Nottingham Brewery brew-house
We have a 10 brewer's barrel (BBL) plant.
The vessels consist of a Mash Tun, Copper, hot and cold Liquor Tanks, Fermenters, and Conditioning Tanks.
The Grist (malted barley and wheat mix) milled directly into the grist case is combined with hot liquor (brewer's term for water) in the mash tun and formed into the mash, a thick, porridge-like consistency.
This mash is left to stand for about 2-hours so that the enzymes present in the grains of barley and wheat can get to work converting the starch into fermentable sugars. The mash is then sparged and the resulting sticky, dark liquid, known as the sweet wort, is drawn off from the bottom of the mash tun, and run-off into the copper.
At this stage we add hops, known by brewers as first wort hops. Second and third hops are added during the boiling process to extract hop oils (the alpha content) from the whole flower hops – this referred to as the hop-break. This is to give the beer its characteristic “bitter” flavour, but only enough to counter-balance and compliment the sweetness of the wort.
At the end of the boil, the copper stands and infuses the hops for about half an hour whilst we prepare to transfer to the fermenter. The wort is pumped through a plate heat exchanger which rapidly cools it to 20'c, whilst exchanging heat with cold water that becomes hot liquor, ready for the next brew.
The wort arrives in the sterile fermenter and is pitched with brewers' yeast - the brilliant micro-organism that gets to work on the sweet wort, converting the sugars into alcohol, whilst also producing carbon dioxide. Yeast also provides al lot of flavour to finished beer, and there are many different strains that can be used to impart different characteristics to the beers. We at the Nottingham Brewery use our own strain of yeast developed over many years.
Once fermentation is complete, which takes between three to four days depending on the beer, the vessel is chilled to 10 degrees to shock the yeast and stop it working. The beer is then transferred to our conditioning tanks.
Racking then takes place into sterilised casks before heading out into the trade to be enjoyed fresh, and full of flavour and character, as with all Nottingham Brewery beers.