lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014

Palmers Brewery in Bridport (West Dorset - England)


- Location: Palmers Brewery is situated in Bridport, a charming market town nestling in the hills on the outstanding Jurassic Coast.

- Heritage: In 1794, Dorset rope and net makers – the Gundry family – built the Old Brewery on the banks of the River Brit in Bridport. Since then, there’s been non-stop brewing on this site. Generations of Palmers have kept the brews bubbling. In the late 19th century, two Palmers brothers – John Cleeves and Robert Henry – bought the brewery and gave it their names: JC & RH Palmer. Today, their great grandsons, John and Cleeves Palmer, work in the company. As Palmers Brewery, it remains among the best of small independent brewers.

Then, the Old Brewery was thatched. Today, parts are still. Outside, the building has changed little in 100 years. The water wheel, forged in 1879 at a Bridport foundry, still turns. The high stone archway, which dominates the front façade, was built for use by traditional horse-drawn Brewery Drays. They delivered Palmers ales until the 1950s, when small lorries took their place. These vehicles could negotiate the archway comfortably. But today’s larger lorries have just inches to spare!

So externally, the Old Brewery looks much the same as it has for 200 years. Inside, the 19th century screening machine is still in place, and used every day. The traditional methods and the brewing process remain. So does the focus on the finest ingredients to achieve distinctive flavours for fine ales. But they move with the times. Their Head Brewer is tasked with implementing significant investment and efficiencies in the brewhouse. They’re constantly blending those surviving values and traditions with 21st century science and systems. Where they use processes and ingredients that have stood the test of time, they do it because they are, quite simply, the best. But to them, they add sparkling new equipment, upgraded production and presentation, and the very latest technologies. They do all this to ensure that fine draught ale continues to be synonymous with the Palmers name.

Name: Palmers Brewery
Adress: The Old Brewery, West Bay Road, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 4JA. (United Kingdom)
Telephone: 01308 422396
Fax: 01308 421149

- Palmers Brewery Tours:
They welcome visitors to tour the Brewery from Easter to the end of October. The fascinating guided tour starts at 11.00 am on every weekday (excluding Bank Holidays) and lasts for about two hours. These specialist tours are very popular and they do advise you to pre-book. You’ll go behind the scenes in the historic brewery buildings, to watch every stage of the centuries-old brewing process.

The tour ends with a beer tasting (or a soft drink) in Palmers Wine Store, where you will receive a Palmers glass tankard, commemorating your visit. You can book in person at Palmers Wine Store, which is next to the Old Brewery in Bridport, or call the Wine Store on 01308 427500.

To book a tour online, the Palmers Wine Store Brewery Tours page on their web(, complete with booking form, prices, age restrictions and other useful information.

Tours cost £10 per person, our online booking form enables you to reserve and pay for places on the day of your choice.  13-17 year olds are £8, unfortunatley we cannot accomodate under 13s on the brewery tours.

By booking four or more adult tickets you will receive a discounted rate of £8 per person.

Buy buying a tour of Palmers Brewery through you will qualify for free delivery on this and any other purchases in this transaction (usually £8.95 for orders under £90). Our full range of bottled real ales is avaliable online and they stock over 1000 wines and spirits.

- Darren Batten: Darren Batten was born and bred in West Dorset. In 1992 he joined the Palmers’ bottling team as a Biology graduate, employed to write operating instructions for small pack operations. Following a WSET Higher Certificate, Diploma in Management Studies and an IBD Diploma in Brewing, he became Head Brewer in 2007. He is devoted to real ale, interested in people and a great believer in teamwork, having spent many years interviewing and employing the majority of the brewery personnel. He’s a keen sportsman and enjoys cycling, golf, cricket, skiing and long alley skittles. As a long-serving parish councillor and Round Tabler, Darren is involved in the community at many levels and supports many village pubs. Having travelled widely abroad, he’s recently bought a campervan and intends to explore more of the British Isles.

- Free Trade: Demand for Palmers Brewery’s fine ales continues to grow. Palmers Copper Ale, Best Bitter, Dorset Gold, Palmers 200 and Tally Ho! are available across the south of England. They offer their own ales alongside a full range of other products that pubs and inns need and they take pride in the close relationships they have with their free trade customers, many of them lasting for decades. All their deliveries are made in-house by their own draymen and they are devoted to ensuring that their service is the best in the business. Contact them now to discuss supplies for free houses. Email them at: or telephone 01308 422 396.


Five fine ales are brewed in the original Old Brewery at Bridport. They combine the finest ingredients with traditional methods that have built Palmers’ reputation since 1794.

