Saturday 21 October 2017

A visit to Van Honsebrouck brewery

The Van Honsebrouck brewery is very modern, being built in 2016. The old brewery was 1.5 km away and had a capacity of 100,000 hl. The new one has a 250,000 hl capacity, which is just as well as they're enjoying 10% annual growth.

They brew top fermented beers, mixed fermented beers and spontaneously fermented beers. The sour beers are made in a separate area from the top fermented beers. 

They do 10 x 150hl brews per day, though they can brew as little as 50hl at a time for trials. Gravities range from 12 to 23°P, though the stronger beers have sugar added to achieve this.

They chose to go with a lauter tun rather than a mash filter as it is more "craft". 

The brewery has a weak wort tank for recycling the last runnings, and an energy storage tank.

They use an ultra centrifuge rather than a kieselguhr filter.

The cooled is used in Winter for approximately one month, filled with two brews at a time.

It looked as new as the rest of the brewery.  

Unsurprisingly the vat and barrel ageing part of the brewery wasn't up to Rodenbach standards! The lambics go into barrels, the mixed fermentation brews into vats for a year to 18 months. The fruit beers spend six months on fruit in maturation vessels. they have 74 fermenting vessels, most of them round bottomed. 80% of their output is keg, 20% bottled. 

Thanks to Richard Rees for the pictures

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