The Brewing and Malting Processes
A complex affair
By Paula Mumford
Extracts taken from Ref: D/EGm/316, East Herts Archaeological Society, HALS
‘A brewery of the normal type is arranged either on the tower system, in which the raw materials, malt, hops, water etc. , are first hoisted or pumped to the highest point and the wort (or beer in process of manufacture) descends by gravitation as it passes through its various processes, or (in larger breweries) on a horizontal system with pumps employed to raise materials or wort as required. The cooling of the wort after the incorporation of the hops took place by letting it lie in old breweries in shallow open vessels; in modern ones refrigeration is used. The next step is fermentation, usually completed in four or five days. Some draught beers are then matured in casks… some are chilled, filtered and carbonated… some are naturally conditioned in bulk storage tanks.
A brewery is therefore a complex affair: the MALT HOUSE HOP ROOM, SUGAR STORE, BREWHOUSE, FERMENTING ROOM, CELLARS, COOPERAGE, STABLES, VEHICLE SHEDS, MAINTENANCE SHOPS, BOTTLING STORE, and OFFICES also power and heating plants.’
‘Where barley is converted into malt by encouraging, and then arresting, the process of germination. The system most used in England is floor-malting, in a building of several storeys with cisterns at one end and kilns at the other. The processes begin with steeping in the cisterns, then couching to enable it to gather heat, turning, drying, and finally drying and curing in the kilns. Then dressing, polishing, weighing and storing in sacks, all requiring substantial buildings, as in a brewery. The main building usually has three floors, only about six feet from floor to ceiling, or less. Regular small windows for vents, filled with louvers, or bars.’