Screamin’ Hill University- Brewing: 101

Written by on August 30, 2017

Welcome to class,

This is Brewing: 101. Hopefully you’ve made it through Intro to Brewing, if not you should probably do so before continuing. In this class we will go into further detail of the Screamin’ Hill Brewing process. There are several steps in brewing process, which include malting, mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging.

We weigh our grain based on our recipes and manually pour the grain into the hopper. From here, gravity takes over as the grain falls from the hopper into the mill. Inside the mill the grain is cracked for optimal starch conversion. Then the milled grain is caught into containers that are to be put in our mash tun.

Next, we add the grist (milled grain) into our 7-barrel mash tun, where it gets mixed with hot water to create a porridge-like mixture. -This is our “mash.”
Heat and agitation facilitate the conversion of the natural starches stored within the grain, into fermentable sugars used for the brewing process. We use a RIMS (Recirculating Infusion Mash System) tube to control temperature and constantly recirculate the mash.

In this process, we separate the sweet nutrient rich wort from the spent grain. Once the starch is converted into fermentable sugars, it becomes a liquid that gets pumped from the mash tun, into the brew kettle, leaving the grain husks behind.

During the lautering process, the grains are sparged. Sparging is the rinsing of the grains with additional hot water, this is done to extract as much fermentable sugar as possible.
When finished lautering the leftover grain husk, or “spent” grain, is removed from the mash tun, and is picked up by a local dairy farmer to feed his cows.

The sweet liquid wort, (now in the brew kettle) is brought to a vigorous rolling boil.
In order to give beers their desired bitterness and aroma characteristics, Hops are added at specific stages throughout the boil.

After Boiling, the wort is whirlpooled for additional “clarification,” the settling of the proteins and hop particles. You shouldn’t need a picture for reference on this one.- It whirlpools, you know like liquids tend to do.

The boiled wort from the whirlpool is then pumped through a heat exchanger; this is done in order to rapidly reduce the temperature from boiling, down to specific fermentation temperatures. Screamin’ Hill’s ales ferment at about 68°F(20°C).

From here the cooled wort is mixed with yeast upon entering the stainless-steel fermenter. Screamin’ Hill uses (4) 7-barrel fermenters- That’s about 217 gallons of finished beer each! Adding yeast to the cooled wort is a process called pitching. The yeast naturally converts the nutrient rich wort into alcohol and C02, which ultimately winds up as fresh beer!

During this process our Brewstaff not only has to monitor temperature, specific gravity, and other quality control checks, but they have to also taste each batch everyday. – Arguably the hardest part of the job.  After the fermentation is complete, the beer is chilled to a crisp 34 degrees and is stored at that temperature for additional flavor maturation, clarification, and long-term stability.

After conditioning the beer is transferred to brite beer tanks, this facilitates further flavor maturation, and natural clarification of our ales. This is also where we carbonate our beers.

Screamin’ Hill’s beers are served unfiltered to retain every nuance of their flavors, beers are packaged directly from the brite beer tanks, into kegs, which turns into pints, ready for all of us to enjoy!