Continuing with our behind the scenes look at the best Manchester brewery, Stark Brewing Company, we’ll continue to the last phases of the brewing process. In our previous article, we highlighted the second phase, known as lautering. Consisting of three steps, lautering requires some time. However, we’re moving on.
Once the wort is collected from the lautering process, it’s brought to a controlled boil for sterilization. These steps can take anywhere from one to two hours.
Aroma, taste, and bitterness of a beer are dependent upon when a brewer adds hops to the boil. If added early, a bitter flavoring will occur. Adding hops mid-boil or late in the boil results is flavoring and aroma. However, because brewing beer is such a unique process, some brewers add hops after the boil is complete as well.
Once the boil is complete, the whirlpool phase separates particles from the liquid, preparing your brew for cooling and fermentation.
Although there are many details to the fermentation process of brewing, simplified it’s the process of adding yeast. The yeast then converts the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This phase is closely monitored by brewers because, depending on the type of beer, certain temperatures must be obtained and maintained. For instance, ales are generally kept between 60 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while lagers are around 50 degrees.
Sometimes referred to as conditioning or maturing, this phase allows both ales and lagers to eliminate the by-products of fermentation. Like an aged wine, this phase is when the beer developed it’s full flavor. Going back to our previous section on adding hops, some brewers prefer to make the addition here in what’s called dry hopping. If you’re looking for a deeper complexity, barrel again can also be incorporated. The aging process generally lasts a minimum of 6 weeks for a good craft brew.
Once the beer has aged to its fullest potential, filtration and carbonation occur. These processes can occur either by natural or force methods. Most breweries opt for the second method, force carbonations because the process is much faster and allows for better clarity.
Now that you’re brew is ready for enjoyment, the bottling phase is ready to go. This phase is an article of its own and quite fascinating! However, we have to leave some secrets to the experts!
If you have to choose only one Manchester brewery to visit, make it Stark Brewing Company. From award-winning brews to house-crafted spirits combined with some of the best food in the city, we promise you’ll be back for more! Be sure to check out on online menu as we offer curbside pickup during this unprecedented time.
As always, thank you for your continued support and for being part of our family here at Stark Brewing Company.