Friday, 6 November 2009

Basic brewing - 1.1

Before we go any further let's revise.

We consider a brewery to be made up of three parts:

1. Brewhouse - the place we mix malted barley with hot water, steep, strain and boil the resultant extract with hops prior to cooling and sending to the fermentation vessels (see below). This is a batch process and we're able to 'put a brew through' in 8 hours.

2. Fermentation Room - where we keep the fermenting vessels. These we fill with sweet boiled wort from the brewhouse (see above), adding yeast to convert the cereal sugars into alcohol over a period of 7 days or so. They (the fermenters) may match the batch size ('brew length') of the brewhouse, be smaller (allowing two or more to be filled from one brew), or indeed be larger (taking up to three consecutive brews to fill). Once done in here we send the 'green' beer to casks or tanks for maturation (see below).

3. Maturation and cold storage - a cold room we call a cellar, though it isn't. It's on the ground floor. Beer arrives here in casks or tanks from primary fermentation (see above) and stays here from anywhere from 2 days to 2 years depending on its nature. Then Gray the Dray loads and delivers it, mostly.

We've got to the stage where:
  • capacity at stage 2 is inadequate.
  • capacity at stage 3 will be inadequate once the Kent spring springs in. And
  • it also makes a lot of sense to increase capacity at stage 1 too (thanks Hang 'Em).
A further, and perhaps far important requirement, is that we achieve this increase in capacity whilst retaining a continuity of supply.

Phew, enough for now class. Next time we'll talk about phasing and I might get some photos out.

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