The brewing process can be broken down into four distinctive steps: mashing, boiling, fermenting, and aging.
1.The mashing process involves mixing hot water with barley that has been ground in a mill. This is mixed to the consistency of oatmeal and allowed to sit for 70 minutes. At that time we run more hot water over the grain which is on top screens which prevent the grain from transferring into the boiling kettle. After extracting all the sweet liquid from the grains into the brew kettle we boil the liquid (called wort) for 90 minutes. Boiling sterilizes the wort which is important for the yeast to have a bacteria free environment.
2.Boiling also breaks down proteins which if carried over to the fermenting stage could inhibit yeast performance and make the beer cloudy. The final thing that happens during the boil is that this is the time when the hops are added. Hops added early in the boil are called bittering hops, hops added later are for flavor, and hops added just before the end of the boil are for aroma.
3.After the boil is complete the wort is run through a chiller which cools it down to a temperature that the yeast finds best. For our ales its 68 degrees and for our lagers its 52 degrees. The yeast work there magic converting sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide.
4.Once the yeast is finished we cool the beer down to 38 degrees to help the yeast to settle to the bottom of the tank and to start the aging process. During conditioning the flavors mellow and blend. After conditioning we filter many of our beers to make them very clear and clean looking.