Maturation & Packaging
After fermentation has completed and the beer has been chilled the yeast works away slowly at the low temperatures to develop and marry the flavours of the beer together as well as cleaning up potential off flavour precursors produced during fermentation, generally stronger or darker beers take longer to do this than lighter low alcohol beers. This process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month for our core range however if we plan to mature in another vessel such as an oak barrel this period can be considerably longer.
Racking in the brewery means filling. Depending on the beer being racked Isinglass finings is sometimes added. This is a pure source of a collagen protein which has a positive charge which binds to the negatively charged yeast cells thus creating heavier flocs of yeast which more easily fall out of solution leaving clear beer.
Our bottled beer is first held at low temperatures near freezing to help drop out the yeast and protein. It is then either completely unfiltered or very coarsely filtered into a tank where CO2 is added via a carbonation stone and the carbonation is topped up to the desired level. We only have to top up the CO2 level as we have a fair amount of natural CO2 in solution already produced from the fermentation process. Once we have our clear carbonated beer in a tank it’s ready to go to our bottling line where we can fill 330 & 500ml bottles at a rate of about 1500 bottles an hour. All bottles are labeled, rinsed, filled, capped, washed and finally boxed up ready for shipping. All of our bottled and kegged products produced this way are now Vegan friendly.
For our keg beer we use beer in the same condition as our bottling beer. It is hand filled into CO2 purged steel and one-way kegs depending on their destiny.