First, they carefully select the highest quality Maris Otter malted barley and Golding hops, for full fruity flavours and a natural sparkle. They expertly blend them into exclusive recipes, unique for each distinctive beer.

Their Head Brewer represents the new breed of brewing: his 21st century experience and expertise mixes the best of tradition with the latest scientific technology. They scrupulously monitor the brewing process, with a long careful fermentation for stability and character. Then all five live ales are cask conditioned, for the perfect pint.

You’ll find Palmers Brewery’s fine ales in our own pubs across the West Country – and in the many free houses we supply in the South of England. They want to be sure that their customers get to drink the perfect pint, every time. That’s why they keep their own pub cellars in top condition, and why they invest in the best dispensing equipment at point of sale.

They made a major investment in equipment for all their pub cellars, to guarantee consistent temperature of the product in glass. Then, in 2007, they formed a partnership with Cask Marque, to deliver relevant training that is subsidised by the Brewery. They take this Cask Marque professionalism back to their own pub environment. The company has achieved 100% of the estate being accredited with the BII ABCQ qualification.


Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. Cask ale may also be referred to as real ale, a term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale, often now extended to cover bottle-conditioned beer as well.

Palmers Cask Ales:

- Copper Ale (3.7% ABV): Beautifully balanced, copper-coloured session ale, good citrus fruit with a hoppy aroma. Full-flavoured and brewed with Maris Otter malt and whole leaf First Gold aroma hops. Named after our brewery copper, still in use in the Old Brewery.

- Best Bitter (4.2% ABV): This ale has been the taste of Palmers for generations. A full-drinking, malty ale with a delicious hop character. A traditional IPA from the heart of West Dorset.

- Dorset Gold (4.5% ABV): Lightly hopped, golden premium ale. A refreshing, zesty and thirst-quenching beer, from the heart of Dorset's Jurassic Coast. Originally brewed as a summer ale and proved so popular it's now available all year round.

- 200 (5.0% ABV): Full bodied, rich and malty, with a distinctive hop character. First brewed in 1994 to celebrate 200 years of brewing at Palmers. So popular that it is now our flagship premium ale.

- Tally Ho! (5.5% ABV): Strong, complex and full of deep distinctive flavours. A rich fruit cake flavour from roasted malt. First brewed in the 1940s, this prize-winning dark strong old ale has a loyal following among real ale connoisseurs.

- Cask Marque: All Palmers pubs have the Cask Marque certification, a guarantee that your pint will come from casks and pumps in top condition, in cellars that are kept to the highest standards.

- The history of cask and keg beer: Cask means container. The Histories of Herodotus, written in 424 BC, refers to "casks of palm-wood filled with wine" being moved by boat to Babylon, though clay vessels would also have been used. Stout wooden barrels held together with an iron hoop were developed by the north European Celts during the Iron Age for storing goods. Over the centuries other methods have been developed for preserving and storing beer but this method is still used, particularly in Britain.

Bottled beers were commonplace by the 17th century for the well off who wished to drink outside of public inns, or who wanted to take a beer with them when fishing. Such as the famous story of Alexander Nowell, the Dean of St Paul's, who, in 1568, left his bottled beer by the river bank, and upon returning a few days later discovered the bottle opened with a bang and that the contents were very tasty. But while the middle and upper classes could indulge themselves with such expensive luxuries, the ordinary folk continued to drink their beer served direct from the cask. India Pale Ale (IPA), the famous ale that was shipped to India was delivered in casks, and only transferred to the bottle for the civilian middle classes; the troops drank their beer the same way they drank it back home, from flagons filled direct from the cask. But as beer developed and became paler and lower in alcohol, so it became more difficult to keep it fresh tasting in the cask, especially in countries with warmer climates. By the late 19th century commercial refrigeration and Louis Pasteur's flash heating method of sterilisation prolonged the life of beer. In Britain's cooler climate these methods did not catch on at this time.

Not all beer in mainland Europe is pasteurised; there are plenty of examples of unfiltered, unpasteurised beers, but these will commonly be served from a chilled container under pressure: a keg.

Traditionally draught beer came from wooden barrels, also called casks. In the 1950s these began to be replaced by metal casks of stainless steel or aluminium, mainly for quality reasons as they could be sterilised and the beer was therefore less likely to spoil, but also for economic reasons. An additional benefit of the switch to metal casks was that staling from oxygen in the air could be reduced. Subsequently, in the early 1960s a form of metal cask, known as a keg, was introduced which allowed for more efficient cleaning and filling in the brewery.

