The brewing process begins with the grain. In our case, barley, wheat, and sometimes rye are crushed into a fine powder in the hammer mill, unlike the more traditional rough milling (similar to steel-cut oats).
The powder is then combined with hot water in the mash tun and it is held at a specific temperature for at least 30 minutes. The hot water allows the enzymes already present in the husks of the grain to start breaking down starches into sugars. Because of the fine-grind, more surface area is available for the enzymes to do their job, and 98% of starches can be turned into sugar, creating a sugary solution that is oatmeal-like in consistency.
The thick mixture is then pumped through the mash filter where fine filter pads strain out the grain husks as the rest of the clear, sugary water flows into the boil kettle.
In the kettle the sugar water, or wort, is boiled for at least 60 minutes, and hops are added throughout the boil to add bitterness and lots of flavor and aroma.
As soon as the boil is finished the wort is pumped into the whirlpool where it spins, leaving the hops in the center of the vessel while the rest of the liquid flows out through a chiller and into the fermenter.
Yeast is added to the fermenter, and it eats the sugars in the liquid to form alcohol and CO2.
After about a week, the yeast is finished converting the sugars to alcohol, but the beer is still young and it needs to be transferred over the bright tank for conditioning and maturation.
After testing and tasting for consistency, the beer is kegged.
The kegs are handed off to our distributor and sent out into the real world to make people say, “Yum, that was good”.