This is what our brewing process starts with. What we do here is crush our malt to expose the insides of the grains. We call ground malt 'grist', if you pop down to our brewery you'll often hear the expression "it's all grist to the mill" being shouted.
The crushed malt is mixed with carefully temperature controlled water, which enables natural enzymes to convert the starch into sugars. The grain/water mixture is called the 'mash'.
Next we separate the grain from the sugar rich liquid, called the wort, which will be fermented to create beer. The sieve-like bottom of the lauter tun holds the grain back and allows the wort to flow through.
The wort flows into the kettle, where it is boiled to sterilise and clean it.
Hops are added during the boil, where the oils, acids and resins that will give the beer flavour, aroma and pleasant bitterness are released into the wort.
After the boil, the wort is sent to the whirlpool, where centrifugal force separates the hop debris from the clear wort.
We now cool the hot wort, preparing it to receive yeast.
Now it's time to add Trillions (yes, trillions!) of yeast cells to the wort until it reaches 'Pasteur Point'. No more free oxygen exists and the yeast starts to make alcohol.
This is what finishes off the beer. This is the important bit. The bit that sets Meantime aside from the rest. We give our beers as long as they need, usually around 6 weeks to mature. It means you can enjoy the beer the way it was always supposed to be enjoyed. Unfortunately most brewers don't share this view.
This part is crucial because we don't pasteurise our beer. See pasteurising cooks the beer and affects its taste, something we won't stand for, so we refuse to do it, ever. For this reason we need to make sure no air is present when we pack our beer, not an easy task, nonetheless we get it done.