The Process of Making Beer
The dried grain kernels need to absorb moisture in the softening House so that the barley can germinate. This process takes 50 hours. Throughout this time the barley is aired and washed using pumps. Through the water separator, the barely "dives" - as the brewers like to say - into the softening vat.
(Here place a picture Fig. No x)
Round softening vats and water separation prepare the grain during the even and slow insertion of the barley. (Picture 2/3).
How the Malt is prepared
In every beer, the most important ingredient is malt. Bottom fermenting beers uses barley malt, while top fermenting beers allow the use of other malts. For example, in addition to barley malt, wheat malt will be used. In Athenian Brewery S.A, special malting and brewing barley types have been germinated and cultivated. Important to the barley cultivators are full kernel, fine spelt (husks) and rich enzyme content. Most beer barley types have a lower yield than the barley that feeds animals. With their special ingredients, though, they reach a high yield during fermentation and add to beer's noble taste.
From Barley comes "Green Malt"
Raw barley is not ready to be used in brewing. In order to "unlock" the hidden ingredients, it needs to be malted. To do this the barley, after being cleaned and sorted, is soaked for two or three days in a large vat full of water, where they swell and then begin to germinate. Germination enhancing chemicals are forbidden. The barley kernels soak up water quickly at the beginning, and then more slowly during the soak. With the proper temperatures and rich amounts of oxygen, the barley begins to germinate. Finally the barley is laid out for five days to germinate. With the right amount of air, it becomes "green malt"
From Green Malt to Dried Malt
In order to stop the germination, the malt is kiln-dried under high temperatures. Moisture, Temperature and the length of the drying process determine if light or dark malt (and with it the ingredients for lighter and darker beer styles) will be made and give malt its typical malt aroma.
Finished Malt for the Brewery
The finished brewing malt contains only 3 or 4% moisture and is now ready to be stored. It is cleaned and separated from the germinating malt, dusted and polished and then stored in silos that are well ventilated and protected from dust development. The germination sets biological changes within the kernel into action: Enzymes are activated or newly created. These developments are only interrupted by the kiln-drying. During the mash (the mixing of the ground malt with water) the enzymes - as desired - become active again.
The malt is now ready for the brewing process. Production methods will differ from brewery to brewery, as well as according to brewery equipment and beer types. Athenian Brewery S.A uses its own production methods; however the main processes will be similar. The description below applies to the production...