A Better Way to Brew
Here at Hellbender we believe there is a better way to brew beer. Beer is a very energy and resource heavy product to make. Despite all the shiny stainless steel and fancy computers employed in modern breweries, the brewing process is still based on centuries-old methods. We were the first brewery on the east coast to invest in a mash filter. The mash filter radically increases efficiency, allowing us to brew faster while using less water and grain to acheive the same results as a traditional brewhouse.
The first step in our highly efficient process is grinding our grain to a fine powder through a hammer mill. A traditional brewhouse uses a roller mill to achieve a rough crush (think steel cut oats vs bread flour). Our fine grind exposes way more starch in the mash step, allowing enzymes in the malted barley to break down starches faster and more efficiently. A normal brewhouse mash will extract 75%-80% of the starches from the grain, while our mash will extract 98% of the starches. Once we are done with our mash, we run this sugary oatmeal-like slurry through the row of filter pads that is our mash filter. This step strains all solids out so that nothing but the sweet sugar water (wort) runs up into our kettle. After the solids are strained out and hot water has been sent through the filter to rinse out all remaining sugars, the pads are mechanically pressed to squeeze the remaining liquid out and up to the kettle, where we bring it to a boil and start adding hops. In the end, we brew around 25% faster from start to finish, while using about 18% less grain and 30% less water per batch than most breweries in the world!
Our process is outlined in the diagram below, but feel free to take one of our FREE tours every Saturday at 3 and 5PM to see our unique system for yourself!