The Beer Making Process – Black Creek Historic Brewery

The Beer Making Process – Black Creek Historic Brewery


I’ve been one of the original brew masters
when we first opened up, June 2009. When we first opened up we
decided to make four styles; a stout, a porter a brown or dark ale, and an India pale ale. They’re all handcrafted period beers. Very simple two vessel brewing system. No electricity is used in the process, no
chemicals, no preservatives. They are naturally carbonated, so they are
pretty much flat by our standards. Right, so don’t expect a lot of
carbonization in a 19th century style beer. Remember, beer is all about the flavor, not
the carbon dioxide. We serve these beers at cellar
temperature, never ice cold. And the reason for that is if you serve a beer too cold, you’ll actually numb your taste buds, and when your taste buds are numb, you can’t taste anything. These beers are loaded with all kinds of flavour, right? So, you want to let them warm up so you can enjoy the nice flavours. The first step in making beer is filling
our mash tun with a predetermined amount of water. And what you’re doing is now taking your
barley that’s been crushed, placing in in the mash tun and you’re heating it up now to between
60 and 68 degrees Celsius. That is the ideal temperature to convert
the starch into fermentable sugars. The enzymes that were formed in the malting process will break it down into fermentable sugar. Because, remember that barley has absolutely no sugar. It’s all
100 percent starch. If you don’t convert it, you’ll just end
up with barley tea. So we’ll let it sit in the mash tun for about an hour after which you’ve got
full conversion. We’ll then infuse the mash tun with some hot water. That hot water is now going to draw the sugars out of the barley. Very carefully I’ll open up the valve in the
front at the mash tun. We’ll start separating liquid from the barley. The liquid at this stage is
now called a sweet wort. We’ll transfer it into our brew kettle. We’ll
bring it up to a good, vigorous, rolling boil. This is now
when we add our third ingredient, which are hops. The hops are a dry herb that give the beer the bitter flavor and the flowery aroma, but more important to note, they’re also a natural preservative.
Certain oils and resins in there that help prevent bacteria from forming. So, not quite as important
as it was back in the nineteenth century, because back then they had no refrigeration. So anytime you can put something in
your beer to make it last longer was definitely welcome. We’ll then boil the wort for 60 minutes.
We’ll then transfer it from the kettle up into our cooling ship where we’ll crash
cool it down to room temperature as quickly as possible. Now a cooling ship is nothing more than a shallow copper tray or a bath and what you’re doing is taking a boiling hot liquid and spreading it really thin over a very large surface area, letting
it cool naturally. It’s also the most dramatic part in the brewing process as you’ll see later on the whole room is going to fill with steam as it’s cooling off. Now on the very top we’ve got
our hop back, because at this stage everything is gravity fed and you don’t want those hops floating in your beer, going to cause you all kinds of grief when you’re
transferring it from vessel to vessel. When it does cool down, we’ll then
transfer into one of the barrels. We’ll then add our last ingredient which
is yeast. I can now go wash my hands as the yeast is going to take over. I
actually make wort and the yeast takes the wort and turns it into beer. It’ll take the sugars and convert it into
carbon dioxide and alcohol. Five to seven days later you’ll have beer fit to drink.

One thought on “The Beer Making Process – Black Creek Historic Brewery”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *