Monday, 15 June 2015

St Feuillien brewery

After a hard day visiting Belgian breweries the next day we were up bright and early to visit some more. Only two this day though, starting with St Feuillien.

It was founded in 1873.

A new brewery was build after the first world war.

Though they stopped using this one eighteen months ago.

They produced table beer, pale ale and stout on quite a modest scale of around 4,000 hl a year. After the second world war they started producing an abbey beer.

In 1974 the brewery was mothballed and production outsourced. Brewing at the site restarted in 1986 to make special large bottles of beer. Things must have picked up since then as once again we moved from an old brewhouse with copper vessels to a gleaming stainless steel one with a mash filter.

It must be something to do with the strength of beer they produce that makes mash filters so popular in Belgium.

The mashing schedule is 15 min at 52°C, 40 min at 65°C, 30 min at 73°C then heat to 78°C. Mash filtration takes 75 minutes and has an efficiency of 100%. The boil is for 90 minutes with three hop additions and any spices are added with the last hops. They can make 120hl of beer at 1.064 from 2,600kg of malt, for stronger beers they add sugar.

They've also linked up with the American brewery Green Flash to do some collaboration beers

They're currently doing 12 brews a week, though the brewhouse could do up to 60.

The brewhouse is fully automated and can be controlled though the internet but in practice someone needs to be there to deal with any problems, so it seems the brewer still has to get out of bed. I suppose you can't have everything.

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