The essential differences between a traditional cask and a keg are that the latter has a centrally located downtube and a valve that allows beer in and gas out when filling and vice versa when beer is dispensed. Also kegs have a simple concave bottom whilst the barrel or cask design allowed sediment to be retained in the cask. This aspect of keg design meant that all the beer in the keg was dispensed which therefore required that the beer be processed by filtration, fining or centrifuging, or some combination of these, to prevent sediment formation. Lastly, kegs have straight sides unlike the traditional barrel or cask shape. In order to get the beer out of a keg and into a customer's glass, it can be forced out with gas pressure, although if air or gas at low pressure is admitted to the top of the keg it can also be dispensed using a traditional hand pump at the bar.

By the early 1970s most beer in Britain was keg beer, filtered, pasteurised and artificially carbonated, and most British brewers used carbon dioxide for dispensing keg beers. This led to beers containing more dissolved gas in the glass than the traditional ale and to a consumer demand for a return to these ales. By contrast, in Ireland, where stout was dominant, the use of a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen for dispensing prevented the beer from becoming over-carbonated. Rare examples of natural beers could still be found in the farmhouse beers of Northern Europe and the maize beers of South America for example, in essence the last great stronghold of natural beer was about to be wiped out. In 1971 the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was founded in Britain to save what they came to term "real ale".

- Real ale: Real ale is the name coined by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in 1973 for a type of beer defined as "beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide". The heart of the definition is the maturation requirements. If the beer is unfiltered, unpasteurised and still active on the yeast, it is a real ale; it is irrelevant whether the container is a cask or a bottle.

- Re-racked (or Re-rack) beer: This is beer which is commonly regarded as Real Ale, but contains much less yeast and has a very short shelf life - two or three days for a typical cask. It is obtained by decanting, or re-racking, Real Ale from one cask (or other container at the brewery) to another, thus leaving behind the majority of the (already residual) yeast. The ale in the first cask/container will (usually) have already been fined, taking the majority of the yeast to the bottom of the cask. Ale should only be re-racked immediately before delivery to the point of service.

- Bright beer: Cask ale usually has finings added which drag the yeast to the bottom; when the finings have cleared the beer it is said to have "dropped bright" and the beer will look clear rather than cloudy. However, if a beer has been filtered, or has been cleared of yeast by using finings, and then "racked"—transferred to another container—this is "bright" or re-racked beer. Bright beer is essentially unpasteurised beer that has been cleared of yeast and placed in a different container. It no longer sits on the yeast. As such, strictly speaking, it is not real ale because it cannot continue to ferment in the container in which it now finds itself.

There is a significant difference between Real Ale that has "dropped bright" and "bright beer".

The expression "bright beer" is commonly used, particularly by older established breweries, for any filtered and pasteurised beer. However, the expression "re-racked beer" should be reserved for beer which has been racked off (decanted) from a cask of cask-conditioned beer immediately before delivery to the venue where it will be served. It is often regarded as "real ale" because it does still contain some residual yeast, albeit a very small amount, and is otherwise handled exactly as is real ale. Because there is only a very small amount of yeast, there is very little secondary fermentation, and re-racked beer has a very short shelf life of two or three days.

- Filtered beer: The fundamental distinction between real and other ales is that the yeast is still present and living in the container from which the real ale is served, although it will have settled to the bottom and is usually not poured into the glass. Because the yeast is still alive, a slow process of fermentation continues in the cask or bottle on the way to the consumer, allowing the beer to retain its freshness. Another distinction is that real ale should be served without the aid of added carbon dioxide, or "top pressure" as it is commonly known. Common dispensing methods are the handpump, or "by gravity" direct from the cask. Electric pumps are occasionally seen, especially in the Midlands and Scotland.

- Cask breather: The cask breather is an alternative to a hard spile and proper cellar management, and as such is not recognised by CAMRA.

When a cask has been tapped, the beer starts to come into contact with oxygen—and a beer in contact with oxygen has a limited life. Stronger beers last longer, but for most ales with an ABV in the low 4% region, three days is typical. However, if proper cellar management is practised, including "hard spiling" beer between sessions, almost any genuine real ale should last around a week. If the pub doesn't have a high turnover, or if a beer is not popular, such as dark milds, three days will not be enough to sell all the beer in the cask. A cask breather allows a small amount of CO2 to replace the oxygen in the cask. Not enough CO2 to enter the beer or push it up to the bar—that's "top pressure" but enough "blanket pressure" to keep the beer fresh tasting for longer by replacing some or most of the oxygen that has made it into the cask with CO2, an inert gas.

The use of cask breathers is considered "extraneous carbon dioxide", so CAMRA does not endorse this method.

