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200 Washington Street - Auburn, CA 95603 |
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Barley: A grain that grows much like wheat. It must be malted before it can be used to make beer. Adds different colors, aromas and flavors to beer.
Hops: Grows in vines that grow up to 18 feet high. Brewers use the cone (flower) of the vine. Hops contribute aroma, flavor and bitterness to beer. They are also a natural preservative.
Water: In the end, water constitutes almost 95% of the beer, so it does have an effect on the beer. All of the water we use is filtered to take out the chlorine which can leave unwanted flavors and aromas in the beer. The water is also very soft (meaning it does not have a lot of minerals in it) so we add some minerals to it.
Yeast: Yeast is what ferments the beer. It metabolizes the sugars from the barley and produces alcohol and Carbon dioxide (CO2). Brewers yeast is similar to Bakers yeast that is used to make bread.
Milling: Malt is crushed and de-husked so that the brewers can easily get to the starches inside the kernel. The husk (skin of kernel) acts as a filter in the run-off.
Mashing: Malt is mixed with hot water and brought to a very precise temperature where the enzymes in the malt break down the starches into sugars.
Boiling: The liquid from the mash, now called wort, which has all the sugars in it from the malt is brought up to a boil. The hops are added in the boil. Depending on when in the boil they are added, they will impart either bitterness, flavor or aroma.
Cooling: After the boil the hopped wort is pumped through the heat exchanger and cooled from 212 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. On the way to the fermenter, as it comes out of the heat exchanger, the wort is pitched with yeast.
Fermentation: The yeast that was pitched will now metabolize (convert) the sugars from the malt into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). For ales this will take between 3-5 days, and for lagers it will take between 7-10 days.
Filtering: After the fermentation the beer will be brought down in temperature to about 32 degrees and will condition for 1-3 weeks. It will then be filtered and any remaining yeast or hop compounds will be trapped in the filter sheets and a clear, finished beer will come out and be ready to go into bottles, kegs or directly to the bar.
As the Auburn Alehouse continues to grow and expand distribution (all over California and now Arizona!), more and more beer is being bottled and canned. Our bottling line, which was custom built for us by Meheen, can bottle up to 120 cases an hour and takes four brewery personnel to work the line, including the Brewmaster himself!
Overview of the Bottling Process:
Step 1: Bottles are hand-loaded onto the machine.
Step 2: Bottles are rinsed with sanitizer and drained.
Step 3: The filler removes any air from the bottle and purges it with CO2. This ensures there is no oxygen in the bottle (oxygen is bad for beer!).
Step 4: Bottles are filled with beer and capped while there is still foam on top of the beer. Again, this ensures that there will be no extra oxygen left in the bottle.
Step 5: Bottles are rinsed and fed into the labeler.
Step 6: Each bottle is inspected for quality and consistency.
Step 7: Bottles are hand boxed and loaded onto the truck for distribution or stocked directly into the Pub for your enjoyment.
In addition to our 500ml bottles, we also put our award-winning craft beer into 12oz cans. In the past, canned beer has had a stigma surrounding it. We have heard people say everything from, "It can't be fresh," "It makes the beer taste funny,." to "No good craft beer comes in cans." We're here to tell you that's not the case anymore!
Canning beer has many benefits. For one thing, cans provide a complete seal from oxygen and light, which are detrimental to the longevity and taste quality of the beer. Modern cans also have a water-based polymer lining on the inside, which means the beers never comes in contact with the aluminum. This preserves the flavor of the recipe that our brewers worked so hard to make. There is also an "enjoy by" date printed on each can, so you know the beer hasn't gone past its prime. More and more craft breweries are choosing to can and we are happy to join the ranks.