Craft beer: from malt to the glass!

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Good day, friends of Gambrinus! With these hot days, a nice cool beer becomes a pleasant panacea! If it’s a craft beer, we can also delight in its unique taste and olfactory experience. But did you ever wonder while enjoying this nectar how we get this product from cereal, water and a few other ingredients?
So why not ask Fabrizio, the Brewmaster at the Red Jack Brewing Brewery (whose products you can find on eChiantishop)? Savouring its beers, you can understand how he lives out his passion as Brewmaster and is the perfect person to explain how the process works, of course in a comprehensive but concise way, because it can become too technical (and as we know the best is the enemy of the good) and because some secrets are and will remain with the Brewmaster!
The production plant is characterized by the mill for the milling of the malt, by the “baking room” (a boiler with particular filters), by fermenters, by the cooling unit and the bottling line (bottle filling and labelling)
red-jackRaw ingredients: hops, barley malt and any spices. Hops are mainly bought from abroad, extensive use is made of American hops, while British ones are hard to find (such as Australian ones) they are used less frequently because obviously a long-term production cannot be guaranteed. An attempt to cultivate our own hops is currently underway. The hops are purchased in the form of pellets, for a better yield with respect to the grain, and for easier manipulation. The flower is used only for special productions (one must be careful because the risk is getting a product which isn’t bitter enough or conversely, a very bitter drink!).
Malt is bought in grains and ground the day before to be used the following day, as the water is heated on the previous day. The first phase is that of mashing i.e. adding malt to hot water (this happens at various temperatures and various steps), the product obtained is filtered through a grid: the wort is thus obtained, which is put into the boiler for the boiling phase, and hops with any spices is then added to the boiling wort. The next step after boiling is called Whirlpool, in which the wort is sucked by a pump and injected back into the boiler so as to form a reel to allow the heavier substances (hops, coagulated protein) to settle at the bottom of the boiler. The filtered must is cooled through a heat exchange system. Subsequently, the cold wort is transferred into fermenters to which yeast is added for fermentation to occur.
Once fermentation has taken place the product obtained (finally we can call it beer!) Is bottled and labelled! The total process can take around 8-10 days.
And after this brief but hopefully comprehensive description we just have to test whether the production line has been respected through a tasting, obviously for verification purposes only …
Peace and Beer!

Niccolò Maggini

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