- Preparation for drinking: Broadly speaking, cask ale brewing starts the same as that of keg beer. The same brew run could be used to make cask, keg, and bottled beer. The difference is what happens after the primary fermentation is finished and the beer has been left to condition. Typically keg and bottled beers are either sterile-filtered or pasteurised or both, but beer destined for cask is simply 'racked' (poured) into the cask in its natural state. Finings are usually placed in the cask to assist 'dropping' the yeast giving a clear beer. Extra hops and priming sugar may also be added. The cask is sealed and sent off to the pub. In this state it is like a bottle-conditioned beer and, like bottle-conditioned beers, the beer will continue to develop for a certain period of time. Also like bottle-conditioned beers, the length of time the beer can last in the cask will depend on the nature of the beer itself: unopened, stronger beers can last for months; light, delicate beers need to be tapped and sold quickly. Stronger beers may also need longer to settle and mature. Some pubs have been known to keep very strong beers in a sealed cask for a year or more to allow them to fully develop.

When the landlord feels the beer has settled, and they are ready to serve it, they will knock a soft spile into the shive on the side of the cask. The major difference in appearance between a keg and a cask is the shive. A keg does not have a shive on the side. The majority of casks these days are metal, and look similar to a keg, but with the rounded traditional barrel shape (kegs are often straight-sided). Even though there are still some wooden casks around, these are rare; in fact there are more plastic casks around than wooden ones. Plastic casks are increasing in popularity because they are cheaper to buy and lighter to carry. Though they don't last as long, they are also less likely to be stolen as they have no melt-down value. Beer casks come in a number of sizes, but by far the most common in the pub trade are those of 9 gallons (72 pints or roughly 41 litres) which is known as a Firkin and 18 gallons (144 pints or roughly 83 litres) known as a Kilderkin. (N.B. These are imperial gallons, equal to 1.201 US gallons each.)

The soft spile in the shive allows gas to vent off. This can be seen by the bubbles foaming around the spile. The landlord will periodically check the bubbles by wiping the spile clean and then watching to see how fast the bubbles reform. There still has to be some life in the beer otherwise it will taste flat. When the beer is judged to be ready, the landlord will replace the soft spile with a hard one (which doesn't allow air in or gas out) and let the beer settle for 24 hours. They will also knock a tap into the end of the cask. This might simply be a tap if the cask is stored behind the bar. The beer will then be served simply under gravity pressure: turn on the tap, and the beer comes out. But if the cask is in the cellar, the beer needs to travel via tubes, or beer lines, and be pumped up to the bar area, normally using a handpump also known as a 'beer engine'.

- Serving cask ale: Cask ale in pubs is usually served with a beer engine or handpump, which is used to siphon the beer from the cellar. The beer engine is a 0.5 imp pt (0.28 l), sometimes 0.25 imp pt (0.14 l), airtight piston chamber; pulling down on the handle raises the piston which drags up a half pint of beer. When a cask is first tapped into the beer engine, or after the lines have been washed through, the pump needs to be pulled several times to clear the lines of air or water. The line will continue to hold beer, which will tend to go stale overnight, so the first beer of the day pulled through will be thrown away. Most pubs will pull through at least a pint of beer on each beer engine before they open, while others will wait for the first order of beer on that pump. Experienced bar staff will serve a pint with long, smooth, slow pulls of the pump handle, plus a short final pull to make sure the glass is full.

A small flip tap and a short spout is the standard neck for dispensing cask ale. An alternative is a long spout with a tight 180° turn, called a swan-neck, which is designed to force the beer into the glass, agitating it so that a fuller head is created. Some drinkers disapprove of swan-necks, believing that flavour is reduced. In some pubs a small device or cap, known as a sparkler, is fitted to the end of the spout and acts like a sprinkler at the end of a hose pipe. This can be twisted to regulate the flow of the beer. When the sparkler is tight, the beer is severely agitated resulting in a creamy head; it is softer and creamier with less bitterness.

It is also considered proper to dispense beer directly from the cask, as in pubs which have a tap room rather than a cellar. Gravity dispense is often used in beer festivals as well.

Some pubs disguise keg beer by having an imitation pump handle on the bar. If the bar staff have merely turned on a tap, or are just resting their hand on a very small handle with no pump action, then this is a keg beer. Exceptions are some pubs (in the north and occasionally elsewhere) which use electric pumps or the pubs in Scotland that use traditional air-pressure founts on cask ale.


Palmers’ draught ales are brewed the traditional way using natural ingredients. They expertly combine the finest materials using exclusive recipes unique to each distinctive brew. Four of the five are now available in bottles, so you can buy them direct from them. Best Bitter, Dorset Gold, Palmers 200 and Tally Ho!are available in packs of 12 x 500ml bottles. Their mixed 8-pack with two bottles of each ale makes a perfect gift. You can buy their bottled beers in person or online at Palmers Wine Store.

