Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brew House

Just got back from a little field trip down to the factory at this place I'm was really crazy a million things going on at the same time, but it was kind of awesome because you see this stuff on the store shelves everyday. I got to have a behind the scenes look.

So, not that any of you is interested, but this is what I got from my little tour...and no I'm not sharing any recipes or secret ingredients, just don't quote me on this or try this at home and say some blogger told you. Basically I don't take any responsibility/liabilty and this is more for my own recollection than anything else.

First we have barley, malt or sorghum from the silos that's heated up, dried and cracked so we can have those fine enzymes that we're gonna need to grab sugar out of. There's a machine for that...I can't remember what its called...

Then, we go to mashing. Here we mix the grounded up barley with hot water, this activates the enzymes to start releasig the sugar. (The logic behind this is that grains are starch, and starch broken down brings sugar). After this we drain the water from the mash which is now full of sugar. This drained mash is called wort...

Third, now we have our wort, which is boiled for about an hour (different times depending on the brand). We also have hopps at this stage which is a sort of bitter spice added at different intervals during this process.Hopps is also a natural preservative.

Fourth, after the spicy wort is all heated up, its cooled, strained and filtered.Then they're led to a series of sealed tanks where yeast is added to them...the yeasting process is also a process, because you buy a small amount of yeast and you have to sort of multiply it...yeast can be recycled and used up to 8 times. At this oint the brewing is over and fermentation depends, which also varies brandwise in time. But since we make lager, the temperatures have to be very cool...(ales are at room temp) Fermenting basically is the yeast breaking down the sugar and releasing carbon dioxide and alcohol.

Now we've got the "bright" which is basically alcohol thats flat and at too high an alcohol level, so we carbonate it and dilute it to whatever level the brand requires.

I'm sure I'm missing a step, but we go to packaging. Empties are de-palleted, de-cased, washed in tons of levels of detergent...inspected, de-labelled, re-inspected...its a process, then the liquid is filled in and crowned, then re-inspected for over/under filling or missing crowns.

Then there's pasteurization where basically the botles are sprayed with gallons of hot water to make sure anything that could be classified as bacteria is killed and the liquid is safe for human consumption.

Then we head to the labelling. The batch number is also put in at this stage and you can trace every detail about the liquid, down to who the person incharge of that batch was.

Then the bottles are cased, palleted in stacks of 6 and taken to the warehouse.

Ok, I think thats generally what I got from my little tour. It was totally fun and I can tell you firsthand what you see on the shelves in restaurants and stores as 1000000% high quality stuff.

But, sober girl that I am, I'd go with the donut, lol!


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