(35-40 barrel batches)
- Grain Store: Malt blend is selected and the whole grain is put into our mill where it is crushed and piped through to the mashtun.
- Mashtun: Grain is mixed up with hot water and is soaked. At this stage is where the Seaweed and Oats are added for our darker brews. After soaking the brew is 'Sparged' (sprayed with warm water) to rinse out the good juices (the juices are called 'Wort'). The Wort is collected into our kettle & spent grain is piped outside where it goes into a trailer and a local farmer collects it to feed to his cattle.
- Kettle: The Wort is boiled up with Hops / Heather / Bogmyrtyl / Pine, taking about an hour to bring to boil and then boiled for a further hour.
- Fermentation Vessel (F.V.): Wort is collected into F.V. It leaves the kettle and passes through a heat exchanger, arriving at the F.V at around 20 degrees. This process take around 3 hours. Yeast is added to the wort after collection and it is fermented for about 7 days. When the Present Gravity (P.G.) is about right the beer's temperature is lowered to stop the fermentation.
- Mixing Vessel: Fruit / Elderflower / Lemon / Hops are mixed up with some beer brought into the vessel, brought to the boil and boiled up to release the flavours and sterilize everything. Beer is flushed in and out of the vessel and back into F.V. to wash out the flavours in the vessels contents.
- Cold Tank (C.T.): Beer is then transferred into C.T., and the temperature is brought down. Finings are added to the beer (product depending) to help it clear. The beer is then chilled for 14 days at around -1.5 Degrees C. This is called conditioning. For our Ceilidh Lager we extend this conditioning time to 90 days like many premium European Lagers.
* Our Cask Ale is ready at this point.
** Taste tests are carried out throughout the whole process to monitor the flavours as they develop, we are looking to avoid ‘off’ smells and flavours. We have a tasting diagram we use when doing these taste trials.
Bottling / Kegging
- Filtering: The beer is filtered at about - 1 Degrees C. The beer passes into our filter where it is mixed up with 3 types of clay powder which forms a layer on the filter's screens, when the beer passes through these screens any unwanted proteins, yeast or particles stick to the clay and are removed from the beer.
- Bright Beer Tank (B.B.T.): The bright beer is collected in this tank where it is then carbonated and ready to be sent to our kegging plant or on to our bottling plant.
- Taste / Carbonation Tests: Once again further taste trials are carried out along with carbonation tests to check the level of CO2 in the beer.
- Bottles are loaded onto our conveyor and travel down into our filler.
- Bottles are rinsed as they enter and filled and capped. The beer is at 4 Degrees C.
- Filled bottles are weight checked regularly to monitor fill levels and caps are checked also to insure they are sealing fully.
- Bottles then enter our pasteurizer, they slowly make their way down gradually raising the temperature to around 67 Degrees C for 10 mins, then they are slowly cooled as they pass through the final stages of the machine. It takes about 45 mins from a bottle entering to it exiting the other end.
- Pasteurization Unit (P.U.) Meter: We regularly send a device through in a bottle that measures the P.U. levels, this makes sure that we know that the beer is being pasteurized but also that it's not being over done, we are not looking to cook the beer inside the bottles.
- Bottles leave the pasteurizer and are blown dry as they move along the belt.
- Bottles enter the labeler where the various labels are added. Some have front, back and neck labels where as some are simply wraparound labels.
- Labeled beer then reaches the end of the line on a spinning platform. Staff pack these bottles into trays, checking fill levels, label positioning & condition. Any under fills or bad labels are put aside and the rest are pushed through our shrink wrapper or put into boxes and stacked onto pallets.
- 6 samples are taken for our records, these are taste trialed at 3, 6,12 & 18 months of age to check the flavours are still in good condition.
- The beer is then stored in our warehouse where it awaits dispatch.