- Britain: Through the latter part of the 20th century, most British brewers used a standard design of bottle, known as the London Brewers' Standard. This was in brown glass, with a conical medium neck in the pint and with a rounded shoulder in the half-pint and nip sizes. Pints, defined as 568 ml (20.0 imp fl oz; 19.2 U.S. fl oz), and half-pints, or 284 ml (10.0 imp fl oz; 9.6 U.S. fl oz) were the most common, but some brewers also bottled in nip (1/3-pint) and quart (2-pint) sizes. It was for example mostly barley wines that were bottled in nips, and Midlands breweries such as Shipstone of Nottingham that bottled in quarts. This standardisation simplified the automation of bottling and made it easier for customers to recycle bottles as they were interchangeable. They carried a deposit charge, which in the 1980s rose to seven pence for a pint and five pence for a half-pint. Some brewers however used individual bottle designs: among these were Samuel Smith, which used an embossed clear bottle, and Scottish and Newcastle, which used a clear bottle for their Newcastle Brown Ale (both designs survive in the 500 ml (16.9 U.S. fl oz; 17.6 imp fl oz) size today). Other brewers such as Timothy Taylor had used their own embossed bottles and rare examples continued to be reused into the 1980s. During the 1980s the industry turned away from refillable bottles and UK beer bottles are now all one-trip, and most are 500 ml (16.9 U.S. fl oz; 17.6 imp fl oz) or 330 ml (11.2 U.S. fl oz; 11.6 imp fl oz) in volume.

- Beer bottle: Is a bottle made to contain beer, usually made of glass and comes in various sizes, shapes and colours (usually brown or green). Dark amber or brown glass greatly reduces the presence of UV light, a contributing factor of beer spoilage. However, lighter-colored bottles are often used for marketing reasons. The most common alternatives to glass bottles are beverage cans and aluminum bottles, or kegs for larger volumes.

- Closure: Bottled beer is sold with several types of bottle cap, but most often with crown caps (also known as crown seals). Some beers (for example Grolsch) are sold in "beugel" style bottles, known as "flip-top" or "swing top" in some English speaking countries. A number of beers are sold finished with a cork and muselet (or cage), similar to champagne closures. These closures were largely superseded by the crown cap at the end of the 19th century, but survive in premium markets. Many larger beers, including most forties and some growlers, use screw caps due to their resealing design.

- Bottle fermentation: Some beers undergo a fermentation in the bottle, giving natural carbonation. These beers are usually referred to as bottle conditioned. They are bottled with a viable yeast population in suspension and to start what may be a second or third fermentation. If there is no residual fermentable sugar left, sugar and or wort may be added in a process known as priming. The resulting fermentation generates CO2 that is trapped in the bottle, remaining in solution and providing natural carbonation. Bottle conditioned beers may be either filled unfiltered direct from the fermentation or conditioning tank, or filtered and then reseeded with yeast.


- Beer: Is an alcoholic beverage produced by the saccharification of starch and fermentation of the resulting sugar. The starch and saccharification enzymes are often derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat. Most beer is also flavoured with hops, which add bitterness and act as a natural preservative, though other flavourings such as herbs or fruit may occasionally be included. The preparation of beer is called brewing.

Beer is the world's most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and is the third-most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is thought by some to be the oldest fermented beverage.

Some of humanity's earliest known writings refer to the production and distribution of beer: the Code of Hammurabi included laws regulating beer and beer parlours, and "The Hymn to Ninkasi", a prayer to the Mesopotamian goddess of beer, served as both a prayer and as a method of remembering the recipe for beer in a culture with few literate people. Today, the brewing industry is a global business, consisting of several dominant multinational companies and many thousands of smaller producers ranging from brewpubs to regional breweries.

The strength of beer is usually around 4% to 6% alcohol by volume (abv) although it may vary between 0.5% (de-alcoholized) and 20%, with some breweries creating examples of 40% abv and above in recent years.

Beer forms part of the culture of beer-drinking nations and is associated with social traditions such as beer festivals, as well as a rich pub culture involving activities like pub crawling and pub games such as bar billiards.

- Brewing: The process of making beer is known as brewing. A dedicated building for the making of beer is called a brewery, though beer can be made in the home and has been for much of its history. A company that makes beer is called either a brewery or a brewing company. Beer made on a domestic scale for non-commercial reasons is classified as homebrewing regardless of where it is made, though most homebrewed beer is made in the home. Brewing beer is subject to legislation and taxation in developed countries, which from the late 19th century largely restricted brewing to a commercial operation only. However, the UK government relaxed legislation in 1963, followed by Australia in 1972 and the USA in 1978, allowing homebrewing to become a popular hobby.

