British brewers have traditionally
used barley as their main raw ingredient for beer. It provides the
sugar that yeast ferments to alcohol. Malt can be roasted to create
beers of varying colour and flavour.
Brewing Water -
The salt and mineral composition of
the water used for brewing, known as 'liquor', contributes to the
character and body of the beer.
Brewers as far back as the middle ages
have used hops in brewing to add flavour, aroma and to help prevent
the beer turning sour.
The Rebellion Brewery's own beer yeast
gives a unique 'signature' to our cask conditioned beers. Each week
fresh, healthy yeast is 'cropped' from the previous week's
Malted barley is milled to break open
the grain to allow access to the sugar-rich, starchy inside.
The malt is mixed with hot brewing
liquor and held for 1 hour at 66°C in the mash tun. Natural barley
enzymes convert the starch to fermentable sugars. Colour and
flavour are also drawn from the malt during this hour. Once the
brewer is happy that the starch has been converted to sugar, the
sweet liquid or 'wort' is separated from the spent malt, which is
then sent to the farmer as animal feed.
Wort is boiled for 1 hour in the
Copper to kill off any wild yeast and bacteria. Hops are added
early during the boil to give the beer its bitterness and towards
the end, to add flavour. The aromas and flavours can be chosen by
using particular hop varieties.
The beer is transferred from the
Copper to the Hop Back, where it is sprayed over the hops, soaking
through them and giving the beer its aroma. Each hop variety is
chosen for its aroma characteristics, which can range from fresh
citrus or tropical fruit, to spicy, floral or piney.
To capture and hold the hop aroma, the
beer is cooled quickly to 21°C in a heat exchanger on the way to
the conditioning and fermentation tanks. Air is mixed with the beer
to help the yeast during fermentation.
Yeast is added to the beer which
converts the sugars to alcohol, producing a complex mix of flavours
and aromas. The temperature is controlled between 21°C and 23°C.
Primary fermentation last 3 to 5 days.
Towards the end of the primary
fermentation, as most of the sugar is converted to alcohol the beer
is cooled to 6°C, slowing fermentation down. The tank is sealed for
3 to 4 days to add condition to the beer, as fermentation continues
slowly and sediment settles.
Clean and sterilised casks are filled,
or "racked", with fresh beer. The beer still contains small amounts
of sugar and yeast allowing secondary fermentation to occur in the
cask, known as cask conditioning. Finings are added to help the
sediment settle once in a cellar. The racked casks are moved to the
temperature controlled beer store held at 10 to 12°C. Cask
conditioning continues for up to 7 days before the beer is ready
After 2 additional weeks of maturation
in tank, the beer is passed through a series of fine filters to
clear and stabilise the beer. The beer is bottled under very
sterile conditions through our filling machine, which is capable of
handling 1500 bottles per hour.
Beer destined for sale through our
shop is transferred to bright beer tanks, which allow clear beer to
be drawn off and filled into the various sized containers on offer,
to be taken home and enjoyed.