Waterman’s Beach Brewing Process
All of our beers are brewed using a 3.5 barrel, 3 vessel brewhouse. Each batch we produce contains about 108 gallons or about 864 pints. The brewhouse consists of the HLT, or hot liquor tank, the mash tun, and the boil kettle. The HLT is essentially a big electric kettle that heats the water used for mashing and sparging. The mash tun is where the first steps of the brewing process happen. There are four necessary steps involved.
Milled, malted grain and hot water are mixed and allowed to steep for about an hour. This process activates the enzymes in the malt and converts the starches into fermentable sugars.
The steeped liquid, now called wort, is recirculated over the grain to begin compacting the grain prior to transferring to the kettle and to filter out any undesirable parts of the grain that may have been trapped under the false bottom.
Liquor (hot water) from the HLT is pumped over and through the grain bed and transferred into the boil kettle. As more alcohol is added, the grain bed compresses and filters the wort, extracting the sugars that will eventually feed the yeast.
Once all the wort has been collected in the kettle, it is brought to a boil, and any hop additions are made. The wort needs to be kept at a roiling boil to extract all the bittering and flavoring compounds from the hops. After the boil is completed, a whirlpool is created in the kettle using a pump, and then it is allowed to rest. This makes a pile of hop particulate in the bottom center of the kettle called “trub” (pronounced troob). After all the steps in the hot side of the brewhouse are completed, the wort is cooled and transferred to a fermentation vessel. Yeast is added and begins to work their magic. The yeast consumes the sugars present and converts them to alcohol and carbon dioxide. Some beers will receive another hop addition while they are fermenting. This late addition, called “dry-hopping”, gives the beer a more intense hop flavor and aroma. Once the fermentation process is complete, the beer is clarified by quickly dropping the temperature. This process is called “cold crashing”, or just crashing.
After it is cooled, the beer is transferred to another vessel called a bright tank. CO2 is added through a filtering stone to carbonate the beer and it is then put into kegs.
The last step is to put the finished beer on tap, serve it, and enjoy it!