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8 SAIL BREWERY
Heckington Windmill
Hale Road
Heckington
Lincolnshire
NG34 9JW

Tel: 01529 469308 (Brewery)
Mobile: 07866 183479
or 07885 811157

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The Brewing Process

Brewing is the production of beer through the preparation and combination of the four main ingredients - Barley, Hops, Water and Yeast.

Malts

The first step is to select the malts according to the style of beer to be produced. A mixture of pale malt, coloured malts and other grains such as Roasted Barley and Wheat Malt are combined with 'hot water' (liquor) to create a mash.

Whilst the water supplied by the local Water Authorities is fit to drink, different regions have water with different mineral components. As a result, different regions were better suited to making certain styles of beer. To replicate the water of these different regions the brewer will modify the local water by the removal of unwanted ions and addition of required levels of desirable ions to produce the brewer's liquor.

Mashing is the process of combining the mix of milled grain, known as the 'Grain Bill', and the hot water, known as 'liquor', and takes place in the MASH TUN.

During the Mash the starch in the grain is converted into fermentable sugars. This conversion can take between 60-90 minutes and is known as saccharification. The result of the mashing process is a sugar rich liquid known as wort (pronounced wert).

The Mash
The Sparge
The wort is then transfered, via an underback, into the kettle - often known as the COPPER. During the transfer the grain is sprayed with more hot liquor, through the process of sparging, to extract additional sugars.

On completion of the transfer to the COPPER, the wort is boiled for 60-120 minutes. On reaching boiling point, hops are added for bitterness. Further hops are added towards the end of the boiling period for flavour, and at the end of the boil for aroma. The type and amount of hops used determines the flavour, aroma and bitterness of the beer.

After the boil the Wort is transferred to a FERMENTATION VESSEL (FV) via a paraflow heat exchanger. The wort is cooled to around 20°C, before pumping into the FERMENTATION VESSEL. The heat from the wort is transferred to cold mains liquor flowing through the paraflow, thus heating up  the liquor to a temperature where it can be used for mashingready for the next brew. This process recovers some of the energy used in the boiling process.

Adding Hops
Adding yeast

Yeast is added at this point and, over a period of days, fermentation takes place. The yeast breaks down the sugars to form alcohol and CO2.

Samples of the beer is regularly checked during fermentation to ensure the brew will produce the correct gravity (strength).

At the end of the fermentation stage the beer is chilled back before racking into casks for dispatch to its final destination, or bottling.

Checking gravity
Cleaning
The side of brewing that is seldom seen is the cleaning. Hygiene and cleaniness is a vital part of brewing.

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