Sunday 23 June 2019

A visit to the Technical University of Munich pilot plant

The IBD study tour included a visit to the Technical University of Munich pilot brewery, it was a study tour after all. I was quite looking forward to this one, having previously worked as a pilot brewer myself. The research brewery was established in 1906 as brewers need practice as well as theory. They have an old copper brewery they once brewed commercially on too, until the authorities decided it wasn't appropriate for a research facility:

They now have two pilot breweries, one of 60L:

Can't remember what this was. Something to do wit filtration maybe?
Curse past me for not taking enough notes

And one of 10hl:

There was a pilot maltings too, and a mash filter:

untergärige, obergärige fermenting free

As well as a caged up robot busy bottling:

Before leaving we assessed the organoleptic properties of some of the beers produced here. 

It was a study tour after all.

Sunday 16 June 2019

A visit to Spaten brewery

After visiting a brewery that started in a garage our next stop was an altogether larger concern:  the Spaten brewery  Now owned by ABInBev it was Gabriel Sedlmayr's  brewery, a fact they seem very proud of.

This was in the entrance:

And there's a portrait of him upstairs:

His copied British malting techniques to make paler malts from which he made the first amber coloured lager.

Today the brewery produces the Löwenbräu and Franziskaner brands as well as Spaten. Annual production is 3 million hl, 60% wheat beer and 40% lager.

We were shown round a brewhouse, proudly displayed to the road outside by large windows, though it's not actually been used since 2006. The copper is made from old 1950s vessels and is used to clad stainless steel ones from the late 80s/early 90s.

10 tonnes of malt are used for each batch, giving a brew length of 800-900 hl. The lagers are mashed in at 60°C and the temperature is stepped up to 78°C, presumably with a couple of rests along the way.

Next door to the copper clad brew house were some rather less pretty vessels and there were no big display windows in this room! Hop pellets and extract are used during the one hour boil in a Jetstar wort boiler with an internal calandria and slight over pressure. Slaked lime and ion exchange is used to treat the brewing liquor before addition of calcium chloride and a lactic culture goes in the mash and kettle. It's particularly important for the alcohol free beers and the wort is acidified to pH 4.8-4.9.

The hot wort is filtered with perlite (60g/hl). Horizontal tanks are used for the lagers and CCVs for the wheat beers. The wheat beers are mashed in at 37°C, then stepped up to 44°C and 62°. And though it's not in my notes probably 78°C for mashing out. 

The filters are pretty substantial:

For PVPP a leaf filter is used, and a candle filter for kieselguhr filtration.

There are 34 fermenting vessels of 3400hl, holding 4 brews. Weiss beer is fermented for three days at 21°C and is bottled two weeks after brewing. The yeast count is lowered to two to three hundred thousand cells per ml by centrifugation and lager yeast is added as it settles better.

The bottling hall has three different lines, rated at 40, 50 and 60 thousand bottles per hour, which is all the more impressive when you see that they use recycled bottles. There were five to seven staff per line: perhaps one person on bottle washer, one on crate filler, one on palletiser, one on bottle filler, one on labeller and maybe other looking at conveyors and quality.  The didn't want us taking pictures of that so you'll have to take my word for it. Kegging is carried out at a rate of 500 kegs per hour.

We also got to have a look in the cellars which date from 1848-9. They had the world's first artificial cooling in 1873, though the machine only worked for three days before breaking!

Personally I'm more alle macht den räten
The cellars have holes in the roof where ice as dropped in:

And there is a museum in the cellars:

Where a bottling dalek can be seen:

As well as the old tat often found in historic breweries:

After the cellars we moved up in the world for a pork and lard based lunch and great views of Munich and the tank farm:

For those that care about the distinction between the bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie this brewery was definitely not craft, but at no time did I think the people working there were any less passionate about brewing as any other brewers we met. 

Tuesday 11 June 2019

A visit to Giesinger brewery

To complete my meticulous researched and completely objective analysis of the ranking order of the four First Class Beer Countries I went on the recent IBD study tour of Germany.

The first stop was Giesinger brewery in Munich, named after the local area it's in.

At first I thought it was a brewpub but it's expanded past that stage.

We were made very welcome and the CPD flowed freely.

Though the brewery was started in a garage at their current site they are now working to capacity of 12,000hl and are planning a new 60,000hl brewery with its own packaging on site. Production is carried out by two shift of workers.

At Giesinger they think that Munich is ready for "classical beer but with more power" (more malt, more hops, more strength). "In Munich you can't just start up and make IPAs, you need to do classical styles. We do both, the best of both worlds."

They use 30 types of malt, 20 types of hop and 10 types of yeast.

Some of the beer is made in open fermenters:

 Bocks getting up to 14 days in them before having four weeks in the Conditioning Tank. Craft ales will ferment faster but spend up to eight weeks in CT.

The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurised, bringing it closer to how god intended.