Brewing begins with water and we are very fortunate to have some of the best quality, limestone rich water to work with here in Dungarvan.
Firstly, water is heated in the hot liquor tank. Once water has been heated for brewing it is referred to as liquor, hence the name of the vessel.
Next, the liquor is transferred to the mash tun where the grains being used to make the beer and the liquor are steeped together. The sugars from the malted grains are released to leave a sweet, fermented liquid called wort. This wort is then drained into the kettle, while the spent grain is removed and taken away by a local farmer to be fed to his cattle.
In the kettle, the wort is boiled with hops, which add bitterness to the sweet wort. Different types of hops are used at different stages for different results — some bittering hops are added in at the start of the boil to solely impart their bitterness, while other more aromatic hops are added towards the end to retain the flavour of them in the beer. We only use whole dried hop cones in our brewing.
When finished in the kettle, the beer is passed through a chiller and into the fermentation tank, where yeast is pitched in and it stays for up to four weeks depending on the beer type. After this, it is bottled.
Because our beers are bottle-conditioned, they are not filtered and carbonated before going into the bottle. Instead, a second fermentation occurs in the bottle where the yeast eats the sugars present in the beer to create both the carbonation and alcohol in the beer. These bottles are stored in a warm room for about a week to aid this secondary fermentation.
After secondary fermentation has completed, the bottles are transferred to cold storage for a further week or so to allow the yeast sediment to come together and drop to the end of the bottle. At this point it is ready to be delivered to our stockists.