THE BREWING PROCESS
LEWIS & CLARK BREWING CO.
The brewing process starts at our silo where are Montana Grown pale 2-row malt is stored (up to 25,000 lbs!). This malt is cracked in a roller mill along with the specialty malts required for a particular recipe. The milled malt, or grist, is transported by auger across the brewery to the grist hopper above the mash/lauter tun. Next is mashing where the grist is mixed with hot water in the mash tun. Over the course of a few hours, mashing converts starches in the malt to sugars.
This is followed by lautering in which the sweet liquid called wort is drawn off the bottom and pumped to the brew-kettle. Once the brew-kettle is full, the wort is brought to a boil.
Bittering hops are added at the beginning of the boil, while hops used for aroma and flavor are added toward the end. After the boil and a brief settling period, the wort is cooled by pumping it through a heat exchanger. The cold wort is transferred through hoses to a temperature-controlled fermentation tank. Yeast is in the tank and this initiates fermentation, during which yeast cells ingest sugars in the wort to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. For ales, fermentation lasts 3 or 4 days. Lager fermentation is colder and slower, lasting one to two weeks. Cold conditioning or lagering of the beer takes place in the same tank. The temperature of the tank is held near freezing for anywhere from two weeks to two months, depending on the beer style.