The purpose of brewing is to convert the starch source into a sugary liquid called wort and to convert the wort into the alcoholic beverage known as beer in a fermentation process effected by yeast.

The first step, where the wort is prepared by mixing the starch source (normally malted barley) with hot water, is known as "mashing". Hot water (known as "liquor" in brewing terms) is mixed with crushed malt or malts (known as "grist") in a mash tun. The mashing process takes around 1 to 2 hours, during which the starches are converted to sugars, and then the sweet wort is drained off the grains. The grains are now washed in a process known as "sparging". This washing allows the brewer to gather as much of the fermentable liquid from the grains as possible. The process of filtering the spent grain from the wort and sparge water is called wort separation. The traditional process for wort separation is lautering, in which the grain bed itself serves as the filter medium. Some modern breweries prefer the use of filter frames which allow a more finely ground grist.

Most modern breweries use a continuous sparge, collecting the original wort and the sparge water together. However, it is possible to collect a second or even third wash with the not quite spent grains as separate batches. Each run would produce a weaker wort and thus a weaker beer. This process is known as second (and third) runnings. Brewing with several runnings is called parti gyle brewing.

The sweet wort collected from sparging is put into a kettle, or "copper", (so called because these vessels were traditionally made from copper) and boiled, usually for about one hour. During boiling, water in the wort evaporates, but the sugars and other components of the wort remain; this allows more efficient use of the starch sources in the beer. Boiling also destroys any remaining enzymes left over from the mashing stage. Hops are added during boiling as a source of bitterness, flavour and aroma. Hops may be added at more than one point during the boil. The longer the hops are boiled, the more bitterness they contribute, but the less hop flavour and aroma remains in the beer.

After boiling, the hopped wort is now cooled, ready for the yeast. In some breweries, the hopped wort may pass through a hopback, which is a small vat filled with hops, to add aromatic hop flavouring and to act as a filter; but usually the hopped wort is simply cooled for the fermenter, where the yeast is added. During fermentation, the wort becomes beer in a process which requires a week to months depending on the type of yeast and strength of the beer. In addition to producing ethanol, fine particulate matter suspended in the wort settles during fermentation. Once fermentation is complete, the yeast also settles, leaving the beer clear.

Fermentation is sometimes carried out in two stages, primary and secondary. Once most of the alcohol has been produced during primary fermentation, the beer is transferred to a new vessel and allowed a period of secondary fermentation. Secondary fermentation is used when the beer requires long storage before packaging or greater clarity. When the beer has fermented, it is packaged either into casks for cask ale or kegs, aluminium cans, or bottles for other sorts of beer.


1. Malting Process: Malting is a process in which grains are allowed to germinate and then quickly dried in a kiln before the plant has a chance to fully develop. Most grains that homebrewers purchase have already been malted and are ready for either steeping or crushing and mashing. The malting process develops enzymes that are required to modify complex starches in the grain into simple fermentable sugars during a later step in the brewing process called mashing. Malted grains are low in moisture and can be stored for an extended period. Malted grains are also easily crushed for All Grain Brewing or steeped for use in Extract Brewing.

Steps in the Malting Process:
. Raw grains are soaked to begin germination.
. Moisture and germination is maintained until the green acrospire (sprout) reaches a length approximately the length of the grain. This takes approximately 5 days.
. Green malt is kiln dried until the level of moisture is reduced to about 6%. Darker grains may be kilned at higher temperature for an extended period to darken or roast the grain adding color and flavor.
. The brittle acrospires are separated from the grains, and the malt is packaged for shipping.

2. Mashing: Mashing is a step in the brewing process that combines crushed Malts with hot water in a mash tun to convert complex starches into simple sugars that are more readily fermented. There are many variations of mashing. During the malting process barley grains develop many enzymes that are needed for mashing. These enzymes, when heated with water in the mash, react with the starches in the malt and produce maltose. Maltose is a favorite food for yeast during fermentation. After the mashing process, hot water is used to extract the sugars from the grain in a process called sparging to produce a sweet liquid called wort for brewing.

3. Sparging: Sparging, also called lautering is a step at the end of the mashing process where hot water is run through the grain bed to extract a sweet liquid called wort. The wort is later boiled and fermented to produce beer.

