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The Brewery at Lake Tahoe's Brewing Process
Here at the Brewery at Lake Tahoe we believe brewing beer is truly art. We take pride in every batch we brew and aim to create a beer that you will enjoy time and again.
AT THE MILL
Two-row malted barley and an assortment of other specialty malts are milled to crack the husks to prepare for the brewing process. There are many different specialty malts used at The Brewery ranging from chocolate malts to biscuit malts, all with their specific characteristics that help both color and flavor the beer.
AT THE BREWERY
There are four main ingredients in making beer: Water, Malts, Hops, and Yeast
For each brew we use specific quantities of milled grain in order to attain the flavor and color of the specific beer. Hot water passes through the grain extracting starches that are then converted to sugars, producing what is called "wort".
Once we have attained our desired wort we then begin to boil. It is during the boiling process that hops are added. Hops are added at different times to act as either a bittering agent or for aroma. Hops are a very important part of the brewing process. The amount of hops coupled with the intensity of bitterness make finding the right balance for each brew a real science.
At this point, the wort is sent through a heat exchanger to cool the liquid so yeast may be introduced. Yeast is a living organism that feeds on the sugars from the wort to produce alcohol and CO2 becomes the by-product. Next time you are at the Brewery take note of the hoses leading into a bubbling bucket... this is the CO2 being released during the fermentation process. Temperature during the fermentation process must be monitored closely to enable the yeast to properly do its job.
Beers are basically divided into two types, Lagers & Ales. The yeast used and the time and temperature during fermentation are what differentiates a lager from an ale. Ales use a top fermenting yeast and ferment at higher temperatures than do the bottom fermenting lagers.
When the fermentation process is complete the now alcoholic beer is transferred to a serving tank in one of our cold rooms. We then age the beer and carbonate it to get ready for your enjoyment. Next time you're here feel free to ask a member of the Brew Crew any questions you might have...heck, you might even run into the Head Brewer Steve, who is always happy to talk about brewing.