Friday 19 July 2019

A visit to the König Ludwig brewery

After getting a right result with our bonus trip to the Kaltenberg castle brewery it was on to the main bigger brewery in Fürstenfeldbruck. It has a brew length of 200hl and they can brew eight times a day. They start on Sunday evening and brew through to Friday morning, 36 a week in total. It's fully automated and only two brewers are on each shift, organising the cellar according to my notes which doesn't seen quite right.

Only wheat beer is brewed here, made with a grist of 66% wheat. It's mashed in at 55°C and in the three hour mash a single decoction takes place, with the temperature raised to 78°C for  mashing out. The masischbottich (Mash Conversion Vessel I guess) is copper, the rest are copper clad stainless steel.

All copper that is
They ferment with a top fermenting yeast at 23°C. They produce 240,000 hl a year. All beers are flash pasteurised for 30 seconds at 72-73°C on the way to the Bright Beer Tank.

And to my surprise it's finally happened: the bottling line was a thing of beauty.

I've never cared much for seeing bottling lines before, though the things whizzing round are all good fun. I've seen so many stopped though, with lights flashing and people staring gormlessly at them I'd begun to suspect that they were really some sort of care in the community scheme.

But no more. I've been bitten by the bottling bug. On this one there are 144 filling heads and an 18 head capper. It runs at at rate of 45,000 bottles per hour and has a grand total of two staff: one on the filler, one cleaning.

Revel in its beauty:

Friday 12 July 2019

A visit to the Schloss Kaltenberg brewery

Some confusion over arrangements for the study tour of Germany lead to a stroke of serendipity. We weren't due to visit the Kaltenberg castle brewery but mistakenly though the castle cafe would be open for coffee. As it happens it wasn't, but when a curious brewer popped out to ask why exactly a load of people were milling around outside we soon managed to talk ourselves into an impromptu tour.

As well as containing a brewery the castle is also home to Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, who I met at Thornbridge brewery. Due to the inbred nature of royal families he's only a couple of dead cousins away from being the Jacobite pretender.

Craig working on his photo bombing

Loitering with intent

Rebuilt in 1870

Not much to see of the brewery from outside
Forlornly looking in the window

Can't get decent pictures through it though

And we're in!

Getting better

And here he is in all his glory
I think that's another ex-Manx between the tanks

There was a better class of old crap cluttering up this brewery
The castle brewery produces 100,000 hl of lager. The brew length is 140hl with four to five brews per day. Fermentation is for seven days then four weeks in the conditioning tank.

Filtration is carried out on site but since 1980 when the prince bought another brewery no packaging has been carried out on site (filtering before shipping the beer out sounds a trifle irregular to me but I guess they know what they're doing).

Sunday 7 July 2019

A visit to Weihenstephan brewery

After the pilot plant it was on to the production facility at Weihenstephan. It's an old abbey brewery secularised in 1803. It claims to be the oldest brewery in the world, dating back to 1040, though I have my suspicion as claims like that tend to be based on flimsy evidence.

The brew length is 300 hl and they brew six to nine times a day, producing 450,000 hl annually.

They mash in at 60°C and carry out two decoctions. The wheat beer is made with 60% wheat.

The production is 70% wheat beer, 20% helles and 10% 'others'.

The yeast is used for three generations.

There were more refreshments afterwards, I don't seem to have any notes for that bit though.