After the mashing process is complete, the grains, water and sugar are still in suspension in the mash container, called the mash tun. The sugars are separated from the grains in a process called sparging. The mash tun typically has a false bottom or screen at the bottom with a spigot that allows the brewer to draw run-off from the bottom of the grain bed. Hot water at approximately 178 F is slowly added to the top of the grain bed, run through the bed, and drawn off the bottom through the false bottom and out the spigot to the boiling vessel. This extracts sugars from the grains and produces sweet liquid called wort for boiling. The initial runnings (first few quarts) drawn during the sparge process are recirculated back through the grain bed, as the early runnings often contain grain husks, crushed material and other undesirable elements. After the initial runnings, the grain bed will act as a filter and reduce the cloudiness of the runnings. Sparging is best done slowly so that a maximum amount of sugar can be extracted from the spent grains. The sparged wort is transferred to a boiler where hops is added and the mixture boiled before cooling for fermentation.

4. Boiling:
The boiling process takes sweet wort produced either by mashing or by adding extracts to water and boils it for an extended period with hops to create hopped wort. The wort is normally boiled for 1-2 hours. The hopped wort is then rapidly cooled and yeast is added for fermentation into beer. Boiling the wort is important for the following reasons:

. Boiling sterlizes the wort, killing off any bacteria and preventing infections
. Boiling hops releases critical alpha acids that bitter the beer to offset the sweetness of the malt. The longer hops are boiled, the more bitterness they will release.
. Boiling vaporizes many undesirable compounds that can cause off flavors and aromas
. Boiling causes coagulation of undesirable proteins in the wort, allowing them to fall out during cooling

Boiling Equipment: Homebrewers typically boil in an open pot. The pot should be large enough to hold the entire volume of wort, plus have 10-20% additional space for foaming during the boil to avoid boiling over. Commercial brewers use more advanced boilers to enhance vaporization and reduce energy use including pressurized boilers, boiling outside the kettle (calendreias), and other external boilers.

5. Cooling: Cooling is a critical step in the brewing process. After the boil it is best to cool your wort as quickly as possible to a proper fermentation temperature. Cooling quickly helps to reduce the chance of infection by bacteria, and also helps to precipitate out coagulated proteins, hops and other debris leftover from the boil. After cooling, the wort is transferred to a fermentor where yeast is added and the brew is fermented into beer.

6. Fermentation: Fermentation is a natural process where yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). In the brewing process, fermentation converts the sugars produced in the earlier mashing step into alcohol. Since CO2 is a byproduct of fermentation, it is also used for the natural carbonation of many homebrewed beers. After fermentation, beer is bottled or kegged for consumption. The study of the chemistry of fermentation is called Zymurgy. Human controlled fermentation dates back to the dawn of civilization - evidence dating back to 5400 B.C. has been found of people creating wine.

. Primary Fermentation: Primary fermentation starts when yeast is added to the wort right after the boiling and cooling steps. Once the yeast is added, we call the mixture beer as opposed to wort. The primary, or active fermentation process typically takes 3-5 days during which the bulk of fermentable sugars are converted into alcohol and CO2. During this phase, CO2 production is strong, often producing a foamy head on the top of the beer called kraeusen.

. Secondary Fermentation: Brewers often transfer the beer to a secondary fermentor to separate the beer from inactive yeast, proteins, tannins, hops and other products that precipitate out of the beer and form a sediment at the bottom of the primary fermentor. A secondary fermentation of 5-14 days allows fermentation to complete and also lets additional tannins, proteins and yeast to fall out of the beer. This aids in clarifying the beer and reducing sediment in the final keg or bottle.

. Conditioning and Filtering: Commercial brewers will often move the beer to a third vessel at this point and cool the beer to near freezing, which encourages more yeast and sediment to precipitate from the beer, improving flavor and aroma. Many homebrewers making lager will also condition their beer by lagering (aging) it at various cold temperatures for several weeks before bottling. Commercial beers are then filtered to remove all remaining yeast and sediment before bottling. Most homebrewers do not filter their beer, as some yeast is needed for natural carbonation of the beer.

7. Priming and Bottling: Is the last step for most homebrewers, unless they keg their beer. Priming consists of mixing sugar in with the beer to promote fermentation after bottling. A small amount of priming sugar will ferment and carbonate your beer. Bottling is the process of transferring the primed beer into bottles using a bottle filler and capping them for aging and later consumption. While not covered here, you can also bottle directly from a keg using a special device called a counter-pressure bottle filled


The basic ingredients of beer are water; a starch source, such as malted barley, able to be saccharified (converted to sugars) then fermented (converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide); a brewer's yeast to produce the fermentation; and a flavouring such as hops. A mixture of starch sources may be used, with a secondary starch source, such as maize (corn), rice or sugar, often being termed an adjunct, especially when used as a lower-cost substitute for malted barley. Less widely used starch sources include millet, sorghum and cassava root in Africa, and potato in Brazil, and agave in Mexico, among others. The amount of each starch source in a beer recipe is collectively called the grain bill.

