As a micro-brewery, we are dedicated to the craft of producing Welsh ale with a difference.
We believe in using the highest quality ingredients with every effort made to source our produce
from the local area, including fresh Breconshire water and the finest malts and hops available.
Once we have all our essential ingredients, we can begin the science, the art that is brewing.
Hot water (liquor) is added to the “Mash tun”. This is a vessel where malt and wheat are mixed with
the hot liquor to produce a sugar extract known as “wort”. This is formed by the breakdown of the malt
starch into sugars which in turn dissolve into the liquor. This process usually takes around 90 minutes
to complete. When all the wort has been extracted from the mash, we can begin to transfer it into the
next vessel, known as the “Copper”, by a process known to us as “wort run-off”
As the wort is being run off, the surface of the mash is “sparged” which involves spaying the mash
with hot liquor. The liquor passes down through the mash, washing out the wort into the copper.
This run off process is carried out over a 60-90 minute period, depending on the size of the brew.
Once the run-off is complete, the Copper is heated up to boiling point and boiled vigorously.
This boiling of the wort ensures it is sterile and prevents a lot of infections. Hops are added during
the boil, and these contribute to bitterness, flavour, and aroma of the beer. Here at the Otley Brewing
Company we use a variety of different hops in each of our brews, a number of which are mentioned
in the tasting notes of our beers in the “Our Ales” section of this website. This step usually takes
between 60 and 120 minutes.
At the end of the boil, the wort must be brought down to fermentation temperatures (20-26oC) before
the yeast can be added. The cooling medium used is usually water and this functions via a heat
exchanger. After cooling, Oxygen can be dissolved into the wort to revitalise the yeast
and aid its reproduction.
After the wort is cooled and transferred into the fermentation vessels (FV’s), yeast is added and it
begins to ferment. During this process the sugars produced by the malt are metabolised into alcohol
and carbon dioxide.
When the sugars in the fermenting beer have been almost completely digested, the fermentation
slows down and the yeast starts to settle to the bottom of the tank. At this stage, the beer is cooled,
which encourages settling of the yeast, and causes proteins to coagulate and settle out with the yeast.
The beer is then ready to be racked into casks, which are then in turn taking to the cold store in order
for secondary fermentation to take place.