gets sent to the kettle to begin the heating process before the boil. To make sure we get all of the important sugars from the mash, we rinse the grains with high-temperature water. This is called “sparging”. Sparging also helps to stop the starch conversion process.
The next step is the boil. During the boil, the wort is boiled for roughly 60-90 minutes depending on the recipe. The boil is where the hops are added. In order to extract the bittering components of the hops, they must be boiled. The longer the hops are boiled, the more bitterness is extracted. Hops are added at different times during the boil to extract bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Some beers require lots of hops while others don’t. It just depends on the type of beer you’re brewing.
After the boil, the wort is rapidly cooled using a heat exchanger. From there, it goes into one of our four fermenters for 2-4 weeks. During fermentation, yeast converts sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, but the alcohol stays in the tank. Once fermentation is complete, the beer is crash-cooled and eventually transferred to our serving tanks. Once carbonation is complete, the beer is served on-draft in our taproom.