- Water: Beer is composed mostly of water. Regions have water with different mineral components; as a result, different regions were originally better suited to making certain types of beer, thus giving them a regional character. For example, Dublin has hard water well-suited to making stout, such as Guinness; while the Plzeň Region has soft water well-suited to making Pilsner (pale lager), such as Pilsner Urquell. The waters of Burton in England contain gypsum, which benefits making pale ale to such a degree that brewers of pale ales will add gypsum to the local water in a process known as Burtonisation.

- Malt: Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air. Malting grains develop the enzymes required to modify the grain's starches into sugars, including the monosaccharide glucose, the disaccharide maltose, the trisaccharide maltotriose, and higher sugars called maltodextrines. It also develops other enzymes, such as proteases, which break down the proteins in the grain into forms that can be used by yeast. Malt also contains small amounts of other sugars, such as sucrose and fructose, which are not products of starch modification but were already in the grain.

- Starch source: The starch source in a beer provides the fermentable material and is a key determinant of the strength and flavour of the beer. The most common starch source used in beer is malted grain. Grain is malted by soaking it in water, allowing it to begin germination, and then drying the partially germinated grain in a kiln. Malting grain produces enzymes that convert starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. Different roasting times and temperatures are used to produce different colours of malt from the same grain. Darker malts will produce darker beers.

Nearly all beer includes barley malt as the majority of the starch. This is because its fibrous hull remains attached to the grain during threshing. After malting, barley is milled, which finally removes the hull, breaking it into large pieces. These pieces remain with the grain during the mash, and act as a filter bed during lautering, when sweet wort is separated from insoluble grain material. Other malted and unmalted grains (including wheat, rice, oats, and rye, and less frequently, corn and sorghum) may be used. In recent years, a few brewers have produced gluten-free beer, made with sorghum with no barley malt, for those who cannot consume gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye.

- Hops: Flavouring beer is the sole major commercial use of hops. The flower of the hop bine is used as a flavouring and preservative agent in nearly all beer made today. The flowers themselves are often called "hops".

The first historical mention of the use of hops in beer was from 822 AD in monastery rules written by Adalhard the Elder, also known as Adalard of Corbie, though the date normally given for widespread cultivation of hops for use in beer is the thirteenth century. Before the thirteenth century, and until the sixteenth century, during which hops took over as the dominant flavouring, beer was flavoured with other plants; for instance, Glechoma hederacea.

Combinations of various aromatic herbs, berries, and even ingredients like wormwood would be combined into a mixture known as gruit and used as hops are now used. Some beers today, such as Fraoch' by the Scottish Heather Ales company and Cervoise Lancelot by the French Brasserie-Lancelot company, use plants other than hops for flavouring.

Hops contain several characteristics that brewers desire in beer. Hops contribute a bitterness that balances the sweetness of the malt; the bitterness of beers is measured on the International Bitterness Units scale. Hops contribute floral, citrus, and herbal aromas and flavours to beer. Hops have an antibiotic effect that favours the activity of brewer's yeast over less desirable microorganisms and aids in "head retention", the length of time that a foamy head created by carbonation will last. The acidity of hops is a preservative.

- Yeast: Yeast is the microorganism that is responsible for fermentation in beer. Yeast metabolises the sugars extracted from grains, which produces alcohol and carbon dioxide, and thereby turns wort into beer. In addition to fermenting the beer, yeast influences the character and flavour.

The dominant types of yeast used to make beer are the top-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae and bottom-fermenting Saccharomyces uvarum. Brettanomyces ferments lambics, and Torulaspora delbrueckii ferments Bavarian weissbier.

Before the role of yeast in fermentation was understood, fermentation involved wild or airborne yeasts. A few styles such as lambics rely on this method today, but most modern fermentation adds pure yeast cultures.

- Clarifying agent: Some brewers add one or more clarifying agents to beer, which typically precipitate (collect as a solid) out of the beer along with protein solids and are found only in trace amounts in the finished product. This process makes the beer appear bright and clean, rather than the cloudy appearance of ethnic and older styles of beer such as wheat beers.

Examples of clarifying agents include isinglass, obtained from swimbladders of fish; Irish moss, a seaweed; kappa carrageenan, from the seaweed Kappaphycus cottonii; Polyclar (artificial); and gelatin. If a beer is marked "suitable for Vegans", it was clarified either with seaweed or with artificial agents.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario